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President Obama and Secretary Sebelius talking health coverage last year in Maryland.

Obama on Plan B: 'Apply some common sense'

12/08/11 02:09PM

Yesterday, the FDA approved the emergency contraception Plan B for over-the-counter sales -- meaning no prescription needed, no identification necessary, no restrictions of any kind -- because "the drug could be used safely by women of all ages." Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius disagreed, and used her office's power to override the FDA for the first time in HHS history.This did not go over well. "Left blogs fume over Plan B decision" was Politico's headline. read more

Obama 2012 is all about tax fairness

12/08/11 11:20AM

From a super PAC that backs President Obama, a new ad about tax fairness featuring President Ronald Reagan, radical lefty:"They've sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying 10 percent of his salary, and that's crazy."Two main strands of the Democratic strategy so far: Help Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich battle longer, and pound the GOP on class fairness.(H/t Greg Sargent) read more

Newt Gingrich sibling tells some, not all

12/08/11 10:22AM

Candace Gingrich-Jones knows things about her brother Newt. For one thing, she knows that their shared last name is supposed be pronounced with a "K" at the end, and not with the "CH" sound he took on.She knows what he eats at holiday meals. And she knows what the anti-gay Mr. Gingrich and his wife, Callista Gingrich, sent as a present for her very gay wedding. read more

New weekly claims for unemployment insurance.

Chart: Creeping toward normal

12/08/11 09:30AM

If you're into good news, here's some:The number of people filing for state unemployment benefits for the first time fell 23,000 to the lowest level since late February, the government said Thursday.The Labor Department said claims fell to a seasonally adjusted 381,000 last week.Steve Benen today starts posting a chart of weekly new claims, and you can see that things are getting better. We're a world removed from the economic freefall that marked the end of the Bush administration. read more

Morning Maddow: December 8

12/08/11 07:45AM

AP finds one of the CIA's "black sites".Today's political theatre: Act one, Senate Republicans get to vote against Richard Cordray. Act two: House Republicans get to yell at AG Eric Holder.Elizabeth Warren leads Scott Brown in another poll.Protesters crash a Gingrich fundraiser on K street.Gingrich puts Romney on his VP list and pledges to name John Bolton his Secretary of State.Remember the fetuses that "testified" in the debate over Ohio's fetal heartbeat bill? One of them makes her debut in the Ohio Senate.The Daily Show's Aasif Mandvi tries to get Florida Gov. read more

If we had another hour...

If we had another hour...

12/07/11 07:00PM

Rachel Maddow reports on other top news stories of the day, including the sentencing of Rod Blagojevich, the HHS Secretary overturning the FDA on the morning... watch

Ahead on the 12/7 Maddow Show

12/07/11 06:54PM

Tonight's guests:Karen Finney, Former DNC communications director, columnist for The Hill and msnbc political analystGene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to the President for Economic PolicyCandace Gingrich-Jones, Newt Gingrich's half-sister, gay rights advocate, and Associate Director of Youth and Campus Outreach for the Human Rights Campaign FoundationAnd here's executive producer Bill Wolff with a preview of what will be covered:  read more

Unexploded WWII bombs still threaten Europe, Pacific

Unexploded WWII bombs still threaten Europe, Pacific

12/07/11 06:09PM

By Rachel SimonWhen the levels of the Rhine fell to historic lows this fall, the receding water in Koblenz, Germany revealed quite a surprise. Hidden for decades beneath the surface were two enormous, un-detonated World War II-era bombs. Weighing in at 4,000 and 275 pounds respectively, the bombs were successfully defused over the weekend (whew!) – but only after 45,000 people, nearly half of the city's population, were evacuated. It was the largest German evacuation since the end of the war.Before you breathe a sigh of relief, read on. read more

You Bet Jurassic

You Bet Jurassic

12/07/11 04:04PM

So it looks like the shaggy, long-extinct woolly mammoth may be making a surprise comeback. According to this report:"Within five years, a woolly mammoth will likely be cloned, according to scientists who have just recovered well-preserved bone marrow in a mammoth thigh bone."So stuff that we thought was long gone? Maybe isn't that long gone. Can something be un-extincted? read more

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