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(Not one of the Wisconsin ads.)

Challenge: Wisconsin voter ads

12/12/11 04:37PM

On account of Republicans' new state law that makes voting harder than it used to be, the government of Wisconsin is planing a $436,000 public service campaign to explain the changes. From the Wisconsin State Journal:The effort, which will involve a new website, print ads, billboards, brochures, a toll-free hotline, and television and radio spots, is designed to inform people about the law requiring voters to present a photo ID at the polls. That takes effect with the February primary election.The ad firm is scheduled to give the Government Accountability Board a preview tomorrow. read more

Newt go boom

Newt go boom

12/12/11 03:27PM

In America, we like winning, we hate losing, and we need to know who has come out on top. Even if it isn't a game.Take Saturday's Republican debate, for example. Everyone's talking about Newt Gingrich's aw-snap-yo dis of Mitt Romney -- "The only reason you didn't become a career politician is you lost to Teddy Kennedy in 1994" -- and Governor Romney's $10,000 bet, as if these are things on which to judge whether either candidate would make a good president. The overwhelming consensus is that Mr. read more

Illustration. Utter fantasy.

Eye of frog, tail of worm

12/12/11 01:37PM

The photo above is the product of my imagination running a little wild, but as an enthusiastic science spectator, I reserve the right to allow my mind to drift to fantasy when the actual science is so spectacular.In this case, the spectacular science news is that researchers were able to grow eyes on a frog (a tadpole actually) in places on its body that don't usually grow eyes. Being dazzled by regenerative medicine is not really new. Think of all the amazing things we've read about what can be done with stem cells. But I think the popular perception of stem cells is that they work by magic. read more

Best noon thing

12/12/11 12:22PM

I have a new obsession thanks to boing boing: listening for vocal fry. This speech pattern, in which the voice dips down into a gravelly lower register, was once considered a defect, but is now apparently common, especially among college-aged women. As my daughter is too young for this and I don't recall hearing my nieces do it, I appealed to a friend who is a college professor, who responded,Yes! So obnoxious. Makes the speaker sound like an idiot. Started in the early oughts, yes? Some reality tv celeb or something popularized it. Teenage girls eat it up. Hear it all the time in classes. read more

KC, the miracle hobo dog

KC, the miracle hobo dog

12/12/11 12:15PM

Go ahead, top this:Scene of all scenes, in November a dog was seen riding on top of a boxcar of the Kansas City Southern Railway. When the train was moving he would lie down. Pearl Mississippi Animal Control officers Heather Rodgers and Chuck Loper were called to rescue the dog. After arranging for a forklift with a pallet, KC was safely lowered to the ground.The Mississippi Animal Rescue League is now trying to find KC a home. He's an Australian shepherd/border collie mix, and he's apparently in quite fine fettle.(H/t my brother, Brian, who's a bit of a hobo himself.) read more

Ten thousand is a lot of dollars

12/12/11 10:07AM

Mitt Romney's handlers have a lot on their hands with his casual bet of $10,000 in Saturday's Republican debate. It would help, as Steve Benen points out, if Mr. Romney weren't also the guy who jokes about being unemployed while quadrupling the size of one of his mansions. Instead, Mr. Romney casts himself as the one who would lead America back to prosperity, even as he himself is living embodiment of how most people get ahead in this country (Hint: It helps to be born that way.) read more

Morning Maddow: December 12

12/12/11 07:45AM

A predator drone is used to capture U.S. citizens on U.S. soil.Occupy protesters will try to shut down West Coast ports today.Newt Gingrich and doom from above.Romney and the $10,000 bet.Does Rick Perry really think there's a country named Solynda?Northeast states are cutting heating aid to the poor.San Francisco's minimum wage is about to top $10 an hour.What happens to the last American-held prisoner in Iraq?The truth behind a photo of women firefighters at Pearl Harbor.  read more

Links for the 12/9 TRMS

Links for the 12/9 TRMS

12/10/11 01:00AM

Gingrich: To know him is to endorse the other guy Senate GOP Shoots Down Halligan Nomination Gingrich 37%, Romney 22% Among GOP Voters Nationwide Vote Summary - Question: On the Cloture Motion (Cloture on the Nomination of Caitlin Joan Halligan, of New York, to be U.S. Circuit Judge ) Fox News Poll: GOP Presidential Race Gingrich up big in Montana and Florida (pdf) Another voter referendum: Ohio secretary of state certifies signatures to put elections law on next year's ballot read more

Ahead on the 12/9 Maddow show

12/09/11 07:09PM

Tonight's guests include:Steve Kornacki, news editor of Salon  Chris Hayes, host of msnbc's "Up with Chris Hayes", editor-at-large of The Nation  Theda Skocpol and Vanessa Williamson, co-authors of the new book, "The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism"Executive producer Bill Wolff and some members of the TRMS staff share a preview of tonight's show: read more

The Week in Geek: You are your potato chips

12/09/11 03:04PM

A time lapse video of the Mars rover Spirit's entire journey on Mars.For you literary types: was Jane Austen poisoned by arsenic?Record-setting biggest (and baddest) black holes discovered.Scientists study grey wolves in Yellowstone to predict how animals will respond to climate change.An amazing gallery of science and technology photos that have appeared in LIFE magazine's pages.How crab shells might lead to flexible computer screens.What your choice of potato chip says about your social class.Twelve things that you may or may not want to see under a microscope.And in the spirit of the holida read more

Plan B stands for 'backlash'

Plan B stands for 'backlash'

12/09/11 01:22PM

Wednesday's unprecedented overrule of the FDA after its approval of emergency contraception Plan B for over-the-counter sales invited its share of criticism, but President Obama seems to have really set it off with his defense of that decision yesterday.Author and Salon writer Rebecca Traister asked, "When will Barack Obama learn how to talk thoughtfully about women, women’s health and women’s rights? Apparently, not today." Pivoting off the President mentioning that he's the father of two daughters in the course of his defense, Ms. read more

We are the .00000002 percent!

We are the .00000002 percent!

12/09/11 12:32PM

UC Berkeley economist Sylvia Allegretto draws a straight and bright line from the Forbes 400 to the Wal-Mart fortune.The Forbes list reveals that six Waltons—all children (one daughter-in-law) of Sam or James “Bud” Walton the founders of Wal-Mart—were on the list. The combined worth of the Walton six was $69.7 billion in 2007—which equated to the total wealth of the entire bottom thirty percent!Rachel did some calculating on it and sent us all this e-mail:There are 307 million Americans. So, 10% of America is about 31 million people. read more

GOP tries to split the 99 percent

GOP tries to split the 99 percent

12/09/11 10:55AM

Congressional Republicans have a new way to brighten the holidays back home:GOP leaders hope to build momentum for an end-of-year tax package with sweeping reforms to federal unemployment benefits.The Republican proposal is expected to reduce the total number of weeks unemployed workers are eligible for aid by as much as 40 weeks and tighten rules for eligibility.The Republican strategy here is to horse trade cuts in unemployment benefits for extending the payroll tax break for Americans who have jobs. read more

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