Today: Rachel talks about filibustering and supersecret televised codes. She also examines Sarah Palin’s tweets.
Bottom of the Ninth
Rachel started us off with the news that the Senate health care fight is essentially over — and yet still going on. Why give up a pointless exercise when it plays so well on Fox News?
Rachel and Roll Call‘s John Stanton noted that the Republicans are tired and missing fundraisers and would like go home, but they’re taking the gamble that they’ll get some good sound bites and valuable Fierce Points by keeping the show going.
I don’t know why they’re stopping there. Once you’ve hinted to God that you’d like Senator Byrd to throw off the numbers by dying, why restrain yourselves?
If you’re going to keep this up, Republicans, do it right. Cry. Throw things. Mop your sweaty brows. Wave “authentic” letters with evidence of the number of Communists in the health care debate and fake heart attacks and miraculous revivals.
See if you can get a Senate page to hork up some pea soup and pretend to cast the Democratic demons out.
If you’re going to insist on doing theater, at least do something that’s more fun to watch on C-SPAN.
Rachel reported that everyone in Nebraska just got lucky.
No, not that kind of lucky. They’re lucky because they reside in the only state that won’t pay for a Medicaid expansion.
This and other tasty health care treats are tucked into the Senate health care reform bill like the chunks in a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. The problem, of course, is that not everybody can get those chunks, and sometimes your unscrupulous older sister burrows through ice cream to dig out the heath bars, leaving you with naked vanilla with tunnels in it.
That metaphor got away from me somehow, but I think you get my gist.
Anyway, Senator Ben Nelson (D – Nebraska) and others are the older sisters in this scenario, and Rachel pointed out that they can be because the current system is stacked, as you’ve doubtless noticed, to give huge amounts of power to Senators who are willing to be obstructionist pains in the nation’s collective butt.
Stick around for the clip; Rachel and Ezra Klein of The Washington Post had one of the most interesting and informative discussions on the filibuster I’ve ever seen.
(Never you mind how many I’ve seen. Just take it for granted that I’m a huge nerd and watch the clip.)
The TRMS Interview
I’ll admit it: When I saw that Rachel was interviewing Thomas Friedman, the author of a book I’d been avoiding because it’s called Hot, Flat, and Crowded, I took up a defensive position under the bed and gathered up a hockey mask, shin guards, and a baseball bat like I do when I’m watching the last segment of Trilogy of Terror.
But as it turned out, Friedman and Rachel had a surprisingly optimistic chat about making a major shift in our nation’s energy habits without too much pain.
OK, yes, probably with major freakouts from Americans for Prosperity and anyone who thinks driving anything smaller than a Lincoln Navigator smacks of Communism, but other than that, not much pain.
Rachel reported that amongst the many wheelings and dealings that created the Senate bill, there was one that removed a tax on elective plastic surgery and replaced it with a tax on tanning. The creepyface lobby is even more terrifying and powerful than I feared.
The most amazing part of the story, though, was the part where Rachel said that the original tax was to be called the “botax” and the replacement tanning tax is called “The Snooki.” RACHEL MADDOW WATCHES JERSEY SHORE.
OK, to be fair, we can only be sure that Dr. Maddow has a passing familiarity with Jersey Shore. But in my mind, she has watched and absorbed every airing. I am looking forward to her showing up with a lot more hair product.
Rachel also gave copious props to the C-SPAN archive staff, who found and restored the video clip showing that Senator McCain (R – Arizona) sure as hell did deny a fellow Senator 30 more seconds to finish speaking.
When Senator Franken (R – Minnesota and every progressive’s bleeding liberal heart) recently did the same thing, McCain said he’d never seen anything like it. Did McCain have his eyes closed when he objected before?
Or is he just bringing, as Rachel put it, “sheer hackitude” into play?
Sarah Palin Gets So Distracted When She’s Thinking about Molecular Theory
Sarah Palin had some deep thoughts about the Copenhagen climate change conference and thought that Twitter would be the best possible venue for them.
Rachel helped us fully understand these thoughts by reading them out loud. Who knew climate change could bring so much joy?
Be a Fraud, Be Very A Fraud
Holy cats, who was running this joint for eight years?
Rachel gave us the bizarre story of Dennis Montgomery, who told the government he could decode secret terrorist messages from the teevee and P.S. only he could see them so could he have some money, please?
Amazingly enough, some official’s response to that was not only “Yes,” but “Jeepers! You don’t see anything scary, do you?”
So if you were wondering who to thank for the high terror alert during the December 2003 holiday travel season, you can address those cards to Mr. Mongomery, the adorably gullible Tom Ridge, and whoever gave Montgomery the contract in the first place.
Happy holidays to you and best wishes for the New Year.
And if you’d like to get my special supersecret editions of RachelWatch with all the embedded codes explained, just let me know when and where you’ll be dropping off the large government check.