tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC April 10, 2012 4:00am-5:00am EDT
angeles, california. i'm out here to do some stuff for my book, for "drift," and also to see my folks. i've been doing shows here all week long. i'm from california originally and the weather is awesome. one of the sad things about leaving our office back in new york, when ever i have to leave is i don't like to be away from my wood burned veto paddle. the office of montana governor mailed us this block of wood into which the governor had burned the word veto with a cattle brand. we promptly put it up in our bull pen. they mailed it to us after we reported on his montana spin on making a big deal out of bills that she chooses to veto. he will gather a big ground outside the state capital and he will burn the word veto right through bills that were sent to his desk from the republican led state legislature even though he may be doing it with the most style of anyone, montana governor is not the only governor or even the only democratic governor who has had some fun making a big fiery symbolic deal out of the process
of saying no. today, for example, in minnesota, that state senator held a press conference for him to symbolically, but not really, make it hard to vote. governor dayton had to fake veto this bill instead of actually vetoing it because minnesota republicans voted to put this measure on the ballot in november. in minnesota, that sort of thing does go through the legislative process, but the governor doesn't have any way to block it. instead it goes right up for a vote by the people in november. even though he could not veto this legislation, governor
dayton symbolically vetoed it today calling the measure unwise and unnecessary. this is not the first time that governor dayton has done this sort of thing. also on the ballot in november will be a measure to doubly tripley ban gay marriage again in the state. governor dayton fake vetoed that bill last may. same-sex marriage is illegal in minnesota. it's already banned. minnesota republicans having solved all the other pressing problems in their state have decided to go through the process of putting an extra redundant ban before the voters this november. it could have no current effect on state law. same-sex marriage is already banned. they are thinking it will have the affect of driving up the turn out of conservative voters in minnesota who really care and want to vote on a symbolic strike against the gay this way.
there was an interesting and unexpected development on that little bit of minnesota uselessness today. one president obama's re-election campaign decided to weigh in on the issue, the obama campaign officially came out today in opposition to minnesota's anti-gay ballot initiative, the one that governor dayton fake vetoed. they released a statement that said while the president does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the record is clear that the president has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny benefits to same sex couples. that long from the obama campaign is ie dent cal to the campaign used when it came out against another anti-gay measure that will be on the ballot next month in north carolina. because this has now happened in a couple of state, which i mean it's something approaching a pattern from the obama campaign, we should not be surprised if
this happens again. given that the president is on the record as being posed to gay people having the right to get married even as his administration has approved other gay rights including don't ask, don't tell. even though they have done all of those things and more, the president's personal stance on the issue does make this campaign move like the one they made today make them politicall noticeable. there was no immediate response. there had been no response from them until we call d them for a response. then they e-mailed over a statement that read in part, quote, while it's flattering that president obama thinks so highly of minnesota to weigh in on our ballot initiatives when we has so much else on his plate, i'm pretty sure we can decide these questions for ourselves.
you know what, that itself is sort of worthy of congratulations to the minnesota republican party. congratulations. it's good to know that you guys still have phones. you still have your phones up and running. you still have e-mails account. that didn't seem like a fore gone conclusion after politico said the state republican party is now carrying over a million dollars in debt. at the state level they are in the red big time. they may be the worst off of all state republican parties and a lot of them are bad off. the minnesota gop is so deep in debt it has stopped paying the lease on its headquarters. just seven months from what republicans like to call the biggest elections in our lifetime, the minnesota republican party is having a little problem with insolvency. we saw this back in nevada back in 2010 the state republican party in nevada, you may remember, was in shambles.
we traveled to nevada right before the big harry reid senate race in november 2010. at that late date it was namely getting tup vote. sharon ingle was ahead in the polls, but she ultimately lost the race because the nevada republican party was a hot mess. they could not get it together enough to figure out how to do basic turn out efforts for their own voters. on election day, they lost. fast forward two years now and it's now the republican party of minnesota that is a nationally reportable hot mess. according to republican party of minnesota, we're not paying our office lease rent payment currently and not negotiated long term payment schedules and our settlements on the accounts payable aging.
it's not just minnesota. politico reporting on a number of orphan state republican parties that are in serious trouble. these are state parties mostly in blue states where republicans don't compete well. they have not developed the ability to compete well. places like california and illinois and new york. the national republican party reportedly now setting aside millions and millions of dollars to essentially bail those relatively lame state parties out. the states that politico documented as having their state parties in trouble are not all orphan states. they're not all liberal states. a lot of them are swing states are something close to swing states. minnesota where republicans can't pay the rent. one republican said i don't know how the party is going to be capable of doing anything this cycle. politico noting the trouble in the state of ohio where republicans have been in state of open warfare for months.
