RachelWatch: Brain Food

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Today: Rachel has one of the most substantive conversations you’ll ever see on cable news with U.N. ambassador Susan Rice.

The Planistan

Cable news and commentary shows get a frequently deserved rap for being simplistic forums for pat sound bites, foregone-conclusion arguments, and shouting.

Rachel and U.N. ambassador Susan Rice are about to show you a better way. Thanks to everyone at The Rachel Maddow Show for having the nads to run such a long and complex conversation.

Rachel started off with an amazing graphic of the new Afghaniplan, which made the left side of my brain retreat so fast I thought my skull would collapse.

Rachel gave it some good-natured ribbing for being mind-bendingly complex, but in the end I think I’d rather not have my nation’s war strategy fit on a sticky note.

And then it was time for an in-studio talk with Ambassador Rice. Enjoy getting to see two very smart women respectfully tangle over our strategy in Afghanistan.

Madam Ambassador

We got a second helping of Rachel and Rice as they touched on Pakistan, ethics, secret prisons, and when all those troops might get to come home.

Enjoy the clip and then take a moment to bask in the glow of informed disagreement.

Judge Dread

Rachel revisited Dick Cheney’s “prebuttal” of Obama’s address on Afghanistan and reminded us that the former Vice President for Life is now essentially a dark voice of doom emanating from a burlap sack full of lies that we can’t seem to tie closed.

Among other things, the Voice gurgled about how Obama shouldn’t bring terrorists into the country for criminal trials because society will immediately collapse and we’ll all be running around covered in boils with no cell phone reception.

Rachel welcomed John Bellinger, a former legal adviser to the Bush State Department, to talk about criminal trials and military tribunals and suggest that maybe it’ll just be the boils part.

Dollars and Nonsense

Rachel clued us in on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R – Kentucky) genius plan for funding the Afghanistan war: just use those dumb old stimulus funds.

McConnell has really hit on something there. If there’s one thing I’ve been worrying about, it’s whether America’s defense contractors are managing to scrape by.

Don’t forget to send a holiday food basket to a needy Halliburton executive of your choice. And then the executive, eyes shining, will come to your home to throw it back in your face, because he wants you to call it a CHRISTMAS food basket, damn it!

Uganda Be Kidding Me

I must correct myself regarding Uganda’s vile Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

Yesterday I wrote that the death penalty would be imposed for homosexuality. It’s actually just life imprisonment for homosexual acts, with a death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality.”

I have seen a lot of aggravated homosexuals since this bill was proposed, but I don’t think it’s quite the same thing.

Yes, the bill is still legalized genocide, but it’s a much slower genocide than my early column implied. I do regret misrepresenting this fine humanitarian bill.

As Rachel mentioned last night, the bill is at least in part the result of American interference, known and loved all over the world. Have you ever wondered why other countries sometimes try to avoid making eye contact? This would be why. Well, that and our blinding white teeth.

In this case, it’s three American antigay/ex-gay activists who stopped choking on screwed up self-loathing just long enough to run a handy anti-homosexuality seminar in Uganda back in the spring.

Wow, that’s some fast turnaround on the hating. And without all that tedious “We love the LGBT community, we just don’t agree with the lifestyle” lying that these folks are so careful to do in the States.

As infuriating as this segment is, there is at least one small moment of sweet comedy: A photo of Don Schmierer, Caleb Lee Brundige, and Scott Lively sitting around a lunch table, grinning tensely at the camera and trying desperately to drive out the incessant thoughts of sweeping the ketchup bottles aside and throwing each other down on the table for some soon-to-be-very-illegal dessert.

Tomorrow Rachel will be doing a segment on potentially influential Americans who are standing by and doing nothing, so keep those rage valves oiled.

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