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On Afghanistan, these two aren't on the same page.

McCain breaks with Romney on Taliban talks

02/20/12 11:30AM

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) talked with ABC's Jake Tapper yesterday via satellite from Afghanistan, and one exchange, in particular, stood out for me.TAPPER: Let's turn now to Afghanistan, where you're sitting right now. The big news is that Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, has confirmed that the United States, the Afghan government, are in three-way talks with the Taliban. Are those talks a mistake?MCCAIN: No, I think it's important to have talks wherever you can.This is not at all an unusual position for the senator to take. read more

The anti-pre-natal testing candidate.

Why would a politician attack pre-natal testing?

02/20/12 10:50AM

Over the last few years, there's been no shortage of attacks from the right against the Affordable Care Act, but going after provisions related to pre-natal testing appears to be a new one.Rick Santorum accused President Obama of requiring free prenatal testing in the health care plan he signed in 2010 because it would detect if children were disabled, encourage more abortions and save money."One of the things that you don't know about ObamaCare in one of the mandates is they require free prenatal testing," Santorum began telling about 400 people here. "Why? read more

Right rallies to defend Va. ultrasound bill

02/20/12 10:00AM

As controversial culture-war measures in Virginia generate national attention, conservative defenses of the far-right efforts are becoming more common.The most notable measure is a proposal to require women who wish to terminate a pregnancy to undergo a medically-unnecessary ultrasound. read more

As Santorum gains more attention, he raises the rhetorical temperature.

What Santorum considers a 'phony theology'

02/20/12 09:15AM

Like all Republican presidential candidates, Rick Santorum tends to be unrelenting in his daily criticisms of President Obama. But over the weekend, the former senator broke some new and unsettling ground.At another stop in Ohio on Saturday, Mr. Santorum waded into what he called the "phony theology" of Mr. Obama's agenda."It's about some phony ideal, some phony theology. Oh, not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology," he said. "But no less a theology."In later comments to reporters, Mr. read more

Romney's Trump card?

Romney's Trump card?

02/20/12 08:30AM

As recently as three weeks ago, Gallup's daily tracking poll showed Mitt Romney leading Rick Santorum by 20 points nationally. As of yesterday, Santorum had opened up an 8-point lead over Romney -- the former senator's largest lead to date.At the same time, Real Clear Politics' polling averages now have President Obama leading Romney nationwide 49.1% to 43.4%, after having been nearly tied in early February. read more

Morning Maddow: February 20

02/20/12 07:41AM

 Rick Santorum is against the government mandating that women get free amniocentesis. He's also against a lot more.That oughta help Mitt Romney in Michigan. And this oughta help in Arizona.A Koch brother speaks!I'll give you two guesses why: A North Carolina Catholic church fires a long-time employee for getting married. The state of Voter ID laws in the nation (with a handy, interactive map!).The attempt to recast fracking as a good thing.Yemen is about to elect a new president.Geekiest photo op ever?  read more

Republican caucus-goers gather in Maine.

The gap narrows in Maine

02/19/12 10:33AM

Following up on a story we've been reporting on all week, several communities in Maine hosted Republican presidential caucuses yesterday, unsure how their preferences would be tallied by the state party. read more

Ahead on the 2/17 Maddow show

02/17/12 07:19PM

Tonight's guests include:Steve Schmidt, senior strategist for the McCain campaign, political analyst and msnbc contributorFred Karger, Candidate for Republican Presidential Nomination, and the first openly gay candidate for PresidentHere's executive producer Bill Wolff's preview and tonight's accompanying soundtrack. read more

Bet on us

Bet on us

02/17/12 07:00PM

Bill Wolff, executive producer for the Rachel Maddow Show, shares a preview of tonight’s show – the danger of betting on anyone in the Republican... watch

The Week In Geek: Galaxy evolution edition

02/17/12 06:12PM

I've been teaching galaxy evolution for the past three weeks so I thought let you in on some of the fun.Speaking of galaxy evolution, the black hole at the center of the Milky Way has the munchies. And a taste for asteroids.Ever wonder what it's like to have synesthesia? read more