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A world of pure imagination... revealed!

08/16/11 07:30PM

Drum roll please!And it's... a room! The people there are taking a writing class and probably imagining things, but it's not quite the Room of Requirement, or Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, or Star Trek's holodeck like some of you folks suggested. The "Imagination Room" is in fact a room like any other... or is it?Remember the prohibition episode of the Simpsons where Moe's Tavern turns into a speakeasy? He pushes a big lever that turns the whole thing into a pet store when the cops come. Perhaps the Imagination Room is like that. read more

Ahead on the 8/16 Maddow show

08/16/11 05:44PM

Tonight's guests include:Ezra Klein, columnist for The Washington Post and Bloomberg and msnbc policy analyst   Eugene Robinson, columnist for The Washington Post and msnbc political analyst   Ed Schultz, host of "The Ed Show" on msnbcExecutive producer Bill Wolff shares the rundown of tonight's show:  read more

Rick Santorum's new ad: action blurbs

08/16/11 05:04PM

Wonder what presidential hopeful Rick Santorum has been doing since he came in 4th in the Ames Iowa Straw Poll? Clearly he's been reading his press. And he wants you to know that doing better than Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Thaddeus McCotter, and two guys who weren't trying to win it means victory! read more

What's there, there.

Letter from Ohio: Bracing for cuts

08/16/11 02:50PM

@Carol writes about the economy in her neck of the woods:I live in rural Ohio. Small towns surrounded by mostly family farms. Industry has pretty much left for the South or overseas, or downsized to a fraction of their past size. Foreclosures take way more pages than help wanted ads in local papers. The one bright spot is Smucker's. They don't call us "Jelly City" for nothing!Federal and state cuts are a disaster waiting to happen. Personally, we are at the high end of our 60's, and fearing the worst. read more

Is Rick Perry all hat and no cattle?

Is Rick Perry all hat and no cattle?

08/16/11 01:45PM

As predicted and depicted, the savvy timing of Texas Governor Rick Perry's announcement last weekend all but eclipsed the Iowa straw poll (and every candidate in it). But for all Mr. Perry's smooth politics at the outset, he is now officially in the race and thus exposed to the scrutiny presidential candidates can expect. read more

Austerity in action.

Chart: GOP job-loss plan in action, II

08/16/11 01:00PM

President Obama today is announcing a new plan for creating jobs in rural places -- if you're in one, sing out in the comments, please, and tell us what people have for work where you live. As we've noted before, government jobs make up a large part of the economy in America's small towns. Without much to fall back on, rural places stand to suffer a fair bit from the fashion for government austerity. Month after month, cuts in government spending have led to layoffs and hiring freezes at all levels of government. read more

Best noon thing

Best noon thing

08/16/11 12:24PM

Remember the board game "Masterpiece?" I always played as Millicent Friendly, and my first painting was always "Nighthawks" by Edward Hopper. Today I found out that the U.S. Postal Service is unveiling a new forever stamp, using a gorgeous Hopper painting of a sailboat called "The Long Leg." Enjoy. read more

President Obama waves from his bus on Monday, during a three-day tour of the Midwest.

Honk! A note on the campaign bus

08/16/11 11:10AM

Fun facts about the President's sleek new bus (which the White House insists is not a campaign bus): It is one of two identical buses purchased by the Secret Service to avoid past issues with setting up security in a leased bus. One of the $1.1 million buses will also be used for the eventual Republican presidential nominee, as well as other future dignitaries.The charter bus has become the transportation vehicle a la mode. Jet planes and trains are so last season. But who's got the nicest set of wheels?  read more this morning.

Bachmann wins Iowa bingo (donate today!)

08/16/11 10:05AM

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann won the Ames, Iowa, straw poll this week -- with it, all the legitimacy money can buy. It costs $30 to vote in the Ames straw poll, and campaigns can buy tickets for others and hand them out. The Bachmann campaign reportedly bought some 6,000 tickets. She finished with 4,823 votes, first place in what the Iowa GOP openly describes as mainly a fundraiser.That's the process Rachel described on the show last night as electoral bingo. read more

Morning Maddow: August 16

08/16/11 08:08AM

Wisconsin Democrats try to hold on to their Senate gains in the last 2 recall elections.Rick Perry is taking help from a lobbyist he once criticized for shady dealings.Michele Bachmann actually skipped the family reunion she claimed to have attended.Michele Bachmann as meme.Here's something Kansas does want federal money for.The oldest survivor of the Bataan Death March has died.The Mars500 mission breaks the record for the longest-ever space mission. Without leaving the ground. read more

Links for the 8/15 TRMS

Links for the 8/15 TRMS

08/16/11 01:19AM

Watchmen: An Oral History Economist Paul Krugman Endorses 'Watchmen' Alien Invasion Plan for Fiscal Recovery Perry called Pawlenty, hopes for his support Pawlenty NH campaign director signs with Huntsman campaign Secret anti-racist shirts covertly distributed to neo-Nazis Exit Deutschland read more

Subverting hate with 'Trojan t-shirts'

Subverting hate with 'Trojan t-shirts'

08/15/11 09:25PM

Via Boing Boing:Anti-racist activists snuck trick t-shirts into a music festival with a large neo-Nazi turnout; the shirts bore a crypto-racist slogan that faded on first washing to reveal a plea to reconsider "militant right-wing lifestyle." read more



08/15/11 08:25PM

Now that Michele Bachmann (!) has won (!) the Iowa straw poll, you can feel the tremors redounding through Conventional Wisdom Land.Recognizing the potential hazards Ms. Bachmann’s ascendancy might present for some of her fellow Republicans, the shadowy authorities at the Message Control Center issued this confidential, and highly fake, directive to its conservative minions:  read more