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Jobless claims move in the wrong direction

Jobless claims move in the wrong direction

04/12/12 08:41AM

While the general trend on initial unemployment claims over the last few months has been largely encouraging, there have been occasional setbacks. Today's new report is the most discouraging in a while.Indeed, while last week's initial estimate was the best report in four years, the new figures are some of the worst of the year to date.The number of Americans who filed requests for jobless benefits jumped by 13,000 last week to 380,000, the highest level since late January, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday. read more

Mitt manipulates math: a case study

Mitt manipulates math: a case study

04/12/12 08:00AM

Yesterday, Mitt Romney and his campaign were eager, almost desperate, to work on narrowing the gender gap. The strategy was simple: argue that President Obama, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding, is really the one waging a "war on women."Their efforts failed rather spectacularly, thanks in large part to the clumsy unpreparedness of Romney's own aides. read more

Morning Maddow: April 12

04/12/12 07:47AM

Connecticut repeals the death penalty.President Obama angers gay-rights activists (again).A majority of Republicans wants to end the Afghan war. This may be how we end it.Happy Birthday, Romneycare!Buzzfeed talks to happy Gingrich donors.Ron Paul threatens to quit if his next money bomb doesn't work.Happy National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day! read more

Earthquake in Indonesia causes evacuation a thousand miles away

Earthquake in Indonesia causes evacuation a thousand miles away

04/11/12 09:16PM

An 8.6 earthquake struck off the coast of Banda Aceh, Indonesia, earlier today. To get a sense of just how powerful an earthquake that is, take a look at this picture. Chennai, India, is about 1,000 miles away from the earthquake's epicenter. That's where a friend of mine works, in this giant office building that was evacuated moments after the shaking stopped. Here's what my friend had to say about it: The building is just one of the many tech parks in southern india (ours is RMZ MIllenia Chennai)... Tons of American companies with offices there. read more

Rachel on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

04/11/12 06:37PM

Rachel sat down with Jay Leno Tuesday night to talk politics, war, and "Drift" following a busy news day filled with campaign suspensions and former presidents (here's looking at you, Dubya). In case you missed it, you can watch the interview in two segments here:   read more

Ahead on the 4/11 show

04/11/12 06:30PM

Tonight's guests include:Michael Isikoff, NBC News national investigative correspondentSam Stein, political reporter for The Huffington PostWhile we wait for tonight's video preview, take a listen to tonight's soundtrack. (Just be sure the ad below plays out entirely before starting the song)Executive producer Bill Wolff shares a preview of tonight's show:  read more

Wednesday's Mini-Report

04/11/12 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:* Criminal charges will reportedly be brought against George Zimmerman this afternoon, with an announcement expected in about a half-hour.* Quakes, but no tsunami: "Two powerful earthquakes struck about two hours apart off the coast of Sumatra on Wednesday afternoon, spreading panic among residents of the Indonesian island and reviving memories of the devastating 2004 earthquake and tsunami in the same area."* Nearing a launch: "North Korea completed the hurried transition to its young new leader, Kim Jong-un, on Wednesday, as a confrontation with the United State read more

The Buffett/Romney/Reagan Rule

04/11/12 05:22PM

It's generally called the Buffett Rule -- a proposal to close an existing loophole that allows some millionaires to pay a special lower tax rate than most of middle-class families. read more

'Doubling down' on caterpillars

04/11/12 03:24PM

Last week, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus got himself in a little bit of trouble when the GOP's "war on women" came up. The party chair told Bloomberg Television that the entire concern isn't to be taken seriously because "it's a fiction."Priebus added, "If the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars and every mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that Republicans have a war on caterpillars, then we'd have problems with caterpillars."This morning, the Republican party chief appeared on msnbc and was offered a chance to walk it back. read more

Paul Ryan on the 'suffering' of the poor

04/11/12 02:00PM

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) appeared on NBC's "Today" show yesterday, and co-host Ann Curry asked a reasonable question about his budget plan: "Do you acknowledge poor people will suffer under this budget?" Ryan dismissed the idea out of hand.The answer is important, in part for what he said, and in part for what he didn't say.On the former, Ryan argued that high poverty rates are the results of "the president's policies." That's ridiculous -- poverty rates are high because a recession started in 2007, and it was followed by a global financial crisis in 2008.He added, in read more

Romney campaign stumbles on equal pay

04/11/12 12:30PM

Following up on an earlier item, Mitt Romney and his campaign are so excited about accusing President Obama of waging a "war on women" that Team Romney organized a conference call this morning to push the message. Romney aides probably should have thought this through first."His polices have been really a war on women," Romney told FOX News Wednesday. read more

Wednesday's campaign round-up

04/11/12 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:* With Rick Santorum leaving the campaign trail, the endorsement floodgates have opened for Mitt Romney, as the GOP establishment rallies behind its nominee.* Though Santorum will probably endorse Romney eventually, a senior aide to Santorum said yesterday that the former senator has already had discussions about a 2016 presidential bid. read more

Chris Christie sees Americans as lazy couch potatoes

04/11/12 11:31AM

In November, Republicans were apoplectic when they thought President Obama called Americans "a little bit lazy." In reality, the smear was absurd -- Obama had said U.S. policymakers have been "a little bit lazy" when it comes to attracting businesses to American soil, but for many on the right, who consider context irrelevant, the president was attacking the populace.Looking back, it was an ironic attack -- generally, it's Republicans who argue that Americans are lazy. read more

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