Rachel Maddow

Rand Paul To MSNBC: When Your Network Stops Lying, Then We Can Chat

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MSNBC Screenshot

Most GOP lawmakers avoid MSNBC like the plague.

I have my issues with MSNBC in general but Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow represent the best of that network.  Notice that Rand Paul went on a program from MSNBC’s afternoon lineup which happens to include several anchors one of which is the daughter of a former GOP politico.

Therefore, I suspect Rand Paul means Hayes, Maddow and O’Donnell.  Those three have a “no holds barred” approach to their network broadcasts.  By the way, it’s a known fact that virtually all GOPers stay away from anything resembling “truth”.   Just sayin’…

TPM LiveWire

In the interview on “The Cycle,” host Ari Melber probed Paul to discuss his apparent change of heart on the Civil Rights Act. Melber brought up the senator’s comments from 2010 in which he said he would have modified the act’s rules for private businesses. Paul responded to Melber by saying that he had always been in support of the act and that MSNBC had treated him unfairly.

“I learned my lesson: To come on MSNBC and have a philosophical discussion, the liberals will come out of the woodwork and go crazy and say you’re against the Civil Rights Act, and you’re some terrible racist. And I take great objection to that,” Paul said.

Paul went on to say he took “great offense” to people skewing his viewpoint, saying he was the biggest advocate in Congress for getting back people’s voting rights and “mak[ing] the criminal justice system fair.”

“The honest discussion of it would be that I never was opposed to the Civil Rights Act,” Paul interrupted as Melber continued to push for discussion on the senator’s past comments. “And when your network does 24-hour news telling the truth, then maybe we can get somewhere with the discussion.”

Watch the interview via MSNBC here…

‘Unimaginable’: Rachel Maddow catches Rand Paul flip-flopping on the Civil Rights Act

Rachel Maddow 070214 [MSNBC] | Screenshot

The Raw Story

Four years after awkwardly skirting questions about the Civil Rights Act, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow said on Wednesday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) was suddenly happy to honor its 50th anniversary.

“Here’s Rand Paul, celebrating that law that he says, eh, he’s not sure he could have voted for,” Maddow said, displaying a statement posted on Paul’s website. “Today he says, ‘It is simply unimaginable to think what modern America would be like if not for’ that law to which he used to admit he was opposed. Now he’s its biggest champion. The word ‘unimaginable’ is exactly the right word here.”

The statement, Maddow said, was released in conjunction with Paul’s appearance at an event in Shelbyville, Kentucky, honoring a family of local activists, during which he “sang the praises” of not only people involved in the Civil Rights Movement, but the legislation itself.

“I don’t mean to be raining on the parade,” Maddow said. “But I have to point out that this does mark something of a shift in Rand Paul’s position on this legislation.”

Specifically, Maddow brought up their May 2010 interview, during which Paul — at that point still a senatorial candidate — said that while he agreed with nine of the ten provisions of the law, he would have tried to modify Title II, which prohibited private businesses from discriminating on the basis of race.

“What it gets into then is if you decide that restaurants are publicly owned and not privately owned, then do you say that you should have the right to bring your gun into a restaurant even though the owner of the restaurant says ‘well no, we don’t want to have guns in here,’ the bar says ‘we don’t want to have guns in here because people might drink and start fighting and shoot each-other,’” Paul said at the time. “Does the owner of the restaurant own his restaurant? Or does the government own his restaurant? These are important philosophical debates but not a very practical discussion.”

“Well, it was pretty practical to the people who had the life nearly beaten out of them trying to desegregate Walgreen’s lunch counters despite these esoteric debates about what it means about ownership,” Maddow responded. “This is not a hypothetical, Dr. Paul.”

As the Washington Post reported last year, Paul has subsequently argued that it was a “mischaracterization” of his position to say he questioned the Civil Rights Act, an argument Maddow has rebuked.

