Robert Reich on the public option

Robert Reich was President Clinton’s Secretary of Labor and is now a professor at UC Berkeley. I’ve seen him on TRMS a few times, and I’ve always been impressed.

He has made this video explaining in drop-dead (no, not from the “death panels”) simple terms exactly what the public option is, and how important it is to fight for, right now.

I can take some comfort in knowing that all three people who are in Washington to represent me in Congress — Representative Keith Ellison and Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken — truly do represent me on these issues, and will vote accordingly. (Well, sounds like Sen. Klobuchar might be on the fence, but I’m hopeful she’ll come around after the persuasive and heartfelt email I just sent her.) And I don’t expect many of the Republicans in Congress to do anything more than continue to dig in their heels, bury their heads, spew hatred and lies, and spur liberals like me on to a frothing, cliché-ridden rage. But there are conservative Democrats who will potentially sabotage the entire enterprise for some unknown reason — oh wait, yeah… money — instead of voting with their party and the will of the majority of the American public.

Two reasons I love having Al Franken as our U.S. Senator

#1: He knows what he’s talking about. This video by local political blogger Dusty Trice, from Franken’s booth at the Minnesota State Fair, has made it to the top of the front page of YouTube and been featured on The Rachel Maddow Show. (I wonder what food-on-a-stick he has stuck in his teeth at 6:45, but that’s beside the point.)

#2: He can do this… SLP tipped me off to this lighthearted moment, posted by MPR.

Two videos featuring Gov. Tim Pawlenty

Our governor measures his words with a Vernier caliper while dissembling Rush Limbaugh’s hope that Obama fails — as subtly hinted at by a vague, ambiguously titled article on his website (Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails) — on the Rachel Maddow Show:

…And is slightly less politic (though no more factually accurate) when criticizing Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak in front of a less public audience in Rochester last month, as shown in this video of Mayor Rybak’s rebuttal:

On a positive note, I can confidently say that I’d rather have this Republican governor than a certain former Democratic governor in a certain other state who tried to sell a certain Senate seat vacated by a certain current President of the United States. Or any of the four (maybe five) other Republican governors I can name off the top of my head.

Don’t believe me? From west to east, Sarah Palin, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bobby Jindal, Charlie Crist. Is Sonny Purdue still in Georgia? I ought to know him; I voted against him. I know there are some more, but in the words of the inimitable Donald Rumsfeld, they’re “known unknowns.”

Remind me never to get insomnia again

Two nights after having spent the entire night awake in the Children’s Hospital ER with a sick daughter, my sleep routine is completely off. So last night I was awake in bed watching TV until nearly 2 AM. After The Colbert Report ended, and deciding as usual that I was not interested in leaving it on Comedy Central to watch South Park (why, exactly, is that show still on?), I flipped over to MSNBC to see if Countdown or Rachel Maddow was being replayed. Well, no, it was Hardball, but I decided to just leave it on and wait.

First observation: Wow. An hour is a really long time. Although I found moments entertaining, and perhaps a few nanoseconds informative, I developed a newfound understanding for Einstein’s simple explanation of relativity:

Put your hand on a stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute.

He couldn’t anticipate the third corollary: Sit with Chris Matthews for an hour, and, like Meat Loaf, you’ll be praying for the end of time.

The end of time did arrive eventually, and Keith Olbermann appeared. It was, perhaps, not his best show, but I can’t recall how many times I’ve actually watched an entire episode of Countdown. Usually I just see clips on YouTube. I was glad to see that he (and all three hosts, to be sure) wasn’t going to let John McCain’s Joe the Plumber debacle in Defiance, Ohio (can’t make this stuff up) slip by. Rachel Maddow actually did the best filling in the details of the McCain rally there, though. Nowhere else all day long did I hear the fact that I personally found most interesting (and revealing) about the event: of the 6000 people in attendance, 4000 consisted of the entire student body of the Defiance public school system. The schools were closed for the day, and the students were bussed to the rally. Attendance, apparently, was required.

But the most regrettably memorable moment of the long 180 minutes I spent with MSNBC in the wee-est of wee hours last night, the moment that made me most wish I could be asleep right now, occurred not during one of the programs, but during a commercial break on the Rachel Maddow Show. I saw this:

The first two computers you see in the commercial are Macs. But I knew something was amiss when I saw the woman’s iBook (yes, I can see in a freeze-frame at 0:10 that it’s definitely an iBook, despite having the brand masked over) displaying a BSOD. If it were a MacBook, that would at least be possible — however unlikely, and I will acknowledge that’s at least in part because Macs don’t run versions of Windows before XP SP2, and how often does that BSOD?

Then we see at 0:42 an on-screen notice: “ is for PC Computers Only.” Well, yeah.