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Photoshop alert! Click for original image, minus the cigarette.

#Iowa, your politics are way out there

07/19/11 01:22PM

The head of Iowa's anti-gay FAMiLY LEADER goes right along with a gay joke about cigarettes and slurs, in video posted today by Think Progress:ATTENDEE: You know what my wife says? She says: Iowa, the state where you can’t smoke a fag, but you can marry one.BOB VANDER PLAATS: Oh shoot, that’s pretty good, that’s pretty good. Oh shoot.Before taking over the FAMiLY LEADER and its Iowa Family Policy Center, Mr. Vander Plaats led the campaign to throw out state Supreme Court judges who ruled in favor of marriage equality. read more

'We got  this agency by fighting, we stood it up by fighting, and if it takes more  fighting to keep it strong and independent, then we can do it.'

'We got this agency by fighting, we stood it up by fighting, and if it takes more fighting to keep it strong and independent, then we can do it.'

07/19/11 12:37PM

- Elizabeth Warren, assistant to the President and special advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau   In her interview with Rachel last night, Warren pulled no punches about who the opposition is when it comes to fighting to protect Americans from predatory greed:Two years ago, right about now, looked out and said the consumer agency, that's what I want to put in financial regulatory reform.  Over the next year, while everybody fought back and forth over the regular reform bill, there were a lot of offers on the table to get something else if you'd read more

Best noon thing

07/19/11 11:10AM

 Via my very plugged-into-the-arts friend Norman Frisch, this piece of doggone awesomeness will be at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis this Thursday. What better way to celebrate the lack of a functioning Minnesota state government than by attending a dog-friendly opera starring an all-dog cast? (OK, the singers are human but you CAN bring your dog!). Also, the Machine Project sounds AWESOME!!!! read more

Boehner's Mission Impossible gets promo video (mission still impossible)

07/19/11 10:04AM

In practical terms, House Speaker John Boehner is still caught between Republicans who want the McConnell non-deal for raising the debt ceiling and the burn-it-down House caucus who are now pushing a grand deal of their own.In quixotic terms, Mr. Boehner is spending the day on a symbolic measure to pass a balanced budget amendment. The constitutional amendment's requirements are so austere that House Republicans rejected the budget that would have met them. read more

A "humble" Rupert Murdoch answers questions

07/19/11 09:08AM

Update: the hearing has resumed.Update: the hearing has been halted for ten minutes after a man in a checked shirt apparently tried to attack Rupert Murdoch. The alleged attacker has been taken away in handcuffs.Right now News Corp Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch is being questioned by a committee in the UK's House of Commons. He has called it "the most humble day" of his life. It's riveting. Watch along with us:  read more

Morning Maddow: July 19

07/19/11 07:44AM

 The RNC says President Obama broke the law with this video.One Wisconsin Senate Republican Democrat could get the boot today. (my apologies! I messed that up big time!)House Republicans wage a campaign to keep the McConnell plan for the debt ceiling off the House floor.Former President Bill Clinton talks tough to Republicans.Meanwhile the Gang of Six Five has its own plan.Need a cheat sheet for the whole Rupert Murdoch mess in the UK? Here's a good place to start.What Space Shuttle science has brought to us on Earth. read more

Ahead on the 7/18 Maddow show

07/18/11 06:02PM

Tonight's guests include:Elizabeth Warren, Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau  John Stanton, reporter for Roll Call  David Carr, "Media Equation" columnist for The New York TimesHere's executive producer Bill Wolff with a look at what stories we'll be covering: read more

When there are no jobs

07/18/11 05:37PM

Melissa Harris-Perry on what the federal government can do for states:Here's what happens when states from localities and communities get vulnerable economically -- they willingly allow polluters to come in. And they do it because they're desperate in that short time horizon for jobs.Look, we have no jobs. The real crisis as you have been talking about is jobs. read more

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

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