Today: Activist Cleve Jones and the hard-right freakout over Obama’s new missile defense program.
The Reponsibility Rebellion
Rachel started us off with the news that on Thursday Speaker of the House Nancy Peolsi asked for help in turning the nasty, violent political rhetoric back down to 9.
Pelosi, who is in a position to know, compared the current culture of vitriol to the frightening hate speech just before the assassinations of Harvey Milk and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone.
The Republican response has been breathtaking in its cynical irresponsibility.
Activist Cleve Jones joined Rachel to wonder when the hell someone on the right will find his or her nards, common sense, and conscience all at the same time.
For crying out loud, elected Republicans, someone open up that rusty safety deposit box, break out those woefully unused assets, and try being a real leader for thirty seconds. You might actually like it.
The Brady Bunch Goes to Washington
Rachel reported that Congressman Kevin Brady (R – Texas) wrote an angry letter to Washington, D.C.’s Metro system because the weekend service wasn’t expanded enough to serve the anti-tax, anti-government 9-12 tea party protests this weekend.
Brady, of course, voted against funding for D.C.’s nearly broke Metro system.
This seems to be more cynical grandstanding or open stupidity, but I don’t think it is. I think I have the tea partiers figured out: They believe in pixies.
Public-transport-funding, road-building, pothole-filling, school-staffing, public-health-guarding, fire-engine-buying, body-armor-crafting, infrastructure-preserving pixies.
If you take that worldview into account, of course the teabaggers are mad. They didn’t want the government to spend money to get them cheaply and comfortably to their rally to protest government funding.
They just wanted the Metro authorities to leave a dish of milk out to appease the pixies.
And maybe a little shoe leather for D.C.’s famous cobbling elves.
Apparently a major part of the public health advice in Mississippi and Georgia is “try not to have female reproductive organs.”
Rachel whipped out some numbers on teen pregnancy rates, premature births, low birth weight, infant mortality, and the percentage of young women who get the HPV vaccine to guard against one of the most preventable cancers.
Hell, the problem isn’t that so many of the politicians from these states don’t want health care reform, it’s that they don’t want health care, period.
The next time South Carolina’s Governor Mark Sanford, Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint, and Representative Joe Wilson or Georgia’s Governor Sonny Perdue and Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson bring up how terrifically pro-life and pro-family they are, you might want to ask them how their states’ appalling infant mortality rates figure into that.
Rachel reported that President Obama spoke about health care reform at the University of Maryland Thursday, and the crowd was so informed and opinionated that they impressed Queen Wonk herself. Wow, Terps. Way to bring it.
And one of Rachel’s wildest dreams is coming true, because former Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton is now under investigation by the Department of Justice for managing to funnel oil leases worth a bazillion dollars to Shell and then — oops! — immediately taking a job with them.
Jeez, lady, show a little finesse. Don’t take a direct job; pretend to be a consultant or something.
Or take the job with the giant company first, and then get a job with the government and funnel back billions of dollars in no-bid military contracts. Turns out that doesn’t get you investigated at all.
Anyway, this is not one of Rachel’s wildest dreams because she wishes Gale Norton ill or anything. It’s because the Department of the Interior employees who snorted meth off a toaster oven did so during Norton’s tenure.
Which means that during the course of the investigation, the fact that said employees snorted said meth off of said toaster oven may come up again.
And there is almost nothing Rachel Maddow seems to enjoy more than getting to say “snorted meth off a toaster oven.” We all wish you many enjoyable updates, Rachel.
Rachel finished off the segment with the news that a man charged with posing as the Governor of West Virginia and attempting to forge state documents is dumber than a tweaked-out toaster oven.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Forgers, invest in a good copyeditor and proofreader.
President Obama is scrapping an old, stupid missile defense plan that the Government Accounting Office hated and replacing it with a much less expensive, useful missile defense program that is approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The Republican reaction to this is so maddeningly disingenuous that I am going to have to stomp around my apartment while you watch the clip. My sincere apologies to my downstairs neighbor.
So we’re done with the idea that Republicans actually give a rat about national security, right? Because we now have tangible proof that they will sacrifice it in a hot minute to just get a few points on the board.
This is a good, practical, and even sort of bad-ass plan, and could have been the perfect place to at least pretend to be bipartisan for a second, working together to Make Us All Safer.
Because isn’t Making Us All Safer why we were doing the noble work of setting up fake executions and making people think they were drowning in the first place?
Fine. I’m done taking the high road:
Republicans are weak and failing to keep us safe because they have not sponsored a single bill to adequately protect us from dragons. Not one.
I demand that they prove they care about America by immediately spending $10 billion to place giant fire extinguishers along our borders and coastlines.
If they don’t, it proves that they are soft on reptiles and hate America.
Values and Dollars
Rachel reported that in light of the recent scandal and not at all to get publicity, Governor Tim Pawlenty (R – Minnesota) issued a firm directive that all state funding for ACORN must stop immediately.
In fact, the directive was so firm that it went back in time and altered history so that Minnesota had never been giving any funds to ACORN in the first place.
Rachel also noted that Washington, D.C. is hosting the 2009 Value Voters Summit, featuring Representative Michele Bachmann (R – Not any state that is funding ACORN, let me tell you), Stephen Baldwin, and Carrie Prejean, the disgraced Miss California who lost her crown because The Gays used their magic powers to make her not show up for her contractually obligated appearances.
You can pay $99 to attend, or $35,000 to not.
Nation’s Highest Honor
Rachel reported that he President gave out a posthumous medal of honor to Sergeant Jared C. Monti. This is an amazing story.
…And let’s finish off with the Bulgarian Lottery.
My brain won’t stop making up a story about some poor Bulgarian who missed playing his favorite numbers on the day that they hit, and then when he saw the results he figured oh well, he’d never play those numbers again, because what are the odds?
On the other hand, maybe some happy Bulgarian just had his crazy optimistic dreams positively re-enforced. Good on him if he did.