RachelWatch: Bugs Bunning

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Today: Rachel spanks Orrin Hatch and The Washington Post.

Bunning on Empty

Rachel started us off with the news that Senator Jim Bunning (R – Kentucky) finally stopped blocking the extension of unemployment benefits on Tuesday.

In yesterday’s column I implied that Senator Bunning was nothing but a big, mean jerk, but Rachel proved me wrong: He is also incredibly strange. Maybe worryingly so.

He’s also a giant hypocrite, but that’s hardly abnormal with Congressional Republicans at this point.

Chris “Lambchop” Hayes of The Nation dropped by to make some excellent points about the messages Democrats should be culling from this last round of pain-in-the-buttness.

Rachel Re: They’re Not Embarrassed

Here’s the problem with going through life relying on other people’s politeness when you don’t play by the same honorable rules: Eventually someone gets sick of your bullpuckey and calls you on it.

The Republicans have gotten so complacent in using dishonesty that it’s not even their fallback position anymore — it’s their main line of attack. That’s happened in part because they can usually work under the assumption that Democrats and journalists will play by the political rules and say – at most – that the Republicans are “mistaken” or “inaccurate” or, if they’re really steamed, “misleading.”

Rachel has decided to go with “flat-out lying” and “hypocrites” as she rains down the Righteous Anger of the Wonk, and let’s hope her example makes a few more newsy types courageous enough to do the same.

She also took the time to mention to the folks at the once highly respected newspaper The Washington Post that it might be time to quit running op-eds completely unchallenged when they are filled with deliberate prevarications.

It’s some very satisfying stompage.

Really, Washington Post editors, if you don’t have the nards or the integrity add a demure little note pointing out where your guest op-ed writers are demonstrably lying, you should at least spread the fact-free love around. Equal time for equally egregious falsehoods!

For example, Post editors, did you know that every one of the Founding Fathers expressed a deep personal belief that the government should provide each citizen or resident with good character “a sound education in letters, free and unfettered access to a goodly physician, and at least one llama per household for warm clothing, defense of hearth and home, and general cuddliness”?

It’s in The Federalist Papers. No need to look it up — just follow the Hatch rules and print that baby.

The TRMS Interview

34 Senators have now signed on to a letter calling for the public option to be put back into the health care reform bill on the grounds that it would make things suck less for a huge chunk of the population. (Except, of course, for those who are specifically in need of suction.)

Senator Michael Bennet (D – Colorado) wrote that letter, and you’ll never guess who Rachel is interviewing.

Bennet makes some good, clear points. He and his big cowboy voice need to get out on the teevee more often.

Look Out! On Your Left!

Senator Blanche Lincoln (D – Arkansas) is no longer so much getting challenged from the left as she is getting her coat and hat tossed onto her head and a firm, steady shove while she clings to the door frame.

As of airtime, Moveon.Org had raised nearly a million dollars in two days for challenger Bill Halter (a little more D – Arkansas). They had hoped to raise $500,000 in a week.

Libruls will be able to sniff Halter and kick his tires when he appears on The Rachel Maddow Show tonight, and, hey, it sounds like Senator Lincoln will be on soon! Way to be brave, ma’am! But I’m still throwing my donation the other way.

Decision 2010

Rachel noted that KBR just got a new contract in Iraq, apparently because “only electrocuted 18 of our troops” is the gold standard for private military contractors.

No bonus though, because we are developing some tough rules for people who do business with our government. You hear that, military contractors? No multimillion-dollar bonuses if your shoddy work kills people!

Yes, you’ll still get the regular multimillions you were contracted for and, yes, of course you’ll still get a new Croesian contract, but no bonuses!

(Are you starting to get the feeling you went into the wrong line of work? Me too.)

Rachel welcomed Michael Hastings, the author of I Lost My Love in Baghdad, to chat about the current state of Iraq and make you realize that those old anxieties are right where you left them. And oh, hey — some new ones!

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