RachelWatch: When Nitwits Have Costumes


Today: Rachel looks at the eejits who tried to bug Senator Landrieu’s office and still really hates the proposed spending freeze.

Break in News

Rachel started us off with the news that James O’Keefe, the self-important dipwad who dressed up in a Spencer Gifts pimp costume and filmed himself going to ACORN offices, has been arrested.

This time he and some special helpers dressed up as telephone repair men in an attempt to bug the office of Senator Mary Landrieu (D – Louisiana).

Some key flaws in O’Keefe’s plan were: 1) believing his own press about what an awesome Conservative Crusader he was 2) apparently thinking that Federal laws don’t count if you’re an awesome Conservative Crusader and 3) not making a plan for what to do if someone in the Senator’s office he was waltzing into asked to see some ID.

Hasty Freeze

As we all know, Rachel likes charts. What she does not like is a spending freeze during a recession.

I wonder if those two tastes might collide.

Rachel made a compelling case that Obama has been doing good work with the economy and would be in a strong position if he weren’t apparently tossing all progress and bragging rights aside to do this one enormous, baffling new thing.

Maybe the Centers for Disease Control needed a cost-efficient way of figuring out what would happen if half of American citizens were occupied with composing vicious blog screeds about each other and the other half were sitting perfectly still, blinking with puzzlement.

If that’s the case, well done, sir.

And if it’s not, well, the President gets his chance to explain things a little more fully tonight in his State of the Union address at 9 Eastern/6 Pacific. (MSNBC will have a full-court pundit press, and then a delayed TRMS at around 11:30/8:30, so East Coasters be sure and take a nap so you can stay up for all the fun.)

Pass Interference

Rachel noted that a growing number of Senators have had it right up to here with the abuse of filibuster. Mostly because they can’t even tell where “up to here” is — the Republians filibustered gravity and they’ve all been floating around the chamber and bonking into the ceiling for days and days.

Senator Tom Udall (D – New Mexico) dropped in to talk about the not-quite-nuclear options for getting rid of the filibuster, but I was most intrigued by the suggestion that we go back to the rule that if you’re going to filibuster, you really do have to go through the endurance challenge of standing up and talking for hours and sweating buckets and running out of rational things to say until you’re reduced to reciting filthy limericks and whatever else it is they do.

Because yes, about 23% of me follows politics because it’s my duty as a citizen, and another 5% follows because if you turn your back for 20 minutes someone makes it legal for major corporations to sneak up and tattoo their logos on your face.

But the rest of me is in it for the festival of crazy.

Republicans, if you really feel such deep, principled convictions that you need to filibuster every single thing the Democrats do, fine. But I demand a fair price: 24 hours a day of crazy on C-SPAN.

Earthquake in Haiti

Rachel reported the amazing news that a man was pulled alive out of the rubble in Haiti on Tuesday. Relief is pouring in, but there have still been disastrous problems with actually getting food and water to the Haitians.

While the short-term isn’t going well, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attended one of what will be several conferences on long-term plans for rebuilding Haiti.

The other good news is that people all over the world are still generously donating. The Hope for Haiti Now telethon has already raised 61 million dollars. They’ll continue to take donations for the next six months, or you can kick in some cash by buying the album.

There’s a Bill, There’s a Way

I feel like the health care reform bill keeps announcing that it’s leaving for good and then just when we’ve finished crying and made our peace with the fact that it’s really gone and started sleeping all happy and sprawled out in the middle of the bed again it calls and asks to come by and pick up that one sweater and hey, could we maybe just sit and talk for a bit?

Chris Hayes, Washington editor of The Nation, checked in to say that the health care bill may have some real momentum behind it and he thinks it just needed some time apart to clear its head and oh, look, it made us a mix CD.

We’ve been hurt before, Chris. Well, OK, maybe the health care reform bill can come in for a cup of coffee. Just one.

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