Sunday, March 17, 2013

Iran launches destroyer in Caspian Sea

 Ebrahim Nourozi / AFP - Getty Images FILE
Iran's first domestically made destroyer Jamaran sails in the Gulf on February 21, 2009.

By Craig Giammona, NBC News

With President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad looking on, Iran launched a domestically built destroyer in the Caspian Sea Sunday, the Iranian media reported.

The event marked first time Iran has launched a major warship in the oil-rich region, according to the Associated Press.

The 1420-ton warship, which is longer than a football field and can sail at 30 knots with a 20,000-horsepower engine, was put in the water near the northern port city of Bandar Anzali, about 150 miles northwest of Tehran, the Iranian media said.

The ship, named Jamaran 2, is equipped with advanced artillery and torpedo systems, can carry surface to air missiles and has a helicopter landing pad.

It was described by state media as a "symbol of the Islamic Republic's capability and strength that conveys the message of peace and friendship to the Caspian Sea states," according to Press TV, an English-language media outlet based in Tehran.

Press TV said the ship will formally join the Iranian navy in six months, after the completion of final tests.

Iran previously launched a version of the Jamaran destroyer in the Persian Gulf in 2010, AP reported.

In the last two decades, Iran has been building a self-sufficient military, reportedly producing its own jet fighters, tanks, missiles and light submarines as well as torpedoes.

Both Israel and the United States have not ruled out military strikes against Iran's nuclear facilities. The West suspects Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons, a charge Iran denies.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to press President Obama about a potential strike on Iran during a meeting between the leaders scheduled for Wednesday in Israel.

Late-winter storms could bring more snow to Northeast

 Terry Prather / AP
Snow falls early Sunday, March 17, 2013, as an Amish family travels to church services near Maysville, Ky.

By Craig Giammona, NBC News

A pair of storm systems that were moving across the country on Sunday could join forces to bring snow to the Northeast — even as the official start of spring approaches next week.

One storm was spreading snow showers from the Cascades and northern Rockies into the northern Plains and was expected to bring snow to the Dakotas, Minnesota and western Wisconsin tonight, the Weather Channel said.

There was also a chance of snow in West Virgina, southwest Pennsylvania and northwestern Virginia Sunday night, according to meteorologists.

Another storm system was moving over the Ohio Valley Sunday and was expected to continue moving east, joining the northern system to produce a "fairly potent storm off the New England coast Tuesday," the Weather Channel said.

In addition, severe thunderstorms were in Monday's forecast from southern Ohio down into Kentucky, Tennessee and parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and northeast Texas.

Snow was expected to close in on parts of the Northeast as the work week gets underway. The Weather Channel said the best chance for accumulating snow and freezing rain was in New England and other interior sections of the Northeast.

Snow is also possible on the I-95 corridor from Washington to Philadelphia Sunday night and from New York to Boston Monday night.

The National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration called for a chance of rain in New York City Monday, with showers also forecast for Tuesday. NOAA also forecasted snow early Tuesday morning in Boston, but little accumulation is expected as the precipitation turns to sleet and rain during the day.

Wednesday marks the first official day of spring.
Earthquakes turn water into gold

 Heritage Auctions
The tyrannosaur of the minerals, this gold nugget in quartz weighs more than 70 ounces (2 kilograms).

By Becky Oskin, OurAmazingPlanet

Earthquakes have the Midas touch, a new study claims.

Water in faults vaporizes during an earthquake, depositing gold, according to a model published in the March 17 issue of the journal Nature Geoscience. The model provides a quantitative mechanism for the link between gold and quartz seen in many of the world's gold deposits, said Dion Weatherley, a geophysicist at the University of Queensland in Australia and lead author of the study.

When an earthquake strikes, it moves along a rupture in the ground — a fracture called a fault. Big faults can have many small fractures along their length, connected by jogs that appear as rectangular voids. Water often lubricates faults, filling in fractures and jogs.

About 6 miles (10 kilometers) below the surface, under incredible temperatures and pressures, the water carries high concentrations of carbon dioxide, silica and economically attractive elements like gold.

Shake, rattle and gold
During an earthquake, the fault jog suddenly opens wider. It's like pulling the lid off a pressure cooker: The water inside the void instantly vaporizes, flashing to steam and forcing silica, which forms the mineral quartz, and gold out of the fluids and onto nearby surfaces, suggest Weatherley and co-author Richard Henley, of the Australian National University in Canberra.

