Like I said, if MSNBC cared about their ratings, Rachel Maddow would be hosting Meet the Press. Here she does David Gregory's job for him and corrects Rep. Aaron Schock for repeating the talking point that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab quit talking after he was read his Miranda rights and she points out that this was not an issue until a Democratic administration took office.
MR. GREGORY: Are Republicans and Republican attacks against this administration helping al-Qaeda?
REP. SCHOCK: Absolutely not. And I think it's insult to most Americans to suggest that their elected representatives who are carrying their views and the message of, of the majority of Americans to Washington and to this debate are somehow helping al-Qaeda. Mind you, these are the--many of these Democrats, including Mr. Brennan who served in the last administration, faced many of these same attacks under then-President Bush from, from the left. So the idea that we can't challenge the administration and their view on the fight on terrorism is completely bogus.
MR. GREGORY: What happened to Democrats when they challenged President Bush in the same way?
REP. SCHOCK: Well, some of the same, some of the same claims were made against them.
MR. GREGORY: Right.
REP. SCHOCK: But at the end of the day, we're representing mainstream America and the majority of views. And, and whether it's closing Guantanamo Bay and moving it to the heartland of America, whether it's the, the--trying these folks in downtown New York, whether it's Mirandizing terrorists who come to this country to attack us, the majority of Americans have not bought, do not believe that Obama and his administration is right on these policies.
MR. GREGORY: So you don't support the way the president is prosecuting the war on terror?
REP. SCHOCK: No.
REP. FORD: I, I, I, I can appreciate the, the politics that are at play here, and we're heading into a cycle, and we just met. I think he's a nice guy and a good guy, but to suggest that this administration is not focused in a right way and determined to keep America safe I, I think is just, is, is just not right and foolish. I think there's a legitimate conversation about whether Khalid Sheikh Mohammed should be tried in my home city. I disagree with the administration, I'm glad now we are revisiting and looking at a different location. I was against it because I think the costs are too high. We're in the middle of a recession. It would cost some $225 million a year to try him there. We could spend that money in a jobs program, an education program or even to pay down the debt. But to suggest--to play politics at this moment--Democrats raised the same concerns when Bush was in office and the same answers were given and--some similar answers were given by Republicans. The truth of the matter is Congress and the Senate ought to be focused on our efforts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and ensuring that our AfPak policy works. The conversation around Pakistan and Kashmir and whether or not a resolution there will help us resolve our issues in Afghanistan are far more important than a volleyball going back and forth about who's at fault. Barack Obama and his administration deserve tremendous credit for what they've done up to this moment.
MR. GREGORY: All right. Quick, quick comment, then I want to move it to domestic matters.
REP. SCHOCK: First of all, I want to make it clear: Nobody's suggesting that President Obama and his administration don't want us to be safe. What we're suggesting is he's taking unnecessary risks.
MS. MADDOW: Well, well, can I just...
MR. GREGORY: All right. Yeah.
MS. MADDOW: I'm sorry, though. What's the basis of the assertion that reading somebody their Miranda rights is unsafe? We did that with every...
REP. SCHOCK: Well, Rachel, you said yourself...
MS. MADDOW: Wait, hold on. We did that with every single person who has been arrested on terrorism charges since 9/11. Nobody's ever made an issue of it until the Obama administration and this case with Abdulmutallab. Literally, what's, what's the problem with being read your rights that wasn't the problem before?
REP. SCHOCK: Well, first of all, you suggested earlier that reading someone's Miranda rights does not--has never indicated that they talk less to our intelligence folks.
MS. MADDOW: We've never heard that from the FBI.
REP. SCHOCK: The fact of the matter is we do know that after the Christmas Day bomber was read his Miranda rights that he did, in fact, stop cooperating with our intelligence.
MS. MADDOW: That's not true, actually. I mean, it's not what we know from the people who've been involved in that. It's just...
MR. GREGORY: But there is--but, but the...
MS. MADDOW: The, the factual basis of these assertions is so thin.
Cue to David Gregory to change subjects...quick!! Sorry we're out of time let's move along here.
In the US strategy review that President Obama conducted, how much of this history of Afghanistan was considered?[...]
