Let's get historical. Most of today's "this day in history" items are damn depressing - including the 1 I'm going to discuss. But, in spite of the suffering in his life (much of it self - inflicted), what he inspired & continues to inspire is something to celebrate. Jack Kerouac died on this date in 1969. Y'all have seen this video lots of times because I've shown it lots of times, but this appearance with Steve Allen is how I like to remember him.
On with The Rachel Maddow Show...
Melissa Harris Perry is pinch - hitting for Rachel tonight because Rachel is in L.A. to be on Real Time with Bill Maher; set those DVRs if ya' got 'em & teh HBO! :D
"Iraq War 2003 - 2011" - President Obama announced today that our war in Iraq is over - at least by the end of the year. He promised in the 2008 POTUS campaign to end our role in Iraq. And, look at that guy back in 2002! He looks like President Obama's little brother or something. And, did I REALLY need to see GWB tonight? NOPE! AND, we get DICK as a bonus about as welcome as the bubonic plague's return would be. Melissa brought up the Status of Forces Agreement signed by GWB - the REAL reason we're leaving Iraq; they are kicking us out. Again, as I said in the Countdown diary, I could give a rat's hiney hole why we're leaving. I'm just happy we're leaving! Richard Engel's in studio to talk about us leaving Iraq. 39,000 Americans have been in Iraq training Iraqi forces. Some in Iraq wanted to leave a small residual force as a safeguard, but others in Iraq thought that would be giving in to an invading force. When the Iraqi prime minister couldn't promise immunity or legal framework for our forces, our government said thanks but no thanks. The chances of civil war in Iraq are still pretty damn likely, but Iraq will get to figure that out for themselves. Rachel gets to be a guest on her show to talk about us leaving Iraq - HA! :D OK, I gotta admit she was getting a little long - winded & wonky for me until she began talking about the future dialog of military intervention on our part. The GWB 9/11 era of military action is over - according to Rachel. Boy, I hope she's correct. We'll see what happens when/if the next horrible attack in our country brings us to the brink.
"Block Party" - As we all know by now, every single damn GOBP Senator plus a few "Dems" killed a part of President Obama's jobs plan last night. President Obama's last 36 hours or so have been a hoot - both good & bad. And, he's starting to show the stress of his office - big time. Again, what happened to that rule change that was supposed to prevent all this? President Obama's foreign policy bona fides are pretty damn spectacular - because he didn't need any help from Congress. His domestic stuff, on the other hand...*&^%$#@! Lamb Chop's sporting quite a jacket tonight! ;D I agree with Chris that governing domestically is damn near impossible in this climate. There is a difference between rules & "norms" in Congress - especially the Senate.
"Small Things Considered" - Politicos like to talk about the middle class - A LOT. Most politicos are not considered "middle class." Poor people aren't talked about much - at all. Melissa's covering those horrible poverty numbers, too. The Heritage Foundation had an "interesting" take on poverty earlier, remember? "Herb" Cain thinks poor people have no one to blame for being poor but themselves. Poverty among children is on the rise, too.
"Occupational Hazards" - Melissa's talking about the NYPD "stop & frisk" policy & what got Dr. Cornel West arrested today in Harlem. The African - American & Hispanic community have been especially hit hard in this $hitacular economy. Tim Wise is chatting up race & Occupy. Non - Caucasian protestors want the use of language to describe this movement to be really careful. He cut his protesting teeth in trying to divest our country from South African apartheid policies. OK, is it just me, or is he getting a little preachy?