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The Miami County, Kansas Commission voted 3-2 last week to exclude contraceptive funding from a state family planning grant application.

Kansas, too: County turns down funding for birth control

03/16/12 09:31PM

After yesterday's post about county commissioners in New Hanover County, North Carolina, voting to reject state money for family planning, Amber Pickman wrote to tell us about a similar move in Miami County, Kansas. The Miami County Commission voted 3-2 last week to exclude about $9,000 in funding aimed at covering contraceptives from the county's state grant applications.The Louisburg Herald covered the fallout: The decision didn’t sit well with Kelly Fritz, who volunteers at the health department and spoke with Miami County commissioners last August when they first considered eliminating t read more

Ahead on the 3/16 Maddow show

03/16/12 06:41PM

Tonight's guests include:Rep. Jan Schakowsky, (D) IllinoisPaul Rieckhoff, founder and Executive Director of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of AmericaLewis Black, stand-up comedian and author of “In God We Rust”While watching tonight's video preview, take a listen to tonight's soundtrack. (Just make sure the ad below plays out entirely before starting the song)Executive producer Bill Wolff shares a preview of tonight's show:  read more

Moo cows, moo problems

Moo cows, moo problems

03/16/12 06:15PM

How lucky we are that conservative watchdogs are out there to protect us from "Click, Clack, Moo"?In not many pages and a kid-friendly font, "Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type" tells the story of some dairy cows who find an old typewriter in the barn and teach themselves to type. ("Click, clack, moo. Click, clack, moo. Clickety clack moo.") Empowered by their new skill, the cows type a letter to the farmer asking for electric blankets because it's cold in the barn. When he refuses, the cows go on strike and refuse to give milk. read more

Friday's Mini-Report

03/16/12 05:32PM

Today's edition of quick hits:* Afghan President Hamid Karzai said today he's reached "the end of the rope" with the U.S., and accused American officials of "stonewalling an investigation into the killings of 16 Afghan civilians and suggested that more than one soldier may have been involved in the massacre."* President Obama called Karzai today to help try to smooth things over. read more

Obama campaign unveils 2012 theme

03/16/12 04:55PM

If you missed Tricia's Morning Maddow post earlier, President Obama's re-election campaign released its 17-minute documentary last night, and whatever one thinks of the president or the election, it's worth watching as a product of political communication.The film was narrated by actor Tom Hanks, and there were a couple of phrases, used at the very beginning and the very end, that helped capture what the Obama campaign's message is all about."How do we understand this president and his time in office? Do we look at the day's headlines? Or do we remember what we as a country have been through? read more

Pakistani students gather in front of Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad.

It's not what you say, it's what people hear

03/16/12 03:34PM

David Ignatius' latest column is generating quite a bit of discussion, and for good reason: it highlights materials from Osama bin Laden, obtained after the U.S. strike on his compound last May. Ignatius notes, for example, that the al Qaeda leader intended to assassinate President Obama and Gen. David Petraeus by attacking their airplanes.While there's a lot to chew on this column, there was one tidbit that jumped out at me. read more

The Week in Geek: The Flying Jenny edition

03/16/12 02:28PM

A Space Shuttle launch like you've NEVER seen it before: through the eyes of a solid rocket booster. Eight minutes of your life you'll thank me for.In case you haven't noticed, Jupiter and Venus have been showing off in the western skies this month, especially this week. Check out the conjunction for yourself and learn a little astronomy along the way.Our Moon, la luna. Takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'…er orbiting.NASA releases new atlas of the entire sky in infrared wavelengths.F. Sherwood Rowland, the man who sounded the ozone alarm, passed away this week. read more

A closer look at the 'enthusiasm gap'

A closer look at the 'enthusiasm gap'

03/16/12 01:39PM

With voter turnout down considerably in several of the Republican presidential nominating contests, there's been growing talk in recent months about the GOP losing the edge in the "enthusiasm gap." It's this gap that helped produce massive Republican gains in the 2010 midterms, and the party will need a similar advantage to thrive in 2012.In his latest Wall Street Journal op-ed, Karl Rove argues it's Democrats who should be worried. read more

The part of the Romney mansion that's above ground.

Romney's 'subterranean mansion'

03/16/12 12:48PM

When we talk about Mitt Romney's housing problem, it's tempting to first think of his pro-foreclosure agenda, which seems likely to hurt his campaign in states like Nevada, Florida, and Arizona.But with Romney, "housing problem" can also take on a more literal meaning -- he has a political problem related to his own personal homes.It can be admittedly tough to keep track of, but at last count, the former governor has three homes: there's the $12 million oceanfront residence in California (the one Romney is quadrupling in size); a $10 million home in New Hampshire; and a townhouse in Belmont, M read more

Friday's campaign round-up

03/16/12 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:* An Indiana election board voted yesterday that Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) is ineligible to vote, at least for now, in the district where he claims residency.* As Rachel noted last night, dates for Wisconsin's runoff elections have been set. Primaries will be held on May 8, with the general election on June 5.* Mitt Romney denies being part of any private talks with Ron Paul's campaign about striking a deal to secure his delegates.* Rep. read more

Romney talks with Fox News' Megyn Kelly this week.

'A ton of interviews,' indeed

03/16/12 11:03AM

In the wake of Rick Santorum accusing the Fox News Channel of "shilling" for Mitt Romney, the former governor, as Rachel noted last night, has "decided to make Fox News feel awkward about the charge by suddenly agreeing to do a ton of interviews on Fox News Channel shows."This got me thinking -- just how many times has Romney appeared on Fox this week? read more