Watch Maddow’s commentary, as aired on Wednesday, HERE

Maddow: Today was a bad day for governors who want to be president someday

govs

Governors Scott Walker of Wisconsin, former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer and Chris Christie of New Jersey

The Raw Story

Rachel Maddow crossed the aisle Thursday night, pointing out that today was not a very good day for three governors — two Republicans, one a Democrat — who have their eyes on the White House prize in the very near future.

Governors Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Chris Christie of New Jersey, and former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer all began the day with bad news and, as Maddow explained, “They kind of made the bad news themselves.”

Starting with Gov. Walker, who must first get re-elected in his state before making a run for the presidency, Maddow pointed ou that his day started off poorly when newly released data showed the state of Wisconsin 37th in job creation.

“Scott Walker, of course, ran as the guy who was going to create jobs in Wisconsin,” she explained. “When you make something the central point of why you’re running for office, being bad at that specific thing ends up being a really big political liability.”

Walker’s day grew worse when previously sealed documents revealed he is at the center of what prosecutors are calling a “sweeping criminal scheme.”

Maddow added that this is part of an investigation into political shenanigans that has been going on for sometime, but now the public knows about it.

“There it is all over the news today, all over Wisconsin, all over the country, in black and white: ‘Prosecutors say Gov. Scott Walker part of criminal scheme.’”

Maddow then moved onto New Jersey Gov Chris Christie, referring to a report in the Wall Street Journal last week stating that federal prosecutors had impaneled a new  special grand jury just to handle Christie corruption cases.

Today Esquire revealed that sources say four staffers and appointees of Christie are likely looking at indictments being handed down.

“After what the Wall Street Journal said last week, and what Esquire magazine said today,” Maddow said. “Well, that made for bad day in the news for governor  who wants to be president number two.”

Maddow then turned to Schweitzer who did the damage to himself in an interview with the National Journal titled, ‘The Gonzo Option.’

“The article was just posted  today, Brian Schweitzer has already apologized for the things he said to the the reporter in this article,” Maddow explained. “But what he said to the reporter in this article is not the thing that an apology usually makes go away.”

Maddow pointed out that Schweitzer compared Sen. Dianne Feinstein to a streetwalker,  said his ‘gaydar’ told him Coingressman Eric Cantor was gay, and added that southern men sound ‘effeminate.’

“Governor Brian Schweitzer, again, has apologized for these remarks. He called them ‘stupid and insensitive.’ He said he is deeply sorry he said these these things, but you know, even just the Dianne Feinstein  comments alone,… is there really a deeply sorry, deep enough?”

Watch the video on The Rachel Maddow Show

Rachel Maddow Hammers Media For Booking Iraq War Hawks Who Got Things So Wrong

Rachel Maddow criticizes right-wing media for searching for bad news in an arrest in the Benghazi attacks, and American media broadly for re-engaging so-called experts on Iraq with terrible track records, and Congress for not taking its role seriously.

The Huffington Post

Rachel Maddow hammered her fellow members of the media on her Tuesday show for their continual booking of a series of Iraq War architects and cheerleaders to comment on the country’s current crisis.

Everyone from Bush administration official Paul Wolfowitz to disgraced former New York Times reporter Judith Miller has been trotted out across various networks to give their opinion about what should be done to combat the militant group ISIS. Maddow was clearly less-than-pleased by this.

“It is very frustrating to see that this is the way that we handle debates about foreign policy in this country,” she said. “We take people who were so, provably, terribly wrong and bring them back and treat them like experts on the very subject they were wrong about. It is maddening.”

Luckily, she had a solution:

“Hey Sunday shows! Hey op-ed pages! Hey cable news! Hey everybody! We know you are tempted to keep booking these yahoos on these subjects, but if you keep turning to the people who were famously wrong about Iraq to ask them about what to do about Iraq, you at least will be laughed at. And you will be embarrassed that you did this. And you will eventually have to apologize or at least explain yourself for why you thought Bill Kristol should be explaining what to do now. We can see what you’re doing, and it’s funny, but not in a good way.”

