RachelWatch: Shy, Retiring Dick Cheney Is Back in the News


Today: New Jersey gets locked up and Dick Cheney won’t hang it up. Plus Melissa Harris-Lacewell!

Vice Versus

Rachel led off with the news that Dick Cheney is still slavishly devoted to following Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends and Influence People.

Barton Gellman, the author of Angler, joined Rachel to chat about the recent pro-Bush, anti-Cheney Time article and marvel at Cheney’s capacity to keep an argument going.

God, Dick Cheney must be exhausting to be friends with.

Can’t you see him calling you up at 11:30 at night – three whole days after you had completely forgotten about the ranch vs. Italian dressing argument – darkly predicting that if we don’t shore up our oil and vinegar reserves right now, the terrorists are going to steal all our endive?

Race Card Trick

Rachel whipped out her trusty scalpel to neatly dissect the recent Republican strategy for making dull issues a little more whip-up-the-base newsworthy.

The terrific Melissa Harris-Lacewell dropped in to deliver the best (and scariest) explanation I’ve heard for why on earth they’re doing something that seems so stupid.

Ms. Information

Oh, dear. Senator John “Larry Craig Should Resign” Ensign (R – Nevada) has just been whacked with the karmic boomerang. His fellow republicans are not rallying around to help him, and his chief of staff and communications director have resigned.

Ensign’s dorm mates over at C Street have suddenly hipped to the idea that admitting to being members of the secretive, affair-enabling, wealth-and-power loving church The Family might not be the smartest thing in the world, so we can all look forward to some impressive verbal gymnastics over the next few weeks.

This column’s six conservative readers will be delighted to hear that it’s not just Republicans embarrassing themselves over there anymore.

Representative Heath Shuler (D – North Carolina) would neither confirm nor deny that he is a member of The Family, and Congressman Bart Stupak (D – Michigan) danced such an impressive sidestep that he was awarded his own episode of Transcript Theater.

In a nutshell, just because he lived right in the middle of the secretive, confess-to-each-other group doesn’t mean that he had any way of knowing what was going on there. Can’t a regular guy rent a simple room in the middle of a power cult with high-level government ties in peace? Jeez!

Rachel also reported that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton kind of awesomely said that the recent North Korean missile launches are a form of “acting out” for attention.

And then, for just one nanosecond, Chelsea Clinton felt a tiny bit of kinship with Kim Jong-Il.

A North Korean ministry spokesperson rattled off a series of insulting retorts before stomping to his room, slamming the door, and cranking up his music.

Bada Sting!

If you noticed New Jersey seems a little emptier than usual, it’s because much of the population has been arrested.

New Jersey, I have to hand it to you. Sure, any old state can get members of its government involved in selling political favors. But getting into sale of human organs shows the spark of something really special.

Bob Ingle, author of The Soprano State, dropped in to help show other states how real corruption is done. As entertaining as the interview is overall, my favorite part is Rachel deftly swatting down Ingle’s ridiculous standard of measurement for “too much government.”

No reason not to be friendly about it, but there’s no way she was just going to let that go.

Medal of Honor Recipient

Rachel took a moment to honor the award of a Medal of Honor to Sergeant First Class Jared C. Monti. Monti was killed in 2006 in Afghanistan while trying to save fallen members of his unit under heavy fire.

Cocktail Moment

Rachel noted previously that Johnny Cash’s manager objected to the late Cash being associated, even jokingly, with Senator Ensign’s creeptastic affair.

Rachel and staff then switched their Ensign story header to “John Dough.” …And have now received a call from the manager of John Doe of the punk band X.

Ms. Maddow, don’t even think about “Johnny Paycheck.” You’re only tempting fate.

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