Rachel Maddow points out that Senator Bernie Sanders did not use the traditional "acclamation" line in his nomination of Hillary Clinton for president. Steve Kornacki explains how history will record that detail. watch
An MSNBC panel discusses the historic nature of Hillary Clinton's nomination for women, the United States, and the world, and the relative tardiness of the U.S. in nominating a woman with the final electoral hurdle yet to be passed. watch
Dottie Deans, chair of the Vermont Democratic delegation, tells Jacob Soboroff about what happened behind the scenes before Senator Bernie Sanders arrived in the Vermont booth on the floor of the Democratic National Convention to nominate Hillary Clinton for president. watch
* With 19 dead, this was Japan's worst mass killing since World War II: "A mass stabbing at a center for people with disabilities outside Tokyo on Tuesday shocked Japan, where violent crimes are extremely rare. A former employee who had expressed strong views about euthanizing disabled people returned to the facility with a bag of knives at around 2 a.m., methodically slitting the throats of patients as they slept."
* France: "Two attackers backing the Islamic State -- including one on a watch list -- stormed a village church in northern France during Mass on Tuesday, taking hostages and slitting the throat of an 85-year-old priest before police commandos shot and killed the assailants, authorities said."
* Also in France: "Two more people have been arrested in connection with the Nice attacker who killed 84 people in the French Riviera city of Nice on July 14, sources close to the investigation told Reuters on Tuesday."
* Long overdue: "The Food and Drug Administration, under pressure from Democrats in Congress, started official reconsideration on Tuesday of its policy limiting blood donations from gay and bisexual men."
* Guantanamo: "A former ballet dancer and member of the Russian military who has been imprisoned as an enemy combatant at Guantanamo for nearly 14 years was given notice Monday that a review board has approved his release from the U.S. base in Cuba."
* That's quite a wildfire: "The effort to control the raging Sand fire in the Santa Clarita Valley mountains has drawn firefighters and emergency crews in the hills toward Acton. So far, the fire has burned 37,473 acres. A total of 3,048 firefighters are battling the blaze, according to the U.S. Forest Service. The wildfire prompted the evacuation of at least 10,000 homes, although late Monday, officials allowed most evacuees to return to their homes."
* Good news on the Zika front: "The number of new Zika infections in Colombia is falling so fast that government health officials declared an end to the outbreak Monday, saying the epidemic phase of the virus's spread was over."
Bernie Sanders has faced criticism, some of it fair, for creating more intra-party tensions than necessary in recent months. His detractors, however, should give the Vermont senator credit now for doing precisely what Democrats hoped to see him do.
There will be plenty of debate about whether or not he's too late and why he didn't take constructive steps sooner, but as NBC News reported today, Sanders isn't on board with the disruptive tactics of his most ardent backers.
The Bernie or Bust movement appears to have been busted by Bernie.... As if making up for lost time, [Sen. Bernie Sanders] crisscrossed a sprawling hotel and convention center complex downtown to take the message from his speech directly to individual state delegations.
From New York to Wisconsin to Iowa to California to Florida to Montana to Alaska, his message to the delegates was the same: The only way for his supporters to continue what they started is to elect Clinton and stop Donald Trump.
Not surprisingly, this message wasn't well received among his backers in the California delegation, some of whom adopted far-right Republican mantras as their own yesterday, but the senator, again to his credit, didn't placate them.
"It's easy to boo," Sanders said. "But it is harder to look your kids in the face who will be living under a Donald Trump presidency."
And what about his supporters who may be thinking about throwing their support to third-party candidates who stand no realistic chance of winning the presidency? Sanders was specifically asked this morning at a Bloomberg Politics breakfast about the Green Party's Jill Stein.
It is the political scandal to which all others are compared. It's the only scandal to force a sitting American president to resign in disgrace. It's the scandal that has led so many of us to quickly add the "-gate" suffix to practically every new controversy that arises, political or not.
It's Watergate, which ended Richard Nixon's presidency, led to 40 criminal indictments against government officials, and did lasting harm to how Americans think about politics and their own government.
For many in the political world, the search for the next Watergate is practically constant. The last time I counted, there were at least 10 separate "controversies" that President Obama's critics eagerly labeled "Obama's Watergate," each of which turned out to be meaningless, further diluting an already over used cliché.
But what if a story came along that actually resembled Watergate in meaningful and direct ways? Remember, the spark that lit the Watergate fire was a third-rate burglary in which Democratic opponents tried to steal embarrassing information that could be used to help a Republican win a presidential election.
Writing in Slate today, Franklin Foer takes note of the parallels 44 years later: the alleged Russian theft of Democratic emails, published online ahead of the Democratic convention, possibly to help the Republican nominee.
A foreign government has hacked a political party's computers -- and possibly an election. It has stolen documents and timed their release to explode with maximum damage. [...]