the ohio party chairman noting he will have to rely on county organization to get out the vote as opposed to state organization. there's also more trouble brewing in nevada which saw its state chairman depart after a disasterous republican caucus in nevada. under repaired would be generous as a description of his state gop. quote, they just don't seem to be prepared at all. then there's the republican party up in new hampshire which saw its own state chairman up and quit amid serious fund raising problems in new hampshire. in iowa, you will recall the state chairman was forced to resign there after the party botched the iowa republican presidential caucus this year. under the state chairman's leadership, mitt romney won on election night. then it was a tie and it turned out rick santorum won. i'm sorry, i quit. the new iowa state chairman is
known for being a supporter of ron paul. one telling politico, he's not a guy you have a lot of confidence in. we spoke to a veteran iowa observer who said there's angst among the party about their new chairman's ability to get the job done in iowa. state parties are important. the first thing that we think about are things like getting out the vote and the basic logistics for the presidential race. it's also everything else on the ticket. it's every other race that will be on the ballot in november. in states that are a total mess at the state party level, what's plan b? if some key state republican parties literally are not able the pay their rent so it does not seem like they will be able to do anything for the elections this fall.
what's plan b? plan b is this guy. the $200 million war chest that karl rove has committed will start producing anti-obama campaign ads this month. if you're a state republican party is bankrupt like minnesota or otherwise in the state of disarray like ohio, say, don't worry. karl rove and his millions are on the way. politico reporting just as american crossroads stepped in to help with senate turn out two years ago to compensate for the underfunded rnc, some new super pacs will help where the state party's need assistance. should be noted though, take a critical eye of what happened in 2010. what we saw was karl rove and his endless supply of cash can do a lot, but not everything. it can't fill the organizal void
by a hallowed out republican party in chaos. as much money as he has to throw around, there's certain party functions that take humans, local grassroots humans and that can't be replicated by money flown in somewhere else. >> what's the sharon turn ut infrastructure if the republican party isn't all that here, what is she relying on for turning out votes? >> karl rove. >> what? >> american crossroads announced they will dump a bunch of money into nevada to help them with get out the vote. they have poured some money, my understanding, into the nevada party, which is a shell corporation. there's nothing there. >> can you really fly in a get out the vote infrastructure? >> not only does it have to be organic, but it can't be done in a few weeks.
>> john ralston was right there. the death of the republican party in nevada seems to have doomed sharon's chances at winning a senate seat that year. this is not to put republicans down. this does not represent morally qualitative about republicans. it's a really important organizational fact about how different the two parties are. it doesn't factor, i think enough into the way we think about partisan contests. the republican party, at this moment, is not a very strong party. just organizationally speaking, they don't seem to have it together. the republican party exists alongside a very strong, very rich conservative movement. very strong, very rich conservative movement that can give unlimited money even from corporate companies. the inbalance between the republican party conservative movement is not matched by
anything on the democratic side. it is the thing that makes republican politics so fascinating and so different to watch than democratic politics. that imbalance between the conservative movement and the republican party, the conservative movement having its act together so much more than the party has seemed to be basically true since the end of the george w. bush presidency, but it's never seemed more true than right now than with the state party falling apart. watching in 2012 means trying to understand assets and weaknesses, essentially post republican party as an institution in john, it's great to see you again. thanks for being here. >> love those memories of standing out in the desert with you a couple of years ago here in las vegas. >> heading into this election cycle, whether or not things have changed, john.
