MEDIA ALERT: MSNBC’S Rachel Maddow Show

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Tonight. 9:45 pm EST. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show.
Whither political dynasties? Why are so many so uncomfortable about Caroline Kennedy being appointed to New York’s U.S. Senate seat?. . .and still so attracted to political aristocracy?
Clinton. . .Bush. . .Gore. . .Biden. . .Salazar. . .Udall. . .Murkowski. . .Kennedy. . .Roosevelt. . .
— Steve Clemons

Comments

30 comments on “MEDIA ALERT: MSNBC’S Rachel Maddow Show

  1. Donna Roxey says:

    Dear Rachel,
    I had been told that Canada requires a relief well to be drilled at the same time a primary well is drilled. Apparently, untrue. Unfortunately.
    Donna Roxey
    Columbus, Ohio
    From NPR, June 3, 2010
    Energy giant BP told Canadian regulators that relief wells are an “after-the-fact tactic” in controlling oil well blowouts in March, less than a month before the catastrophic spill in the Gulf of Mexico — which the company hopes to stop by drilling two relief wells.
    A relief well is the oil industry’s gold standard for killing a blowout. In the Gulf, BP’s drillers are guiding the two wells to intersect the 7-inch well pipe of the uncontrolled well; the pipe could then be plugged with cement.
    “This is the long-term definite solution to closing off this well,” BP spokesman Jason French told reporters last month. “We’re applying all the necessary resources, from a personnel standpoint, from the equipment standpoint.”
    But the first rig wasn’t able to set its drill bit into the mud until 13 days after the April 20 blowout on the Deepwater Horizon; the second rig, 28 days after the accident. French said it would take an additional 90 to 120 days to reach the damaged well pipe.
    That means months of gushing oil that BP never contemplated in the exploration plan that it submitted to the federal Minerals Management Service. The plan merely affirmed that BP could pay for a relief well. MMS approved the plan in April 2009.
    The Canadian Policy
    Yet earlier this year, BP told the Canada’s National Energy Board, which regulates offshore oil drilling in the country, that it should repeal a 34-year-old policy on relief wells. The company said relief wells can be superseded by the technology and sophistication of modern drilling rigs.
    The policy applies to the Beaufort Sea, stretching across the top of the Northwest Territories and the Yukon next to Alaska. The drilling season there is cut short by ice. The policy isn’t even all that strict.
    “An operator needs to demonstrate that there is a viable system that can be deployed to drill a well, a relief well, in the same season as the original well, should the original well go out of control,” said Bharat Dixit, leader of the NEB conservation-of-resources team.
    In fact, the policy is called “same-season relief well capability,” making clear that a company doesn’t actually have to drill the relief well unless there’s a blowout; it just has to be prepared.
    As recently as March, the oil industry said even that isn’t necessary.
    “What operators are proposing is that their methodologies, their additional training, their new tools provide for a similar degree of comfort,” Dixit said.
    In its submission to the energy board, dated March 22, BP said that if one of the Beaufort wells went out of control, there probably wouldn’t be enough time to drill a relief well before the ice came in. It called relief wells an “after-the-fact tactic.”
    Questions After Gulf Disaster
    Instead, BP emphasized preventive technology and practices, many of which have now been called into question because of the catastrophe in the Gulf.
    Most notably, the company said it has a “rigid policy requirement,” calling for two barriers to hold down the surging oil and gas in a well: heavy drilling mud in the pipe, and a blowout preventer at the wellhead.
    The drilling mud was intentionally removed on the Deepwater Horizon rig before a cement plug was installed. The blowout preventer then failed.
    Dixit says the incident will change the National Energy Board’s approach to the same-season relief well question.
    A spokeswoman for BP Canada didn’t respond to an interview request.
    Meanwhile, in the Gulf, anxiety continues to rise as BP’s relief wells are months away and other fixes have failed.
    Marine conservation consultant Rick Steiner, a board member of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility — which is critical of the way Washington oversees oil drilling on federal property offshore — argues that relief wells should be drilled simultaneously with production wells.
    If that had happened, he says, the situation would be different now.
    “They would’ve been weeks away from a kill of the well blowout, rather than months,” Steiner says.
    Instead, the relief wells should be finished in August, if all goes as planned.

