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Romney's cowardice keeps getting in the way

05/07/12 03:25PM

Four years ago, shortly before the presidential campaign, John McCain was participating in a town-hall forum, and heard from a voter who wanted to share a concern. "I can't trust Obama," she said. "I have read about him and he's not, he's not uh, he's an Arab."The Republican nominee, to his credit, took back the microphone and said, "No, ma'am. read more

When Republicans close off every avenue

When Republicans close off every avenue

05/07/12 02:30PM

In the broadest possible sense, Washington has two main choices to spur economic growth during tough times. Policymakers can rely on Congress and the White House to approve fiscal stimulus that injects capital into the economy, or they can rely on the Federal Reserve's monetary policy. read more

Mad as hell about Ron Paul in Maine

Mad as hell about Ron Paul in Maine

05/07/12 01:50PM

As Steve was saying earlier, Ron Paul backers took over the state conventions in Nevada and Maine this weekend. In each case, the Paul crowd captured a majority of the delegates and made the Republican mainstream really, really mad. Mad as in here come the legal challenges mad. Mad as in this, posted last night by Maine State Representative Lance Harvell on the conservative site As Maine Goes:To those who achieved this "victory" You have won nothing and you have destroyed what took years to build. You torpedoed a ship and have jumped on board claiming victory. read more

The politics of a Beastie Boy's passing

The politics of a Beastie Boy's passing

05/07/12 01:15PM

As of this morning, the most popular item on the conservative Washington Times' website was this piece from Joseph Curl, headlined, "Hip-hop legend MCA passes on; Obama says not a word" (thanks to reader R.P. for the tip).I've come to expect the right to go after President Obama for just about everything, but I have to admit, I didn't see this one coming.Adam Nathaniel Yauch, "MCA" from the Beastie Boys, died Friday, after a lengthy bout with cancer. He was just 47. read more

Another cabinet member backs marriage equality

05/07/12 12:30PM

In November, when Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan said he "absolutely" supports marriage equality, he became the first sitting cabinet secretary in American history to do so.This morning, he got a little company.For those who can't watch clips online, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan appeared on msnbc earlier and was asked by Mark Halperin if he supports same-sex marriage. "Yes," Duncan said, "I do." There were no qualifiers or addendums.Time will tell, but I suspect the White House will make no effort to push back against the comments. read more

Monday's campaign round-up

05/07/12 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:* President Obama's re-election campaign unveiled a new minute-long television ad this morning, called "Go," which will air in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Nevada, New Hampshire, Iowa, North Carolina, Florida, and Colorado. The ad buy is a whopping $25 million.* A new USA Today/Gallup Swing States Poll shows Obama with a narrow, two-point lead over Mitt Romney in 12 battleground states, 47% to 45%. read more

Swiftboaters, The Next Generation

05/07/12 11:26AM

An outfit called Vets For a Strong America unveiled this video last week, attacking President Obama for his comments on killing Osama bin Laden, and it's done quite well. But as attacks go, I'm not sure if this one's on the right track.The point is pretty straightforward: the video, professionally made with high production values, wants the viewer to think Obama wants sole credit for the mission that killed the al Qaeda leader last year. read more

Moving the economic goalposts

Moving the economic goalposts

05/07/12 10:40AM

When it came to economic metrics and the 2012 campaign, Mitt Romney has struggled to pick a line and stick with it.The initial line from Romney was that the unemployment rate is higher now than when President Obama took office. It was a foolish argument, which is no longer true.The second line has been that the unemployment rate has been above 8% for four consecutive years. read more

Arizona cuts off Planned Parenthood aid

Arizona cuts off Planned Parenthood aid

05/07/12 09:56AM

Republicans appear to be increasingly annoyed by talk of the GOP's "war on women," as evidenced by John Boehner's recent tirade on the House floor. To hear them tell it, the very idea is trumped-up "fiction," based on bogus misconceptions cooked up by Democrats and sympathetic reporters.And yet, when it comes to public policy, the larger trajectory is hard to miss. Take Republicans in Arizona, for example.Last month, Gov. read more

The Heartland Institute's change of heart

The Heartland Institute's change of heart

05/07/12 09:21AM

The Heartland Institute clearly thought it had come up with a clever idea. The right-wing group, which is fiercely opposed to combating the climate crisis, thought it'd be clever to put up billboards showing "some of the world's most notorious killers," including "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski, who accept climate science.The idea, apparently, was to push a child-like logical fallacy: if a killer believes in scientific evidence, you shouldn't. read more

Why is this man smiling?

Ron Paul backers make GOP's lives more complicated

05/07/12 08:42AM

If 90% of life is just showing up, Ron Paul supporters have discovered the secret of success at state Republican Party gatherings.Last week, the Republican National Committee issued a stern warning to the state party in Nevada: if you allow Paul backers to take many slots for the national convention, the party might just refuse to seat the state's entire delegation as punishment.How'd that work out? Based on previous vote totals, Nevada Republicans were supposed to give Mitt Romney 20 of the state's 28 delegates. read more

The next step in the marriage equality 'evolution'

05/07/12 08:00AM

In December 2010, Vice President Biden was asked about marriage equality and he noted that the White House's position, like American attitudes in general, was "evolving." Biden added that there is an "inevitability for a national consensus" in support of gay marriage.With that in mind, Biden inched closer to that inevitable position when NBC's David Gregory raised the issue on "Meet the Press" yesterday.For those who can't watch clips online, Biden said the question about marriage rights effectively comes down to "a simple proposition: who do you love?" He added that this principle applies equ read more

Morning Maddow: May 7

05/07/12 07:37AM

Two important words of the day on Capitol Hill: Defense Sequester.Big doings for the Ron Paul delegate strategy in Nevada and Maine.VP Biden starts a kerfuffle over same-sex marriage.Read Rick Scott's e-mail!France gets its first socialist president since Mitterand.Now he's President Putin again. OK? Keep it straight.An Army nurse dies mysteriously in Afghanistan.Al Qaeda releases a video message by American hostage Warren Weinstein.Yemen announces the death of a militant connected to the USS Cole bombing. read more