MSNBC’s “Up” host, Steve Kornacki discusses what he and his guests have learned this week.
Mar 30 2014
Aug 18 2013
In this week’s segment of “What We Know Now,” Up host Steve Kornacki shares the new things we have learned with guests Krystal Ball, MSNBC’s “The Cycle“; Rick Wilson, Republican media consultant; Sam Seder, radio host; and Nia-Malika Henderson, National Political Reporter, The Washington Post.
The government shed some light on an age-old mystery on Thursday, releasing documents that included the location and first official government acknowledgment of the secretive Area 51 facility, a staple of conspiracy theories about alien life and futuristic government technology.
The National Security Archive at George Washington University got their hands on the report, eight years after filing a Freedom of Information Act request. The document gives previously classified information on the development of the U-2, a spy plane that was revolutionary in 1955, when a CIA agent signed a contract with Lockheed Martin to begin producing the aircraft.
Unease at Clinton Foundation Over Finances and Ambitions
by Nicholas Confessore, The New York Times
Soon after the 10th anniversary of the foundation bearing his name, Bill Clinton met with a small group of aides and two lawyers from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Two weeks of interviews with Clinton Foundation executives and former employees had led the lawyers to some unsettling conclusions.
The review echoed criticism of Mr. Clinton’s early years in the White House: For all of its successes, the Clinton Foundation had become a sprawling concern, supervised by a rotating board of old Clinton hands, vulnerable to distraction and threatened by conflicts of interest. It ran multimillion-dollar deficits for several years, despite vast amounts of money flowing in.
And concern was rising inside and outside the organization about Douglas J. Band, a onetime personal assistant to Mr. Clinton who had started a lucrative corporate consulting firm – which Mr. Clinton joined as a paid adviser – while overseeing the Clinton Global Initiative, the foundation’s glitzy annual gathering of chief executives, heads of state, and celebrities.
NSA broke privacy rules thousands of times per year, audit finds
by Barton Gelman, The Washington Post
The National Security Agency has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008, according to an internal audit and other top-secret documents.
Most of the infractions involve unauthorized surveillance of Americans or foreign intelligence targets in the United States, both of which are restricted by statute and executive order. They range from significant violations of law to typographical errors that resulted in unintended interception of U.S. e-mails and telephone calls.
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‘The Butler’ to prevail at box office this weekend — Oscars next?
by Glenn Whipp, The Los Angeles Times
“Lee Daniels’ The Butler” will be the No. 1 movie at the box office this weekend after taking in about $9 million in ticket sales last night. That puts the historical drama on track for a $27-million weekend, significantly more than The Weinstein Company’s initial lowball estimate of $15 million.
It also means “The Butler” will open to roughly the same weekend take as DreamWorks’ 2011 civil rights drama “The Help,” which also debuted in August and brought in $26 million on its way to a $169.7-million domestic gross.
Will “The Butler,” which tracks the life of an African American man who worked for 34 years as a White House butler, have the same staying power as “The Help”? Oprah Winfrey, who stars in the film with Forest Whitaker, obviously gave the movie an initial boost at the box office, proselytizing on its behalf to her hugely loyal — and large — following. According to a Fandango poll, 72% of ticket-buyers said Winfrey increased the likelihood that they’d see the film.
Aug 11 2013
In this week’s segment of “What We Know Now,” Up host Steve Kornacki talks about the latest news that could “muck up” the GOP’s chances of taking back the Senate in 2014. Joining Steve to discuss what they have learned this week are Christina Bellantoni, PBS’ News Hour; Nick Acocella, Politifax New Jersey; Perry Bacon, Jr., The Grio.com; and Krystal Ball, cohost of MSNBC’s “The Cycle.”
Tea Party favorite Ken Buck files to run for Senate in Colorado
By Jonathan Easley, The Hill
Tea Party favorite Ken Buck (R) filed paperwork Wednesday with the Federal Election Commission to run for U.S. Senate in Colorado.
