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Tuesday's Mini-Report

03/20/12 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:* At least 43 reported deaths in Iraq: "As Iraq prepares to showcase itself to the world next week with a highly anticipated gathering of Arab leaders, a string of suicide attacks and car bombings on Tuesday morning offered a bloody reminder that insurgent violence still wreaks havoc with the country's tenuous stability."* Mexican earthquake: "A strong 7.4-magnitude earthquake hit Mexico on Tuesday, shaking central and southern parts of the country ... read more

The opposite of seriousness

The opposite of seriousness

03/20/12 04:42PM

Paul Krugman likes to joke about the phenomenon of the Very Serious Person. The VSP is one of those Washington insiders that the political establishment respects and listens to, despite the fact that the person is (a) nearly always wrong; (b) habitually dishonest; or (c) both.House Republican Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is the quintessential Very Serious Person. read more

Forget what you've heard from the GOP about spending and regulations

Forget what you've heard from the GOP about spending and regulations

03/20/12 03:30PM

Mitt Romney's economic speech in Chicago yesterday and the Paul Ryan's new House Republican budget have something important in common: they offer a vision that's at odds with reality.To hear these leading Republicans tell it, President Obama has strangled the domestic economy with countless regulations and runaway binge spending. We know that first point is completely wrong -- not only do regulations not hurt the economy, but the number of regulations has gone down, not up, under Obama.But about the second point? Everyone knows Obama has increased spending, right? Wrong. read more

The model for the National Mall

Liking Ike (Modern vs. Classical)

03/20/12 02:31PM

Sometimes the culture war is about… culture.  A House subcommittee will meet today to hear arguments against a proposed memorial to President Dwight D. Eisenhower which reignites that age old aesthetic grudge match: Modernism versus Classicism.On the Modernist side is revered architect Frank Gehry, who received the commission to build an Eisenhower Memorial near the National Mall in Washington D.C.  According to AP: "Gehry proposes a memorial park framed by large metal tapestries depicting Eisenhower's boyhood home in Kansas. read more

Why the House GOP may not love its own budget plan

Why the House GOP may not love its own budget plan

03/20/12 01:50PM

The Tweet of the Day comes by way of Molly Ball, a politics writer at The Atlantic, who posted this gem this morning.This may seem surprising at a certain level. After all, House Republicans are necessarily going to love the House Republican budget plan, aren't they? They all worship Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and are eager to follow his lead, right?Well, the answer falls somewhere between "sort of" and "not entirely."A year ago, GOP leaders recognized the anxiety felt by some of its caucus members, but told Republicans to hold hands and jump off the cliff together. read more

Expanding the fight over women's health

03/20/12 12:41PM

The politics surrounding women's health have taken center stage this year in ways unseen in quite a while, and it's not likely to fade away anytime soon.With the Affordable Care Act back in the news -- the Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments on Monday -- the Democratic National Committee has a new video, connecting Republican repeal efforts to the larger concerns about women's interests.The message focuses on an aspect of the health care reform law that often goes overlooked: it prevents insurance companies from charging women more for coverage based solely on gender. read more

Tuesday's campaign round-up

03/20/12 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:* Though some recent polling shows Sen. Scott Brown (R) faring well in Massachusetts' U.S. Senate race, a brand new poll from Public Policy Polling shows Elizabeth Warren (D) in the lead, 46% to 41%.* In Virginia's closely-watched U.S. read more

The wrong champion for the safety net

The wrong champion for the safety net

03/20/12 11:30AM

In October, the Republican National Committee sent out a strange fundraising letter, ostensibly written by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), complaining, "The safety net for the poor is coming apart at the seams and no one in Washington seems to care."To be sure, fundraising letters tend to throw caution to the wind when it comes to accuracy and honesty, but this was just bizarre -- the guy swinging the machete at the safety net shouldn't be the same guy complaining about the safety net "coming apart at the seams."Five months later, though, the far-right Ayn Rand acolyte is s read more

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) left; House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) right

Don't call Ryan-Wyden a 'compromise'

03/20/12 10:55AM

The list of problems with Paul Ryan's House Republican budget plan last year was lengthy, but one glaring concern tended to dominate the political conversation. Under the GOP proposal, the existing Medicare program would be scrapped altogether, replaced with a voucher plan, with underfunded vouchers that would leave seniors with less care.The plan became a political fiasco for Republicans, while giving Democrats new hope about taking back Congress. read more

How not to compete for the youth vote

03/20/12 10:07AM

A couple of weeks ago, Mitt Romney said something unexpected about American higher education: families worried about affording college tuition should expect no help from a Romney administration. Indeed, the former governor said students should shop around for colleges with the best rates, because Americans will be on their own.It set up a striking contrast. read more

Romney's 'freedom to dream'

Romney's 'freedom to dream'

03/20/12 08:57AM

At this point, it appears that Mitt Romney delivers a "major" speech on the economy about once a month, apparently working under the assumption that, eventually, someone will take one of these speeches seriously. read more

Why unemployment 'doesn't matter' to Santorum

03/20/12 08:00AM

With high unemployment and jobs as voters' top concern this election year, Rick Santorum said something to Republicans in Illinois yesterday that, when taken out of context, seemed unwise."I don't care what the unemployment rate's going to be. Doesn't matter to me." These five seconds, in isolation, made Mitt Romney's campaign as gleeful as they've been in quite a while.And though I'm generally not in the habit of defending Rick Santorum, in this case, he's getting a raw deal. read more

Morning Maddow: March 20

Morning Maddow: March 20

03/20/12 07:41AM

 It's officially Spring!It's also Republican budget day!According to NY Times statistics whiz Nate Silver, Santorum's chances in Illinois don't look so good.Politico begins to pen the Gingrich campaign's obituary.The Justice Department will investigate the death of Trayvon Martin.A bank permanently closes a branch on a college campus, citing constant Occupy protests.Maybe the best protest ever? Knit your congressman some lady parts.   read more

Links for the 3/19 TRMS

Links for the 3/19 TRMS

03/20/12 01:25AM

As is usually the case when the show is mostly original journalism, there weren't many references tonight, but there were a few. Of particular interest are the Nuclear Threat Initiative links. read more

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