Rachel Maddow points out that contrary to the frightened objections of some governors, the Obama administration's desire to move prisoners out of Guantanamo does not mean those prisoners would be released into American neighborhoods or "backyards." watch
Rachel Maddow explains that, crazy as it may seem, Russia is bulldozing and incinerating large quantities of imported food in retaliation for sanctions imposed by Western countries for Russia's invasion of Ukraine. watch
Steve Schale, a political strategist and adviser to the Draft Biden 2016 Committee, talks with Rachel Maddow about the considerations being made ahead of a possible 2016 run by Vice President Joe Biden and how the decision affects the Democratic field. watch
Rachel Maddow points out that CNN established its debate rules before the full size of the Republican field was realized and now has the potential to unfairly influence the race, particularly for Carly Fiorina, whose recent polls have improved. watch
Rachel Maddow looks back at the mishandling of the Katrina disaster by the Bush administration and talks with Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League about the pace and obstacles to recovery in New Orleans and what work remains. watch
Biden/Clinton numbers getting more headlines, but Qpiac also has Bernie Sanders beating both Trump and Jeb: http://t.co/4ZeAwRXGyN
* Presumably Monday's rhetoric from the right no longer applies? "United States stock markets on Thursday turned in a second day of strong gains, reversing many of the losses sustained early in the week when global markets tumbled."
* A decade later: "Years after then-presidential hopeful Barack Obama declared 'America failed the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast', he returns to the city to hail Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts and highlight the region's resilience in the face of massive devastation."
* In related news, Michael "Heckuva Job" Brown, of FEMA notoriety, is still trying to avoid history's blame.
* What a dreadful story: "An abandoned truck 'full of bodies' was found on the side of a highway in eastern Austria on Thursday. Police said the dead were thought to be refugees."
* Guns: "Walmart said on Wednesday that it would no longer sell high-powered rifles in its stores in the United States. The decision followed years of public pressure on the retailer to stop selling some of the most lethal weapons associated with many of the nation’s mass shootings."
* Pakistan's fear of India carries dangerous consequences: "A new report by two American think tanks asserts that Pakistan may be building 20 nuclear warheads annually and could have the world’s third-largest nuclear stockpile within a decade."
When looking at a presidential primary field of 17 candidates, there's no point in applying the usual standards for who's doing well and who's doing poorly. As a practical matter, the criteria comes down to this: if a candidate's support in the polls reaches double digits, he or she is arguably faring pretty well. Those with single-digit support have some work to do.
Donald Trump leads the crowded Republican pack with 28 percent, up from 20 percent in a July 30 national survey by the independent Quinnipiac University.... Ben Carson has 12 percent, with 7 percent each for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida. [...]
"Donald Trump soars; Ben Carson rises; Jeb Bush slips and some GOP hopefuls seem to disappear. Trump proves you don't have to be loved by everyone, just by enough Republicans to lead the GOP pack," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
Sure, in a crowded field, when one candidate is cruising well ahead of his rivals, he's inevitably going to get most of the attention. It's the blessing of frontrunner status -- you get the spotlight.
But the number that jumped out at me was 7%. That's where Jeb Bush stands as August nears its end. It's comparable to the 9% showing for the Florida Republican in the most recent Fox News poll.
Given recent history, this is arguably getting far less attention than it probably should be.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) didn't just complain this week about the international nuclear agreement with Iran; he also targeted the nature of the Democratic support for the policy. Apparently, Senate Dems expect the Republican majority to get 60 votes for their plan -- and Cotton thinks that's outrageous.
"Harry Reid wants to deny the American people a voice entirely by blocking an up-or-down vote on this terrible deal," the right-wing freshman complained.
Ah yes, the ol' "up-or-down" vote -- the one thing the majority party loves, until it falls into the minority, at which point it rediscovers the "cooling saucer" metaphor, right up until it reclaims the majority and the cycle begins anew.
Cotton isn't alone, of course. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), upon learning of the likely Democratic filibuster, responded, "Are you kidding me?" Politicoreported today:
"Is that where they really want to be? Do they really want to vote to block consideration of ... probably the biggest foreign policy endeavor?" Corker said in an interview. "Do they want to be in a place where they voted to keep from going to the substance [of the Iran debate]?"
Corker may not have fully thought this one through.
Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* In a new national Quinnipiac poll, Donald Trump continues to dominate the Republican field with 28% support, followed by Ben Carson's 12%. Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio are tied for third with 7% each, followed by Scott Walker is sixth place with 6%. The news is especially poor for Rand Paul, who's in 11th place in the poll with a woeful 2%.
* The same poll found Hillary Clinton leading Bernie Sanders in the race for the Democratic nomination, 45% to 22%, followed by Vice President Biden with 18%.
* Quinnipiac also found Clinton with modest leads over the top GOP candidates in hypothetical general-election match-ups. Biden enjoyed similar advantages over Republicans.
* Jeb Bush said of Donald Trump yesterday, "This guy is now the front-runner." I don't remember Bush saying this before.
* The Huffington Post reports that Trump has reportedly told "several top Republicans that he will swear off the possibility of an independent bid and commit to running his presidential campaign under the party's banner." It's a story worth keeping a close eye on.
* Priorities USA, a Clinton-aligned super PAC, has a tough new ad out this morning on Republican presidential candidates and their anti-immigrant rhetoric. The 30-second spot is reportedly set to air in Colorado, Florida, and Nevada.
It's been a strikingly ridiculous year for Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R). He tried to block dozens of legislative measures, before losing at the state Supreme Court and watching the bills become law as a result of his own incompetence. The Tea Party Republican is also mired in an abuse-of-power scandal -- LePage doesn't deny the allegations -- which may lead to his impeachment.
The governor's policies are taking their toll on the state; he's broached the subject of resigning; and Politico recently felt comfortable publishing a piece that asked whether LePage is "playing with a full deck."
It's against this backdrop that the Maine governor is thinking about parlaying his two statewide victories into a U.S. Senate campaign. The Bangor Daily Newsreported this week:
During an afternoon appearance Tuesday on a conservative talk radio show, Maine's Republican Gov. Paul LePage said he may run for the U.S. Senate in 2018. [...]
LePage said specifically he was thinking about challenging U.S. Sen. Angus King, an independent and former two-term governor, because King caucuses with Democrats in Washington.
The governor told radio host Howie Carr this week, "I'm thinking about it very strongly."
Keep in mind, it's entirely possible LePage, who won a second term last year in a three-way race, will have been driven from office in disgrace long before the 2018 election cycle. Indeed, the investigation that may lead to the governor's impeachment is ongoing and moving forward.
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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