Lawrence O’Donnell To Host MSNBC 10PM Show

This information pleases me a lot. 

Lawrence O’Donnell is undoubtedly qualified for his own MSNBC show.  I have sung the praises of this man for some time.  

Perhaps I’m a bit biased because he produced and authored some of my favorite shows on my all-time favorite television show, the now defunct The West Wing.

Huffington Post

Lawrence O’Donnell will host the 10PM hour on MSNBC, the network announced Tuesday.

O’Donnell will develop a show to round-out the network’s primetime lineup; currently, a repeat of the 8PM show, “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” airs in the 10PM timeslot, after “The Rachel Maddow Show.”

“Lawrence O’Donnell is an incredible talent, who our audience has gotten to know throughout the years, most recently as Keith Olbermann’s principal guest host on ‘Countdown,'” MSNBC President Phil Griffin said in the announcement. “It’s great to have another anchor of his caliber on the network,” said Griffin. “This makes us a bigger and better network.”

“I’ve had a part-time job at MSNBC for 14 years,” O’Donnell, who has been an MSNBC political analyst since the network launched in 1996, added. “Now that the network and I have gotten to know each other, I’m thrilled to be going full time.”

MSNBC put its search for a 10PM host on indefinite hold in March 2009. At that time, Griffin told the Associated Press:

“We’re not going to mess with it until we see where it levels off. It places the burden, if we are going to put a show there, (for it) to be a big show because the repeat of `Countdown’ is doing so well.”

In an interview with Variety in April, O’Donnell said that he considered MSNBC a “hobby, no matter how many hours of the day I spend here.”

He also pointed out the difference between cable news ratings and the ratings on network TV shows, such as “West Wing,” which he produced and wrote:

At MSNBC, people treat with great seriousness ratings fluctuations roughly equal to “the number of people who would go to the bathroom during a ‘West Wing’ episode,” as O’Donnell wryly puts it.

The new O’Donnell show will bump back the “Countdown” repeat to 11PM; Maddow will repeat at midnight, and O’Donnell will repeat at 1AM.

O’Donnell also contributes to the Huffington Post.

Watch O’Donnell in action:

O’Donnell is a man who is not afraid to confront  GOP leaders and their subordinates who tout lies  from day to day on news programs and political talk radio. 

It’s rare to see a Democrat with that “in your face” bravado.  Kudos to Lawrence O’Donnell.  Plus he did some fine work as a Producer and Director  on my favorite TV show of all time:  The West Wing.  Look at the video below and see what I mean:

Keith Olberman interviews O’Donnell to get the REAL story behind O’Donnell’s outrage:

Rand Paul adopts Palin’s media strategy, instructs reporter to submit questions in writing.

The hypocrisy, deception and frankly, lack of intellect from some of those wing-nuts is  un-friggin-believable!

Think Progress

Before becoming the Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Kentucky, Rand Paul welcomed questions and inquiries from the press. But after a tide of criticism for his belief that private businesses should have the right to discriminate based on race and physical ability, Paul restructured his staff and brought on National Republican Senatorial Committee help. Since the new leadership within the campaign, Paul has canceled on Meet the Press and refused to speak to non-ideological media, preferring the safe platform of Fox News. Last weekend, after a speech to Republican activists in the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Paul balked at the prospect of talking to local reporter Ryan Alessi. Paul instead instructed Alessi to “submit your questions to us and we’ll look at them”:

ALESSI: Would you vote for the extension of the Medicaid reimbursement increase that the governors, at least thirty governors want?

PAUL: Why don’t you submit your questions to us and we’ll look at them.

ALESSI: You’re not going to answer any questions in person?

Paul seems to be taking a page from other prominent conservative firebrands like Sarah Palin and Sharron Angle. Palin has refused to take direct questions from actual journalists, and she has a stipulation in her speaking contract that questions must be screened before audience members can ask her anything. Angle closed her campaign to only conservative media after winning the Republican nomination in Nevada. Since winning the Republican nomination, Paul has not only become less open, but has flipped on his position that he would not fund raise with Senators who voted for the bank bailout. (HT: Joe Sonka)

Wikileaks Founder Has Massacre Video?

Daily Beast

Julian Assange, who Pentagon investigators fear may soon release State Dept. secrets, denies having them—but says he’s readying video of a deadly U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan.

After several days underground, the founder of the secretive website Wikileaks has gone public to disclose that he is preparing to release a classified Pentagon video of a U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan last year that left as many as 140 civilians dead, most of them children and teenagers.

