Today: Bellying up to the bar at 67 miles per hour.
Summit of All Fears?
Rachel started us off with a look at the Obamas’ arrival in London to start off their eight-day European tour. She cited a few signs that business was not as usual, such as fact that we actually sent a note to Iran.
Rachel imagined the note in cootie-catcher form, but I like to think of it as a check-the-box-if-you-like-us sort of a deal.
NBC News’ terrific Richard Engle stayed up to chat with Rachel about the change in the “flavor” of protesting and touched on the worrying news that the Pakistani Taliban is making some big and familiar-sounding threats.
Which means we have to deal with the potential long-term danger of more attempts to attack the United States, and the immediate danger that Dick Cheney will give another flurry of interviews while wearing the voice distorter from Scream.
The latest diplomatic envoys to inspect Guantánamo Bay are Miss USA Crystle Stewart and Miss Universe (neé Miss Venezuela) Dayana Mendoza. Miss Universe found the facility to be “such a relaxing place, so calm and beautiful.”
In a related story, former Miss South Carolina Teen USA Caitlin Upton did a dance of relief around her living room and phoned Miss USA officials to ask when and where she could surrender her Most Embarrassing Miss crown. The ceremony will be held in The Iraq.
Rachel welcomed Matt Duss of thinkprogress.org, who attended the launch of the super-awsetastic new Neocon think tank, the Foreign Policy Initiative.
Superfans will be relieved to know that Bill Kristol, the visionary who could see way back in April of 2003 that we had already won in both in Iraq and Afghanistan, will be deeply involved. Please, no more than three items per person for autographing.
You know that phrase “When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem starts to look like increased overseas military involvement”? That’s carved over the Foreign Policy Initiative’s front door.
Wildlife officials in Borneo are having trouble dealing with the rise of a new invasive species. Rachel noted that hoop snakes were imported from the American Southwest as novelty pets, prized for their distinctive rolling slither. Many were released or escaped into the wild and have been thriving in the tropical heat.
Numerous Bornean teenagers have been injured with the new fad of diving through the rolling snakes, and now that the rainy season has arrived, larger hoop snakes have been creating wheel ruts in muddy rural roads, delaying the delivery of supplies.
An American aid package is on the way. No word on if it includes hula trainers.
Wow. The French are bent on showing what mauvais-asses they are when it comes to money negotiations. Workers at a French Caterpillar plant took five executives hostage, and the villagers of Pont-Saint-Esprit captured their mayor.
French authority figures, repeat after me: “C’est une bonne idée! Champagne!”
Rachel also reported on the increased use of flying drones to patrol Iraq’s borders and do “non-enemy” surveillance in the flood zones in North Dakota. This last use shows the peacetime potential of robot drones, so just admit that it’s a really good idea.
You now have five seconds to comply.
Nobody wants to take a job at the Treasury because everyone wants to punch you in the face and the job comes with the very real danger that your name will forever appear in history books next to the phrase “the person who dealt the deathblow to the U.S. economy.”
Well, maybe not books. It could be clay tablets and oral mythology.
Matt Taibbi, author of The Great Derangement, joined Rachel in scaring the bejeezus out of everyone by pointing out that Neal Wolin, the current nominee for the number two Treasury spot, had a hand in drafting the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which deregulated the financial services industry so that mad bankers could put banks and insurance companies into a big vat with a Tesla coil attached and create the monster that gobbled up your pension fund.
GOP in Exile
House Representative John Shimkus (R-Illinois) says we shouldn’t try to reduce carbon emissions because he thinks there was more carbon around during the era of the dinosaurs. “There is a theological debate that this is a carbon-starved planet. Not too much carbon.”
Trust me, his statement does not get less confusing when you look up the whole thing. In a nutshell, God and the ankylosaurus want you to buy a Hummer.
The ever-enjoyable Derrick Pitts, chief astronomer of the Franklin Institute, joined Rachel to talk about how things in space are getting seriously weird.
In addition to terribly important scientific research on self-cleaning underpants and the Americans apparently drawing a line down the middle of the room they’re supposed to be sharing with the Russian Cosmonaut on the International Space Station, huge, booming fireballs appeared over Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina on Sunday night.
Pitts says the fireballs are just meteors, and that it’s no big deal because these flaming balls of death come screaming out of the skies and slam into the Earth all the time. Thanks for the reassurance, Derrick!
Cocktail Moments just got dangerously awesome: Rachel got a demo of the best $3,000 you will ever spend from Vonn Watson, the owner of Skeeter Watson’s Bar Stool Racers.
And on that note, today is Ms. Maddow’s birthday. I would like to take a moment to wish her many happy returns in the International Language: The language of Hammered.
Hey, Rashel? I juss wanyouna know this: Y’know thassong? Wecandance if we wannooo? Wha? I’m tryna tell you. Your friends DON’T DANCE. Thatswhaam saying. Friends dondance! THINK aboudit!
Hav’a gooyear. Hrm. Wherza Funyuns?