Archive for The Rachel Maddow Show

Bright spot for Dems: Electing governors in states run by Republicans

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what's the matter with kansas now GOP governors

backfire plan fail smaller boy light socket

As the headline suggests, there is, indeed, a bright spot for Democrats this election season: Knocking off GOP governors in tres rouge Republican states. Waitwhat? Yes, you read that right, we have a shot at retaking a few governors mansions in currently (Or to put it punnily, currantly) red states. Crazy huh? How'd that happen?

Well, it happened because radical right legislation signed by radical right governors is backfiring. Even their fellow Republicans have had enough. Now let's hope it backfires effectively enough to get voters to turn a few red mansions blue. Steve Kornacki cites one example. Then below that is the L.A. Times' broader take on the topic. Take it away, Steve:

Steve Kornacki, subbing for Rachel Maddow:

So you've heard a lot of stories in the last two years about extremely conservative governors and extremely conservative state legislators. You've probably heard of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and maybe you're even familiar with some of the extremely conservative lawmaking he and his legislature have achieved.

But you might not have heard what happened to Governor Brownback in Kansas today. Lots of people have seen enough and many of those people are Republicans...

There's a race for governor of Kansas this year. And today in that state, more than 100 Republican politicians and activists officially threw their support behind the Democrat...

And to put things in perspective and how big a deal this is, just take a minute to think of how staunchly a Republican state Kansas actually is...

Just two years ago, Brownback led an effort to purge moderate Republican state legislators in primaries to drive them out of the statehouse to replace them with right-wingers. And he got his way. 2012 was also the same year he signed a controversial tax slashing law into effect. ... Brownback said at the time that the cuts would create tens of thousands of new jobs and help make Kansas the best place in America to start and grow a small business.

But two years later, it hasn't quite worked out that way. So far, it`s cost Kansas a ton of revenue without really jump-starting the economy. Moody`s, for example, recently downgraded the state`s credit rating... [O]n one hand, the governor`s dealing with the fallout from the tax cuts he championed. And on the other, he`s dealing with backlash from the moderates he`s tried to stamp out.

Steve Benen has more on this at The Maddow Blog.

The Los Angeles Times explores the phenomenon further. Brownback isn't the only one who may be in trouble:

The mathematics and political map both favor Democrats, the opposite of their circumstance in congressional races, where most House Republicans are safe and most competitive Senate contests are in places President Obama lost in 2012.

By contrast, Republican governors are battling in Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin and other states Obama carried twice.

Democrats have even expanded the fight to places such as ruby-red Kansas, where Republican Gov. Sam Brownback faces a stiff challenge amid an uproar from GOP moderates and others unhappy with his aggressively conservative agenda — especially a massive tax cut that has badly strained state finances.

I love the way Nathan Gonzales, an analyst with the nonpartisan Rothenberg Political Report, put it: "One of the consequences of doing well in an election is having to defend those victories next time around."

As regular readers know, one of my mantras is that the GOP lacks foresight. This drives the point home.

And this concludes yet another episode of Republicans Eating Their Own.

eating their own

oz we're not in kansas any more

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"Not a skit! Our actual Congress! Gaaa!"

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Not a skit, our actual Congress, gaa! Maddow

Our own Sherry Hardy covered Rachel Maddow's edible take-down of the Worst Congress Ever in her post, 'Get Out and Push', Says Maddow of the Useless, U.S. Congress. Maddow went ballistic, and rightfully so. Wowee, do GOP obstructionists suck, and yes, I'm using the official elitist left vernacular. Before going any further, I have to share a couple of the best parts from the segment Sher put up. And by "best" I mean most relatable, because Rachel's Moment of Gaa! was surely felt by many of us. Here are four very short clips (under a minute each) that represent some of her best outbursts. Here she is, blasting Congress to smithereens, and by Congress she meant Republican members thereof:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Maddow:

"Not a skit! Our actual Congress! Gaaa!"

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Maddow:

"This is truly historic failure."

ding ding ding

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

All of this brings us to today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor in which readers responded to former Rep. David Dreier op-ed that was meant "to assure readers that it's not as bad as it seems in Congress. The nearly unanimous response from the nearly two dozen readers who sent us letters: Are you serious?"

Here you go, because our voices matter:

It's been tried many times before, the guilty claiming innocence by accusing the victim.

Dreier does just that. He blames the people for being divided, implying that the members of Congress themselves are not at fault. This is why only 13% of Americans approve of Congress, according to a January Gallup poll. Eighty seven percent of the people being of one mind in their disapproval doesn't sound like division.

Fewer laws have been passed by this Congress than by any other in the last 65 years, and Dreier says it's not really that bad. I think it is time for a reality check.

