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Ahead on 2/24 Maddow show

02/24/12 06:49PM

Tonight's guests include:Karen Tumulty, national political correspondent for The Washington PostErik Mouthaan, US correspondent for RTL News, the NetherlandsKaren Finney, former DNC communications director, columnist for The Hill and msnbc political analystWhile watching tonight's show, take a listen to tonight's soundtrack. (Just be sure to let the ad below play out entirely before starting the video)Executive producer Bill Wolff shares a preview of tonight's show:  read more

Friday's Mini-Report

02/24/12 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:* Pressuring Syria: "Leaders of more than 60 nations and international organizations called on Syria's government on Friday to halt its attacks on rebellious cities to allow in humanitarian supplies and asked the United Nations to begin planning for a peacekeeper force, even as some evacuations began from a hard-hit neighborhood in the besieged city of Homs."* Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, meanwhile, called Russian and Chinese opposition to action on Syria "despicable."* In an unexpected twist, a Hamas leader spoke out against Assad and threw his supp read more

Indiana's anti-Girl Scout lawmaker.

Anti-Girl Scout rep regrets his tone

02/24/12 04:31PM

To add a coda to Indiana state Rep. Bob Morris' (R) story, the anti-Girl Scout lawmaker apologized yesterday for his over-the-top tirade, but Morris' regret only extends to his tone, not the substance of his harangue.If you're just joining us, Morris refused to endorse a symbolic resolution honoring the anniversary of the Girl Scouts' founding, insisting that the group has been "radicalized" to promote abortion and homosexuality. read more

What was the Romney campaign thinking?

02/24/12 03:40PM

Remember the infamous Green Screen speech that John McCain delivered in 2008? And how widely panned it was as a political disaster and evidence of campaign incompetence? Mitt Romney's speech in Detroit today was significantly worse.For reasons that defy comprehension, the Romney campaign decided to unveil a new economic agenda -- the one he announced just last month apparently wasn't very good -- at Ford Field, a football stadium with 65,000 seats.The problem, of course, is that he only brought along 1,200 friends to watch. read more

Virginia Senate strikes transvaginal ultrasound bill. Sponsor: 'a matter of conscience'

Virginia Senate strikes transvaginal ultrasound bill. Sponsor: 'a matter of conscience'

02/24/12 02:12PM

Virginia State Delegate David Englin, our guest this week, checks in with some news about the transvaginal ultrasound bill:I learned last night that Sen. Jill Vogel is striking Senate Bill 484 not because she is upset with McDonnell for watering it down and removing the penetration mandate, but because she had a change of heart about the entire bill and no longer wanted any association with it.  I just apologized to her in person and publicly on the House floor for publicly misrepresenting her position. read more

The Week in Geek: Back to Earth edition

02/24/12 01:15PM

Rocket-powered landing demonstrator makes first flight.This guy wants to build a functioning computer model of the human brain, but he has to finish modeling a rat brain first.Good news guys, looks like you'll be around longer than originally thought.Circadian rhythms may influence when you're most at risk for sudden cardiac death.Seven species that drew the short stick when it came to living the good life.One of the world's tiniest lizards can sit on the head of a match.What's the quickest way to tell if a frog is poisonous? read more

Culture of Corruption Watch

Culture of Corruption Watch

02/24/12 12:38PM

House Republicans apparently thought they were making a smart move when they tapped Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) to lead the party's national fundraising efforts for 2012. And to a certain extent, the decision has paid off -- contributions to the NRCC have increased since Buchanan took over as finance chairman.It's the ongoing allegations of corruption surrounding Buchanan that pose the larger problem.Federal inquiries surrounding Mr. read more

Friday's campaign round-up

02/24/12 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:* Based on the latest data, Nate Silver's forecast model now shows Mitt Romney edging ahead of Rick Santorum in Michigan. read more

Santorum's Dutch death panels

02/24/12 11:19AM

Appearing recently at the American Heartland Forum, Rick Santorum shared an interesting perspective on the fate of the elderly in the Netherlands. It's an absurd perspective, of course, but it speaks to a larger issue."In the Netherlands, people wear different bracelets if they are elderly," Santorum said. "And the bracelet is: 'Do not euthanize me.' Because they have voluntary euthanasia in the Netherlands but half of the people who are euthanized -- 10% of all deaths in the Netherlands -- half of those people are euthanized involuntarily at hospitals because they are older and sick. read more

The fate of the contraception lawsuits

02/24/12 10:39AM

As Tricia noted earlier, seven states filed suit this week, challenging the Obama administration's policy on contraception coverage. Led by Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning (R), the seven Republican attorneys general are arguing that the policy -- which exempts churches and will not force religiously-affiliated employers to cover birth-control costs directly -- "discards" and "violates" the First Amendment.What's more, this isn't the only case. read more

The end of a short-lived grace period

02/24/12 10:05AM

In the immediate aftermath of the assassination attempt against Gabrielle Giffords, there was an effort on the part of many to show restraint when it came to rhetoric about politics and violence. That grace period is now long gone.Republican pollster Frank Luntz, for example, is comfortable joking about using his car to run down President Obama. Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) thought it was funny to say, "In Arizona, sometimes to gain office you have to have shot someone." Rep. read more

Raising the wrong Specter

Raising the wrong Specter

02/24/12 09:26AM

Nate Silver noted this morning that Mitt Romney probably isn't "playing to his strength" by emphasizing Rick Santorum's 2004 endorsement of former Sen. Arlen Specter.I agree, but the Romney campaign doesn't seem to care.Former Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter left Capitol Hill more than a year ago, but Mitt Romney's campaign is working hard to give the party-switching ex-lawmaker a political revival of sorts.The Romney campaign released a new web video on Friday highlighting the alliance between Specter and Rick Santorum when the two were colleagues in the U.S. read more

Remember him?

GOP uses Bush as a model of moderation

02/24/12 08:42AM

Three years after Bill Clinton left the White House in January 2001, the 2004 Democratic candidates were tripping over each other to connect themselves to the nation's 42nd president. I remember one September 2003 debate in which literally every Dem running for the party's nomination said they were the rightful heir to the Clinton legacy.Al Sharpton, after a while, apparently couldn't take it anymore. "I know that within the next hour we'll say that Bill Clinton walked on water," he joked.We're at a comparable point now with regards to George W. read more

The wrong way to argue about gas prices

02/24/12 08:00AM

President Obama was in Miami yesterday talking about gas prices, making a pitch for an "all-of-the-above" energy policy that would rely on oil production, alternative energy, and improved fuel-efficiency standards. Anticipating the Republican response, Obama added, "Anybody who tells you we can drill our way out of this problem doesn't know what they're talking about, or just isn't telling you the truth."If an "all-of-the-above" policy sounds vaguely familiar, there's a good reason: as recently as 2008, it's what Republicans said they wanted, too. read more