Friday's guests include:Steve Schmidt, McCain-Palin campaign senior strategist and msnbc political strategistDavid Corn, Washington DC bureau chief for Mother Jones, author of “Showdown” and msnbc contributorIn honor of Disco Friday, here's tonight's soundtrack. (Just be sure to allow the ad below to play out entirely before starting the video!)Executive producer Bill Wolff tells us what to expect on Friday's show: read more
Today's edition of quick hits:* Squeezing Tehran: "President Barack Obama said Friday he was plowing ahead with potential sanctions against countries that keep buying oil from Iran, including allies of the United States, in a deepening campaign to starve Iran of money for its disputed nuclear program."* Will that send oil prices soaring? Maybe not: "President Barack Obama determined there is enough crude on world markets to take the step without harming U.S. read more
We talked earlier about Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), chairman of the House Budget Committee, who insisted yesterday that he, not America's military leadership, should be trusted when it comes to Pentagon spending levels. Ryan went on to say that he believes Pentagon leaders may be deliberately misleading Congress about spending cuts that they've requested, but which Ryan does not want to make.Today, the highest ranking military officer in the United States Armed Forces responded to the congressman's unfounded accusations. read more
I was glad to see Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R) of Georgia acknowledge this morning that partisanship on Capitol Hill is intensifying and undermining American governing. I was much less glad to see his explanation for this development (via David Taintor).Of particular interest was this line about partisanship in D.C.: "I don't think there's any question that it's worse. I think one thing that's made it that way is C-SPAN, very honestly. read more
A little background on the Mariana Trench given its current prominence in the news. That second researcher featured in the video, Prof. Terry Plank? Yeah, I teach with her.
An amazing new exhibit on bioluminescence opens this weekend at the American Museum of Natural History. (WITH VIDEO)
Speaking of bioluminescence, check out these photos of glowing waves coming ashore in the Maldives.
Jeff Bezos of Amazon fame has located the engines from first stage of the Saturn V rocket that launched Apollo 11 to the moon...at the bottom of the Atlantic.
If it seems as if, with increasing frequency and intensity, American conservatives are hostile towards science -- climate change, evolution, medical research, etc. -- it's not your imagination.This chart, as part of a study from Gordon Gauchat, made the rounds yesterday, and with good reason. It shows the trend over the last four decades of Americans' trust in science, as broken down by political ideology. read more
UPDATE: A federal judge in Wisconsin today struck part of the state's union-stripping bill (pdf of the ruling).EARLIER: As expected, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board ordered recall elections for Governor Scott Walker, Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and three Republican state Senators. The board also ordered a recall election for a fourth Republican state senator, Pam Galloway, but she resigned earlier this month. read more
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:* As the Republican establishment continues to coalesce around Mitt Romney, the former governor picked up an endorsement this morning from House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). read more
The New York Times reported a few weeks ago that President Obama and his re-election team are making "an intensified effort ... to build support among women, using the debate over the new health care law to amplify an appeal that already appears to be benefiting from partisan clashes over birth control and abortion."As a simple electoral matter, this makes a lot of sense. read more
Karl Rove's attack group, American Crossroads, released a new video this morning, going after President Obama for his hot-mic comments on missile defense, which tops off a week in which the right has been desperate to turn this into a real story.Rick Santorum said Obama's comments suggest "he's willing to sacrifice American security and willing to sacrifice the security of our allies." Mitt Romney said the president's can't "recover from" such a humiliation. read more
About a month ago, it looked as if Mitt Romney's presidential campaign had the worst surrogates ever -- several of the former governor's highest profile supporters had no qualms about saying how wrong Romney is on major issues of the day.Five weeks later, Romney's surrogates appear to be even less on-message than before.Gov. Chris Christie told Oprah Winfrey in an interview broadcast tonight on OWN that a lot depends on whether he'll run for president in 2016, but one thing's for sure: "In terms of me, I'll be much more ready four years from now," he said.Wrong answer. read more
The right feels awfully good about this week's proceedings at the Supreme Court, and have renewed hope that five justices will undo all of the recent advances in U.S. health care. The Republican National Committee is so pleased, it released this ad yesterday, which includes actual audio from the oral arguments.There's not much to see in the ad; what matters is the audio -- we hear Solicitor General Donald Verrilli defending the Affordable Care Act, but stumbling, pausing, and twice stopping for water. read more
The United States spends more on its military than any other nation on the planet by a large margin. Indeed, we spend nearly as much as the combined military budgets of all the world powers. Given the nation's fiscal challenges, combined with the fact that we've already ended one major war and are winding down another, it's not surprising that sensible voices believe it's time to scale back the Pentagon budget.That includes, by the way, officials at the Pentagon. U.S. read more