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Monday's Mini-Report

02/20/12 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:* A Eurozone rescue package for Greece is nearly complete, but some hurdles remain.* As Syrian tanks and troops prepare for a ground assault on Homs, the Red Cross hopes to broker a cease-fire to allow emergency aid in.* A deadly crash: "Four Air Force Special Operators on a spy mission over east Africa... read more

Nazi officers parading in Paris, 1940.

Santorum overlooks Godwin's law

02/20/12 04:20PM

Rick Santorum has a certain affinity for World War II analogies, but this one calls for some additional explanation.Santorum sees the situation as so dire that during a Lincoln Day Dinner in Mason, Ohio on Friday, he likened the election to World War II and urged voters in the state to model themselves after the Greatest Generation of the 1940s... read more

This Feb. 20, 1962 photo made available by NASA shows astronaut John Glenn during his space flight in the Friendship 7 Mercury spacecraft, weightless and traveling at 17,500 mph. The image was made by an automatic sequence motion picture camera. (AP...

"Boy, that was a real fireball of a ride."

02/20/12 03:36PM

Fifty years ago today John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth and return safely to the surface.According to NASA:"In 4 hours and 56 minutes, John Glenn circled the globe three times, reaching speeds of more than 17,000 miles per hour. The successful mission concluded with a splashdown and recovery in the Atlantic Ocean, 800... read more

Justice Dept backs equal benefits for gay couples in military

Justice Dept backs equal benefits for gay couples in military

02/20/12 02:20PM

This news came late last week, but it'd be a shame if it got lost in the shuffle.The Obama administration on Friday said it would not defend the constitutionality of statutes blocking same-sex military spouses from receiving marriage benefits -- including rights to visitation in military hospitals, survivor benefits, and burial together in... read more

Silent protest outside, Virginia House puts off ultrasound vote

Silent protest outside, Virginia House puts off ultrasound vote

02/20/12 01:14PM

What appears to be a crowd of several hundred people gathered today at the Virginia state capitol. Standing silently in the cold, they lined the walkway used by the legislators who have been voting on -- and voting away -- women's rights in Virginia.From their Facebook page:The Capitol ground rules say that we cannot assemble, hold signs,... read more

Romney's gold-plated resume

02/20/12 12:35PM

Mitt Romney was in Utah over the weekend for a celebration of sorts: it was the 10th anniversary of the Olympic games he helped lead. This is, of course, a story Romney and his presidential campaign are eager to tell, because it reinforces the "turnaround artist" narrative -- the Salt Lake City games were in trouble; Romney came in and... read more

Monday's campaign round-up

02/20/12 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:* In Michigan, Public Policy Polling shows a much tighter Republican presidential primary than it did a week ago. read more

On Afghanistan, these two aren't on the same page.

McCain breaks with Romney on Taliban talks

02/20/12 11:30AM

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) talked with ABC's Jake Tapper yesterday via satellite from Afghanistan, and one exchange, in particular, stood out for me.TAPPER: Let's turn now to Afghanistan, where you're sitting right now. The big news is that Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, has confirmed that the United States, the Afghan... read more

The anti-pre-natal testing candidate.

Why would a politician attack pre-natal testing?

02/20/12 10:50AM

Over the last few years, there's been no shortage of attacks from the right against the Affordable Care Act, but going after provisions related to pre-natal testing appears to be a new one.Rick Santorum accused President Obama of requiring free prenatal testing in the health care plan he signed in 2010 because it would detect if children... read more

Right rallies to defend Va. ultrasound bill

02/20/12 10:00AM

As controversial culture-war measures in Virginia generate national attention, conservative defenses of the far-right efforts are becoming more common.The most notable measure is a proposal to require women who wish to terminate a pregnancy to undergo a medically-unnecessary ultrasound. read more

As Santorum gains more attention, he raises the rhetorical temperature.

What Santorum considers a 'phony theology'

02/20/12 09:15AM

Like all Republican presidential candidates, Rick Santorum tends to be unrelenting in his daily criticisms of President Obama. But over the weekend, the former senator broke some new and unsettling ground.At another stop in Ohio on Saturday, Mr. Santorum waded into what he called the "phony theology" of Mr. Obama's agenda."It... read more

Romney's Trump card?

Romney's Trump card?

02/20/12 08:30AM

As recently as three weeks ago, Gallup's daily tracking poll showed Mitt Romney leading Rick Santorum by 20 points nationally. As of yesterday, Santorum had opened up an 8-point lead over Romney -- the former senator's largest lead to date.At the same time, Real Clear Politics' polling averages now have President Obama leading... read more

Morning Maddow: February 20

02/20/12 07:41AM

 Rick Santorum is against the government mandating that women get free amniocentesis. He's also against a lot more.That oughta help Mitt Romney in Michigan. And this oughta help in Arizona.A Koch brother speaks!I'll give you two guesses why: A North Carolina Catholic church fires a long-time employee for getting married. The state of... read more

Republican caucus-goers gather in Maine.

The gap narrows in Maine

02/19/12 10:33AM

Following up on a story we've been reporting on all week, several communities in Maine hosted Republican presidential caucuses yesterday, unsure how their preferences would be tallied by the state party. read more

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About The Rachel Maddow Show

Launched in 2008, “The Rachel Maddow Show” follows the machinations of policy making in America, from local political activism to international diplomacy. Rachel Maddow looks past the distractions of political theater and stunts and focuses on the legislative proposals and policies that shape American life - as well as the people making and influencing those policies and their ultimate outcome, intended or otherwise.

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