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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

Ahead on the 2/23 Maddow show

02/23/12 07:18PM

Tonight's guests include:State Rep. Yasmin Neal, (D) Georgia, proposed vasectomy regulation billManuel Roig-Franzia, staff writer for the Washington Post and author of an upcoming book about Marco Rubio, due out in JulyWhile watching tonight's video preview, take a listen to tonight's soundtrack. (Just be sure to let the ad below play out entirely before starting the song.)Executive producer Bill Wolff shares a preview of tonight's show:  read more

Can Rubio's persona survive Rubio's reality?

Can Rubio's persona survive Rubio's reality?

02/23/12 07:00PM

Manuel Roig-Franzia, staff writer for the Washington Post and author of an upcoming book about Marco Rubio, talks with Rachel Maddow about why Rubio may not be as sound a choice for vice presidential running mate as he might seem at first glance. watch

Thursday's Mini-Report

02/23/12 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:* Pressuring Syria: "A United Nations panel concluded on Thursday that 'gross human rights violations' had been ordered by the Syrian authorities as state policy at 'the highest levels of the armed forces and the government,' amounting to crimes against humanity."* 12 Iraqi cities targeted: "A rapid series of attacks across a wide swath of Iraq killed at least 60 people Thursday, targeting mostly security forces in what appeared to be another strike by al-Qaida militants bent on destabilizing the country."* A deadly accident: "Two Marine Corps helicopters collided read more

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