    Reply

  2. Bob Lovell says:

    Rachel – As for the Filibuster and all the conversations surrounding it – Is it not ironic that the Supreme Court can make decisions that seriously affect the American people with a SIMPLE majority and the Congress and Senate require a super majority to get diddly squat done!! Just food for thought.

    Reply

  3. Bob Lovell says:

    Rachel – As for the Filibuster and all the conversations surrounding it – Is it not ironic that the Supreme Court can make decisions that seriously affect the American people with a SIMPLE majority and the Congress and Senate require a super majority to get diddly squat done!! Just food for thought.

    Reply

  4. margaret sexton says:

    dear Rachel , Iwish I could take my thoughts to all those that are so against President Obamas wants for insurance is it simply because he isnt republican and they dont get to do it all by theirselves they were against medicare and it passed without them years ago the people of America need something to be able to be cared for medically ! why dont they all just give up their insurance that Americans pay for their health care ? take the money it cost all taxpayers . if they would give up what Americans pay for them and pay out of pocket for their own that would give enough revenue to more than pay for public option insurance for the American people ! ask them to give it up after all its government paid insurance ! how much would you say we pay just half a year for them to be covered for medical ?

    Reply

  5. margaret sexton says:

    dear Rachel , Iwish I could take my thoughts to all those that are so against President Obamas wants for insurance is it simply because he isnt republican and they dont get to do it all by theirselves they were against medicare and it passed without them years ago the people of America need something to be able to be cared for medically ! why dont they all just give up their insurance that Americans pay for their health care ? take the money it cost all taxpayers . if they would give up what Americans pay for them and pay out of pocket for their own that would give enough revenue to more than pay for public option insurance for the American people ! ask them to give it up after all its government paid insurance ! how much would you say we pay just half a year for them to be covered for medical ?

    Reply

  6. Deta Reid says:

    Maine Murder:
    Why did you spend your valuable and fabulous air time on the fact that the murdered man was a bomb maker, white Nazi..and not spend EQUAL time in discussing his sexual, physical and emotional abuse of his wife ?

    Reply

  7. Deta Reid says:

    regarding the Maine Murder:
    Why, Rachel, did you spend so much of your valuable ( and fabulous air time) on the fact that the murdered man was a bomb maker, white Nazi..and not spend EQUAL time in discussing his sexual, physical and emotional abuse of his wife and partner?
    Deta Reid

    Reply

  8. Deta Reid says:

    Why is it so difficult to find an easy path to place an opinion or comment to Rachel’s statements on msnbc???????
    I’ll try here:
    regarding the Maine Murder:
    Why, Rachel, did you spend so much of your valuable ( and fabulous air time) on the fact that the murdered man was a bomb maker, white Nazi..and not spend EQUAL time in discussing his sexual, physical and emotional abuse of his wife and partner?
    Deta Reid
    2 Reservoir Street
    New Haven, CT 06511

