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Tilting at Dutch windmills

03/12/12 01:53PM

Rick Santorum caused a minor international incident a few weeks ago, arguing that in the Netherlands, government officials routinely euthanize the elderly "involuntarily" when seniors "are older and sick." As a result, the Republican presidential hopeful argued, elderly Dutch people simply "don't go to the hospital," because they're terrified of being murdered by the state.Erik Mouthaan, the U.S. correspondent for the Dutch RTL Evening News, appeared on the show soon after, explaining that Santorum has no idea what he's talking about. read more

By some measures, Romney's the candidate who set his hair on fire.

Douthat's excessive generosity

03/12/12 12:52PM

Ross Douthat had an interesting New York Times item yesterday that's generated some worthwhile discussion, so let's take a closer look at his 2012 thesis.As the conservative columnist sees it, the Republican primary voters may be mocked and maligned, but the derision is unfair -- these GOP voters actually deserve a pat on the back, Douthat argues, for having "methodically sifted through the alternatives" to Mitt Romney, "discarding each in turn."A crazy party might have chosen Cain or Bachmann as its standard-bearer. read more

Monday's campaign round-up

03/12/12 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:* Alabama's Republican presidential primary is tomorrow, and PPP shows a very competitive race: only two points separate Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum.* The race in Mississippi is nearly as close, with PP showing same three candidates separated by only five points.* With limited statewide name recognition, Rep. read more

Zombie lies are clearly the hardest to kill.

Zombie lies linger in the Deep South

03/12/12 11:29AM

While it's tempting to think the nation has moved past ridiculous questions about President Obama's faith, Jon Chait takes a closer look at the latest Public Policy Polling survey (pdf) out of Alabama and Mississippi, and notices some disconcerting results.PPP asks Republicans in Alabama, "Do you think Barack Obama is a Christian or a Muslim, or are you not sure?" Guess how many say Christian? 14%! Among the remaining 86%, "Muslim" slightly leads "not sure," 45%-41%. read more

Paying back Americans Elect's millionaires

Paying back Americans Elect's millionaires

03/12/12 10:58AM

At least in the abstract, Americans Elect may have a pitch some voters find compelling. The outfit intends to spend heavily to gain a slot on the presidential ballot nationwide, then create a bipartisan ticket that voters would help choose online. The plan, however, is not without flaws.Americans Elect hasn't had much luck finding willing candidates, but it is sitting on tens of millions of dollars and has collected the signatures needed to qualify for several states' ballots. read more

Doonesbury tackles the '10-inch shaming wand'

Doonesbury tackles the '10-inch shaming wand'

03/12/12 10:09AM

Today's edition of Garry Trudeau's "Doonesbury" doesn't pull any punches. It features a woman checking in at a clinic for her mandatory sonogram, in advance of an abortion. Another woman, behind the desk, hands the patient a clipboard and says, "ou'll need to fill out this form. Please take a seat in the Shaming Room.... A middle-aged, male state legislator will be with you in a moment."The comic, clearly a response to recent Republican measures in Virginia, Texas, and elsewhere, is expected to be part of a week-long series. read more

Limbaugh may notice trouble for his industry on the horizon.

What hath Rush wrought?

03/12/12 08:41AM

One of the key angles to the recent controversy surrounding Rush Limbaugh has to do with advertisers: at last count, 51 sponsors of the Republican's show have pulled their support, leading to a "dead air" problem in at least one major market.As it turns out, though, it's not just Limbaugh. read more

Gov. Ultrasound struggles to defend his record

03/12/12 08:00AM

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) sat down with David Gregory on "Meet the Press" yesterday, and though he had to know the question was coming, the Republican still struggled to defend his record on forced ultrasounds.The host asked the governor a pretty straightforward question: "You backed an abortion bill initially that included a very invasive procedure as part of an ultrasound that the state would have required and then you backed off of that. read more

Morning Maddow: March 12

03/12/12 07:38AM

Where are the Republican women to defend the GOP's position on contraception?Inside Team Santorum.Ron Paul delegates talk strategy in Iowa (bonus: lots of keep this away from Maddow's eyes! chatter).The life of Newt in 16 minutes (including dramatic reenactments)!Michael Steele, agent of chaos?Super PAC Americans Elect is now raising money to pay back its rich backers.A U.S. Army Staff Sergeant is suspected of killing 16 Afghan civilians.NASA: the world will not end in 2012. read more

#Wisconsin still looks mad from here

#Wisconsin still looks mad from here

03/11/12 07:48PM

An estimated 65,000 people gathered at the Wisconsin state capitol yesterday to mark the one-year anniversary of Governor Scott Walker's bill stripping union rights from public employees.Governor Walker spent the anniversary making headlines for his new legal defense fund, part of the ongoing John Doe investigation into allegations against his staff back when he was Milwaukee County executive. With regard to his union-stripping law, the governor sent a National Tea Party Alert for funds to help ward off a recall. read more

Rick, Chalk, Jayhawk

Rick, Chalk, Jayhawk

03/11/12 10:31AM

Rick Santorum was the favorite in yesterday's Kansas caucuses, the first contest since Super Tuesday, but he still managed to exceed expectations with an easy victory.Rick Santorum won the Kansas Republican caucuses Saturday, giving him momentum as he and his GOP rivals sprint towards Tuesday's primaries in Alabama and Mississippi.With 99 percent of the precincts reporting, Santorum had 51 percent of the vote, with Mitt Romney getting 21 percent, Newt Gingrich 14 percent, and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas 12 percent. read more

Sort of a really long, one-man parade for injured troops

03/10/12 03:59PM

 On Friday, March 23, former Marine Rick Hermelin will head out on his elliptical bike from South Carolina -- and just keep going. Hermelin, 71, plans to ride cross the country, reaching San Diego in 100 days. Minus food, which he'll buy along the way, he'll carry everything he needs in a small backpack.He's raising money for the Semper Fi Fund, which supports injured and ill troops. "You just get started to push off and then it's just keep moving," he says. read more

How to win friends and affluent people

How to win friends and affluent people

03/10/12 10:53AM

As Rachel pointed out on the show, so far the only voting bloc whose support Mitt Romney has secured solidly is the very rich. Birds of a feather, etc.? Well why hide it, mega rich Romney supporter--work it! Here are some Mitt-centric accessories you simply must have, darling:The Romney Platinum Voter ID card. read more

This Week in God

03/10/12 10:10AM

As "This Week in God" settles in on Saturday mornings, the God Machine has plenty to offer again this week.First up is the latest nonsense from radical TV preacher Pat Robertson, who argued the other day that brutal tornadoes that sliced across the Midwest and the South should be blamed on the victims. read more