Maddow Blog | As hearings begin, a ‘power grab without principle’ comes into view

The Senate Judiciary Committee will, as promised, begin consideration today of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination, and under normal circumstances, the political world would be pondering a variety of routine questions. What are the nominee’s qualifications? What do we know about her ideology? And judicial temperament?

With Barrett, in particular, there are a series of more specific questions. How eager is the young conservative to tear down the

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Maddow Blog | Asked for a second-term agenda, Trump’s answer falls far short

It was in late June when Sean Hannity first asked about the president’s “top priority items for a second term.” As regular readers may recall, Donald Trump rambled for 161 words, insisted that the word “experience” is “a very important word,” called John Bolton “an idiot,” but never got around to identifying a single substantive goal.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) soon after scolded Hannity, arguing that the Fox News

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Maddow Blog | White House trusts Russia’s word on election interference

White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien isn’t concerned about Russian interference in U.S. elections because his counterpart in Moscow assured him there are no such plans.

The adviser, Robert C. O’Brien, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that he had delivered the warning during a meeting in Geneva on Friday with Nikolai Patrushev, the secretary of Russia’s Security Council. Mr. O’Brien did not disclose what else was discussed, but

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Maddow Blog | Texas AG, ‘Lawyers for Trump’ leader faces corruption allegations

In late July, the Trump campaign announced the formation of a Lawyers for Trump group, to be led in part by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R). By any fair measure, he was a curious choice.

Right off the bat, there was no getting around the fact that the Texas Republican is currently spearheading litigation to tear down the Affordable Care Act in its entirety. In other words, the

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Maddow Blog | Secret Service agent on Trump: ‘He’s not even pretending to care’

As the world came to grips on Friday with Donald Trump’s coronavirus infection, attention soon shifted to those who are required to remain in close proximity to the president: Secret Service agents.

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The Washington Post reported late last week that agents “expressed their anger and frustration to colleagues and friends,” explaining that Trump’s actions had repeatedly put them at risk. “He’s never cared about us,” one agent told

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Maddow Blog | Trump’s latest political theatrics described as ‘insanity’

In February 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump released a photograph of himself, alongside tall stacks of paper, pretending to sign his tax returns. About a year later, just days ahead of his 2017 presidential inauguration, the Republican released a different picture, pretending to write his inaugural address on a legal pad.

The images served as a reminder: Trump doesn’t like to do actual work, but he loves photographs in which

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Maddow Blog | Why it matters that a GOP senator is criticizing Trump’s COVID failures

Six months ago, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) was one of many Republicans downplaying the seriousness of the coronavirus crisis. As the Houston Chronicle reported yesterday, the GOP senator — who happens to be facing a tough re-election fight this year — has recently adopted a very different posture.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn said Monday that President Donald Trump “let his guard down” on the coronavirus and that the president’s rhetoric

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Maddow Blog | Trump puts a dangerous new spin on his coronavirus infection

After Donald Trump acknowledged that he’d tested positive for the coronavirus, a political strategy slowly took shape in Republican circles. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), for example, made the case that the president could emerge from the crisis “humbled,” focused on policy solutions, and emphasizing “the human side” of the pandemic from a personal perspective.

Trump’s re-election team was thinking along the same lines, seeing the president’s health crisis as

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Maddow Blog | US job growth slows unexpectedly as summer comes to an end

The good news is, the economy continues to add jobs following brutal losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year. The bad news is, the recovery is slowing, rather than accelerating.



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The hope headed into this morning was that job growth would top at least 1 million new jobs for the fifth straight month. That’s not what the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in its

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Maddow Blog | As Trump tests positive for the coronavirus, what happens now?

Two weeks ago, Donald Trump suggested he was “not at all concerned” about contracting the coronavirus. It was this posture that led the president to, among other things, hold indoor campaign rallies, repeatedly mock mask-wearing, downplay the significance of the pandemic crisis, and assure the public that the threat would soon pass.

It was against this backdrop that much of the country woke up to dramatic headlines about the Republican’s

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Maddow Blog | Former commander of US forces in Afghanistan endorses Biden

Donald Trump kicked off 2019 with a tweet attacking retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal. “‘General’ McChrystal got fired like a dog by Obama,” the Republican president wrote, adding, “Known for big, dumb mouth.”