While scientists have long suspected that sudden pressure drops could account for the link between giant gold deposits and ancient faults, the study takes this idea to the extreme, said Jamie Wilkinson, a geochemist at Imperial College London in the United Kingdom, who was not involved in the study.

"To me, it seems pretty plausible. It's something that people would probably want to model either experimentally or numerically in a bit more detail to see if it would actually work," Wilkinson told OurAmazingPlanet.

Previously, scientists suspected fluids would effervesce, bubbling like an opened soda bottle, during earthquakes or other pressure changes. This would line underground pockets with gold. Others suggested minerals would simply accumulate slowly over time.

Weatherley said the amount of gold left behind after an earthquake is tiny, because underground fluids carry at most only one part per million of the precious element. But an earthquake zone like New Zealand's Alpine Fault, one of the world's fastest, could build a mineable deposit in 100,000 years, he said.

Surprisingly, the quartz doesn't even have time to crystallize, the study indicates. Instead, the mineral comes out of the fluid in the form of nanoparticles, perhaps even making a gel-like substance on the fracture walls. The quartz nanoparticles then crystallize over time. [Gold Quiz: From Nuggets to Flecks]

Even earthquakes smaller than magnitude 4.0, which may rattle nerves but rarely cause damage, can trigger flash vaporization, the study finds.

"Given that small-magnitude earthquakes are exceptionally frequent in fault systems, this process may be the primary driver for the formation of economic gold deposits," Weatherley told OurAmazingPlanet.

The hills have gold

Quartz-linked gold has sourced some famous deposits, such as the placer gold that sparked the 19th-century California and Klondike gold rushes. Both deposits had eroded from quartz veins upstream. Placer gold consists of particles, flakes and nuggets mixed in with sand and gravel in stream and river beds. Prospectors traced the gravels back to their sources, where hard-rock mining continues today.

But earthquakes aren't the only cataclysmic source of gold. Volcanoes and their underground plumbing are just as prolific, if not more so, at producing the precious metal. While Weatherley and Henley suggest that a similar process could take place under volcanoes, Wilkinson, who studies volcano-linked gold, said that's not the case.

"Beneath volcanoes, most of the gold is not precipitated in faults that are active during earthquakes," Wilkinson said. "It's a very different mechanism."

Understanding how gold forms helps companies prospect for new mines. "This new knowledge on gold-deposit formation mechanisms may assist future gold exploration efforts," Weatherley said.

In their quest for gold, humans have pulled more than 188,000 tons (171,000 metric tons) of the metal from the ground, exhausting easily accessed sources, according to the World Gold Council, an industry group.

Pope Francis describes wish for 'poor church for the poor'

Pope Francis said Saturday he wanted "a poor church for the poor" in his first remarks to the media since he was elected leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. NBC's Anne Thompson reports.

By Claudio Lavanga and Marian Smith, NBC News

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis said Saturday he wanted "a poor church for the poor" in his first remarks to the media since he was elected leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.

Wearing simple white robes and plain black shoes, he explained how he decided to name himself after St. Francis of Assisi: When he reached two-thirds of the vote in the conclave, a fellow cardinal embraced him and said, "Don't forget the poor."

"That's when I thought of Francis of Assisi," he said. "And that is how the name came to me: Francis of Assisi, the man of poverty, of peace."

He added: "This is what I want, a poor church for the poor."

His comments underscored previous indications of his preference for austerity -- he did not sit on the papal throne to receive the cardinals after being elected, he took a bus with the rest of the cardinals back to their hotel and he was pictured Friday paying the bill himself.

There were some 5,600 accredited journalists – including some children and family members – packed into the Vatican's Paul VI Hall, the UK's Sky News reported.

The 76-year-old pontiff praised reporters for their coverage of the historic transition of the papacy.

"The role of mass media has become essential in modern times, so thank have worked hard," he said to applause.

Pope Francis, formerly Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was set to meet Emeritus Pope Benedict at his retreat south of Rome next week, the Holy See said in a statement. It will be the first time in modern history that a newly elected pope has met his predecessor.

Benedict resigned from the papacy on Feb. 28, the first to do so in 600 years. Francis, an Argentine and the first non-European pope, was elected on Wednesday.

