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E.g., 1/29/2015
'Drunk droning' results in White House breach

'Drunk droning' results in White House breach

01/27/15 11:37PM

Carol Leonnig, national reporter for The Washington Post, talks with Rachel Maddow about how a drunken government employee accidentally crashed his drone on the White House grounds, setting off a new round of alarm about White House vulnerability. watch

Football deflation theories get complicated

Football deflation theories get complicated

01/27/15 09:21PM

Rachel Maddow shares a piece of the show meeting from earlier in the day in which newly leaked information that New England Patriots footballs were briefly in a bathroom, is worked into a theory of how deflation may have taken place. watch

Tuesday's Mini-Report, 1.27.15

01/27/15 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:
* Libya: "Terrorists launched a bomb and gun attack on a Libyan hotel popular with government ministers and Western diplomats Tuesday, killing up to five people. One American citizen was among the dead, NBC News' Paul Nassar reported. A handful of other Americans were evacuated after the attack."
* The global chess match: "The reaction in China to the breadth of strategic and economic issues discussed by the United States and India during Mr. Obama's visit and to their obvious, though not publicly expressed, mutual anxiety about China has been cool but controlled."
* It's quite a delegation: "President Obama met with King Salman of Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, leading a bipartisan delegation of prominent current and former officials to shore up an important relationship and offer condolences for the death of King Abdullah."
* Capital punishment: "A two-time killer is waiting to hear if the U.S. Supreme Court will stop his Tuesday night execution, which is being used to challenge the state's uniquely strict standard for intellectual disability. Warren Lee Hill's lawyers claim the 54-year-old has the mental capacity of a child -- but the state says that hasn't been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, as it requires."
* Criminal justice system: "A record number of convicts were exonerated last year, fueled by a backlog of lab tests that cleared drug suspects in Houston and a string of murder cases linked to a single New York City detective."
* Economy: "The latest reading on consumer confidence rose to another milestone. The Conference Board's consumer-confidence index rose to 102.9 from 93.1 in December, the best reading since August 2007 and above the MarketWatch-compiled economist forecast of 96.9. Consumer assessment of both current conditions and the outlook for the future brightened. "
An Affordable Healthcare Act supporter (R) talks with a student (L) about the law on the campus of Santa Monica City College in Santa Monica, California, October 10, 2013.

Obamacare price tag keeps shrinking

01/27/15 04:32PM

The Congressional Budget Office released a whole lot of information yesterday, all of which caused a fair amount of chatter, but some of it matters more than others.
Most of the coverage I've seen highlighted the CBO projections on the budget deficit, most notably an expected shortfall of about $468 billion -- 2.6% of GDP -- for this fiscal year. This puts the U.S. on track for the smallest deficit in eight years, and over $1 trillion in deficit reduction in the Obama era.
The same report noted that the era of extremely fast deficit reduction will probably end soon after, which will invariably lead deficit scolds to start demanding cuts to social-insurance programs. But that won't make any substantive sense it won't be social-insurance programs that cause the larger deficits.
What I found more interesting, however, is what the CBO had to say about the Affordable Care Act.
Obamacare, as it is commonly known, will cost 20 percent less than previously projected over the next decade, the CBO said Monday. The reason for the revised estimate is a result of a decline of healthcare inflation, the Los Angeles Times reported. In addition, the number of uninsured Americans has fallen by 12 million, the CBO estimates, and an additional 12 million are expected to gain insurance by the end of 2016.
Through 2019, the law's insurance provisions will cost an estimated $571 billion, down $139 billion from the CBO's initial estimates.
One of the more common complaints from the right is that the nation "can't afford" the ACA. Even if it's working, even if it's saving lives, the argument goes, the massive reform law simply carries too large a price tag.
That argument cannot be taken seriously. For one thing, "Obamacare" reduces the deficit -- repeal it and the shortfall conservatives sometimes pretend to care about gets worse, not better. For another, the price tag keeps shrinking, not growing, making the "we can't afford it" argument nonsensical.
A sign at an Affordable Care Act outreach event in Los Angeles, California, September 28, 2013.

Indiana, feds reach a deal on Medicaid

01/27/15 03:46PM

Every time a Republican-run "red" state embraces Medicaid expansion through the Affordable Care Act, the pressure increases a little more on the dead-enders to come to their senses. The latest news is out of Indiana, where the Indianapolis Star reported on the agreement between Gov. Mike Pence's (R) administration and Obama administration officials.
Indiana has been given the green light to expand its Healthy Indiana Plan, which would offer insurance to an additional 350,000 Indiana residents, who currently lack insurance.
The state will begin taking applications today for its so-called HIP 2.0 plan, for which coverage begins Feb. 1, Gov. Mike Pence announced Tuesday morning at a packed speech at St. Vincent Health.
His announcement culminates more than two years of back and forth between state government and federal health officials over whether to grant the state a waiver for the plan debuted in 2006.
With this announcement, 28 states have accepted Medicaid expansion -- an optional part of "Obamacare" thanks to a Supreme Court ruling -- a list that includes 10 "red" states.
And these totals are growing, not shrinking.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel walk along a section of the recently-constructed fence at the U.S.-Mexico border on Feb. 26, 2013 in Nogales, Ariz. (Photo by John Moore/Getty)

Add border security to the list of GOP 'stumbles'

01/27/15 01:04PM

In its first month, the Republican-led House, with its largest GOP majority in generations, has tackled a series of awful bills that have no chance of becoming law. We've seen Republicans splinter and complain about one another. We've seen GOP leaders schedule floor votes on some key priorities, only to pull the bills from consideration soon after.
It's probably not what the congressional majority party had in mind.
House Republicans are not off to a strong start, Speaker John A. Boehner acknowledged on Tuesday. Asked about the eleventh-hour withdrawal of bills related to abortion and, most recently, border security -- both of which were initially considered easy lifts for the emboldened Republican majority before intra-party divisions emerged -- Mr. Boehner attributed them to their attempts to fast-track the legislation without committee consideration to work out the disagreements.
"There have been a couple of stumbles," he said.
Um, yeah. Worse, these aren't "stumbles" Republicans can blame on the White House or the Senate -- the giant Republican majority, filled with optimism in the immediate aftermath of the 2014 midterms, is struggling to get its own act together.
Yesterday, much of the attention inside the Beltway seemed to be focused on the weather, but in the House, the day's "stumbles" actually helped capture much of what's gone wrong for the party.