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Today: The far right gloats over Chicago’s Olympic loss and Rachel turns us all 12 with her Moment of Geek.

Chicago Loses! Cheers Erupt at Weekly Standard!

Rachel started us off with the news that Chicago got the second city treatment again and lost its bid to host the 2016 Olympics.

Amidst heartbreaking shots of Chicagoans quietly wondering why the hell this and the Cubs never get to win the World Series, Rachel treated us to footage of Americans for Prosperity literally applauding the loss and several other conservatives piling on.

Because wanting President Obama to fail at something was more important than wanting to bring work and tourism dollars to a major American city. Way to maintain perspective.

In the long run, this reaction is not a huge deal, but Jeez, what a petty deal to pick.

And, really. It’s not like Chicagoans haven’t proven that they can go all out when they want to host a world event.

There, there, Chicago. All those tourists would have just driven you crazy by ordering ketchup on their hot dogs anyway.

There is such a thing as a measured conservative response to this.

I have issues with Rachel’s network mate Joe Scarborough’s show and I’ve made fun of it more than once, but I now I have to bite my tongue for a few weeks and give him credit for acknowledging that belonging to one part of the political spectrum doesn’t mean you have to automatically hate anything the other side tries to do.

Well done, sir. Harumph. OK, no, seriously. Thanks to Scarborough for bringing some maturity to the situation.

Just When You Thought it Was Safe to Read the Papers

Rachel gave as a couple of interesting tidbits from the New York Times expose on Senator John Ensign (R – Nevada) and his already icktastic affair.

During a trip to Iraq, the Senator racked up $1,000 in calls to the staffer he was having an affair with. And he cleverly disguised the activity by listing her as “Aunt Judy” in his contact list. Ew ew ew ew ew.

That was the best, least creepy fake cell phone listing he could think up? He couldn’t have just put “Mike” or “my bookie”? For crying out loud, philandering politicians, put a little effort in it.

And save the family member aliases for questionable lobbyists.

The C Street Band

Rachel moved on to fleshing out the involvement of Senator Tom Coburn (R – Oklahoma) in the cover-up of Senator Ensign’s affair.

Senator Coburn, if you recall, said a few months ago that he counseled Ensign, but absolutely, positively did not help arrange any payoffs.

Oh, except for maybe that one time.

As sleazy and off-putting as this whole thing is, I think it’s fascinating that these guys seem to have managed to put together a worldview that allows them to do almost anything while still feeling not only right, but extra-specially super-duper holy.

Not supported by the actual New Testament? No problem! There are secret teachings that not everyone gets — but somehow the rich and connected can, with a little guidance, just manage to suss them out.

I hope you all are taking notes for when you start your own religious sects: Cater to the wealthy and powerful and make sure they know that every random impulse they have is an indicator of how incredibly spiritual they are.

I would offer a prize to anyone who can manage to start, say, a Franciscan monastery that’s dedicated to clubbing, an Amish community devoted to casual sex and energy drinks, or branch of Zen Buddhism that’s all about the bling, but I suspect those endeavors will bring their own rewards.

Public Option vs. Car Wash

Rachel welcomed Heather Sherba, one of the victims of the LA Fitness Club shootings. Rachel had done an earlier report on the car wash friends and family held to try to help the uninsured Sherba with her medical bills.

While Pennsylvania’s Governor Ed Rendell (D) helped Heather get covered, it took a couple of tries and some tricky maneuvering between the state’s very specific fall-through-the-cracks insurance programs.

As Rachel pointed out, Sherba is only insured (or getting there) now because her injury happened to be newsworthy.

So if you get sick or break a leg, make sure it’s exciting.

Ms. Information

In the wake of Sarah Palin’s massive book pre-orders, former McCain campaign advisor Steve Schmidt was moved to say that a Palin Presidential run would have “catastrophic election results.” I’m sure Rachel will enjoy giving color commentary on this slap fight for months to come.

And Mont Blanc issued a $23,000 gold commemorative pen in honor of Gandhi’s birthday. Way to commemorate a legacy, Mont Blanc. Hope the roast beef sandwiches at the launch party were tasty.

Car Wars

As we learned earlier last week, Governor Tim Pawlenty (R – Minnesota) is getting all Presidential on us. Rachel let us know that his latest move to look and sound the part was to repeat the joke that the old cars turned in as part of the Cash for Clunkers program were the ones with Obama stickers on them.

So just in case you were wondering, Pawlenty would like you to know that he is explicitly not a man of the people. Unless you’re talking about people who can afford sweet rides.

I wonder if he’d be interested in the new cargo cult that I’m starting up.

Moment of Geek

You do not want to miss this Moment of Geek. You may not want to watch it at work, but you definitely don’t want to miss it.

Instead of a techie Moment, this Friday we learned a little about the magic of biology.

Enjoy Stephen Fry and incredibly patient wildlife photographer Mark Carwardine getting to know the kakapo.

And then enjoy Rachel’s reaction even more.

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