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Snowe's stunning surprise

Snowe's stunning surprise

02/29/12 08:53AM

When prominent members of Congress are considering retirement, there's nearly always some kind of hint in advance of the announcement. Maybe they stop raising money; perhaps they're slow to put a campaign organization together; maybe key staffers are seen moving to new jobs elsewhere; something.But with Sen. Olympia Snowe (R) of Maine, all of the evidence pointed in the other direction. read more

Romney survives, but race continues

Romney survives, but race continues

02/29/12 08:00AM

At a certain level, it's hard to see how Tuesday could have gone much better for Mitt Romney. After a few very rough weeks and surprising setbacks, the former governor cruised to an easy win in Arizona's primary, and hung on to win in Michigan, preventing panic and chaos within the Republican Party ranks.And yet, as the dust settles, Romney and his supporters appear more relieved than satisfied. There's a good reason for that.It's easy to forget, but as recently as three months ago, Romney led Rick Santorum in Michigan by 32 points. read more

Morning Maddow: February 29

02/29/12 07:34AM

You know you want to: read the exit polls from yesterday's Michigan and Arizona primaries.Santorum's strategy: pick off Newt.Does Ron Paul still think he has a shot? Apparently so.Virginia is for lovers gunners.A suspected al-Qaeda leader has been arrested in Egypt (UPDATE: it's likely a case of mistaken identity).Tonight the President has dinner with Iraq War vets.Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine has had it with partisan gridlock and is retiring.Bob Kerrey has to decide today if he's really running for Senate in Nebraska.The NFL moves its kickoff game to avoid President Obama. read more

The Steinbeck Center's evening with Rachel Maddow

02/29/12 12:00AM

The folks at the Steinbeck Center honored Rachel with a Steinbeck Award this past weekend and were not only nice enough to provide us with a live stream that night, but they've also provided a recording of the event. The whole thing is more than an hour long so I've broken it up a little. The basic format is a lengthy interview of Rachel by KGO Radio host Pat Thurston, followed by some audience questions, and then the bestowing of the award at the end. Enjoy. The next four parts after the jump... read more

Tuesday night's plan

02/28/12 07:21PM

Don't forget, tonight is special coverage of the Michigan and Arizona Republican primaries, so we're in "live rolling coverage" formation beginning at 8 p.m. ET. That means Rachel leads coverage with Chris Matthews, Rev. Al Sharpton, Ed Schultz, Lawrence O'Donnell, and Steve Schmidt. Plus there will be other guests throughout the night (I just heard Thaddeus McCotter is a possibility, so that should be fun).We'll be cutting clips of the coverage all night, so while there won't be a podcast, there will at least be video for the web watchers.PLUS... read more

Tuesday's Mini-Report

02/28/12 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:* Syria: "A day after a referendum on a new Constitution and amid sustained violence, Syria came under renewed international pressure from a long list of governments urging an immediate ceasefire and warning that Syria's leaders would not escape accounting for their actions."* The new Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index far exceeded expectations: "A private research group says that consumer confidence in February rose dramatically."* Eurozone: "Germany's parliament overwhelmingly approved its country's contribution to the Greek bailout on Monday, serving read more

Virginia rolls ultrasound bill forward

02/28/12 03:51PM

Virginia's vaginal probe ultrasound bill, as reworked by Governor Bob McDonnell, just passed the Senate 21-19. Our guest from the House of Delegates, Dave Englin, writes:The next step is that the amended bill returns to the House for the House to either accept or reject the Senate amendments, which I expect will happen tomorrow.  I fully expect the House will accept the Senate amendments, which will then send the bill to Gov. read more

Remember their claims about "zero tolerance"? They don't, either.

So much for 'zero tolerance'

02/28/12 03:50PM

Shortly before House Republicans won their majority in the 2010 midterms, Eric Cantor acknowledged the GOP congressional scandals from the recent past, but said they wouldn't be tolerated going forward."I think that as Republicans emerge as a new governing majority, it is incumbent upon us to institute a zero-tolerance policy," Cantor said at the time, adding that when it comes to ethical transgressions, Republicans have "learned our lesson."A year and a half later, the House GOP appears to have forgotten that lesson.Speaker John A. read more

Why the GOP wants IPAB to be DOA

02/28/12 03:15PM

Ask congressional Republicans what they want to see happen to Medicare, and they'll probably talk about reducing costs and restraining spending. It's why the GOP's attacks on the Independent Payment Advisory Board are so misguided -- IPAB gives Republicans what they say they want.I can understand why the underlying idea is contentious, but the facts are pretty straightforward. read more