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Tuesday's Mini-Report

04/10/12 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:* Syria's assurances that its forces are complying with a cease-fire "have been condemned as a 'blatant lie' by France, as 32 people were reportedly killed even after guns were supposed to be silent."* Afghanistan: "In a further sign that the insurgents' spring offensive is under way, suicide bombers struck in western and southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, killing 16 people, according to Afghan officials in Herat and Helmand, where the attacks took place."* Remember the Eurozone fears? They haven't fully gone away.* Remember George Zimmerman's legal team? read more

GOP report makes bogus 'Obamacare' claims

04/10/12 04:07PM

One of the more enduring falsehoods surrounding the Affordable Care Act has to do with its price tag and its effect on the nation's financing. To be sure, "Obamacare" is a sweeping reform measure, but when its detractors say it's "too expensive" or "America can't afford this," it's an inherently dubious claim: the law lowers the debt and saves the nation hundreds of billions of dollars.For the right, this poses an important problem. read more

Santorum stands down

Santorum stands down

04/10/12 02:52PM

A week ago today, Rick Santorum, having lost three primaries, talked tough about the future. "We have now reached the point where it's halftime," he told supporters. "Half the delegates in this process have been selected, and who's ready to charge out of the locker room in Pennsylvania for a strong second half?"It didn't sound like a guy pondering withdrawal. Seven days later, however, faced with an ailing family member, dwindling support, and enormous odds, Santorum decided to call it a day.Former Pennsylvania Sen. read more

It's hard out here for a book

It's hard out here for a book

04/10/12 02:20PM

Kicking off National Library Week yesterday, the American Library Association released its 2012 State of America's Library Report.And the state of America's Libraries is rough. According to the report:The single-minded drive to reduce budget deficits continued to take its toll on essential services at all levels of society in 2011, with teachers and librarians sometimes seen as easy targets for layoffs. read more

Bush claims credibility on taxes, economic policy

04/10/12 12:33PM

Given the spectacular nature of his economic failures, former President George W. Bush should probably avoid lectures on what policymakers should do when cleaning up his mess. But the man with the limitless chutzpah still likes to think he has some credibility on the subject.Forbes magazine posted this clip of Bush speaking in New York City this morning at the George W. Bush Presidential Center's conference on "Tax Policies For 4% Growth."And how, pray tell, does Bush believe tax policy can lead to 4% GDP growth in the private sector? How else? read more

Tuesday's campaign round-up

04/10/12 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:* After a brief respite, Rick Santorum is resuming his campaign schedule today, including attending an American Heartland Conversation on Faith, Family and American Values at a bible college in Lancaster.* According to the Pew Research Center, nearly three-quarters of Republican voters already assume Mitt Romney will be the GOP's presidential nominee.* In Maine, the latest statewide poll shows former Gov. read more

Michigan running in very small circles

Michigan running in very small circles

04/10/12 11:13AM

A group trying for the second time to recall Michigan Governor Rick Snyder got the language on its petitions approved yesterday. Barring a successful appeal, Michigan Rising can then start gathering signatures. They need about 800,000, and they got about 500,000 last time. As Michigan Rising explains it, you have to get the signatures inside a 90-day window, with a 180-day deadline -- Michigan recalls are not easily done.A second group of activists are challenging Governor Snyder's emergency manager law, with a petition drive to put it up for a citizens' repeal. read more

'Owning the place' isn't enough

04/10/12 10:53AM

A few years ago, with the economy still very much in crisis mode, many congressional Democrats moved to pass bankruptcy reform provisions such as "cramdown" measures. When it failed, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) was incredibly frustrated, and was willing to say so in unusually candid terms.""Congress isn't afraid of bankers," adds Roger Beverage, the president and CEO of the Oklahoma Bankers Association. "They don't think we'll do anything to kick them out of office. We are trying to change that perception."As far as I can tell, this isn't a parody or an attempt at satire. read more

Another name off the VP short list?

Another name off the VP short list?

04/10/12 10:13AM

Those Republicans hoping to make Mitt Romney's VP short list have a delicate dance to pull off -- they want to express interest in the position, without looking desperate. The unwritten rules for potential running mates is to feign passive disinterest, saying noncommittal things like "I have no intention of being the running mate" or "I'm happy with the job I already have."Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and South Carolina Gov. read more

Obama gets a boost from women, bests Romney on favorability

Obama gets a boost from women, bests Romney on favorability

04/10/12 09:30AM

The top-line results in the new Washington Post/ABC News poll suggest the conventional wisdom is largely correct: President Obama leads Mitt Romney by seven points, 51% to 44%, and Americans are feeling slightly better about Obama, the economy, and the nation's direction.But there are some other tidbits that jump out if one digs through the numbers a bit more. read more

President Obama delivers remarks at an event observing 2011 LGBT Pride month in the White House.

Obama campaign rejects anti-gay ballot measures

04/10/12 08:00AM

Officially, President Obama and his team have not yet announced their support for same-sex marriage. They appear, however, to be inching closer to shifting positions.A few weeks ago, the Obama campaign announced its formal opposition to a ballot measure in North Carolina that would ban same-sex marriage. read more

Morning Maddow: April 10

04/10/12 07:50AM

President Obama is campaigning on pushing for the Buffett Rule today (My mistake: the Buffett Rule speech is not a campaign event).Will health reform increase or decrease the deficit? Depends on which report you read.The anatomy of a false political story gone viral.The push to register Christians to vote in Florida.The federal government will propose new mortgage rules today.Wealth counseling for the super-rich but sad.I need this. read more