Pope Francis is also expected to meet Argentine President Christina Kirchner next week ahead of his Installation Mass on Tuesday, the Vatican said.

More than five thousand journalists joined Pope Francis for his first news conference since being elected Pope. NBC's Vatican analyst George Weigel reports.

The two have a combative history over issues such as same-sex marriage, which Bergoglio described as "a plan to destroy God's plan." Kirchner, meanwhile, said his remarks were "reminiscent of the times of the Inquisition."

On Friday, the Vatican denied "anti-clerical" accusations that Pope Francis had failed to protect priests during the so-called "dirty war" waged by Argentine dictators more than 30 years ago.

"We have every reason to affirm that these accusations are not reliable and there is no reason for them today to cast a shadow over the new pope," Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said at a briefing.

A second spokesman, Father Tom Rosica said the accusations by an Argentine journalist amounted to a political smear campaign against the new pope.

"They reveal left-wing elements, anti-clerical elements that are used to attack the Church," Rosica said. "They must be firmly and clearly denied."

Bergoglio was not a cardinal, or even a bishop, during the time in question but supervisor of Jesuit priests in Argentina.

NBC News' Alastair Jamieson and Ian Johnston, The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

The sister of Pope Francis told reporters that her brother was in love with a girl when he was young and went to church to pray about it. She said it was at that moment that he "felt the call" to serve the church. NBC's Keir Simmons reports.
Purple haze over Maui
Bryce Canyon, UT.
Lightning over the Atlantic Ocean, Myrtle Beach, SC
The Louvre, Paris France
Chinese Maiden in Guilin
No Sharing!
Desert Vignette-Guadalupe Mtns NP, TX
Green pyramid.
Tourism Ireland
The Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx as they will appear for St. Patrick's Day 2013.
Sydney Opera House
Courtesy Tourism Ireland
The Sydney Opera House will go green once again this year for St. Patrick's Day. The "greening" activity is part of a global initiative by Tourism Ireland.
Niagara Falls
Courtesy Tourism Ireland
The water rushing over Niagara Falls glows green for St. Patrick's Day.
Green Vegas sign
Tourism Ireland
A rendering of what the welcome to Las Vegas sign will look like.

Impromptu appearance, off-the-cuff address: Pope's Sunday surprises delight

"It's nice to be here to say hi to you all," said Pope Francis to a crowd of thousands gathered in St. Peter's Square Sunday. In his first Angelus blessing of his pontificate, the pope spoke about forgiveness. NBC's Keir Simmons reports.

By Frances D'Emilio, The Associated Press

VATICAN CITY -- A crowd of more than 150,000 people roared in delight as Pope Francis made the first Sunday window appearance of his papacy in St. Peter's Square.

Breaking with tradition, Francis delivered off-the-cuff remarks, about God's power to forgive, instead of reading from a written speech.

He also spoke only in Italian — beginning with "buon giorno" (Good day) and ending with "buon pranzo" (Have a good lunch) — instead of greeting the faithful in several languages as recent predecessors had done.

In just five days, Francis' straightforward, spontaneous style has become immediate hallmark of his papacy.  

PhotoBlog: See images of Pope Francis's first Sunday on the job

Earlier, he began his first Sunday as pontiff by making an impromptu appearance to the public from a side gate of the Vatican, startling passersby and prompting cheers, then kept up his simple, spontaneous style by delivering a brief, unscripted homily at the Vatican's tiny parish church.

Dressed only in white cassock, Francis waved to the crowd in the street outside St. Anna's Gate and before entering the church, which serves Vatican City State's hundreds of residents, he shook hands of the parishioners and kissed babies.

In keeping with his informal style, Francis then went over to the chief of his security detail and appeared to indicate he wanted to greet two priests in the crowd, who approached and embraced him.

Slideshow: Pope Francis: His life before the papacy

 Marcos Brindicci / Reuters
Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina was elected to lead the Catholic Church following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.

The impromptu appearance came more than two hours ahead of his first appointment of his papacy with the faithful from his studio window overlooking St. Peter's Square.

Benedict XVI gave his last window blessing on Sunday, Feb. 24. Four days later, Benedict went into retirement, the first pontiff to do so in 600 years.


Francis, the first Latin American pope, was elected on March 13.

