RachelWatch: When All You Have Is a Hammer, Everyone Looks Like a Nail

Today: Torture stories continue to multiply and the Republicans continue to divide.

From the Office of the Vice President

Rachel started us off with the sad timeline of the Bush administration’s push to connect the 9/11 attacks with Saddam Hussein, now enhanced with the timeline of the Bush administration’s push to use SERE-based torture techniques to make that connection.

And possibly to do a little duct-taping when no real connection could be found.

Rachel welcomed former UN weapons inspector Charles Duelfer and investigative producer Bob Windrem to talk about how high-level members of the Bush administration were — at best — requesting waterboardings in the hopes of getting information that could be forced into a thesis that didn’t make sense in the first place.

“Misleading the Congress”

Rachel pointed out that many Republican leaders are continuing to make contradictory arguments about our torture program: That it wasn’t torture, so shut up, and that it was torture and Nancy Pelosi personally strapped prisoners to the ceilings, so double shut up.

Speaker of the House Pelosi (D – California) said that the CIA misled Congress, and that they discussed enhanced interrogation techniques in her briefings, but did not say that those particular techniques were being used. And, much as I’d like her to be totally clean on this one, that argument still sounds like a stretch.

If you tell me that you’re not necessarily going to use all of them, but the ingredients that are available to use in tonight’s stew include tomatoes, peas, carrots, potatoes, corn, cilantro, and human flesh, I think I’d raise a few alarms.

Whether I knew for sure you were using cilantro or not.

Chris Cillizza of The Fix dropped to point out that at least Angry Pelosi sounds way less evasive than the Pelosi of a day or two ago. I’m kind of hoping she Hulks out.

Ms. Information

Former Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave (R – Colorado) lost her bid at re-election last year because of big, mean liberals who wanted to take away her guns and force her to marry another woman on PBS before clamping open her eyelids and showing her pictures of Darwin’s finches. Or something.

Anyway, she lost and slunk away, but apparently she’s turned the TV back on and noticed that being loud, hard-right, and medium-crazy is the way to move up the ranks in today’s Republican party.

I, for one, cannot wait. If you need me, I’ll be flipping through the news channels with a bowl of popcorn, an intravenous drip of caffeine, and a homemade Far-Right Newsgrabber Issues bingo card.

Rachel loves Google Street View because it’s interesting and occasionally captures amazing little slices of awesome. But then there’s that other thing where it’s invasive and creepy.

Japan, as it turns out, was not ready for Picture Day and they are making Google do a nationwide retake.

Peeing Guy, Sleeping Drunk Guy, and Guy Emerging from a Strip Club, you picked the wrong country to have an unguarded moment in.

Republican Revolution?

John McCain’s mom just joined my list of Awesome Feisty Ladies I Adore by tartly pointing out that Rush Limbaugh is an embarrassment to the Republican Party and, as entertainment, is only slightly more sophisticated than bearbaiting.

And if she can hang on to that opinion for just six more hours without caving, 97-year-old Roberta Wright McCain is officially braver than Eric Cantor, Michael Steele, and I forget how many other trembling elected Republicans.

Rachel also noted that Florida Governor Charlie Crist will not be getting support from the National Republican Senatorial Committee because he accepted bailout money to boost his state’s economy instead of trying to saw Florida free from the mainland.

In an attempt to find some new ideas, Rachel had a chat with Dr. Rand Paul, the son of Dr. Ron Paul.

Rand thinks that maybe Republicans should think about saying yes to something other than innovative thumbscrew techniques. The Younger Paul also announced his intention to dip an exploratory toe into the Kentucky Senate race and see if anything bites.

Well, OK. But I’m still not entirely convinced that it isn’t time to just pack it in and bring back the Bull Moose Party.


Arkansas State legislator and possible Republican Senate candidate Kim Hendren called Senator Chuck Schumer (D – New York) “that Jew” at a Republican meeting. While most people assumed he was pitching an intriguing new remake of the popular Marlo Thomas sitcom, Hendren ashamedly explained that this was not the case.

Hendren says he was moved to make his remark by Schumer’s appearance on The Rachel Maddow Show, and Ms. Maddow is protesting her innocence just a bit too fervently.

I now believe that subliminal messaging during TRMS is what compelled me to refer to my friend as “That Lapsed Catholic and Current Liberal Episcopalian of German and Puerto Rican Descent” during a meeting of my own this week.

I don’t know what they’re up to over there, but rest assured I have my eye on them.

Cocktail Moment

Nefarious subliminal plots or no, you can still thank the uncomfortably abbreviated deity of your choice for the Cocktail Moment. After all the torture and angst and oh-my-god-still?, Rachel introduced our wondering eyes to the Spira.

Oh, my Thalia! That’s not a car, that’s halfway to a LANDSPEEDER!

Thank you, Rachel. My six-year-old self just got the adult me excited about the auto industry for the first time in my life.