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E.g., 9/16/2014
E.g., 9/16/2014
A fighter of the ISIL holds a flag and a weapon on a street in Mosul

ISIS targets evolution in Iraqi schools

09/16/14 08:30AM

Islamic State is not just a roving band of lunatics; it strives to be a relatively well organized band of lunatics. When it controls an area, the terrorist group's leaders try to collect taxes and create some semblance of local civic administration, including directing traffic.
 
In other words, ISIS, when it's not indiscriminately killing people, has governing ambitions.
 
And to that end, the Associated Press reported yesterday on ISIS terrorists taking a keen interest in the curricula of schools in Mosul.
The extremist-held Iraqi city of Mosul is set to usher in a new school year. But unlike years past, there will be no art or music. Classes about history, literature and Christianity have been "permanently annulled."
 
The Islamic State group has declared patriotic songs blasphemous and ordered that certain pictures be torn out of textbooks.
This is not the first time. In parts of Syria under ISIS control, the group has banned philosophy and chemistry.
 
In Mosul, ISIS issued a statement nearly two weeks ago, declaring "good news of the establishment of the Islamic State Education Diwan by the caliph who seeks to eliminate ignorance, to spread religious sciences and to fight the decayed curriculum."
 
The AP report added that Islamic State explicitly prohibits lessons on "Charles Darwin's theory of evolution."
 
As it turns out, Iraqi schools weren't teaching evolution anyway, but in the name of "eliminating ignorance," ISIS wants to be absolutely certain that modern biology is banned from science classes. The violent extremists prefer "religious sciences."
Democratic Legislators Hold News Conference To Urge Congress To Pass The Paycheck Fairness Act

Senate GOP again kills measure on pay equity for women

09/16/14 08:00AM

Senate Democrats have brought up the Paycheck Fairness Act three times over three Congresses. In each instance, the Senate Republican minority killed the proposal, though last week offered a little something different.
 
Last Wednesday, on a procedural vote to advance a debate on the Paycheck Fairness Act, 19 Senate Republicans broke ranks and voted to end their party's filibuster, which is 19 more GOP votes than the Paycheck Fairness Act has ever received. A sign of possible progress?
 
Apparently not. As msnbc's Irin Carmon reported last night:
Senate Republicans did it again: They blocked a measure backed by President Barack Obama that would have strengthened equal pay protections for women. Counting procedural votes, it's the fourth time Republicans have voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act since 2012.
 
The only surprise was that they gave Democrats the political fodder of allowing another vote to proceed on the bill -- and that the GOP did so in a midterm election year when women voters are one major key to obtaining and retaining control of the Senate and House.
The final roll call is online here. Note that while 19 Senate Republicans voted with Democrats on a procedural step last week, literally zero GOP senators supported the Paycheck Fairness Act yesterday afternoon.
 
The apparent contradiction is easy to explain: Republicans voted to extend debate on the bill last week, not because they supported it, but because they were trying to waste time, eating up the clock on the Senate's limited pre-election schedule. If the GOP had killed the measure quickly, it would have meant moving on to something else Republicans don't like, so they dragged out the fight on the Paycheck Fairness Act, simply because they could.

Movement on ISIS and other headlines

09/16/14 07:56AM

Top GOP leaders moving quickly to approve Obama's Syria plans. (Washington Post)

Obama to announce up to 3,000 U.S. troops to fight ebola in Africa. (NBC News)

In a preemptive push, House Democrats unveil new Benghazi site. (Washington Post)

Kansas Supreme Court to decide whether to let the Democrat take his name off of the Senate ballot. (KSN-TV)

Wisconsin election officials scramble on voter ID. (AP)

The Boston Globe digs deep on where the White House gets its coffee--and whether the President drinks it. (Boston Globe)

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Deal-making trend emerges in three-way races

Deal-making an apparent trend in three-party races

09/15/14 10:47PM

Rachel Maddow reports on the possibility of a new trend in U.S. elections this year (including Alaska, Kansas, and maybe soon Maine) in which Democrats and Independents in three-way races unite against the Republican candidate to ensure Republican defeat. watch

For Senate, one handbook to rule them all

For Senate, one handbook to rule them all

09/15/14 10:36PM

Rachel Maddow reports on the publication by USA Today of the U.S. Senate handbook, full of the bureaucratic rules that keep the Senate running, from where to acquire office plants to how to select telephone on-hold music. watch

NFL abuse policy devoid of rhyme or reason

NFL abuse policy devoid of rhyme or reason

09/15/14 10:30PM

Shira Springer, sports enterprise reporter for the Boston Globe, talks with Rachel Maddow about the difficulty NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is having producing an acceptable response to the abuse scandals that plague his league. watch

Ahead on the 9/15/14 Maddow show

09/15/14 07:04PM

Tonight's guests:

  • Andrew Bacevich, retired U.S. Army colonel, Boston University professor, author and historian
  • Shira Springer, sports enterprise reporter for the Boston Globe

After the jump, executive producer Cory Gnazzo gives a preview of tonight's show read more

Monday's Mini-Report, 9.15.14

09/15/14 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:
 
* Awkward diplomacy: "Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday that the Obama administration would keep the door open to confidential communications with Iran on the security crisis in Iraq, despite sarcastic criticism from Iran's supreme leader, who said the American plan for bombing Islamic militants, their common enemy, was absurd."
 
* NATO: "The pledge of 26 foreign ministers in Paris today to combat the self-declared Islamic State with 'all means necessary' gives an important boost to the international efforts to dismantle the militant group that is imposing its will on large parts of Syria and Iraq."
 
* Climate crisis: "This past August was the warmest since records began in 1881, according to new data released by NASA. The latest readings continue a series of record or near-record breaking months. May of this year was also the warmest in recorded history."
 
* A White House petition for a proposed "Mike Brown Law," which would requires "all state, county, and local police to wear a camera," received enough signatures to guarantee a formal reply. Roy L. Austin, Jr., the Deputy Assistant to the President for the Office of Urban Affairs, published a response over the weekend.
 
* Decades later: "Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie G. Adkins stood ramrod straight on Monday as President Obama draped the Medal of Honor around his neck at the White House. It had been nearly five decades since he led Special Forces soldiers through a bloody ordeal that spanned a week in March 1966, but he still wore a crisp Army uniform, and saluted after receiving the nation's top award for combat valor. Adkins, 80, was one of two Vietnam War soldiers awarded the Medal of Honor in a ceremony at the White House."
 
* Look for more on this fun one on tonight's show: "The U.S. Senate has for years lived by a secret book of rules that governs everything from how many sheets of paper and potted plants each Senate office is allotted to when Senators can use taxpayer money to charter planes or boats. The document has never been available to the public -- until now."
 
* GM: "General Motors Co will pay compensation for 19 deaths linked to a faulty ignition switch, according to the lawyer overseeing the process, more than the 13 deaths the automaker had previously admitted [to] were caused by the now recalled part."
 
* More on this tomorrow: "No matter what the electorate decides in seven weeks, Obama has already succeeded in his bid to refashion the bench -- and the nuclear option has played a significant role."

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