Frances Pin, Marina del Rey

..

Dreier deludes himself and, even more sadly, us.

We have a do-nothing Congress not because Americans are deeply divided. Important legislative efforts on immigration, the minimum wage and gun control did not die because of deep division, as a large majority of Americans favored these measures.

Is Dreier saying that shutting down the government and threatening its solvency came because of voter division? The failures came because the GOP was listening to the radical tea party members of Congress, who represent a very small minority of the population.

It is self-serving for Dreier to blame the division of the people — actually, insulting.

Jim Hoover, Huntington Beach

..

Dreier states that he is continually asked, "Is Congress completely controlled by big money and special interests?" and "Is it more partisan and dysfunctional than ever before?"

He never answers. Instead he tells us how there are always two opinions to every issue and groups of constituents on both sides.

I have to assume that he avoided answering because the answers are both "yes."

Ted Bacino, Palm Springs

..

Dreier blames the diversity of Americans for Congress' obstructionism.

Of course we are diverse, and we are better off for it. However, when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stated in 2010 that his main goal was for Barack Obama to be a one-term president, he revealed quite clearly what the Republican Party was all about: not diversity, but settling scores.

Robert S. Ellison, Arcadia

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"It's Arm the Rebels o'clock. Do you know where your Senator John McCain is?"

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john mccain arm rebels

How many times have we been subjected to John McCain's myopic rants about arming the rebels in any given civil war or in any given area of conflict?

Rachel Maddow:

It's Arm the Rebels o'clock. Do you know where your Senator John McCain is?

Per McCain, it really doesn't matter much where or who they are, if they're rebels, just arm them. Especially if President Obama is taking a more measured approach. Grampy McDrumbeat is just itching to hand over lethal weapons of war to someone, anyone, because if fits into his whole Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb [insert country here] mentality: the more explosions the better. Especially if we aid and abet some of them. Blow 'em up! Kill [insert bad guys' name here]! What a blast! (Pun intended.)

weeee smaller

There's just one problem with that mania, Senator McDrumbeat. It can backfire.

Take Guatemala, for example. Via the Los Angeles Times:

Perez Molina said the violence and crime in Guatemala were a byproduct of the Cold War when the U.S. and the Soviet Union were funding opposite sides of civil wars in Central America to gain influence.

Perez Molina was a top intelligence officer in the Guatemalan military in the 1980s and ’90s.

Moral of the story: Don't listen to John McCain.

Real moral of the story: A more rational, measured approach is most often very wise and can save lives.

Other moral of the story: The road to more violence and crime is paved with shortsighted intentions.

Immoral of the story: Stop treating horribly abused child refugees like criminals.

In related news, there was an L.A. Times letter to the editor that is worth a share. I'd link to it, but I can't find it on the Times site, so I'm transcribing it verbatim:

Re: "Texas to send Guard troops to border," July 22

I hear echoes of Kent State University. What are the National Guard troops to do to these migrant children in Texas: shoot them?

Pat Mauer, Pasadena

What is it with Republican presidential hopefuls and violent troubleshooting? (Pun intended.)

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Michele Bachmann, please proceed

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please proceed Marsha Blackburn

Bachmann 1

To quote President Obama as he watched his presidential opponent Mitt Romney commit political suicide during a debate, "Please proceed," Michele Bachmann. No seriously. Proceed. Please. This country needs a little levity. As Rachel Maddow put it in the above segment, she is the "living, breathing embodiment of the crazy in American politics. It's almost an American pastime to watch Michele Bachmann do her thing."

But Maddow also added, "She's more influential than she gets credit for... She may look like a kooky also-ran all the time, but she also has a way of saying things that stick."

Oh stop being so even-handed and astute, Rachel. You're ruining all our fun.

Via Real Clear Politics:

The Minnesota congresswoman and 2012 Republican presidential candidate told RealClearPolitics on Tuesday that she is considering a second White House run.

Bachmann made the revelation during an interview, in which she was asked for her view on whether any Republican women might seek the Oval Office in 2016.

“The only thing that the media has speculated on is that it’s going to be various men that are running,” she replied. “They haven’t speculated, for instance, that I’m going to run. What if I decide to run? And there’s a chance I could run... Like with anything else, practice makes perfect,” she said. “And I think if a person has gone through the process -- for instance, I had gone through 15 presidential debates -- it’s easy to see a person’s improvement going through that.”

There are more quotes from Bachmann at the link.

Fasten your seat belts...

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Internal Pressures May Push Putin To Reluctant Action … and La Palin Pontificates

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meanwhile

Rachel Maddow continues to do excellent reporting on the situation in Ukraine following the famed shoot down of Malaysian Air Flight 17 this week.

