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E.g., 9/22/2014
A man throws an earth balloon into the air as people fill 58th Street between 8th and 9th Avenue before a global warming march in New York Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. (Photo by Mel Evans/AP)

Forcing the climate crisis into the spotlight

09/22/14 08:30AM

It was just a few years ago that even modest gatherings of Tea Party activists were considered important political news. With that in mind, when over 300,000 activists march together to demand action on the climate crisis, it deserves to be considered a big deal.
 
MSNBC's Ned Resnikoff and Amanda Sakuma reported yesterday from what organizers described as "the largest mobilization against climate change in the history of the planet."
Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators of all ages and from around the world turned out for the massive People's Climate March Sunday, filling the streets of midtown Manhattan with demands for global leaders take action to avert catastrophic climate change.
 
Crowds gathered with banners, flags and floats around Columbus Circle late Sunday morning as music and chants rang out at the start of the march. At exactly 12:58 p.m., demonstrators held a moment of silence in honor of the victims of climate change, followed by a cacophony of noise with drums, cheers and horns to sound the alarm to the crisis.
Though local law enforcement did not release an official estimate on the crowd size, event organizers said the march drew more than 300,000 demonstrators.
 
The gathering coincided with new data from the Global Carbon Project, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, that emissions jumped in 2013 to record levels, including a 2.9% increase in the United States, despite modest declines in recent years. The New York Times' report on the new figures noted that if global temperatures "continue on their present course through the century, scientists say, the earth could warm by as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit above the preindustrial level, which would likely be incompatible with human civilization in its current form."
 
But yesterday's march, timed to coincide with the start of a United Nations climate change summit in New York City, was not the only evidence of a societal shift. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund will announce this morning that it's joining the fossil-fuel divestment movement.
 
That's no small development -- the Rockefeller Brothers Fund was created in part by wealth generated by John D. Rockefeller and Standard Oil.
Kris Kobach

Kobach's ballot 'disclaimer' worsens Kansas' circus

09/22/14 08:00AM

As of late Friday afternoon, the procedural nuttiness that has plagued Kansas U.S. Senate race appeared to have run its course. The state Supreme Court had ruled that Democrat Chad Taylor could, in fact, remove his name from the statewide ballot, creating a one-on-one match-up pitting Sen. Pat Roberts (R) against Greg Orman (I)..
 
What's more, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R), who oversees state elections and just happens to be part of Roberts' re-election campaign committee, appeared to be in retreat, directing officials to begin mailing ballots -- as mandated by federal law -- to Kansans voting from overseas without a Democratic candidate, as per Democrats' wishes.
 
There was, however, a catch. Kobach, who's making no real effort to hide his brazen partisanship, continues to make unprecedented moves, turning Kansas' race into a circus with no modern parallel. From the Wichita Eagle over the weekend:
Secretary of State Kris Kobach has not given up his position that Democrats must appoint a replacement for Chad Taylor. He says overseas voters may have to cast a second ballot later.
 
The 526 ballots to be mailed by Saturday to overseas civilians and military personnel include a disclaimer that new ballots will be printed if a court forces Democrats to name a replacement candidate.
 
Some ballots from Johnson County went out Thursday with Taylor's name. They were amended Friday.
As Rachel put it on Friday's show in reference to events in Kansas, "[T]he political process in one U.S. state today fell completely apart."
 
Kobach's disclaimer alone belongs in some kind of Hall of Shame.

Bridgegate probe ongoing and other headlines

09/22/14 07:57AM

Prosecutors press on with Bridge probe tied to Chris Christie's office. (Wall Street Journal)

Rick Perry cites death of Joan Rivers in defense of Texas' restrictive abortion law. (New York Magazine)

Afghan presidential rivals finally agree on a power-sharing deal. (NY Times)

Purported new message from ISIS. (NBC News)

Police find an AK-47-style weapon belonging to suspected killer at large in the woods. (Scranton Times-Tribune)

Oil-heirs Rockefellers to divest their charity from fossil fuels. (NY Times)

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Saluting Scotland with a Cocktail Moment: Cameron's Kick

09/21/14 10:04PM

(Adapted from the 9/19 show transcript.)

