RachelWatch: The Return of the Public Option


Today: Chris Hayes, Senator Bernie Sanders, and director Kathryn Bigelow.

Duality Bites

Yeeowtch. Rachel started off with another on-air pummeling of some of the politicians who have loudly claimed that the stimulus plan created zero jobs while simultaneously taking credit for the way it has created these mysterious things in their districts that look an awful lot like jobs.

(Say, could they have some stimulus money to fund an investigation into whether those are really jobs or not?)

Rachel noted that many Republicans have been so loud and so public on those two contradictory points that they have painted themselves into a tricky corner. (And couldn’t that corner use another coat of paint? Maybe they could get a nice cheery color with some stimulus funds?)

And as Rachel and guest Chris Hayes asked, who does a thinking fiscal conservative trust at this point? And how does one instantly acquire a fantastic lifelong nickname?

Daphne and Della Do-Right

Rachel gave us a disturbing story that quickly turned wonderful: A man who is, he says, infatuated with Joe Biden used a fake security pass to get within 12 rows of the Vice President during the opening ceremonies for the Olympics.

Two female plainclothes Mounties, who should immediately be the basis for a television series, twigged to the fact that something was wrong and took the attempted hugger into custody as he was trying to move down the stairs toward Biden.

A member of Biden’s security staff complimented the two Royal Canadian Mounted Police with “Job well done. Remind me not to mess with you.”

And remind me not to miss Poutine and Timbits Tuesday nights at 10:00.

The Public Option Is Dead. Long Live the Public Option!

After months of Congress making me try to put myself into a sleeper hold just to escape the wussery, 11 Senators have finally had enough of tedious nonsensical fighting over a watered-down health care reform bill. They have Hulked out and are bringing the awesome.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I – Vermont) joined Rachel to talk about using the reconciliation process to steamroll the Fillies and get a real public option going.

And goodness gracious, he has no intention of stopping there. Bernie Sanders is a legislative bad-ass. I love him.

The TRMS Interview

Rachel welcomed Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal, the director and screenwriter of the Oscar-nominated film The Hurt Locker.

They talked about the challenges of filming in the Middle East, how to keep the humanity in an action movie, and why the U.S. military would not assist The Hurt Locker but lent Transformers a hand.

Ms. Information

Rachel gave us a quick tour of Hillary Clinton’s somewhat ill-fated trip to the Middle East.

After delaying her departure to be with Bill Clinton after his heart procedure, the Secretary of State went to Qatar and met with the Prime Minister of Turkey for what Turkish officials felt was not enough time. This led to an alleged physical scuffle between the American ambassador and a member of the Turkish international relations staff.

After that, Clinton met with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who had a TV playing a soccer match at full volume during their entire meeting. Either the king wanted to be able to talk out of the earshot of reporters or His Majesty’s Dodge Charger has not yet arrived.

And when it was time to go home, Secretary of State Clinton was left standing on the tarmac for hours due to mechanical difficulties with her plane. She eventually got a lift from General David Petraeus, but you know who probably could have fired her jet right up? A team of female plainclothes Mounties. I’m just saying.

Kicking Ask, Taking Names

Rachel reported that even though the filibuster has caused a maddening case of government gridlock and made their public approval ratings plummet and never chips in for gas and they’re pretty sure it’s the one that threw up into a planter at their last party, some Senators are not ready to drop the filibuster.

Rachel has her intrepid interns calling every member of the Senate to get straight answers on whether or not they’re ready to make the break.

And maybe just occasionally asking if the office mini-fridge is running. (Follow-up question: “Well, how about Senator Bayh?”)

Meanwhile, Senator Chris Dodd (D – Connecticut) has dropped one of the weirdest quotes about Senate procedure you’ll ever hear. It will haunt your dreams.

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