RachelWatch: Tough Love for the Republican Party

Today: Rachel follows up on the Ridge interview, lawless contractors, and a magnificent Moment of Geek.

TRMS Interview

Were you able to put the top of your head back on after yesterday’s Tom Ridge interview? Because Rachel had a few more things to say about that.

And, really, she said those things to Republicans in all helpfulness. The woman is a fan of the two-party system, and she would like the sane branch of the Republican party to make some tough decisions and save itself.

I think her advice will go over well. If there’s one thing the current Republican leadership is known for, it’s their listening skills.

Public Speaking Option

Well, now we’ve done it. Everyone went completely loonbat during August and now we will get a stern talking to. President Obama will be convening a joint session of Congress on Wednesday to talk about health care.

And it sounds like it had better be one hell of a speech.

Lawrence O’Donnell dropped in to bum everyone out about what it means that this is happening and what will happen to health care reform is if this doesn’t work.

In a nutshell: He thinks we’re so preemptively screwed we might need a new tense for it.

We may be scrod.

Ms. Information

Rachel cruelly swung everyone’s mood back up by reporting on what a little muscle can do. The AFL-CIO has announced that it won’t support candidates who won’t support the public option and – Will you look at that! – lukewarm reform supporter Senator Michael Bennet (D – Colorado) suddenly got a little more gung-ho when he learned he might have a primary challenger.

Are progressives actually beginning to learn and enjoy sumo politics?

Rachel also reported that her heart may be riven in two come January if Red Sox pitcher and die-hard conservative Curt Schilling runs for Senator Kennedy’s seat. That sounds like it will be fun to watch.

And just to raise false hopes about a hilarious world full of joy and rainbows, Rachel gave us the wondrous news that Japanese First Lady Miyuki Hatoyama claims to have visited Venus, apparently through some sort of combination of astral projection and UFO hitching.

I am hoping for updates on this story more than almost anything in the universe.

Life During Wartime

Nothing helps diplomatic efforts so much as learning to truly understand what matters most to a culture you’re visiting.

Or, you know, invading.

Honoring a culture’s most cherished values shows individual and collective respect. It shows that you’re ready to listen and enter discussions as equals. Paying attention to the seemingly small details can help smooth interactions in a thousand little ways and make it immeasurably easier to end a big war.

I’m pretty sure that’s what the Wackenhut contractors in Afghanistan were thinking about when they decided to drink shots out of each other’s butts.

We’re paying $180 million a year for contractors to suck in every possible sense of the word? And Medicare is the government program everybody wants to audit?

Who’s Left?

Odds are that Supreme Court Justice Stevens will be retiring next term, just because he’s been holding out for 8 years and is nearly 90.

Since Stevens is one of the Court’s most liberal voices and Republicans threw a complete, screaming hissy fit over the kinda conservative (But wise! So terrifyingly wise!) Justice Sotomayor, we can look forward to a full-blown kicking and screaming conniption over a nominee who will, in the name of stupid fake bipartisanship, probably move the Court to the right anyway.

Unless the nominee has some other scary traits that might affect his or her decision-making skills, such as a set of ovaries or skin that is three or more shades darker than Irish Fishbelly.

If that’s the case, I’m pretty sure their heads will just start exploding.

Seriously. Stay away from C-SPAN. The hearings will look like a Scanners marathon.

Moment of Geek

All bummed out?

How about an incredibly freaking cool Moment of Geek to cheer you up?

Molecules, people! Pictures of actual molecules!

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