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A solution in search of a problem

A solution in search of a problem

04/24/12 10:54AM

Fox News ran a curious special report the other day called, "Fox News Reporting: Stealing Your Vote." The ostensible point of the report was to justify Republican efforts to place new restrictions on Americans' access to the ballot box, as we've seen in recent years with a slew of voter-ID laws.And while Fox was able to highlight some actual, real-world incidents, there were a couple of notable problems with the report. For one thing, these were isolated incidents, some of them several years old, and represent an infinitesimally small percentage of the larger voter-participation rate. read more

Remember the 'ban' on earmarks?

04/24/12 10:11AM

It seems like a long time ago, but at this point two years ago, Republican congressional candidates were running on an anti-earmark platform. Illinois Republican Robert Schilling, for example, told voters two weeks before the 2010 midterms, "We need earmark reform that improves transparency, roots out corruption and eliminates wasteful spending.... read more

Romney shakes the Etch A Sketch on student aid

04/24/12 09:22AM

As we discussed on Friday, an important fight is brewing over student loan interest rates, with policymakers facing a July deadline before rates for federal Direct Stafford Loans double. If Congress doesn't act, more than 7.4 million students will face, on average, an additional $1,000 in debt.The Obama White House and congressional Democrats are eager to keep rates where they are, while congressional Republicans want the lower rates to expire in two months. Yesterday, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney announced he agrees with ... the left. read more

Wal-Mart faces criminal probe in bribery scandal

Wal-Mart faces criminal probe in bribery scandal

04/24/12 08:40AM

Over the years, retail behemoth Wal-Mart has been the subject a fair number of controversies, most of which have related to union busting and immigration abuses. But the New York Times' David Barstow has helped uncover a different kind of scandal, and this one may lead to criminal charges.In September 2005, a senior Wal-Mart lawyer received an alarming e-mail from a former executive at the company's largest foreign subsidiary, Wal-Mart de Mexico. read more

Will he have to give the gavel back in January?

Boehner frets over his job security

04/24/12 08:00AM

Exactly three months ago today, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) boasted that it would be "nearly impossible" for his Republican caucus to lose its majority this year -- or at any point in the coming decade.Does Boehner believe his majority is secure because House Republicans are responsible lawmakers who've impressed the American electorate and earned voters' trust? Not exactly. read more

Morning Maddow: April 24

04/24/12 07:40AM

It's primary day! 5 states are voting for a Republican nominee.Gingrich's campaign may depend on how he does in Delaware today.As Virginia debates Voter I.D., a report finds zero cases of the kind of voter fraud the law addresses.The financial forecast for Social Security is a little grimmer than it was last year.The Senate votes on proposals to reform the U.S. Postal Service today. (Useful anti-union context from Matt Taibbi here).James Cameron and other rich guys are about to announce a big space venture (maybe to mine unobtainium?).Today's Google doodle is pretty neat: read more

A bit of time travel on the 'Drift' tour

04/23/12 08:00PM

The internet is surfacing bits and pieces of Rachel's weekend trip through Milwaukee (home of Harley Davidson) and Kansas City as the 'Drift' tour approaches its end. But the best interview, possibly of the whole tour so far, is last weekend's brief interview with her old high school's newspaper, The Olympian. Fun. (A few more details from the Castro Valley Patch.) read more