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The kerfuffle in Virginia.

Virginia calling: An open letter to Bob McDonnell

03/07/12 04:39PM

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell signed the forced ultrasound bill today, saying that it ensured no one would have to undergo an "internal" ultrasound, by which he means the vaginal probe kind. More about that on the show tonight.For now, an open letter sent to us a couple days ago by Virginia lawyer Tara Louise Casey. She headlines it "What the Kerfuffle is Really About: An Open Letter to Governor McDonnell." read more

It's hard to live down Seamus

03/07/12 04:37PM

It's awfully tough for a politician who forces a dog to the ride on the roof of the family car to live it down. In her column today, Kathleen Parker extends some spirited advice to Mitt Romney, encouraging him to ignore pundits who assume he can't win, but she adds this gem:This is when friends are supposed to intervene and remind you of who you are. The problem is, a candidate doesn't have friends. He has advisers, consultants, contributors and All Those People out there -- Everyday Americans with their cellphones pointing, snapping and clicking. read more

Limbaugh can't help himself

Limbaugh can't help himself

03/07/12 03:19PM

The controversy surrounding Rush Limbaugh's attacks on Sandra Fluke appear to be moving from the front page, but the story is hardly finished. In fact, according to Media Matters' count, 45 advertisers -- and counting -- have now canceled their ads from the Republican host's radio show.What's more, it seems Limbaugh isn't quite done sharing his thoughts on women. read more

Pingree passes on Senate race in Maine

Pingree passes on Senate race in Maine

03/07/12 01:42PM

When she appeared on the show last week, Rep. Chellie Pingree (D) of Maine seemed very likely to launch a U.S. Senate, hoping to succeed retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe (R). It came as something of a surprise, and a disappointment to many on the left, when the congresswoman announced today she is passing on the race."After careful consideration I have decided to run for re-election to the U.S. House this year. This has been a very difficult decision and I will always be grateful for the tremendous support I've received from people all across Maine and around the country. read more

'It can't be scored'

03/07/12 12:35PM

For the second time in as many months, Mitt Romney unveiled another tax plan recently, and this one was intended to make his party's far-right base even happier. read more

Wednesday's campaign round-up

03/07/12 12:01PM

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:* We don't know how much longer Newt Gingrich will be a presidential candidate, but for at least for now, he'll get Secret Service protection.* A new Public Policy Polling survey helps show why former Gov. Angus King (I) has shaken up Maine's Senate race so dramatically: in a three-way contest, he leads the pack with 36%, followed by Chellie Pingree (D) at 31%. read more

A campaign years in the making

A campaign years in the making

03/07/12 11:35AM

When compared to some of the routine falsehoods Mitt Romney tells voters, this may not seem especially shocking, but the rhetoric is a standard line in the former governor's stump speech, and it's increasingly grating."I never thought I'd be doing this. I mean running for president of the United States, this is not what I planned."This is probably part of some kind misguided attempt at humility. read more

Yesterday in 'Trying to Vote'

03/07/12 10:52AM

A county judge in Wisconsin yesterday put on hold the state's new law requiring voters to show ID they never had to show before. Dane County Judge David Flanagan, who appears to be no fan of Governor Walker's, wrote that the law had a particularly hard effect on minorities, the poor and the elderly, and that it serves to keep people from exercising their right to vote. read more

Guess who won Ohio?

Guess who won Ohio?

03/07/12 10:50AM

Ohio's Republican presidential primary was Super Tuesday's highest-profile contest, but Ari Berman raised a largely-overlooked point about the results: "Obama got more votes in Ohio than Romney last night."That may seem hard to believe -- leading Republicans campaigned aggressively in Ohio, and Mitt Romney spent $4 million to win the state, while President Obama didn't try and wasn't in a contested primary -- but according to the data from the Ohio Secretary of State's office, that's what happened. read more

Senate GOP seems prepared to give up on its contraception fight.

GOP loses its appetite for contraception fight

03/07/12 10:01AM

After the Senate narrowly defeated the anti-contraception Blunt Amendment last week, Republicans said they weren't prepared to give up the fight. On the contrary, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) vowed to keep pushing restrictions, eyeing "a couple" of possible legislative remedies. The Senate GOP made similar noises, with Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) declaring, "This issue will not go away."A week later, Republicans are ready to see the issue go away.Sen. read more

Santorum to Newt: Please go away

Santorum to Newt: Please go away

03/07/12 09:18AM

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, the only notable GOP official to switch his support from Mitt Romney to Rick Santorum, made an interesting observation last night: if the race for the Republican nomination were a two-person contest, Romney would probably be in big trouble.It's speculative, of course, but that's not an unreasonable assessment. Romney won very narrow contests in Ohio yesterday and Michigan last week, and in both cases, it's likely the results would have been reversed if it were a Romney vs. read more

Kucinich, Schmidt falter in Ohio

Kucinich, Schmidt falter in Ohio

03/07/12 08:45AM

Sitting members of Congress don't generally lose primary fights, but in Ohio last night, two House incumbents lost.The first was Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D), a liberal firebrand, who found himself the victim of an unkind redistricting process.In a primary faceoff between two veteran Democratic incumbents, voters in Ohio delivered a victory to Representative Marcy Kaptur, a progressive from Toledo, over Representative Dennis J. Kucinich, leaving him without a seat in Congress for the first time in 16 years.Mr. Kucinich conceded just past midnight Wednesday. read more

The Romney campaign manages to win and look weak at the same time.

So much for Super Tuesday clarity

03/07/12 08:00AM

Going into Super Tuesday, it was hardly unreasonable to think the fight for the Republican presidential nomination would effectively be over this morning. So much for that idea.Mitt Romney, outspending Rick Santorum four-to-one in Super Tuesday states, had just put together a string of wins in Arizona, Michigan, and Washington, and looked well positioned to win as many as nine of the 11 states voting yesterday. read more

Morning Maddow: March 7

03/07/12 07:14AM

Mitt Romney appears to have maybe apparently won Ohio? Republicans mad at Obama's lack of pens and parties.The politics behind Eric Cantor's JOBS (J-O-B-s?) bill - the one that caused his aide to get into a near "physical altercation" and quit.Dennis Kucinich loses the Democratic primary to Marcy Kaptur. Might run in Washington.Remember this guy? He'll be running against Kaptur in the fall. read more

The bust is yet to come

The bust is yet to come

03/06/12 07:01PM

As Steve Benen so ably pointed out, despite all the outrage surrounding Rush Limbaugh and his offensive comments, the Missouri Legislature still wants to honor Mr. Limbaugh with a bronze bust in the rotunda of the state capitol building in Jefferson City, as part of the Hall of Great Missourians.If this initiative succeeds, who will be there with him?Well, for one, jazz genius Charlie Parker. And paradigm-altering entertainer Josephine Baker. And baseball legend Buck O'Neil. And ragtime colossus Scott Joplin. read more