Today: Torturers, beauty queens, and the occasional rainbow clown wig.
Rachel led off with President Obama’s visit to the CIA to reassure everyone that he won’t prosecute agents who tortured people “in good faith” under the Bush administration’s “turns out torture is totally cool and has no long-term mental health effects” memos.
Obama told them not to be discouraged about the “mistakes”. Because we wouldn’t want the guys who put collars on fellow human beings and slammed them into walls to start feeling a little blue about that.
Case Not Closed
OK, but we’re still going to prosecute the people who asked for and approved of the torture, right?
Wrong. Rahm Emmanuel said the White House won’t be pursuing prosecutions of the people who thought up the genius torturing ideas, because who doesn’t get a little Rasputinish on Monday mornings?
Rachel brought up the fact that we have big, binding laws against torture, but she seems to be missing his point that prosecuting the people who made us into a nation of torturers might be sort of socially awkward and icky.
Fortunately, Rachel had Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff on hand to raise your hopes about the Department of Justice’s willingness and ability to nard up and get going on this.
One More Thing:
Former Vice President and current Skeksis Emperor Dick Cheney now wants more information on our torture program released so everyone can see how awesome torturing can be. He’s pretty sure America will warm up to waterboarding once we see “how good the intelligence was.”
I hadn’t realized that torturing is cool as long as you get quality information out of it, but now it makes sense. I look forward to reading the National Science Foundation’s 2010 torture budget.
I am also looking forward to seeing this great intelligence Cheney has touted. Some examples of useful information gathered through torture in the past include “My neighbor rubbed magic ointment on herself, flew to a witches’ Sabbat, and had sex with the Devil,” and “The earth does not move around the sun.”
Washington Post columnist and frequent TRMS guest Eugene Robinson won a Pulitzer Prize! I hope he enjoys the tiara, the Golden Keyboard, and the year’s supply of Tide.
After the obliging torture memos and the disturbingly fresh-faced photos we always see of him, the third-creepiest thing about Jay Bybee is that he is now a Federal judge. Rachel has no intention of letting that particular bit of creepy slide.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D – Rhode Island) of the Senate Judiciary Committee agreed that the bad law in the memos brings up legitimate concerns about Bybee’s fitness to serve as a judge. How about his fitness to serve mashed potatoes to his fellow prisoners?
The United Nations held a World Conference on Racism in Switzerland and it looks like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may have misinterpreted the name.
His anti-Israel speech caused delegates from the countries that hadn’t already boycotted the conference to get up and walk out, but on the upside it also inspired protesters to wear rainbow clown wigs. If they’d just thought to call it a rainbow party, people would have taken them much more seriously.
Rachel also noted that there are plenty of great seats available at your local Yankees game! Selling that kidney will be totally worth it. Remember to alternate kidneys if you’re bringing the kids.
Columbine: 10 Years
Ten years after the Columbine massacre, Rachel welcomed reporter and author Dave Cullen to try to sort out the truth about what happened from the comforting myths we told ourselves to get through it.
Talk to the Hand
While Goofus Obama was saying that we should ignore our old torture program as so much water under the board, Gallant Obama was being polite to Hugo Chavez. Which made Grandiose Newt Gingrich have a hissy fit on Today.
Chris Hayes of The Nation joined Rachel to talk about the uneven standards that Newt and his pals seem to be applying to international diplomacy. To sum up, kissing the Saudi king is good but bowing to him is not, and macho swaggering is good but basic courtesy is not.
I really do hope Newt writes up a book on the etiquette of international Presidential manly posturing. There is so much to learn. Did you know that the President is allowed to give the Prime Minister of England a noogie on St. Swithin’s Day?
Rachel mixed us a Beauty Spot as Miss California USA reminded us about the skin-deep part. Carrie Prejean, who finished as runner-up in the Miss USA Pageant, was asked a question about gay marriage in the interview portion, the cruelest portion of all.
When I first saw the clip I thought that Ms. Prejean was saying (badly), that she thought it was nice that The Gays have the choice to marry, but that particular choice isn’t for her, but she has since made it clear that she only believes in, as she put it, “opposite marriage.”
I’d be supportive of her right to her own opinion, even if I think it’s a dumb one, but now she’s started whining that The Gays cost her the title because she was too darned principled and wasn’t “politically correct” enough.
Honey, it’s the Miss USA pageant. Nobody cares about the inner you. There isn’t even a talent portion. The Gays didn’t take your crown away because of your opinions. They took it away because of that terrible evening gown.
I know, Ms. Prejean: It feels bad to be treated like you’re second-best, and not as good as someone else. Maybe you should think about that.
Until next time, keep your teeth well Vaselined and your handshakes gruff.