RachelWatch: Sharks, Slime, and the Senate

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Today: Updates on The Family and Operation Iraqi Baseball

C Street Band

Rachel started us off with continuing coverage of the secretive far-right Christian group The Family.

If you recall, Representative Zach Wamp (R – Tennessee) got whomped after his staffers called TRMS earlier in the week to complain about Rachel’s reporting.

Wednesday night, Rachel reported on a new Wamp interview with the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Congressman Wamp, I beg you: Just let this go. She’ll hurt you.

I have to admit that for a while Rachel was losing me a little bit on this one. After all, elected representatives are citizens too, and they’re allowed to belong to the religions of their choosing, even ones that give me the willies.

They are also allowed to shut up about it in public, and they are even allowed to live together in a big house and meddle in each other’s lives like they’re the cast of The Real World: Congress.

So even though I disagree with their worldview and wish they wouldn’t whip government and religion into quite such a frothy blend, in terms of their fundamental right to worship I — OMG, they were involved with WHAT in Central America?!

Way to hit me with the stealth blood pressure spike, Rachel.

Elephant in the Room

Wednesday was the third day of Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation hearings, and if you had any friends who picked “wise Latina” for their drinking game, you should probably check on them.

Rachel also took on MSNBC commenter Pat Buchanan’s jaw-dropping take on the Sotomayor hearings, and intends to speak with him in person on the matter on Thursday’s show.

As tired as I am of people continuing to put Pat Buchanan on television, I am looking forward to this. Ms. Maddow, I know you two are friends and colleagues, but please don’t pull your punches on this one.

Operation Iraqi Baseball

Maddow-watching baseball fans, I am impressed. Rachel reported on the Iraqi baseball team’s plight on Tuesday, and by Wednesday we were ready for some aww.

Well done, baseballers! Now someone get out there and grow them a cornfield.

(If you’re feeling inspired, by the way, here are some of those donation sites Rachel mentioned courtesy of her excellent webmaster, @WillAtWork. )

Flop-Ed

Sarah Palin wrote an op-ed opposing Obama’s cap-and-trade energy plan that appeared in Tuesday’s Washington Post.

It wasn’t nearly as fun as her resignation speech, and Rachel and Post blogger Ezra Klein had a good time theorizing about Palin’s attempt to pick up a little gravitas and her new career tack as a Republican idea woman.

Palin used to support cap-and-trade, but that flip doesn’t really bother me. I find a politician who won’t ever reconsider his or her opinion way scarier than someone who sometimes changes his or her mind.

Even if I make some snotty private assumptions about the reason for the shift.

And I am curious to see the evolution of Sarah Palin the writer. Will her public persona creep into her text, making it git folksier and folksier? Or will her written sentences begin to tame the loopy, tumbling syntax of the spoken ones?

Will we lose the freewheeling Summer of Love way her ideas would intertwine and mingle, coming together in a wild moment of passion before suddenly losing focus and running off on a whim to toast marshmallows? I hope not.

But I do hope the writer takes over her public persona a bit. I like the image of her avoiding the spotlight, stomping around the house with her hair hanging loose and straight down, and grousing on Twitter about how she can’t use the verb she really wants because its etymology adds a nuance that undercuts her joke.

Just think about it, Ms. Palin. People cut writers way more slack for eccentricity than politicians. And Hunter S. Thompson still got to shoot things all the time.

One More Thing:

Rachel reported that there is some kind of dark, oozy, possibly living thing in the sea between Russia and the Alaskan coast. Someone has apparently pulled duck bones out of it.

Dungeons & Dragons nerds, I don’t know if we’re dealing with a green slime or a black pudding or some monstrous crossbreeding of the two. I just know that this is when the world stops laughing at graph paper.

Gather your torches and cure disease spells and let’s get out there — YES, I mean the actual outdoors by “out there” – and show the world what we’re made of! This is the moment! Our time is now!

Yes, I’ll wait while you roll.

Sharkholm Syndrome

Speaking of the open seas, there are way fewer sharks in them than there were a few decades ago.

In an intriguing strategy, shark attack survivors have organized and are lobbying to strengthen shark protection laws.

I bet that makes the sharks feel horribly guilty and sheepish, don’t you?

Passive-aggressive shark attack survivors aside, this is a pretty cool clip.

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