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Mystery solved: The Jeb Bush poll

12/20/11 04:12PM

 Last night on the show, Rachel asked who might be behind the mysterious robopolling in New Hampshire, the one Dave Weigel reported asks about former Florida Governor Jeb Bush against President Obama in a hypothetical 2012 election. Since Jeb Bush has said he isn't running for anything, why is his name popping up in polls? Who would want to know the answer to that question?Thanks to the sleuthing of James Carter, we can now tell you the answer: Purple Strategies, a political communications firm. Director Doug Usher tells us that yes, it's his firm. read more

From a Virginia Uranium photo gallery of the site, Coles Hill.

Uranium mining is good for you

12/20/11 01:55PM

A company called Virginia Uranium has been itching to mine what it believes is 119 million pounds of the radioactive element in southern Virginia. The company has been courting Virginia state legislators to lift the moratorium on uranium mining, and executives say they believe they'll get someone to introduce a bill next year.To speed that along, Virginia Uranium commissioned a study by the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering about whether uranium mining was safe. The study cost $1.42 million, which Virginia Uranium paid. read more

Wisconsin's pay-for-protest is all sound and fury

Wisconsin's pay-for-protest is all sound and fury

12/20/11 12:38PM

On December 1, embattled, union-busting Governor Scott Walker unveiled a policy that would charge fees to protest groups numbering four or more at the state capitol in Madison -- fees for extra police, and for cleanup and repairs.  Those are fees which opponents argue are in direct violation of the state constitution. read more

Wherever you go, politics

Wherever you go, politics

12/20/11 11:04AM

If you're traveling for the holidays and you see politics in progress, send us a picture, will ya, please? You can also tweet us pics, etc., at @maddowblog.Up top, seasons greetings for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in Madison (photo from Kurt Foss). Below, collecting recall signatures in a slushy Lake Geneva (photo from Eric Dantzler).  read more

Frank: House GOP scared to vote on Senate bill

12/20/11 09:51AM

What's happening today in Congress takes confusion and obfuscation to Olympic levels. House Republicans plan to vote on whether to conference with the Senate on extending the payroll tax cut for working families and unemployment insurance for people who can't find work.The measures are important enough for the economy that the U.S. Senate passed a two-month extension last week while the parties keep negotiating. Speaker John Boehner then spiked the deal, or if you prefer, his caucus spiked it for him.Now House Republicans are holding this conference question. read more

Morning Maddow: December 20

Morning Maddow: December 20

12/20/11 07:29AM

"Isn't it time for a president who looks like a 1970s game show host?"Add Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) to the list of people who worked with Newt Gingrich, and didn't endorse himHouse Republicans will kill the payroll tax cut extension today"Occupy Christmas"pledge to buy AmericanAT&T, not just dropping calls anymoreDocuments as old as America destroyed in EgyptKim Jong-Il lies in stateThe Obama Administration is still going with the whole, "drone? What drone?  We don't have any drones"-thing read more

Ahead on the 12/19 Maddow Show

12/19/11 06:37PM

Tonight's guests:Dave Weigel, political reporter for Slate.comCongressman Barney Frank, Democrat from MassachusettsJosh Rogin, staff writer for "Foreign Policy" magazine and author of the blog "The Cable."Here's executive producer Bill Wolff with a look at today's stories:  read more

The Yanggakdo Hotel in Pyongyang contains a mysterious, hidden fifth floor, a kind of bunker or meeting place. Calvin and his cohort found colorful propaganda posters, including this one. Calvin writes: 'Translation on the left side: "military first...

North Korea: A rare behind-the-scenes, inside-secret-corridors look

12/19/11 05:10PM

Calvin Sun took a trip to North Korea this past summer - one of the few Americans who have ever had the chance. He blogged about some fascinating (and seriously creepy) things he saw and experienced while there - even from inside his hotel.When we noticed that elevator buttons skipped the 5th floor of our hotel in Pyongyang, or that if you google “Yanggakdo Hotel” it auto-fills it to “Yanggakdo Hotel Floor 5″, we knew something was up. read more