RachelWatch: White House of Pain

Today: Barney Frank frightens credit card companies and Dick Cheney terrifies the rest of us.

High Crimes?

Rachel decided to go ahead and spike everybody’s blood pressure straightaway and led off with the news that the Senate Armed Services Committee’s report on military-run prisons showed a startling similarity to the unprecedented torture methods that suddenly came into play in CIA-run prisons during the Bush administration.

Since the two organizations have completely different chains of command, you can probably guess where the remarkable likeness in “enhanced interrogation” styles originated: Skippy from the White House mailroom, and he says he’s sorry.

Ron Suskind, Pulitzer Prize winner and Author of The One Percent Doctrine, joined Rachel to connect the dots into an even more upsetting and infuriating picture than you may have expected. (I’m finding myself using words for rage and sadness next to each other a lot over the torture revelations, and I’m realizing that regular English may not cut it anymore. We’re going to have to start making Lewis Carroll portmanteau words.)

Anyway, you really should watch the clip, even though it’s upfurietting.

One More Thing:

On Tuesday night’s broadcast, Philip Zelikow said the White House tried to suppress his memo saying that our torture program was torture, and probably not legal.

Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent has filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the memo, and Rachel added a personal plea to Hillary Clinton and her staff to release it.

If you watched her face carefully, Rachel was also making a silent plea for Hillary Clinton to release her bad-ass foreign policy overcoat.

Ms. Information

In a 2005 torture memo, Department of Justice official Steven Bradbury cited Professor James Horne’s Why We Sleep as proof that extended sleep deprivation does not cause real harm.

Professor Horne, endepragessed at the revelations, begs to differ.

Rachel also reported that the Detroit Lions lost every single game last season. The solution? Graphic design! Specifically, a new, scarier logo.

Also, their new name is the Detroit Angry Robot Lions.

Sere-iously Flawed

Just in case you weren’t miserincenshamed enough about our government’s systematic torture program, Rachel informed us that Bush officials designed it around tactics from the army’s SERE program.

The SERE program was established to help soldiers withstand torture, and derives from Korean War tactics used by the Chinese to extract false confessions for propaganda.

In other words, the mysterious “great information” Dick Cheney has been touting on the news came from interrogation techniques that Bush administration officials knew from the very start could be used to get people to say absolutely anything.

What a monstrassterhole.

Colonel Steven Kleinman, a former military interrogator, joined Rachel to drive home the point that, no, you don’t get good information by using bad tactics.

Guilty as Charged

Credit card companies had a great eight-year ride during which they sent explorers to other dimensions to find numbers high enough to accommodate their new interest rates. But they may have just pulled into the Truck Stop of Regulatory Consequences.

The House Financial Services Committee approved the “credit cardholder’s bill of rights” on Wednesday. Representative Barney Frank (D – Massachusetts), chair of the House Financial Services Committee and perhaps my favorite curmudgeon in the whole wide world, dropped in to announce a new era of consumer protection.

He seems to be looking forward to hanging a few power ties on his wall.

Poutrage

Dick Cheney has reared up out of the box of his native soil to go on television again, this time to voice his deep and lifelong hatred of deficits.

After an exhilaratingly mean imitation of Cheney’s sulphurous wheeze, Rachel welcomed (and congratulated) Washington Post columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner Eugene Robinson. Robinson’s shirt was sparkling, so I’m guessing that year’s supply of detergent is working out for him.

He and Rachel chatted about how thrilled Republicans must be that their two most prominent public faces are Cheney and Newt Gingrich, two guys who always look like they’ve just taken Toto away in a basket.

Just Enough

Kent reported that Michael Phelps has been dating highly principled Miss USA also-ran Carrie Prejean, who has been using her principle of sportsmanship to whine that the only reason she didn’t win is because of The Gays.

For crying out loud, Phelps, are you high?

Oh.

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