Giant video screens were set up so that the overspill crowd could have a close-up look at Francis. Fifty medical teams were set up in case people fell or felt ill in the rush and crush to see Francis.

After the Mass, the pope stepped out jauntily from St. Anna's Church and waved to a crowd of hundreds kept behind barriers across the street, and then greeted the Vatican parishioners one by one. One young man patted the pope on the back in an indication of the informality that from the first moment of his papacy has been evident.

"Francesco, Francesco," children shouted his name in Italian from the street. As he patted one little boy on the head, he asked "Are you a good boy?" and the child nodded. "Are you sure?" the pope quipped.

In his homily, Francis spoke only five minutes, saying the core message of God is "that of mercy." He said God has an unfathomable capacity to pardon, and noted that people are often harder on each other than God is towards sinners.

Pope Francis said Saturday he wanted "a poor church for the poor" in his first remarks to the media since he was elected leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. NBC's Anne Thompson reports.

The Issue:' Chained CPI' an answer to deficit or unfair to seniors and other vulnerable groups?

President Barack Obama held a series of Capitol Hill meetings last week to discuss ways of cutting the budget deficit and other issues. Pictured here with Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. UPI/Drew Angerer/Pool
License photo

Published: March. 17, 2013 at 4:30 AM

The latest mantra in budget rhetoric, "chained CPI," has become a rallying point for seniors and organizations like AARP, which see the change in calculating inflation for entitlement and other programs floated by President Obama as having a disproportionate impact on the elderly.

The overall Consumer Price Index climbed 1.7 percent in 2012, below the 2 percent target set by the Federal Reserve. Excluding food and fuel, the so-called core index, inflation was 1.9 percent, the Labor Department said. Labor said Friday both overall and core prices for February were up 2 percent from last year.

An experimental index set up by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates a much higher rate of inflation on things for which seniors spend their money.

The problem with chained CPI as applied to Social Security increases is that it is tied to the spending habits of workers, not retirees who are apt to spend a larger portion of their income for housing and healthcare, the two cost areas that have been going up the most quickly. Healthcare inflation last year rose 3.7 percent and housing inflation was pegged at 2.1 percent.

"The Bureau of Labor Statistics' experimental elderly index more accurately tracks the consumption patterns of the elderly, and it shows that inflation for seniors is actually higher, not lower, than the current measure," said Nicole Woo, director of domestic policy for the non-partisan Center for Economic and Policy Research. "If accuracy is indeed a concern, the BLS could construct a full elderly index for annual Social Security cost-of-living adjustments."

The Heritage Foundation estimates the CPI overstates inflation by a full percentage point. But AARP estimates, based on seniors' spending habits, the CPI already underreports inflation 0.2 percentage points a year. Chained CPI would add 0.3 percentage points a year to that, picking seniors' pockets by about $112 billion annually and compounding over time.

"Using a more accurate inflation index would save Social Security about $112 billion over the next 10 years," David C. John said in a Heritage Foundation blog post. "That is not nearly enough to fix Social Security's massive deficits, but it is a good start. Doing nothing will result in 22 percent to 25 percent across-the-board benefits cuts for everyone who is receiving benefits."

"The adoption of the chained CPI is likely to further erode seniors' standard of living," AARP says on its website. "A chained CPI makes sense only in a budget-driven world where accuracy takes a back seat to benefit cuts for the purposes of deficit reduction."

AARP further explains: "Look at it this way: The COLA [cost of living adjustment] for this year was 1.7 percent. If your monthly Social Security check was $1,250 last year, it increased to $1,271.25 this year.

"With the chained CPI, you would be getting $1,267.50 -- or $3.75 less a month and $45 less a year. Again, that might not seem like a big reduction, but if the COLA is the same next year, the difference increases to $7.61 a month and $91.32 for the year.

"You start to get the picture. The gap accelerates and begins looking like real money. If you're 62 and take early retirement this year, by age 92 -- when healthcare costs can skyrocket and more than 1 in 6 older Americans lives in poverty -- you'll be losing a full month of income every year."

Nonetheless, House Minority Leader Nancy Peolsi, D-Calif., said last week she'd be willing to look at chained CPI if it can be assured "it doesn't hurt the poor and the very elderly."

What doesn't get talked about as loudly is chained CPI will also have an effect on tax rates, easing people into higher brackets over time and raising more revenue without lawmakers having to utter the dreaded words: tax increase.

