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The gender wars are back. The Senate defeated the Blunt Amendment today, which would have allowed employers to refuse to cover health services for their employees—striking right at the heart of the contraceptive controversy. And yesterday, Rush Limbaugh verbally attacked the Georgetown University Law student who House Republicans wouldn’t let testify at a contraception hearing last week. Today, he refused to apologize—and crossed the line even further. Today more than 75 democratic members of Congress sent a letter to Speaker Boehner, calling on Republican leaders to condemn Limbaugh’s comments. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) will weigh in tonight.

 

Next up: Democratic Strategist Steve McMahon and msnbc Political Analyst and former RNC Chair Michael Steele are on hand to discuss Romney’s flip-flop on the Blunt Amendment (he was against it before he was for it). Plus, is President Obama’s “Morning in America” campaign a little too optimistic, too soon?

 

Then: Sen. Olympia Snowe’s (R-ME) decision to leave the Senate brings a Capitol Hill crisis back in the spotlight: Are moderates a dying breed? We’re asking two moderate former lawmakers, former Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-NE) and former Gov. Christie Todd Whitman (R-NJ).

 

And this New York Times article by Eric Lichtblau says former Senators Bob Graham (D-FL) and Bob Kerrey (D-NE) see a possible link between the Saudi government and the 9/11 plot. Lichtblau joins us tonight with former CIA officer and TIME magazine Intelligence Columnist Bob Baer

Coming up on Hardball...

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