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E.g., 10/24/2014
Smoke bomb thrower an unnerving mystery

Smoke bomb thrower an unnerving mystery

10/14/14 11:15PM

Rachel Maddow reports on a mysterious, disquieting incident in New York City, in which a man emerged from a subway hatch in the sidewalk, threw a smoke bomb at a restaurant, and disappeared back underground. watch

Ebola's rapid spread amplifies urgency

Ebola's rapid spread amplifies urgency of response

10/14/14 11:07PM

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, talks with Rachel Maddow about the possibility of exponential growth of new Ebola cases and the importance of speed and quantity of resources to contain the disease. watch

Victory gives hope for Texas abortion rights

Abortion rights victory gives Texas advocates hope

10/14/14 10:59PM

Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, talks with Rachel Maddow about the significance of the Supreme Court's ruling to allow Texas abortion clinics to remain open or re-open while the new Texas law is being adjudicated. watch

Ahead on the 10/14/14 Maddow show

10/14/14 06:18PM

Tonight's guests:

  • Amy Hagstrom Miller, founder and CEO of Whole Women's Health
  • Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Check out a preview of tonight's show after the jump read more

Tuesday's Mini-Report, 10.14.14

10/14/14 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:
* CDC: "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it's moved a team of experienced experts in to help a Dallas hospital where a nurse became infected with Ebola to improve 'every step in the process.' And they'll send in a special response team to help any hospital in the future that gets an Ebola patient."
* This just got more complicated: "Turkish fighter jets struck Kurdish insurgent positions in southeastern Turkey on Monday, shaking the country's fragile peace process with the Kurds and demonstrating the complexities surrounding the American-led coalition fighting the Islamic State, which Turkey is under heavy pressure to join."
* W.H.O.: "The World Health Organization reported sobering new figures Tuesday about the Ebola outbreak ravaging West Africa, saying the mortality rate had risen to 70 percent and that the number of new cases could reach 10,000 per week by December."
* Germany: "A United Nations medical worker who was infected with Ebola in Liberia has died despite 'intensive medical procedures,' a German hospital said Tuesday. The St. Georg hospital in Leipzig said the 56-year-old man, whose name has not been released, died overnight of the infection. It released no further details and did not answer telephone calls."
* Iran: "Iranian President Hassan Rouhani took to the nation's airwaves on Monday night to proclaim that a nuclear deal with the West will be signed ahead of a deadline in late November. 'We will find a solution to the nuclear subject and we believe that the two sides will certainly reach a win-win agreement,' said Rouhani, according to Iranian broadcaster Press TV."
* Hong Kong: "Police used chain saws and sledgehammers to clear away barricades around protest sites and reopen several major roads in Hong Kong on Tuesday, appearing to gain the upper hand for the first time since pro-democracy protests began late last month."
* North Korea: "After vanishing from the public eye for nearly six weeks, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is back, ending rumors that he was gravely ill, deposed or worse. Now, a new, albeit smaller, mystery has emerged: Why the cane?"
* Good: "Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife announced Tuesday they are donating $25 million to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control foundation to fight the Ebola crisis that has killed more than 4,440 people in west Africa."
* I was looking forward to the lame-duck fight. Oh well: "President Obama has decided to wait until after next month's midterm elections to nominate a replacement for Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., White House officials said on Tuesday, effectively ensuring that the choice does not get mired in campaign politics."
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker speaks during the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md. on March 16, 2013.

Walker on minimum wage: 'I don't think it serves a purpose'

10/14/14 04:18PM

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) debated challenger Mary Burke (D) on Friday, and the issue of the minimum wage offered the candidates a chance to highlight their differences. The question posed summarized the situation nicely: can a full-time worker live on $7.25 an hour? And does the state have a responsibility to even set a minimum wage?
Burke "strongly" endorsed a higher legal minimum, but the Republican incumbent largely dodged the question, though he seemed to express opposition to the law itself. "I want jobs that pay two or three times the minimum wage," Walker said, adding, "The way that you do that is not by an arbitrary level of a state."
Daniel Bice at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel followed up on that point in an interview with the governor today, asking Walker whether he believes the law should exist. The governor replied:
"Well, I'm not going to repeal it but I don't think it's, I don't think it serves a purpose. Because we're debating then about what the lowest levels are at. I want people to make, like I said the other night, two or three times that."
It's a striking thing for a governor to say during a tough re-election campaign, especially given his economic record -- Walker promised Wisconsin voters four years ago that he'd create 250,000 jobs in his first term, and he's struggling to get to Election Day with roughly half that total.
Indeed, if the governor doesn't think the minimum wage "serves a purpose," it's not too late for Walker to ask someone to explain the law's rationale.
A man jogs past the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 30, 2013.

