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Thursday's Mini-Report

02/23/12 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:* Pressuring Syria: "A United Nations panel concluded on Thursday that 'gross human rights violations' had been ordered by the Syrian authorities as state policy at 'the highest levels of the armed forces and the government,' amounting to crimes against humanity."* 12 Iraqi cities targeted: "A rapid series of attacks across a wide swath of Iraq killed at least 60 people Thursday, targeting mostly security forces in what appeared to be another strike by al-Qaida militants bent on destabilizing the country."* A deadly accident: "Two Marine Corps helicopters collided read more

Allen West's Hummer

Allen West's Hummer

02/23/12 04:06PM

President Obama was in South Florida this afternoon, discussing energy policy and increased oil production at the University of Miami. With rising gas prices, the president is, not surprisingly, eager to discuss his ideas about reducing energy costs.And then there's Rep. Allen West (R) of Florida, who shared his own concerns about the same issue on his Facebook page today."This 'tax policy' is an example as well as today's speech on his 'energy policy' shall be. Here is the bottom line, last night it took 70 dollars to fill the tank of my 2008 H3 Hummer, what is it costing you? read more

What populism isn't

02/23/12 03:35PM

Rick Santorum delivered a speech at the Detroit Economic Club a few days ago, attacking the nation's safety net and, oddly enough, holding it largely responsible for larger economic problems. Our pal James Carter flagged this clip, and it stood out for me for a couple of reasons.As Santorum sees it, the nation simply needs to follow the model of the 1990s, when welfare reform became law. "e cut the welfare rolls by 50 percent. We did that at a time when welfare rolls were at the highest level ever, just like food stamps are at the highest level ever. And guess what happened? read more

Giving the auto rescue center stage

02/23/12 02:05PM

When President Obama launched his rescue of the American auto industry in 2009, it was hard to imagine him running campaign ads on the policy three years later. The move was risky and widely unpopular, and it wasn't at all clear that the rescue would work -- the industry teetering on the brink of collapse might have failed anyway.Now, however, we now know the policy was a success, and Obama's re-election campaign plans to take full advantage of the president's record. Today, Chicago unveiled this new television ad, hitting the Republican field -- including Mr. read more

Art attack (God bless Wisconsin)

Art attack (God bless Wisconsin)

02/23/12 01:15PM

One of the more interesting art events this spring is bound to be an exhibition in Madison called Art in Protest, scheduled for March 29-31, which will display works in various media "inspired" by (if that is the right word) Governor Scott Walker's policies in Wisconsin.While not rallying in the streets to shout their displeasure over the show, Wisconsin Republicans are, nonetheless, not amused. They may not know art but they know what they don't likeReports the Cap Times in Madison:hen Rep. read more

Worst. Surrogates. Ever.

02/23/12 12:32PM

When compared against his Republican rivals, Mitt Romney enjoys far more support from his party's establishment, giving him a small army of GOP surrogates he can dispatch to get his message out to the public.Of course, this only works when the campaign's surrogates (a) aren't embarrassing, and (b) actually agree with Romney's message.Take Rep. Joe Heck (R) in Nevada, for example. read more

Thursday's campaign round-up

02/23/12 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:* With just five days until Michigan's Republican presidential primary, the latest WXYZ/Detroit Free Press poll shows Rick Santorum with a three-point lead over Mitt Romney, 37% to 34%.* In Arizona, which holds its primary the same day, Public Policy Polling shows the state quickly becoming a key 2012 battleground. read more

Who picked the contraception fight?

Who picked the contraception fight?

02/23/12 11:17AM

The fight over contraception access isn't going especially well for Republicans, with polls showing the American mainstream consistently siding with the Obama administration on the issue. As the debate deteriorates, some have begun spinning wild tales to explain how and why this entire fiasco has been an elaborate Democratic setup.Joan Walsh asked, "Did crafty Dems make contraception a campaign issue?" The answer, as Joan explained, is no.Did you know the GOP doesn't want to be talking about contraception? That it's an issue ginned up by opportunistic Democrats? read more

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