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Clean a fish, run a government

07/18/11 03:43PM

If only because he's running as a Democrat, Bill Luckett faces crazy-long odds of winning the Mississippi government. But touring around with his backer and business partner Morgan Freeman, Mr. Luckett is at least having a very good time.Here, he shows voters how to clean a fish and run a government. "Take out the unnecessary steps and get to the point," he says. I'd say this counts as a political metaphor. read more

Are you smarter than a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau nominee?

Are you smarter than a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau nominee?

07/18/11 02:16PM

It turns out that the guy whom President Obama named to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in place of the unconfirmable Elizabeth Warren has some serious nerd cred in the form of 5 Jeopardy! wins and a stint on the Tournament of Champions.Thanks to the awesomeness that is the J! Archive, you can try to play against him. Here's a final Jeopardy! answer he knew: "Borough in which Henry VIII was born, they say you can stand in 2 different hemispheres there." What's the question? read more

Steve Benen chart of a CBS poll.

Chart: Freshmen GOP ready to burn house down

07/18/11 02:06PM

One of the bigger obstacles to getting a deal on the debt ceiling is that the new Republicans in the House don't care is the economy tanks and voters punish them for it. All they want is to starve the beast (meaning, um, our public government.) From the New York Times:"Re-election is the farthest thing from my mind," said Representative Tom Reed, a freshman Republican from upstate New York. "Like many of my colleagues in the freshman class, I came down here to get our fiscal house in order and take care of the threat to national security that we see in the federal debt. read more

Herman Cain's train runs over Islam (again)

07/18/11 12:53PM

Could it be that conservative xenophobia is no longer an effective campaign tool for Republicans? That might be one lesson from Herman Cain's slowing momentum. Perhaps it's because his campaign of cultural politics is now making more news than any of his policy ideas.Mr. Cain's latest exclamation came yesterday, when the former pizza magnate told Fox News yesterday that American communities like Murfreesboro, Tennessee, should be able to ban mosques (video below):Murfreesboro is about a half-hour drive south from Nashville, a city where many Iraqi refugees settled after the first Iraq war. read more

Congratulations, Japan. Thank you, USA

07/18/11 11:16AM

 You might have heard that some of the world's best soccer players had a little match yesterday. Japan won the Women's World Cup 2-2 in penalty kicks, the first time they'd beat the American women's team in 26 tries. The Japanese team includes a player, Karina Maruyama, who'd worked at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.If you let yourself care about sports, and I do, sooner or later you'll experience a loss that really hurts. For American fans, this is certainly one of those. read more

God loves a Republican horse race

God loves a Republican horse race

07/18/11 10:20AM

Texas Governor Rick Perry says God wants him to run for president, and how's he supposed to say no to that? From the Des Moines Register:“I’m not ready to tell you that I’m ready to announce that I’m in. But I’m getting more and more comfortable every day that this is what I’ve been called to do. This is what America needs.”Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is already in the Republican race, of course, having apparently gotten the message from God a good bit earlier. As recounted in Death and Taxes:“I will not seek a higher office if God is not calling me to do it,” she said. read more

The picture that made China mad.

Morning Maddow: July 18

07/18/11 07:52AM

 Wall Street won't have Elizabeth Warren to kick around any more. This guy is the White House's choice to run the CFPB instead.Meet the new death panel.No deal after all in Minnesota?First a tsunami, now a typhoon.Gen. Petraeus hands over command of Afghanistan as another of Karzai's inner circle is killed.The Dalai Lama comes to the White House.Active duty military are out and proud at San Diego's gay pride parade.    read more

Lost afternoon: British tattoo history

Lost afternoon: British tattoo history

07/15/11 09:00PM

Jezebel ran a great set of photos yesterday related to Great Britain's first professional female tattoo artist, Jessie Knight, including the one above, likely dating back to the early 1930s. There are only a few links there but between those and teh googler I lost a fair bit of time this afternoon to British tattoo history. read more

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