RachelWatch: Gearing up for the DADT hearings


Today: Rachel welcomes Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Barney Frank.

Heartbreaking News

Rachel led off by extinguishing the hopeful candle that had been burning in everyone’s soul: Michael Steele has announced that he will not run for President in 2012. The loss in hilarious public statements is incalculable. Let’s all take a moment to pick up the pieces and remember that there’s always 2016.

Opposed to What?

Rachel noted that the Republicans are fast becoming experts at the about-face, voting against ideas that they used to support once President Obama decides he likes them.

Which is cute, but transparently easy to deal with. Can’t Obama just quietly circle around to supporting the opposite of what he wants until Republicans are screaming for climate change legislation and cradle-to-grave single-payer health care?

Not that it would help anything. Just for funsies.

While we’re talking about opposing things, Rachel reported that the latest Republican strategy plan to kill financial reform has come out, and you will be astonished to learn that it involves misdirection, bumper sticker phrasing and – ooh! – alliteration.

Republican strategist Frank Luntz has suggested sliming financial regulation reform with the words “Big Bank Bailout Bill.” Brilliant, bub! But why stop there? If we’re really assuming the American public is operating at the pre-Kindergarten level, why not call it Beelzebub’s Brutally Ballooning Bolshevik Bank Bailout Bill – Boogety Boogety Boo!

And then if anyone looks skeptical they can just yell “Death panels! Bleaaarrrrgh!”

House Financial Services Committee chairman Congressman Barney Frank (D – Massachusetts) dropped in to tick off the many reasons for his vast annoyance with the process.

Crusading Nitwits Run Deep

Rachel tipped us to a new mystery in the case of the four superspy crusaders who entered the office of Senator Mary Landrieu (D – Louisiana) under false pretenses to make a really awesome point about something-or-other.

Jim Letten, the top federal prosecutor for New Orleans, has recused himself from the case. It’s not clear why, though there is a lot of strangeness swirling around.

Senator David Vitter (R – Louisiana) had put holds on President Obama’s criminal justice nominees in the state until Vitter was sure that Letten’s job would be safe. Attorney General Eric Holder named Letten to an advisory committee on Monday, so Vitter dropped his holds on Obama’s nominees. But Landrieu had also recommended that Letten be reappointed, so maybe that’s not the connection.

One of the accused men is the son of the acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, which also may or may not have anything to do with it.

One thing is clear: Someone needs to make a miniseries set in the world of Louisiana politics immediately, please.

I will also accept a puppet show.

CEOh No You Don’t

Rachel caught us up on the exhausting process of trying to get top financial executives to stop being enormous bloated greedballs and settle for being medium-sized bloated greedballs.

She welcomed Kenneth Feinberg, Special Master for TARP Executive Compensation, to talk about mastering the executives.

Right to Serve

In his State of the Union address, President Obama explicitly opposed the ridonculous Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell rule, and today at last Congressional hearings are opening up on the matter.

In a logical universe, the hearings would be this long:

“Hey, we’re in two wars and just started a troop surge. Should we be firing willing, qualified, much-needed soldiers for reasons that are completely unrelated to their job performance?”

“No. Who wants pizza?”

Rachel and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D – New York) thought it might take a little longer than that, but they were both looking forward to it.

As in they are both going to be there.


President Obama went to a Duke-Georgetown basketball game and took over the color commentary for a bit. Obama did well enough that he said he’d come back in a few years and take over the announcing when he was done being President.

I don’t understand. If you find a new job that’s easier and more exciting than your dumb old political office, shouldn’t you just quit and take the fun one?

Over. Easy.

And, lest you grow to love and trust him too much, President Obama is planning to attend the National Prayer Breakfast, a key annual event of The Family during which they take turns counseling each other on their various extramarital affairs, network with powerful national politicians, and deny that they are trying to influence national policy.

And, while several Family members have publicly condemned the horrible Ugandan anti-gay bill, the idea for the bill first came up at the Ugandan National Prayer Breakfast.

Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, seems to think that maybe Obama shouldn’t add legitimacy to an event held by a far-right church whose members prefer theocracy to democracy, make massive international funds transfers, and ride in single file to hide their numbers.

Friday night, Rachel will do the show live from the French Quarter in New Orleans. I wonder if they have cocktails there.

Is it too much to hope that Rachel, Kent and the camera crew might dress up in Geek Squad outfits and try to get into Senator Vitter’s office?

OK. Just thought I’d ask.

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