Chained CPI has its backers: The Washington Post editorial board, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities and the Heritage Foundation among them, along with various bipartisan congressional commissions like Simpson-Bowles, Domenici-Rivlin and the Gang of Six.

Chained CPI attempts to take into account consumer reaction to price shifts. While the regular CPI will reflect a consumer shift to cheaper apples if the price of a premium variety goes up too much, chained CPI will account for what is known as substitution bias, a consumer shift to oranges if the price of apples gets too steep.

The Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans says the substitution idea falls apart when it comes to healthcare costs.

"These costs cannot simply be substituted with a cheaper version. A senior cannot just substitute triple bypass surgery with a double because it's cheaper," the alliance notes. "The chained CPI ignores this reality and instead is a backdoor way of trying to balance the budget on the backs of our nation's seniors."

The Moment of Truth Project estimates switching to chained CPI for all inflation-indexed government programs and the tax code would reduce the deficit through 2022 by $236 billion. That's pretty close to the 2010 Congressional Budget Office 10-year estimate of a $221 billion.

The Center for Economic and Policy Research said in December switching to the chained CPI "would result in cuts to already modest Social Security benefits. As well, the chained CPI is likely not an accurate measure of the inflation rate seen by seniors. Finally, ... the chained CPI would result in a proportionately larger increase in income taxes for lower- and middle-income Americans than for those in the top tax brackets.

"The change to the chained CPI would also cut benefits for veterans, low-income children, people with disabilities and many others who rely on government programs."

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget said though on first blush it looks like chained CPI would have a disproportionate impact on those earning $10,000 to $20,000 a year, changes to the tax code could take care of that. The Tax Policy Center estimates people making more than $100,000 annually actually would bear 60 percent of the impact in higher taxes.

Leading House Democrat says job creation, not deficit cutting, is immediate priority
By Tom Curry, National Affairs Writer, NBC News

As both the House and Senate work on budget blueprints for the new fiscal year, Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, emphasized on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday that for his party “our priority is job growth” -- not cutting the debt or annual budget deficits.

“Right now our big problem is to sustain the economic recovery. We’ve seen momentum in the job market and the last thing we want do right now is to put the brakes on that,” Van Hollen told NBC’s David Gregory. “In fact one half of this year’s deficit is due to unemployment.”

Reps. Chris Van Hollen and Kevin McCarthy visit Meet the Press to discuss the future of the budget battle and what each member's party will request for an agreement.

According to the most recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 12 million Americans were unemployed and seeking work in February, while another 885,000 weren’t looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them.

“What the president is saying is our focus right now should be to get people back to work, sustain the recovery – and then reduce the deficit in a measured, balanced way,” Van Hollen said. He added that President Barack Obama’s budget proposal for the new fiscal year which begins on Oct. 1 will put budget deficits “on a sustained, downward trajectory.”

Appearing alongside Van Hollen, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, the House Republican Whip, complained that “the Democrats’ budget never balances,” while his party’s Fiscal Year 2014 blueprint will achieve a balance of spending and revenues by the end of the ten-year forecasting period.

“The president has a different belief than we do. He believes deficits don’t matter. We do,” McCarthy said.

The California Republican defended the House Republicans’ budget plan which assumes that Obama’s health care overhaul, the 2010 Affordable Care Act, will be repealed. “Budgets are blueprints and priorities,” he explained. “We think Obamacare should be repealed. A majority of Americans agree with us. But we also think tax reform should happen so you can grow the economy.”

McCarthy added that persistently high federal debt would crowd out private sector borrowing and inhibit the growth of businesses.

Van Hollen said that the Democrats’ proposal would eventually achieve a balanced budget “out in the future, around 2040.” But he reiterated that for now the urgent need is job creation. The House Republican budget plan “will slow job growth at exactly the wrong time,” he contended.

Meanwhile on ABC’s This Week, House Speaker John Boehner again rejected the idea of additional tax increases, on top of the ones that Obama signed into law on Jan 2.

“The president believes that we have to have more taxes from the American people. We’re not going to get very far,” Boehner said. “The president got his tax hikes….. The talk about raising revenue is over. It’s time to deal with the spending problem.”

