Today: “We can’t get out-hustled.”
Rachel started off with the happy news that journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling have been released from North Korea and were flying home with former President Bill Clinton.
Rachel welcomed Governor Bill Richardson (D – New Mexico), who helped arrange the release of Lee and Ling with months of secret negotiations.
Talks apparently succeeded through engineering a situation that felt like a win to both sides and allowed the North Koreans to save face, so look forward to some neocon dick-swinging about how we should have shown them what big tough military stud horses we are instead.
It is also entirely possible that you will wake up in the dead of night to find Dick Cheney sitting on your chest, wringing his hands and muttering darkly about how now the terrorists know we’re weak. Try sleeping with a tiny model of an electric car under your pillow — that usually frightens him away.
Rachel moved on to what looks like a new, even crazier phase of the debate over health insurance reform, but is in fact some appalling corporate astroturfing.
I’m swinging back and forth between being fascinated by the goobers who get sucked into a massively funded corporate effort to create a “populist” uprising in favor of the health insurance industry that’s been screwing us over for years and just wanting them to go back to talking about secret Masonic symbols on dollar bills so I can ignore them again.
However, as pathetic and funny and these people are, the machinery behind it is really not funny.
OK, the mandatory sex change rumors are funny. But that’s it.
I do support passion and dissent in local and national politics, but shouting down discussion has nothing to do with that. I hope the loons that the health insurance lobbyists are fishing in to their cash mobs are getting financial compensation too. So far it looks like they’re just being paid in trucker hats.
I get particularly infuriated about stuff like this because it’s designed to take advantage of people who try to be polite and play by the rules. We don’t have to get rude, but we do need to get smarter about this.
There’s a great primer over at Daily Kos on keeping your town meeting from becoming a corporate-funded shouting match.
It’s also important to remember to touch base with your elected representatives during the break – this whole thing is about creating enough noise to distort their perception of the world and frighten them out of voting for health insurance reform in the face of what seems like such a popular revolt.
Remind your reps that you are sane, and that you will be pissed if their spines telescope again.
And then please, for the love of God, help get the teabaggers excited about something a little more harmless. Do you think we could get them revved up about about the Bermuda Triangle again?
The Dockers Rebellion
Think lobbyist-funded fake mobs can’t have real, long-term consequences?
Rachel reminded us of the 2000 Presidential election and the Brooks Brothers riot and, wow, she and her staff really know how to do a thorough takedown.
Chris Hayes of The Nation stopped in to join the fun. Well, the fun and the outrage.
As much as I advocate playing by the rules at town meetings, I must say that I really want to fight cash mobs with flash mobs when it comes to the lobbyists back in D.C.
Nothing threatening or shouty. Just a few modern dance tributes to unbiposied lumps outside just a few lobbying firms.
Or maybe something a little more upbeat. Precision synchronized cough squads?
Rachel reminded is that even as Euna Lee and Laura Ling are heading home, there are still journalists in captivity in Iran.
Maziar Bahari is a freelancer for Newsweek, and journalists Shane Bauer and Sarah Shourd and environmental worker Josh Fattal are the three hikers who were captured when they accidentally crossed the Iran-Iraq border.
Moving from people who need help to people who are not helping at all, Rachel gave us the news that Chuck Norris has fallen in with the Lou Dobbs I’m-not-a-birther-but-I-think-Obama-should-show-his-birth-certificate-even-though-he’s-already-released-his-birth-certificate position.
Mr. Norris made his announcement in spite of the fact that scientists have already shown that said position is so stupid that, under strict laboratory conditions, a ringtailed lemur, a sea anemone, and a bucket of pudding were all able to raise trenchant objections to it.
And, in an intriguing development of apocalyptic social nuance, Rachel reported that the stupid fake Kenyan birth certificate for Barack Obama is so badly forged that it is now causing a rift in the birther community.
Which means there is now such a thing as a “moderate birther”. That would be a birther who believes Barack Obama has a Kenyan birth certificate out there, just not that one.
When asked for comment, the bucket of pudding tipped over and flowed into an air conditioning vent.
Unnatural Mail Enhancement
You know what else is totally cool when it comes lobbying? Mail fraud.
Rachel brought us the third “Did I really hear that right?” story of the night, and covered every question I had except for this one: Why does this company still exist and why are people not already in jail?
Now if you will excuse me, I’m off to register for my mandatory sex change. At least it’s free!