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Ahead on the 4/12 Maddow show

04/12/12 07:23PM

Tonight's guests include:Bill Keller, columnist for The New York TimesGov. Dannel P. Malloy, (D) ConnecticutExecutive producer Bill Wolff shares a preview of tonight's show -- while watching, take a listen to tonight's soundtrack. (Just be sure to allow the ad below to play out entirely before starting the song)  read more

Thursday's Mini-Report

04/12/12 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:* In Syria, a tenuous, uncertain cease-fire begins, and for now, conditions are far calmer than they were.* The next step with Tehran: "The six world powers gathering here for nuclear talks beginning Friday are themselves sharply divided over how best to curb Iran's ambitions while defusing the possibility of a disastrous new military confrontation in the volatile Middle East."* Zimmerman appears in court: "Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman made his first court appearance Thursday on a second-degree murder charge in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin read more

ALEC ties put allies on edge

04/12/12 04:52PM

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which writes ready-made conservative legislation for Republican state legislators, has traditionally been anonymous, working behind the scenes to advance a far-right agenda. Shadowy obscurity allowed ALEC to be more effective.But as ALEC finds itself where it didn't want to be -- in the spotlight -- the group is losing corporate sponsors and finding its political allies on edge.Take Virginia, for example, where ProgressVA released a report on ALEC's influence on policymaking in the Commonwealth. read more

Walker fighting with both hands, much money

Walker fighting with both hands, much money

04/12/12 02:50PM

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has two new ads going, one against each of the leading Democratic contenders to face him the June recall.He can afford it, with $12,171,840 on hand. One of the top Democrats, former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk has gotten just $16,785 on her own. Another group, Wisconsin for Labor, is on track to spend $2.3 million for Falk. read more

Newt Gingrich at his former home.

Gingrich identifies his foil: Fox News

04/12/12 01:46PM

Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign may not literally be over, but it might as well be. He's already laid off much of his staff and cleared his schedule, and this week's bounced check in Utah only added insult to injury.With this in mind, the former Speaker is taking stock of his failed effort, and has identified a culprit: Fox News."I think Fox has been for Romney all the way through," Gingrich said Wednesday during a meeting with Delaware tea party leaders, according to RealClearPolitics, which was given access to the private meeting. read more

The 'Romneycare' anniversary

04/12/12 12:42PM

Exactly six years ago today, then-Gov. Mitt Romney put his signature on his most notably political accomplishment: an overhaul of Massachusetts' health care system, which brought coverage to all of the state's residents, thanks in part to a government mandate.To mark the occasion, American Bridge 21st Century released this video, showing Romney's remarks at the time, many of which sound, with the benefit of hindsight, like a defense of President Obama's Affordable Care Act.His successor, Gov. read more

Thursday's campaign round-up

04/12/12 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:* It took less than half a day for the Obama campaign to put together a video featuring Lilly Ledbetter, responding to the Romney campaign's difficulties with pay equity yesterday.* Foster Friess, a wealthy Republican donor and Rick Santorum backer, told Fox Business yesterday, "Now that have trained their barrels on President Obama, I hope his teleprompters are bullet-proof." He later said he regretted the comment.* In North Carolina, Public Po read more

Jesus and the money changers

Faith-based budgeting

04/12/12 11:03AM

Probably everyone has heard the New Testament story in which Jesus entered the temple and told the money changers, "You know, if you got a massive tax break, the benefits would probably benefit poor families eventually." Or something like that, right?That seems to be the message I've been hearing from the right this week. read more

Impeachment is not a toy

04/12/12 10:15AM

Rep. Todd Akin (R) of Missouri, a U.S. Senate candidate this year, hosted a town-hall meeting this week, and heard from a constituent who wants to see President Obama impeached. read more

Which of these is most fantastic?

Which of these is most fantastic?

04/12/12 09:56AM

Internet, you are too wonderful for me. This week alone, you've coughed up:The Fox Mole (h/t Steve) and Mitt Romney talking about his horses and the pink tie. Caine's Arcade, straight out of East L.A. and all that is good about nine-year-olds and dads and dreams and humanity and auto-parts shops.And now Nina Katchadourian's airplane bathroom portraits in the Flemish style.Seriously, I used to wonder why I waste so much of my life on the Internet. Now I intend to redouble my efforts. (Caine's Arcade and the Fox Mole video after the jump.)  read more

Who's to blame for early 2009?

Who's to blame for early 2009?

04/12/12 09:25AM

By carefully manipulating statistics, Mitt Romney and his campaign are pushing a wildly misleading claim this week about job creation in the Obama era. But there's a larger analytical point that shouldn't get lost in the shuffle: who deserves the blame for the job losses in early 2009?Greg Sargent noted yesterday that Romney, as part of his new con, "relies on a net overall job loss calculation that uses January 2009 as a starting point." Since President Obama didn't take office until Jan. read more

Jobless claims move in the wrong direction

Jobless claims move in the wrong direction

04/12/12 08:41AM

While the general trend on initial unemployment claims over the last few months has been largely encouraging, there have been occasional setbacks. Today's new report is the most discouraging in a while.Indeed, while last week's initial estimate was the best report in four years, the new figures are some of the worst of the year to date.The number of Americans who filed requests for jobless benefits jumped by 13,000 last week to 380,000, the highest level since late January, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday. read more