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A bad week for birthers

A bad week for birthers

05/23/12 08:00PM

Rachel Maddow reports on two stories in which public officials humiliated themselves and their state by publicly entertaining "birther" conspiracy theorists. watch

A test of the Washington press corps

A test of the Washington press corps

05/23/12 08:00PM

Rachel Maddow challenges members of the mainstream Washington Beltway media to pay close enough attention to the records and positions of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama to recognize and actually challenge when they're being presented with lies,... watch

Ahead on the 5/23 Maddow show

05/23/12 07:02PM

Tonight's guests include:Frank Rich, writer-at-large for New York MagazineEJ Dionne, columnist for The Washington Post and author of the new book, "Our Divided Political Heart - The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of Discontent"While we wait for tonight's video preview to load, take a listen to tonight's soundtrack. (Just be sure to allow the ad below to play out entirely, before starting the song.)  read more

Wednesday's Mini-Report

05/23/12 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:* A momentous day in Egypt: "Egyptians went to the polls Wednesday to choose their first freely elected president in a vote that could end 15 chaotic months of military rule and define the future of political Islam."* Delicate talks: "Six world powers laid out detailed proposals on Wednesday for Iran to ease the urgency of international concerns about its nuclear program, including a freeze on its enrichment of uranium to 20 percent purity, close to bomb grade, in return for modest benefits."* A quickening home-construction pulse: "New-home sales edged up 3.3 perc read more

Tall ships on parade

Tall ships on parade

05/23/12 05:10PM

This year's Fleet Week in New York City kicked off with a procession of tall ships. Our Andy Dallos found a spot along the Hudson River for some picture snapping.  read more

Colin Powell: 'Come on Mitt, think'

05/23/12 03:50PM

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell appeared on NBC's "Today" show yesterday and demurred when it came to endorsing a presidential candidate in 2012, at least for now. Given Powell's support for President Obama four years ago, this caused a minor freak-out in much of the political establishment. read more

When the 'numbers guy' gets the numbers wrong

05/23/12 02:53PM

Mitt Romney sat down with Time's Mark Halperin this morning, and made a rather remarkable boast about future job growth in a Romney administration."Over a period of 4 years, by virtue of the policies that we put in place, we get the unemployment rate down to 6 percent, perhaps a little lower," the Republican said.There are, of course, two glaring problems with this. The first is that Romney told voters any unemployment rate above 4 percent is a problem. read more

Coffman struggles to defend himself

05/23/12 02:12PM

A couple of weeks ago, Rep. Mike Coffman (R), whose Colorado district is increasingly competitive, lashed out at President Obama in a bizarre harangue. "I don't know whether Barack Obama was born in the United States of America; I don't know that," he said. "But I do know this, that in his heart, he's not an American. read more

Strom Thurmond, pictured here in 1957, left the Democrats when the party embraced civil rights.

The party of civil rights

05/23/12 01:34PM

Kevin Williamson covers some well-traveled ground this week, making the case that, despite popular political "myth," it's the Republican Party that's the "party of civil rights.That Republicans have let Democrats get away with this mountebankery is a symptom of their political fecklessness, and in letting them get away with it the GOP has allowed itself to be cut off rhetorically from a pantheon of Republican political heroes, from Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass to Susan B. read more

Meet Romney's 'Special Advisor' on education policy

Meet Romney's 'Special Advisor' on education policy

05/23/12 12:36PM

Mitt Romney will outline his education policy in a speech today, and as part of his focus on the issue, the Republican presidential hopeful announced yesterday that Rod Paige will serve as his "special advisor" on education.The most obvious observation is that Paige was the Bush/Cheney Secretary of Education, offering yet another connection between the failed former Republican administration and Team Romney.The more important angle, though, is why Romney is getting policy advice from the worst Education Secretary anyone's ever seen. read more

Wednesday's campaign round-up

05/23/12 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:* A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows President Obama with a narrow lead over Mitt Romney at the national level, 47% to 43%. The gender gap is enormous, and Obama has a clear edge among self-identified independents.* A new Quinnipiac poll, however, shows Romney with a growing lead in Florida, where he's ahead of the president by six points, 47% to 41%. Adding Sen. read more

John Maynard Keynes suddenly finds fans in the Republican establishment.

Maybe we really are all Keynesians now

05/23/12 10:45AM

It'll probably be a while until the issues are on policymakers' frontburner, but Congress and the White House have quite a deadline looming.As the Congressional Budget Office reminded everyone yesterday, on Dec. 31, all of the Bush-era tax rates will expire, as will lower payroll tax rates. read more

Mitch's mendacious message

05/23/12 10:00AM

It wasn't too long ago that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) argued that President Obama has been able to enact his entire policy agenda, so he's not in a position to complain about the state of the economy.McConnell argued that White House officials have been "trying to pretend like the president just showed up yesterday, just got sworn in and started fresh. In fact, he's been in office three years. read more