RachelWatch: Nerd is the Word

Today: John Hodgman’s speech hits home, Senator Ensign’s affair gets creepier, and Caroline Moore goes supernova.

Nerd Prom

Friday’s TRMS started off with John Hodgman’s speech at the Radio & TV Correspondents’ Dinner. It was some of the most amazing nerding I’ve ever seen, evoking an exhilarating blend of joy and shame.

Decision 1388

The excellent Richard Engel joined Rachel to talk about what might happen in Iran over the weekend. It’s only Sunday morning as I’m writing this and this clip is already tough to watch. I hope it’s not harder on Monday.

Bad to Worse

Oh, Senator Ensign (R – Nevada). You were so close to having a boring, heterosexual, everyone-of-age, possibly survivable affair. People might have even let slide the fact that the dates of your separation and the dates of the affair may not quite match.

But no, you had to get cute with it.

Rachel welcomed Mark McKinnon, Republican strategist and contributor to The Daily Beast to do some entertaining head-shaking.

You can now chalk up exactly one good thing to come out of this whole sordid business: Rachel being inspired to speak in Scooby Doolish.

So, let’s see: An affair with a staffer and political cronies arranging for a new lip-buttoning job. Golly, what does that remind me of? Oh, that’s right, the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal. That Ensign railed against.

Only Ensign apparently knew that when someone sets a standard, the real achievers go above and beyond: Choose the staffer who also has a spouse on the payroll! And add a son! Oh, and are those party funds just lying around?

Senator, I beg you: Do not try to top Larry Craig. Take that any way you want.

I thought McKinnon made the start of a really good point when he said that you can’t be the party of family values and then turn around and not value your family.

Well, yeah.

And one solution is to have everyone in the party tattoo their inner thighs with “NOT UNTIL YOU RETIRE!”

Or maybe it’s time to think about the other solution, where Republicans go back to worrying about policy and stop trying to politicize rigid value systems. Yes, the loudest people would go spinning off into hysteria. Who gives a rat?

Republicans, if you all agree to keep God and your genitals out of politics at once, Rush can’t hurt you. Wouldn’t that be fun?

If You Need Me, I’ll Be in the Fetal Position

Rachel reported that the CIA said they need another week to try to suppress prepare the Inspector General’s report for release.

It’s apparently even more disturbing than the other torture stuff we’ve already seen. Oh, goody.

The next round of Dick Cheney ‘n’ friends explaining why broken ribs are secretly awesome should be quite a treat. Not to mention the special bonus tracks about how now that we’ve (theoretically) stopped hanging people from the ceiling, the terrorists know we’re weak and are probably massing to attack right now. Not that he’s hoping for that. He certainly isn’t. But he sure would win that argument if they did, right?

T-shirts are still available for Cheney’s ongoing national “Screw it, I’m Already Going to Hell” tour.

Moment of Geek

Rachel finished off with a terrific and engaging interview with 14-year-old rising geek Caroline Moore, who helped discover a new type of supernova. She also has a telescope that I must admit, even as a girl who never liked pink, is pretty kickass.

As great as she is with geekness in general, I must say that Rachel is particularly good at interviewing dorklings.

Ms. Maddow, in all that spare time you have, would you consider a Saturday series for blossoming girl geeks?

Oh, of course I couldn’t really keep the John Hodgman speech away from you. Dorkmeisters, rejoice. The rest of you go do something outdoorsy.