See Rachel’s video segment on MSNBC here…

Rachel Maddow Presents New Chris Christie Bridge Scandal Theory

Rachel Maddow discussing a new theory on why “Bridgegate” happened 1-9-2014

Did anyone see this on The Rachel Maddow Show last night.  Rachel, who was the first in the national media to break this story, just might be on to something…

The Huffington Post

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Thursday presented a new theory why New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) may have wanted to close George Washington Bridge lanes — a festering feud between the governor and Democrats over state Supreme Court nominees.

As the story stands, Christie’s deputy chief of staff called for George Washington Bridge access lane closures that created a massive traffic jam in Fort Lee for four days in September — a move that many have written off as political retribution for Democratic Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich’s refusal to endorse the Republican governor’s reelection.

Maddow on Thursday presented an alternate theory, saying Sokolich’s endorsement “wasn’t that important.” Instead, she suggested the political payback was motivated by a tiff between New Jersey state Senate Democrats and the governor.

Maddow took viewers back to 2010, when Christie declined to reappoint a New Jersey Supreme Court justice, John E. Wallace Jr., for another term. The move left state Senate Democrats “absolutely outraged,” Maddow explained, and they refused to confirm any Christie’s nominees for Wallace’s seat.

“It’s been a big political crisis in New Jersey,” Maddow said.

By last August, Supreme Court Justice Helen Hoens, a Republican, was up for renomination. When state Senate Democrats signaled they would challenge Christie’s nomination, the governor said he wouldn’t renominate Hoens.

“I simply could not be party to the destruction of Helen Hoens’s professional reputation,” Christie said during an August press conference. “I was not going to let her loose to the animals.”

“That was an angry Chris Christie,” Maddow said. “So angry that he was doing something almost unprecedented in New Jersey: Yanking the tenure of a state Supreme Court justice, who he liked! That was an angry Chris Christie, furious with Senate Dems at a hastily called press conference that took place late in the day on Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2013.”

As Maddow pointed out, the press conference was the evening before Christie’s deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, sent an email requesting “traffic problems in Fort Lee” to David Wildstein, one of Christie’s top aides at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the bridge.

What’s more, Fort Lee is represented by Sen. Loretta Weinberg, the state Senate Democratic leader.

“Roughly 12 hours after Gov. Christie blows up at the Senate Democrats and torpedoes the career of a Supreme Court justice who he likes … the leader of those ‘animals’ in the Senate sees her district get the order of destruction from Gov. Christie’s deputy chief of staff,” Maddow concluded.

“Or maybe it was about that endorsement. Until someone who knows the actual truth about this speaks, it remains a wide-open question.”

Christie on Thursday denied any involvement in the bridge closing, blaming his staff.

See the extraordinary presentation on MSNBC…

Conservatives Claim Rachel Maddow Not Sarah Palin Got Martin Bashir Fired From MSNBC

If conservatives are spreading this conspiracy, then it’s definitely not true

PoliticusUSA

There is new conservative conspiracy floating around that claims Rachel Maddow is really running MSNBC, and that Maddow got Martin Bashir fired.

National Review Online reported,

Few, though, suspect that Harris-Perry will suffer the same fate as her less fortunate colleagues, and MSNBC declined to comment on the matter. That’s because Harris-Perry is part of Maddow’s in-crowd, the liberal, wonkish elite now ascendant at MSNBC. Photo of Rachel Maddow with her dog.

Sources say it is Maddow rather than Phil Griffin who provides MSNBC’s editorial direction, and that she also holds considerable sway over personnel decisions. “I know I’m never going to get freakin’ talking points from Phil,” Maddow told The New Yorker last year. “Can you imagine? Like, what would they be?”

Behind her back, colleagues call her “the queen,” a not so subtle suggestion that Maddow gets what Maddow wants. And what she wants is a network filled with young wonks such as Chris Hayes, Ezra Klein, Alex Wagner, and Harris-Perry, whose highbrow intellectualism can, she hopes, push the Democratic party, and the country, to the left. On Twitter, Harris-Perry’s show proudly uses the hashtag #nerdland. Alex Wagner’s move to the 4 p.m. hour, where Bashir’s show once aired, has Maddow’s fingerprints on it.

