The Rachel Maddow Show Weekdays at 9PM

Help

... more Duration: {{video.duration.momentjs}}

Rachel Maddow StoriesRSS

select from:

E.g., 8/23/2016
E.g., 8/23/2016

Tuesday's Mini-Report, 8.23.16

08/23/16 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:
 
* Louisiana: "President Obama met with survivors in flooded Louisiana Tuesday, touring a hard-hit Baton Rouge suburb strewn with debris and rubble. 'Sometimes when these kinds of things happen, it can seem like too much to bear. But what I want the people of Louisiana to know is you're not alone, even after the TV cameras leave,' Obama said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon after walking through destroyed homes and shaking hands with residents."
 
* Afghanistan: "A U.S. service member was killed after their patrol triggered an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan Tuesday, officials said. Another American service member and six Afghan soldiers were wounded in the blast, near the city of Lashkar Gar, in Helmand Province, according to a U.S. military statement."
 
* A big step backward in Ohio: "The state got permission again to shorten early voting and eliminate the so-called 'Golden Week' that allowed people to register and vote early at the same time. In a 2-1 ruling, a panel for the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday reversed a lower court's decision."
 
* The news was better for voting advocates in Wisconsin: "On Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit refused to block a lower court decision invalidating large chunks of Wisconsin's Republican-sponsored voting restrictions. The ruling effectively ensures that Wisconsin's most burdensome new voting laws will not be in effect during the 2016 election, unless the Supreme Court intervenes -- an extremely remote possibility."
 
* An important trip: "Vice President Joe Biden promised a U.S. response to any act of Russian aggression in Europe and told Baltic leaders on Tuesday to ignore Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's dismissive comments about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization."
 
* Guantanamo: "After 14 years of detention, Abu Zubaydah, the suspected terrorist brutally tortured after his capture in 2002, appeared for the first time at a Guantanamo Bay hearing on Tuesday morning and said he should be released because he posed no threat."
 
* Central Africa: "Secretary of State John F. Kerry on Monday condemned a recent outburst of violence in South Sudan as 'tragic and in some cases even reprehensible,' and said the United States would not automatically continue to provide humanitarian support for the country unless its leaders commit to peace."
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the Republican Jewish Coalition Presidential Forum in Washington, Dec. 3, 2015.

Trying to unwrap Trump's immigration position

08/23/16 01:07PM

Over the weekend, some of Donald Trump's top staffers and advisers made some comments that suggested the Republican was hedging on his hardline immigration views. It quickly became clear that the candidate himself would have to address the issue and clarify where he stands.
 
And in theory, that'd be helpful, but in practice, the GOP nominee spoke at some length to Fox News' Bill O'Reilly last night, and his on-air comments seemed to raise as many questions as they answered.
 
The host asked at the outset, for example, "Are you really rethinking your mass deportation strategy?" Trump replied, somewhat cryptically, "I just want to follow the law."  He then changed the subject.
 
The host pressed further, and according to the Nexis transcript, here's Trump explaining his current position:
"We are going to obey the existing laws. Now the existing laws are very strong. The existing laws, the first thing we are going to do if and when I win, is we are going to get rid of all of the bad ones. We have got gang members, we have killers. We have a lot of bad people that have to get out of this country.
 
"We are going to get them out. And the police know who they are. They are known by law enforcement who they are. We don't do anything. They go around killing people and hurting people. And they are going to be out of this country so fast your head will spin. We have existing laws that will allow to you do that as far as everybody else, we are going to go through the process. What people don't know is that Obama got tremendous numbers of people out of the country. Bush the same thing. Lots of people were brought out of the country with the existing laws. Well, I'm going to do the same thing and I just said that."
I've seen quite a bit of analysis of this, and I'm still not entirely sure what to make of it. Trump seemed to suggest he'd prioritize enforcement against undocumented immigrants who commit violent felonies, but if so, that'd put him in line with President Obama's position.
 
