Rachel Maddow

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


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…


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.


In Rand Paul’s Mind Rachel Maddow Is a Hater Because She Demands Honesty and Facts



Sen. Rand Paul responded to Rachel Maddow busting him twice for plagiarizing from Wikipedia by calling her a hater, but it is really Paul who hates Maddow’s standards for honesty and facts.

Paul responded to getting busted by Maddow for plagiarizing from Wikipedia by claiming that it wasn’t plagiarism, because he never claimed that the movie was his work. Sen. Paul then called the MSNBC host a hater, “This is really about information and attacks coming from haters. The person who is leading this attack, she’s been spreading hate on me for about three years now, and I don’t intend for it to go away. But, I also don’t see her as an objective news source.”

Maddow replied to Paul, “This is about you lifting other people’s words verbatim and pretending that they’re your own. This is about you lifting entire sections of a website, inserting them into your own speeches, and then passing them off as your own original thoughts. This is something that high school students know not to do, and you are presenting yourself as a potential candidate for president. This has nothing to do with me…Senator. somebody else’s published words ended up in your speech with attribution. How did that happen? Do you understand that that is a problem?” Maddow described Paul’s explanation as incoherent, and said that she had a feeling that this might not be the end of it.

Rachel Maddow is right. Rand Paul is a serial plagiarist. She has the facts on her side. Rand Paul embodies the Republicans of today, who dispute every fact. In Republican terms, an objective news source is Fox News, or Drudge, or Rush Limbaugh. Unless the allegation came from conservative media, it has no merit. It’s just haters being haters.

Republicans now live in a post reality world, where there are no facts. If a Republican elected officials needs some facts, they make some up. If the media tries to call them out, they scream liberal bias for as loud and as long as they can. If there are no realities and no facts, there can be no honesty. The fast way to lose a game with no rules is to be honest. Honesty gets punished in the Republican Party. Mitt Romney became the Republican nominee in 2012 because he demonstrated a willingness to say anything to anyone at any time in order to get elected.

Republicans see all of us who demand honesty and facts as haters.

Since there is no longer a shared agreement on right and wrong, we should all probably sit back and wait for Sen. Ted Cruz to deliver his I have a dream speech about defunding Obamacare sometime soon.

Morning Maddow

., speaks with reporters at Mul's Diner in Boston on Dec. 28, 2011.

Former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass

The Rachel Maddow Blog

Obamacare number: the feds have made 330,000 subsidy calculations. (Washington Post)

Hawaii legislature meets in special session today to vote on marriage equality. (Time)

A Texas judge is expected to rule on a challenge to part of the state’s new abortion law. (AP)

San. Rand Paul will try to convince Virginia libertarians to vote for Ken Cuccinelli today. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Fmr. Sen. Scott Brown registers a PAC in New Hampshire. (Concord Monitor)

Syria submits chemical weapons destruction plan. (The Hill)

Ellis Island reopens today, a year after Superstorm Sandy. (NY Daily News)

Rachel Maddow Sums Up The Shutdown In One Incredible Graphic

“Through this process, Republicans said they would shut down the government, or, once it was shut down, they would refuse to open the government unless they got each one of these things. Of all of these things that they demanded, they got none of them! None…these have been sixteen bad days for the country and the economy.”


Chris Matthews Nails It: “It’s Hatred,” Not Politics Behind Strong GOP Opposition to President Obama

I’m certain some readers are tired of hearing about this and I apologize for any redundancy.  This entire fiasco is scary as hell and needs to be on the front pages of every newspaper and blog until America says to the Tea Party” “ENOUGH!”

Forward Progressives

Something I (as well as many other liberals) have been saying for years was plainlystated by Chris Matthews on the Rachel Maddow Show last night.  Matthews didn’t hold back when he said it was “hatred,” not politics, that’s fueling such intense opposition to President Obama.

And it’s the truth.  While Democrats and Republicans have always bickered, I’ve never seen such a level of vile hatred as I have since President Obama was elected in 2008.  It’s just blind, unwavering disdain for a man many Republicans can’t even list five factual statements about.

Living in Texas, I can’t count the times I’ve heard negative comments against the president.  Not intellectual comments based on some kind of factual information, but comments made from sheer ignorance and misinformation.  And the kicker is, when you make these people aware that what they believe isn’t actually true—they simply don’t care.

It’s like a saying I’ve heard quite a few times since Barack Obama became president — “Republicans hate Obama more than they love America.”  Now, it’s up for debate whether or not they actually love America.  I maintain they love a version of the United States they wished existed but doesn’t—but that’s a topic for another article.

But I really do feel that these people hate President Obama to such an irrational level that they would rather see this country burn to the ground if it meant they got to oppose something he supports.  They don’t care about facts or reality, they hate Obama.

And that’s all that seems to matter.

Oh, the government was shut down for a pointless reason?  Who cares.  We hate Obama.

The United States might default on its debt, causing possible economic catastrophe which might hurt the lives of millions of Americans?  Who cares.  We hate Obama.

Hell, I remember when we killed Osama bin Ladin — even at a point which should have been apolitical, many of them quickly went into “Obama deserves no credit” mode to oppose giving him any credit.  Some basically said that since he didn’t pull the trigger, he didn’t deserve any credit for anything.  Even at a point where our country finally got the most wanted man in the world, Republicans found a way to try to attack Obama.

I really feel that if President Obama ran into a burning building to save 25 orphans, Republicans would find a way to attack him for trying to put firefighters out of business, or some other asinine response.

Where does this hatred come from?  Well, undoubtedly it comes from the fact that he’s half black.  Sure, Republicans will fight tooth and nail to claim that his race has nothing to do with their hatred toward him, but they’re full of crap.

I live in Texas, I see the racism constantly.  I can’t count how many times I’ve heard President Obama called some kind of derogatory name for African Americans.  Now, I’m not saying all Republicans who oppose President Obama are racists, but I do believe a large part of the opposition to him (especially from the tea party) has to do with his race.

Another area where I think this blind hatred comes from is the right-wing media machine which specializes in creating irrational fear and paranoia about whatever they wish to attack.  Republicans might not be good at many things, but they are masters at propaganda and pushing a simple, and consistent, message to their voters.  If Fox News is pushing it, I can almost assuredly expect to see my Republicans friends repeating those same talking points very soon.  Whatever the right-wing media tells them to think or do, they follow.

And that’s how we get to where we are now.  Millions of Americans with such an intense hatred for one man that no amount of facts, reality, common sense or logic will change their minds on anything.

Because like Chris Matthews said, it’s no longer about politics.  It’s about a pure, unwavering “hatred” of President Obama.

I really believe many of these Republicans would rather see this country reduced to ashes rather than get behind anything the president supports.