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Challenge: Identify this creepy insect

Challenge: Identify this creepy insect

12/15/11 04:10PM

Viewer Paul tweets us from Indiana, regarding our "Best Ew Thing" segment last night about the discovery of the "leaproach" in South Africa:I have some in basement like a spider/roach cricket/grasshopper not as colorful mine are just a dull brnPaul also notes that the live one has been eating dead spiders. Any entomologists (amateur or pro) have an idea of what this could be? Help a viewer out! read more

Of Thee I Sing

Of Thee I Sing

12/15/11 03:27PM

Ron Paul's increasingly strong showing in Iowa proves that his supporters are nothing if not devoted.Over at The Daily Paul website, Dr. Paul's good works have inspired a reverence that cannot be contained by mere prose:Dr. read more

Sacrificing junk food to end reproductive rights

12/15/11 12:51PM

There's a new anti-abortion website called Until Abortion Ends that is asking people, like those hip youngsters on the Facebook, to give up something until abortion ends. Or as the inimitable Jay Smooth says in his latest Ill Doctrine video blog above, until (legal, safe access to) abortion ends. Think of an indefinite, Internet-driven Lent for people seeking to obstruct medical services. read more

Wisconsin's voter ad campaign: Start looking for those important papers

12/15/11 11:15AM

Jessica Arp of Wisconsin's Wisc TV posts this video from the preview of the state's new "Bring It to the Ballot" ad campaign. The idea is to explain how to vote in the state now that Republicans have made voting harder. The audio -- it's a radio spot -- is cut off at the very beginning, but I think it's a woman chiding a man about not being able to find his important papers.MAN: I, uh, put them somewhere?WOMAN: Well, start looking. Because now you need a photo ID to vote. read more

Crickets for Newt

12/15/11 10:27AM

This week's coordinated Republican takedown of frontrunner Newt Gingrich has started affecting his poll numbers, notes Jonathan Bernstein. It would help if the opinion crowd would jump in to save Mr. Gingrich, but that's not happening:ractically no one appears to be rallying to his side. Even if conservatives aren’t interested in defending him against the specific charges that are being made, they certainly could call foul on the attackers for going so harshly negative against another Republican. read more

'My Republicans seem to be intent on suicide'

'My Republicans seem to be intent on suicide'

12/15/11 09:26AM

 As President Obama has stuck to the timeline for ending the Iraq War this year, Republican leaders have voiced as a chief complaint that the war has somehow not been long enough and that America should leave tens of thousands of troops in place.Last night on the show, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell, talked about what's going on in his own Republican Party.WILKERSON: The only way I can explain it, Rachel, is their hatred of President Obama. And I say that with some circumspection.They want to defeat this man. read more

The US Forces Iraq colors are lowered before being encased in a ceremony in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Dec., 15, 2011. The ceremonies mark the official end of the US military mission in Iraq. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Pool)

Morning Maddow: December 15

12/15/11 07:45AM

Today The U.S. military mission in Iraq was officially declared over in a ceremony in BaghdadBut other than that, CNN's Ivan Watson, how was the war?Pakistan says it will impose a war tax... on usIs Newt Gingrich already a drag on down-ballot Republicans? read more

Links for the 12/14 TRMS

Links for the 12/14 TRMS

12/15/11 01:14AM

Mass. Dem Fundraising E-Mail Ties Scott Brown To…Newt! Winnowing the field Guantánamo for US citizens? Senate bill raises questions White House threatens to veto defense bill over detainee rules DNI James Clapper slams defense bill's detainee language National Defense Authorization Act: House And Senate Negotiators Agree On Bill Hoping To Avoid Obama Veto White House quiet on threat to veto defense authorization bill Guantánamo Forever? White House backs down from threat to veto Defense bill over detainee language A Roach With the Reach of a Grasshopper read more

Figuring Newton

Figuring Newton

12/14/11 07:52PM

For some weird reason I've been running into Isaac Newton on the internet a lot in the past few weeks. To be honest, it's probably because I've been trying to think of new Newt Gingrich headline puns and I keep returning to "Newtonian" so I've worked myself into a bias.My general impression of Newton was as a scowly, Billy-Connolly-looking old guy prone to wearing Dolly Parton wigs (ahem), as was the fashion.But then I happened upon this video of Neil deGrasse Tyson explaining why Isaac Newton was such a badass. read more

Ahead on the 12/14 Maddow show

12/14/11 07:37PM

Tonight's guests include:Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell  Steve Schmidt,  msnbc political analyst and former McCain campaign senior strategist  Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director at ACLUTonight's guest list is still in the works, but here's tonight's video preview with executive producer Bill Wolff:Tonight's musical accompaniment:Will adds: Ok, I'm going to have to accept a demotion to "Evil C+ student" since my simul-soundtrack plan didn't take into account the fact that the widget volume would be so much louder than Bill. read more

View from our inbox (wombat edition)

View from our inbox (wombat edition)

12/14/11 04:10PM

Every morning around here, a producer puts together a list of news stories for Rachel and the staff. Usually it's Tricia, but today Vanessa did the honors. She included this Peter Sagal picture of cellist Yo-Yo Ma on the bathroom floor with a wombat.Rachel hit reply all:did everybody who read to the end of the note today do a google image search for "wombat"? do a google image search for wombat. go on. you deserve it.We deserved it. read more

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