Today: Senator Tom Harkin talks about the health care bill, as do some total loons.
Rachel started us off with the news that a district judge in Lousiana ruled that shoddy work by the Army Corps of Engineers led to the flooding of St. Bernard Parish. She had a more thorough rundown later in the broadcast, but first it was time to move on to some hot legislative action.
I Know I’ll Be a Law Someday
Rachel reported that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D – Nevada) introduced Senate health care bill on Wednesday and, goodness gracious, so far it doesn’t look half bad.
I’m still jumpy, though. I’ve been burned before and now a part of me is convinced that there are secret clauses that we’ll have to bark like seals before we can get strep throat cultures or that “94% of Americans are covered” means that each of us has a secret random 6% of the body that’s outta luck.
At any rate, it sounds like some good old-fashioned arm-twisting has been happening and this thing might actually make it to the floor.
The dance floor, that is. Ever since Tom DeLay started shaking everything he’s got that’s disturbing, other lawmakers have been inspired. In lieu of debate, health care reform will be decided by a freestyle dance battle.
Set your DVR. You do not want to miss the Blue Dog tribute to the House of Ninja.
The Karmic Boomerang is Slow But Steady
Rachel noted that the Department of Justice’s Office of Professional Responsibility report is due out within the month.
It reportedly recommends that Jay Bybee and John Yoo, the lawyers who wrote the memos saying that torturing other human beings was totally cool as long as members of the Bush Administration really, truly wanted to, should be disbarred.
I’ve been reading Angler and I’d say that recommending disbarment is generous. Where’s the report that diagnoses them as sociopaths?
As she so loves to do, Rachel rode the razor-thin line between hilarious and terrifying as she looked at the increasingly bold attempts to influence – or, you know, stop – health care reform.
Sure, you knew about the Fox News connection and the connections to the pharmaceuticals industry, and you had probably noticed that for some reason a disturbing slice of the people against heath care reform are insane, cartoonish racists.
But did you know that Medicare is immoral? I think it’s because so many seniors hook up in the waiting rooms. And you probably didn’t know that electronic medical records are evil, but that’s only because you’ve been hypnotized.
Now bark like a seal.
“I’m Not Scared”
The U.S. is bringing suspected conspirators in the 9/11 hijacking to New York for trial and several right-wing politicians (and whatever the hell Liz Cheney is) have taken the opportunity to scream about what if the terrorists have the power to walk through walls and also super heat vision to melt their shackles and what if they also have several skilled surgeons among them and also what if they all saw Face/Off?
And then several of them started gibbering and drooling about how what the founding fathers really, truly wanted was a judicial system in which you could skip trials for guys you don’t like.
Would anyone like to join me in a séance this weekend? I want to manifest the ghost of Benjamin Franklin just once so he can zip around and slap some of those people. Or make witty, crushing remarks about them that they totally wouldn’t get, but deep down they’d know they’d been burned.
(OK, yes, mostly what materialized Franklin would do is tinker with cool electronic gadgets, drink good beer, and relentlessly hit on chicks. But I’m sure he’d work in at least a few scathing remarks.)
At any rate, Attorney General Eric Holder had a good answer for the fearmongers, which was stop being craven jerks and let our justice system do what it was designed to do.
The next time one of these guys starts sanctimoniously waving the Constitution around, I hope someone is nearby to remind them how quickly they were willing to mulch it when it came to the terror trials.
Army of… How Many?
Remember that strategy of sending 40,000 more troops to Afghanistan?
Turns out that’s almost all we have left. And the ones who would be deployed have, for the most part, already done multiple tours of duty.
Spencer Ackerman of The Washington Independent checked in to drop a few sobering numbers on us.
The people who were suggesting the surge in the first place had to know about this, right? What were they thinking we’d do if something else came up, prop up mannequins with helmets on them? Set up a bunch of trip wires that would trigger recordings of dogs barking? Just have the Cheneys hover menacingly over — OK, that one would work.
Rachel finished off by fleshing out the report on the ruling in favor of four plaintiffs from St. Bernard Parish. Michael Grunwald of Time called in with an interesting and sad explanation of the decision.
I suspect we’ll be hearing more about this and it will be maddening, so stock up on happy songs and comfortingly fuzzy blankets.