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Tuesday night's plan

02/28/12 07:21PM

Don't forget, tonight is special coverage of the Michigan and Arizona Republican primaries, so we're in "live rolling coverage" formation beginning at 8 p.m. ET. That means Rachel leads coverage with Chris Matthews, Rev. Al Sharpton, Ed Schultz, Lawrence O'Donnell, and Steve Schmidt. Plus there will be other guests throughout the night (I just heard Thaddeus McCotter is a possibility, so that should be fun).We'll be cutting clips of the coverage all night, so while there won't be a podcast, there will at least be video for the web watchers.PLUS... read more

Tuesday's Mini-Report

02/28/12 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:* Syria: "A day after a referendum on a new Constitution and amid sustained violence, Syria came under renewed international pressure from a long list of governments urging an immediate ceasefire and warning that Syria's leaders would not escape accounting for their actions."* The new Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index far exceeded expectations: "A private research group says that consumer confidence in February rose dramatically."* Eurozone: "Germany's parliament overwhelmingly approved its country's contribution to the Greek bailout on Monday, serving read more

Virginia rolls ultrasound bill forward

02/28/12 03:51PM

Virginia's vaginal probe ultrasound bill, as reworked by Governor Bob McDonnell, just passed the Senate 21-19. Our guest from the House of Delegates, Dave Englin, writes:The next step is that the amended bill returns to the House for the House to either accept or reject the Senate amendments, which I expect will happen tomorrow.  I fully expect the House will accept the Senate amendments, which will then send the bill to Gov. read more

Remember their claims about "zero tolerance"? They don't, either.

So much for 'zero tolerance'

02/28/12 03:50PM

Shortly before House Republicans won their majority in the 2010 midterms, Eric Cantor acknowledged the GOP congressional scandals from the recent past, but said they wouldn't be tolerated going forward."I think that as Republicans emerge as a new governing majority, it is incumbent upon us to institute a zero-tolerance policy," Cantor said at the time, adding that when it comes to ethical transgressions, Republicans have "learned our lesson."A year and a half later, the House GOP appears to have forgotten that lesson.Speaker John A. read more

Why the GOP wants IPAB to be DOA

02/28/12 03:15PM

Ask congressional Republicans what they want to see happen to Medicare, and they'll probably talk about reducing costs and restraining spending. It's why the GOP's attacks on the Independent Payment Advisory Board are so misguided -- IPAB gives Republicans what they say they want.I can understand why the underlying idea is contentious, but the facts are pretty straightforward. read more

Romney at a NASCAR event, doing his best imitation of a normal person.

'Herding working-class voters back toward the president'

02/28/12 02:00PM

At Mitt Romney's press conference this morning, before taking a shot at his own party's base, the Republican candidate was asked whether his recent rhetoric regarding his wealth had taken a toll on his campaign."Yes," Romney said. "Next question."The former governor's reluctance to expound on the subject is understandable; he's made some inexplicable gaffes recently. read more

A nominating process as 'a series of heresy trials'

A nominating process as 'a series of heresy trials'

02/28/12 01:15PM

About once every six months or so, David Brooks takes off the gloves and condemns what's become of the Republican Party. The last standout column came in July, when Brooks said the radicalized GOP, no longer "a normal party," is arguably "not fit to govern." Too many Republicans, he added, "have no sense of moral decency."Brooks wasn't quite as confrontational today, but he came close, explaining the extent to which far-right protesters have taken over the party, forcing more responsible members to cower in submission. read more

Tuesday's campaign round-up

02/28/12 12:00PM

Today's installment of campaign-related news items that won't necessarily generate a post of their own, but may be of interest to political observers:* The final PPP poll out of Michigan shows Rick Santorum edging past Mitt Romney by the narrowest of margins, 38% to 37%. This is, it's worth noting, based on one night's worth of data, and most other recent polls show Romney with a small lead.* Romney's favorability numbers are down sharply among self-identified conservatives in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll.* Newt Gingrich said yesterday the U.S. read more