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E.g., 11/26/2014

The model of an Ayn Rand acolyte

05/03/12 04:38PM

Last week, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the right-wing chairman of the House Budget Committee, scoffed at the notion that he's an acolyte of Ayn Rand. "I reject her philosophy," Ryan said, adding he prefers Thomas Aquinas' philosophy. read more

Obama's executive order banned torture. Would Romney reverse it?

Could torture return as a campaign issue?

05/03/12 02:40PM

Many of Mitt Romney's leading economic advisors are former members of the Bush/Cheney team, but the same is true of the candidate's foreign policy team. Ari Berman has a terrific piece today, for example, highlighting figures like John Bolton, Robert Joseph, Dan Senor, and Eric Edelman, all of whom were "tarnished by the Iraq fiasco," but are now advising the would-be Republican president.Of particular interest, though, is Cofer Black.Romney hasn't said what he'd do with a bigger military or how he'd pay for it. read more

J.T. Ready is the one on the left.

When the scary guy is actually scary

05/03/12 01:55PM

As part of covering Arizona's anti-immigration politics, we've reported on former Republican State Senator Russell Pearce and his sometime friend, Neo-Nazi J.T. Ready. Now police in Arizona say Ready shot and killed four people in his extended family yesterday, and then killed himself.No one has covered the story of the relationship between Senator Pearce and border vigilante Ready more closely than Stephen Lemon of the Phoenix New Times. Lemons' post today offers a terrific history, going back years. It's also a reminder that sometimes a scary extremist is not just goofy and strange. read more

The limits of transactional politics

The limits of transactional politics

05/03/12 12:38PM

Mitt Romney stopped by a Manhattan fire station on Tuesday with Rudy Giuliani -- by pure coincidence, it coincided with the anniversary of the mission that killed Osama bin Laden -- and reflected on one of the conversations he had with a firefighter.Speaking at a Ritz Carlton fundraiser in a wealthy D.C. suburb, the presumptive GOP nominee said, "I spoke with a fireman yesterday, and he has a one-bedroom apartment, and his wife is pregnant, and he can't afford a second bedroom. read more

Thursday's campaign round-up

05/03/12 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:* New polls from Quinnipiac show President Obama leading Mitt Romney in Ohio (44% to 42%) and Pennsylvania (47% to 39%), but trailing Romney in Florida (44% to 43%).* The president is having an easier time in Wisconsin, where a Marquette University poll shows him leading his Republican challenger by nine, 51% to 42%.* Speaking of Wisconsin, that same Marquette poll found Gov. read more

It's even worse than it looks

It's even worse than it looks

05/03/12 11:31AM

We talked earlier in the week about an impressive op-ed from political scientists Tom Mann and Norm Ornstein -- celebrated and respected figures of the Washington establishment -- who argued, "Let's just say it: The Republicans are the problem."For Mann and Ornstein, blaming "both sides" for what ails Washington is no longer accurate, and only exacerbates the problems posed by the radicalization of today's GOP. read more

'They didn't want to confront the religious right'

05/03/12 10:47AM

After less than two weeks on the job, Richard Grenell resigned as the Romney campaign spokesperson on foreign policy, apparently because social conservative activists don't like gay people, and they told the Republican nominee that Grenell's sexual orientation was unacceptable.The religious right isn't just gloating about the developments, some prominent voices in the movement are making the case that their power has grown considerably. read more

Don't tread on her, either

Don't tread on her, either

05/03/12 10:35AM

Your humble Virginia license plate correspondent still owes you a roundup of suggested messages for Virginia's new "Don't Tread on Me" license plate. Meanwhile, Karen Dunnam of Grand Rapids, Michigan, sends this picture of herself with a suit and sign she made herself.She writes: "Lacy blouse, $3. Fancy jacket, $4. Hat and Mardi Gras plumes from stash. Nice white band gloves. PVC from stash. Civil War striped socks." Karen says she designed the sign herself -- "Michiganders are typographers!" -- and you can get a "VOTES WOMEN" suffragette sash here. And please, world, do keep sending stuff. read more

The reigning 'I'm rubber, you're glue' champion

05/03/12 10:10AM

While others perfect their own "I'm rubber, you're glue" tactics, I continue to believe Karl Rove is in a league of his own. Today, for example, the former Bush/Cheney aide used his Wall Street Journal column to condemn President Obama for politicizing national security. No, seriously.Looking back on the 2004 race, Rove said Team Bush offered "simple, positive statements and images" about national security, because he recognized the value of restraint.n March 2004, the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign released its first ads. read more

Marco Rubio with his friend David Rivera.

Marco Rubio's Rivera problem

05/03/12 09:13AM

Rep. David Rivera (R-Fla.) hasn't had it easy lately. The conservative freshman has been investigated by the FBI, IRS, Miami-Dade Police Department's public corruption unit, the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office, and Florida Department of Law Enforcement over allegations that he abused his former seat in Florida's state House of Representatives for personal financial gain and repeatedly lied on financial disclosure forms.Not surprisingly, this has left Rivera's future in politics in doubt. read more

Jobless claims show sharp improvement

Jobless claims show sharp improvement

05/03/12 08:41AM

After three consecutive weeks of discouraging news, today's report from the Department of Labor on initial unemployment claims pointed to a sharp improvement in the data.Indeed, the new numbers not only reverse the discouraging trend, they're back to the level we saw in mid-March, which is near a four-year low.The number of Americans who filed requests for jobless benefits fell last week for the first time in a month, down 27,000 to 365,000, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday. Claims from two weeks ago were revised up to 392,000 from 388,000. read more

Rumsfeld still considers himself credible

Rumsfeld still considers himself credible

05/03/12 08:00AM

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has kept a relatively low profile in recent years -- leaving office as a reviled national embarrassment tends to leave limited options -- but he still works his way into the spotlight from time to time.This week, for example, Rumsfeld appeared on Fox News to question President Obama's claims about the mission that killed Osama bin Laden a year ago. "You mentioned there was a tough decision," he said. "I don't think it was a tough decision."There are a few relevant angles to the comments. read more

Morning Maddow: May 3

Morning Maddow: May 3

05/03/12 07:44AM

Kansas lawmakers give pharmacists the right not to dispense medications that might cause an abortion.West Point is publishing a treasure trove of Osama bin Laden documents at 9:00 am Eastern.Appeals court rules John Yoo can't be sued over the "torture memos" he wrote for the Bush Justice Department.China's blind dissident is now appealing for U.S. read more