    Reply

  9. Minta Kenney says:

    As I was watching your show, after Keith, where it sounds like Obama wants the financial incentive money to be spent rather than pay off credit cards, put in savings, etc. I had a thought. All the people who have a job, but it doesn’t pay enough for simple things needed, like food, heat, gasoline, all kinds of things that will help make life less stressful.
    I heard somewhere that the request for food stamps has risen to an all time high. Personally I’m grateful for the small food stamp allowance I get. But my car is in serious trouble, So as a result I’m unable to get to my doctor (the buses don’t run this way), so all of us have something we ‘desperately’ need. I can’t afford to get it fixed as I live in government housing on very limited Social Security, and feel blessed to have a warm apartment with heat and air conditioning.
    I realize the complexity of determining who needs what, but I believe it could be done. I have a couple thoughts about how, but I’ll save that in case this ‘spending’ idea might catch on. It would be putting money directly into the economy, rather than primarily the banks. People would get some basic needs met, such as heat in the winter, food, gasoline or dependable transportation to go look for the very few jobs available, or pay them to work on the infrastructure, things we need to allow us to feel some degree of hope, less helplessness, less alcoholism leading to abuse in the family, and I could go on and on.
    I spent some time on the Lakota Sioux Reservation, and I saw for myself what loss of hope can do to a family. So much alcoholism, abuse of the women and especially the spirit of helplessness and hopelessness. I would feel sick in my soul if that were to be the prevailing sense for the middle-class. Of course, it’s already started.
    Just thoughts, but it feels like you would read these words, and take them seriously, or at least put some thought into the idea. Not many other announcers would, I suspect,
    Rachel, I love your show ~ ~ have from the first broadcast. I told a couple of my friends: they had the same reaction: told their friends, and now you have a huge following in Overland Park, KS,
    Thanks for taking the time to read this.
    Sincerely,
    Minta Kenney
    Overland Park, KS

    Reply

  10. Robert M says:

    Except for her so called ability to raise money I see no reason to put her in the seat. Upstate NY is being dissed as are several others whom had to kiss Hilliary’s whorish ass a couple of years ago.

    Reply

  11. Tuma says:

    “Reading Sato’s post, I am struck by the fact that he assigns skills
    to Caroline that she in fact has never had the need to learn or
    utilize. What life experiences has Caroline Kennedy walked through
    that would bestow her with the kind of empathy that is required to
    address the needs and the wants of the general community?”
    Problem is, many of our politicians, if not most, have come from
    wealth. FDR comes to mind, and he had uncanny empathy with the
    common man and woman. Wealth is not the deciding factor here.
    Being rich or poor is just a matter of how much money you have; it
    doesn’t determine who you are.

    Reply

  12. Matt says:

    I don’t get it… Have Ted Kennedy and Patrick Kennedy taken significantly different stands on ANYTHING at all? Caroline Kennedy is just going to hold the family line. If the Kennedy family’s politics make you nervous, then she’ll make you nervous. If they don’t then her presence may be somewhat comforting. Also, what role does Ted Kennedy’s perilous condition play in this kind of machination?

    Reply

  13. Matt says:

    WigWag, Cianci WAS basically a mobster and now he’s pandering heavily to the folks on conservative talk radio. People like him because he’s a wise guy. Did you know that he was forced to resign the first time (1984) after “pleading no contest to assaulting a man with a lit cigarette, an ashtray and a fireplace log”? And then the Feds put him in prison in 2001 using the RICO Act…which was originally intended to prosecute the Mafia? It doesn’t get much uglier, and I bet even Blagojevich will come up with some sob story to make folks in Chicago think he’s not a crook. Chafee is not a crook, and it wasn’t crooked for him to replace his father. In fact, he was the single Republican Senator with a conscience when it came to the Iraq War. Rhode Island is a small place and his family has built up a great deal of respect there on both sides of the aisle. I don’t know a whole lot about Caroline Kennedy, but it seems to me that she’s from the caste of people that would be calling the shots anyway, so why not cut to the chase?

    Reply

  14. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Gads,we’ve become a nation of utter jackasses led by a bunch of foppish elitist Little Lord Fauntreloys that haven’t got a fuckin’ idea of the realities most Americans wake up to every day.
    Reading Sato’s post, I am struck by the fact that he assigns skills to Caroline that she in fact has never had the need to learn or utilize. What life experiences has Caroline Kennedy walked through that would bestow her with the kind of empathy that is required to address the needs and the wants of the general community?
    My personal opinion is that people like Sato are starstruck by celebrity, and ANY Kennedy would be recieving his fawning adoration, deserved or otherwise.
    This nation is at the edge of an abyss, and is in dire need of leaders that have climbed the essential ladder of accomplishment that the rest of us have had to climb to become leaders in our field. Thats how skill and competence is instilled. Decades of decline at the hands of elitist and privileged leaders has brought us to this unprecedented national low, yet there are still these jackasses among us who continue to cling to this insane idea that sooner or later what ISN’T working will suddenly become constructive and successful. Horseshit. Being named “Bush”, or “Clinton”, or “Kennedy” is not a qualification. And if we were sane, assessing the state of the union, it would be a disqualification. How have these dynasties served us thus far?

