Countless numbers of U.S. State Department employees around the world put themselves in harm's way every day. Today brought a deadly reminder of just how important and dangerous that work can be. But for some Republicans, the contribution and service to our country from these heroes is something to mock or denigrate.
That's not the case when it comes to Sen. John McCain. As Lawrence O'Donnell explored in his latest Rewrite, the Arizona senator demonstrated the proper way to react to the deadly attack on American officials.
Let's play a game, shall we? It's all about finding clues on Mitt Romney's policies. And no, there will be no empty chair involved.
In the latest Rewrite, MSNBC's Lawrence O’Donnell played the part of people who have asked the Republican candidate about various positions. The Last Word host used their questions word-for-word, and Romney’s responses word-for-word.
Bill Clinton says the Republicans aren't so good at arithmetic, but the arithmetic that the Romney-Ryan team does understand is that they are losing. Watch the show above, or click here to launch the Last Word video player.
Since being elected as the junior senator from the state of Minnesota, Senator Al Franken has made a point of limiting his television appearances... until tonight.
Our very own Lawrence O'Donnell caught up with Franken on Wednesday at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. The senator, a "longtime viewer and first-time caller" on The Last Word, discussed the the importance of bipartisanship after the election is over.
With $500 billion in automatic defense cuts scheduled to go into effect on New Year's Day, military spending — especially spending on liberal, tree-hugger priorities like alternative fuels — are making headlines.
But, as this anecdote in Michael Grunwald's excellent new book about the Recovery Act The New New Deal reminds us, demagoguing on"wasteful spending" can be deceiving:
"... 'hybrid vehicles for the military' sounded goofy- 'That'll really scare Al Qaeda'... but the Pentagon was desperate for energy-saving solutions. Fuel was one of its top costs, and convoys to fetch fuel were getting soldiers killed in Iraq."
Of course, fans of The West Wing already learned that from Christian Slater!
Pat Buchanan delivering his epic speech at the RNC in 1992.
Senator Kelly Ayote of New Hampshire said last night that President Obama has never run a lemonade stand. Gov. Kasich of Ohio blamed the President for the national debt (though he was part of a Republican congress that inflated it.) Speaker John Boehner said he wanted to throw the president out like a bouncer does to a drunk at a bar.
And then there is Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina. Governor Haley told the convention that President Obama tried to stop Boeing's "Mack-Daddy" 787 DreamLiner from being built and that the hardest part of her day is fighting the federal government. (Meanwhile Democrats are accusing her of ignoring Low Country flooding from Isaac — Charleston is flooded — while she focuses on her political career with Republicans in Tampa.)
Were conventions always this way? Well sometimes they were and sometimes they were worse.
On Monday night's The Last Word, Jonathan Capehart and Tom Brokaw talked about Pat Buchanan's fiery speech at the Republicanconvention in 1992... a speech that was filled with disdain towards women seeking military combat roles, women's reproductive rights, alleged anti-religious bigotry, gay and lesbians Americans seeking fairness and especially Bill Clinton. Brokaw reminded us on Monday that the late liberal columnist Molly Ivins said about the fervor of the speech at the time that "it probably sounded better in its original German."
Brokaw and Capehart aren't the only two who are reminded of Buchanan's speech by the tenor and somewhat extreme tone of this week's RNC Convention in Tampa... so is the New York Times.
“That speech was then, and is now, consistent with the heart and soul of the Republican Party,” Mr. Buchanan said. “The country club and the establishment Republicans recoil from the social, cultural and moral issues which many conservatives and evangelicals have embraced.”
Click through to watch Pat Buchanan's 1992 speech... it is worth a watch if only to compare what was once deemed too extreme for the Republican party to what you'll hear tonight at the RNC.
Pat Buchanan delivers his famous address to the 1992 RNC Convention.
Another national Republican candidate caused controversy for his remarks on rape. In the Rewrite, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell explains how these comments really show Republicans' plans for policy on women's health issues.
Poor Allen West. He was the undisputed "craziest" Republican in Congress, as Lawrence O'Donnell explained in the latest Rewrite. Now he's got some competition. Practically out of no where, he got ambushed this week by little known Missouri Congressman Todd Akin.
Anxious for West to keep his reigning title, election opponent Patrick Murphy found a brilliant way to remind voters of West's antics. Murphy didn't rewrite West's words. Instead he let children read quotes from West in a brand new campaign ad.
In an effort to work the refs in the upcoming presidential and vice presidential debates, Rush Limbaugh is painting the moderators as "far left-wing liberal Democrats." MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell explained in the latest Rewrite.
Ever since Paul Ryan's name started getting mentioned as a possible Republican VP pick, he's been distancing himself from the other woman in his life: Ayn Rand.
He had to drop his beloved then for two reasons. One: he was being considered for the Republican vice presidential nomination.And two: Catholics became highly critical of Ryan's very public entanglement with this woman.
MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell weighed in on the bad romance in the Rewrite.
Picking a GOP running mate has not swept Mitt Romney's tax return issue under the rug, at least here at The Last Word.
The Republican ticket indicated they will only each release two years of their tax returns, at most. That goes against years of precedent in presidential politics. But that can happen, only if the presidential debate and vice presidential debate moderators go along with it.
In the Rewrite, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell encouraged viewers to tell the debate moderators you want them to ask Romney-Ryan why they are hiding their tax returns.