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Friday's Mini-Report

05/25/12 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:* Optimism: "Consumer sentiment rose to its highest level in more than four years in May as Americans stayed optimistic about the job market, while higher income households expected to see bigger wage increases."* Egypt: "The runoff to become Egypt's first freely elected president is likely to be a contest between two of the most powerful and polarizing forces in Egyptian society representing different visions for the future character of the nation: the Muslim Brotherhood and the military."* Eurozone: "Spain's banking crisis worsened Friday as the board of Bankia, read more

Wisconsin recall, homemade and not

Wisconsin recall, homemade and not

05/25/12 03:55PM

Jim Jorstad sends the pic above and just below. He says he found it along the road in Mazomanie, one of a series of handmade recall signs with messages about union rights, cuts to education, women's rights and the John Doe probe. The picture below comes from @triumph68. It sends you to a voter drive page hosted by Wisconsin Jobs Now.Today Wisconsin elections officials released the latest count on absentee voting ahead of Tuesday's recall. read more

Chronicling Mitt's Mendacity, Vol. XIX

Chronicling Mitt's Mendacity, Vol. XIX

05/25/12 02:32PM

Campaigning in Iowa yesterday, President Obama reflected on some of Mitt Romney's recent speeches, including last week's remarks in Iowa. "I know Governor Romney came to Des Moines last week; warned about a 'prairie fire of debt,'" Obama said. "But he left out some facts. His speech was more like a cow pie of distortion. I don't know whose record he twisted the most -- mine or his."It was a rhetorical point, of course, but when it comes to Romney's falsehoods, I'm not sure whose record he twists more, either. read more

A fundraising flyer distributed by the Romney campaign.

The Trump case study

05/25/12 01:45PM

As a rule, I tend to ignore the political opinions of reality-show personality Donald Trump, but there is a certain electoral salience that underscores nonsense like this."A book publisher came out three days ago and said that in his written synopsis of his book," Trump went on, "he said he was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia. read more

Alliteration Alert

Alliteration Alert

05/25/12 12:49PM

Last night, while talking about Mitt Romney's new education plan, we mentioned a clever example of alliteration Mr. Romney presented to a class full of elementary students: Dogs drive Douglas dizzy.Clever, unless of course it reminds you of Mitt Romney's history of putting the family dog on the roof of a car during long vacation drives, even after the dog got sick.Then, it gets an "F" as in: a total "Fail."To avoid such pitfalls in the future, we're asking you for advice on alliteration Mitt Romney should avoid at all cost. read more

Etch A Sketching on China

Etch A Sketching on China

05/25/12 12:35PM

Mitt Romney tends to stick to vague generalities when it comes to foreign policy, but that doesn't stop him from slamming China with surprising frequency.In his second television ad of the general election, the Republican vows to "stand up to China" on his very first day in office, and in his interview with Mark Halperin this week, Romney mentioned China eight times. ("No one's talking about the impact of China cheating in this country," he said.)Jon Huntsman, a Romney supporter and the former U.S. read more

Friday's campaign round-up

05/25/12 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:* Over the last three months, Gov. Scott Walker (R) and his allies have outspent Democrats and their allies by more than a 3-to-1 margin. The gubernatorial recall election is a week from Tuesday.* In Ohio, the latest NBC/Marist poll shows incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) leading Josh Mandel (R) by 14 points, 51% to 37%.* In Virginia, NBC/Marist found former Gov. Tim Kaine (D) leading former Sen. read more

Protecting Limbaugh's bust

Protecting Limbaugh's bust

05/25/12 11:33AM

Republicans in the Missouri legislature announced in March that it would honor Rush Limbaugh, of all people, with a bronze bust at the state capitol, giving him a place in the Hall of Famous Missourians alongside the likes of Mark Twain, Harry Truman, and Walt Disney. read more

The right doesn't John Maynard Keynes' principles after all.

Keynesians to the left of me, Keynesians to the right of me

05/25/12 10:53AM

The gist of Keynesian economics is fairly straightforward: during an economic downturn, caused by insufficient demand, it's up to the public sector to inject capital into the system while consumers and businesses pull back. It's what FDR used to rescue the country from the Great Depression and it's what President Obama used to rescue us from the Great Recession.Republicans, at least the contemporary version of them, loathe Keynesian economics. As the GOP sees it, supply and demand aren't as important as shrinking government during a downturn. read more

Follow the bouncing jobs estimate

05/25/12 10:12AM

We talked last week about the Mitt Romney campaign's "fuzzy jobs math," in which the Republican candidate and his team would offer exaggerated boasts about the number of jobs he created, which the campaign couldn't substantiate and which contradicted previous boasts.This week, Eric "Etch A Sketch" Fehrnstrom added to the record, telling msnbc's Andrea Mitchell that Romney created "well in excess of 100,000" jobs at Bain Capital, more than the "tens of thousands" estimate that Romney had previously touted.We know that "100,000" figure isn't true, but just as important is the fact that Team Romn read more

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Today it is the future

05/25/12 10:06AM

At 9:56 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, the first commercial spacecraft ever to fly to the International Space Station was successfully captured by the ISS's robotic arm. Its payload of space groceries has yet to be delivered, but this is kind of a big day for commercial space travel. read more

Seeking a GOP explanation for relief at the pump

Seeking a GOP explanation for relief at the pump

05/25/12 09:31AM

Time will tell if expectations are met, but new reports this week suggest American consumers can expect "more relief at the pump heading into peak summer driving season."After topping out at $3.92 in early April, gasoline now averages $3.68 a gallon. Weak demand, slumping crude oil prices and ample inventories could push prices to $3.55 by mid-June, says Brian Milne, analyst at Telvent DTN.That's a far cry from $5-a-gallon fears in early 2012, when crude prices surged earlier and faster than ever before on fears that tensions with Iran threatened supplies. read more

A busy 'Day One'

05/25/12 08:00AM

Last week, Mitt Romney's campaign unveiled its first television ad of the general election, a generally positive spot describing what the Republican would do on "day one" if elected. In his first 24 hours in the Oval Office, Romney would apparently approve an environmentally-risky oil pipeline, cut taxes on the wealthy, and take away health care access for millions of Americans.Yesterday, the campaign unveiled its second ad, this one called, "Day One, Part Two." Apparently, the Republican is sincere about hitting the ground running -- he has quite a few ambitions for Jan. read more

Morning Maddow: May 25

05/25/12 07:43AM

A string of property crimes has Georgia OB-GYNs worried about retaliation for supporting reproductive rights.There's going to be a big protest this weekend of the NC pastor who preached that "lesbians and queers" should be put in an electrified pen.Churches in Maine will be passing the collection plate for money to fight gay marriage.Another New Jersey mayor gets himself arrested.The LA subway system ends an experiment with honesty.New Orleans' only newspaper cuts its print coverage to 3 days a week.Newt Gingrich on his favorite zoo animals.  read more

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