Boehner agreed with Obama’s recent remark that the federal government doesn’t face an imminent debt crisis. “We do not have an immediate debt crisis – but we all know that we have one looming,” Boehner said. “And we have one looming because we have entitlement programs that are not sustainable in their current form.”

Another prominent Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee said on Fox News Sunday that Republicans “would be glad to look at tax reform that generates additional revenues. And that doesn’t mean increasing rates, it means closing loopholes, and that also means arranging our tax system so that we have economic growth. And I think we have been saying that since day one.”

What Is Chained CPI?

December 31, 2012 | 12:38 p.m. 

PRNewsFoto/U.S. Apple Association

On Sunday, "chained CPI" nearly killed fiscal cliff talks in the Senate. Then the removal of chained CPI from the negotiating table saved the prospect of a deal to keep us all from dropping off the cliff when the clock strikes midnight on January 1, 2013.

So, what exactly is Chained CPI?

For an explanation, we turn to National Journal's Sophie Quinton, who broke chained CPI down for us earlier in December. "Chained CPI," writes Quinton, "is an idea that almost everyone supports in theory but hardly anyone is willing to risk in practice."

Chained CPI is a measure of inflation created by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that has been touted as a more accurate way to factor rises in the cost-of-living into, among other things, social security benefits and the tax code. Chained CPI doesn't rise as quickly as the measure of inflation that the government uses now, so if the government switched to chained CPI to calculate social security benefits, benefits would increase more slowly over time. Similarly, if chained CPI was applied to the tax code, tax brackets would change at a slower rate, moving tax-payers into higher brackets faster.

Chained CPI rises slower than the measure of inflation that the government currently uses by making different assumptions about how people spend money. Chained CPI hinges on the idea that when the price of one good rises, people are more likely to buy a similar, cheaper good. Or, as a former staffer for President Obama's fiscal commission told NPR, when the price of apples goes up, maybe you'll buy oranges or bananas instead. The current measure of inflation assumes that you'll just keep on buying apples, raising your cost-of-living faster.

What chained CPI does here is "chain" together groups of goods. This change could save $200-300 billion over the next decade by slowing the growth in cost-of-living adjustments, trimming social security benefits and increasing taxes.

So, why the controversy?
Many Democrats have scoffed at the social security benefit hit that comes with chained CPI -- especially to older seniors who rely most on the social security income. Also, it isn't always as simple as chaining apples and oranges, especially when broader necessities like medical care and heating come into play. There are also of course ways of making chained CPI less severe to the social security benefits of needy seniors. Sophie Quinton points out that the Simpson-Bowles plan, among others, features such protections.

Even if chained CPI isn't going to be part of a fiscal cliff deal now, don't be surprised to see this technical-sounding adjustment that could save hundreds of billions return later.

A look at the new Ed Show

Ed Schultz closed his final weekday show on MSNBC Thursday night by thanking his viewers, his team, and his wife of 16 years for supporting him during his time as host of the 8 p.m. show.

Schultz said he looked forward to telling real American stories on MSNBC. “We’re going to build those hours to be the best hours in cable,” he said.

“This is what The Ed Show has always been about, this is what The Ed Show is always going to be about: the people on the road, the stories, the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker—those middle-class Americans who are fighting for a fair share, and their dream, their piece of the pie of this great country,” he added.

Schultz encouraged viewers to continue watching The Ed Show in April when it moves to its new time from 5-7 p.m. on MSNBC weekends, and urged his audience to stick around for the 8 p.m. hour during the week to watch new primetime host, Chris Hayes, who Schultz called a “great, brilliant young talent.” Hayes’ new show will begin April 1.

TomBalmer commented

Great that you are going to be on the air on Sunday. I get off work at 5pm Sunday, and with a 50 mile drive home, XM Radio only has CNN and Faux News to bore me with. Maybe now, XM will actually broadcast your channel on Sunday evening. Please help them see the light.

Greg Maron commented

Ed, im sure Chris Hayes is a smarty pants and all but I will miss your style and genuineness. Liberals (and MSNBC) don't need more wonks. We need to speak to real people and motivate them. I'm really going to miss you and hope MSNBC leaders see the error of their ways. Enjoy the extra fishing! You deserve it. (free demographics- me, 43; wife who told me to write this, 35)

vet 2640 commented

"Big Ed", please dispell the rumers that you have been relegated to the "side lines", weekend shows etc, etc. how can "they" do this to a patriot for the working class!
Best wishes to you and your wife Wendy.
In any case, I will still be watching!