    Reply

  15. Steve Clemons says:

    Mark Sato and thomas — glad you can record your views here. My concerns about Caroline Kennedy being appointed a New York US Senate seat are a sound critique of a tendency to tilt toward political dynasties. This is not in line with the democratic spirit I believe we should be exemplifying as a nation. If you read what I have written and actually listened to what I said on Maddow, I made clear that I thought Kennedy may be a great Senator and that she is probably a great person. Nonetheless, we are gambling on a name and her desire for the seat — that’s it. For you, that may be enough. For me and many Americans, I am “uncomfortable.”
    Best, Steve Clemons

    Reply

  16. thomas says:

    What experience Hillary Clinton had before becoming Senator? Will
    anyone argue that she didn’t do a fine job as Senator? Caroline is
    smart and dedicated to making a difference. She must feel at this
    point in her life she is ready to step into the political arena. I
    totally support her!

    Reply

  17. Zathras says:

    If I were a Democratic governor of New York, I wouldn’t worry too much about an appointed Senator being able to hold the seat. The Republican Party in that state will be down for a while. I’d be more concerned that a potential nominee who has — as the term of art has it — guarded her privacy thoughout her adult life might quickly tire of the spotlight, let alone the requirement to mingle regularly with people of less exalted social status.
    Against that one must set the adulation of the entertainment-oriented political media, and whatever value comes with that. But dynastic questions aside — and honestly, do we really need to be reminded that Roosevelts and Adamses who carried on political dynasties actually tried to accomplish something as opposed to just filling an office? — I wanted to raise another question.
    In the last Congress, there was one African American Senator. At this point, the next Congress is projected to have zero. Now, I have no brief for any particular African American as far as being appointed to fill out Sen. Clinton’s term is concerned; I don’t live in New York, and I’m not even a Democrat. But zero is an unfortunate number in this context. Gov. Paterson and whoever ends up picking the replacement for President-elect Obama in Illinois might do a healthy thing for American (and African-American) politics in this country by elevating an African American with talent and integrity to a position of prominence. Rich beautiful people in New York City high society have enough honors thrown their way as it is.

