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Religious right leader's racially charged plagiarism

Religious right leader's racially charged plagiarism

04/20/12 04:30PM

When someone plagiarizes content that isn't theirs, it's wrong. When that person is a religious leader, who claims the moral high ground on "ethics" while routinely condemning others for their sins, it's worse.And that person is a religious leader in a denomination with an unfortunate racial history, and he's plagiarized racially charged content, well, that's just adding insult to injury (thanks to reader R.B. read more

Student loans already feel like a millstone for millions of Americans.

Dems, GOP fight over student loan rates

04/20/12 03:45PM

The issue of student loan interest rates has been simmering for a while, but with a deadline looming in July, Democrats are moving quickly to put the issue to the front burner.At issue is a 2007 law, set to expire on July 1, that keeps the interest rate for federal Direct Stafford Loans at 3.4%. If Congress fails to act, the rate will double, so Reps. read more

Chronicling Mitt's Mendacity, Vol. XIV

Chronicling Mitt's Mendacity, Vol. XIV

04/20/12 02:28PM

Campaigning in Ohio yesterday, Mitt Romney told supporters, without smirking or sounding sarcastic, "If I'm president of the United States, with your help, I will tell the truth."Ordinarily, those seeking national leadership positions don't vow to tell the truth if others help them, but since I am nothing if not helpful, I thought I might give the presumptive Republican presidential nominee a few examples of instances in which he fell short of honesty this week.Indeed, if Romney intends to "tell the truth," he can start by reading the 14th installment of my weekly series, chronicling Mitt's me read more

What we're arguing about in our office right now

04/20/12 01:40PM

For the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park today, the Boston Pops are playing "Hymn to New England" by John Williams. Producer Mike says the hymn is vintage John Williams, perfect in every way, and sublime. Another source who declined to be named says that's nuts. read more

With friends like these...

With friends like these...

04/20/12 01:15PM

There's been some scuttlebutt about Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) possibly becoming Mitt Romney's running mate. Folks may want to put those rumors on hold for a little while.Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana endorsed Mitt Romney for president on Wednesday -- then criticized him a day later in an interview with The Indianapolis Star. "You have to campaign to govern, not just to win," Mr. Daniels told Matthew Tully of The Indianapolis Star. "Spend the precious time and dollars explaining what's at stake and a constructive program to make life better. read more

A deep strain of paranoia

04/20/12 12:31PM

Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, a freshman Republican from Pennsylvania, spoke at Tea Party fundraiser over the weekend, and shared some thoughts on why he hopes President Obama doesn't get a second term.The most notable comments come about four minutes into the clip, when the congressman imagines Obama's intentions if he's re-elected."When he left the microphone on in Russia, we all heard what he said. Left unrestrained, without the inhibitions of the next election, he'd have 'flexibility,' he said, 'flexibility' to do what he wants to do. read more

Friday's campaign round-up

04/20/12 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:* In national polling, NBC/Wall Street Journal shows President Obama leading Mitt Romney by six (49% to 43%); Public Policy Polling shows Obama ahead by three (49% to 46%); and an Economist/YouGov poll shows Obama up by seven (49% to 42%).* Speaking of polls, a new Fox News survey shows Obama leading Romney in Florida by two points (45% to 43%), and the president also ahead in Ohio by six points (45% to 39%).* Montana Gov. read more

Why the 'Republican DREAM Act' is in trouble

Why the 'Republican DREAM Act' is in trouble

04/20/12 11:31AM

Mitt Romney quietly told supporters the other day that he'd like to see a "Republican DREAM Act" to help his party with Latino voters. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who's talking more and more about immigration policy, believes he has just such a proposal.Hoping to boost his party's image with Hispanic voters, Sen. read more

Cantor considers tax hikes on the poor

04/20/12 10:47AM

We talked yesterday about Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio), who likes the idea of raising federal income taxes on those who currently pay nothing, to ensure that low-income families have some "skin in the game." It turns out, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) is thinking along the same lines.For those who can't watch clips online, Travis Waldron published a transcript of the relevant portion:"We also know that over 45 percent of the people in this country don't pay income taxes at all, and we have to question whether that's fair.... read more

One wonders what Romney would have said about FDR in 1936.

Romney makes the case for Landon/Knox '36

04/20/12 10:04AM

In 1936, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was seeking a second term during awful economic times. The New Deal was making a difference, but on Election Day, America's unemployment rate was 17%.How in the world could an incumbent president win re-election with a 17% unemployment rate? Actually, it was pretty easy -- voters realized Roosevelt had inherited a brutal economic crisis, and while conditions were still awful, the economy was starting to improve, and Americans weren't willing to give power back to the party that had created the mess in the first place. read more

Paul Ryan vs. the Bishops

04/20/12 09:13AM

When it comes domestic investments and budget priorities, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops clearly aren't on the same page. read more

These two aren't always on the same page.

McConnell rejects Boehner's spending strategy

04/20/12 08:40AM

Back in December, House Republicans thought they'd come up with a clever strategy: they'd hold the payroll tax break hostage until Democrats paid some kind of ransom. President Obama balked, Democrats held their ground, and it looked like the economy would take a hit as a result of GOP intransigence.But the House Republican plan fell apart when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) endorsed the Democratic plan for a temporary extension, cutting the House GOP off at the knees. read more

Romney won't find the mainstream in Lynchburg

04/20/12 08:00AM

When we learned yesterday that Mitt Romney would deliver the commencement address at Liberty University in three weeks, I had the same question Steve Kornacki raised: "Wouldn't it have made more sense to do this last year?"Romney's campaign strategy has always been painfully obvious: run to the hard right during the primaries; persuade the Republican base that he no longer holds any of the beliefs he used to embrace; lock up the nomination; then shake the Etch A Sketch and move towards the American mainstream.With this in mind, if Romney agreed to speak at Liberty last May, it would have made read more

Morning Maddow: April 20

04/20/12 07:43AM

U.S. Senators want in on the Kony2012 day of action. And Ugandan bloggers want to tell their own story.House Democrats are joining Republicans on the Keystone XL pipeline.Oklahoma's "personhood" bill is derailed.Drug testing welfare recipients cost Florida more than it saved.Birtherism is alive and well.Look up this weekend. read more