Today: Democrats move toward reconciliation, Tim Pawlenty tries to get macho, and Rachel reveals the Filbuster Challenge winner.
Whoa! The Democrats are taking steps toward being vaguely less wimpy. And they may even be starting to like it! Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid (D – Nevada) now says he’s willing to use reconciliation to push a public health insurance option through without Republican support. Assuming it’s under the right circumstances. And if it’s OK with everyone. And if Mercury isn’t in retrograde.
Matt Yglesias of Think Progress dropped in to talk about the maneuverings involved. During the conversation, Rachel and Yglesias remarked on the fact that some of the health care reform options with the strongest polling numbers are the very things that our politicians say are terrifying radical librul scariness.
But that can’t be, because the people at Fox News keep telling me that this is a center-right nation. Maybe climate change is skewing the polling data?
Fringe and Purge
Rachel noted that conservative street cred is increasingly about talking tough. Or talking violent. Or talking just plain scary. Eek.
Chris “Lambchop” Hayes of The Nation checked in to talk about the mainstreaming of disturbing fringe rhetoric and the hustle that it’s covering up.
Rachel Cracks Open a CPAC
Rachel really did not miss the opportunity to chat with anyone at CPAC. We got to see a short clip of her chatting with some guys from the John Birch Society during which the Birchers illustrated how not to pick a productive line of conversation.
If they had said “European countries that don’t add fluoride to the water supply have also seen a decline in tooth decay, so maybe public water fluoridation is overkill,” we might have gotten an interesting debate going. But instead they went with “fluoridation is a gateway to putting birth control in the water supply,” and here we are.
The only thing I don’t understand is why the censors bleeped it when Rachel said the word “stuff.” Must have been a mistake.
You may have heard that Tiger Woods was involved in some sort of marital spat. Rachel mostly ignored it, and good thing, too.
At first I was massively irritated that she decided to cover it at all, but was mollified when I saw how frank and engaging sports dude Max Kellerman was. And I liked the fact that Rachel brought up her belief that no one outside the family should know about this at all.
I love it that Kellerman pointed out that one of the reasons we can’t get away from this story is that journalists tend to be guys who think golf is interesting.
Remember how they kept justifying the constant coverage by talking about how this affects the whole world of golf? As though that makes it earth-shattering? As if everyone would sit up and go “My God! The whole world of golf? Wake the kids and laminate the front page of the newspaper! What? All right, then, wake the kids and then we’ll go out and find a newspaper so we can laminate it!”
I think this has rocked the world of journalism because, yes, an excuse to show highly unclassy ladies talking about The Sexy Times, but also because, golfing abilities aside, Tiger Woods was not a white dude in terrible pants.
For a little while, Tiger Woods made golf, well, not cool, but at least mildly less coolness-impaired, and now that may come crashing down.
Golfers, this is the perfect opportunity to stop doing this to yourselves. Do not search for a hipness that will never be there. You’ll only get hurt. Just accept the fact that curling is more exciting and get on with enjoying your game in peace.
(And, while we’re at it, are we sure this really affects the whole world of golf? Is attendance at Dinah Shore projected to be way down this spring? I’m just asking.)
Rachel noted that when Obama spoke in Denver last week he did so without the Presidential seal on the podium. Don’t worry, wingnuts. He’s going to give it three or four weeks before he puts on the hammer and sickle to ease the transition.
And South Carolina State Representative Mike Pitts wants to ban federal currency in his state and replace it with gold or silver. Way to bring tourist ingots to your state, sir!
Kicking Ask, Talking Names
Exciting news: Only 84 out of 100 Senators are being total chickenpuckeys about giving a firm answer on whether they support changing the filibuster rules.
This segment also features the announcement of the Filibuster Challenge winner and a moment of pure poetry.
No: Literal poetry. It is a pile of awesome.
New England Patriots
To finish off the night, Rachel brought us a tale of love and understanding that spans the Northeast Corridor.
Since even a few inches of snow can immobilize Washington, D.C. — even a prediction of flurries will cause store shelves to be emptied of canned goods with unbelievable speed — the recent snow-whompings have hit the area rather hard.
The good snow-removal-equipment-having people of Boston trucked down to help and, Rachel reported, have been stunned at the deep gratitude and hugs.
The one good thing about climate change is that D.C. will certainly have a chance to return the favor. I look forward to hearing about the caravan north to help the Beantowners deal with Day 7 of it being so godawful hot and humid that you can’t get your clothes unstuck from your skin.