Today: Rachel chats with Ana Marie Cox and points out that that torturing thing may have been a bad idea.
Rachel led off with breaking news of the tragic shootings at the American Civic Association in Binghamton, NY. Ron Allen of NBC News, Mayor Matthew Ryan, and Police Chief Joseph Zikuski joined Rachel to talk about the awful task of trying to figure out why it all happened.
Praise all around for the rapid police response and the brave receptionist who, after being shot in the abdomen, had the amazing presence of mind to pretend to be dead and then call 911 when the gunman had moved down the hallway.
When Rachel introduced the segment of last week’s Colin Powell interview that covered torture, she mentioned the tension in room when the topic came up. Powell’s office has since contacted the show to say that there was no tension, and that it was inappropriate for Rachel to have mentioned it.
Seriously? I wasn’t in the room, but based on the clip the tension in there was so thick you could have sliced it up and served it with a side of disquiet.
But maybe I’m biased. It is possible that General Powell was not tense and that he answered Rachel’s questions as fully and directly as he could. It is also possible that he was wearing Bermuda shorts and swim flippers below camera range. I’m giving both possibilities the same odds.
Rachel showed us footage of France making its O face. The French were so happy to see the President that no mid-level executives were taken hostage for twenty whole minutes.
Senator Evan Bayh (D-Indiana) and one other Conservadem, Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska) voted against the President’s budget.
Air America’s Ana Marie Cox dropped in (hooray!) to speculate with Rachel on whether the voting is based on principle or early betting on the midterm elections. They also took a moment to giggle about Bayh’s raw animal charisma.
Hooray for solid Midwestern common sense! Judges in Iowa reaffirmed that separate is not equal and legalized same-sex marriage. Iowans, enjoy that influx of marriage tourism dollars. Not to mention some fabulous updates to the interior décor of your quaint little B&Bs.
In less sane news, Sarah Palin is asking new Alaskan Senator Begich (D) to resign so former Senator Ted Stevens (R) can take another swing, now that Stevens’ corruption trial has been thrown out of court for massively bad handling.
Golly. Do you think Palin might be able to further help Stevens and the Republican party by going on the news some more?
New President, Old Europe
President Obama has been pitching his Afghaniplan to Europe, with generally positive results. Rachel decided to clamp down hard on all that fun by bringing up the inconvenient issue of whether or not the plan is actually a good one.
Andrew Exum of The Center for a New American Security checked in for a genuinely interesting conversation on the topic that will only make you want to hide under the coffee table once or twice.
Did you ever think a news story would make you look forward to seeing okra?
GOP in Exile
Tammy Duckworth was a decorated helicopter pilot in the Iraq war and has been a passionate, nationally recognized advocate for veterans.
Senator Richard Burr (R – North Carolina) is personally blocking her nomination for a top job in Veteran’s Affairs department. Burr’s only stated reason is that he’s doing “due diligence,” and, whoa, Rachel is pissed.
Senator, I hope you took note of the set of her jaw after she said “You picked the wrong fight here.” I believe you are about to learn that there is, in fact, such a thing as bad publicity.
Journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee are still being held in North Korea. And as upsetting and enraging as that is, Rachel pointed out that our own country’s treatment of its prisoners over the past eight years has left us with frustratingly little to say about that.
Her brilliant and impassioned case about why we cannot brush our country’s shameful history of torture under the rug should be playing on a loop in the ear of everyone, Democrat or Republican, who has done even a single thing to slow down the investigation and prosecution of everyone who had a part in justifying or ordering torture.
And Dick Cheney should have the video feed routed to the inside of his glasses.
The magic of all-girl action squads continues with China’s first graduating class of female fighter jet pilots.
Rachel noted that they are skilled in helmet-and-jumpsuited badassery and, just in case you were worried, at dancing in bubbles and wearing spangles. I think it trains you to be able to see bogeys coming in from any direction. And maybe not to get dazzled by the sun in your eyes? I’m sure it’s something military.
Until next time, keep your spangles shiny and your corn intake high.