Today: Rachel and the President each chat with a Queen
Rachel started us off with the President’s “Your O, Euro!” tour (T-shirts pending). Mr. and Mrs. Obama dined on Welsh mutton and hobnobbed with world leaders. And, I hope, had some HobNobs for dessert, because those are some tasty British biscuits.
In his spare time from trying to sell the world on his plans for healing the global economy and dealing with Afghanistan, President Obama tried to put relations with Russia and China on better footing. And Rachel took the opportunity to hope for a better position on pantsing.
The Colin Powell Interview — Part I
Most people over 27 have cake and a quick life crisis on their birthdays. Rachel had a sit-down with Colin Powell. She’s always been an achiever.
Rachel asked whether the Powell Doctrine applies to Afghanistan. General Powell, who I guess would know, said that the basic tenets of knowing exactly what you want to do, making sure to do that, and then having a way out do apply, but he’s not sure if Obama is doing enough.
Powell also mentioned that — you’ll never guess — Pakistan makes things more complicated, and that even the best-laid plans will be affected by whatever Al-Qaida and the Taliban are planning.
So no life crisis, but a world crisis. Did I mention she was an achiever?
A Certain Anaconda No Longer Wants None
Vandals bombed a statue of Lenin in St. Petersburg,
Word is that the statue is in stable condition and giving serious consideration to purchasing a Hummer.
Powell on Torture
Colin Powell used to sit on the Principles Committee, a group of high-level Bush Administration officials who discussed interrogation tactics. Rachel was tenacious on the issue of whether torture was discussed and who signed off on it.
Powell was frustratingly vague in his answers, saying that there were “conversations at a senior level as to what could be done with respect to interrogation,” but otherwise deflecting questions by saying he wasn’t qualified to talk about a “legal issue.”
Rachel pointed out that getting the United States into the torture game goes well beyond mere legal issues, but Powell said we’d have to wait for the written records of the meetings.
Best example of hilarious-yet-ghastly irony in torture-related question phrasing: “I don’t mean to press you on this to the point of discomfort…”
Rachel gave us an update on the special election to fill the House seat of now-Senator Kristen Gillibrand. The Republicans are Colemaning out, and have launched a preemptive attack against the election results even though we still have to wait for absentee ballots. Do their arguments about how horrible this special election was hold true if they win?
And Attorney General Eric Holder has dropped corruption charges against former Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) because of what looks like some appalling prosecutorial misconduct.
Which makes me feel bad, because Stevens lost his career over this, but he did seem to have a lot of gifts lying around — but the prosecutors failed to report exculpatory evidence.
I can still make fun of him saying the internet is a series of tubes, right?
You can all stop quivering like tuning forks — The Republican Road to Recovery: Now with Numbers in It! is here!
Don’t worry, all your favorite hits are in there, like tax cuts for the rich and a whole lotta drilling.
After comparing unemployment numbers to “a graph of testosterone levels during puberty,” Rachel cut to Colin Powell’s reaction to the alternate budget, which will probably not make the Republican Road to Recovery infomercial.
Powell dripped so much contempt on that thing that the ink ran and the pages got all wavy.
GOP in Exile
If you’re like me, you’re probably spending a lot of your spare time writing letters to the MacArthur Foundation begging them to give Joe the Not a Plumber a genius grant so he can stop worrying about not-plumbing to pay the rent and focus on helping Real Americans.
Well, now you can help America (and, I suspect, Joe’s rent) by paying 99 cents to vote to abolish the IRS. The website seems to imply that the IRS will be honoring the results. I’m sure they’re on tenterhooks.
The website features a “media/booking” section that features pictures of Joe standing by tools and looking like one and contact information for setting up an interview. Please, Ms. Maddow? If you eviscerate him on national television, I promise not to ask for anything else ever again.
Wow — some actual heartening news. Political and military leaders have noticed that having nuclear weapons and the materials to make them lying around might be sort of dangerous.
Rachel continued her Amazing Technicolor Dream Birthday by interviewing Queen Noor of Global Zero. I feel really bad for anyone who was trying to throw Rachel a party later. How do you get someone excited about a cake with sparklers on it after a day like that?
Ahhh. A glimpse of the awkward is the perfect refresher.
Rachel showed us a clip of the severely jetlagged Obamas trying to make small talk with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, and then one of the Obamobile making a smooth 37,000-point turn.
She used the opportunity to re-state the joys of the motorized barstool. I do hope someone was able to make some tight-cornering birthday magic happen for her.