Today: Ana Marie Cox helps Rachel shake off the caffeine buzz and Paraguay schools us on scandal.
Teabags Across America
Rachel started off with the mass public teabaggings we’d all been waiting for. She led us through a slide show of highlights, and, goodness, this country has more fringe around the edges than I had recalled.
Air America Radio’s Ana Marie Cox dropped in with some Earl Grey and, while I have thoroughly enjoyed every last one of her visits on this topic, I hope she has fully dealt with the ramifications of becoming one of the nation’s go-to experts on teabagging.
Phew! I can’t believe we made it through this whole week without anybody making a joke about finger sandwiches. Oh, wait. Damn.
Extreme Makeover GOP Edition
Governor Rick Perry (R – Texas) told a crowd of teabaggers that he’s a political extremist, which made them so happy that they started chanting “Secede!” Whatever happened to “We got spirit! How ‘bout you?”
Wayne Slater, senior political reporter of the Dallas Morning News and Texas tea party attendee, joined Rachel to talk about the great big Lennie hug that some Republicans suddenly want to give to the far right.
Rachel reported that the Somali pirate commander who led the poorly-aimed attack on the Liberty Sun says it was an act of revenge, not an attempt at a ransom.
And when did the French turn into such macho bad-asses? A Gallic team thwarted a different pirate attack, followed the raiders back to mother ship in a helicopter, and attacked at dawn. Evidently they are tired of our lighthearted World War II jokes.
New York is still counting the ballots in the race for the Congressional seat that Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D) left to take her new job. But they’re already tallying up protests. Republican candidate Jim Tedisco wants to nullify Gillibrand’s absentee ballot because she ended up not being absent from the state on Election Day.
Because nothing shows your sincere dedication to public service like announcing your intention to be a complete technicality-grubbing spit valve before you even get elected.
And Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo just revealed that he has a 2-year-old son. And that he started his relationship with the boy’s mother when she was just 16. While he was a Catholic bishop.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you multitask your scandals.
Take the Money and Run
So it turns out that blocking war hero Tammy Duckworth’s nomination may actually have been Senator Richard Burr’s (D – North Carolina) smartest public act.
During a speech on Tuesday, Burr told his audience — apparently on purpose — that when he first got his Senatorial insider information on the looming financial crisis, he called his wife and told her to make as many ATM withdrawals as she could over the weekend.
David Young of the North Carolina Democratic Party joined Rachel to debate whether the selfishness or the stupidity was more egregious.
You know those cartoons where two characters are on a desert island and one looks at the other and only sees a giant turkey leg? That’s how Burr looks to the Democrats.
R-O-C-K in the DPRK
North Korea isn’t a great country to live in if you enjoy not starving, but it certainly is the place to be if you’re into mandatory celebrations.
Rachel reported on the jaw-dropping fact that two American bands accepted invitations to aspiring nuclear nation North Korea to help celebrate the birthday of founding despot Kim Il-Sung.
Rachel welcomed Steve Clemons of the New America Foundation, who explained that cultural exchanges can help when other forms of diplomacy break down.
Clemons also said that both groups, The Annie Moses Band and Casting Crowns, are Christian Contemporary groups and may feel like they have a higher purpose in going over to an oppressed country, though North Korea did give them a little help with their set lists.
Before you judge: If you knew that an entire country would be surprisingly motivated to learn an interpretive line dance to one of your songs, wouldn’t you think hard about taking the gig?
Rachel had Kent give her a crash course on Rod Blagojevich’s possible new gig on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me out of Here. My position on him being on television again has been swayed a bit upon seeing how cruel the show seems to be.
Based on the footage, it’s not so much a survival show as a will-you-let-us-put-spiders-on-your-eyeballs show. I still won’t watch, but it will be good to know he’s there.
Still, it does seem needlessly brutal to the other cast members. Can you imagine that jungle living situation?
Rod explaining over and over how he didn’t eat all the fish while everyone else was asleep; Rod demanding the right to give out the immunity necklace anyway; Rod yammering on and on about how he’s not going to just give up something as valuable as the speaking conch — I’d be dousing myself in Anaconda bait inside of two days.