Rachel Maddow Show

RNC discovers a problem with the Koch brothers’ operation

David Koch (Photo by Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP)

MSNBC 

The more Charles and David Koch provided the resources for a massive political operation, the more it seemed as if the far-right billionaires were creating a political party of their own. The Kochs had an army of field organizers, blanketed the airwaves with political ads, and even had their own voter lists.
All of this, of course, raises important questions about the role of money in the political process, and just how much influence wealthy interests can wield in a democratic system. But as Yahoo Newsreports today, for the Republican National Committee, the Koch brothers’ power is raising very different kinds of questions.
The Yahoo News report notes, for example, that in the 2014 election cycle, the RNC and the Kochs’ operation struck a deal to share voter data, though the arrangement evaporated once the season came and went. Now, however, the two sides are sharply at odds, creating what one Republican operative described as “all-out war.”
Interviews with more than three dozen people, including top decision-makers in both camps, have revealed that the Kochs’ i360 platform for managing voter contacts – which is viewed by many as a superior, easier-to-use interface than what’s on offer from the RNC – is becoming increasingly popular among Republican campaigns.
The RNC is now openly arguing, however, that the Kochs’ political operation is trying to control the Republican Party’s master voter file, and to gain influence over – some even say control of – the GOP.
Katie Walsh, the RNC’s chief of staff, told Yahoo News, “I think it’s very dangerous and wrong to allow a group of very strong, well-financed individuals who have no accountability to anyone to have control over who gets access to the data when, why and how.”
I can appreciate why fights over data may seem like the ultimate in inside-baseball, but this is a fight worth paying close attention to.
Remember, for many modern campaigns, this data is the foundation for any successful endeavor. The more reliable and comprehensive the data, and the easier it is to use, the more effective the targeting, messaging, advertising, and grassroots organizing of any major campaign.
In this case, as one might expect, the Republican National Committee controls the Republican voter file, but the Kochs’ operation seems to have discovered that it really doesn’t need the Republican National Committee – the Kochs have their own platform to manage the data, and their own relationships with campaigns that want to make use of the data.
If that’s the case, some of you may be wondering why the Republican National Committee is needed at all – and you wouldn’t be the only one. From the Yahoo piece:
The core issue, from Priebus’ point of view, is one of loyalty and allegiance. The RNC is a permanent entity, committed to the Republican Party without question. The Koch network is too independent from the party to be trusted with possession of the GOP’s most valuable core assets. If the Kochs – whose political history is steeped more in libertarianism than it is in any loyalty to the Republican Party – decided next week to use their database to benefit only their massive multinational corporation, they could do so. […]
The Kochs’ political arm, Freedom Partners, which oversees i360, views the issue as one of capability. Koch aides – several of whom used to work at the RNC – want to win elections, and in their view the RNC has inherent challenges to helping the party win. Party committee fundraising is severely limited by federal election law, while building, maintaining and enriching a database is expensive.
The other angle to keep in mind is just how striking it is to see Republican officials discover their heretofore non-existent concerns about outside money and the political process. The RNC’s Katie Walsh didn’t even rely on anonymity – she straight up told Yahoo News, on the record, that she believes it’s “dangerous” to extend too much power to “well-financed individuals who have no accountability to anyone.”
Ya don’t say. We might want to think twice before turning over parts of the democratic process to unaccountable, wealthy players with their own agenda? I’ve heard similar concerns for many years, but I don’t recall them ever coming from RNC officials.
H/t: DB

Bernie Sanders wants to debate GOP candidates now to expose their unpopular ‘reactionary agenda’

Bernie Sanders (MSNBC)

Bernie Sanders (MSNBC)

THE RAW STORY

Sen. Bernie Sanders wants to debate Republican presidential candidates right away so he can expose what their unpopular “reactionary agenda.”

The Democratic presidential candidate appeared Tuesday night on The Rachel Maddow Show, where he said the media’s focus on triviality allows GOP candidates to “get away with murder,” reported Mediaite.

Sanders said Republican candidates want to offset “huge tax breaks for billionaires” with “massive cuts” to programs that help millions of American, including Medicare, Medicaid, and – in the case of likely candidates Jeb Bush and Chris Christie – Social Security.

“They get away with that stuff because a lot of people don’t know what they are talking about,” he said.

Sanders said he would like a debate between Democrats and Republicans during the primary season so he could “confront them honestly and say to their face” what voters should know about their governing intentions.

“When so many seniors are struggling right now, how in God’s name are you talking about cutting Social Security when we should expand it?” Sanders said he would ask. “When kids can’t afford to go to college now, why are you talking about cutting Pell Grants by $90 billion? Why are you on the payroll of the Koch brothers and other billionaires rather than addressing the needs of working families?”

He said a debate would help cut through the horse race-style coverage the media seem to prefer at this point in the presidential campaign.

“If we can confront them and debate issues rather than allow the media to get into political gossip and polling and fundraising, but talk about the issues, I think their agenda does not reflect more than 15 or 20 percent of the American people,” Sanders said.

