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Kirk Douglas: More than just an older guy at the Oscars

02/28/11 06:21PM

Let me finish tonight with an important figure at last night's Academy Awards.Kirk Douglas gave the award last night for supporting actress.  At 94, it was unusual for a fellow his age to be out there on stage on what is always a youth-dominated Oscar night, especially this year when ABC made such an obvious effort with Anne Hathaway and James Franco to get the targeted demographic to watch.So let me tell you about this fellow Kirk Douglas: First of all, he's always been a politically involved middle-of-the-road Democrat.  I remember him up there with Lyndon Johnson and Danny Thomas at the 196 read more

Psy-ops: 'Manchurian Candidate'?

02/24/11 07:07PM

Let me finish tonight with this story of stealth and intrigue uncovered by Rolling Stone. I don't know about you, but it makes me think of the "Manchurian Candidate,"  that great movie about an American serviceman captured and brainwashed by the North Koreans, then returned to the United States as an assassin.That's the movie.  In this real-life story, it's the American military that's brain washing our own.  The people in uniform are supposed to be taking their orders from the civilians. read more

Where are the right's leaders? Behind the mic

02/23/11 05:12PM

Let me finish tonight with a stunning development on the right.If you haven't noticed, the real power vortexes on the right are not the elected public officials or even candidates.  People who have to win majorities are no longer the leaders.  The leaders are the people behind the mike, the people in the radio booths, the people who have to connect with a fringe as long as it is an excitable fringe.Here's what I'm talking about.  Here's U.S. read more

Rules for America: How to deal with overseas revolutions

02/22/11 06:49PM

Let me finish tonight with handy American rules for dealing with overseas revolutions.One, always be on the side with nationalism.   Always, always back the people fighting against oppression by another country.                        In 1954, we got on the wrong side of nationalism in the Vietnam war.   We had backed the French when they fought Ho Chi Minh to maintain their rule there in the early 1950s - and took up the fight against Ho when the fight shifted to the south.   However, in 1957, Senator Jack Kennedy spoke out on behalf of the Algerians fighting the French.  It was a daring move read more

'President of the World': Why Clinton is unmatched

02/18/11 05:19PM

Let me finish tonight with this big documentary coming Monday night. Normally on Hardball we look at the passing news and try and make a judgment. We get people on to talk about what just happened that day and get to what the fight's all about. Often as not, you can figure out where I'm coming from. Sometimes I'm trying to get more information like you are before bottom-lining the issue.On Monday night we'll move beyond the daily or weekly or even current news to what I'm convinced is a really big *news* story that just about everyone seems to have missed. read more

Tea Partiers, Dems broke pork bellies

02/17/11 04:46PM

Let me finish tonight with some good news. What makes politics fascinating - and what makes government work - is the unexpected common ground - when two different points of view merge.Like when the Tea Party folks get together with the liberals.I was going over the roll call of late yesterday's vote on those fighter engines the ones that are made in John Boehner's congressional district, the Pentagon says it doesn't need. Fascinating. read more

Time has come for Iraq hearings

02/16/11 05:15PM

Let me finish tonight with a call to arms.  I want everyone watching to call your United States senator and ask him or her to support hearings into the corrupt, bogus, downright unpatriotic way this country was marched to war eight years ago.  Here's the number for the Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121.We now know from the Secretary of Defense's own hand that there were no nuclear weapons in Iraq, no production facility to make them, no evidence of any purchases of such weapons, no attempt to buy such weapons.  Nada.This being case, why are 4400 Americans dead?  Why were 100,000 Iraqis killed? read more

Republicans looking to attack Obama, not find a leader

02/15/11 07:07PM

Let me finish tonight with this unbelievable presidential campaign about to get underway.Watching President Obama today explaining and defending his budget - both the substance and the politics - I was struck by the question: could any of the possible Republican candidates out there do this?  Does anyone of them have the precision of mind, the command of recall, the orderly process of thinking and evaluating, the reasonable moral compass?You can play this game, too.  Think it through. read more

Matthews: Egyptian revolution 'about people'

02/11/11 05:21PM

Let me finish tonight with a feeling.For those of us who care about politics, "this" today in Egypt is what we care about.It's about people - people who think and care - taking a hand in their country's destiny.It will not always be pure or perfect.  People are not always alert or smart or even good in their intentions.But in the ancient land of Egypt, the fall of Mubarak today is the result of an alert, smart and good people. read more

Bill Clinton is 'president of the world' for a reason

02/09/11 04:53PM

Let me finish tonight with our historic documentary on President Clinton.It's been an extraordinary undertaking on our part but, to be honest, no more or less extraordinary than the subject.Other American presidents have done things after leaving office, but nothing on this level or with this planetary scope. We call this documentary "President of the World" for a reason.  Bill Clinton has taken the prestige of his time in office, his relationships with other heads of state and forged something never known before: a global force for good.  He is fighting AIDs in Africa, the devastation of floo read more

Glenn Beck, merchant of fear

02/07/11 05:42PM

Let me finish tonight with Glenn Beck. It appears he's getting his scripts from the John Birch Society.Here's what editor William Kristol just wrote in the conservative/ neo-conservative magazine, The Weekly Standard."Hysteria is not a sign of health. When Glenn Beck rants about the caliphate taking over the Middle East from Morocco to the Philippines, and lists - invents? - the connections between the caliphate-promoters and the American left, he brings to mind no one as much as Robert Welch and the John Birch Society. read more

Matthews criticizes, praises Reagan's legacy

02/04/11 05:18PM

Let me finish tonight in what I believe is an important statement on the Presidency of Ronald Reagan.I should start with a pair of complaints.I think the stewardship of this planet is vital - literally  - to the living things upon it - that includes us.  Since we are the only thinking beings on it, we have the innate duty to protect it.  I don't think Ronald Reagan took that duty to heart.  It got in the way of his belief of unbound free enterprise.  Honestly, I don't see how we can call "free" enterprises that destroy the very environment in which such freedom lives.I also don't think Reagan read more

Beck's Egypt rants are 'from nut country'

02/03/11 05:51PM

Let me finish tonight with this country's own version of deranged politics. We've come to think of the rhetoric that comes out the Mideast as incessantly, wildly over the top.  People shout "death to this" and "death to that."  It's never "I happen to disagree with that gent" or "Maybe we're looking at this thing differently."  It's always this guy's the devil and I've god the truth of god on my side.We shouldn't be so arrogant on this score. read more

Trust but verify Bachmann's slavery statements

01/31/11 05:31PM

Let me finish tonight by putting the cap on a story that was running by us last week.  It concerns the evil of slavery.Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who's making forays into presidential politics, which will definitely add to the color of the competition, told a group in Iowa recently that our country's "founders … worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States. read more