Darlyne Whaley replied

I agree your the your the first to go to for the truth. Will watch on
the week end. Love fishing for old walleye. I live by Erie.
A rich man will have the chance of a camel through a eye of a needle to go to Heaven.

Adahannah commented

I am dismayed that Ed is being sidelined. Sadly, I will be much less likely to tune into MSNBC in the evening.

daveydog4 commented

The Ed Schultz radio show lasted all but six months here locally and was repaced by Sean Hannity.  And I live in one of the biggest Democrat strongholds in the state.

mik-3022372 replied

If you have high-speed internet and a wireless router, buy yourself a WiFi radio and (along with about 16000 other radio stations around the world) you will be able to hear many of America's progressive stations almost at the touch of a button.  You don't need to boot up your computer.  We don't live anywhere near Chicago but we hear Ed crystal clear on WCPT and it doesn't cost a dime more for service than what we already pay for internet.

sheilanwp commented

Great to have you on weekends..I am looking forward to your shows on the problems that affect real people.There should be a lot of stories about the effects that this messed up economy and government has created upon the working people,seniors and the poor. I am a regular watcher of your shows and I am glad that you will be bringing something different to the weekends on MSNBC.  I will be watching you every weekend. 

Sheila Van Riper commented

Ed - we, progressive/liberal America love you and wish you well on your new weekend slot - please tell us the truth - was this your idea, or MSNBC's??  I HOPE THE FORMER!!  PRAYERS FOR WENDY, BY THE WAY - Ed - you are a true patriot with boots on the ground!

jpecorel commented

Ed, somehow I get the feeling there is more to this change than we are being told. However, if this is what you really want I wish you the best. You will be missed--at least during the week. See ya on the weekends.

figment- replied

In reply to: jpecorel #15
Actually - it allows him some free time, and first crack at responding to the lies and spin of those very few GOP folks willing to talk to America.  No longer will they have a chance to spew their crap for 24 hours (uncontested) before the opposing side can share a voice.
If he makes the "weekend twilight zone" a success - then MSNBC and he will be heroes filling a gap that has never been filled before except by the early Sunday shows when all them god fearing folks according to religious laws - must have their butts planted in a pew - then kneel, then stand, then sit, then stand, kneel, sit -  alomost like the only excercise they get all week.......

Eddie-Wilson replied

In reply to: Hopeless , At least Ed Shultz (isn't) a LAZY good-for-nothin' Loser like these Idiot's in the congress - You Know the ones that feel that they are priviledged and expect the American taxpayers to Give them whatever they Want , when they Want-it - you Know the Fools that have their hands-out Expecting to take a FREE-RIDE in America and Abroad ! Bunch of GoofBalls !

Chris Hayes to host MSNBC primetime show

Chris Hayes
(MSNBC ANCHORS — Pictured: Chris Hayes, MSNBC Contributor — Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/MSNBC)

Chris Hayes will host the 8 pm hour on MSNBC weekdays beginning April 1, the company said Thursday. Hayes has hosted a weekend morning program for MSNBC, Up with Chris Hayes, since 2011.

“Chris has done an amazing job creating a franchise on weekend mornings,” said Phil Griffin, MSNBC president. ”He’s an extraordinary talent and has made a strong connection with our audience. This is an exciting time for MSNBC.”

Hayes regularly contributed to MSNBC’s 2012 presidential election last year and served as a guest host for other primetime shows, such as The Rachel Maddow Show and The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.

“I am thrilled to be joining Rachel and Lawrence in primetime,” said Hayes.  “I’ve absolutely loved hosting Up on the weekends and I’m looking forward to thinking through the news five nights a week.”

He takes over the slot previously held by Ed Schultz who will move to weekend evenings.

Hayes is author of Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy.

AnaBanana-1782128 commented

Welcome to 8pm. I'm a big fan of Ed's but also yours. Only one suggestion. Please slow down when you comment. You speak too fast. You can learn something from Al Sharpton. Though some consider him too slow, middle aged people like me, prefer that over quick speak. I look forward to watching you just before my fave, Rachael Maddow. 

