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Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal talks about recent Republican party gains and the road ahead for their party during a press conference at the Republican governors' conference in Boca Raton, Fla., Nov. 19, 2014.

Jindal finds new ways to pander to far-right

01/26/15 08:00AM

Why would Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) spend several days repeating discredited nonsense last week? Because it's apparently working for him. Byron York reported over the weekend:
You know what Bobby Jindal said about Muslim "no-go zones" in Europe, a statement that resulted in Jindal being criticized and mocked by mainstream commentators? It turns out many social conservatives in Iowa really liked it.... [Jindal] not only did not suffer from his remarks but instead benefited from them.
This is, alas, how the game is played in the Republican presidential nominating contest -- say things that aren't true in order to impress activists who don't know better. It's creates an unfortunate set of incentives in which cynical would-be presidents are encouraged to make stuff up, confident that electoral rewards will follow.
 
But for the GOP governor, the question is not how to deal with the fallout of getting caught making ridiculous allegations, but rather, what Jindal can do for an encore. Over the weekend, the dynamic led the governor to turn his attention to marriage equality.
 
The broader context is worth appreciating, because as recently as Tuesday, President Obama noted in his State of the Union address last week, "I've seen something like gay marriage go from a wedge issue used to drive us apart to a story of freedom across our country."
 
Jindal must have missed this. Yesterday, he told ABC's George Stephanopoulos what his reaction would be to a court ruling supporting marriage equality:

Drone at the White House and other headlines

01/26/15 07:42AM

Drone lands inside White House grounds. (NBC News)

Somebody prank called the British Prime Minister. (New York Times)

Obama to propose new wilderness protections in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; Alaska leaders irate. (Alaska Dispatch News)

Senate GOP may abolish Supreme Court filibusters. (Politico)

Foreign policy divides 2016 hopefuls at Koch forum. (The Hill)

Chris Christie launches a PAC. (AP)

Romney's consideration of candidacy is closely tied to his faith, allies say. (New York Times)

Boko Haram attacks northeastern Nigerian city, scores killed. (AP)

There's a big blizzard about to hit the northeast. (Weather.com)

Watch jumbo asteroid zip past Earth. (National Geographic)

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U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the start of his State of the Union address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 20, 2015. (Photo by Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

This Week in God, 1.24.15

01/24/15 09:04AM

First up from the God Machine this week is an unexpected complaint from the religious right about, of all things, President Obama's State of the Union address.
 
At first, I thought conservatives might complain about the way in which the president ended his remarks. While most SOTU addresses conclude with a president saying, "God Bless America," Obama this week wrapped up by saying, "God bless you. God bless this country we love." The subtle shift seemed like the sort of thing conservatives might not like, and as it turns out, some on the right did take note.
 
What I didn't expect was this.
The American Family Association's Sandy Rios enjoys promoting bizarre conspiracy theories to imply that President Obama is a secret Muslim, and [Wednesday] she even managed to find proof of Obama's hidden faith in his State of the Union address.
 
On Rios' radio program ... she did use the opportunity to claim that Obama was spreading Muslim messages in his speech when he used the word "pillar" to describe the foundations of American leadership in the world: "The other thing he said that I caught, he has done this before, you know there are five pillars of Islam, and he used the term 'pillars' again in his speech last night."
According to the Right Wing Watch report, Rios, who seems a little preoccupied with the idea that the Christian president is a secret Muslim, added, "It is just really interesting, language can actually give us some insight, choices of words."
 
It's probably worth noting that the president did use the word "pillar" in his speech, but last week, Mitt Romney used the same word. Former President George W. Bush referenced "pillars" several times when discussing U.S. policy in Iraq, and former President Ronald Reagan referenced "pillars" while promoting government-sponsored religion in public schools.
 
One can only wonder whether the American Family Association, a co-host of Gov. Bobby Jindal's (R) "The Response" prayer rally today, sees secret Muslims everywhere.
 
Also from the God Machine this week:
Pipe ruptures turn focus to improved safety

Pipe ruptures turn focus to improved safety

01/23/15 11:15PM

North Dakota State Representative Corey Mock talks with Rachel Maddow about considerations being made by the state legislature to improve monitoring of pipelines after a recent rash of ruptures, and how to improve safety without hurting industry. watch

Weekend events seen as start of GOP campaigns

Weekend events seen as start of GOP campaigns

01/23/15 09:10PM

Kasie Hunt, MSNBC political correspondent, talks with Rachel Maddow about this weekend's Republican events that seem to be kicking off the 2016 GOP presidential campaign season, including the sold out Iowa Freedom Summit hosted by Congressman Steve King. watch

Ahead on the 1/23/15 Maddow show

01/23/15 07:34PM

Tonight's guests:

  • Kasie Hunt, MSNBC political correspondent
  • North Dakota State Representative Corey Mock, House assistant minority leader
  • Dr. Aarti Patel, chief News Dumpologist

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Friday's Mini-Report, 1.23.15

01/23/15 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:
 
* A new Saudi Arabian king: "The ISIS and al Qaeda-fighting credentials of Saudi Arabia's new king and his two successors signal how seriously the kingdom takes the threat from Muslim extremist groups wreaking havoc in the region."
 
* The Supreme Court "announced Friday that it will review the lethal injection protocol used in many executions around the country, after allowing an Oklahoma inmate last week to be put to death using the drugs. The court's four liberals would have granted Charles Frederick Warner a stay but were overruled."
 
* Montana: "Montana state officials on Friday said tap water in the town of Glendive is now safe to drink, six days after more than 40,000 gallons of oil spilled into the nearby Yellowstone River."
 
* These are odd times for geopolitics in the Middle East: "Iraq's prime minister said on Friday the West had increased support to his country to help it fight Islamic State, and Iran was also providing crucial backing."
 
* Diplomacy is complex, too: "The first round of high-level talks between United States and Cuba wrapped up this week, with diplomats acknowledging both common ground and 'deep disagreements' in mending relations between the two countries."
 
* Ebola: "The number of people falling victim to the Ebola virus in West Africa has fallen to the lowest level in months, the World Health Organization said on Friday, but dwindling funds and a looming rainy season threaten to hamper efforts to control the disease."
 
* New Jersey: "Protesters around the country are once again speaking out against racial disparities in police use of force in response to a video that shows two Bridgeton, New Jersey, officers shooting and killing a black man as he held his hands up. A dashboard camera recorded the encounter, including the moments police pulled over a car and shot and killed the passenger, 36-year-old Jerame Reid."

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