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When a stimulus meets a counter-stimulus

When a stimulus meets a counter-stimulus

01/30/12 12:34PM

The New York Times' David Leonhardt posted this rather remarkable chart the other day, pointing to two countervailing economic forces: the public sector and the private sector. In the image, the blue line shows government growth, while the red line reflects growth among businesses. The chart paints quite a picture. As the severity of the Great Recession took its toll in 2008 and 2009, private-sector growth simply collapsed, though it's clearly recovered since. read more

Monday's campaign round-up

01/30/12 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:* If the latest polls out of Florida are correct, the question isn't whether Mitt Romney will win tomorrow's primary, but whether the margin of victory will reach double digits.* On a related note, the latest NBC News/Marist poll in Florida shows President Obama leading each of the Republican candidates in hypothetical matchups. read more

No need to fear zombie voters in South Carolina

01/30/12 11:23AM

In light of the larger "war on voting," South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson (R) raised a few eyebrows last week when he claimed over 900 dead people voted in the state's Republican presidential primary. Wilson, of course, wasn't alleging zombie voters, but rather, he believed he'd uncovered evidence of widespread voter fraud.Oops.State Election Commission director Marci Andino testified that some of the voters the DMV data said were dead are very much alive -- and were eligible to cast a ballot. read more

What 'carpet-bombing' can do for a campaign

01/30/12 10:02AM

With Florida's Republican presidential primary just a day away, it's worth pausing to appreciate how it's the mirror opposite of what we saw in South Carolina. A week ahead of the primary in the Palmetto State, Mitt Romney enjoyed a big lead, only to see it evaporate as the election drew closer. read more

Why Mitch McConnell should avoid discussing the debt

01/30/12 09:29AM

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was asked about an extension of the payroll tax break yesterday, but instead of answering the question, the Republican changed the subject. The subject on McConnell's mind was the debt."We have this problem at the risk of being repetitious, because we spend way too much. We now have a debt the size of our economy. We look a lot like Greece. We're heading toward western Europe. If you want to see what happens, just look across the Atlantic. read more

What Rubio doesn't understand about the economy

What Rubio doesn't understand about the economy

01/30/12 08:39AM

Sen. Marco Rubio (R) of Florida delivered his party's weekly address on Saturday morning, and made a provocative claim about President Obama."The bottom line is this president inherited a country with serious problems," Rubio said. "He asked the Congress to give him the stimulus and Obamacare to fix it. The Democrats in Congress gave it to him. And not only did it not work, it made everything worse."Rubio didn't specify what "everything" includes, which is a shame for a couple of reasons.The first is that the senator's claim is strongly at odds with Mitt Romney's message. read more

Shining the spotlight on process

01/30/12 08:00AM

President Obama delivered his weekly address on Saturday morning, his first since the State of the Union speech, and it stood to reason that the president would highlight many of the same themes he stressed on Tuesday.It was interesting, then, to see Obama brush past some of the higher-profile elements of his agenda and shine the spotlight on a behind-the-scenes issue: the dysfunctional process.Pay particular attention to the comments around the 0:42 mark:"Just two days ago, a senator from Utah promised to obstruct every single American I appoint to a judgeship or public service position -- un read more

Morning Maddow: January 30

01/30/12 07:32AM

The latest round of polls shows that Newtmentum appears to have ended. Update: more evidence.Gingrich campaign gets into a kerfuffle with reporters over a charter flight.Rick Santorum gets back on the campaign trail (but not in Florida) after his daughter's health scare. 400 Occupy Oakland protesters arrested. And Occupy DC's deadline to break up camp is today.The first new nukes in more than thirty years.The Pakistani doctor who helped the U.S. find Osama bin Laden is under arrest.The fighting in Syria approaches Damascus. read more

Not because they are easy, but because they are hard

01/28/12 01:15PM

All the fuss over Newt Gingrich's plans for the moon glosses over the fact that ambitious endeavors don't just happen because a politician wishes them so; they require the heroic efforts of thousands to tens of thousands of technicians, scientists and engineers. Twenty-six years ago today, seven of those heroes lost their lives in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. Almost six months to the day before that tragedy, Roger Boisjoly, an engineer and employee of Morton Thiokol, the company that manufactured the shuttle's solid rocket boosters, made a heroic effort to prevent it. read more

Links for the 1/27 TRMS

Links for the 1/27 TRMS

01/27/12 09:49PM

Links cited on the show: Marcy Kaptur: "Don't leave your home." Banks Lose Pivotal Foreclosure Case in Massachusetts High CourtThe Ibanez case and housing-market catastrophe risk Nevada Supreme Court takes up foreclosure case Parade for returning Iraq war vets Operation Welcome Home The Welcome Home blog Clark County GOP votes for extra presidential caucus session, inviting potential chaos, challenges read more

Thing I learned at work today

01/27/12 09:17PM

The Bob Dole Pepsi ad (that mocks the Bob Dole Viagra ad) *also* stars Eric Stonestreet, better known these days as Cameron on "Modern Family."Segment's after the jump.  read more

Press button for cocktail

Press button for cocktail

01/27/12 09:05PM

Even though we post all of the Cocktail Moments here on the blog, it doesn't take long for them to disappear into the archive and people often have trouble finding them. The secret is that they're all tagged with "drinks" so if you put /drinks on the end of the blog URL you get the whole collection. read more

You might be a nerd if...

You might be a nerd if...

01/27/12 07:55PM

On the subway platform where I wait to come to work, new posters have been posted promoting the new Ghost Rider movie. All I can think of when I see it is, Why the heck does he need a radiator on the motorcyle? Dude, you're on FIRE. That's pretty much past anything a radiator is going to help you with.Two things I learned in the course of being ridiculous:1. There is no mistaking that air intake on the sides of the tank as being of anything other than Yamaha's V-Max design. read more