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Does anyone aspire to a middle-class life anymore?

05/03/12 10:51AM

The Morning Joe gang highlighted a New York Times op-ed by the writer Lee Siegel as one of Thursday’s Must Reads.Siegel argues that these days, no one aspires to the kind of modest, secure middle-class existence that Willy Loman sought in “Death of a Salesman.”In our time of banker hustlers, real-estate hustlers and Internet hustlers, of suckers and “muppets,” it is unlikely that anyone associates happiness and dignity with working hard for a comfortable existence purchased with a modest income. Even what’s left of the middle class disdains a middle-class life. read more

Gregory: Dems fear Super PAC ad barrage targeting Obama

05/03/12 10:10AM

New Quinnipiac presidential polls out this morning show Mitt Romney making progress in two key swing states, even as President Obama widens his lead in another.In Florida, Romney now leads 44-43 – an eight-point reversal from late March, when Obama was up by seven. And in Ohio, Obama’s up by just two points, 44-42, after leading by six in late March. Pennsylvania brings better news for Team Obama: There, he’s up 47-39, a five-point swing in his favor.Meanwhile, Restore our Future, a pro-Romney Super PAC, is readying to launch a $4.3 million ad campaign in nine swing states. read more

An excerpt from Robert Caro's "The Years of Lyndon Johnson"

An excerpt from Robert Caro's "The Years of Lyndon Johnson"

05/03/12 06:36AM

Chapter 1The PredictionWhen he was young–seventeen and eighteen years old–Lyndon Johnson worked on a road gang that was building a highway (an unpaved highway: roads in the isolated, impoverished Texas Hill Country weren’t paved in the 1920s) between Johnson City and Austin.With little mechanical equipment available, the road was being built almost entirely by hand, and his job, when he wasn’t half of a pick-and-shovel team with Ben Crider, a burly friend–six years older–from Johnson City, was “driving” a “fresno,” a heavy two-handled metal scoop with a sharpened front edge, that was pulled by read more

Morning Headlines: Thursday, May 3

05/03/12 05:48AM

Here's a look at the stories we're following right now. What are you reading this morning?Inside the Situation Room: Obama on making OBL raid decisionJunior Seau remembered as legendary NFL playerUS scrambles to resolve China activist wrangle'The Scream' sells for record $120 millionGov. Christie supports Gov. Walker as he faces recallRomney woos conservative media in private meetingFrench campaign is punctuated by bitter debate read more

The Tease: Coming up on MJ

The Tease: Coming up on MJ

05/02/12 10:27PM

Unexpected leader. What was going through President Lyndon Johnson's mind when he had to step up to the presidential plate? And how did he deal with the mutual contempt he felt for Robert Kennedy afterwards? We'll get the inside details from Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Robert Caro, who's the author of "The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power." No regrets. Former CIA National Clandestine Service Director Jose Rodriguez, Jr. read more

Did enhanced interrogation tactics work?

Did enhanced interrogation tactics work?

05/02/12 08:00PM

Jose Rodriguez, author and former director of the CIA National Clandestine Service, explains how enhanced interrogation tactics impacted the War on Terror. Rodriguez calls it a “ten year effort that gained momentum when the CIA began its enhanced... watch

Dining with John Bastianich

Dining with John Bastianich

05/02/12 08:00PM

Restaurateur  and author of “Restaurant Man,” John Bastianich, talks about his latest venture – Eataly in New York City. Bastianich also shares his thoughts on the restaurant business and how it’s changed over the years. watch

Warren, Scott Brown reference Obama in new...

Warren, Scott Brown reference Obama in new ads

05/02/12 08:00PM

Top Talkers: The Senate race in Massachusetts continues to heat up, and both Elizabeth Warren and incumbent GOP Sen. Scott Brown are both touting their work with President Obama in new ads and speeches. The Morning Joe panel discusses Warren's... watch

Must-Read Op-Eds for Wednesday, May 2, 2012

05/02/12 11:33AM

OUR DO-ALMOST-NOTHING CONGRESSBY DANA MILBANKWASHINGTON POSTIt’s another recess week for our lazy leaders. Oh, sorry: “Constituent Work Week” is what they’re calling it these days, as if lawmakers were filling potholes and making calls to Social Security rather than raising campaign cash. By the time the Republican-led House returns next week, members will have been working in Washington on just 41 of the first 127 days of 2012 — and that was the busy part of the year. read more

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