Rachel Maddow reports on new concerns by the U.S. State Department that the purchase of a New York City hotel by a Chinese company will expose U.S. dignitaries, including the president, to spying when they stay at that hotel as they traditionally have. watch
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
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
Rachel Maddow points out that the U.S. lacks a surgeon general as it faces Ebola because President Obama's nominee was never voted on by the Senate as they were too intimidated by an NRA opposition campaign and threat to "score" the vote. watch
Rachel Maddow examines the challenges for U.S. medical facilities of meeting the exacting protocols for handling Ebola and how something as simple as a checklist can help as the rate of Ebola's spread is forecast to increase rapidly. watch
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
Amy Hagstrom Miller, founder and CEO of Whole Women's Health, talks with Rachel Maddow about on breaking news that the Supreme Court has put a hold on a portion of a federal appeals court ruling that had forced 13 Texas abortion clinics to close,... watch
* 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 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.
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.
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 Globepoll 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.