In an email obtained by The Daily Beast that was sent to Wikileaks supporters in the United States Tuesday, Julian Assange, the website’s Australian-born founder, also defends a 22-year-old Army intelligence specialist who is now under arrest in Kuwait on charges that he leaked classified Pentagon combat videos, as well as 260,000 State Department cables, to Wikileaks.

“Mr. Manning allegedly also sent us 260,000 classified US Department cables, reporting on the actions of US Embassy’s [sic] engaging in abusive actions all over the world,” Assange said in an email. “We have denied the allegation, but the US government is acting as if the allegation is true.”

American officials have said they are eager to determine the whereabouts of Assange, who canceled an appearance last Friday in Las Vegas, to discourage him from releasing any more classified information on his website, which is nominally based in Sweden and promotes itself as a global resource for whistleblowers. As recently as two weeks ago, Assange, who first gained global notoriety as a computer hacker, was in his native Australia.

In April, his website posted a copy of a classified Pentagon video of a 2007 American helicopter attack in Baghdad in which a dozen people were killed; that video is also believed to have been leaked by the Army intelligence analyst, Specialist Bradley Manning of Potomac, Maryland.

While denying again that Wikileaks has the State Department cables, Assange acknowledges in the email today that he is in custody of the May 2009 video that shows the airstrike on the Afghan village of Garani, believed to be the most lethal combat strike in Afghanistan—in terms of civilian deaths—since the United States invaded the country in 2001. Assange writes that “we are still working on” preparations for release of the video of “the Garani massacre.”

The State Department and Pentagon did not immediately comment on Assange’s email message.  Continue reading…

Beck predicts post-9/11 style ‘pat downs’ at gas stations

 What is it with people like Beck, Hannity, O’Reilly and even congressman Steve King (R-IA)? They seem to say the craziest things that are so distorted from the truth, yet their low-information viewers believe every word they say.  That’s the really sad part.  As I mentioned in numerous posts in the past, it’s like we’re living the movie, Idiocracy

Crooks & Liars 

President Barack Obama has said that in the same way that 9/11 changed the U.S. view of foreign policy, the BP oil spill will change the way people think about the environment. Fox News’ Glenn Beck translated this to mean that customers would receive a figurative “pat down” before being able to buy gas.  

“That’s what he said with 9/11, when he compared 9/11, he didn’t mean the tragedy. What he meant was you’re gonna take the proverbial shoes and belt off and get a pat down every time you go to the gas station. I mean, when you go to the gas station now, the — what were his words? Gas prices or energy prices will necessarily skyrocket. Your sacrifice is coming,” Beck said on Fox & Friends Tuesday.  

John Amato:  

Glenn Beck is setting up another scenario of “Whiplash Politics” that David and I describe in our new book. He’s whipping up his followers and getting them prepped to be as disruptive at a gas station as you possibly could be with his fearmongering monologues if indeed prices do go up. He’s preaching to his faithful flock and antagonizing them needlessly so they can fear the New World Order takeover by Obama.  

Jon Stewart On Alvin Greene: Most Sens. ‘Don’t Sexually Harass College Girls Until They’re Elected’ (VIDEO) | TPM LiveWire

Jon Stewart was not convinced last night that Alvin Greene was a plant by the Republicans to win the Democratic primary in South Carolina. “Y’all voted for him!” he exclaimed. “This is the political equivalent of running yourself a warm bath, falling asleep next to it with your hand in the tub, wetting yourself, and then blaming the Republicans.” 

Stewart added that he thinks Greene is qualified to be Senator, though “most senators don’t sexually harass college girls until they’re elected.” 


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Help Not Wanted: BP rejects expert volunteers.

BP should go down in history as the most inept oil company on the face of the planet…bar none!

Think Progress

BP has rejected the help of thousands of volunteers, many with expert training and experience in handling offshore oil disasters and oil spill cleanup. Yesterday, MSNBC’s Chuck Todd interviewed Don Abrams of, who collected the names of nearly 8,000 volunteers in the first weeks after BP’s Deepwater Horizon explosion, and tried repeatedly to contribute their expertise to mitigating this national disaster. Many of the volunteers Abrams had organized have certification in the federal government’s official Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard (HAZWOPER), and were ready and able to train others:

On May 13, we turned over a list of about a hundred highly qualified people to BP, including people with two to three decades of offshore oil experience, people with experience in spill clean ups, people who are HAZWOPER instructors. As of about two days ago, I contacted about half of those people, and none of them have been contacted by BP.