Praise Allah, because the best Hannity could do was summon up a Palin Appearance. From the Prime Putin Seats up North.

Cuz … Putin.

On the day U.N. sanctions were taken and Separatists were persuaded to begin turning bodies of the victims and the crime scene of a crash site over to international investigators and recovery teams, grisly pictures were everywhere.

Including La Palin's yammering face on Fvx Noise.

Speculation on Putin's role and goals is rampant, over at Fvx Nation, by contrast, Hannity was busily tearing down every foreign policy reality that exists for fact-based populations.

justshootme

Maddow first.

The headline should have warned 'yuz … but of course Hannity and Fvx went to Their Girl in A-las-ka for the latest in erudite and globally informed perspectives on Putin's obligations and prospective moves and all things intellectual, historical and Muscovite.

Because, clearly, she has been watching Putin from her house for the past seven years, full-time. That's why she resigned as an actual politician and descended onto the lower 48 Full Throttle, waving a hockey stick and a lipstick and raving.

Cuz … Putin.

Major Ick, pick up your courtesy Orvis waders at the entrance. [Thanks again, Grumpus McCain.]


wordpolice

To be fair, you'll need one more Maddow to get that taste out of you.

How about introducing a beardless Lawrence O'Donnell back to the small screen?

priority fail gop fail

Cuz … Putin.

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WI GOP may allow cameras next: Poll watchers already allowed 3 feet from voters

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cameras in faceImage via

voter intimidation voter suppression

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed a bill this year that let poll observers intimidate get within thirty-six inches of the voters they are hovering over monitoring. Nothing like having the rabidly right wing poll police breathing down your neck while you try to make private choices in what used to be a country that believed in democracy. Now Wisconsin may allow cameras. Now they want their "observers" to be able to record your personal information, too.

Steve Benen at The Maddow Blog on the original law:

The law would allow observers to stand 3 to 8 feet from the table where voters announce their names and addresses and are issued voter numbers, or from the table where people register to vote.

Gee, who could possibly mind if a total stranger, a fanatic extremist partisan with fervently opposing views, overheard your name and address? Or scrutinized and challenged your vote? What could possibly go wrong?

breathing down neck, intimidateImage via

Here's a video of Rachel Maddow explaining the original law in full back in April:

Clearly, that's not enough Dem harassment for Wisconsin Republicans. Now the election bullies observers would be able to unnerve their fellow citizens not just with their presence, but also with cameras and video recorders. If Americans exercising their voting rights happen to rub the monitors the wrong way, then hey, chill them to the bone. Document them. Record them. Use your cameras as weapons. Make them as uncomfortable as possible. Terrify them. Try to suppress their votes by causing them to avoid the polls in order to avoid the poll watchers.

Via the Green Bay Press Gazette:

Wisconsin officials may lift the ban on camera usage by election observers.

The state elections board will meet Monday to vote on proposed changes to election observer rules, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. The Republican-controlled Legislature proposed the ban reversal.

Election observers have been prohibited from shooting photos and video at the polls for the past eight years.

If the ban is lifted, cameras can start being used during the August primary. So much for your privacy, Wisconsinites.

Via nutsandolts.com

This is going from "creepy" to downright scary.

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Leading from Imperiled Ego: Professor Nina Kruscheva on Maddow, On Putin

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electionsPutinmeme
Leave it to Maddow to do the research. And find actual experts. On someone as complex an individual as Vladimir Putin.

There are few scholars, particularly teaching in New York City that can speak to the USSR and Putin and His Russia with credulity, never mind credibility.

Rachel had one on air by 9:30 last night. Now teaching at The New School in NYC, Nina Kruscheva and Maddow had a worthy discussion of both background and possible paths forward.

Following Kruscheva's interview, Maddow pivoted to some superb and factual reporting about the Fvx Nation Revered Reagan response to the 1983 Soviet shoot down. Have a gander.

The zombie plane of corpses conspiracy was worthy of Hannity ... wait a minute ... is there a Russian Hannity feeding him bullshite blintzes and vice versa?!?

meanwhile

Her next block brought the well-crafted story home.

Image, The Daily Mail UK

Image, The Daily Mail UK

That photo of rows and rows of sunflowers being searched by off-duty Ukranian coal miners ... for bodies from the downed airliner. Chilling.

Until the "crime scene" was shut down by the separatists thought responsible for the crash ... leaving the bodies to lie in those Eastern Ukrainian fields for a second night. Unrefrigerated.

It's already midday in Eastern Ukraine, being about 7:30 a.m. EST - here's hoping the families and victims find more justice amidst the political machination as day three of this human tragedy of a search and recovery operation continues.

Image, Daily Mail UK

Image, Daily Mail UK

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