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Challenge: Pick a human

12/28/11 10:15AM

The BBC released its list of Faces of the Year for 2011, which is one thing. Their choice for a woman to represent December is another. It's a panda. Named Sweetie.Sweetie, along with her fellow giant panda Sunshine, was welcomed at Edinburgh airport with cheers and bagpipes after the pair's 11-hour journey from Chengdu in western China. Their arrival is the culmination of five years of lobbying by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and the British government. Even the four pilots wore kilts in the pandas' honour. The pandas are on loan for a decade at a cost of £600,000 per year. read more

'I think Ron Paul is on to something'

12/28/11 09:40AM

If it's true that no one has any idea who's going to win the Iowa Republican caucuses next week, it's also true that Ron Paul's surge in the polls carries real meaning. Congressman Paul (R-Texas) is up by four points over Mitt Romney in Public Policy Poll released this morning.For David Yepsen, a veteran of covering Iowa politics, the Paul-momentum is not for nothing. He told us last night:I think Ron Paul is on to something. There is an anger in the electorate. You know, you see the same thing on the far left-hand side of the spectrum with the Occupy movement. read more

Morning Maddow: December 28

12/28/11 07:51AM

Rick Perry shifts, now opposes abortion without exceptions.If it walks like a lobbyist, and talks like a lobbyist...Occupy Iowa to protest at candidates' campaign offices today.Democrats lag in new voter registrations (sorry, paywall, but there's enough there for you to get the gist).Newt Gingrich's New Hampshire volunteers can't sing. Or breakdance. North Koreans begin a long, theatrical goodbye to Kim Jong-il.Occupy geeks are building a facebook for the 99%.RIP, Cheetah the Chimp.The world's cleanest museum? read more

Links for the 12/27 TRMS

Links for the 12/27 TRMS

12/28/11 12:21AM

Thank God it's Friday (1978) That awesome Wrong Way Corrigan headlineA parade for our heroes Soldiers just back from Iraq get new orders: Afghanistan Iran threatens to stop Gulf oil if sanctions widened U.S. Joins EU Push to Embargo Iran Oil Over Nuclear Effort Dem: Iran sanctions bill worth the risk of oil market disruption read more

TGI(N)F

TGI(N)F

12/27/11 07:00PM

Bill Wolff, executive producer for the Rachel Maddow Show, shares a preview of tonight's show – the reasons behind Ron Paul’s popularity, plus why so few GOP... watch

Never on a Friday in Samoa

Never on a Friday in Samoa

12/27/11 07:00PM

Rachel Maddow reports on a peculiar switch in the calendar for Samoa as they move to the other side of the International Date Line and lose a Friday in order... watch

Ahead on the 12/27 Maddow show

12/27/11 06:17PM

Tonight's guests include:David Yepsen, director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University and former political writer for the Des Moines Register Anita Kumar, Virginia politics and government reporter for the Washington PostJosh Rogin, staff writer for Foreign Policy magazine and author of the blog “The Cable”Executive producer Bill Wolff shares a preview of tonight's show: If you want to enjoy tonight's soundtrack in tandem with the preview, check it out here. read more

W-E-I-R-D

W-E-I-R-D

12/27/11 04:28PM

I spent the day after Christmas in a house with a television perpetually tuned to the Game Show Network, when what to my wondering eyes did appear but a familiar face. I thought, "How do I know the one on the right?" Then I realized she was familiar because of the relentless television coverage of the John-Edwards-campaign-trail-affair scandal.Yes, the blonde woman on the right is Rielle Hunter. I quickly snapped some pix of the screen, thinking I had a great scoop. Then of course a quick Google showed me I was late to yet another party. read more

Newt Gingrich, health reform visionary

12/27/11 01:33PM

Today's find from Andrew Kaczynski shows Newt Gingrich again extolling the virtues of the individual mandate. "I think you’ve got to require everybody to either have insurance or to post a bond," Mr. Gingrich told a crowd at a health clinic in Bellevue, Nebraska, in 2008. "The fastest-growing section of the uninsured is people over $75,00 income who are making a calculated gamble that if they get sick, you’ll take care of them. read more

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