When I left for work this morning, Maddowpillar and Lambchop were still just chrysalises. But this evening I came home to a pair of gorgeous Monarch butterflies. I took them out back to let them stretch their wings, but they wouldn't stop even long enough to pose for a picture. They are off to Mexico. Thus, after only three weeks, ends the adventure... for this year. read more
Tonight's guests include:E.J. Dionne, columnist for The Washington Post, senior fellow with the Brookings Institution and msnbc contributor Joe Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund, member of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's International Security Advisory Board, and the Council on Foreign Relations Ali Soufan, former FBI agent and author of the upcoming book, The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al-QaedaExecutive producer Bill Wolff shares a preview of tonight's show: read more
Thanks to a state supreme court ruling Thursday, Mississippi is now set to vote on a Personhood Amendment this fall. The measure would not only make abortion illegal, but would also outlaw popular forms of birth control.Mississippi voters tend to like this kind of thing. Below, from the conservative site Majority in Mississippi, a map of the Defense of Marriage Amendment vote in Mississippi in 2004. Majority in Mississippi says it got 86 percent of the vote, failing to pull three-quarters in just one county. read more
Texas Governor Rick Perry raised more than a few eyebrows at last week's Republican presidential debate when he (yet again) deemed Social Security to be "a Ponzi scheme." Cue the re-debunking, bad national press and some Democratic fun at Governor Perry's expense.Today, things are different. Well, not in the sense that there isn't yet another Republican presidential debate (there is). But in advance of this new debate, Governor Perry writes in a USA Today op-ed:The first step to fixing a problem is honestly admitting there is a problem. read more
Republicans look like they're about to capture the New York congressional seat vacated by Congressman Anthony Weiner. The district was already going conservative in a hurry, even before Representative Weiner got himself into so much trouble.A new Public Policy Polling survey (pdf) finds Rick Perry trailing President Obama by a single point, and Mitt Romney winning by four. Given that, it's not surprising that Republican Bob Turner -- the "no Ground Zero mosque candidate" -- is leading Democrat David Welprin by six points. read more
He's talking about Paul Krugman's blog post:What happened after 9/11 — and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not — was deeply shameful. The atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. read more
If you want to know what's going on in Benton Harbor, Michigan, just stop by the city website for a list of the latest orders from Emergency Financial Manager Joe Harris. The newest one (pdf) -- at the bottom -- calls for shrinking the city commission from nine members to five, and electing all of them at-large. The city commission, not surprisingly, objects.Michigan's revamped emergency manager law allows Mr. Harris to do just about whatever he pleases. The state has deemed Benton Harbor in need of serious help, such serious help that democracy itself is part of the problem. read more
From the Hill, "Alternative jobs plan is tough sell for House Republican leaders:As House Republicans embark on their fall agenda, they face a steep challenge: working out how a party that doesn't believe the government should create jobs can best present a job-creation platform.Yes, that must be quite a slog.Whether Republicans would rather save the economy or sink President Obama remains a very legitimate, live question. But Republicans know they've got to get re-elected, too. read more
Want to know what's going on in that clip?President Obama sends his jobs plan to Congress today. Any guesses how Republicans feel about it?Romney takes aim at organized labor, Rick Perry at social security.Pawlenty endorses Romney.North Carolina lawmakers want anti-gay bias enshrined in the state constitution.Anthony Weiner's House seat could go Republican tomorrow.An explosion reported at a French nuclear plant. Wow. read more
Last week a federal judge ordered the state of Kansas to resume regular funding for Planned Parenthood while the organization sues over the state’s defunding effort. But because of the way the state carried out the defunding, Planned Parenthood wasn’t the only healthcare provider that lost out.Dodge City Family Planning was also defunded under Kansas’ new budget provision. Dodge City Family Planning is a non-profit clinic in western Kansas that serves low-income patients and does not provide abortions. It has been around since 1976 and employs two people. read more
The House Republican leadership has sent President Obama a letter about his new American Jobs Act. An excerpt:
As we are certain your advisors have told you, not all your ideas should be packaged in a single legislative vehicle. For instance, due to the structure of Trade Promotion Authority procedures, passage of the free trade agreements with our allies - Colombia, Panama and South Korea - is better achieved moving as stand-alone legislation. We again ask that you send those agreements immediately to the Congress for our consideration and approval.
The full letter's after the jump.
I went down a bit of a rabbit hole last night trying to understand the nature of competitiveness in the solar industry between the U.S. and China (or really, China and the rest of the world). read more
I know this is only, you know, economics, but Mark Zandi's chart on President Obama's new jobs plan suggests it might actually put people back to work. If Congress does nothing, Zandi says, we've got higher unemployment next year. If Congress passes the bill, we'd be a point lower.Steve Benen rounds up the response from economists. "There are reasonable questions as to whether congressional Republicans even want to improve the economy at all, but if lawmakers have any interest in creating jobs and boosting growth, the American Jobs Act would work," he writes. read more