Indeed, note that while Trump said "we don't do anything" about deporting dangerous people, the Republican added moments later that President Obama has already deported a "tremendous" number of felons.
 
As for "the process" other undocumented immigrants would have to "go through," Trump hasn't explained in detail exactly what that process might look like.

Tuesday's Campaign Round-Up, 8.23.16

08/23/16 12:00PM

Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
 
* The latest NBC News/SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll shows Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump nationally by eight points, 50% to 42%. That's a slight change from her nine-point advantage in the same poll a week ago.
 
* While addressing the issue of election "poll watchers" at an event in Ohio last night, Trump told supporters, "[W]hen I say 'watch,' you know what I'm talking about, right? You know what I'm talking about. I think you gotta go out and you gotta watch."
 
* Republican mega-donor Robert Mercer is intervening in Arizona's GOP Senate primary, hoping to boost Kelli Ward in her race against Sen. John McCain with a six-figure investment. The primary is a week from today, but early voting is already underway in the state.
 
* In Ohio, the latest Monmouth University poll shows Clinton leading Trump in the Buckeye State, 43% to 39%, with Libertarian Gary Johnson garnering 10%.
 
* The same poll found incumbent Sen. Rob Portman (R) in good shape against former Gov. Ted Strickland (D), 48% to 40%.
 
* It's a bit of an outlier, but a new Roanoke College Poll shows Clinton with a 19-point lead over Trump in Virginia, 55% to 36%. With third-party candidates in the mix, the Democrat's lead shrinks to a still-dominant 16 points.
 
* The Associated Press researched the social media accounts of Trump's paid campaign staffers and found that they've written "Muslims are unfit to be U.S. citizens, ridiculed Mexican accents, called for Secretary of State John Kerry to be hanged and stated their readiness for a possible civil war."
 
* James Glassman, a former State Department official in the Bush/Cheney administration, and the founder of the George W. Bush Institute, yesterday became the latest high-profile Republican to announce his support for Clinton's presidential candidacy.
Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., speaks with reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Dec. 11, 2014. (Photo by J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Bachmann boasts of role as Trump adviser on multiple issues

08/23/16 11:00AM

Michele Bachmann may no longer be in Congress, but that doesn't mean she's withdrawn from the arena. On the contrary, to hear the far-right Minnesotan tell it, she has a role in the Republican presidential campaign as a policy adviser to Donald Trump.
Tea Party firebrand Michele Bachmann says she is advising Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on foreign policy.
 
The former Minnesota congresswoman attended a fundraiser in the state for Trump on Saturday, where she revealed to the press that she has his ear on foreign policy.
"[Trump] recognizes there is a threat around the world, not just here in Minnesota, of radical Islam," Bachmann told Minnesota Public Radio.
 
If this sounds vaguely familiar, there's a good reason: Bachmann was already identified as a Trump adviser in June, when the Republican nominee announced the creation of an "executive board convened to provide advisory support to Mr. Trump on those issues important to Evangelicals and other people of faith in America."
 
The name at the top of the alphabetical list: Michele Bachmann.
Law enforcement officers, including a sniper perched atop an armored vehicle, watch as demonstrators protest the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Mo.

Trump eager to return military equipment to police departments

08/23/16 10:00AM

The violent crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, two years ago rattled the country in a variety of ways, but one of the lasting debates focused on the militarization of local law enforcement. Many Americans weren't just shocked by the unrest; they were surprised to see police officers carrying weapons of war while confronting civilians.
 
Soon after, there was considerable interest on Capitol Hill about reforming the Pentagon's "1033" program that makes military equipment available to police departments. Though most of the support for changes was spearheaded by Democrats -- Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) were particularly invested -- even some Republican lawmakers agreed it was time to take another look at the policy.
 
Congressional action never materialized, but as we discussed last year, the Obama administration followed through, banning the transfer of at least some types of military weapons to local police.
 
