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Tuesday's Mini-Report

Tuesday's Mini-Report

02/07/12 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:* The face of a man who enjoys a good science fair. * Reaching a three-year high: "The number of jobs waiting to be filled rose in December as employers tried to ramp up hiring in factories, retail and business services, the government said on Tuesday."* The latest news on consumer credit looks encouraging, too.* Greece's future remains murky, at best, but there's evidence of relative optimism.* Sanctions are having a significant impact: "Iranian buyers have defaulted on payments for about 200,000 tons of rice from their top supplier India, exporters and rice mill read more

Use and misuse of stock-market metrics

Use and misuse of stock-market metrics

02/07/12 04:49PM

The major U.S. stock market indexes have fared quite well lately -- they showed modest gains again today -- which reminded me of an editorial the Wall Street Journal ran in early March 2009. President Obama had been in office for about five weeks, and the WSJ decided it was time to blame him for the struggling stock market.Yesterday the Dow fell another 4.24% to 6763, for an overall decline of 25% in two months and to its lowest level since 1997. read more

Biden's 10-word pitch

02/07/12 03:55PM

The phrase has been bandied about for several months. The first time I saw it in print was four months ago, when David Axelrod used it in a joking way.Increasingly, though, the 10-word pitch -- "Osama Bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive" -- is taking hold as a line the White House is completely serious about. Here's Vice President Biden, addressing a Communications Workers of America conference a few days ago, reading prepared remarks:"The best way I've heard this expressed what's clear, in shorthand, is 'Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive,'" Biden said. read more

Broad support for contraception coverage

Broad support for contraception coverage

02/07/12 03:02PM

While the Obama administration's recent decision on contraception has caused a stir, it's worth pausing to appreciate the fact that most Roman Catholics already agree with the White House.A majority of Catholics believe their employers should be required to provide coverage for contraception and birth control, according to a poll released Tuesday from the nonprofit research organization the Public Religion Research Institute.The poll found that a solid majority of Catholics, 58 percent, say contraception and birth control should be a required, no-cost benefit under their company's healthcare p read more

Picture: A promise kept

Picture: A promise kept

02/07/12 02:22PM

Today New York City held a ticker-tape parade for our Super Bowl champions, the New York Giants. Glenda Willis of Brooklyn was there, holding this sign for Staff Sergeant Danell Willis, her son and a huge Giants fan. He's on his second tour of combat duty -- one in Iraq, followed by another in Afghanistan. read more

Prop 8 opponents cheer the ruling outside the 9th Circuit.

Appeals court strikes down California's Prop 8

02/07/12 01:13PM

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a major legal victory for marriage equality this afternoon.A federal appeals court has declared California's voter-approved Proposition 8 unconstitutional, NBC News is reporting.A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 Tuesday that a lower court judge interpreted the U.S. read more

President Obama at the 2010 White House Science Fair

Celebrating science

02/07/12 12:30PM

A few months after his inauguration, President Obama was showing so much passion for science and scientific integrity that one observer characterized him as "almost strident" on the issue. I've always thought that was the wrong phrase.The description put a negative spin on what I consider to be one of the president's more endearing qualities -- I can't think of a modern president who speaks as often and as enthusiastically about science as Obama.Indeed, a couple of years ago, the president announced that, from now on, there will be an annual White House Science Fair. read more

Tuesday's campaign round-up

02/07/12 12:02PM

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:* How can we tell Mitt Romney expects to do poorly tonight? His campaign released a memo this morning saying the results don't really mean anything.* In a bit of a surprise, former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D) announced this morning that he won't seek a comeback bid in Nebraska this year.* How racist was Pete Hoekstra's (R) Senate ad in Michigan? read more

Karen Handel, Komen part ways

Karen Handel, Komen part ways

02/07/12 11:16AM

Komen for the Cure is still trying to recover from last week's credibility-killing fiasco involving Planned Parenthood grants, and to that end, there's been a major shake-up within the organization.Karen Handel announced her resignation as vice president for public policy in a letter to Komen officials Tuesday.Handel said in her letter that she had supported cutting off funding for Planned Parenthood.As part of her departure, Handel "openly acknowledge" her role in the Planned Parenthood decision, which is curious given her comments to NBC's Andrea Mitchell last week, when she said she wasn't read more

When Obama and Romney agreed on contraception

When Obama and Romney agreed on contraception

02/07/12 10:05AM

For months, Republican presidential candidates have been eager, if not desperate, to accuse President Obama of waging a "war on religion." Rick Perry got the ball rolling quite a while ago, but his more successful rivals have picked up on the same line.The problem for the GOP candidates has been substantive: they knew they wanted to accuse Obama of being hostile towards faith communities, but they couldn't explain why. read more

Optimism has a well known liberal bias

02/07/12 09:28AM

Following up on a segment from last night's show, if yesterday was any indication, it might be a while before the right stops complaining about Chrysler's Super Bowl ad.Karl Rove seems to be leading the charge, telling Fox News he was "offended" by the commercial, adding, "This is a sign of what happens when you have Chicago-style politics." The complaints were part of a larger "conservative outcry" in response to the spot.the right was wrong about the policy. read more

Santorum's day in the sun?

Santorum's day in the sun?

02/07/12 08:01AM

They lack the high-profile drama of January's contests, but Republicans in three states will weigh in today as part of the GOP's presidential nominating process. Minnesota and Colorado will hold their caucuses today, and Missouri will host a non-binding primary (a separate caucus for choosing delegates will be held next month).So, do today's contests matter? They're clearly not generating the same kind of attention as the other recent races -- Tricia mentioned earlier that these three aren't exactly Super Tuesday -- but they still have the potential to influence the larger race. read more

Morning Maddow: February 7

02/07/12 07:48AM

Pres. Obama ties himself to a Super PAC.Payroll Tax extension fight part 473.The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rules on California's Prop. 8 today.Wall Street Journal on why Sen. Marco Rubio is holding up confirmation of Latin American diplomats.Today's Republican contests are no Super Tuesday.It's ticker-tape parade day in New York City, but not for these guys.Mother Jones gets an eye-opening House GOP memo on race and abortion. read more

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