RachelWatch: Maximum Insecurity

Today: Turns out Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is still stupid.

Right To Serve

Air Force fighter pilot Lieutenant Colonel Victor Fehrenbach is, after 18 years, 88 combat missions, and nine medals, is being discharged from the Air Force.

The Air Force’s position, based on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Think About How Stupid This Rule Is, is that it’s disruptive to have people who are openly gay serve in the military. Because pulling exemplary men and women off duty is just the thing to boost unity and morale.

Lest we lose sight of the absurdity of this firing, Rachel made sure to ask Fehrenbach how he got his medal for heroism.

I realize Obama is busy and all, but is saying the sentence “Stop enforcing this rule until Congress can review it,” really going to cut that much time out of his day?

One More Thing:

Meghan McCain, famous for being John McCain’s daughter and one of about six Republicans who isn’t currently frothing at the mouth about The Red Menace, said she feels that there can be a place in the Republican Party for gays and lesbians.

Rachel called out the fact that the Democratic Party really isn’t that much friendlier to people in the GLBT community when it comes to the actual legislating.

Probably because seeing the world in binary, as a series of paired opposites and only one way of dealing with them, is easy and comforting: Good-Bad, Night-Day, Man-Woman.

Oh, and Democratic-Republican. Because if viable third and fourth parties rose up, the Democrats might not be able to rely on the time-honored Lesser of Two Evils strategy of courting the GLBT vote but keeping the tacit understanding that when Democratic candidates are accused of not being moral enough, they will push the gays out of the lifeboat instead of growing spines.


Rachel moved on to promises that President Obama is actually trying to fulfill with the news that Congress just denied him the funds he needs to shut down Guantanamo.

Republicans, of course, have been playing the fear card, suggesting that sending enemy combatants to prisons on the mainland is terrifying and unworkable, and Democrats are (surprise!) starting to buckle under. For crying out loud, Dems, can I get you a calcium supplement?

Even as their vertebrae telescope, a few Democrats have squeaked that the Republican position is breathtakingly stupid. In my opinion, it’s also offensive.

Imprisoning people is the one booming industry we have left. As of mid-2008, we were incarcerating 509 out of every 100,000 citizens. With not even 5% of the world’s population, we have managed to produce nearly 25% of its prisoners. That, my friends, is true American moxie and knowhow.

Republicans, I am ashamed of you. Trash our auto industry, wail over our education gap, and dis our steroid-riddled athletes if you must, but do NOT talk smack about American ingenuity and sticktoitiveness when it comes to imprisoning people. WE ARE THE GREATEST INCARCERATORS IN THE WORLD!

Representative Adam Schiff (D – California) of the House Appropriations Committee dropped in to explain that the block is for a less maddening reason than it seems on the face of things, so you can stop stabbing yourself in the ear for a few minutes.

Schiff explained that the holdup is a move to take back some of the Congressional power that the Republicans kept tucking into fruit baskets and sending over to the executive branch while they were in charge.

Rachel, to her credit, suggested that maybe there’s a way to do that without playing into the current gooberhead fearball rhetoric. Good points all around.

Ms. Information

Rachel reported that the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction says there’s no effective oversight for the billions of dollars we’ve been paying contractors.

Aww, remember when it seemed like Dick Cheney was only a sleazebag war profiteer who was shoveling billions of dollars worth of no-bid contracts to his old pals at Halliburton? Such innocent, happy times.

And because she allowed herself to be caught in his thrall when, using the old “interview” ruse, Rachel tried to get close enough to Rod Blagojevich to throw a bag over his head and save us all, Rachel gave us an update.

The f’in former Governor was not allowed to join the cast of I’m a Celebrity, Get Me out of Here. But his wife did. Oh, their poor kids.

This hardly seems right. It’s a competition about living with unpleasantness, right? Doesn’t Mrs. B have an unfair advantage?

He Said it, Not Me

Sometimes the mind boggles with joy and gratitude, and this is one of them. I thought it would take months for Republicans to start embracing their teabags again, but I was wonderfully, beautifully wrong.

Thank you, Michael Steele. Thank you.

Drip, Drip, Drip

Sunni tribes in Iraq were ready to stop fighting against the U.S. and work with us to combat extremists about two years earlier than they did. Our own policies, lovingly shepherded by Donald Rumsfeld deputy Paul Wolfowitz, kept that from happening.

OK, you can start stabbing yourself in the ear again.

Cocktail Moment

Rachel noted that the St. Paul Saints appeal to the public’s appetite for cuteness and tolerance for pork-based puns with a newly named pig mascot every year.

This year’s mascot is Slumhog Millionaire. See? Adorable.

Not to mention fun. Which is why I would like to start naming the Republican’s elephant mascot for them. No, it’s OK! They’re totally cool with re-naming things for each other.

I think we should give the elephant a new name every time they start a new push on an issue that’s based purely on fear.

In honor of the scary campaign against shutting down Guantanamo, I will humbly submit Babarian at the Gate, but I’m open to suggestions.