is the nevada republican party back on its feet? does it exist as more than a shell corporation, as you put it back then? >> let me tell you how bad it is. you mention our scandal clad governor, those are the glory days compared to what's going on now. no chairman, no money, no credibility. you used the right adjective, disasterous caucus. they had only 33,000 republicans turn out. that's 8% of registered republicans turn out for that caucus. it took them forever to count the very few votes. they had a special caucus just for sheldon adelson. the party is about to elect as its state chairman a former las vegas city council who was found guilty by two ethics tribunals, was investigated by a couple of federal agencies and ousted from
office in disgrace. he also was a lobbyist while in office for a couple different strip club owners. the republican party is back here. >> a lot of republicans talk about nevada as a state they might be able to win. they think the demographics are good for mitt romney. they think the politics blow his way. how do you think what you're describing affect the chances in november? >> well, i was getting e-mails and phone calls while the caucus disasterous caucus was going on and from other prom innocent campaigns including, we have the big senate race here. we're just going to void the party. we're not going to have anything to do with it. we'll raise money outside of it. you mentioned the karl rove, we
talked about him last time, crossroads will pour a lot of money in here. the rnc will pour money in here to try to make up for the lack of a state republican party. as i said to you back then t and i believe it now, you can't just erect those things overnight or in one election cycle. the democrats spent two or three election cycles building up the formidable organization they have that saved henry reid back in 2010 and help barack obama win this election back in 2008. the republicans are trying to put together stuff on the fly. that's not going to work in a big presidential year here. it's going to be an impediment compared to the democratic party and i bet nevada is not alone. >> do you see the, i guess, what all that external republican money can be spent on as essentially ads that the money can be spend on ads and that's something easy to organize even if you never stepped foot in nevada. more organizational stuff is
something that can't be done in with a fly-in operation. is that the bottom line? >> i think that's right. the democrats have an inherent advantage. they can tap into a lot more shoe leather than the republicans can. they have the unions, for example. the republicans need to have the infrastructure set up to identify voters to get out to the polls. the republicans have no voter registration apparatus that's been detectable yet. they're not registering a ton of voters. that's the kind of thing you need a sophisticated operation to do. there's no sign it exists. >> john ralston. it's graelt to talk to you. thanks for being here. >> you too. thanks. first, the chairman of the republican party said there's no war on women. think war on caterpillars
instead. that did not go over well. then the spokes declared war on declaring anything a war. now mitch mcconnell is take his own stab at it. it's not going well. unfurntly, it was all on tape today. that's coming up. t the number og anti-aging cream undeniably. it creamed unbelievably a $500 cream and now women have made regenerist microsculpting cream also unscented. women love it. in original and also fragrance-free.
as they get dispatched by their country to do important things. guys that used to head up the united nations also get tapped for missions impossible. he's been tapped to try to stop this. the regime has responded to protests and calls for reform by turning syria's military might against its on civilian population. a deal was worked out in which tomorrow was supposed to be the deadline for syrian troops to pull out the major cities and thursday would be the day that all sides all over the country would stop fighting and try to talk out their differences instead. today, that fell apart. a to turkish official said even though they agreed to the deal, they now consider it void.
the fighting is spilling over borders. in lebanon they said one of their cameraman was shot to death while he stood on the lebanese side of the border. he was killed and another employee of the tv station was wounded. it gets worse. it's estimated that a total of about 9,000 people have been killed in syria since fighting broke out a year ago. when that many people, that many civilians are getting killed. you get lots of refugees. you get people fleeing their home country. more than 24,000 people have fled into the neighboring border of turkey. today syrian soldiers shot into turkey over the border to kill syrian refugees on the turkish side. everything is connected.
everybody else in the world may be outraged but they're one friend in the world is iran. talks are due to restart over irans contested nuclear program. those talks are scheduled on what's supposed to be neutral ground. they are scheduled to take place in turkey. for a moment iran balked saying turkey is not neutral ground since turkey is so mad at syria and syria is iran's only friend. now they say they are back on board as long as there can be a second round of talks in baghdad. the context of this happening is that north korea is about to launch a missile. they have let some western countries into the country to show off about that. watch richard here. watch him zoom in on what the west sees as the problem with this north korean launch.
>> reporter: the journey began with a bus ride. a view of the world's most closed capital. the streets are wide and spotless. there are so few cars every one seems to walk. most buildings are austere, apartments are provided by the self-described socialist state. then we move to a v.i.p. train accompanied by teams of government minders. >> one person here. >> reporter: the train will take us to a military base to see the rocket and satellite north korea will soon try to blast into orbit. seldom are outsiders given chance to see the country side where food is scarce. the farms are collective, centrally planned but up here poorly funded. we don't see many tractors, few machines at all. mostly farmers with hand tool pps the village houses all look the same. after five hours we arrive at the launch station.