Gerri Williams replied

I agree. Slow down when you talk Chris. I can't take an hour of his hands flying in the air as he rushes through every sentence. Hope he cleans up and washes his hair. I don't understand why they would put a kid in this spot. MSNBC has some great females that would have been a better fit. I will watch Ed on the weekends but I will have to pass on Chris. Maybe when he grows up and slows down we will try his show. Good luck to all. 

Nick-2302584 replied

What msnbc and Chris Hayes don't understand is that Hayes' body language and speech patterns do not lend themselves to a position of moderator. I think the bosses have  not recognized Hayes's potential as a commentor is held back by his constant jagged interruptions and overbearing and obtrusive personality. He like many commentors on the right and left feel the need to constantly project themselves in a way that mimics children asking for attention. After 15 minutes of listening to him I'm worn out. I watched him plug his book on cspan and found his delivery so self absorbed, he lost me as an interested viewer. Of course, I don't expect either the station or Hayes to evaluate his hectic presentation. Good luck, viewers. 

NMCLD replied

I'm looking forward to Chris having more time on MSNBC. He is very intelligent, thoughtful, thorough in his research and approach, fair and attentive when running his panel during his show, and I love the hair!
We need more positive, ethical, and enlightened individuals in journalism, more progressive voices of all ages.  And not only is his young age refreshing, but the fact that he never runs anyone down and strongly discourages those on his panel from doing so either brings us right back to the professional days of old journalism, when professionalism, accuracy, thoughtfulness, and class were the mainstays.
But unlike the old days, Chris' enthusiastic personality is allowed to shine through - which adds to his deliverance of news. No more staunchy, stuffy, robotosized, monotoned deliverance of news.
Congrats Chris on your weekday stand - looking forward to seeing more of your humour, sound judgement, and wit. 

Salsagrapher replied

In reply to: AnaBanana-1782128 #1 ever since Chris's first show I've been watching and learning. Glass- Steagall, and so many in depth discussions no other tv program has the time to cover... Good to hear UP will continue... Love Rachel, Ed, Lawrence, Rev.
Al & Chris. & Chris M. At last progressives have a strong Voice now, vs the days when you only heard politics from Rush, Hannity and the likes, or hates:)

JohnMesserly replied

OMFG you are missing a lot- not just snappy dialog if you don't have a DVR.  It's not just to catch the term the person used.  Personally, I more often use it to skip when guests slip into talking points I can recite beter than they can.
Telling Hayes & company to slow down is like telling Bogart and Bacall to slow down.  If anything, I would want to have Alexis speak faster and minus the simplified language on Friday's Rachel Maddow show.  It's better when if you have a show that raises the bar for its viewers, rather than lowers it in a race to the bottom of intellectual standards.
Sorry, I am not a big fan of grading on the curve either.  

woodrat replied

I agree with JohnMesserly--Chris Hayes' show UP is my very favorite on MSNBC precisely *because* of Chris' style and intelligence. I actually learn things from the discussions on UP because they are more intellectually fast-paced than the other shows like Rachel's and because the range of views of the guests makes for some fascinating discussions. I get so bored hearing every single show repeat the same news stories in a superficial manner. For those of you who find him obnoxious, watch someone else who is more your style. I love the show just the way it is and wouldn't change a thing in the way Chris hosts it.

Chart battle: Rattner and Chatzky on the economy

“The stock market has now recovered all of its losses in 2008 and is now 13.3% above its level of Jan. 1, 2007. Other indicators have not done so well. Over the same period, median incomes are up by a total of 6.0% before adjusting for inflation; after adjusting for inflation, incomes are down by 6.7%. Jobs are also down, by 1.7% — that may not sound like a lot but it is 2 million jobs. Housing prices have fared the worst — even after a modest recovery over the past year, they are still down 28%.”


“On the other hand, corporate profits are up sharply over the past five years — by even more than the stock market. As of the end of last year, they were 24% higher at the end of last year and have almost certainly risen further in the first part of this year.”

 “Putting all this together, the picture is one of an increasing share of national income going to corporate profits and a decreasing share going to personal incomes. While there is much speculation around the reasons for this trend, it almost certainly relates in large part to the effects of globalization and the ability of corporations to move their activities to whatever countries offer the cheapest labor. That, plus the high unemployment in the U.S., has left workers in this country with very little ability to demand wage increases (as we saw in the first chart.)”
TODAY Financial Editor Jean Chatzky on 401(K) contributions