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Wisconsin's recall count is in

Wisconsin's recall count is in

03/29/12 03:26PM

 Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board meets tomorrow to decide whether to schedule recalls for Governor Scott Walker and Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch. The GAB staff write today that they'll be "recommending the Board find there are a sufficient number of signatures to order recall elections."From the numbers they post, it's not even close. Recall organizers needed 540,280 valid signatures to put Walker and Kleefisch up for a vote either in May or June, depending on possible primaries. read more

'Today I'm leaving the Republican Party'

03/29/12 02:25PM

How sexy is the Republican Party right now? How's this for an answer: a rising political star and decorated Iraq War veteran says he's leaving the party because he's sick of the "games."California Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, a candidate for mayor in San Diego  who served for a decade in the  Marine Corps,  has developed the exasperating habit of actually working across the aisle with Democrats to achieve results.  You can guess how popular that makes him in of today's GOP, where compromise is another word for treason. read more

Jobless claims remain at four-year low

Jobless claims remain at four-year low

03/29/12 01:45PM

Because of the Department of Labor's annual revision of initial unemployment claims, the new report forced a subtle shift in perspective, but the news was nevertheless encouraging.The number of Americans who filed requests for jobless benefits fell by 5,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 359,000, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday. The latest data includes the government's annual seasonal-adjustment revisions extending back five years, which have resulted in a small increase in weekly claims. read more

Thursday's campaign round-up

03/29/12 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:* As Rachel noted on the show last night, former President George H. W. Bush is throwing his support to Mitt Romney, following endorsements from Barbara Bush and Jeb Bush.* In Ohio, a new Quinnipiac poll shows incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) leading state Treasurer Josh Mandel (R) by 10 points, 46% to 36%.* In Florida, home to another closely-watched Senate race, another Quinnipiac poll shows incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson (D) leading Rep. Rep. read more

Challenge: Creative license in Virginia

Challenge: Creative license in Virginia

03/29/12 11:05AM

The Commonwealth of Virginia offers dozens of specialty license plates, including one that benefits the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood. Karen Bohn writes from Spotsylvania that she bought one of those recently. "Wonder if Gov. McDonnell knows it exists," Karen says. I'll bet he does now.Across the bottom, the Planned Parenthood plate reads "Trust Women. Respect Choice," with no mention of state-mandated, medically unnecessary transvaginal ultrasounds. Virginia will, however, let you personalize your plate, with a few restrictions. read more

Putting the 'judicial activism' talking point to the test

Putting the 'judicial activism' talking point to the test

03/29/12 10:42AM

When it comes to Republican Party rhetoric, much of it is so reflexive and reactionary, debates no longer require any thought at all. Those who mention the gap between the rich and poor are guilty of "class warfare." Those who believe the Pentagon budget is too big are "weak on defense." And those who support court rulings the right doesn't like are "judicial activists."The whole idea of "judicial activism" has been stripped of all meaning in recent years -- it's now simply a synonym for "rulings I don't like." But as E.J. Dionne Jr. read more

GOP favorability moving in the wrong direction

GOP favorability moving in the wrong direction

03/29/12 09:52AM

It was just a two weeks ago that the political world gasped at the results of a New York Times/CBS News poll that found President Obama's approval rating down sharply over the last month for no apparent reason. In many circles, Democrats had to resist the urge to panic, while Republicans started walking with a spring in their step.And two weeks later, a new CNN poll has changed the partisans' attitudes. read more

Rubio backs Romney with tepid praise

03/29/12 08:54AM

Given Sen. Marco Rubio's (R-Fla.) role in his party -- Republican officials see him as a likely VP and rising star -- it was certainly notable that he endorsed Mitt Romney last night on Fox News. But it was the way in which the far-right Floridian expressed his support that struck me as interesting.Rubio appeared on Sean Hannity's show and spoke at length about Republicans choosing a nominee before the start of the party's convention in Tampa. read more

Romney and those 'humorous' layoffs

03/29/12 08:00AM

There will probably come a day when Mitt Romney will find a treatment to stop being so tone deaf, and will figure out a way to talk to humans in a way that demonstrates some degree of empathy.Today, however, is not that day.The likely Republican presidential nominee talked to Wisconsin voters via a "telephone town hall" yesterday, and after applauding Gov. read more

Morning Maddow: March 29

03/29/12 07:41AM

Even Newt's billionaire says Newt is done.Rubio endorses Romney.The White House has no plan B (and says they don't need one) if health reform dies at SCOTUS.An Oklahoma judge rules the state's mandatory ultrasound law is unconstitutional.The campaign to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act gets personal.RIP, Adrienne Rich. And Earl Scruggs.What's Jeff Bezos doing with all that money?  read more

Romney disavowal of mandate leaves him...

Romney disavowal of mandate leaves him with no plan

03/28/12 08:00PM

Rachel Maddow shares the latest gaffes by Mitt Romney that reveal him to be wildly out of touch, including an answer to a Jay Leno question about health care for the uninsured that boils down to the "let him die" conclusion cheered by audience members... watch