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Virginia Dems say they can't stop GOP tide

Virginia Dems say they can't stop GOP tide

02/13/12 12:42PM

With Republicans controlling the governorship and both chambers of the state legislature, Virginia Democrats are saying they don't have the votes to stop a wave of far-right legislation.Virginia Republicans have so far pushed through a bill requiring a medically unnecessary, invasive sonogram before a woman exercises her constitutional... read more

Monday's campaign round-up

02/13/12 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:* Rick Santorum argued yesterday, "We think this is a two-person race right now." There's certainly evidence to back that up.* Mitt Romney appears to have narrowly won the... read more

What if Santorum wins Michigan?

What if Santorum wins Michigan?

02/13/12 11:22AM

We talked earlier about Rick Santorum positioning himself as the top GOP rival to Mitt Romney at the national level. That also increasingly appears to be the case in key states.Public Policy Polling just released these results from the state of Michigan.Rick Santorum's taken a large lead in Michigan's upcoming Republican primary. He&... read more

What drives the debt

What drives the debt

02/13/12 10:46AM

With the White House budget poised to be released, we're likely to see a reprise of a familiar Washington fight: the president and his team will focus on short-term economic gains, delaying deficit-reduction efforts, while Republican policymakers will demand the opposite.As this new round of the debate gets underway in earnest, reader F.B. read more

Those who buy what they can't earn

Those who buy what they can't earn

02/13/12 10:15AM

In a bit of a surprise over the weekend, Mitt Romney won the straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference, picking up 38% of the vote, ahead of Rick Santorum's 31%. Yesterday, the former senator sounded rather annoyed about the results, saying, "I don't try to rig straw polls."Was this just sour grapes, or does... read more

The Santorum Surge

The Santorum Surge

02/13/12 09:38AM

Rick Santorum spent much of 2011 as an electoral afterthought, struggling to compete in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. He enjoyed a brief surge in support in early January, when the former senator managed to eke out a win in the Iowa caucuses, but it soon subsided.The GOP race has, however, changed quite a bit over the last... read more

What is Mitch McConnell's problem with contraception?

Dropping the pretense in the war on contraception

02/13/12 08:46AM

As far as the White House is concerned, Friday's compromise on contraception coverage effectively ends the matter. Religiously affiliated institutions won't be required to pay for birth control, but women who work for these employers will still have access to the same preventive care as everyone else. As Tricia noted earlier, the West... read more

The 'drama' of the payroll tax-cut fight

02/13/12 08:01AM

It's understandable to have a sense of deja vu when it comes to the fight in Washington over a payroll tax break. In December, Democrats pushed to leave the tax cut in place; Republicans balked; and it led to a fairly intense showdown the week before Christmas. read more

Morning Maddow: February 13

02/13/12 07:47AM

The President sends his budget to Congress today.Surprise! Catholic Bishops aren't happy with the contraception compromise. The White House says too bad.Ron Paul's delegate strategy at work in Maine.Rick Perry asks his bundlers to make it rain for Newt Gingrich.Today in same-sex marriage: New Jersey legislators vote on legalization,... read more

Romney speaks at a Maine GOP caucus yesterday.

Romney's underwhelming win in Maine

02/12/12 09:24AM

After a surprisingly poor showing in Tuesday's contests, and growing intra-party doubts about his candidacy, Mitt Romney needed a win to help change the larger conversation. Last night in Maine, he got one.Mitt Romney averted embarrassment on Saturday when he was declared the winner of a presidential straw poll in Maine's nonbinding... read more

Parsing the President's Spotify Playlist

Parsing the President's Spotify Playlist

02/11/12 01:11AM

Until now, the music-streaming service Spotify served two primary purposes: providing a cheap and easy way to find and sample songs you would never actually buy, and allowing a peek into the terrible musical tastes of your Facebook friends. (Seriously, you guys, lay off the Hall & Oates.) And now we have a third: to get a look at... read more

War on Birth Control

02/10/12 09:30PM

In 2008 in Colorado, a rebel faction of antiabortion activists decided to pursue a “personhood” initiative. Over the objections of the mainstream antiabortion movement, they proposed amending the state’s constitution to redefine the word “person” to include zygotes. Under the proposal, “from the moment of fertilization,” a woman would be... read more

Ahead on the 2/10 Maddow show

02/10/12 07:14PM

Tonight's guests include:Dave Weigel, political reporter for Slate and msnbc contributorDoug Wead, Ron Paul campaign senior advisorWhile watching tonight's video preview, take a listen to the soundtrack. (Just be sure to let the ad below play out entirely before starting the video)Executive producer Bill Wolff shares a preview of... read more

Gingrich's billionaire considers new muse

Gingrich's billionaire considers new muse

02/10/12 07:00PM

Rachel Maddow rounds up political stories of the day, including that Newt Gingrich's billionaire sponsor is not likely to deliver another big check to the campaign, and conservative candidates clinging to contraception as an issue despite President... watch