we brought a rocket expert with two decades at nasa's rocket center. he'll help us verify what the north koreans are showing. after security checks we sfwr a test facility. in the middle of a room, there it is. they will soon launch it into orbit. it's relatively small. we're told it weighs around 220 pounds. it looks about three and a half feet tall. officials here say it is fitted with solar panels and high definition camera to take images of the earth from orbit. the shiny satellite isn't sparking international condemnation. instead, this is. it's a powerful three stage rocket, liquid fuel with enough lifting force to carry a thousand pound payload and this is what u.s. officials are concerned about. this rocket is for scientific
purposes but u.s. officials worry it could be convert into an intercontinental missile. >> there's the rub. the little bit of math that richard sets us up to do there. they have a satellite that weighs 220 pounds. they're launching it on a rocket that handles something that weighs athousands pounds and to be able to hurl something a thousands pounds really far. the united states is worried about north korea developing missiles powerful enough to fly between continents. there's this missile launch. an international news an international war and weapons news on days like this, it feels like everything is connected and everything is complicated until you get a message like south korea is sending out
berg television and called the idea of a republican war on women fiction. he said the idea of a republican war on women was analogous to a republican war on caterpillars so he made an analogy in which women are caterpillars. caterpillars are bugs that have lots and lots of short legs. the republican party spokesman envaed not against the use of word of war on women, the spokesman decided to be upset about first word. he decided to be upset about the word war. he called the use of that word war bordering on unpatriotic, which is amazing since the party he is the spokesman for has accused president obama from waging war on everything from coal to mexico and to women. the campaign for the party's likely presidential nominee is accusing president obama of
waging war on war don dioxide to free enterprise to the catholic church. the national republican party has decided using the word war in a political metaphor is offensive to them all of a sudden. today the republican's bad messaging on the whole war on women thing got even worse. today the top republican in the united states senate, minority leader addressed the war on women charge in an appearance on a local radio show in his home state of kentucky. listen. >> talk about a manufactured issue. there is no issue senator kay bailey hutchison and susan collins and olympia snowe from main and lisa mur cow ski, we don't see any evidence of this. >> mitch mcconnell calling it a manufactured issue and if you don't believe it, ask a lady
republican. ask senator kay bailey hitchison about this. ask her. >> planned parenthood does mammograms. they do so much of the health care, the preventive health care. if they are doing that, then we need to provide those services. absolutely. >> she spoke out against her own party's attack on planned parenthood. a big part of the republican people say the republicans are waging war on women, those attacks on planned parenthood. she was not backing up mitch's point there. how about olympia snowe. he was on the list of women that would debunk this war on women myth. last month she voted with the democrats against the blunt amendment to roll back access to
contraception and just last week at a women's campaign fund event in new york, she said this about the birth control battle being waged by her party. she said i feel like it's a retro debate that comes from the 1950s. it's sort of back to the future. moving on down his ladies that will back me up list. senator murkowski voted for the anti-contraception amendment. she was with him on that but she admitted publicly she regretted the vote. she would like to take it back. still, her colleague and minority leader in the senate, if we were to ask her about this supposed republican war on women, she would say she sees no evidence of any such thing. this is not a hypothetical. somebody did ask her about the republican war on women just a few days ago. this is what she said about it. >> this is not only discussion in congress but you've got presidential wannabes that are talking about whether or not contraception is good, bad, indifferent, wrong. women feeling that the party
that i've chosen to affiliate myself with, the republican party is ignoring their concerns, is causing them to feel like the rights that they believe were settled a long time ago are now being threatened, possibly eroded. >> let me ask you this from a strategic and tactical side of thinking. aren't the republicans maybe stepping into a trap? do they really -- i guess the question i'm trying to ask is what are they thinking? >> i asked the same question to my colleagues. it makes no sense to go down this road. it makes no sense to attack women, and if you don't view this as an attack on women, then you need to go home and talk to your wives. you need to talk to your
daughters. ask them if they feel this is an attack? >> if you don't view this as an take on women, go home and talk to your wives. talk to your daughters. that is what senator lisa murkowski thinks about the war on women. >> talk about a manufactured issue there is no issue. i think they would be the first to say and lisa murkowski from alaska, we don't see any evidence of this. >> actually, they don't say that. they don't say it's a manufactured issue when people think about this. maybe you should ask them too. modest proposal. next time you want to rattle off republican women that totally agree with you, maybe ask those republican women if that's okay first. if it turns out they don't agree with you, maybe you could even ask them why.
joining us now is senior political writer for salon.com. it's good to see you. thanks for being here. >> good to see you. >> what does it say to you that a number of republican women, republican senators, are speaking out against their party's line on this issue, and further, what does it mean that the party's leadership does not appear to be noticing it's happening? >> it says a couple of things. the woman that are speaking out can read the polls better than mitch can. what we have seen in the last few week, as a result of emphasis the republican party has placed on contraception, the way they conducted we have seen women leaving the republican party, leaving mitt romney in droves. there was a poll that was limited to 12 swing states that came out last week that showed obama's edge over romney among women no those swing states where this election will be decided exploded to nearly 20 points.