    Reply

  18. Mark Sato says:

    TO: Steve Clemons, Publisher, Washington Note
    IN RE: Caroline Kennedy
    Your appearance on the Rachel Maddow Show to put your shoulder into the potential appointment of Caroline Kennedy into the Senate seat recently vacated by Hillary was drivel, high-toned drivel, but drivel, nevertheless.
    Caroline Kennedy isn’t Sarah Palin, a mere 4-6 percentage point swing in votes from being that murmury heartbeat away from the WH and who doesn’t seem to have enough brains for a decent pap smear. And you’re worried about how Caroline will play in that notoriously tough town, the District of Columbia. She isn’t an evangelical ideologue, willing to send the entire planet down the crapper to insist on the God planks, her version anyway, in the platform; that alone catapults her way ahead of not only the Alaskan airhead, but every other Republican pol duly elected to the Senate; see, e.g., the Southern States Senators who’ve made transplanted car manufacturers their tin gods and have insisted that the Big 3 are worthy of ex-communication, if only because they’ve cast the UAW in the role of the devil.
    Neither is JFK’s daughter anywhere close to being like the scheming banshee that she should replace, the one who, but for the disgrace of God, Rick Davis, would have been the Democratic nominee and who has been taken out of the mix for the foreseeable future, kept closer than she would have been as Senator Clinton. Caroline has as much to recommend her as Hillary when Hillary was a carpetbagger and former First Lady. In fact, as President of the JFK Memorial Library, can there be any doubt she’s studied her father and how he ran the country and how he intended to run it had he lived? She’s lost far more than Hillary has taken, stuffing both pockets with both hands, but Caroline’s loss has prepared her to handle anything that notoriously tough town can throw at her. And, I’m certain she’ll never have to play dodgeshoe because no one is going to hate her so much for promoting destructive policies on a global scale.
    The following is the verbiage in a letter I just sent to Caroline.
    Caroline Kennedy, President
    The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
    Columbia Point
    Boston, MA 02125
    IN RE: The call of your father, Rev. King, your uncle and your brother
    When I read your letter in the NY Times about how much Barack Obama reminded you of your father, I wept. My sentiments, confirmed. When your uncle, following closely Rev. King, was murdered, I was just 20, not old enough to vote, then. I turned my back on the election process. When your brother lost his life so tragically, what I had referred to as “Watershed for a generation of tears”, a cable show that I wrote on the occasion of Oliver Stone’s movie “JFK”, smacked me around, again.
    This last Nov. 4, I registered and voted for the 1st time, ever … the first time in 40 years that I felt someone who could make so many, in a number sufficient to matter, both hope and move to the sound of his hopeful message … so reminiscent of your father, Rev. King, your uncle and your brother. That empty Senate seat aches for you to be occupying it. I applaud your stated desire for that to take place; for me, it will be the just and proper conclusion for you to take the place of your brother, who should have been in that seat. If you’re chosen, you will honor the legacy of your father, Rev. King and your uncle, as only you are now capable of, at least in part, fulfilling that legacy.
    Your experience matters … absolutely not at all, not any more than the barbed tongues that carped about Barack Obama, living proof that hope can drive the best political instincts, that moaned that he hadn’t the gravitas, granted supposedly by being hardened by life, required to sit in the Oval Office. Even now, the pundits who may have even supported the Pres.-elect have made your prior decision to serve quietly and without fanfare something of a disqualifier. I don’t care if you drool, make rude sounds in public, have hairy underarms, or can’t remember the name of every single member of the Kennedy clan. None of that, or any other frivolous that, kicks your life’s work to the curb.
    What does matter is that we need as many true givers of hope in highly visible political offices as possible. Your other uncle, lion that he is, also could use some of that Kennedy juice, fresher and younger, to help keep him going as well. No last hurrah just yet.
    You’ve heeded the call. Plug your ears to the noise.
    Mark Sato

    Reply

  19. Dan Kervick says:

    Since I’m not a resident of New York, it’s really none of my business whom New Yorkers prefer to send to the Senate.
    I do think the “dynasties” problem is quite overrated, however. We really don’t have a lot of political dynasties in this country. The US Congress is populated with 535 people, the vast majority of whom are not the heirs to any kind of political dynasty. Why the sudden terror of dynasties?
    There are of course some political dynasties, just as their are beer brewing dynasties and publishing dynasties. Politics is a business, and the skills and assets picked up in the business can be passed on through families from one generation to the next. That’s no different than any other line of work. What’s so bad about it.
    Of course, if a dynasty is to be perpetuated it is good for the new kids to prove they have the right stuff by actually winning elections and working their way up through the legislative ranks. C. Kennedy seems to be a good and talented something or other. But she never struck me as a politician. Is she really cut out for Senate work?

    Reply

  20. WigWag says:

    The real irony of the whole Caroline Kennedy thing is that the person who will make the decision about whether to appoint her, Governor David Paterson, is himself a nepotism case.
    Governor Paterson’s father, Basil Paterson, is (along with David Dinkins, Percy Sutton and Charlie Rangel), a long time leader of the Harlem Clubhouse, which has dominated Harlem politics since the 1960s. Basil Paterson is a former New York Secretary of State, a former New York State Senator and a former New York City Deputy Mayor.
    The Governor (David Paterson) was elected in 1985 to the State Senate seat once held by his father (Basil Paterson). In 2003 he rose to the position of State Senate minority leader and in 2006, partially on the recommendation of Basil Paterson, Eliot Spitzer selected David Paterson as his Lieutenant Governor. Spitzer got caught with a prostitute and the rest is history.
    So if Kennedy is anointed by Paterson, we will have one nepotism case selecting another.
    America’s political dynasties look more and more like mafia families every day.

