Today: Rachel brings in another terrific roundtable of guests and debunks a teabagging myth.
And the Friday Night Panel is back!
This time Congressman Anthony Weiner (D – New York), Princeton University professor and prolific writer Melissa Harris-Lacewell, and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof joined Rachel for some spirited discussion.
The Secret Life of Drones
Rachel started off with the topic most likely to put a serious buzzkill on everyone’s Friday night: The secret — and escalating — war we’re conducting in Pakistan.
(Hang in there. We’ll get to some silliness before long.)
Representative Weiner pointed out that we’re dealing with a government that is both asking for our help and “triangulating” against us. Ms. Harris-Lacewell, though incisive as always in this clip, is just warming up for some serious asskickery in a later segment.
But at Least They’re Not Communists
Rachel reported that insurance behemoth Aetna is planning to drive away unprofitable customers by deliberately hiking its premiums so high that 600,000 of its customers will be unable to afford them.
Which makes good business sense if you’re a for-profit company that’s exempted from antitrust laws so you don’t have to worry about competition.
True patriots recognize that it’s all just part of the greatest health care system in the world and there is no reason whatsoever to change it.
Duck and Coverage
Rachel managed to (briefly) make Congressional deliberations exciting as she described some rock ’em sock ’em Senatorial maneuvering.
It all started when Republicans Tom Coburn (Oklahoma) and David Vitter (Lousiana) introduced some legislation that they knew would be such a total burn on Democrats ha ha ha — Wait, they what?
Uganda Be Kidding Me
Rachel brought the panel around to Uganda’s abhorrent anti-homosexuality bill and noted that some of our country’s leading far-right Christians seem to be having trouble figuring out the Christian thing to do. (Hint: it probably isn’t jailing people in the LGBT community for being different.)
Representative Weiner pointed out that it’s high time the U.S. cleared up any misconception that the creeps in The Family actually represent national policy. And remember that asskickery you were promised earlier? Melissa Harris-Lacewell brought a plate and some to share.
All I want for the holidays is to stop seeing Senator John Ensign (R – Nevada) on the news.
Rachel reported that the Senate Ethics Committee has issued subpoenas regarding Ensign trying to get a lobbying job for the staffer he’d been cuckolding.
(You know what? I should look more kindly on the Senator just for giving me so many chances to use that word. I’ll stop being so grouchy.)
And clearly Ensign has some sort of uncontrollable fear-of-success thing going on. He was bad at having an affair, bad at breaking off the affair, bad at covering up the affair, and bad at paying off the buddy he’d been (whee!) cuckolding.
The only thing Ensign has been good at is getting elected, thanks in part to a gentlemen’s agreement with fellow Nevada Senator Harry Reid (D) that they won’t attack each other.
You know where this is going, right?
Personal to Senator Ensign: Get some therapy.
No, not from Senator Coburn.
On a sadder note, Rachel said a fond fairwell to Tai “Butterstick” Shan, the giant panda that China recently repossessed.
As hilarious as the Tea Party movement has been, there has been the occasional low point.
The big one, hands-down, would be the virulent strain of racism that nobody inside the movement seems to get around to denouncing, but the revisionist history would be a close second.
If you recall, the current “tea partiers” started out as enthusiastic tea baggers. And then at some point they noticed that everybody became helpless with laughter when they shouted about teabagging the White House and someone eventually got around to getting on the Interwebs and looking it up.
They were horrified and there were several different emotional reactions. Those who found out at lunch couldn’t stop tossing each other’s salads in rage, while those in the wilderness pitched tents. Tea partiers in Cleveland were particularly steamed.
In their moment of humiliation, the teabaggers decided not to suck it up and move on like adults and instead started shouting that they were and had always been demure tea partiers and would never dream of calling themselves the other thing and it was the mean old libruls who made it up.
Rachel has had enough of that and would like to set the record straight.
MSNBC’s David Shuster joined her for a terrific segment that is briefly not safe for work. Unless you work in a place where tighty whitey–clad men dance on bars.
Oh, heck — it might be worth the risk anyway.