at the same time he's only ahead among men by a single point. among independent voters just a few months ago romney was ahead five points among independent women. he is now trailing by 14. it's hard to connect this to anything except the way the republicans have handled themselves in this debate. i think lee the others are sensitive to that. look at the women that are speaking up. kay bailey is leaving politics. olympia snowey is leaving. lisa ran as an independent last year. she lost the republican primary to a conservative republican challenger. these are women that are liberated a bit from the political games that the rest of the republicans in washington are playing and have to play. >> i think that's so smart in looking at the individual circumstance of these women that feel like they can speak out. that goes right to, i guess, the most important pragmatic political question is whether or
not this shift in position by the republican party, whether it's going to hurt them among republican women or whether this is only something that hurts them among independent women, potential crossover voters and some men that see themselves as in the center. is this something only for independent voters? is it possible to be to the right of an republican electorate on an issue like this? >> the republican party is sort of the big tent party. we've talked about republicans north of the mason-dixon line. republicans no longer feeling part of the the party. when olympia snowe was elected in the mid-1900s, there were many prominent pro-choice women.
you see fewer and fewer of them. you do see some prominent women but they are likely from conservative areas of the country. soft of evangelical christians and much more conservative on social issues, conservative on abortion. the question of pro-choice women is sort of the question of moderate republicans in general. this is not a party that's are heart and soul is in the northeast. it's on the west coast. anywhere but in the south and very red areas anymore. >> it's remarkable to think the republican party is setting up a decision point for pro-choice women of every idealological home pr you in the party. if you're pro-choice and care about this issue, the democrats are all that you have. it's amazing to me. when i find the republican who can explain to me why they decided to do this, i will have hit gold.
what makes the sleep number store different? the sleep number bed. the magic of this bed is that you're sleeping on something that conforms to your individual shape. wow! that feels really good. you can adjust it to whatever your needs are. so whatever you feel like, the sleep number bed's going to provide it for you. now, sleep number redefines memory foam, combining coolfit gel foam with sleep number adjustability! during our white sale, receive $400 in free bedding. only at the sleep number store, where queen mattresses start at just $699.
news tonight in the great state of michigan where the state appeals court has blocked a lower court ruling that's part of a remarkable fight playing out between michigan's republicans and michigan's democrats. this is a fascinating story in michigan politics. since we have been reporting on it, frankly, feels like we hit about a thousand nerves on both sides. here is the basics. in the 2010 election, things went about as well as you can imagine for michigan republicans. they won big majorities in both houses of the state legislature. they won really big majorities but did not win quite big enough majorities. thanks to a change in the state constitution back in the 1960s, yes, that mr. romney's dad, george. if you have a two-thirds majority vote, you do thot have to wait for the end of the session for past bills to become law. with a two-thirds vote, a super majority vote, you can have those bills become law immediately. they go into immediate effect. michigan republicans have that
two-thirds super majority in the senate, but they don't visit in the house. and even though they don't have that two third super majority in the house, which they would need to put their laws into immediate effect, they have been acting like they do have that majority. here's what that looks like. what you're going to see here is the republican speaker of the house making the decision that two-thirds of the legislature, that 73 people are voting that this law that just passed should go into immediate effect. watch him count to 73. >> speaker recognizes the majority floor leader. >> thank you, mr. speaker. >> i ask for a reconciliation of the votes -- >> the speaker recognizes -- the majority floor leader has requested a record roll call vote. all those in favor please rise -- i'm sorry. the majority floor leader has requested immediate effect. all those in favor please rise. immediate effect is ordered.