Abrams explained that he has turned over his list to state agencies and local non-profit organizations, after BP failed to respond. The Center for American Progress recommends that the government, not BP, run the volunteer hotlines and cleanup efforts. “People actually just want to be called to service,” Center for American Progress fellow Van Jones said on Sunday. “‘What are we supposed to do, Mr. President? And we will do it.’ That’s what’s missing.”

Rachel Maddow Blasts BP COO Doug Suttles: ‘Not Even Remotely Believable’ Answers In Interview #VIDEO#

Rachel holds no punches with this guy… 

Huffington Post 

Rachel Maddow blasted BP COO Doug Suttles Monday night for what she found were highly misleading and inaccurate responses during an interview Suttles gave to NBC’s Tom Costello. 

Maddow had two main issues with the interview: 1. Suttles’ explanation for why BP included animals such as walruses –which are typically not found in the region– in a list of potentially endangered animals in BP’s oil spill plan for the Gulf of Mexico; and 2. Suttles’ attempt to defend the lack of technological innovation when it came to responding to spills by arguing that there had been “so few big spills” over the past few decades. 

“The events haven’t driven the technology change that’s out there,” Suttles told Costello. 

Maddow called Suttles’ explanation of the walrus mistake “not even a remotely believable answer.” In response to his defense of the technology, she went to a board with a map of the United States on it and ran through a long list of oil spills that had occurred in the 2000s alone. She highlighted over a dozen of them, ranging from Massachusetts to Delaware to Louisiana to Alaska to California to Utah, and contradicting Suttles’ claim that there have been too few spills to force the technology to catch up. 


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David Petraeus COLLAPSES During Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing (VIDEO)

Huffington Post

Gen. David Petraeus appeared to pass out Tuesday morning during a Senate hearing, but revived after a few seconds and left the room under his own power. 

Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Petraeus, 57, had finished answering a question by Sen. John McCain. McCain was responding when the senator stopped talking suddenly and aides began crowding around Petraeus. 

Petraeus rose without assistance and was then escorted quickly out of the room. His spokesman could not be immediately reached. 

Petraeus is the commander of U.S. Central Command. He was testifying on the war in Afghanistan. 

Petraeus is now back in the hearing room. 

 Watch the live webcast of the hearing. 

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Obama Primetime BP Address: HuffPost Preview

Huffington Post

President Obama will hit at least five major points during his prime time address from the Oval Office on Tuesday evening, a senior administration officials tells the Huffington Post. But the main focus and strongest emphasis will be on the administration’s battle plan for containing and cleaning up the oil and the need to make investments in clean energy going forward.

Addressing the oil spill crisis in the Gulf, Obama will start his roughly 20-minute speech with reflections from the last two days he spent touring sites along the coast. From there he will lay out in specifics what his administration has done so far in terms of response, cleanup, and institutional reform.

Eight Federal Buildings In Seven Cities Evacuated Over Envelopes With White Powder

Huffington Post

SEATTLE – Envelopes with white powder were found Monday in eight federal buildings in seven different cities across Washington, Idaho and Utah, prompting the evacuation of an IRS building and a U.S. attorney’s office, FBI officials said.

The FBI is investigating whether the incidents were linked. Special Agent Frederick Gutt said it would be “logical” that they would be.

“It is obviously disruptive and taken seriously,” he said.

No injuries were reported. Field tests of the Idaho and Utah powders indicate they were not hazardous, said FBI spokeswoman Debbie Dujanovic Bertram in Salt Lake City.

A field test on the powder found in Bellevue, Wash., showed its major component was calcium carbonate, a compound found in such items as chalk and limestone, Bellevue Fire Department Lt. Eric Keenan said.

Additional lab tests on all samples were pending.

In Washington, envelopes were found at a federal building in Seattle, Internal Revenue Service offices in Bellevue, and an FBI office in Spokane, Wash., Gutt said.

Envelopes were found at four spots in Idaho – the U.S. attorney’s office and an FBI office in Coeur d’Alene, an FBI office in Pocatello and the U.S. attorney’s office in Boise – as well as at the Salt Lake City FBI office, Bertram said.

In Bellevue, police evacuated the IRS building soon after an employee in the criminal investigations department opened a letter with the powdery substance Monday afternoon, police Officer Carla Iafrate said.

The employee was taken to Overlake Hospital in Bellevue as a precaution, Iafrate said.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Boise also was evacuated as a precaution.

Gutt did not immediately return a phone message Monday night asking about field test results on the other powder samples found in Washington state.