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Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks during The Family Leadership Summit, Aug. 9, 2014, in Ames, Iowa.

Jindal stuck after spreading discredited myth

01/20/15 08:59AM

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), as expected, traveled to London yesterday and delivered a striking set of remarks, arguing among other things, "It is startling to think that any country would allow, even unofficially, for a so-called 'no-go zone.'"
To briefly recap, far-right voices have pushed a line, amplified by conservative media, that in Britain and elsewhere, there are Muslim-majority communities in which non-Muslims -- even local law enforcement -- simply do not go. In reality, these "no-go zones" do not exist, a point even Fox News conceded over the weekend.
Jindal nevertheless continues to pretend the far-right myth is real, adding that "Islam has a problem." In his remarks yesterday, referring to Muslims, the Louisiana Republican and likely presidential candidate went on to say, "[I]t is their problem, and they need to deal with it."
After the speech, Jindal told NBC News that he supports "legal immigration," but added, "[I]n many ways, you're looking at folks that want to come and, in some ways, they want to overturn our culture they want to come in and almost colonize our countries."
In a separate interview with CNN, Jindal continued to push the "no-go zones" argument, prompting a British interviewer to say, "You have to have proper facts to back that up. I've lived here a long time; I don't know of any 'no-go zones.'" The Republican replied:
"Well, I did say 'so-called no-go zones.' I think that the radical left absolutely wants to pretend like this problem is not here. Pretending it's not here won't make it go away."
Remember, Jindal's the one who said he wants Republicans to stop being "the stupid party."
Rep. Curt Clawson, R-Fla., carries a Bible for as ceremonial swearing-in with Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, June 25, 2014.

One presidential speech, many GOP responses

01/20/15 08:00AM

Not too long ago, a president would deliver a State of the Union address... and that was it. Much of the country would see the speech, pundits would talk about it, and either the political world would respond favorably or it wouldn't.
In the 1960s, Republicans decided it wasn't entirely fair for a president to have all the fun, and the official State of the Union response was born.
But in the Obama era, as GOP politics went off the deep end, the number of speeches on the big night proliferated. Last year, in addition to President Obama's actual SOTU, there was an official Republican response, an official Republican Spanish-language response, a Tea Party response, Sen. Rand Paul's (R-Ky.) self-indulgent response, and a "prebuttal" from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) because, well, why the heck not.
This year, the fact that Republicans tapped Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) for the party's official response seemingly negated the need for competing conservative voices -- Ernst is, after all, one of the most frighteningly right-wing senators in a generation. Why bother with a Tea Party response if the Republican address will be delivered by arguably the most radical voice in the Senate?
Apparently, that didn't matter.
Rep. Curt Clawson (R-Fla.) will deliver the tea party's response to President Barack Obama's 2015 State of the Union address, the Tea Party Express announced Thursday.
"2015 marks a year of new beginnings for the Tea Party movement," Tea Party Express executive director Taylor Budowich said in a statement. "These new Tea Party members of Congress are brimming with ideas to make America economically stronger with opportunity for all to realize the American Dream. We are honored to present Florida Congressman Curt Clawson, the first Tea Party Express victory for the 2014 cycle, as someone committed to making Congress deliver for the American people."
To appreciate what makes the selection interesting, consider the impression Congressman Clawson has made over the course of his brief, seven-month career on Capitol Hill.

The State of Our Union and other headlines

01/20/15 07:32AM

What to expect at tonight's State of the Union address. (New York Magazine)

Advocates for low-wage workers are coming to the State of the Union address. (Washington Post)

A look at the latest weapon GOP lawmakers plan to use against Pres. Obama's executive actions. (The Hill)

Sen. Harry Reid to make his first Hill appearance since his accident today. (New York Times)

1 person killed in the collapse of a highway overpass in Ohio. (

Jury selection begins today in the trial of accused Aurora, Colorado theatre shooter James Holmes. (AP)

ISIS threatens to kill 2 Japanese hostages. (NBC News)

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Hate crime law aids justice for racist murder

Hate crime law aids justice for racist murder

01/20/15 12:03AM

Rachel Maddow reports on how an expanded federal hate crimes bill, signed into law by President Obama closed a loophole, allowing prosecutors to convict all ten participants in a racially motivated murder in Jackson, Mississippi in 2011. watch

Less partisanship greets Obama's seventh year

Partisanship easing as Obama enters seventh year

01/19/15 09:36PM

Michael Beschloss, NBC News presidential historian, talks with Rachael Maddow about the context of President Obama's State of the Union address, and whether the President Obama's agenda is typical of presidents beginning their seventh year. watch

Tea Party plans SOTU response, rejecting GOP

Tea Party plans SOTU response, rejecting GOP

01/19/15 09:25PM

Rachel Maddow reports that the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address to be delivered by Senator Joni Ernst is apparently not representative of tea party Republicans, whose response will come from Rep. Curt Clawson. watch

Three states celebrate Confederacy on MLK Day

Three states celebrate Confederacy on MLK Day

01/19/15 09:23PM

Rachel Maddow points out that while all 50 states celebrate the holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., three states, Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas, celebrate the birthday of Confederate general Robert E. Lee on that same day. watch

Scalise opposition to MLK holiday haunts GOP

Scalise opposition to MLK holiday haunts GOP

01/19/15 09:08PM

Rachel Maddow points out that several politicians in office today initially voted against honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. with a holiday and have since expressed regret. Rep. Steve Scalise opposed the holiday as recently as 2004. watch