In honor of Scotland doing the two most newsworthy things it could conceivably do and doing them both on the same day, and as a congratulations to UK Prime Minister David Cameron who could have lost his job as prime minister if the Scottish independence vote had gone the other way, here's how you make a classic drink called the Cameron's Kick.

I think we've made it once before, but it's perfect for this occasion.

It uses two kinds of whiskey, one from Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK: We're using an ounce of Bushmills delicious blended Irish whiskey.

And we're also using an ounce of a different kind of whiskey, from someplace else that is also (and still!) part of the UK: Famous Grouse is a nice blended Scotch whiskey.

So you have an ounce each of Irish and Scotch whiskeys.

Then you want a half ounce of fresh lemon juice.

And then -here's the kicker- it's the crazy French thing. It's almond syrup, which you can get more places than you'd think. The French call it orgeat. And since Mary Queen of Scots was raised in France and spoke French, when you add a half ounce of French orgeat almond syrup to this drink, you're still being very Scottish.

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Televangelist Pat Robertson makes his way to his seat in the bleachers for the  inauguration of Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Saturday Jan. 16, 2010.

This Week in God, 9.20.14

09/20/14 09:02AM

First up from the God Machine this week is an update to a story we've been following involving the U.S. Air Force and a religious oath as a precondition to military service.
 
To briefly recap for those new to the story, the Pentagon requires servicemen and women sign an oath for re-enlistment, which concludes, "So help me God." In the Army and Navy, Americans have the discretion to omit those final four words without penalty, but the Air Force has made it mandatory.
 
An airman was recently told he would be excluded from military service, regardless of his qualifications, unless he does as the Air Force requires and swears an oath to God. Faced with a likely lawsuit, the Air Force backed down this week and made the oath optional.
 
Some in the religious right movement really aren't pleased.
Televangelist Pat Robertson says it's "crazy" that the U.S. Air Force will now allow servicemen and women to omit the words "so help me God" from official oaths.
 
"What is wrong with the Air Force?" he beseeched viewers on the Christian Broadcasting Network's "The 700 Club" on Thursday.
The TV preacher seemed especially incensed by Military Religious Freedom Foundation President Mikey Weinstein for pushing the issue.
 
"There's a left-wing radical named Mikey Weinstein who has got a group about people against religion or whatever he calls it, and he has just terrorized the armed forces," Robertson said. "You think you're supposed to be tough, you're supposed to defend us, and you got one little Jewish radical who is scaring the pants off of you."
 
The televangelist added, "You want these guys flying the airplanes to defend us when you got one little guy terrorizing them? That's what it amounts to.… How can [the Air Force] fly the bombers to defend us if they cave to one little guy?"
 
For what it's worth, the Air Force didn't "cave" to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation; it instead chose to stick to the U.S. Constitution, which mandates "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."
 
Also from the God Machine this week:
Absentee Congress no help as ISIS war deepens

Absentee Congress no help as ISIS war deepens

09/19/14 11:03PM

Anne Gearan, Washington Post diplomatic correspondent, talks with Rachel Maddow about how the U.S. war on ISIS will progress absent Congress for six weeks, and what to expect when they return, given the apparent lack of concern for foreign affairs. watch

Cynicism seen in NFL response to abuse outcry

Cynicism seen in NFL response to abuse outcry

09/19/14 10:55PM

William Rhoden, New York Times sports columnist, talks with Rachel Maddow about the calculated way in which the NFL is addressing the outrage over a series of domestic violence cases, catering to constituencies instead of acting according to a moral code. watch

US jets scrambled to intercept Russian planes

US jets scrambled to intercept Russian planes

09/19/14 10:36PM

Rachel Maddow reports on Russian President Vladimir Putin's ambitions to build a separate internet, how sanctions on Russia have upended a major Russian oil deal with Exxon, and U.S. jets sent to intercept six Russian planes near the coast of Alaska. watch

Ahead on the 9/19/14 Maddow show

09/19/14 07:10PM

Tonight's guests:

  • Anne Gearan, Washington Post diplomatic correspondent
  • William Rhoden, New York Times sports columnist

Here's executive producer Cory Gnazzo with a preview of what we've got coming...

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