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Pics: Great Virginia license plate challenge

04/02/12 01:26PM

As we were saying last week, the Commonwealth of Virginia offers a special license plate that benefits the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood. We discovered this when Karen Bohn of Spotsylvania wrote it to say that she'd just ordered the plate for herself. It comes with the message "Trust Women. Respect Choice."After that, you can personalize the plate, so long as you stay within a few rules about not discussing intimate body parts, not being profane, vulgar or sexually explicit, and not being socially offensive. read more

Romney presented his new stump speech in Wisconsin.

'Ownership Society' becomes 'Opportunity Society'

04/02/12 12:47PM

When George W. Bush and his team were gearing up for the 2004 election, they came up with a theme to help summarize the administration's governing philosophy. It was called the "Ownership Society."The message never really resonated with the public, but the Republican team was pretty invested in it, at least for a while. read more

Monday's campaign round-up

04/02/12 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:* Wisconsin's Republican presidential primary is tomorrow, and PPP shows Mitt Romney leading Rick Santorum in the state, 43% to 36%.* Speaking of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D) has decided to run in the recall election against Gov. Scott Walker (R), but will first run in a primary against former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk (D).* In Massachusetts' closely watched U.S. Senate race, a new Boston Globe poll shows incumbent Sen. read more

Biden: 'This is not your father's Republican Party'

04/02/12 11:31AM

For much of the American mainstream, there's a general understanding of the two major political parties: voters choose between a center-right Republican Party and a center-left Democratic Party. This dynamic has been pretty consistent for many decades, and voters broadly know what to expect from both sides.One of the broader goals for Democrats is to persuade the mainstream that, in 2012, the dynamic has changed. read more

Here's an image we apparently won't see at the Republican convention in Tampa.

Haley, Rubio would turn down VP nod

04/02/12 10:32AM

With the Republican establishment lining up behind Mitt Romney, and the general-election phase apparently getting underway in earnest, this is about the time we'd expect to see GOP officials signaling their willingness to join Romney's ticket. Virginia Gov. Bob "Mandatory Ultrasound" McDonnell (R), for example, has already talked up his availability, as have Romney's ostensible rivals.It comes as something of a surprise, then, some of the names rumored for the VP short list are already saying they're not interested. South Carolina Gov. read more

Ryan didn't 'misspeak'

04/02/12 09:32AM

Everyone misspeaks from time to time, especially in public affairs. Someone might accidentally say Iraq, when they meant Iran. Someone meant to say 47, but they said 57. They're just verbal slipups, and they're hardly worth getting excited about.But in politics, it's worth appreciating the difference between actually misspeaking and getting caught saying something controversial.On Thursday, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), chairman of the House Budget Committee, insisted that he, not America's military leadership, should be trusted when it comes to Pentagon spending levels. read more

Women boost Obama in swing states

Women boost Obama in swing states

04/02/12 08:35AM

Campaigning in Wisconsin yesterday, Mitt Romney seemed well aware of the recent polling trend. "We have work to do," the Republican said, "to make sure we take our message to the women of America."The available evidence, however, suggests American women have already heard that message, and they're not especially impressed.A new USA Today/Gallup poll shows President Obama leading Romney among registered voters, 49% to 45%, and while that margin is clearly narrow, it's also the president's largest lead in the 2012 race thus far. read more

Morning Maddow: April 2

04/02/12 07:42AM

"You know who profits from high gas prices?  Mitt Romney." --Obama Super PAC adA Romney presidential candidate was name-checked on Mad Men last night (here's the video)Women are abandoning the GOP where it countsAdvisor v. advisor articles #shotsfiredThe Syrian rebels get communications equipment from usOsama bin Laden's 3 widows and 2 daughters are headed for jail in PakistanNew York's re-imagined cabs, from tip to tail light read more

This Week in God

03/31/12 10:20AM

As "This Week in God" settles in on Saturday mornings, the God Machine has plenty to offer again this week.First up is a look at religious right activism surrounding the upcoming "Day of Silence," an annual anti-bullying event, intended to protest and raise awareness of harassment against LGBT students. read more

Details of Tucson's Welcome Home Veterans Parade

Details of Tucson's Welcome Home Veterans Parade

03/30/12 09:49PM

Tucson's Welcome Home Veterans Parade is tomorrow, Saturday, March 31 beginning at 10:30 a.m. in downtown Tucson. Full details are here on the Downtown Tucson site (which might want to consider updating the photo on that page unless they want this to be a really weird parade). There's also a Facebook page for the event.ADDING: Sorry for the link dump, but the official site for the event appears to be They've got a clearer map on that site and other useful materials. read more

KISS seeks vet to serve in KISS crew

KISS seeks vet to serve in KISS crew

03/30/12 09:30PM

As Rachel mentioned on the air, KISS is looking to hire a roadie for their upcoming summer tour with Motley Crue. From the KISS site: The lucky veteran who gets the gig will be part of the team that assembles the KISS stage set, helps run effects during the show and takes down the set afterwards. Applicants do not need to be a trained carpenter, but will work long hours.The official Hiring Our Heroes site is here, but NBC has been doing a lot of work with the program as well, so you'll want to check out that site as well.  read more

Romney surrogates: Friends with detriments

Romney surrogates: Friends with detriments

03/30/12 08:00PM

Steve Schmidt, former McCain-Palin campaign senior strategist, talks with Rachel Maddow about whether it's normal for a front running candidate to suffer as many embarrassments via off-message surrogates as Mitt Romney has in the 2012 campaign so far. watch