>> what the house speaker is purporting to do there is to count, i think in about three seconds, to 73. to count at least 73 supporters standing up in that giant chamber on a measure that he knows just passed with only 62 votes. 1, 2, 3, 73! done! now, michigan republicans responded angrily to our reporting on this last week with a statement from the republican speaker of the house accusing me of whining and of having liberal sour grapes. i think the house speaker is making a vineyard joke there, like the grapes are sour, but are nevertheless being fermented into delicious wine, which sounds like whine, so it's a homophone joke. so it's excellent. and as impressed as i am by the insult the republican speaker of the house has thrown my way, i also concede his point, that the both democrats and republicans in michigan have passed lots of legislation by immediate effect.
republicans are not doing this more frequently than democrats did when the legislature was under democratic control. both sides have done this. but what's different now is this. this is democrats trying to get an actual count, and republicans not letting them. it's one thing to glance around the room, assume you've got your super majority, and bang, gavel it through. it's another thing to refuse to check your count when the minority side calls you out for the fact that you seem to be lying about that count. republicans say they used to get ignored too when they were in the minority, but they say they didn't think it was any big deal. they didn't much care about it. the state's democrats have now gone so far as to sue in state court to try to get that count. to try to get the immediate effect of several new laws overturned. because, they say, they were passed without a real count. they were passed illegally. it was that lawsuit that last week convinced a michigan state judge to issue a stay to block the implementation of several new laws that would otherwise have gone into immediate effect
in michigan. a state appeals court today overturned that, saying two of those laws can go into effect after all. the republicans and the legislature have the republican state attorney general arguing this case on their side and the court that sided with them today says that it is the court that gets to hear all further proceedings on this issue. and so as this fight unfurls, michigan is left with some questions. can a court step in if a legislature's operating contrary to the constitution and not allowing voting where there should be voting? should the court intervene, if operating contrary to the constitution and not allowing voting is something everybody's been comfortable with for a long time? and more importantly, as michigan rolls into its second year of expanded emergency manager powers, overruling local voting rights, the emergency manager law, remember, not just passed, but also put into immediate effect, even though it appears republicans did not have the votes to do that.
as cities like benton harbor and pontiac and flint and very nearly detroit itself are having their citizens stripped of their right to vote at the local level in michigan, the question remains what's going on in michigan? and why is it first recourse in michigan now to put a halt to all the pesky voting, to solve the state's problems by stopping the voting process that is otherwise known as democracy. and who, if anyone, is going to change that in the state of michigan? on a personal note, i have to say, i am more inclined than ever to stay on this story. one, because it keeps getting more and more interesting and more and more fraught all the time. i think something's going on in michigan that's going on nowhere else in the country and it deserves a lot more attention than it's getting. the more rocks you overturn, the more you'll learn. but also, turns out your insults make me stronger. bring it on. keep shooting the messenger. [ male announcer ] you may be an allergy muddler.
try zyrtec® for powerful allergy relief. and zyrtec® is different than claritin® because it starts working faster on the first day you take it. zyrtec®. love the air. [ sneezes ] it's tax time, and with the hundreds i saved on my car insurance with progressive, i'm out here, giving a little tax relief. are you guys touring? we are. we're going to need some savings. oh, you certainly will. [ laughs ] forget tax season -- it's saving season. what do you do for a living, sir? i work at a green grocery. there's a little green for your grocery. thank you. absolutely. and as part of my saving stimulus package from progressive -- this can go in my wallet. that can go in your wallet. 30 bucks. whoo!
to put more giddy-up in our get-along. it's time to start gellin' with dr. scholl's... ... and mix a little more hop in our hip-hop. with the energizing support and cushioning of dr. scholl's massaging gel insoles ... you'll want to get up and go. this is sort of the best new thing in the world today, but i
only didn't call it that because instead i really wanted to call it, um, that -- when you wish upon the chair of the relevant subcommittee. all right. here it goes. this is a supernova. specifically, that white arrow on the top white corner of the screen pointing to a white circle. that white circle is a supernova. it is the explosive death of a star, which unleashes a big burst of light. these violent, big, bright death os cur about once a century in a typical spiral galaxy like our milky way. so that's a supernova. and this is u.s. senator barbara mikulski from maryland. she is the longest serving woman in congress. and as of a few days ago, she is also a supernova. supernova mccullski. the space institute named a supernova after her. her supernova was discovered on january 25th and it's huge. supernova mikulski is eight times as big as our son, and 7
billion light years away far away. so it seems miraculous that we have any images of it at all. but that green dot is what counts as a close-up of supernova mikulski, as taken by the hubble telescope. scientists are hoping that studying supernova mikulski will help them understand star formation in the early universe. and i'm sure this isn't relevant at all, but it should also be noted that senator mikulski is the chair of the senate subcommittee that's in charge of nasa's budget. so while this could be a case of deeply politicized supernova naming rights, even if it is, it is obviously the best new supernova naming rights quid pro quo thing in the world today. and of that, i am sure. rights o q quo. "first look" is up next. moving