Buck, who lost a senate bid to Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) in 2010, will seek to unseat Colorado’s other incumbent senator, Mark Udall (D-Colo.), in 2014.
According to the Denver Post, Buck will launch his campaign and tour the state in early September.
Buck, a district attorney, joins state Sens. Randy Baumgardner and Owen Hill in seeking the Republican nomination.
Michelle Nunn engages battle for Senate in Georgia
Catalina Camia, USA Today
WASHINGTON — Democrat Michelle Nunn’s decision to follow in her father’s footsteps in Georgia opens a new front in the battle for control of the Senate in the 2014 elections.
Nunn, CEO of a volunteer service organization, is expected to file her paperwork Tuesday to run for the seat of retiring Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss. The political novice declared her long-awaited candidacy on Monday in an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
This is the same Senate seat that her father, Sam Nunn, held from 1972 to 1997 as a centrist Democrat who appealed to GOP voters. The race to succeed Chambliss has already attracted three congressmen and a former Georgia secretary of State on the Republican side.
Georgia Conservatives Like Paula Deen More Than MLK (But Only Slightly!)
By Emma Roller, Slate
We asked Georgians their opinions about a number of current and historical figures in the state. Martin Luther King Jr. has a 73/15 favorability rating- it’s 83/6 with Democrats but just 59/28 with Republicans. Paula Deen remains quite popular in her home state at a 54/21 spread- she’s very popular with Republicans at 73/11 but seen positively by a plurality of Democrats at 40/33 as well.
Or, more succinctly:
Favorability ratings with Georgia Republicans: Paula Deen 73/11, Martin Luther King Jr. 59/28
— PublicPolicyPolling (@ppppolls) August 7, 2013
NRCC Fundraising Off George W. Bush’s Heart Operation
by Perry Stein, Talking Points Memo
The National Republican Congressional Committee is collecting signatures for an e-card and money to send flowers to former President George W. Bush as he recovers from a heart procedure to clear a blocked artery.
Donations are expected to far exceed the costs of a bouquet of Bluebonnets– the Texas state flower–and NRCC did not return calls to CBS on what they will do with the extra cash, though they will likely use it to help elect Republicans to the House.
Aug 04 2013
In the week’s Up segment of “What We Now Know,” host Steve Kornacki and guests Krystal Ball, MSNBC’s “The Cycle”; Rick Wilson, Republican media consultant; Evan McMorris-Santoro, White House reporter, BuzzFeed.com; and Nia-Malika Henderson, National Political Reporter, The Washingtoacn Post, discuss what they have learned this week.
Cory Booker’s Iowa Scheduling Snafu
by Ben Jacobs, The Daily Beast
Cory Booker isn’t going to Iowa after all.
Booker, the Newark, New Jersey, mayor who is currently a candidate in New Jersey’s special election for the United States Senate, had signed a contract on May 21 to speak at the University of Iowa, according to a university spokesman. The event would take place on August 29 as part of the University’s Welcome Back Week at the beginning of the academic year. He said the event was booked through the speaker’s agency that represented Booker after a committee of students and faculty invited him to speak in early May.
However, Booker campaign spokesperson Silvia Alvarez told The Daily Beast that a visit to Iowa “was not on Booker’s schedule” and said she had no idea how the event ended up on the university’s website.
Documents Show Thatcher-Reagan Rift Over U.S. Decision to Invade Grenada
by Stephen Castle, The New York Times
LONDON – Thirty-year-old documents newly released by the British government reveal just how severely America’s decision to invade the Caribbean island of Grenada in 1983 tested the warm ties between Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and President Ronald Reagan.
While the two leaders had a strong and affectionate personal rapport, the British official papers reveal how little warning Mrs. Thatcher was given about the pending military invasion, a move that left the British irritated, bewildered and disappointed. They also show how Mr. Reagan justified the secrecy as a way to prevent leaks, and how the British later concluded that the invasion had in fact been planned long in advance. At one point during tense written exchanges, both leaders claimed, in defense of their opposing approaches to the unrest in Grenada, that lives were at stake.