RachelWatch: Block around the Clock

Today: Rachel goes into labor with Hilda Solis.

While You Were Out

Rachel led us off with the news that Obama came back from his Everyone in Europe Loves America Again tour to the Everyone in America Could Use Some Love Right Now harsh reality. Unemployment and earnings reports are so scary that people routinely listen to the theme from Psycho to relax.

Oddly enough, public confidence seems to be higher. So since a lack of confidence can tank the economy, positive thinking can give us a boost, right?

Wrong. Nobel Prize-Winning economist Paul Krugman showed up to rip a copy of The Secret apart with his teeth and bum you right out of existence.

He and Rachel both worried about zombie banks, which of course must be fought with strict regulations, fire, and crossbows. Be sure to stock up!

One More Thing

The White House Press Corps was stuck in Istanbul overnight, but reporters cheered up when more wine came in. Which explains why fully one-third of today’s political columns are titled “Lemme Tell You What’s Wrong with You…”

Black Sites Exposed

Still got faith in the economy? Get ready to lose faith in humanity. Rachel welcomed journalist Mark Danner, who has released confidential Red Cross accounts of torture in the CIA’s secret prisons.

If you need a little light reading to keep your head ostriched under the pillows through the weekend, you can download 40 pages of first-person accounts, including the charming detail that we had trained medical professionals on-hand to supervise the torturing.

Ah, what six-year-old hasn’t had the dream of growing up to be a doctor and making sure that the guys we’re waterboarding don’t actually suffocate to death while we’re trying to make them think they might suffocate to death? Beats ballerina and fireman any day.

Ms. Information

Vermont’s state legislature put the bi in bicameral by overriding the Governor’s veto and legalizing same-sex marriage. Meanwhile, the Washington, D.C. city council voted unanimously to recognize gay marriages performed in other states.

As predicted, every heterosexual couple in the country suddenly lost faith in traditional marriage and either canceled wedding plans or immediately got divorced.

No need to worry about the urge to reproduce, though! Rachel reported that Senators Charles Grassley (R – Iowa) and Barbara McCulskey (D – Maryland) are investigating insufficient disciplinary actions taken by the National Science Foundation against staffers who spent huge chunks of their workdays looking at online porn.

Apparently the Senators want stiffer penalties.

Block Party

Hey! Senator Richard Burr blinked and is no longer blocking Tammy Duckworth’s nomination. Good political self-preservation instincts, sir!

But other Republicans are still rocking the blocking. Senator Charles Schumer (D – New York) dropped by to chat with Rachel about how a majority vote no longer passes legislation and wonder whether the proper response to Republican obstructionist jerkitude is to become even bigger jerks and override the only true minority power.

Schumer, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, seems like an OK guy, but was maybe a little less zealous about torture prosecutions than those of us who just heard about the one-legged man who was shackled into a standing position for days on end would have liked.

Which brought us to the following Great Moment in Cutting Through the Bullpuckey.

Schumer: “…if there are egregious violations of the law, they should be prosecuted — ”

Rachel: “There are.”

Work in Progress

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis joined Rachel to talk about the Employee Free Choice Act, unemployment, and underemployment.

They also discussed the Modernization Act, which would open up unemployment insurance to people who have had their work hours cut. This replaces the old Bush-era Suck It Up, Peasants Act.

Cocktail Moment

GM and Segway are making an adorable little battery-powered carlet. They’re unfortunately calling it the Puma, which brings to mind political discord, a far more fuel-efficient brand of sneakers, and the fact that it’s much cooler to ride around on an actual puma.

Until next time, I’ll be hanging out in the parking lot with my Hoopty Cat.