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Sanders: Turnout key to Democratic victories

Sanders: Turnout key to Democratic victories

10/26/15 09:24PM

Senator Bernie Sanders, Democratic candidate for president, talks with Rachel Maddow about what he would do as the party's nominee to help Democrats win more state legislatures, explaining his belief that the answer to Democratic electoral victories is turnout. watch

Sanders: Corporate greed destroying America

Sanders: Corporate greed destroying America

10/26/15 09:19PM

Bernie Sanders, Democratic candidate for president, explains why he joined a picket line at a union rally of Verizon workers in New York city, and emphasizes the detriment to the American middle class of corporate pursuit of greater profits at the expense of workers rights. watch

Monday's Mini-Report, 10.26.15

10/26/15 05:30PM

Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Deadly earthquake: "A magnitude-7.5 earthquake hit northeastern Afghanistan on Monday, killing more than 150 people there and in neighboring Pakistan and flattening at least 1,400 buildings."
* More on this tomorrow: "Congressional leaders and the Obama administration are close to a crucial budget deal that would modestly increase domestic spending over the next two years and raise the federal borrowing limit."
* Keep an eye on this one: "Russian submarines and spy ships are aggressively operating near the vital undersea cables that carry almost all global Internet communications, raising concerns among some American military and intelligence officials that the Russians might be planning to attack those lines in times of tension or conflict."
* Dear Fed, don't raise rates: "Quarterly profits and revenue at big American companies are poised to decline for the first time since the recession, as some industrial firms warn of a pullback in spending."
* Testing: "President Barack Obama called for limiting the amount of time students are taking standardized tests and unveiled new guidelines that his administration would use to help schools across to administer more meaningful exams on Saturday."
* Important research: "An examination of traffic stops and arrests in Greensboro, N.C., uncovered wide racial differences in measure after measure of police conduct."
* Speaking of law enforcement, I wonder if Comey can substantiate this: "The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, said on Friday that the additional scrutiny and criticism of police officers in the wake of highly publicized episodes of police brutality may have led to an increase in violent crime in some cities as officers have become less aggressive."
* The right-wing House Freedom Caucus members are under fire from the even-further-right members of the GOP base for supporting Paul Ryan's ascension to Speaker.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop at the Burlington Memorial Auditorium, Oct. 21, 2015, in Burlington, Ia. (Photo by Charlie Neibergall/AP)

Dear Mr. Trump, $1 million from Dad is not a 'small loan'

10/26/15 04:24PM

One of the quintessential moments of the 2012 presidential campaign came at a Mitt Romney event in Elk Grove, Illinois, where the candidate was praising “the entrepreneurial spirit.” The Republican specifically talked about Jim Liautaud, who struggled in school, but who borrowed some money from his father, created a sandwich business, and ended up with 1,200 Jimmy John restaurants across this country.
For Romney, this was clear proof that Americans "don't need the government" to get ahead. Individuals, the Republican said, simply need to "look to themselves and say, ‘What can I do to make myself better?’”
The part of the story that Romney conveniently overlooked is the fact that the hero of the tale succeeded because he had a father with money to invest. Others may also have "the entrepreneurial spirit," but if they come from a struggling family, living paycheck to paycheck, it doesn't much matter if they "look to themselves and say, ‘What can I do to make myself better?’” They won't have the seed money to start their own enterprises and pursue their own ventures.
It was a tone-deaf moment for the GOP presidential candidate, which, three years later, another Republican candidate has taken to an even more absurd level.
During a town hall on NBC’s “TODAY” on Monday, a woman asked the Republican presidential front-runner if he had ever been told “no.” Trump responded at the event in Atkinson, N.H., “Oh many times,” adding, “My whole life, really, has been a ‘no.’”
“It has not been easy for me. I started off in Brooklyn. My father gave me a small loan of a million dollars,” explained the billionaire real estate mogul. “I came to Manhattan and I had to pay him back. I had to pay him back with interest. But I came into Manhattan and I started buying properties and I did great.”
It fell to Matt Lauer to remind the frontrunner for the Republican nomination that a seven-figure loan may be out of reach for most of Americans. Trump replied, “You’re right. But a million dollars isn’t very much compared to what I’ve built.”
And while that's true, it badly misses the point.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) speaks during the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum at the 2015 NRA Annual Meeting & Exhibits on April 10, 2015 in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty)

Rubio struggles in Senate, but wants a promotion

10/26/15 01:06PM

It's not exactly a secret that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) doesn't show up for work much anymore. Even among sitting senators running for president, the far-right Floridian just doesn't make an effort to keep up appearances on Capitol Hill.
Part of this, of course, is the result of his campaign schedule, but part of it also relates to the fact that Rubio appears to dislike his job quite a bit. The Washington Post's David Fahrenthold has a terrific piece on this today.
Five years ago, Rubio arrived with a potential that thrilled Republicans. He was young, ambitious, charismatic, fluent in English and Spanish, and beloved by the establishment and the tea party.
But Rubio had arrived at one of the least ambitious moments in Senate history and saw many of his ideas fizzle. Democrats killed his debt-cutting plans. Republicans killed his immigration reform. The two parties actually came together to kill his AGREE Act, a small-bore, hands-across-the-aisle bill that Rubio had designed just to get a win on something.
Now, he’s done. “He hates it,” a longtime friend from Florida said, speaking anonymously to say what Rubio would not.
It's entirely possible, of course, that Republican primary voters won't care. If much of the GOP base is enthralled by a blowhard New York land developer and an unhinged retired neurosurgeon, there's no reason to think they'd balk at a senator who's had an unsuccessful, five-year tenure.
But for a mainstream audience, the fact that Rubio effectively wasted his Capitol Hill career, achieving practically nothing despite all the promise and hype, isn't much of a selling point.

