My friend Steve Coyle (no mean picker himself) had this link on his Facebook page from a friend of his. That led me to Fretkillr's YouTube channel page, which is just great. Embedding is disabled, or I'd embed an example, but go and listen - it's worth it.
Last night, Rachel Maddow took notice on her show of the antics of Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina, who recently told a local chamber of commerce meeting that when he found out how ugly the financial crisis was turning out to be last fall, he encouraged his wife to go to their bank's ATM and take out as much money as it would let her take, each day for the rest of the weekend:
For those who don't want to watch the clip, it made hash of Burr for a) being so dumb as to ask his wife to go to the ATM instead of the teller on Friday, b) not noticing that the FDIC insures bank deposits (or thinking that taking out $900 would actually make a significant change in his family's financial situation in addition to that insurance), and most importantly, c) encouraging his wife to protect his own family's situation instead of his constituents' by asking her to start a run on his bank.
It was a pretty stark critique of Burr's speech, it included an observation that recounting this charming anecdote in public was as stupid as having made the request of his wife, as well as being politically suicidal. It was followed by a conversation with NC state Democratic Party chair David Young about Burr's background and political future, along the lines of "how did this fence post become a senator, and how long do you expect he will remain one?" (Young was pretty confident he would be able to field a strong challenge in 2010.)
Apparently, this critique didn't sit so well with Senator Fence Post. This evening, Rachel read portions of a letter from the Senator's office, in which he accused her of being "inaccurate" and "defamatory", and of harboring disdain for "everyday Americans" who held jobs like those the senator had held before entering public life.
Maddow's answer to this nastygram was nothing short of priceless - considerably chillier than yesterday's fairly humorous unpacking, and the sort of schooling conservative windbag bullies don't get anywhere near enough of. Because of her usually sunny manner, Maddow can pull a good scolding off like nobody else. It begins at about 1:20 in - watch: