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The Village Inn in Virginia Beach, VA.

Office Hours: It takes a Village Inn

04/27/12 04:00PM

Teaching political science, writing for The Nation and hosting a political TV show have distorted my perception of the importance of electoral politics to ordinary Americans. People in my world pore over the latest polls and are breathless with anticipation nearly every Tuesday. But for most Americans, politics is background noise. read more

'Don't say gay' bills advancing in two states

04/27/12 02:59PM

Be careful, Missouri and Tennessee educators: it may soon be against the law to say "gay." Last week in Missouri, House Republicans are advancing a bill that would also prohibit discussions relating to sexual orientation "other than in scientific instruction concerning human reproduction." The bill's sponsor, state Rep. Steve Cookson, argues that the bill is not meant to promote homophobia, but that his intent is to shift the conversation about sexuality away from the classroom and back into the home.State Rep. read more

Terry Jones threatens (again) to burn Qurans

Terry Jones threatens (again) to burn Qurans

04/26/12 01:23PM

You'd think there would be a better way to publicly (and peacefully) condemn terrorist actions than waging a war on an entire religion. One of the biggest mistakes that can be made is assuming one group of people speak for an entire faith. read more

'Papers, Please' was never post-racial

04/26/12 09:17AM

The word "draconian," meaning "excessively harsh and severe," has applied to many a law prior to SB 1070. That said, considering how many times it's been applied to the Arizona anti-immigration law and its legislative siblings throughout the nation, I wouldn't be shocked if the entire phrase "draconian anti-immigration law" ended up in dictionaries, a rhetorical artifact of this strange political moment. read more

Romney's ghosts of campaigns present

Romney's ghosts of campaigns present

04/25/12 12:45PM

First, the (not so) breaking news: per NBC News campaign embed Alex Moe, Newt Gingrich is dropping out of the race. In six days. As we get the official reason for him prolonging the inevitable, we'll update you here. Now, on to what prodded him to make that decision.Gingrich did say last night, "I do think it is pretty clear that Governor Romney is ultimately going to be the nominee." That the presumptive Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, became even more so last night when he swept all five Northeast Corridor primaries, isn't so much news, either. read more

Gingrich and Huntsman waking up, at last?

04/24/12 12:13AM

Considering that we're talking about a man whose entire political career and personal life have been marred by disgrace, monetary excess, shameless profiteering, and other episodes you think we couldn't even make up if we tried, you'd be excused for asking what on earth Newt Gingrich could possibly do to make things worse for himself politically. read more

Sanford, Fla. police chief Bill Lee, in a prouder moment.

Sanford police chief tries to quit, unsuccessfully

04/23/12 06:12PM

The poor performance of Sanford police chief Bill Lee and his men in the Trayvon Martin investigation was considered by quite a few to be a fireable offense. One of those people today, it seems, was Sanford police chief Bill Lee.Tamron Hall broke the news on "News Nation" this afternoon that Lee, who'd stepped down "temporarily" back in March after his name became synonymous with "embattled," planned to resign today, effective at midnight. read more

Who could Trayvon Martin have become?

04/23/12 05:17PM

Who could the late Trayvon Martin have grown up to be? The next president? The next Steve Jobs? The next astronaut? Musician Wyclef Jean says he could have been any of those and more in a new tribute, Justice (If You’re 17):If you’re 17 with a hoodie on Watch out for the neighborhood watcherIf you’re at the right neighborhood at the wrong time neighborhood watcherThis might be your last call to your girlfriend when shots fireWith musical tributes to Trayvon from Wyclef Jean to Bruce Springsteen, and political rallies with Rev. read more

Staying green is just your first bit of homework

Staying green is just your first bit of homework

04/22/12 12:54PM

This morning in #nerdland, we discussed the critical importance of Latino voters to the 2012 elections. The issues driving Latino vote choices in this election are complex. I encourage you to bookmark NBCLatino and read it often during this campaign. One of my favorite academic texts on this topic is Matt Barreto’s "Ethnic Cues: The Role of Shared Ethnicity in Latino Political Participation." #nerdland was stoked to have Majora Carter at the table to talk about environmental justice this morning. I first fell in love with this issues a few years ago I taught a course on environmental justice. read more

A farm grows in Brooklyn

04/22/12 10:34AM

Yes, there's such a thing as farming in Brownsville, Brooklyn. The feature we just aired on Nora Painten, an urban farmer (pictured above) whose non-profit Student Farm Project to transform vacant city lots into vibrant places not only for local children to grow produce, but also to provide a safe place where they can all meet up and learn new skills. Urban farms are sprouting up all over the nation, and we're happy we could tell you about this one.Follow Nora on Twitter at @brownsvillefarm. read more

In our April 22 show, we'll be down to earth

04/22/12 09:18AM

Earth Day is upon us, and both our own Chris Hayes on his show yesterday, and Mother Jones reporter Kate Sheppard had very interesting takes on why it might not be all that without the follow-up. I tend to agree, for at the heart of any one-day observance is a call to carry that spirit past midnight. Earth Day is not the time to pat oneself on the back for recycling your Poland Spring bottle while grooving to Marvin Gaye's ecological wake-up call above as you write that yearly check to Greenpeace. read more