RachelWatch: The Torture Program Gets Even Scarier

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Today: Rachel looks at death threats real and imaginary and gives you an Iraqi baseball update just when you need it.

“I Am the Mob”

I never thought I would see day when Rachel would feel a real and pressing need to editorialize against death threats as a method of influencing national policy.

And yet, here we are.

What other common-sense things is she going to have to suggest we not do next? “Also please don’t shoot off patriotic fireworks while actually inside the town hall.” “It would create a less tense atmosphere if fewer people brought live cobras with them.” “While making your protest sign that threatens the President of the United States, try not to accidentally drive the staples directly into your eyes.”

Dr. Warren Hern of the Boulder Abortion Clinic, has, as Rachel put it, “lived for decades now under the threat of assassination,” and brought a sobering dose of perspective to the middle of the ha-ha-look-at-the-wingnuts stuff we’ve all been indulging in.

Senator Deather

Rachel moved on to the latest round in the silliness over the rumored “death panels” that the new health care bill is supposed to set up. I love it that she never lets Betsy McCaughey off the hook for starting the rumor in the first place.

As weird (and anti-liberal) as the death panels sound, Rachel pointed out that many of our nation’s elderly have been genuinely scared by the idea. Well played, Ms. McCaughey. Spreading the death panel rumor was way more efficient than playing ding-dong-ditch several million times.

But today you can be more irritated with Senator Chuck Grassley (R – Iowa), who snuck out the back door while nobody was looking and took the express bus straight to Crazytown.

At a town hall, Grassley said, “There is some fear because in the House bill, there is counseling for end-of-life, and from that standpoint, you have every right to fear.”

Rachel was so ticked off that she brought in Bob Krause, who is planning to run against Grassley in 2010, to ask him what the hell.

I hope the TRMS folks have some protective gear for their delicate camera equipment, because that studio can really get cold.

Ms. Information

Obama gave out 16 Presidential Medals of Freedom on Wednesday. Recipients included the late Harvey Milk, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, and Professor Stephen Hawking.

Speaking of Stephen Hawking, did you see the part where he was there and able to receive his award? Because the fine publication Investor’s Business Daily ran an editorial including this line:

People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn’t have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.

Three guesses where Stephen Hawking grew up and lives to this day.

Rachel also ran a clip illustrating that Representative Steven C. LaTourette (R – Ohio) has not yet learned the TV-friendly word “bullpuckey”.

She also pointed out that, yes, that’s his real name, and that the incident took place in Chagrin Falls. And, while she did not say it, she certainly implied that comedy is dead.

Rachel finished off Ms. Information with a quick self-correction: On Tuesday’s show, in reporting on how many people in North Carolina didn’t believe or weren’t sure if Hawaii was a state, Rachel said 12% while showing a graphic that indicated the number was 8%.

For my recap, I downloaded a copy of the survey and made the same mistake as the graphics staff — I used the 8% figure. The confusion arose in the divvying up of information: 8% of North Carolinians are skeptical of Hawaii’s statehood, but 12% of the state’s Republicans call it into question.

I regret the error almost as much as I am saddened by that stunningly high number.

I also kind of want to know what the second most suspicious state on people’s lists would be. Sure, it’s easy to just pick off the outliers and say Alaska, or cast the stink-eye on the ones that just have to be different and call themselves commonwealths, but I don’t think that’s the right mindset.

If I were a sneaky not-a-real-state, I’d want to hide in the middle of the crowd and try to quietly blend in.

Kansas, I am looking at you.

Torture, Inc.

Investigations into our torture program continues to reveal new and innovative levels of appalling.

This time, Rachel looks at the story of the two plucky, can-do psychologists who created the program in spite of having no experience with interrogations or knowledge of the culture of the people we’d be interrogating.

Truly a tale of heartwarming moxie.

Operation Iraqi Baseball

Did you need to have your heart actually warmed after all that? Never fear. Rachel and Operation Iraqi Baseball are here to help.

Aww.

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