The Rachel Maddow Show Weekdays at 9PM


... more Duration: {{video.duration.momentjs}}

Rachel Maddow StoriesRSS

select from:

E.g., 10/26/2016
E.g., 10/26/2016
A view of the atmosphere of Hurricane Matthew prior to impacting Florida, Oct. 6, 2016,  in Deerfield Beach, Fla. (Photo by Larry Marano/REX/Shutterstock)

Misguided politics surround Hurricane Matthew's U.S. arrival

10/07/16 08:00AM

Millions of Americans are watching Hurricane Matthew closely, and for good reason. The extremely dangerous hurricane has already proven to be a deadly storm, killing at least 122 people in Haiti alone, and it has the potential to do significant damage in the United States.

But Matthew's threat also coincides with a competitive election season, and while the storm obviously has nothing to do with politics, there is some unfortunate overlap between the two.

In Florida, for example, Gov. Rick Scott (R) has been under pressure to extend the state's voter-registration deadline in light of the storm and evacuations. As of yesterday, the governor has refused, telling reporters, "I'm not going to extend it. Everybody has had a lot of time to register. On top of that, we have lots of opportunities to vote: early voting, absentee voting, Election Day. So I don't intend to make any changes."

As Slate explained that's hardly the ideal response under the circumstances.
Really? The appropriate response, instead of dismissing the idea out of hand, would be to say: "We're going to do our best to make sure everyone is safe and sound and everyone who wants to get to vote has that chance. We'll evaluate what, if any, changes need to be made once we're through this."

Or try replacing "voter registration deadline" with "tax deadline" and see how people react. Or with "final exam." People have jobs and lives and, you know, need a deadline to do things. If you think that last minute registration isn't a thing or doesn't affect a significant group of people, you're wrong. "Elections supervisors typically see a surge in voter interest immediately before the registration closes," according to the Miami Herald. "About 50,000 people registered during the final five days in 2012, according to University of Florida professor Daniel A. Smith, who studies Florida voting trends."
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R), to her credit, did extend her state's voter-registration deadline.

In conservative media, meanwhile, the reactions to Matthew are even more discouraging. Rush Limbaugh told his audience this week that government officials are "playing games" with storm forecasts as part of an elaborate conspiracy that has something to do with climate change and political propaganda.
read more

Wednesday's Mini-Report, 10.5.16

10/05/16 05:31PM

Today's edition of quick hits:

* Hurricane Matthew: "Thousands of Americans were headed for higher ground Wednesday as deadly Hurricane Matthew crawled across the Caribbean and toward the U.S. Eastern Seaboard."

* Paris Agreement: "A sweeping global agreement to combat climate change by shifting the world economy away from fossil fuels will take force next month after passing a threshold for ratification on Wednesday with support from European nations. President Obama, speaking from the Rose Garden, called the 'Paris Agreement' potentially a 'turning point' for our planet."

* NSA: "A Maryland man who worked as a contractor for the NSA has been arrested for allegedly stealing classified material that was later found in his home and car, U.S. officials said Wednesday. Navy veteran Harold Thomas Martin III of Glen Burnie, who had a top secret national security clearance, was arrested on Aug. 27, according to the Justice Department."

* The VP debate drew fewer than half the viewers that tuned in for last week's debate: "Last night's vice presidential debate between Mike Pence and Tim Kaine had fewer TV viewers than any VP debate since 2000."

* Massive protests forced political change: "After mass street protests in Poland, legislators with the country's ruling party have abruptly reversed their positions and voted against a proposal to completely ban abortion. The proposed law still has to be voted on by the lower house of Parliament on Thursday, where lawmakers can either reject it entirely or send it back to a parliamentary committee for more consideration, The Associated Press reports."

* Education: "The Education Department has for more than 10 years poured in excess of $3 billion into the creation and operation of charter schools, but according to a new audit by the agency's own inspector general's office, it has failed in some cases to provide adequate oversight and as a result has put its own grants at risk."
read more

In this Oct. 20, 2015 photo Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., talks to reporters near the subway on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Carolyn Kaster/AP)

McCain tries to blame the media for Trump's PTSD mistake

10/05/16 12:52PM

When it comes to Donald Trump's presidential campaign, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has expressed some concerns. The senator, who's up for re-election this year, has repeatedly vowed to support Trump out of party loyalty, but McCain's also taken steps to distance himself from the controversial presidential candidate.

