Today: More from Rachel’s Al Gore interview, reactions to the Fort Hood shootings, and the countdown to the House health care vote.
Shootings at Fort Hood
Rachel started us off with a look at the attempts to piece together what happened at Fort Hood and what we know about Major Hasan, the suspected shooter.
Fort Hood Stirs up Prejudices
Rachel noted that reactions to the shootings at Fort Hood have been very much colored by Hasan’s religion. And that’s just in the mainstream press.
FrontPageMag.com went with full-on bigotry, whereas WorldNetDaily hit a level of whack-a-mole conspiracy mongering that would make the Illuminatus Lizard People folks blush.
Rachel welcomed Suhail Khan of the Institute for Global Engagement, who I’m guessing is in for another challenging year.
The Republicans’ sensible bargain-priced health care plan costs $60 billion and eventually leaves even more people uninsured than there are now.
It kind of reminds me of when I was 22 and I bought “bargain” work shoes for my bartending job that fell apart almost immediately and had so little arch support that they left me literally crawling around my apartment after a nine-hour shift.
The difference between me and the Republicans is that I didn’t buy those shoes again, I didn’t try to talk anybody else into thinking my purchase was an awesome choice, and I didn’t spend days on end bloviating about how much I cherished the freedom to be in terrible pain and unable to reach my toaster oven.
Now Newt Gingrich (R – Your television, for ever and ever) and Governor Rick Perry (R – Secessionist Texas) are urging the Texas model of health care. (Warning: DO NOT BUY THOSE SHOES.)
We also got a soupçon of disingenuousness from Representative Michele Bachmann (R – The Land of 10,000 Lakes and Maybe One Lake of Fire) and a visit from Representative Anthony Weiner (D – New York) straight from the House session on the health care bill.
SPOILER: The health care bill passed on Saturday night, but not before the cheerfully insidious Stupak amendment was inserted at the last minute.
It’s being presented by conservatives as a simple amendment to stop federal funding of abortions, which is a lie. That language was already in the health care bill.
The Stupak amendment would stop insurance companies that participate in the public plan from offering abortion services — which means most will opt to drop those services rather than take a huge financial hit. Where’s that part where conservatives don’t want the government to interfere with business again?
The amendment will drastically reduce women’s options where it doesn’t cut them off completely. Which is totally awesome, because apparently restricting access to safe abortions instantly solves all the problems surrounding them.
If this little development infuriating to you, now would be the time to direct a few choice words at your Congressional rep. There is still time to get the language out of the bill.
One More Thing:
Rachel passed on the most fascinating bit of Capitol Hill gossip I’ve heard all year: Michele Bachmann’s chief of staff quit right before her rally for freedom, bloody Nancy Pelosi costumes, and proudly coughing for weeks at a time.
Apparently Ms. Bachmann runs through a lot of staffers, but that’s probably because it’s really hard to figure out how payroll should work when you keep discovering commies in the mix.
Rachel reported that unemployment hit 10.2% and unemployment benefits finally got extended for up to 20 weeks.
Republicans had filibustered the benefit extension three times because they wanted to add an unrelated anti-ACORN bit. So, sorry if anybody got evicted, but at least a telegenic shouting issue got a little more time!
Rachel also gave us an update on census worker Bill Sparkman’s death that made at least one viewer say “The hell?” out loud.
Kentucky authorities are now suggesting that Sparkman wrote “Fed” on his chest, stripped nearly naked, blindfolded and gagged himself, duct-taped his ID to himself, bound his own feet and hands, and then somehow used the minimal hand movement he had left to commit suicide.
In a related story, Kentucky authorities are now “80% sure” that Julius Caesar and Rasputin also did themselves in.
And because she is a conscientious nerd, Rachel issued a correction on herself.
On Thursday, Rachel made fun of Congressman John Boehner (R – Ohio) for whipping out his not-at-all-a-prop portable copy of the Constitution and then — Oopsie! — quoting the preamble to the Declaration of Independence.
(Sometimes, when you are overwhelmed by sincere patriotism, your passion will jump documents. Be very careful about quoting historic national texts if your are standing near any of Benjamin Franklin’s less formal discourses.)
Rachel, in her zeal, had said that the Constitution doesn’t even have a preamble, which of course it does.
She made it up to all of us with a little help from Schoolhouse Rock.
GOP in Exile
Rachel looked at the sad, lonely case of Governor Charlie Crist (Florida), who was one of the Republican governors reasonable enough to admit that his state could use a little federal stimulus help.
Now, however, the far right wing of the Republican Party is trying to hunt down and eat any party members who don’t automatically scream “Government BAD!” every time their shock collars go off, and Governor Crist is getting a little nervous.
So nervous that he is now saying he has always hated that darned stimulus package.
So nervous that he has forgotten about the existence of videotape and the Internet. Oh, dear.
Cloudy with a Chance of Baloney
Senator Barbara Boxer (D – California) demonstrated her black belt in political badassery by getting the climate change bill out of committee without a single Republican vote. Apparently she’s the only Democrat who has figured out that the Republicans don’t actually want to help with anything.
(Senator Boxer, can you signal to the others, somehow? Semaphore? Notes in invisible ink? Saying it out loud?)
After reminding us all that Senator Inhofe (R – Oklahoma) wants to bring a Truth Squad to Copenhagen (Please let there be tights and capes!), Rachel gave us a bit more of her talk with former Vice President Al Gore.
Gore surprised everyone by doing the interview while sitting in an idling Hummer, cooking up a steak with a portable hair dryer, and insisting on a new plastic knife and fork for every bite.
One More Thing:
Ever wonder what to do when everyone is sitting around after a big Thanksgiving meal? Have you been looking high and low for something that’s fun and appropriate for all ages?
Search no more! Coal coloring books are here!