The better analogy for these hacks is Watergate. To help win an election, the Russians broke into the virtual headquarters of the Democratic Party. The hackers installed the cyber-version of the bugging equipment that Nixon's goons used -- sitting on the DNC computers for a year, eavesdropping on everything, collecting as many scraps as possible. This is trespassing, it's thievery, it's a breathtaking transgression of privacy. It falls into that classic genre, the dirty trick. Yet that term feels too innocent to describe the offense. Nixon's dirty tricksters didn't mindlessly expose the private data of low-level staff.
A couple of weeks ago, when Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg tried her hand at political punditry, the progressive jurist raised a variety of concerns about Donald Trump. Among them was an issue that had largely faded from the debate.
"How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns?" Ginsburg asked. "The press seems to be very gentle with him on that."
For what it's worth, I think the media did a decent job of pressing the issue for quite a while, but as the campaign progresses, and new issues arise, there are only so many times we can run the "Trump Still Hiding His Tax Returns" story. Yes, every major-party nominee has released his or her tax documents for decades, and yes, Trump is breaking new ground with his unexplained secrecy, but it can't dominate coverage every day.
But when circumstances warrant a return to an old story, the coverage can change. The Atlantic's James Fallows noted today, for example, that Russia's alleged intervention in the U.S. presidential election has changed the calculus.
These new developments underscore the importance of an old, familiar point: now, more than ever, Donald Trump must release his tax returns. To put it differently, the press should no longer "normalize" his stonewalling on this issue. [emphasis in the original]
As another veteran figure in the defense world and political affairs wrote to me this morning: "In normal times, this [the Russian hacking] would be the lead on all network news. But these are not normal times. I am having trouble getting through to some people that this is a real thing. The very people who always say "follow the money" with regard to the Pentagon [or other boondoggle bureaucracies] don't see that (a) Trump has been kept afloat for about 15 years by Russian oligarchs; and (b) Russia has a powerful incentive to see a US president who will end economic sanctions.
To be sure, even if these allegations about Russia trying to boost Trump's candidacy didn't exist, Trump would still have a responsibility to honor campaign norms. Indeed, the Russian story isn't the only controversy that Trump's tax returns can help resolve.
But either way, the stakes have changed. Trump's excuses in defense of secrecy have never made any sense, and the need for disclosure is now more acute.
Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* The NBC News/SurveyMonkey tracking poll shows Donald Trump getting no real post-convention bounce: he still trails Hillary Clinton in the poll, 46% to 45%, which is where the race stood before the Republican convention.
* On a related note, the YouGov/Economist tracking poll actually found Clinton, not Trump, gaining a little after the GOP's gathering in Cleveland.
* Trump reportedly told a North Carolina audience yesterday that the latest polls show him receiving the "largest bump in the history of conventions." No matter which survey you believe, that's ridiculously untrue.
* At least for now, the Clinton campaign is pulling its television ads in Colorado, confident that the campaign is already doing quite well there, and can safely redirect resources elsewhere.
* After the Democratic convention wraps up on Thursday, Clinton and Tim Kaine are scheduled to begin a bus tour throughout Ohio and Pennsylvania.
* And speaking of Ohio, a PPP poll released yesterday showed Clinton and Trump tied in the state at 45% each. Add third-party candidates to the mix, however, and Trump is ahead by three.
* Though there was some scuttlebutt yesterday that Bernie Sanders supporters want to push Tim Kaine from the Democratic ticket, Sanders and his team have disavowed the idea.
After Donald Trump's acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention last week, Nicolle Wallace, a longtime GOP strategist, had a memorable exchange with NBC's Chuck Todd.
WALLACE: [T]he Republican Party that I worked for for two decades died in this room tonight. We are now represented as a Party by a man who believes in protectionism, isolationism, and nativism. And those were the forces that George W. Bush, and I believe John McCain too, were most worried about during their times as the leaders of the Republican Party.
CHUCK TODD: Striking comment. You believe the party died tonight?
WALLACE: Well, the voters picked this guy. This is where the Republican Party is now. They now are attracted to those forces of isolationism and protectionism. But the party I was part of for two decades is dead.
If you feel as if you've run into that sentiment and that phrasing quite a bit lately, it's not your imagination. The headline of David Brooks' New York Times column last week read, "The Death of the Republican Party." Max Boot recently published an L.A. Times piece with the headline, "The Republican Party is dead." The Washington Post's Michael Gerson, George W. Bush's former chief speechwriter, wrote last month that the Party of Lincoln "is dying."
After the GOP's presidential nominating process wrapped up in May, the New York Daily News ran a cover with a cartoon elephant in a casket. "Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to mourn the GOP, a once-great political party, killed by epidemic of Trump," the cover told readers.
It's important to define our terms a bit, because it's easy to misunderstand what these observers mean by "dead." The Republican Party will, of course, continue to exist no matter what happens in the 2016 elections. When commentators refer to the GOP's "death," they're not talking about its disappearance from the political landscape.
Rather, this is about the passing of a major party as we understand it, giving way to something new. The Republican Party, as an institutional entity, isn't going anywhere, but it's nevertheless transforming into something different from what Americans have been accustomed to.
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.