RachelWatch: The CIA pulls way ahead in the scariest government agency derby


Today: Put on your smocks. We have two, count ‘em, two Rachel Maddow smackdowns!

Three Days of the Cheney

Remember that thing about how the CIA had been lying to Congress for years?

Think that’ll turn out to be important?

Get ready for some very careful choosing of words by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D – Rhode Island)

I keep hearing people say “very serious” and “a clear-cut matter of law.” When exactly do I get to hear “criminal” and “prosecution”?

Speaking of things I haven’t heard, I somehow missed Newt Gingrich’s tour of media outlets in which, as an honorable man and as a historian, he apologized to Nancy Pelosi and admitted she was right about the CIA lying to Congress thing.

Was it while I was on a grocery run or something?

Maybe he’s waiting for a new haircut to grow out so he looks extra-nice. I’m sure he’ll get around to it.

One More Thing:

Rachel noted that Liz Cheney seems to have picked the occasion of the latest revelations of something really, really illegal that her dad did as the perfect time to coyly let it slip that she just might be available to run for office herself.

Rachel seemed to think that was odd timing, but I think it opens the door for a genius campaign slogan. “Liz Cheney: Let’s Not Pretend This Won’t Get Evil.”

Judgement Day: Coming Soon

Rachel moved on to the continuing story of the ever-delayed CIA Inspector General’s report that is said to show that our torture program was even more lawless than we thought and even more disturbing than the torture revelations we’ve already had.

More disturbing? I don’t know if I can handle more disturbing. I may have to put my brain on some sort of disturbing things conditioning program.

I’ll start with the scary lady in the Pre commercials and work my way up.

Will someone hold my hand while I try to watch the scary lady in the Pre commercials?

Much as I enjoy taking shots at Cheney for this stuff — and I do believe he was into it up to his elbows — I am not OK with the degree to which Poor Ol’ Bush seems to be getting a pass just because Cheney comes off as smarter and meaner and has a second set of jaws.

I don’t care if he was being manipulated or not. The act of running for President is a statement that you are capable of running your own administration. I don’t care how aw-shucks friendly he was or how many folksy, passive-aggressive nicknames he gave out or how much more he loved clearin’ brush than dumb old running the country. If this goes all the way up to Cheney, it goes all the way up to Bush too.

So Dubya, it might be time to start learning how to correctly pronounce the word “terrorist” for your testimony.

Gall in the Family

As you may recall, Rachel spent two nights covering the C Street house, a supercool apartment building/church for members of Congress who are also members of the conservative religious group The Family.

It’s a lot like a frat house. They do some community service projects, a little stair diving, and, oh, yes, they secretly move around large sums of money, cover up affairs, talk about how normal rules don’t apply to men in power, and get chummy with dictators.

Friday night Rachel reported that longtime C Street resident Representative Zach Wamp (R – Tennessee) had told his local paper that members are “sworn to secrecy.” On Monday, Rachel got a call from Wamp’s office claiming that she had been inaccurate.

Oh, God. It’s like watching a drunk guy trying to do a handstand on the roof. You know he’s going to get hurt, but is there anything you can say to stop him?

Anyway, Rachel spanked Wamp with a rolled-up copy of his own hometown paper.

Elected officials, I am begging you once again: Do not accuse a nerd who hits the air packing a highlighter of being inaccurate unless you are really, truly in the right.

Because it’s hard not to laugh when you fall off the roof.

All Politics are Loco

The confirmation hearings for Judge Sotomayor started on Monday, with just as much ick-inducing grandstanding full of dogwhistle code words as everyone expected.

And way more Senators reading woodenly off of pieces of paper than I expected. Would it kill you to do a trial read, Senators?

I hope some kind soul slipped Judge Sotomayor an iPod.

Dahlia Lithwick of Slate.com stopped by to chat with Rachel about how Republicans are trying to redefine “empathy” as “ferocious bias against white people.” And we’re only through the opening statements. Should be a fun week.

Rachel Re: Sarah-Nara

Did you play with Tinker Toys as a kid? You build a shaky but interesting structure and look at it for a little bit.

And then you have almost as good a time pulling it apart stick by wheel, reducing it to a silly but colorful pile of balsa and tossing it all back into the can.

That second part of that process is what Rachel does to Sarah Palin in this next clip. It almost makes you feel sorry for her.

Then again, the Tinker Toys don’t get involved in petty little press wars with the Lego set, they don’t build themselves into a tower, and they certainly don’t shout “Look at me! Look at me!” while they’re doing it.

Cocktail Moment

Not only is Rachel willing to say “I was wrong,” on the air, she’s actually willing to apologize to people. Real apologies, not the “I’m sorry if you were offended” kind.

Has anyone checked her pundit certificate to make sure it’s real?

In this case, Rachel apologized to the late Johnny Cash’s manager. She and her staff had used a graphic on a story about Senator John Ensign (R – Nevada) paying off his mistress that read “Johnny Cash.” Cash’s manager was skeeved out, and Rachel agreed and apologized.

To review: Shooting a man in Reno just to watch him die? No problem. Being in any way associated with Senator Ensign’s Parade of Sleaze? Get an apology.

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