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Finally, a full house at the Fed

05/17/12 05:15PM

The Federal Reserve Board of Governors has been burdened by vacancies for the last six years. Last year, Fed obstructionism reached farcical levels when Senate Republicans killed Peter Diamond's nomination to fill a Fed vacancy because he's only the recipient a Nobel Prize in economics and an expert in unemployment. read more

TRMS Headline Writing Challenge: Infoxication

TRMS Infoxication Challenge: Winners

05/17/12 04:46PM

Given the volume and quality of the entries, some of you must have waited years for the chance to write Fox Nation-style headlines.While we are humbled by all of your hard work, it made choosing winners both a delight and a fool's errand. Nonetheless, here a few of the many excellent offerings. (Remember, infoxication means transforming these three tame headlines into roaring, terror-filled Fox Nation headlines.)College Sweethearts Find Love Again After 60 Years ApartObama Reunites Sixties Radicals in Drug-Fueled Love-In — Cap'n CrustyObamacare Death Panel Reunites Couple, Orders Them to Die T read more

Quote of the Day

05/17/12 03:58PM

"The Ricketts Plan" to use Jeremiah Wright to smear President Obama has come and gone rather quickly, but the story isn't quite over for Mitt Romney.To the campaign's credit, the presumptive Republican nominee repudiated the line of attack fairly quickly this morning, suggesting Romney and his team want nothing to do with Wright-based attacks, which most fair-minded people seem to agree are out of bounds. read more

Mike Coffman didn't 'misspeak'

05/17/12 02:43PM

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) delivered some pretty stunning remarks at a fundraiser over the weekend, and unfortunately for him, the NBC affiliate in Denver obtained a copy of his speech.Around the 3:20 mark, Coffman, the two-term Republican congressman, says of the president:"I don't know whether Barack Obama was born in the United States of America. I don't know that. But I do know this, that in his heart, he's not an American. He's just not an American."Asked for an explanation, the congressman issued a statement that "I misspoke and I apologize."That doesn't work. read more

Donna Summer 1948-2012

05/17/12 02:00PM

Her name suited her perfectly: sunny and hot and romantic and a little silly, too.  For a generation (i.e. mine) Donna Summer's music summons up a whole adolescent world of roller discos and red satin shorts and sweltering nights at amusement parks. The Queen of Disco died this morning in Florida at the age of 63.For a few years there, her buoyant, infectious grooves were everywhere -- there was no escaping Donna Summer. The great part was?  You never wanted to.   read more

'The Ricketts Plan' goes back to the drawing board

'The Ricketts Plan' goes back to the drawing board

05/17/12 01:18PM

It seemed like quite an idea. Joe Ricketts, the wealthy AmeriTrade founder whose family owns the Chicago Cubs, would spend $10 million on an ad campaign attacking President Obama over his former pastor. "The Ricketts Plan" would rely on hire an "extremely literate conservative African-American" as its spokesperson, who would accuse Obama of being a "metrosexual, black Abe Lincoln."What could possibly go wrong?Alas, the plan was short lived. read more

Mitt Romney in Massachusetts in 2002, during happier Bay State times.

Over before it starts in Massachusetts

05/17/12 12:38PM

Major-party presidential candidates tend to win their home state, even if they're losing the election, but in 2012, the race for Mitt Romney's home state is apparently over before it starts.Don't bet on Mitt Romney winning his home state. read more

Thursday's campaign round-up

05/17/12 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 Fox News poll shows President Obama leading Mitt Romney at the national level, 46% to 39%. Obama reportedly benefited in the poll from growing support among independents.* The Romney campaign, in coordination with the RNC, raised $40.1 million in April, just shy of the $43.6 million Obama and the DNC raised over the same period.* In Wisconsin, the latest poll from Marquette Law School Poll finds Gov. read more

Lies, damn lies, and Scott Walker's statistics

05/17/12 11:31AM

Yesterday morning, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's (R) Department of Workforce Development would put out new job numbers, and a few hours later, his campaign operation used those new numbers as the basis for a new campaign ad.At face value, this might seem like a compelling pitch for the Republican governor. read more

Mississippi GOP tucks away 'coat hanger' abortion clip

Mississippi GOP tucks away 'coat hanger' abortion clip

05/17/12 10:15AM

A week ago today, Mississippi Republican State Representative Bubba Carpenter addressed his local GOP chapter, in Alcorn County, and told them how proud he was of a new law that "literally stopped abortion in the state of Mississippi." Carpenter said critics of the law predicted the return of coat hanger abortions. "But hey," he said, "you have to have moral values. read more

Boehner redefines 'threat'

05/17/12 10:02AM

In recent weeks, we've seen high-profile Republicans struggle with the meaning of some basic words. Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) doesn't know what "compromise" means; Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) doesn't know what "hypocrisy" means; Indiana's Richard Mourdock doesn't know what "bipartisan" means; and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) doesn't seem to know what "divisive" means.Yesterday, however, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) suggested he doesn't know what "threaten" means.NBC News asked Boehner about his intention to hold the nation hostage again next year when it comes time to raise the debt ceiling. read more

'Fuzzy Jobs Math'

05/17/12 09:28AM

Mitt Romney's campaign team told reporters earlier yesterday there would be no questions for the candidate at any point during the day. As it turns out, that wasn't quite true -- the presumptive Republican nominee was willing to answer plenty of questions from conservative blogger and radio host Ed Morrissey.Of particular interest yesterday was Romney responding to criticisms of his controversial work at Bain Capital, where he orchestrated leveraged buyouts, flipping companies quickly for large profits, at the expense of thousands of workers who were considered collateral damage. read more

Jobless claims level off after roller-coaster ride

Jobless claims level off after roller-coaster ride

05/17/12 08:39AM

Watching the initial unemployment claims lately has not been for the faint of heart. February and March were very encouraging; April was a disheartening mess; and as we saw in today's report from the Department of Labor, the totals appear to be leveling off in May.Last week's figures were revised up slightly, and this week, the totals were unchanged.The number of Americans who filed requests for jobless benefits was unchanged last week at 370,000, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday. Claims from two weeks ago were revised up to 370,000 from an initial reading 367,000. read more

The Senate Republican leadership, all of which backed the Paul Ryan budget plan.

Senate GOP backs radical Ryan plan

05/17/12 07:59AM

It was "budget bonanza" day in the U.S. Senate yesterday, with the chamber taking up several budget bills with the express purpose of defeating all of them. It was, at a certain level, inane political theater, which Capitol Hill reporters were inclined to ignore.I'm not unsympathetic to the indifference. Watching senators go through the motions yesterday certainly seemed like a petty "game" in which the parties tried to score cheap points off of one another. read more