On Friday’s Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, Newsweek contributor Jerry Adler was shown reciting a poem in which he lamented all the agenda items that are unpassable because of the Senate filibuster rule that gives Republicans the power to block action by the Democratic majority. Host Maddow set up the clip: "Every week, Jerry Adler turns a story from the news into a verse for Newsweek. So now, without further ado, we present Newsweek`s Jerry Adler reading his latest opus, ‘59 to 41: Filibuster this Poem,’ with a special assist from our own Kent Jones." Jones playing the bongo was used as background music as Adler read his poem.
Below is a complete transcript of the relevant segment from the Friday, February 19, The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC:
RACHEL MADDOW: Our interns are exhausted. Julia, Rachel, you guys have done great work. Thank you. I have to tell you, it`s starting to pay off. So far, 16 Senators and the president of the Senate, also known as the Vice President, have responded to our calls or otherwise gone on the record about whether they support the idea of reforming the filibuster.
Now, the Republicans are using it in a way that`s never been used before, now that they are using it to require 60 votes on everything. A result so far, nine Senators and Joe Biden said they are for the idea of changing the filibuster rules.
And Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington is now joining the other Six senators on the other side who say they do not support changing the rules. That leaves 84 Senators who have yet to get back to us with a definitive position.
Senators, Senate staffers, this is not a trick. This is not a trap. We just want to know where to put you on our chart. In the hope of inspiring you to respond to these calls from our very nice hard-working interns, we`re tapping the considerable talents today of Newsweek contributor, Jerry Adler.
Every week, Jerry Adler turns a story from the news into a verse for Newsweek. So now, without further ado, we present Newsweek`s Jerry Adler reading his latest opus, "59 to 41: Filibuster this Poem," with a special assist from our own Kent Jones.
The urgent business of the people
Now must shuffle limp and creeple.
Three steps forward, three steps back,
Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq.
That crazy North Korean kook
With missiles and a suitcase nuke.
Thirty million uninsured,
Giant loans go unsecured,
Bankers unabashed, unsated,
Unwanting to be regulated.
Greenhouse gases in the air,
Bad news for the polar bear.
No, no, no, no, no. No, no, no, no, no. No, no, no, no, no. No, no, no, no, no. No, no, no, no, no. No, no, no, no, no. No, no, no, no, no. No, no, no, no.
MADDOW: Sort of can`t believe we did that. That was so awesome. Ladies and gentlemen, that was the news verse of Jerry Adler. And a big thanks to the Rachel Maddow Show’s official bongo boy, Kent Jones. Wow.