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Trying to rationalize bigotry

05/16/12 01:32PM

As Rachel explained on the show last night, Tracy Thorne-Begland was set to become a Virginia judge before state Republican lawmakers rejected him. Thorne-Begland is a state prosecutor, a father, and a former Top Gun fighter pilot, and his nomination enjoyed bipartisan sponsorship, but the GOP rejected him anyway.By all appearances, this was as plain an example of bigotry towards a judicial nominee as we've seen in a while: Thorne-Begland is gay, so Republicans blocked him from becoming a state judge.But Virginia Republicans can explain this. read more

Mitt's Miami vice

Mitt's Miami vice

05/16/12 12:30PM

The first hint of trouble came early this morning, when Mitt Romney's campaign team told journalists there would be no questions for the candidate today. read more

Wednesday's campaign round-up

05/16/12 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 a new video, Jim Messina, President Obama's campaign manager, notes that the campaign raised $43.6 million in April, which is down from March's totals.* In Wisconsin, the latest Daily Kos/Public Policy Polling survey shows Gov. Scott Walker (R) ahead by five in his recall fight against Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D), 50% to 45%. read more

Geithner rains on Boehner's parade

Geithner rains on Boehner's parade

05/16/12 11:39AM

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) yesterday said he would do in 2013 exactly what he did in 2011: use the debt ceiling to hold the nation hostage. As Boehner sees it, Democrats have to give in, or he'll trash the full faith and credit of the United States and crash the economy on purpose.And why did Boehner declare his intentions in mid-May? Because the Speaker is trying to shape upcoming tax-policy negotiations, applying leverage to get what he wants. read more

The fun and the real of Chris Christie

05/16/12 09:46AM

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Newark Mayor Cory Booker have made a parody video. From the New Jersey press:The three-and-a-half minute video unveiled Tuesday night at the New Jersey Legislative Correspondents Club dinner shows the Republican governor being thwarted at do-gooding by Booker. read more

Romney's magic act in Iowa yesterday.

A peek into an alternate reality

05/16/12 09:23AM

Mitt Romney delivered a curious speech in Iowa yesterday, presenting his thoughts on the budget deficit, the debt and debt reduction, which is worth reading if you missed it. We often talk about the problem of the left and right working from entirely different sets of facts, and how the discourse breaks down when there's no shared foundation of reality, and the Republican's remarks offered a timely peek into an alternate reality where facts have no meaning.Even the topic itself is a strange choice for Romney. read more

House VAWA bill draws Obama veto threat

05/16/12 08:35AM

A few weeks ago, the Senate approved the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act fairly easily, with a 68 to 31 vote. Though all 31 opponents were Republican men, the measure enjoyed at least some bipartisan support.But the measure still has to get through the Republican-led House, which will vote on its own, watered-down version of VAWA today. read more

GOP establishment pick fails in Nebraska

GOP establishment pick fails in Nebraska

05/16/12 08:00AM

For months, the Republican U.S. Senate primary in Nebraska has been a bitter proxy fight, pitting the GOP establishment's choice, state Attorney General Jon Bruning against the even-more-far-right state Treasurer Don Stenberg. The two waged a bruising battle for nearly a year, but as recently as two weeks ago, it looked like Bruning would get the nod.Who won? Oddly enough, neither of them.In a dramatic, come-from-behind dash to the finish line late Tuesday evening, state Sen. read more

Morning Maddow: May 16

05/16/12 07:44AM

Romney's formal rivals try to airbrush their past criticism of him. The thing is? The internet is forever.Sen. John McCain wants campaign finance reform again. So who does he huddle with? Not Republicans.Americans Elect gives up the dream of a viable third party for 2012.The House votes on its version of the Violence Against Women Act, which specifically does not include protections for illegal immigrants, gay people and Native Americans.The Army today allows female soldiers into formerly all-male combat units. Indianans Hoosiers unite to protest the bullying of a gay student.  read more

Links for the 5/15 TRMS

Links for the 5/15 TRMS

05/15/12 11:39PM

Colorado civil unions bill killed before reaching House floorHouse of Delegates rejects gay judge Tracy Thorne-BeglandExecutive Directive 1 (2010) (pdf) Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell Rolls Back Non-Discrimination Protections For Gay State Workers From McDonnell, a Turn on Sexual Orientation Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell Evolves On Gay Judges To prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. A Primary Factor Snopes: Miss me yet? 'Miss Me Yet?' Billboard With Photo Of Bush Is Real; Not An Internet Trick George W. Bush: 'I'm for Mitt Romney' read more

Statement from Frank VanderSloot

05/15/12 09:10PM

We believe that Peter Zuckerman is a good man who did a poor job reporting the facts on an important story in 2005. The entire community was buzzing about Mr. Zuckerman's sexual orientation after a local radio talk show had talked about it for days. We came to Mr. Zuckerman's defense and chastised the talk show for bringing his sexual orientation into the debate. I apologize for any personal pain that he suffered because of our involvement. That was not our intent.—Frank L. VanderSloot read more

Frank VanderSloot Statement on 'It's Elementary'

05/15/12 09:08PM

I am a strong supporter of the argument that gay and lesbian people should have the same rights as all other Americans. My argument against It's Elementary was not against the film itself but with its intended audience. I don't believe that sexual concepts – either homosexual or heterosexual - should be introduced in our schools to first, second and third graders. I would endorse It's Elementary for adults, but most Americans would agree it should not be shown to little kids.—Frank L. VanderSloot read more

Political sport

Political sport

05/15/12 08:00PM

Bill Wolff, executive producer for the Rachel Maddow Show, shares a preview of Tuesday’s show – there is a new phony scandal circulating regarding the Obama 2012 campaign, and we’ve got Glenn Greenwald on the show to discuss. Plus, Mitt Romney was... watch