McChrystal, of course, is a highly decorated four-star general and combat veteran who devoted nearly all of his adult life to serving his country. Trump nevertheless questioned McChrystal’s service — note his use of scare quotes around “general,”

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Maddow Blog | Unemployment claims inch lower, but remain high



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When it comes to weekly unemployment filings, our whole understanding of “normal” flew out the window six months ago. For example, as regular readers know, it was considered a catastrophe during the Great Recession when jobless claims topped 600,000.

But in 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic started taking a brutal toll on the U.S. economy, Americans confronted an entirely new set of standards — to the point that it seemed

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Maddow Blog | The problem with Trump’s drug discount cards for seniors

As part of the rollout of his faux health care plan, Donald Trump boasted yesterday that he’ll soon send $200 drug-discount cards to 33 million Medicare beneficiaries. “Nobody has seen this before,” the president said. “These cards are incredible.”

He added that the initiative, at a cost of $6.6 billion, would be paid for in part by a most-favored-nation-pricing program in which the United States will pay for medications

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Maddow Blog | White House slams FBI chief over accurate voter-fraud comments

In sworn Senate testimony yesterday, FBI Director Chris Wray acknowledged threats to U.S. election security. But as the New York Times noted, Wray simply doesn’t see systemic voter fraud as one of those threats.

The F.B.I. has not seen evidence of a “coordinated national voter fraud effort,” its director, Christopher A. Wray, told lawmakers on Thursday, undercutting President Trump’s efforts to stoke fears about mail-in ballots by claiming without evidence

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Maddow Blog | White House fails to defend Trump’s line on honoring election results

Even those who’ve come to expect the worst from Donald Trump were taken aback this week when he refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power in the event of an election defeat. The president added that if officials would simply “get rid of the ballots,” there would be “a continuation” of his hold on power.

Not surprisingly, reporters had a few questions about this at yesterday’s White House

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Maddow Blog | Unemployment claims point in discouraging direction as crisis lingers



a screenshot of a cell phone


When it comes to weekly unemployment filings, our whole understanding of “normal” flew out the window six months ago. For example, as regular readers know, it was considered a catastrophe during the Great Recession when jobless claims topped 600,000.

But in 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic started taking a brutal toll on the U.S. economy, Americans confronted an entirely new set of standards — to the point that it seemed

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Maddow Blog | Most Americans balk at Republicans’ Supreme Court scheme

Four years ago, when Senate Republicans launched an unprecedented, 10-month blockade against a sitting president’s Supreme Court nominee, GOP senators insisted they were merely trying to give voters a voice in the process. “Let voters decide,” Republicans declared, arguing that the winner of the next presidential campaign — six months away — should fill a vacancy.

In 2020, those same Republicans have decided they no longer agree with themselves.

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Maddow Blog | Will others on Team Trump follow Olivia Troye’s honorable example?

After Donald Trump refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, and called for officials to “get rid of the ballots” to help him remain in office, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) appeared on the show and said something that struck a chord with me.

“This is a moment that I would say to any Republican of good conscience working in the administration: it is time for

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Maddow Blog | ‘Get rid of the ballots’: Trump combats his own country’s elections

American presidents aren’t traditionally asked whether they’ll commit to a peaceful transition of power, because the question is generally seen as unnecessary. It’s simply assumed that in the United States, chief executives, regardless of party, will respect and honor the foundations of our democracy. For generations, few thought to ask because the answer was self-evident.

In 2020, that’s no longer the case. In light of Donald Trump’s overt hostility toward

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Maddow Blog | Ron Johnson’s anti-Biden memo lands with an embarrassing thud

Occasionally, Republicans and their allies eagerly await the release of information they’re certain will advance their interests. It just never seems to work out that way.

In early 2018, for example, the so-called “Nunes Memo” was supposed to be a blockbuster success for Donald Trump and his allies. Instead, it backfired. A few months later, the president was briefly obsessed with “Spygate,” right up until Trump administration officials prepared

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