Griffin, who came of age as a sports producer at CNN and then as a booker on the Today show, is, according to a former colleague, “utterly non-ideological.” “He makes decisions,” says the former colleague, “based on 30-day trailing numbers” and lacks a strategic vision. Maddow, who came aboard in 2008, has filled the ideological void. “Alec Baldwin and Martin were outliers; they weren’t part of her inner circle,” says a television insider. “Bashir’s contract was up, he was twisting in the wind when this happened, and he was out of sync with Rachel’s ideology.

Maddow responded with a strong denial of the claims in the story, “This is categorically false. I have never had any role in any management decision at MSNBC. Any source who says otherwise is wrong.”

The NRO piece was based the premise that Maddow is the secret powerful ideologue who is really running the show at MSNBC. The story made a lot of claims that were not backed up with named sources, and was generally consumed by baseless speculation. The point of the article was to blame Maddow for all of MSNBC’s recent problems. Much of the article quoted unnamed sources, but the most unbelievable claim was that Maddow let Martin Bashir get fired/resigned from MSNBC.

The underlying point appeared to be that Sarah Palin didn’t get Bashir fired. Rachel Maddow did. Sarah Palin had nothing to do with Bashir’s departure. According to NRO, Maddow deserves the blame. If Bashir had been in Maddow’s inner circle, he would not have lost his job. In this tall tale, Sarah Palin was an innocent victim of Rachel Maddow’s quest to transform America with an ideological wonk army.

Maddow is the new progressive monster under the bed for conservatives. She is apparently all powerful, and out to transform America into a liberal utopia. Don’t believe the lamestream media, Republicans. Sarah Palin and her racist agenda aren’t the problem. The real threats to the American way of life are Rachel Maddow and MSNBC.

Video: DNC asks if Chris Christie was behind closure of lanes to George Washington Bridge

I’ve been watching Rachel Maddow’s reports on the brewing political scandal in New Jersey. Those reports have piqued my interest.  Therefore,  from time to time I’ll be posting updates on the current “mini-scandal” and where it leads…

NJ.com

Video Courtesy of DemRapidResponse

The Democratic National Committee this morning released a web video asking if “Chris Christie’s political payback” was behind the closure of lanes to the world’s busiest bridge on the first day of school in Fort Lee.

The two-minute spot, “Chris Christie’s Bridge Scandal Explained,” suggests an official connected to the governor at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey ordered up the traffic mess to punish the town’s mayor for failing to endorse Christie’s re-election bid.

The DNC video calls the agency’s director of interstate capital projects, David Wildstein, “Christie’s high school friend.” Last week Wildstein submitted his resignation, saying he’s leaving the agency earlier than planned because the lane closure snafu had become a distraction. The governor has said he had nothing to do with the lane closure.

Assemblyman John Wisniewski on Thursday subpoenaed Port Authoritydocuments from seven officials, including Wildstein and Executive Director Bill Baroni, who has said the lane closures were part of a traffic study. The study has yet to surface.

The final frame of the video says, “New Jerseyans deserve answers.”

Rachel Maddow – Right-wing rejects Mandela’s hero status

Maddown Up All Night via screencap

Rachel Maddow 12-11-2013 (Screencap)

The Raw Story

No matter how bad it seems for Democrats right now, said Rachel Maddow on her show Wednesday night, it’s worse for Republicans. In spite of the fact that the Obamacare roll-out was messy, the Republican Party right now is being roiled in an intense internecine civil war that is keeping the party completely paralyzed.

This week the U.S. Senate is having all-night sessions as the Republicans attempt to slow down voting on a clutch of President Barack Obama’s judicial nominees.

“None of them are controversial,” Maddow said. “All of them are likely to be confirmed when their nomination comes up for a vote. But, Republicans have decided they’re going to take a really long time to do that.”