As Bloomberg Politics reported yesterday, Donald Trump wants to undo what President Obama has done.
Police union members in Ohio today quizzed Donald Trump about protective gear, saying President Obama has banned practice of sales of surplus military equipment to police department.
 
Trump says he would resume such sales, saying "Yes, I would. I think it's ridiculous" the practice was stopped.
Keep in mind, under the White House's reforms, items like grenade launchers are no longer made available to local police departments. NBC News' reported last May that if local departments "want other, less-imposing military equipment, local law enforcement agencies will have to submit to stringent federal oversight and restrictions."
A voting booth awaits voters at the Dr. Martin Luther King Community Center on the morning of U.S. presidential election in Racine, Wisconsin November 6, 2012. (Photo by Sara Stathas/Reuters)

GOP convinces its base about illusory 'voter fraud' scourge

08/23/16 09:00AM

Can a misleading debate cause widespread public confusion? Of course it can. Take this Gallup report, released yesterday, for example.
The survey ... asked Americans about their general concern that ineligible voters would cast votes.... Americans are fairly split on their degree of concern about votes being cast by people who, by law, are not eligible to vote. More than a third view it as a major problem (36%), while nearly as many view it as either a minor problem (32%) or not a problem at all (29%).
 
A majority of Republicans (52%) perceive voter fraud as a major problem, which is reflected in the policy stances of many GOP state governors. By contrast, just 26% of Democrats expect ineligible persons voting to be a major problem this year. Southerners (42%) are more likely than those in other regions to view it as a major problem. The South is the most Republican region in the country, and the only region where some variation of a voter ID law is in effect in every state.
In general, I don't much blame Republican voters for getting this wrong. Instead, I blame GOP leaders who've convinced rank-and-file voters to believe something that isn't true.
 
Because as a practical matter, Republicans have been told so many times over the years about the scourge of widespread "voter fraud" -- by GOP officials and prominent media conservatives -- that much of the public is bound to believe that there's a legitimate problem affecting the outcome of elections.
 
Except, there isn't. Objective evidence makes clear that this "fraud" hardly exists, doesn't affect elections, and remains a made-up problem in search of unnecessary solutions. Republican leaders see electoral value in imposing new voting restrictions that help give the GOP an edge, and to justify these hurdles, they have to manufacture a crisis that's largely imaginary.
 
The result is another installment in the "reality gap" file.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, Aug. 18, 2016,  in Charlotte, NC. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

Trump sees foreign 'war zones' as safer than US cities

08/23/16 08:00AM

Donald Trump's newfound interest in reaching out to African-American voters is off to a bumpy start, but last night in Akron, Ohio, he expanded his message a bit.
 
Hoping to make the case that the status quo is untenable, the Republican presidential candidate insisted that current crime levels have reached a level "nobody's seen." Trump added, "You can go to war zones in countries that we're fighting and it's safer than living in some of our inner cities."
 
But, Trump said moments later, if he's elected, all of these concerns will simply go away. From the transcript pulled together by CBS News' Sopan Deb:
"I will straighten it out. I'll bring jobs back. We'll bring spirit back. We'll get rid of the crime. You'll be able to walk down the street without getting shot. Right now, you walk down the street, you get shot. Look at the statistics."
This echoes the themes and fears the Republican nominee emphasized during his convention speech last month, but if one takes the candidate's advice and "look at the statistics," it becomes clear that Trump has no idea what he's talking about.

Pages

About The Rachel Maddow Show

Launched in 2008, “The Rachel Maddow Show” follows the machinations of policy making in America, from local political activism to international diplomacy. Rachel Maddow looks past the distractions of political theater and stunts and focuses on the legislative proposals and policies that shape American life - as well as the people making and influencing those policies and their ultimate outcome, intended or otherwise.

MaddowBlog_Appendix_logo

#Maddow

Latest Book