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Ahead on the 2/26 Maddow show

03/26/12 07:00PM

Tonight's guests include:Dahlia Lithwick, legal correspondent and senior editor for SlateSen. Charles Schumer, (D) New York and member of the Senate Judiciary CommitteeFrank Rich, writer-at-large for New York MagazineWhile watching tonight's video preview, take a listen to tonight's soundtrack (Just be sure to allow the ad below to play out entirely before starting the song.)Senior show producer Cory Gnazzo shares a preivew of tonight's show:Here's the Frank Rich piece Cory referred to above. read more

Monday's Mini-Report

03/26/12 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:* President Obama, in Seoul for a summit on nuclear security, is warning North Korea not to follow through on a planned long-range missile test next month, while urging China to help ratchet up international pressure on North Korea.* Over the weekend, Obama also made his first visit to the peninsula's demilitarized zone, looking into North Korea through binoculars.* Trayvon Martin's mother believes local officials are trying to demonize her deceased son by leaking embarrassing information about his past.* Sen. read more

Still creating their own reality

Still creating their own reality

03/26/12 04:57PM

Here's a tip for politicians seeking major public offices: don't consider "grunt work" to be synonymous with "getting the facts straight."In Ohio, state Treasurer Josh Mandel (R) is running against incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) in one of the year's most closely-watched U.S. Senate races, and the conservative Republican candidate is pushing the claim that Brown is responsible for a policy agenda that moves Ohio jobs to China.The Cleveland Plain Dealer has asked Mandel to back up the claim, and the Republican has so far struggled to provide any evidence. read more

Day 1 at the Supreme Court

03/26/12 03:49PM

The Supreme Court kicked off the first day of arguments in the case against the Affordable Care Act this morning -- it's the first three-day hearing in 45 years -- but today was arguably the least interesting day. At issue was not the individual mandate that conservatives loved until President Obama decided he agreed with them, but rather, an 1867 law about taxes called the Anti-Injunction Act.The underlying concept is pretty straightforward: before a tax can be challenged in court, it has to be collected first. read more

When presidents meet a 'hot mic'

03/26/12 02:56PM

Some of my favorite moments of George W. Bush's presidency were "hot mic" moments, in part because they offered rare peeks behind the curtain. When Bush was accidentally overheard on live microphones, we learned that he didn't know what the Mexico City Policy was, even after he signed an executive order on it; he didn't understand 2006 developments in Lebanon, though he thought he did; and he talked to world leaders in a strikingly unsophisticated way behind closed doors.But President Obama is not without hot-mic moments. read more

You're treated better if you are wealthy and guilty than if you are poor and innocent

03/26/12 01:44PM

You don't have to be Bill Gates or Al Gore to give a TED talk; you just have a big idea.  Actually, let's capitalize the phrase, let's call it a Big Idea.  Big Ideas can be baskets you use to gather and carry around information and stories that would have otherwise been scattered (see: "Schools kill creativity").  Big Ideas can reify previously inchoate thoughts and assumptions so that now, all of a sudden, you have a clear argument to make at cocktail parties (see: "Time to end the war in Afghanistan"). read more

Romney is not without a base

Romney is not without a base

03/26/12 01:31PM

Rick Santorum didn't just defeat Mitt Romney in Louisiana's Republican presidential primary, he trounced him, beating the former governor by 22 points and winning 63 of Louisiana's 64 parishes. Romney is still the likely nominee, but for the frontrunner to still be losing primaries by 22 points in late March doesn't look good.Aaron Blake, however, noticed the silver lining for the former governor.Early exit polls Saturday night showed Romney losing by near-double digits overall. read more

Monday's campaign round-up

03/26/12 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:* Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) was asked yesterday about a possible role on his party's 2012 presidential ticket. "I would have to consider it," he said on Fox News. "But it's not something I'm even thinking about because I think our job in Congress is pretty important."* The latest evidence the right is grudgingly accepting Mitt Romney's inevitable nomination: Sen. read more

The federal highway bill: less than a week to go

03/26/12 11:32AM

In his weekly address, President Obama spoke about oil production and energy policy in general, but also spent some time shining a light on a pending piece of legislation that's going to matter quite a bit this week.For those who can't watch clips online, this was the important part of Obama's comments:"So much of America needs to be rebuilt right now. We've got crumbling roads and bridges. A power grid that wastes too much energy. An incomplete high-speed broadband network. read more

When in doubt, pick a fight with the New York Times

03/26/12 10:51AM

His primary win in Louisiana notwithstanding, Rick Santorum's campaign hasn't been going especially well lately, and his odds of winning the Republican presidential nomination continue to dwindle as the party coalesces around Mitt Romney.Under the circumstances, it's not too surprising that the pressure would start to get to Santorum.Take yesterday, for example. Santorum, campaigning in Wisconsin, pointed to a series of issues where he believes Romney would match up poorly against President Obama. He concluded, "Pick any other Republican in the country. read more