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ISIS claims possession of airdropped weapons

ISIS claims possession of US airdropped weapons

10/21/14 11:22PM

Rachel Maddow reports on a claim made in an ISIS propaganda video that the terrorist group is in possession of weapons dropped by the U.S., meant for Kurdish fighters opposing ISIS. The claim is unconfirmed though the U.S. says part of the drop went... watch

Ahead on the 10/21/14 Maddow show

10/21/14 06:05PM

Tonight's guests:

  • Chuck Todd, moderator of NBC's Meet the Press
  • Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the Washington Post
  • Ayman Mohyeldin, NBC News foreign correspondent

After the jump, executive producer Cory Gnazzo with a preview:

read more

Tuesday's Mini-Report, 10.21.14

10/21/14 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:
 
* Safeguards: "Anyone flying to the United States from Ebola-affected countries in West Africa must enter the country through one of five airports screening for the disease, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh C. Johnson said Tuesday as the Obama administration stepped up precautions to stop the spread of the virus."
 
* Spain: "Conclusive tests show a Spanish nursing assistant infected with Ebola is cured of the virus, doctors said Tuesday, signaling a huge step forward in her 15-day battle for survival."
 
* North Korea: "A Ohio dad who was detained in North Korea in May after reportedly leaving a Bible at a club for sailors has been released and is on his way home, the White House announced on Tuesday. Jeffrey Fowle, 56, was one of three U.S. citizens being held by the reclusive state."
 
* ISIS: "The Islamic State has released a new video in which it brags that it recovered weapons and supplies that the U.S. military intended to deliver to Kurdish fighters, who are locked in a fight with the militants over control of the Syrian border town of Kobane."
 
* Ukraine: "The Ukrainian Army appears to have fired cluster munitions on several occasions into the heart of Donetsk, unleashing a weapon banned in much of the world into a rebel-held city with a peacetime population of more than one million, according to physical evidence and interviews with witnesses and victims."
 
* Quebec: "One of two members of the Canadian military who was run over in a parking lot — an episode that the government believes was an act of terrorism — has died, the police in Quebec said Tuesday."
 
* Pakistan: "Pakistan Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid has been sacked after pledging allegiance to Islamic State (IS). The militants said he had been replaced but did not name his successor. A statement reiterated support for Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar. It emerged last week that Shahidullah Shahid and five other Pakistan Taliban (TTP) commanders had defected to IS which controls parts of Iraq and Syria."
 
* Afghanistan: "Afghanistan's new president, Ashraf Ghani, is a man in a hurry to break from his predecessor's governing style. Best not make him late. He drove the point home this month when he started a meeting without the prominent and widely respected interior minister, Umar Daudzai. Mr. Daudzai showed up a few minutes later, and was promptly barred from entry."
 
* Pennsylvania: "Two fresh sightings of alleged sniper Eric Frein has resulted in more closed public schools in northern Pennsylvania and a shift in a massive manhunt to near where Mr. Frein went to high school – and where he was a member of the high school rifle team."
Ohio Governor John Kasich

Kasich draws distinction between ACA and provisions of ACA

10/21/14 04:55PM

We talked earlier about Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), who was quite candid in recent comments about the politics of health care. In fairness to the governor, it's only fair to note the degree to which he's scrambled since.
 
To briefly recap, Kasich, who's already run one failed presidential campaign and is rumored to be interested in a 2016 race, told the AP that repealing the Affordable Care Act is "not gonna happen." The Ohio Republican added, "The opposition to it was really either political or ideological. I don't think that holds water against real flesh and blood, and real improvements in people's lives."
 
The ensuing chatter about his comments has left the governor scrambling, reaching out to news organizations to clarify.
Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich moved quickly to deny a report that quoted him saying repeal of the Affordable Care Act was "not gonna happen," saying that he had been talking instead solely about the health law's expansion of Medicaid, which he has opted to do in his state.
 
Mr. Kasich, a potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate, said his remarks had been misconstrued in a report by the Associated Press that quickly caught the attention of political observers when it appeared Monday afternoon.
As part of the pushback, Kasich told Politico, for example, "I have favored expanding Medicaid, but I don't really see expanding Medicaid as really connected to Obamacare."
 
This is a bad argument. To say that one opposes a law, except for one of the law's most important provisions, is inherently problematic. The simple truth is, Medicaid expansion wouldn't exist without the Affordable Care Act -- one is literally part of the other. To repeal "Obamacare" would mean the repeal of Medicaid expansion, too, which according to the Ohio governor, is making "real improvements in people's lives."
 