And, she added, the Republicans won’t get anything out of this political stunt that they wouldn’t get if they did nothing at all. The slowdown of voting is purely symbolic.

Senate Republicans are protesting the Democrats’ decision three weeks ago to dispense with the normal two-thirds’ majority needed for presidential nominations. Instead, now they only need a simple majority, action Democrats took in response to constant abuse of the filibuster by the GOP.

At the time of the vote, Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell told Democrats, “You’ll regret this.”

Now, payback appears to be coming in the form of Republicans staying up past their bedtime.

“This is Mitch McConnell’s big idea?” Maddow asked.

“This was the Democrats’ whole idea,” she said, “to try to make clear that the Republicans are abusing the filibuster.”

“It’s amazing, it’s like he was hired by Democratic bloggers to illustrate what’s wrong with Republicans in the Senate right now,” she marveled.

But that’s nothing compared to what’s happening in the House of Representatives.

“If there is one thing to take more pleasure in than your opponent’s outraged display of his own impotence in defeat,” Maddow said, “it’s got to be the spectacle of your opponent being driven to his knees by infighting on his own side.”

In the House, “open warfare” has broken out between tea party Republicans and Republican Party stalwarts like Reps. John Boehner (R-OH) and Paul Ryan (R-WI), who are entering into a tentative budget deal with House Democrats.

This has outraged right-wing publications and pundits, who see any deal with Democrats as treachery and a danger to America.

Politico quoted Senate Conservatives Fund executive Director Matt Hoskins as saying, “John Boehner has apparently decided to join Mitch McConnell in the war on conservatives. McConnell called us fringe traitors who should be locked in a bar and punched in the nose, and now Boehner is lashing out at us too. Conservatives everywhere need to understand that the party’s leadership has declared war on them. If they don’t fight back, they will always regret it. We’re going to hang together or hang separately.”

All but cackling with delight, Maddow said, “Covering politics doesn’t get any better than this.”

Watch the video, embedded below:

Via MSNBC – The Rachel Maddow Show

 

Online, a digital trove of JFK material

Tour guide Dorothy Kennedy looked over a display at JFK Library

In honor of the 50th anniversary of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s assassination, Rachel Maddow spoke of the following links on her show last night.  As promised, she posted them on her blog and I’m re-posting them here.

The Rachel Maddow Blog

For you to peruse and process at your own pace, here are some of the JFK archival materials Rachel referenced this evening on the air, including the exceptionally rare footage unearthed from the NBC archives by Hardball producers earlier this week (above).

In the video below, conductor Erich Leinsdorf breaks the news of Kennedy’s assassination to the audience of the regular Friday afternoon Boston Symphony Orchestra concert at Symphony Hall.

And here is Time Magazine’s interview with William Shisler, the Boston Symphony Orchestra librarian and one of the only remaining witnesses to the event.

Parts 1 and 2 of Lady Bird Johnson’s Audio Diary for November 22, 1963.

…and the transcript with her handwritten notes. (pdf)

The LBJ phone call with Sen. Richard Russell, November 29, 1963, in which the president pushes Russell to participate in the special commission to investigate Kennedy’s assassination. (mp3)

The newly digitized Warren Report (77.45MB pdf)

Senator Paul and the disappearing transcripts

MSNBC – Michael Yarvitz

As examples of his plagiarizing from Wikipedia and other sources pile up, Rand Paul’s Senate office now appears to have started scrubbing his Senate website to make it harder to get the text of his speeches.

The screen grab below shows what it used to look like if you went to his website to watch his “State of the Union” response, containing the block of text plagiarized from an Associated Press article. You could follow along with the transcript of the speech typed out below. You can see the page says, “Below is a video and transcript of his speech.”

That full transcript was still up as of October 14, according to Google’s cache of the page. Now it’s gone. “Below is a video  of his speech,” the page reads. So, yes, you could transcribe the video yourself if you want to search for whether the words he used came from someone else, but Rand Paul’s office won’t make it so easy for you anymore.