Taking attendance: The latest non-issue campaign issue

10/14/14 12:50PM

Traditionally, when it comes to members of Congress, practically no one has cared about which members show up for which hearings and floor votes. It's always been perceived a bit like elementary school -- the kid who wins the perfect-attendance award gets a nice certificate, but it's only mildly impressive, and most folks are unmoved.
But in 2014, more so than any cycle I can think of, there's enormous interest in congressional attendance -- and a member who missed a hearing on some issue of significance can expect a hard-hitting attack ad.
Though both parties have made use of the tactic this year, it looks like Republicans got this ball rolling, though they may regret that now.
U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts attended slightly more than one-third of Senate Agriculture Committee meetings during the past 15 years of his political career in Washington, D.C, federal records showed Monday.
The three-term Republican from Dodge City serves on the committee responsible for farm, nutrition and forestry issues, as well as Senate committees devoted to health, education, labor and finance topics.
Documents related to committee attendance available from the U.S. Government Printing Office showed Roberts was present for 35.5 percent, or 71 of 201, of the agriculture committee's sessions from 2000 to 2014.
And if Roberts showed up for 35.5% of the hearings, that necessarily means he missed 64.5% of the hearings.
The Topeka Capital-Journal's report added that Roberts missed a variety of key hearings in recent years, on everything from avian flu to draughts to disaster assistance.
This report comes on the heels of related news from Iowa, where right-wing Senate hopeful Joni Ernst (R) has made committee attendance an important part of her attacks against Rep. Bruce Braley (D) -- despite the fact that her own attendance in Iowa's state Senate has been rather abysmal.
In New Hampshire, meanwhile, former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) not only missed every hearing on border security from his tenure on the Hill, but he also appears to have fibbed about it.

Tuesday's Campaign Round-Up, 10.14.14

10/14/14 12:00PM

Today's installment of campaign-related news items that won't necessarily generate a post of their own, but may be of interest to political observers:
* In South Dakota, the latest poll from a Republican pollster shows former Gov. Mike Rounds (R) with just a four-point lead over Rick Weiland (D), 37% to 33%. Former Sen. Larry Pressler, running as an independent, is third in the poll with 23%.
* On a related note, the DSCC's ad going after Rounds is now online. Not surprisingly, Democrats are focusing attention on the former governor's EB-5 scandal.
* In Kansas' closely watched U.S. Senate race, PPP now shows Greg Orman (I) with a three-point advantage over incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts (R), 44% to 41%. Libertarian Randall Batson is third in the poll with 5% support.
* The same PPP poll shows Kansas' gubernatorial race all tied up, with Paul Davis and incumbent Gov. Sam Brownback (R) each generating 42% support. Libertarian Keen Umbehr is third with 6%.
* In Kentucky, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R) campaign released a new attack ad against Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) last night, featuring on-air commentary from NBC's Chuck Todd. In the commercial, viewers see Todd say it was "disqualifying" for Grimes to dodge a question about her 2012 presidential vote.
* In Massachusetts' gubernatorial race, the latest Boston Globe poll shows Martha Coakley (D) with a five-point lead over Charlie Baker (R), 39% to 34%. That's a big swing from the previous Globe poll, which showed Baker up by three.
The Pentagon, the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, Arlington County, Virginia.

Pentagon: climate crisis an immediate security threat

10/14/14 11:11AM

For all of the many scary aspects of the climate crisis, it's important not to forget the national security implications.
The Pentagon on Monday released a report asserting decisively that climate change poses an immediate threat to national security, with increased risks from terrorism, infectious disease, global poverty and food shortages. It also predicted rising demand for military disaster responses as extreme weather creates more global humanitarian crises.
The report lays out a road map to show how the military will adapt to rising sea levels, more violent storms and widespread droughts. The Defense Department will begin by integrating plans for climate change risks across all of its operations, from war games and strategic military planning situations to a rethinking of the movement of supplies.
"The loss of glaciers will strain water supplies in several areas of our hemisphere," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told a group of contemporaries in Peru yesterday. "Destruction and devastation from hurricanes can sow the seeds for instability. Droughts and crop failures can leave millions of people without any lifeline, and trigger waves of mass migration."
The Pentagon's findings come on the heels of a related report from a leading government-funded military research organization, which found the "accelerating rate of climate change poses a severe risk to national security and acts as a catalyst for global political conflict."
Among the areas of concern are conflicts over natural resources, food scarcity, the effects of rising sea levels, and the potential for refugee crises.
Yesterday's report was, however, a little different. As the New York Times' report noted, "Before, the Pentagon's response to climate change focused chiefly on preparing military installations to adapt to its effects, like protecting coastal naval bases from rising sea levels. The new report, however, calls on the military to incorporate climate change into broader strategic thinking about high-risk regions -- for example, the ways in which drought and food shortages might set off political unrest in the Middle East and Africa."
In a political context, it's worth acknowledging that congressional Republicans not only oppose such "broader strategic thinking," they've also taken deliberate steps to prevent the Pentagon from even considering such concerns.