It's left Kasich in a bizarre position: he's fully committed to repealing the entirety of the successful health care reform initiative, except for the giant part of the law, which he happens to like.
Chris Christie

Christie is 'tired of hearing about the minimum wage'

10/21/14 03:28PM

Poor Chris Christie. The embattled Republican governor realizes there are millions of Americans struggling to get by, working for a minimum wage that hasn't budged in far too long, and he's tired -- not of so many working for so little, but rather, or hearing about these workers' plight.
 
In a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce today, the New Jersey governor told the business lobby:
"I gotta tell you the truth: I'm tired of hearing about the minimum wage. I really am.
 
"I don't think there's a mother or father sitting around a kitchen table in America tonight who are saying, 'You know, honey, if our son or daughter could just make a higher minimum wage, my God, all of our dreams would be realized.'"
I see. Some leaders get tired of seeing people struggle. Other leaders get tired of hearing about those who are struggling, and just wish the complaints would go away. In Chris Christie's world, the purchasing power of $7.25 an hour may continue to drop, and millions of hard-working Americans are effectively working for poverty wages, but he just wishes they'd stop bothering him.
 
For context, it's probably worth noting that the governor of New Jersey makes $175,000 a year -- the fourth highest salary of any state chief executive in the nation.
 
Also note the part of his comments related to children: as if the minimum wage is primarily for young people.
U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) speaks to members of the media at the Capitol, Oct. 11, 2013.

GOP senators show how not to have a fiscal debate

10/21/14 12:55PM

Last year, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) claimed, to great fanfare in conservative media, to have real proof that the Affordable Care Act would create massive deficits and add trillions of dollars to the debt. This, of course, was the exact opposite conclusion of literally every other independent study of the law's fiscal impact, but Sessions said he was sure -- and that was good enough Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, National Review and Drudge.
 
They were all wrong. Sessions played a little game in which he only counted half the ledger -- the Alabama Republican noted the ACA's expenditures, but ignored the ACA's savings and receipts. It's comparable to the coach of the Miami Dolphins doing an analysis of the season, but only counting the points his team scored. "Good news, team! We we've won every game in a shutout!"
 
We're apparently running into the same trouble all over again, and this time, Sessions has apparently snookered one of his colleagues.
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said President Obama's healthcare law would increase the federal debt by $131 billion.
 
"Instead of insulting the intelligence of Tennesseans by saying this law is working, this administration should admit ObamaCare is a failure and start working with Republicans to repair the damage it has done -- putting in place policies that move us step by step toward more freedom, more choices, and lower costs," Alexander said Tuesday.
 
Alexander cited a new report from Senate Budget Committee ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) that stated the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, would increase the federal deficit by approximately $131 billion by 2024.
Alexander, ostensibly one of the Senate Republicans who at least shows an interest in the details of public policy, was apparently in high dudgeon. He not only accused those pointing to reality of "insulting the intelligence of Tennesseans" -- an unfortunate choice of words given how very wrong he was -- but Alexander added that Democratic promises are at odds with reality.
 
"Today's Budget committee report says that ObamaCare is driving up the debt our children and grandchildren will owe by $131 billion," Alexander added.
 
It'd be a good point, if only Alexander didn't have his facts completely wrong.

Tuesday's Campaign Round-Up, 10.21.14

10/21/14 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:
 
* With two weeks remaining until Election Day, Republican officials in Wisconsin have decided to give up trying to reinstate their voter-ID law rejected by the courts.
 
* In Colorado, a new PPP poll shows Rep. Cory Gardner (R) leading Sen. Mark Udall (D) by three, 46% to 43%. The same poll shows incumbent John Hickenlooper (D) with the narrowest of leads over former Rep. Bob Beauprez (R), 45% to 44%.
 
* In Kentucky's U.S. Senate race, the new Bluegrass Poll, conducted by SurveyUSA¸ shows Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) with a very narrow advantage over Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, 44% to 43%. A few weeks ago, Grimes led in this same poll by two points.
 
* In North Carolina's U.S. Senate race, PPP shows incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan (D) clinging to a modest lead over state House Speaker Thom Tillis (R), 46% to 43%.
 
* In Kansas, the latest Monmouth University Poll shows a tied-up U.S. Senate race, with Sen. Pat Roberts (R) and Greg Orman (I) each getting 46% support. In the gubernatorial race, the same poll shows Paul Davis (D) with a five-point lead over incumbent Gov. Sam Brownback (R), 50% to 45%.
 
* In Florida's gubernatorial race, the new St. Pete Polls survey, conducted after last week's bizarre debate, shows former Gov. Charlie Crist (D) leading incumbent Gov. Rick Scott (R), with a two-point lead, 45% to 43%. The previous data from the same pollster showed Scott leading by one.

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