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McConnell's 'dangerous line'

McConnell's 'dangerous line'

04/05/12 04:28PM

I know it's an election year. I also know Republican leaders like Mitch McConnell feel an obligation to pursue every manufactured outrage to its logical extreme -- and then go just a little further.But that doesn't make comments like these any less ridiculous.Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) slammed President Obama on Thursday for his earlier comments about the Supreme Court, accusing the president of an "intolerable" assault on the Judicial Branch. "The president crossed a dangerous line this week. read more

Gingrich is not Santorum's problem

Gingrich is not Santorum's problem

04/05/12 03:51PM

Mark Halperin reports today that Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have "met face-to-face at least twice in the last few weeks and have also had some very long phone calls recently." The two Republican presidential candidates have reportedly talked about "the path forward," and possible "unity" efforts to "stop" Mitt Romney.The report coincides with Santorum's ongoing talks with conservative leaders, who met with the former senator today to explore "how to persuade Newt Gingrich to drop out."The conservative leaders met with Mr. Santorum and his top aides in northern Virginia as Mr. read more

Holder responds to 5th Circuit tantrum

Holder responds to 5th Circuit tantrum

04/05/12 02:34PM

Following up our reports from earlier in the week, Attorney General Eric Holder has personally responded, in writing, to Judge Jerry Smith's hysterical demands related to President Obama's routine beliefs on judicial review.To briefly recap, Smith, a Republican appointee on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, threw a bizarre political tantrum on the bench Tuesday, assigning childish homework to the Justice Department. read more

The best read since they invented the alphabet.

A 'Drift' blurb challenge for you

04/05/12 01:04PM

As we mentioned last night, Rachel’s new book "Drift" is number one on the New York Times print hardcover nonfiction list (who-hooo!) and the reviews have been equally encouraging. For instance:"In her hard-hitting debut, popular msnbc host Maddow examines how the country has lost control of its national-security policy... humor and verve." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred)So "Drift" is obviously a hit in the here and now but I can't help wonder how this book would have been received in other time periods.  Like, maybe: "A hit. read more

Romney's misguided bashing of his alma mater

04/05/12 12:35PM

Just last night, Rachel explained Mitt Romney's habit of identifying his perceived weaknesses, and then assigning those weaknesses to President Obama. The segment was not short on examples.Today, however, the list got a little longer. Romney, perhaps concerned about being perceived as an Ivy League elitist, targeted Obama's time at Harvard.For those who can't watch clips online, Romney said, "We have a president who I think is a nice guy, but he spent too much time at Harvard, perhaps. Or maybe just not enough time actually working in the real world. read more

Thursday's campaign round-up

04/05/12 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:* With Public Policy Polling showing Mitt Romney pulling ahead of Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania, will the former quit to avoid the embarrassment of losing in his home state again?* Is Foster Friess done providing financial support to Santorum? Not yet. He told Fox News yesterday he's "absolutely not" closing his wallet. Referring to Santorum, Friess added, "He's not out yet."* Sen. read more

Three words: running mates matter.

The delicate dance of running for VP

04/05/12 10:50AM

Every presidential campaign cycle, at about this time, a large group of officials struggle with a problem. They want to be their party's vice presidential nominee, but they don't want to look like they want to be their party's vice presidential nominee. It's fine to want the gig, but lobbying for the VP slot is considered inappropriate, and undermines one's chances.Dropping off resumes at the frontrunner's HQ isn't really an option, but neither is just sitting back and hoping for the best. read more

RNC chairman reflects on women, caterpillars

RNC chairman reflects on women, caterpillars

04/05/12 10:02AM

There's ample evidence that the Republican policy campaign known as the "war on women" has taken a toll on the GOP's standing with more than half the electorate. Republican leaders, however, still seem unsure how to talk about their problem.The leaders of the two political parties clashed over the role of gender in U.S. read more

Jobless claims at lowest level since April '08

Jobless claims at lowest level since April '08

04/05/12 08:43AM

The general trend on initial unemployment claims over the last few months has been largely encouraging, and today's report offers additional good news.In fact, the new figures are the best since April 2008, and even exceeded positive expectations.The number of Americans who filed requests for jobless benefits fell by 6,000 last week to 357,000, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had projected claims would total 360,000, seasonally adjusted, in the week ended March 31. Claims from two weeks ago were revised up to 363,000 from 359,000. read more

Not your average Reagan

04/05/12 08:20AM

In his concession speech from Mars, Pennsylvania on Tuesday night, Rick Santorum gave President Obama a brief, perfunctory razzing before launching into a diatribe against his chief rival, Mitt Romney. Santorum justified his continued involvement in the Republican nomination process by arguing that there isn’t enough of a difference between Mitt Romney and President Obama, comparing his own campaign to Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign in 1976. “We don't win by moving to the middle,” Santorum said. read more

At least the green elephant is the same

At least the green elephant is the same

04/05/12 08:00AM

It may seem hard to believe now, but in the not-too-distant past, support for environmental protections and conservation efforts was bipartisan. Among Republicans, Teddy Roosevelt was a pioneer on the environment; Dwight Eisenhower established the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; Richard Nixon created the EPA; and George H.W. Bush adopted an ambitious cap-and-trade policy to combat acid raid.But as the GOP has shifted to the far-right, Republican hostility towards the environment has grown. read more

Morning Maddow: April 5

Morning Maddow: April 5

04/05/12 07:33AM

For the fifth time in five years, a state chose to abolish the death penalty last nightThe headline Rick Santorum guaranteed we'd never see: Romney leads in PATo honor the 50th anniversary of the film, Obama hosts a screening of To Kill a MockingbirdSpeaking of movies, a plane in Australia had to make an emergency landing because of this movie titleThe Special Relationship does not, it turn out, include UK courtsHillary Clinton: the U.S. does not seek permanent military bases in AfghanistanBut we do have some military "advisers" in Mali following the coup read more

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