Rachel Maddow To GOP: You Broke It – You Brought It

For some, the post below this one may be too long to read.  I saw this segment of The Rachel Maddow Show last night in which she runs through the same thing as The Nation article…but with even more detail and information.  Enjoy…

Rachel Maddow reviews the years-long Republican plan to sabotage the Obama presidency at any cost, and talks with Ryan Grim, D.C. bureau chief for the Huffington Post, about House Speaker John Boehner’s struggle to find a way out of the government shutdown he allowed his party to force America into. ~ Licentiathe8th’s channel

Courtesy of the  The Rachel Maddow Show.

Rachel Maddow – Unpopular Congress musters one gun bill (for conspiracy paranoids)

When I saw this segment of The Rachel Maddow Show last night I was outraged at the methods the GOP use to spread their lies via propaganda.

Rachel Maddow – ‘Something weird is going on’ in FBI shooting of Ibragim Todashev

Maddow 053113

(Revised from earlier post)

The Raw Story

On Thursday night’s edition of “The Rachel Maddow Show,” host Rachel Maddow discussed the swirl of questions around the shooting of Ibragim Todashev, an associate of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the two men charged with the bombing of the Boston Marathon.

FBI officials have given conflicting accounts of the questioning and killing of Todashev, who knew Tamerlan Tsarnaev through Mixed Martial Arts fighting. Todashev, who, like the Tsarnaevs, was Chechen, lived in Boston for a time before moving to Florida. Agents from the FBI traveled to Florida to question Todashev repeatedly about the bombing.

“Last week while being questioned again in Florida,” said Maddow, “something went very, very wrong and he ended up dead.”

Law enforcement officials were interviewing Todashev in his apartment in Orlando on Wednesday, May 22, when something occurred that resulted in the young man being shot multiple times.

On Thursday, Todashev’s family held a press conference in Moscow, where they showed autopsie photos of their slain son. Ibragim Todashev was shot six times in the torso and once in the back of the head.

“We have not been able to authenticate these photos,” said Maddow. “No one has.”

But, she said, if they are genuine, “something weird is going on.”

“How does that comport with the FBI’s story that he was killed during questioning by armed agents who were only acting in self defense?” she asked. “Shot seven times, including in the back of the head?”

Todashev was questioned because of a possible connection to a bizarre 2011 murder in Waltham, Massachusetts in which three men were found with their throats cut, covered in marijuana, with $5,000 in cash untouched nearby. Law enforcement officials theorize now that Tamerlan Tsarnaev may have murdered the men with the help of some other person or persons.

“That cold case got hot again” after the marathon bombing, Maddow said. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was close friends with one of the victims, but, after his murder, Tsarnaev declined to attend his friend’s funeral.

After Todashev was shot during questioning, Maddow said, law enforcement officials “leaked an elaborate story” that purported to justify the killing. The officials also claimed that Todashev had implicated himself in the Waltham murders prior to being shot. They said that just before the man was about to sign a confession, he snapped, and “lunged at the interrogator with a blade.”

“That initial story has fallen apart,” Maddow said. Within 12 hours of the shooting, two of the three law enforcement officials who were talking to the media about the case changed their story, saying they were no longer sure whether Todashev had a knife.

Now, multiple sources have come forward to papers like the Washington Post to say that, in fact, Todashev was unarmed. NBC News reported on Thursday that Todashev may have been brandishing some kind of “metal rod.”

“So they shot him seven times?” Maddow asked, “Including in the back of the head?” She added that no one actually knows right now if that was the actual number of gunshot wounds on Todashev’s body since officials will neither confirm nor deny that the post-autopsy photos are accurate.

“What we’re left with here is a baffling mess and a story that does not make sense,” she said.

 

Rachel Maddow – Formerly fringe conspiracy theorists find voice in congressional GOP

When I saw this show last night I had hoped that the You Tube video would be available online so that I could share Rachel’s genius for explaining anything with wit and intelligence beyond any newscaster on TV today.

This particular opening segment of the Rachel Maddow Show expounds on my Think Progress post from a couple of days ago…

Democratic Underground

Rachel Maddow Picks Up Grammy Nomination For Best Spoken Word Album

Rachel Maddow

Unlike the subject in the previous post, Rachel Maddow is a well respected “truth-teller” who people from all sides of the political spectrum admire…

The Huffington Post

Rachel Maddow was nominated for a Grammy Award. The nominations wereannounced on Wednesday.

Maddow was nominated for Best Spoken Word Album with her book, “Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power.” She shares the category nomination with Ellen DeGeneres, Bill Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama.

A number of politicians have been nominated and subsequently won Grammy Awards in this category before. President Barack Obama won in 2008 with his book “The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream.” He also won in 2006 with his book “Dreams From My Father.”

Clinton picked up the prestigious award one year earlier—in 2005—with his book “My Life.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also won in this category in 1997 with her book “It Takes A Village.”

The 2013 Grammy Awards will take place on Feb. 10 on CBS.

Rachel Maddow – Romney’s willingness to say anything makes integrity an issue

This video from The Rachel Maddow Show is priceless, from beginning to end.  I really like the way Rachel dissects Right Wing “bull-pucky” as Rachel would say.

H/t: Democratic Underground

Rachel Maddow – Romney unmoved to change ad despite fact-check smackdown

I enjoyed this segment of The Rachel Maddow Show, last night.  In fact I enjoyed it so much I just had to share it with you.

The gist of the segment:  Rachel caught Mitt Romney in a bold-faced lie the day he went to Solyndra  to discuss President Obama’s involvement with the now defunct company.

Now, to the video…