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Thursday's Mini-Report

06/21/12 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:* Not good: "Manufacturing grew in June at its slowest pace in 11 months and hiring in the sector slowed as overseas demand for U.S. products waned, an industry survey showed on Thursday."* On the other hand: "A backward baby step in home sales last month is little more than a momentary bobble... read more

Thomas Friedman's bad habits, redux

Thomas Friedman's bad habits, redux

06/21/12 04:46PM

Back in April, I chided the New York Times' Thomas Friedman for having two bad habits: (1) writing columns complaining that President Obama had failed to take a certain action, apparently unaware that the president has already taken that action, and (2) writing columns calling for a third party that would push the two major parties to be... read more

Still flunking the WMD test

Still flunking the WMD test

06/21/12 04:03PM

Andrew Sullivan makes the case today that one of the major American political parties is "unhinged."Or, rather, it is living in an alternative reality. 63 percent of Republicans in a new poll believe that Saddam Hussein had WMDs when we invaded in 2003, despite even George W. Bush's acknowledgment that he didn't. 64 percent... read more

Romney leaves blanks unfilled on immigration

06/21/12 03:16PM

Six days ago, President Obama unveiled a new immigration policy, which included using the executive branch's prosecutorial discretion to implement many of the goals of the DREAM Act. Since then, Mitt Romney has been pressed repeatedly for his position on the new policy.Apparently, the Republican presidential hopeful is feeling a little shy... read more

Lakrisal, an investigation

Lakrisal, an investigation

06/21/12 02:15PM

In a quest for scientific nirvana, a few of us here at the Rachel Maddow Show are searching for answers behind the mystical sour power of Lakrisal, the Scandinavian “candy” we were introduced to last week by the great Vanessa Silverton-Peel.The ingredients in Lakrisal are ammonium chloride, licorice and sugar.Ultimately, our far-reaching goals... read more

Snowe the latest senator to eye filibuster reform

Snowe the latest senator to eye filibuster reform

06/21/12 01:47PM

Maybe there's something about retirement that helps "moderate" senators gain some perspective on filibusters. Two years ago, after then-Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) announced the end of his Senate career, he became an articulate supporter of institutional reforms, most notably involving filibusters.This year, Sen. read more

Romney gets by with a little help from some very wealthy friends.

Secret bundlers to get extraordinary access

06/21/12 12:42PM

It sounds like Mitt Romney has scheduled quite a get-together for this weekend. On Friday, the Republican presidential hopeful will kick off a soiree of sorts, "strategizing and fraternizing with his biggest bundlers at a posh resort in Park City, Utah."The presumptive Republican nominee and his senior advisers and aides are hosting... read more

Thursday's campaign round-up

06/21/12 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:* Last month, a Quinnipiac poll that generated a lot of attention showed Mitt Romney leading President Obama in Florida by six points. read more

Scott Brown's 'secret' royal meetings

Scott Brown's 'secret' royal meetings

06/21/12 11:24AM

On Tuesday, Rachel asked two related questions: "What is going on with Scott Brown? What is wrong with Scott Brown?"In context, Rachel was talking about the Republican senator's demand that Ted Kennedy's widow be politically muzzled in order for him to participate in a Kennedy Institute debate, but the questions have broader... read more

Hoekstra's failure of self-awareness

06/21/12 10:54AM

Former Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R) ran for governor in Michigan a couple of years ago, and fared quite poorly. This year, he's running for the U.S. Senate, though his campaign stumbled badly after airing a racist ad during the Super Bowl in February.Now, however, Hoekstra has a new issue to sink his teeth into, which he hopes will give his... read more

Mitt Romney to Rick Scott: Shhh

Mitt Romney to Rick Scott: Shhh

06/21/12 10:01AM

For about a month, we've been covering an interesting trend that Mitt Romney's presidential campaign finds problematic: some of his key gubernatorial allies keep telling voters the economy is getting better.Many of the nation's key swing states -- Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Nevada, Wisconsin, Iowa, Pennsylvania -- are led by... read more

Why health reform is so unpopular

Why health reform is so unpopular

06/21/12 09:29AM

If we put aside everything we know about the politics of the last three years and consider the debate over health care policy in the abstract, "Obamacare" should be the most popular thing in the country. That may seem absurd, but hear me out.For 100 years, national leaders have been trying to get health care reform done, and for 100... read more

Jobless claims inch lower, but are still too high

Jobless claims inch lower, but are still too high

06/21/12 08:38AM

At this point, it's almost a relief when initial unemployment claims simply fail to go up. Call it the soft bigotry of low expectations, but today's report from the Department of Labor this morning at least didn't deliver more bad news.Though revisions once again pointed in the wrong direction, at least the new totals inched lower... read more

Bernanke's Keynesian advice falls on deaf ears

06/21/12 08:25AM

We touched on this briefly yesterday, but Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke once again presented Washington with some common-sense Keynesian economics yesterday, which once again fell on deaf ears.Bernanke covered quite a bit of ground over the course of 45 minutes, but in terms of political salience, the comments that were of particular... read more

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