    Reply

  21. AndrewMzadeh. says:

    I think that Steve was right to argue against a Kennedy pick on Maddow’s show. For any politician to be successful, it’s important for him or her to be skilled in what’s known as “retail politics.” Unfortunately, Ms. Kennedy did not show that sort of talent today, when she left a press conference and entered her limo after answering only two questions from reporters. In fact, Ms. Kennedy, by her actions, not her words, has shown herself to be quite disinterested in appealing to to the public in her bid for a Senate seat. Instead, she has chosen to lobby the Governor and other NY state politicians. It is difficult for one to argue that such tactics do not represent a certain level of aristocratic arrogance.

    Reply

  22. LizDexic says:

    The New Yorker had some great suggestions for senators from
    NYC…since it has such a wealth of extraordinary people.
    Kareem Abdul jabar was one. Paul Krugman another. Why not have
    someone who has been involved and/or is an intellectual.
    How about Our Rachel ?
    (as she’s referred to by Monteith & Rand)

    Reply

  23. Joe McGeehan says:

    Has everyone forgotten that this Senate seat will be filled by
    appointment of the N.Y. governor? What you think doesn’t matter,
    what he thinks is all that matters. How much good (fund-raising)
    can she do him? In two years she will be able to pull off a
    reelection or she won’t based on her she performs.
    I find her no less qualified to be a Senator than Sarah Palin was to
    be a vice presidental candidate on a ticket with a 72 year old man.
    A whole lot less scary, in fact.

    Reply

  24. WigWag says:

    Matt, from what I’ve read, Cianci was an incredibly popular and successful Mayor of Providence, RI. I’ve heard that he is eligible to run again in 2012 (after his parole is over)and that the next election in Providence after that is 2014 (Cianci will be 63).
    I’d take Buddy Cianci over Caroline Kennedy or even Lincoln Chafee any day. Is Cianci’s corruption really worse than the corruption that brought Caroline Kennedy her great wealth (her grandfather’s crooked business dealings)? Is it really that much worse than a high political office (like a United States Senate seat)being passed from father to son like it was from John Chafee to Lincoln Chafee?
    From what I can tell, the only two professions where nepotism is as rampant as it is in politics is Hollywood and the Mafia.

    Reply

  25. liz says:

    Steve, I wish I had seen your post earlier. I’ve been wondering how ” the little people out here in tv land”, like me, could get a message to Rachel Maddow. It’s difficult to contact her show. She ” touches” touchy and difficult material but if people can’t get stories to her, she doesn’t know about ” things”. Same problem with the Keith Olberman Show.
    Perhaps if you ever get the opportunity again, could you please give these talented people this simple message.
    They don’t hear We the People either…..

    Reply

  26. Matt says:

    For what it’s worth, WigWag, that’s almost a tenth of Rhode Island’s entire population. And in general, RI politicians could give those guys in Chicago a run for their money. Remember Buddy Cianci? But Linc Chafee was never had to be involved in RI corruption…probably because he’s so rich.

    Reply

  27. WigWag says:

    And don’t forget Lincoln Chafee. What was he before he was appointed to fill his father’s seat? If my recollection is correct, he was on the City Council of Warwick Rhode Island (population 86,000). But of course that is far more experience than Caroline has.

    Reply

  28. janinsanfran says:

    And what do you think of Obama fronting Rick Warren at the inaugural?

    Reply

  29. Steve Clemons says:

    good to make a list.
    I’m not fully against political dynasties by the way — but prefer it when people run for seats.
    Caroline Kennedy may be a superstar — and may be a great Senator eventually. . .but we are being asked to consider her mostly by what we know of her last name and her iconic parents.
    I hope she shows us more.

    Reply

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