RachelWatch: All Hail to the Queen

Today: Ana Marie Cox and Melissa Harris-Lacewell!

Feds Step Up

Rachel started us off with an update on the investigation of Dr. George Tiller’s murder, then noted that the American Life League was commemorating the sanctity of all human life in their own superclassy special way: By planning national birth control protests on the day of Tiller’s memorial service.

The League claims that using the Pill is “tantamount to having an abortion.”

Other things that, according to this logic, are the same thing as having an abortion: Using a condom, deciding to wait to start a family until after grad school, and not playing a Barry White CD.

This is where the far right of the anti-choice movement tips its hand: Opposition to birth control pills has nothing to do with preserving life and everything to do with the sexual control of women. They should ditch their “The Pill Kills” slogan and just go with “It Takes a Village To Monitor Your Uterus.”

Not to mention the whole spreading misinformation about what birth control pills do part. Are the leaders of the anti-pill movement being willfully ignorant, or have they decided that lying is all right as long as they can potentially stop such monstrous acts as married couples having sex for pleasure?

Protests were planned at Planned Parenthoods, which as Rachel’s guest Melissa Harris-Lacewell pointed out, helpfully shamed who knows how many low-income women out of getting their annual exams.

Ms. Harris-Lacewell tore it up in this segment. She’s so great at slicing straight through the bull I want to give her a bad-ass nickname.

So far I’ve come up with “Laser” Harris-Lacewell, but it’s definitely a work in progress.

Can’t Stop Won’t Stop

Michael Steele did that thing again where he makes a perfectly reasonable public statement and then panics and folds like he’s made out of origami paper.

This time he suggested that maybe Republicans should stop making wildly unpopular crazy racist attacks against Judge Sonia Sotomayor so people could look at her nomination rationally. So we all knew that one was doomed.

After showing us footage of Senator Lindsey Graham (R – South Carolina) reinforcing every stupid stereotype that non-racist Southerners have been trying to shake for 40 years and introducing us to the fabulous new word “Newtraction,” Rachel welcomed Maria Teresa Kumar of Vote Latino to mix things up by talking some sense.

While I am most infuriated by the baseless questioning of Sotomayor’s intelligence, those sideways remarks about her “temperament problem” are coming up fast on the inside.

Because we don’t want a little lady who will be helping to make tough decisions that will guide the course of a nation to be too abrasive, do we?

Maybe if she brings a nice Bundt cake to the confirmation hearings.

Ms. Information

The trial of journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling began on Thursday. As of the broadcast, that was all anyone outside of North Korea knew, but since then the two have been sentenced to 12 years in a labor camp.

Best wishes to both women and their families. I’m sure tonight’s TRMS will have more information on what diplomatic possibilities remain for getting them home.

Rachel moved on to covering the British government’s expenses scandal as only she and her staff can. Because they know their viewers need the very latest news on Blear, Darling, and Balls.

For more joy, Rachel and her amazing Webmaster helpfully provided links to lists of all the names of the members of the House of Lords and House of Commons.

In a related story, I’m sure the Maddow Map Room will soon be updated to reflect the fact that I have, in a bloodless coup, declared myself the Queen of Dorking. My new subjects need not worry about diplomatic inexperience – I have spent many years in dedicated service as an ambassador of Dorking.

I shall rule with wisdom and justice. And I will settle all arguments on whether or not Deckard is a Replicant individually, depending on whether you are discussing the book, the theatrical release, the director’s cut, the final director’s cut, or the international theatrical release.

GOP in Exile

What’s black and white and red, white, and blue all over? A view of the world filtered through Republican sound bites.

Yes, it’s time to be told what’s un-American again! Ana Marie Cox dropped in (hooray!) to discuss Freedom Fries, the Republican power vacuum, and the Macarena.

(OK, yes: and also to set certain portions of the Twittersphere on fire with her leather jacket. I hope there were no injuries over the weekend.)

20 Years Since Tiananmen

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 20 years since we first saw Tank Man, a brave soul who took on a huge totalitarian power with the help of a scrappy band of kangaroo mutants and —

I’m sorry. I’m thinking of Tank Girl.

Even more amazing is the real-life story of Tank Man, the still unidentified protester who faced down a row of tanks in Tiananmen Square.

Photojournalist Jeff Widener joined Rachel to tell the story of getting the iconic shot.

A Proclamation from The Queen of Dorking

Because I am a benevolent Queen, I decree that you shall have an adorable bonus Moment of Geek. Enjoy!