When Trump went after prisoners of war, including McCain, the Arizona Republican defended his fellow veterans and urged Trump to apologize. (He refused.) When Trump targeted Capt. Humayun Khan's parents, McCain issued a public rebuke.

Trump's comments on Monday about veterans with PTSD generated headlines, but in this case, McCain felt compelled to defend the Republican presidential hopeful during an interview with the Arizona Daily Star.
"This is kind of the classic example of the media feeding frenzy that is going on. The bias that is in the media," McCain said during a meeting with the Arizona Daily Star's editorial board.

"What he is saying is that some people, for whatever reason, and we really don't understand why, suffer from PTSD, and others don't."
I've seen quite a bit of this kind of pushback. A variety of Republicans -- and even some neutral observers -- have said this week that Trump's PTSD comments, though controversial, were misconstrued. "Sure, this guy says offensive stuff all the time," the argument goes, "but on this one he's getting a raw deal."

He's not. The problem is, we're not accustomed to this kind of Trump misstep and it's causing some confusion.
read more

Wednesday's Campaign Round-Up, 10.5.16

10/05/16 12:00PM

Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.

* After last night's debate, Eric Trump, a prominent surrogate for his father's presidential campaign, said Donald Trump "absolutely" paid federal income taxes within the last 18 years. There remains a show-don't-tell problem here -- there's no way to know if Eric Trump is correct without the release of the candidate's tax returns.

* Former Vice President Al Gore has kept a fairly low profile this campaign season, but he's poised to hit the campaign trail on Hillary Clinton's behalf, hoping to connect with younger voters about the importance of the climate crisis.

* The NRA is launching a $6.5 million ad campaign, its largest of the year, hoping to boost Trump's candidacy.

* For the first time in a month, the New York Times' Senate forecast model shows Democrats favored to reclaim the Senate majority.

* An hour and a half before the debate began, the Republican National Committee accidentally published a statement declaring Mike Pence "the clear winner" of the debate that hadn't happened.

* In North Carolina, a new WRAL poll shows Clinton narrowly leading Trump, 46% to 44%. Note that nearly all of the recent statewide polling in North Carolina -- a state Mitt Romney carried four years ago -- shows Clinton with a slight advantage.

* The same poll showed Roy Cooper (D) with a modest lead over incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory (R), 48% to 44%, and incumbent Sen. Richard Burr (R) narrowly ahead of Deborah Ross (D), 46% to 44%.

* In Pennsylvania, a new Monmouth University poll found Clinton up by 10 over Trump, 50% to 40%.
read more

Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, speaks at the American Conservative Union's CPAC conference at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md., March 4, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/AP)

RNC's Priebus ducks 'role model' debate surrounding Trump

10/05/16 11:00AM

In the early 1990s, there was an interesting cultural debate about athletes and their responsibilities towards the young people who look up to them. NBA star Charles Barkley responded to the debate with a memorable commercial in 1993 in which he declared, "I am not a role model. I am not paid to be a role model."

Part of me wonders what Donald Trump thinks of the ad more than two decades later.

During a televised debate this week, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) was asked whether or not she'd point to Trump "as a role model" for children. After hemming a bit, the senator, facing a tough re-election fight, told New Hampshire voters she would "absolutely" do so. After the event, Ayotte reversed course, saying she "misspoke." The Republican wants Trump to be president, but she wouldn't "hold up" Trump or Hillary Clinton "as role models for my kids."

Ayotte's clumsiness created a new dilemma for her campaign, but it also raised a question for other Republicans to answer. In Pennsylvania, for example, Sen. Pat Toomey (R) has refused to say whether or not he supports Trump's candidacy, but he did answer the role-model question yesterday.

"No," the Republican incumbent told reporters. "Donald Trump is not a role model; not for my kids and I don't think for most American kids. The vulgarity and gratuitous insults of people is not exactly the way I encourage my kids to behave." (Toomey may, however, vote for Trump anyway.)

I especially liked Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus' answer to the question. Politico reported:
"You know, I think everyone's a role model in different ways," Priebus told Fox News' Bret Baier before Tuesday's first and only vice presidential debate. "When you look at someone who has built businesses, lost businesses, came back, lived the American dream, a person who sets goals, he's a winner."
"Everyone's a role model in different ways" is a great euphemism for "I really don't want to talk about this."
read more


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.



Latest Book