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The GOP's anti-research agenda

05/21/12 01:52PM

It was bad enough when House Republicans voted to politicize the National Science Foundation, effectively telling the NSF what is and isn't acceptable science to fund. As Ezra Klein recently explained, "That's not how scientific decisions are supposed to work. And the effect could be chilling."But it's just as bad that House Republicans have targeted the American Community Survey. read more

Fighting the last war

05/21/12 01:26PM

Last week, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) took on President Obama's record, arguing, "President Obama hasn't run anything before he was elected President of the United States. Never ran a state, never a business, never ran a lemonade stand."The focus groups must have loved this, because Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus argued yesterday:"o matter what David Axelrod may say, President Obama's private business experience hasn't seen the inside of a lemonade stand."This is a pretty standard criticism for any presidential candidate whose background is legislative work. read more

'Is that a record to be proud of?'

'Is that a record to be proud of?'

05/21/12 12:42PM

There's a spirited debate underway on the relevance of Mitt Romney's controversial private-sector background -- even the party lines have been blurred -- but I continue to think the Republican's record while in office is arguably the greater vulnerability.On "Fox News Sunday" yesterday, host Chris Wallace asked a series of pointed questions to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Austan Goolsbee, the former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers for President Obama, but there was one question in particular that stood out for me.Wallace asked Ryan:"You know, it's not jus read more

Monday's campaign round-up

05/21/12 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:* Ron Paul supporters have apparently taken over the Minnesota Republican Party, throwing a wrench into the GOP's plans for the race against Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D).* In the latest fundraising reports, the Democratic National Committee had a much better April than the Republican National Committee, while the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee narrowly outraised the National Republican Senatorial Committee.* On NBC's "Meet The Press," Rep. read more

It's not 'peacetime'

05/21/12 11:25AM

About a year ago, with his campaign already in full swing, Mitt Romney condemned President Obama for "one of the biggest peacetime spending binges in American history." It was an odd thing for a presidential candidate to say -- there's been no spending binge and this isn't "peacetime."I thought of this when Indiana Gov. read more

Seen in Wisconsin: Scott Walker values your life

Seen in Wisconsin: Scott Walker values your life

05/21/12 11:15AM

@LegalEagle tweets this flyer from the National Rifle Association, sent in support of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker:"Governor Scott Walker believes your life is worth protecting and Tom Barrett does not."The ad specifically mentions Walker's signing the state's "Castle Law" last year, expanding homeowners' right to shoot when they feel threatened on their own property.Facing a recall election on June 5, Governor Walker has been leading steadily in the polls. Still, the race is close enough that an outdoor shop decided to ask the NRA to find somewhere else for its recall meetings. read more

If a provocative thesis falls in a forest...

If a provocative thesis falls in a forest...

05/21/12 10:42AM

Political scientists Tom Mann and Norm Ornstein -- celebrated and respected figures of the Washington establishment -- recently argued in an impressive op-ed, "Let's just say it: The Republicans are the problem." It seemed like the kind of piece that would spur some debate within the political establishment. That hasn't quite happened.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 Republican Party. read more

Getting by with a little help from their friends

Getting by with a little help from their friends

05/21/12 10:04AM

With fundraising totals reaching extraordinary heights, there's no doubt that both President Obama, Mitt Romney, and their assorted allies will have plenty of resources between now and Election Day.But it's worth noting that while neither side will suffer from empty coffers, there's a clear qualitative difference in the kind of donors that separate one campaign from the other. read more

'Adults' don't hold the nation hostage

'Adults' don't hold the nation hostage

05/21/12 09:20AM

Last summer, just a few days after the debt-ceiling crisis had been resolved, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said of the debt limit, "What we did learn is this: it's a hostage that's worth ransoming."I thought of this yesterday when McConnell told CBS's Bob Schieffer, referencing House Speaker John Boehner, "The Speaker and I have been the adults in the room."Ah yes, thank goodness for the adults. read more

NAACP follows Obama's lead on marriage equality

NAACP follows Obama's lead on marriage equality

05/21/12 08:35AM

When President Obama endorsed marriage equality two weeks ago, there was some talk about his position possibly alienating some African-American voters. After all, as the chart on the right shows, support for same-sex marriage in the African-American community has grown in recent years, but opponents clearly still outnumber supporters.But since Obama's announcement, the larger shift has been towards the president's position, not away from it. Over the weekend, the board of the NAACP, in a near-unanimous vote, followed Obama's lead and endorsed same-sex marriage. read more

What Cory Booker finds 'nauseating'

05/21/12 08:00AM

Newark Mayor Cory Booker, widely considered a rising star in Democratic politics, raised quite a few eyebrows yesterday when he denounced criticism of Mitt Romney's work at Bain Capital.On NBC's "Meet the Press," Booker said, "his kind of stuff is nauseating to me on both sides."It was an unexpected, and rather confusing, argument. read more

Morning Maddow: May 21

05/21/12 07:47AM

Obama's Super PAC is trailing Romney's Super PAC (not to mention all the other GOP ones) in fundraising.Bain & Co. is setting up shop in Washington, DC.NAACP votes to support marriage equality.New national registry lists those exonerated after wrongful convictions.For want of an apology, the deal with Pakistan to reopen a crucial NATO supply route falls apart.The Lockerbie bomber has died.Transgender at five.Did you watch yesterday's annular solar eclipse live or on social media? read more

This Week in God

05/19/12 10:00AM

First up from the God Machine this week is a look at the ongoing fight over women's access to contraception, which had faded from the front pages, but which clearly hasn't gone away.Sarah Kliff reported yesterday that Ohio's Steubenville University "decided it would end its student health insurance plan rather than comply with the health reform law's mandated coverage of contraceptives," and other schools are likely to follow suit. Lawyers for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops intends to go further, taking their opposition to contraception to court.The Catholic Church's U.S. read more

Links for the 5/18 TRMS

Links for the 5/18 TRMS

05/18/12 11:58PM

It's all about the metricsPaper Plane Champ Watches His Record Fly, Fly AwayGreece Was Lying About Its Budget Numbers Greeks strip 700m euros from local banks, Papoulias warns of bank weakness Greeks withdraw €700 mn in one day from banks over euro exit fears Apocalypse Fairly Soon The Pledge: Grover Norquist's hold on the GOP Taxpayer Protection Pledge (pdf) GOP rookies buck Grover Norquist Bono's Investment Firm May Make $1.5 Billion in Facebook IPO Ezra Klein on Facebook Ezra Klein writes at read more

The mindblowing mind

05/18/12 08:32PM

After chatting with Tricia about her segment yesterday about the stroke victim controling the robot arm with her brain, I engaged in a bit of "undirected work-related research" and watched this 2010 TED Talk by Tan Le, the co-founder and president of Emotiv Lifescience, about her company's commercially available mind reader.That headset and its tricks are totally available to the general public. It's not the same as plugging a sensor into your skull, but for $300 you're in the game. read more