Monday's Campaign Round-Up, 10.26.15

10/26/15 12:00PM

Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* Hillary Clinton has picked up an endorsement from AFSCME, the nation's largest public-sector union. Two-thirds of AFSCME's executive board voted to back Clinton over her rivals.
* The hour after last week's Benghazi hearing ended was the best hour for Clinton campaign fundraising all year. (Democratic officials really ought to send congressional Republicans a thank-you note.)
* Though Bernie Sanders has generally sworn off criticisms of his rivals, the Vermont senator delivered pointed remarks to Iowa Democrats over the weekend. Though the Independent didn't call out Clinton by name, Sanders made not-so-subtle jabs at the frontrunner on a variety of issues.
* As hard as this may be to believe, a national Associated Press-GfK poll found that 70% of Republican voters consider Donald Trump the party's best candidate for the general election.
* Ben Carson wants protection from the Secret Service because, according to him, "I’m in great danger because I challenge the secular progressive movement to the very core."
* Speaking of the retired right-wing neurosurgeon, Carson also hopes to buck the bipartisan trend and, if elected, would "intensify" the so-called "war on drugs."
* For months, Trump has been touting his lead in national surveys, but confronted with new polls showing him falling to second place in Iowa, Trump said over the weekend, “I honestly think those polls are wrong."
* In a bit of a surprise, it turns out Marco Rubio's presidential campaign has not yet opened an office in South Carolina, a decision that's "perplexing" some local observers.
House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on April 16, 2015 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Gabriella Demczuk/Getty)

GOP creates a mess it doesn't know how to clean up

10/26/15 11:21AM

According to the Treasury Department's most recent written warning to Congress, the nation's debt ceiling needs to be raised by Nov. 3, which is just one week from tomorrow. Republican leaders know they'll have to do the right thing fairly soon -- sometime over the next eight days -- but they have no idea how.
House Republicans thought they had a plan. The strategy called for passing a right-wing plan, called the “Terms of Credit Act,” on Friday, tying the debt-limit increase to a series of conservative goodies that GOP lawmakers couldn't get through actual legislating.
That plan, however, was scrapped late last week when House Republicans decided it wasn't good enough. Some GOP members wanted it to go further; some didn't like the fact that the bill was bypassing the committee process; while others didn't see the point in wasting time on a bill that would die in the Senate soon after.
With Republican leaders once again discovering that their own members don't like their own party's bill, House Speaker John Boehner and his team have no choice but to move to their backup plan. Except, at this point, no one knows what that looks like. Politico reported, "Congress has a debt-ceiling problem again. A big one."
Boehner, McCarthy and other GOP leaders are refusing at this point to move ahead with a "clean" debt ceiling bill insisted on by President Barack Obama. Senior leadership aides said they couldn't find the 30 Republican votes needed to join with all 188 Democrats to pass that proposal -- a bleak indication of the current state of play.
This is roughly the point where some anxiety starts to kick in.
Democrats won't negotiate with those who threaten to hurt the nation on purpose. Indeed, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters last week, "Let me be clear, the full faith and credit of the United States of America is not negotiable." President Obama has been equally clear.
This means, of course, that Congress will have to do what it's been doing: pass a clean debt-ceiling bill with no strings attached by either party, except GOP leaders insist they don't have the votes do complete this basic task.
The question is whether or not anyone should actually believe them.
Image: Sam Brownback

Obama tops Brownback in ruby-red Kansas

10/26/15 10:40AM

Soon after getting elected in 2010, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) said he intended to launch an economic "experiment" built on massive tax breaks his state obviously couldn’t afford. The experiment failed miserably, and among Brownback's disastrous results include debt downgrades, weak growth, and state finances in shambles.
The Kansas City Star reported over the weekend that the state's voters appear to have noticed.
Lots of numbers in a new statewide survey of Kansas from Fort Hays State University, but here’s the stunner: Only 18 percent of state residents said they were “very” or “somewhat satisfied” with GOP Gov. Sam Brownback. Kansas, in case there’s any misunderstanding, is a heavily Republican state.
President Barack Obama, long a punching bag for Republicans, rated higher. Some 28 percent of respondents expressed satisfaction with the Democratic chief executive.
You read that right: President Obama is woefully unpopular in one of the nation's most heavily Republican states, but Kansas' GOP governor is in even worse shape. (This is reminiscent of a Louisiana poll over the summer that found Obama more popular in the Pelican State than Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal.)
The Topeka Capital-Journal quoted Bob Beatty, a political scientist at Washburn University, describing Brownback's weak public support as "epic," adding that Brownback may very well be the least popular governor in Kansas history.
At a certain level, this is fairly easy to understand -- the scope of Brownback's failures are simply breathtaking. Then again, the governor's first term was a complete fiasco, too, and he nevertheless won re-election last year, despite running against a Democrat who enjoyed considerable GOP backing.
But there's also a larger, national context to this.


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.



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