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The GOP's ongoing turnout problem

The GOP's ongoing turnout problem

02/01/12 08:31AM

There can be little doubt that Mitt Romney dominated in Florida's Republican presidential primary, but there were a few tidbits in the exit polls that stood out, including this one:This has to be discouraging for the former governor and his campaign. read more

The post-Florida state of play

The post-Florida state of play

02/01/12 08:00AM

As expected, Mitt Romney cruised to an easy primary win over Newt Gingrich in Florida, getting his campaign back on track after a tough loss in South Carolina. The former governor had to spend over $15 million to buy the victory, but Romney leaves the Sunshine State with everything he wants: momentum, frontrunner status, and renewed talk of "inevitability."What happens now? February won't feature the high-profile contests of January, but there are still some races to keep an eye on.Feb. read more

Morning Maddow: February 1

02/01/12 07:32AM

Romney PAC discloses fundraising total and 7-figure donors (including a Koch brother).Oregon special election goes to the Democrat.Uh, Newt? Maybe you want to get on this?Romney heads to Minnesota today. Here's why. He's also getting Secret Service protection.The Washington State Senate votes on same-sex marriage today.Indiana is about to go right-to-work.Susan G. Komen foundation cuts its ties to Planned Parenthood.We're about to get a look at a body of water that hasn't seen light in 20 million years. read more

Tuesday's Mini-Report

Tuesday's Mini-Report

01/31/12 05:32PM

Today's edition of quick hits:* How are the Eurozone talks progressing? Slowly. Keep an eye on whether the European Central Bank will forgo future profits on its Greek bonds.* Russia is blocking diplomatic efforts to condemn the Syrian government. read more

Romney on health reform, then and now, II

01/31/12 04:40PM

James Carter adds more evidence that Mitt Romney advocated health reform with an individual mandate as a national solution, before he opposed it. James posts this video from a speech Romney gave in April 2006 to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce:"I hope we continue to elect representatives on both sides of the aisle that want to see this work and want to see the market as the approach to getting everybody insured. read more

Taking the STOCK Act one step further

Taking the STOCK Act one step further

01/31/12 03:48PM

In his State of the Union address, President Obama urged lawmakers to reduce the "deficit of trust" between Washington and the rest of the country, in part through a series of institutional reforms. At the top of the list: banning insider trading by members of Congress and limiting elected officials "from owning stocks in industries they impact."Those are two related ideas, but they're not quite identical. The "STOCK Act" is already pending in the Senate, and it's a companion measure to a House bill intended to restrict insider trading on Capitol Hill. But Sen. read more

When defensiveness leads to dishonesty

When defensiveness leads to dishonesty

01/31/12 02:28PM

No candidate ever wants to give the impression that he or she bought a campaign victory, even if it's true. Just on principle, it looks unseemly.With that in mind, it's understandable that Mitt Romney would feel a little defensive -- he's put his flush coffers to good use in each of the nominating contests thus far, taking full advantage of his massive financial edge. read more

A 30-foot valentine

A 30-foot valentine

01/31/12 01:03PM

Lonnie Anderson is a famous guy, at least in Albuquerque. Every year he makes a giant valentine, like the 30-foot-tall flowers pictured above. Anderson made them out of cardboard boxes and gave them to his wife, Anne Bolger-Witherspoon. He writes:All of this started when I was a kid and we were visiting my grandmother at the diner where she worked as a waitress. She was older than the other girls who worked there and on Valentines day all the younger girls had roses and candy, but my grandmother had nothing. My grandfather didn't believe in presents. read more

It's a Toyota accelerator pedal.

Dan Burton exits stage right

01/31/12 12:33PM

Rep. Dan Burton (R) of Indiana, facing another serious primary challenger, announced this morning that he will not seek re-election.Burton's lengthy career -- the right-wing Hoosier is currently in his 15th term -- has at least been memorable. The lawmaker has been accused of some highly suspicious fundraising and ties to unsavory international thugs, as well as having a scandalous personal life. read more

Tuesday's campaign round-up

01/31/12 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:* In the wake of the recent caucus fiasco, Matt Strawn, the chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa, is stepping down from his post.* Just about all of the recent polls out of Florida show Mitt Romney winning today's primary by double digits. By the time the results are announced tonight, none of the GOP candidates will even be in the state.* There's a U.S. read more

The efficacy of the Affordable Care Act

01/31/12 11:28AM

Harold Pollack and Greg Anrig make the case this week that President Obama brushed past the Affordable Care Act in his State of the Union address, which is a shame because the health-reform law has become a "quiet triumph."urprising even to many advocates of health care reform, evidence is emerging that the ACA is already improving life for millions of average Americans. It is promoting long-overdue fundamental changes in our dysfunctional medical system. read more

Indiana may drug-test lawmakers

Indiana may drug-test lawmakers

01/31/12 10:33AM

Remember when Florida's legislature mandated drug-testing for welfare applicants, and writer Carl Hiaasen challenged lawmakers to get tested themselves? Meet the Indiana House, where Republicans are also pushing a measure to require drug screens for welfare recipients.Last week, Indiana House member Jud McMillin, a Republican, proposed testing people on welfare. Democrats argued that for consistency's sake, Indiana should drug-test lawmakers, too -- why should lawmakers make the poor jump through hoops that they're not willing to go through themselves? read more

The House's misplaced priorities

01/31/12 10:01AM

With Congress' approval rating reaching depths unseen since the dawn of modern polling, self-interested lawmakers should probably focus at least some of their attention on addressing actual problems.House Republicans apparently disagree. read more

Grimm makes a name for himself

Grimm makes a name for himself

01/31/12 09:21AM

Plenty of politicians make their way to Capitol Hill and hope to get noticed during their first year. As a rule, that's not easy for a freshman -- to borrow a line from "Arrested Development," rookie lawmakers are generally supposed to be neither seen nor heard.Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.), meanwhile, has a very different kind of problem. read more

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