As Rachel Maddow reported a few days ago, America really is the world police for weapons of mass destruction: we’ve helped secure and destroy WMDs from Kazakhstan, Mexico, South Africa, and all over the world. So if Assad follows through (as applying to the Chemical Weapons Convention suggests) we can expect Syria’s chemical weapons to be safely tucked away for later disposal.
Related: here’s a great segment from 2011 about the National Nuclear Security Administration, “the Department of Saving the World.” Somehow the GOP thought cutting their budget was a good idea.
A very good segment.
The move suggests that Republican leaders, who mostly offered evasive statements after the Shelby decision, have decided they should engage some kind of legislative process to discuss the ruling. In fact, the hearing will come just one day after the Senate Democrats’ first hearing on the VRA. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hear testimony on the VRA’s history from strong backers of the legislation, Rep. John Lewis and Rep. James Sensenbrenner.
The move also shows, however, that some House Republicans are aiming to kill any voting rights reform. That’s because Republicans handed the hearing to Trent Franks, one of just 33 Republicans who voted against the last VRA re-authorization in 2006. (A total of 390 House members voted for it.)
Franks chairs the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, which is holding the hearing. (By contrast, the Senate hearing is before the full committee.)
Recently, Franks acknowledged that Republican leaders have been circumspect about the Supreme Court decision in Shelby, saying that while John Roberts’ decision “said what many of us have believed,” it was risky to openly oppose the Voting Rights Act. Holding back was probably “a wise decision” for Republicans, Franks told Politico, because “in this day and age,” even factual criticism of rights laws “is often relegated to hate speech or something along those lines.”
I’m not a fan of Joe Scarborough - who has a three hour show on “liberal” MSNBC five days a week - but he nails it in this clip.
Most of those chortling over Tom Ricks’s highly unusual ninety seconds on Fox News this week were wowed by the way he spoke liberal truth to conservative power, informing his astonished interviewer, Jon Scott, that the Sept. 11 tragedy at the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, had been “hyped” for political reasons, especially by … Fox itself. Then, for an encore, he apprised viewers that their preferred news source “functions as a wing of the Republican Party.” Out came the cane, and off went Ricks.
But that was no mere partisan smackdown; it was more subversive than that, and even more bracing. Because as it turns out, Ricks doesn’t want to play on either the red or the blue team, and has no loftier view of Obama-cheering MSNBC than of Obama-jeering Fox.
When I talked to him Tuesday, he said yeah, actually, he had had some other TV invites, but we shouldn’t waste too much time clicking around looking for his next appearance: “MSNBC invited me, but I said, ‘You’re just like Fox, but not as good at it.’ They wrote back and said, ‘Thank you for your candor.’”
In the derriere-kissing capital of the Western world, little could be less orthodox than indifference to the allure of smiling into the camera, earpiece in place. So the sight of someone going full Will McAvoy on air, letting ‘er rip just like on Aaron Sorkin’s “The Newsroom,” was a mighty refreshing one, and we should hope his plain speaking catches on.
Joe Barton, he sticks to Republican talking points even when it doesn’t make sense! Today in daily Republican speak Joe Barton insists that people who benefit from Food Stamps and Meals on Wheels should go to work, (scroll up to the 5:20 point) that is the goal of Republicans to put everyone to work. Bashir reminds Barton who are the recipients of Meals on Wheels, Joe Barton looks like a complete ass.
Does Joe Barton realize he didn’t make any sense? Does he realize those standard talking points didn’t really work for what he was discussing with Bashir? Dumb and craven, these traits mark almost every Republican in congress. Do Republicans have any kind of deep policy beliefs other than cut more taxes and make sure corporations get more subsidies.
Of course Joe Barton will be reelected. SMH.
Keith Olbermann is looking for a new job after less than a year as a talk show host at Current TV.
The left-leaning cable network announced just hours before airtime on Friday that Olbermann’s show “Countdown” would be replaced with a new program called “Viewpoint” hosted by former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, beginning that night.
The sometimes volatile Olbermann came to Current in June as the centerpiece of its new prime-time initiative after a stormy eight-year stint at MSNBC - his second at that network- followed by his abrupt departure in January 2011.
MSNBC, which has not been devoting as much time to the Republican primary, saw their viewership grow by 3% in March, even though their numbers with younger viewers fell by 3%. For the first quarter of 2012, MSNBC is up 1% overall, but down 6% with younger viewers. MSNBC also has two shows on the rise. Hardball was up 23% in March, and Politics Nation with Al Sharpton was up 32% over what Cenk Uygur did in the same time slot in March of 2011. (It looks like MSNBC made the right call on Uygur, and honestly, he is a much better fit on Current than he ever was at MSNBC).
The Republican primary is such a downer that it is hurting the ratings of the two networks who gave it the most coverage. The reason why Fox News stopped dedicating so much airtime to the GOP primary is that it was hurting their ratings. (Not even Republicans want to watch this stuff). It is also starting to look like CNN made another epically disastrous decision by climbing in to bed with the tea party. CNN’s shift to the right has been an epic failure. CNN gambled that GOP 2012 would be just as hot with viewers as the Obama/Clinton Democratic contest was in 2008.
The problem for those who were expecting a 2012 ratings boon is that Romney/Santorum has been the complete opposite of Obama/Clinton. The only thing that Mitt Romney’s gloom and doom, and Rick Santorum’s Old Testament revival tour have accomplished is the alienation of millions of voters.
The Obama/Clinton contest was unique because it not only got Barack Obama elected, it also rehabilitated Hillary Clinton’s image and turned her into one of the most popular political figures in the United States. It can be argued that both Obama and Clinton came out winners after the 2008 Democratic primary.
REPORT: By A Nearly 2 To 1 Margin, Cable Networks Call On Men Over Women To Comment On Birth Control
Out of a total of 146 guests who discussed contraception, the cables invited 91 men compared to 55 women as commentators. In other words, males comprised 62 percent of the total guests who commented on contraception. Fox was the most gender stratified network – on the Business network, 10 of 11 guests were male; on the News side, male pundits took up 65 percent of the guest lineup (28 men vs. 15 women). Sixty percent of MSNBC’s lineup was male (44 men vs. 31 women). And while CNN was more evenly balanced, it was still slightly tilted in favor of male perspectives (9 men vs. 8 women).