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Morning Maddow: February 17

02/17/12 07:36AM

Santorum says his billionaire's joke about aspirin between the knees was 'in bad taste.' Meanwhile, Foster Friess thinks that the younguns who were offended just didn't get why it was funny.If you were curious about the NH Rep who said there's a link between the pill and prostate cancer, here's where she got that.New poll puts Sen. read more

Ahead on the 2/16 Maddow show

02/16/12 06:47PM

Tonight's guests include:Elizabeth Warren, (D) Massachusetts Senate candidate, chair of TARP Congressional Oversight panel, helped create Consumer Financial Protection BureauChris Gardner, Washington County, Maine  GOP Committee ChairmanWhile we wait for tonigh'ts video preview, take a listen to tonight's soundtrack. (Just be sure to let the ad play out entirely before starting the song!)Executive producer Bill Wolff shares a preview of tonight's show: read more

Bass Ball

02/16/12 06:32PM

Even though Republicans will be flocking into Tampa for the big convention August 27 through 30, it is still very much in doubt whether they will have a clear presidential contender by then.What's not in doubt is that the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team -- they dropped the Devil a while back — will have a funky new mascot, DJ Kitty.No telling whether Mitt Romney would make DJ Kitty ride in a cage on top of his car, but when he gets to Tampa, he should definitely arrange a photo op with the beat master, ASAP. read more

Thursday's Mini-Report

02/16/12 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:* By an overwhelming margin, the United Nations General Assembly condemned Syria this afternoon. The resolution, however, was nonbinding.* According to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, "initial three-way talks between the United States, Afghanistan and the Taliban have begun."* Marriage equality has now been approved by both chambers of the New Jersey legislature. Gov. read more

Rachel Maddow on the thesis of 'Drift'

02/16/12 04:45PM

While going through some links in preparation for next month's release of Drift, I came upon this clip of Rachel's interview with Slate's Jacob Weisberg in which she talks about the book's themes and how the U.S. can reintegrate the military with the population at large. read more

Scott Brown stumbles on policy basics

Scott Brown stumbles on policy basics

02/16/12 04:22PM

Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) surprised a lot of people earlier this week when he endorsed an unpopular, far-right proposal on contraception. Inexplicably, the ostensible moderate threw his support behind a plan to allow all private-sector employers to deny any health services that businesses might find morally objectionable, including access to birth control.Brown talked to NECN, a regional network that covers Massachusetts, about his position, but failed to read up on the proposal he'd already endorsed. read more

Here's an image you won't see on March 1.

Romney to skip upcoming debate

02/16/12 03:14PM

The Romney campaign has been hinting for over a month that it might start declining invitations to candidate debates. It doesn't come as too big a surprise, then, that the former governor has decided to skip CNN's March 1 debate in Atlanta."With eight other states voting on March 6th, we will be campaigning in other parts of the country and unable to schedule the CNN Georgia debate," Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said. "We have participated in 20 debates, including 8 from CNN."The March 1 debate is second-to-last debate before Super Tuesday on March 6. read more

Quote of the Day

02/16/12 02:12PM

Foster Friess is perhaps best known as the very wealthy benefactor behind Rick Santorum's super PAC. As of this morning, he'll probably be known for something else.During an interview with msnbc's Andrea Mitchell, Friess tried to make the case that the presidential campaign should focus on substantive issues, but in the process, he made some jaw-dropping comments about contraception. Here's the clip, by way of Zeke Miller:For those who can't watch clips online, here's the full quote:"I get such a chuckle when these things come out. read more

Pelosi to GOP on contraception: 'Duh!'

02/16/12 01:34PM

House Republicans organized a hearing this morning on the Obama administration's policy on access to contraception, and the first panel was made up exclusively of men -- each of whom opposes the White House position. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was not amused."Five men are testifying on women's health," Pelosi said, adding, "Where are the women? Imagine having a panel on women's health and they don't have any women on the panel."Duh? What is it that men don't understand about women's health and how central the issue of family planning is to that? read more

Struggling to prepare for prime time

Struggling to prepare for prime time

02/16/12 12:40PM

Given all of the discouraging trends of late for Mitt Romney, why do so many continue to assume he'll win the Republican presidential nomination? Jon Chait flagged some interesting tidbits about the former governor's principal rival.Here are some things to keep in mind when assessing Rick Santorum's chances of beating Mitt Romney. He has no pollster, no campaign headquarters, and no paid advance staff. He's currently getting outspent on television in Michigan by a ratio of 29-1.You know the part of the campaign ad where the candidate identifies himself and says he approves this message? read more

Thursday's campaign round-up

02/16/12 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:* With Rick Santorum releasing four years of tax returns, won't Mitt Romney feel a little more pressure to release more than one year? read more

Maloney asks, 'Where are the women?'

Maloney asks, 'Where are the women?'

02/16/12 11:36AM

Following up on an earlier item, here was the witness table at the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, as discussion about contraception access and health care got underway.You'll notice, of course, that all of the witnesses are men. read more

Romney's poorly-timed criticism of the auto rescue

02/16/12 10:50AM

Just two days ago, Mitt Romney published a lengthy condemnation of the Obama administration's rescue of the American auto industry. With General Motors announcing its largest annual profit in company history this morning, the Republican presidential candidate's timing clearly could have been better.For all of 2011, G.M. earned $7.6 billion, nearly all of it from North America. read more