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I don't know how trustworthy this somewhat shady right-wing teabagger blog is but The Vail Spot is reporting that hot on the heels of Evan Bayh's pathetic departure from the public forum, Barbara Mikulski (age 74 years old and ailing) is also on the verge of announcing her retirement. He claims to have "impeccable" sources but I'm not claiming he's an impeccable source, so take it with a grain of salt. Mikulski, unlike Bayh, is a dependable vote for the interests of working families. In the 111th Congress, for example, she's tied with Patrick Leahy as the 23rd most progressive member of the Senate. (Bayh, in contrast, is the 58th, between Blanche Lincoln and Ben Nelson.)
Presumably Chris Van Hollen would try for the Senate seat, although Maryland progressives would no doubt prefer Donna Edwards. Edwards is not just the BEST member of the Maryland delegation, she would also be the first African-American to serve in the Senate from a state that is nearly 30% African-American and where African-American voters keep the Democrat Party in a state of dominance. The fact that a woman would replace another woman, who was, in fact, Maryland's first woman Senator, isn't the worst of ideas either.
I wonder if Mikulski will decide this is the right time to also come out of the closet. It would be nice that not every gay senator is embarrassed to stand up proudly and just be themselves-- and something tells me we won't be hearing from Lindsey or Miss McConnell along those lines any time soon. I'm not sure when this video, released today by Maryland Democrats, was shot, but in it Mikulski says she's neither shy nor retiring. (She should come out anyway; people would love her for it.)
video details and more
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Now that Illinois is somewhat past us (still waiting for a Republican nominee for Governor and for the Democrats to fill the Lieutenant Governor's slot), it's time to look ahead to the next major primary -- Texas.
In Texas, the big race is for the Governor's mansion. When George II was awarded the Presidency, Rick Perry, his Lieutenant Governor, became Governor. Four years ago, there was some thought that Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison would run against him but she decided to run for another term in the Senate instead. This time, Senator Hutchison decided to run for the Governor's mansion.
When she first indicated that she might run, Senator Hutchison was seen as the favorite to unseat Governor Perry in the primary. Since she indicated that she would resign from the Senate to run, several top Democrats (believing that they could not beat Senator Hutchison in the General Election) set their eyes on running in a special election for the Senate seat since Texas (like the new law in Massachusetts) only permits a very temporary appointment with a quick special election.
As time passed, two things happened. First, Washington-based polticians became very unpopular with Republicans and Senator Hutchison looked less likely to win the Republican Primary. Second, Senator Hutchison kept postponing when she would step down from the Senate. (The current answer appears to be after she is elected Governor, if she is elected Governor.) As a result, one of the potential Democratic candidates for Senate switched to the Governor's race -- Bill White, the recent Mayor of Houston.
The major candidates for the primary on the Republican side are Governor Perry, Senator Hutchison, and, representing the grass roots of the Tea Party, Debra Medina. The major candidates on the Democratic side are Mayor White and Farouk Shami.
Some background on the voting rules in Texas before going into where everybody stands and all the interesting sniping. First, Texas has early voting. Thus, individuals can vote absentee without having to explain why they want to vote early. Early voting runs from February 16 to February 26. Normally, a significant percent do vote during early voting. Second, like many states in the South, Texas still uses a run-off for primary elections. Thus, if no candidate gets 50% of the vote, there will be a second round featuring the top two candidates on April 13th.
On the Republican side, you have candidates representing the three parts of the Republican Party. You have Senator Hutchison representing the Washington-based Establishment. You have Governor Perry representing the Conservative Establishment. You have Debra Medina representing the Conservative Tea Party Grass roots. It appears that some in the Conservative Establishment are scared by Debra Medina and that their followers are taking what they are saying too literally. As such, Fox News has now gone on the attack against Debra Medina.
On the Democratic side, Farouk Shami seems to have his own vision, funded by his own money, of what the Democratic Party should be. In what I have seen out of Texas, I am not quite sure what that vision is or if it actually resembles the current Texas Democratic Party. Mayor White appears to be the consensus candidate of the leadership of the Texas Democratic Party as the best person to have a shot at winning in the fall.
With voting about to begin, the polls show an interesting race. (I would like to give credit to Burnt Orange one of the progressive blogs on Texas state politics for the original data on the polling. It is one of the many excellent state political blogs that does for local politics what this site tries to do for national politics.)
