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We’re on our way

We’re on our way

03/01/12 07:00PM

Bill Wolff, executive producer for the Rachel Maddow Show, shares a preview of tonight’s show – the Blunt amendment fails in the Senate by a narrow margin, plus an update on the Michigan Emergency Manager law. watch

Ahead on the 3/1 Maddow show

03/01/12 06:18PM

Tonight's guests include:Gene Robinson, columnist for The Washington Post and msnbc political analystDan Dicker, author of “Oil’s Endless Bid”, commodities trader and CNBC contributorWhile watching tonight's video preview, take a listen to tonight's soundtrack. (Just make sure the ad below plays out entirely before starting the video preview.) read more

Voting on rights, Ohio edition

03/01/12 06:06PM

We talk a lot around here about voting on rights – basically, rights are rights because you are born to them; you don't vote on rights. That's a principle, but there's also the practice. In January, activists in Maine decided to ask voters directly for marriage equality. They had already gathered the signatures needed for a referendum, and then they decided to go for it.Now comes Ohio, where activists for marriage equality say they've finished the first step for getting a constitutional amendment on the ballot. read more

Thursday's Mini-Report

03/01/12 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:* Syria: "After a bruising, 27-day siege under intensifying bombardment, rebels holed up in the shattered Baba Amr neighborhood of the central Syrian city of Homs announced a 'tactical withdrawal' on Thursday, apparently handing victory to forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad but raising concerns about the plight of civilians there."* Diplomatic resolution in Egypt: "The foreign nationals under criminal investigation here for their pro-democracy activities, including several Americans, arrived in Cyprus on a chartered flight from Cairo on Thursday night in wh read more

First 'Drift' excerpt released!

03/01/12 05:27PM

I have it on good authority that we will be getting a second excerpt some time soon as well, but for now you can get started reading Drift with the prologue before the book is officially released at the end of the month: read more

Romney's reluctance to 'elaborate'

03/01/12 04:30PM

At last week's debate for Republican presidential candidates, Mitt Romney was asked, "What is the biggest misconception about you in the public debate right now?" In theory, this is an easy, softball question, giving Romney a chance to knock down some nagging criticism, and tout his positive qulalities.But he didn't see it that way. Instead, Romney ignored the question entirely, giving a short summary of his campaign's rationale. Reminded about what the question was actually about, Romney snapped, "You get to ask the questions you want, I get to give the answers I want. read more

Obama, Dems target oil-industry subsidies

03/01/12 03:29PM

Last week, National Journal's Political Insiders poll found a general consensus among Democrats and Republicans: rising gas prices help the GOP. Part of this likely because there's a Democrat currently in the White House, part of it has to do messaging: pain at the pump encourages Republicans to push for more drilling.But it turns out Democrats are not without a case of their own. read more

Charts: GOP shifts right

Charts: GOP shifts right

03/01/12 01:14PM

Viewer Tom Adler asks about the charts we used in last night's A block, the one where Rachel went back to her poli-sci roots.Here they are in original form, from the Voteview Blog. As you can see above, Republican presidents have gotten more conservative, and since the Carter era, so have Democrats. In Congress, Republicans have shifted markedly to the right, while Democrats, on the whole have not changed much. That graph is after the jump.Producer Mike Yarvitz notes that Voteview is the work of a pair of great political scientists at the University of Georgia, Keith T. read more

Senate narrowly defeats Blunt Amendment

Senate narrowly defeats Blunt Amendment

03/01/12 12:24PM

Opponents of the anti-contraception Blunt Amendment needed a simple majority on the Senate floor this morning. They got it, but just barely.The proposal failed on a 51-48 vote. (The procedural mechanics were a little awkward: "yes" votes were against the amendment -- "yes" they wanted to table it.)Most members voted along party lines, but not all. One Republican, Maine's Olympia Snowe, broke ranks to oppose the measure. read more

Thursday's campaign round-up

03/01/12 11:43AM

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 Ohio's Republican presidential primary, Rick Santorum appears to have the early edge in the polls, but Mitt Romney is currently outspending the former senator by a nearly seven-to-one margin.* Tricia noted earlier that Santorum is starting to raise some decent amounts of money, and this statistic was especially startling: his $9 million haul in February is more than quadruple all of the money his campaign raised in 2011.* Former Sen. read more

Roy Blunt thought this was a good time to fight over contraception. He was wrong.

Dems eager for Blunt Amendment fight

03/01/12 10:40AM

When Republicans began pushing the Blunt Amendment a few weeks ago, GOP officials were working from a deliberate strategy: they thought they could go on the offensive over contraception access, pushing Democrats into a corner.Three weeks later, it's Republicans who appear to be stuck.Far from being on the defensive, Democrats seem eager to fight over the proposal, which if passed, would allow all private-sector employers to deny any health services that businesses might find morally objectionable. read more