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Michigan is one tough town

Michigan is one tough town

04/25/12 06:00PM

Today the staff at the Michigan Board of State Canvassers reported (pdf) that a group trying to overturn the emergency manager law has enough signatures to get on the ballot. Tomorrow, the board will hear a challenge to the petition itself, primarily but not solely on grounds that the font size is too small. That's the story in which the group bringing the challenge is a project of the Republican consulting firm whose partner sits on the board that will hear the challenge. read more

Wednesday's Mini-Report

04/25/12 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:* Another good day for the right at the Supreme Court: "Justices across the ideological spectrum appeared inclined to uphold a controversial part of Arizona's aggressive 2010 immigration law, based on their questions on Wednesday at a Supreme Court argument."* Even with the recovery struggling, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke spent "much of a news conference Wednesday explaining why central bankers have decided -- for now -- to do nothing."* Citing concerns over consumer privacy, the White House today threatened to veto CISPA if it reaches President Obama's read more

Religious right lobbies against VAWA

04/25/12 02:45PM

As the Violence Against Women Act gets ready to move in the Senate, no one seems to be lobbying against it as aggressively as the religious right.While the Southern Baptist Convention’s political arm, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, is mired in scandal resulting from ERLC head Richard Land’s repeated plagiarism and inflammatory remarks on race, it has found time to criticize the Violence Against Women Act. read more

What drives Kobach and Hethmon

04/25/12 01:49PM

The Washington Post has an interesting profile piece this week on two of the men who've helped push the Republican Party so far to the right on immigration policy. Of particular interest, though, was a tidbit about one of their motivations.One, Kris Kobach, was a telegenic law professor who was worried about foreign terrorists. read more

Rubio thinks Bush did 'a fantastic job'

Rubio thinks Bush did 'a fantastic job'

04/25/12 12:37PM

If Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) overcomes his objections and agrees to join Mitt Romney's 2012 ticket, I have a strong hunch this quote will become one of the more important tidbits of the year."George W. Bush, in my opinion, did a fantastic job as president over eight years."In some Republican circles, many on the right choose to explain the spectacular failures of the Bush/Cheney era by saying the former president wasn't really a conservative, so his fiascos shouldn't be held against the conservative movement. read more

Wednesday's campaign round-up

04/25/12 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:* Technically, Newt Gingrich is still running for president, but that's about to change: the former House Speaker will suspend his campaign next week.* On a related note, Rick Santorum grudgingly conceded yesterday that it's "very clear" Mitt Romney will be the GOP nominee, and the former senator will eventually endorse his former rival.* The Republican National Committee has dropped the pretense and begun officially coordinating its 2012 activit read more

Paul Ryan's faith-based troubles continue

04/25/12 11:33AM

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) argued two weeks ago that his right-wing budget agenda was inspired by his Roman Catholic faith. In retrospect, that probably wasn't the best idea he's ever had.Last week, the U.S. read more

GOP determined to move backwards on student loans

GOP determined to move backwards on student loans

04/25/12 10:57AM

When it comes to President Obama's accomplishments, I tend to think one of the more overlooked breakthroughs was reform of the student-loan system -- an effort that was decades in the making, but had been blocked by Republicans and bank lobbyists until 2010.Under the old system, the student-loan industry received billions in taxpayer subsidies to provide a service the government could perform for less. read more

David Cameron's economy isn't pointing in the right direction.

'A cautionary tale'

04/25/12 10:03AM

For quite a while, Republicans have looked at the economic austerity agenda that's dominating Europe and called for the United States to follow the continent's lead. This is especially true of David Cameron's British austerity policies, which have drawn enthusiastic praise from Republicans, who wish President Obama would implement parts of the Prime Minister's plan here in the U.S.Indeed, it was almost exactly a year ago when Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) wrote an op-ed urging U.S. read more

The wrong message, the wrong messenger

The wrong message, the wrong messenger

04/25/12 09:28AM

Back in October 2010, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) told Rush Limbaugh he considers President Obama "one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times." Ruth Marcus noted soon after, "If Issa believes this, he is deranged. If he doesn't and is saying it anyway, he is dangerous."The jury's still out on which of these is true, but Issa is still pushing the same bizarre line.Rep. read more

When Mexican immigration drops to zero

When Mexican immigration drops to zero

04/25/12 08:40AM

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), in his capacity as a leading surrogate for Mitt Romney, argued yesterday that the presumptive Republican nominee hasn't endorsed "self-deportation" as an immigration policy. Talking to reporters, McCain snapped, "Don't put words in his mouth."The problem is that McCain doesn't know what he's talking about. Romney, just this year, explicitly endorsed "self-deportation." It's not a matter of opinion -- Romney said this on national television. read more