On the Republican side, Governor Perry appears to be in the lead with numbers in the low 40s. Senator Hutchison is probably still in second place with numbers in the mid 20s. Lastly, Debra Medina seems to be pulling in the upper teens, maybe just breaking 20%). This sets up an interesting dynamic for the last two weeks of the campaign. Governor Perry would like to win without a run-off, but, if he has a run-off, he would probably prefer to be facing Senator Hutchison. That way, he could run against Washington without having to offend the base. However, Senator Hutchison appears to be in free-fall and Ms. Messina seems to be gaining by appealing to that sizable share of the Texas Republican Party who think that John Calhoun and Jefferson Davis were right. While Governor Perry probably will win the run-off against either candidate, he would rather appeal to the Tea Party folks than directly attack their positions. Hence, the leaks of negative stories about Medina on Fox News to slow her down just enough to keep her in third. Among voters that have a preference, Governor Perry seems to be short of 50% but, if he can get the majority of the undecideds, he might be able to avoid a run-off.
On the Democratic side, Mayor White appears to be just at 50% with Mr. Shami getting around 20%. The problem for Mayor White is five other candidates on the ballot pulling a combined total of around 10%. There is a large enough undecided vote that it seems more likely than not that (despite facing the larger field), Mayor White will manage to avoid having a run-off.
Some readers of this blog, readers of my column and listeners to my daily radio show have asked me[...]
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On Meet The Press yesterday, Rachel Maddow challenged Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) on the issue of the Miranda warning read to the attempted Christmas bombing suspect, correcting Schock's assertion that Abdulmutallab stopped talking after he was read his rights.
"What's the basis of the assertion that reading someone their Miranda rights in unsafe? We did that with every single person who's been arrested on terrorism charges since 9/11," Maddow said.
"No one's ever made an issue of it until the Obama administration and this case with Abdulmuttalab. Really, what's the problem with being read your rights that wasn't the problem before?"
When Schock responded that Umar Abdulmutallab "did in fact stop cooperating with our intelligence" after being read the Miranda warning, Maddow fired back, "That's not true, actually."
Here's the video starting at about 2:45 (hat tip Think Progress):
It's worth noting here that there are conflicting reports about whether Abdulmutallab stopped cooperating with FBI interrogators immediately before or immediately after he was read the Miranda warning on Christmas evening.
The AP suggests that he stopped talking after he was read the warning. The Los Angeles Times has quoted an anonymous source saying "that Abdulmutallab was not read his rights until he made it clear that he was not going to say anything else." Abdulmutallab was reportedly interrogated for about an hour on the afternoon of Christmas, before he was read his rights. The conflicting accounts bear on the second interrogation that night.
However, no one is disputing the reports that Abdulmutallab began talking to authorities again in January, at least partly because of the cooperation of his family.
Goldman Sachs has not only helped or encouraged some European governments to hide a large part of their debts, but it also endeavored to do so for Greece as recently as last November. These actions are fundamentally destabilizing to the global financial system, as they undermine: the eurozone area; all attempts to bring greater transparency to government accounting; and the most basic principles that underlie well-functioning markets. When the data are all lies, the outcomes are all bad see the subprime mortgage crisis for further detail.
[MORE . . .]
A single rogue trader can bring down a bank remember the case of Barings. But a single rogue bank can bring down the worlds financial system.
Goldman will dismiss this as business as usual and, to be sure, a few phone calls around Washington will help ensure that Goldmans primary supervisor now the Fed looks the other way.
But the affair is now out of Ben Bernankes hands, and quite far from people who are easily swayed by the White House. It goes immediately to the European Commission, which has jurisdiction over eurozone budget issues.
Faced with enormous pressure from those eurozone countries now on the hook for saving Greece, the Commission will surely launch a special audit of Goldman and all its European clients.
Source: Interviewed by Karen Roche, Publisher, The Gold Report As investment demand for gold—including its attraction as a preservation asset—diminishes in a recovering economy, Siddharth Rajeev, vice president of research for Fundamental Research Corp., suggests the price may dip back to the $750 neighborhood by 2012. But even at that level, he tells The Gold Report in this exclusive interview, "most projects can still make very good profits at very high margin," particularly those that manage to keep a lid on operating costs. Sid is also bullish on base metals in a recovering economy,…
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Oldest US death row inmate dead at 94 in Arizona Listen to all the hard working, law biding killers moan about keeping people alive. You'd think that the nazis were in town. Kill! Kill! Kill! Maybe we ought to torture first. That ought to really deter[...]
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Cross-Post from the Omaha World-HeraldBy Nancy Karanja, Danielle Nierenberg and Mary NjengaKaranja is a professor at the University of Nairobi. Nierenberg is a senior researcher with the...visit us at www.borderjumpers.org[...]
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