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Tuesday's campaign round-up

01/31/12 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:* In the wake of the recent caucus fiasco, Matt Strawn, the chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa, is stepping down from his post.* Just about all of the recent polls out of Florida show Mitt Romney winning today's primary by double digits. By the time the results are announced tonight, none of the GOP candidates will even be in the state.* There's a U.S. read more

The efficacy of the Affordable Care Act

01/31/12 11:28AM

Harold Pollack and Greg Anrig make the case this week that President Obama brushed past the Affordable Care Act in his State of the Union address, which is a shame because the health-reform law has become a "quiet triumph."urprising even to many advocates of health care reform, evidence is emerging that the ACA is already improving life for millions of average Americans. It is promoting long-overdue fundamental changes in our dysfunctional medical system. read more

Indiana may drug-test lawmakers

Indiana may drug-test lawmakers

01/31/12 10:33AM

Remember when Florida's legislature mandated drug-testing for welfare applicants, and writer Carl Hiaasen challenged lawmakers to get tested themselves? Meet the Indiana House, where Republicans are also pushing a measure to require drug screens for welfare recipients.Last week, Indiana House member Jud McMillin, a Republican, proposed testing people on welfare. Democrats argued that for consistency's sake, Indiana should drug-test lawmakers, too -- why should lawmakers make the poor jump through hoops that they're not willing to go through themselves? read more

The House's misplaced priorities

01/31/12 10:01AM

With Congress' approval rating reaching depths unseen since the dawn of modern polling, self-interested lawmakers should probably focus at least some of their attention on addressing actual problems.House Republicans apparently disagree. read more

Grimm makes a name for himself

Grimm makes a name for himself

01/31/12 09:21AM

Plenty of politicians make their way to Capitol Hill and hope to get noticed during their first year. As a rule, that's not easy for a freshman -- to borrow a line from "Arrested Development," rookie lawmakers are generally supposed to be neither seen nor heard.Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.), meanwhile, has a very different kind of problem. read more

McConnell's revisionist history

McConnell's revisionist history

01/31/12 08:41AM

Given that 2009 and 2010 really weren't that long ago, one would like to think Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would remember them. It was, after all, just one Congress ago.And yet, McConnell has begun arguing that White House officials have been "trying to pretend like the president just showed up yesterday, just got sworn in and started fresh. In fact, he's been in office three years. He got everything he wanted from a completely compliant congress for two of those three years."This is a popular claim in Republican circles. It's also demonstrably false. read more

An increasingly unappealing field

An increasingly unappealing field

01/31/12 08:00AM

At this point in the nominating process, it stands to reason that Republican voters would start finding the field of candidates more appealing. The presidential hopefuls have been available for nearly a year; GOP voters have gotten to know them and their agendas pretty well; and the various party constituencies should have settled on a favorite by now.And yet, as the Pew Research Center found, rank-and-file Republicans are finding themselves less satisfied with their presidential choices, not more. read more

Morning Maddow: January 31

01/31/12 07:21AM

 Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for the song stylings of Mitt Romney.Florida, Florida, Florida.The other big election of the day.Today we find out who those big donors to Super PACs are.Obama defends drones.For House Republicans it's jobs, jobs, jobs making English the official language. Funding transportation in an age of cost cutting.LOTR in LEGO!  read more

Flying people in New York City

01/31/12 12:41AM

The username on the video is ChronicleNYC, so presumably this is a promotion for that new movie about the telekinetic teens. Regardless, my brain accepts three people flying in front of the Lower Manhattan skyline so easily it's embarrassing. read more

Housekeeping note: The Steve Benen RSS feed

Housekeeping note: The Steve Benen RSS feed

01/30/12 07:51PM

Now that Steve is up and running here with nary a step missed, we want to make sure his regular readers are able to transition to reading him here equally seamlessly. If you are accustomed to receiving your Steve Benen through an RSS reader, the link you'll want to update to is this. For handy reference I'm putting the above banner along with the link in the right margin of the blog. Of course, you can always update to the general MaddowBlog feed.  read more

Ahead on the 1/30 Maddow show

01/30/12 07:14PM

Tonight's guests include:Jon Ralston, columnist for the Las Vegas Sun and host of “Face to Face with Jon Ralston”Frank Rich, writer-at-large for "New York Magazine"While watching tonight's video preview, take a listen to tonight's soundtrack. (Just be sure to let the ad play out before playing the song)Executive producer Bill Wolff shares a preview of tonight's show: read more

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