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Rough start to the 4th of July weekend in Minnesota.

Bad day for Minnesota campers

07/01/11 06:12PM

As of today, most of Minnesota's government closed for business. State lawmakers couldn’t reach an agreement on the budget, specifically how to deal with taxes and the $5 billion deficit.Much like the debt ceiling fight on the national level, Minnesota Republicans are refusing to raises taxes under any circumstances (somewhere Grover Norquist is smiling), arguing the state should rely on deeper cuts in health and welfare spending. read more

First Word: July 1, 2011

07/01/11 03:25PM

Start your long holiday weekend with us tonight at 8pm ET. Here's a look at stories shaping tonight's rundown.Minnesota braces for government shutdown over taxesTim Pawlenty could get bounce or burn from Minnesota crisisWhite House says Congress needs debt deal by July 22Sen. Schumer: 14th Amendment option "worth exploring"Roger Ailes’ secret Nixon-era blueprint for Fox NewsHow does the NBA lockout get resolved? read more

Meet the world's luckiest squirrel

07/01/11 03:11PM

Sometimes you find something on the Internets that has nothing to do with anything, but is so great you simply must share it. Filed under The Friday Awesome (a heading I shamelessly stole from the cool kids over at The Maddow Blog), I give you the world's luckiest squirrel.h/t Jalopnik and toastforbrekkie read more

Republican backlash on debt ceiling

Republican backlash on debt ceiling

06/30/11 08:00PM

With tensions between the Capitol and the White House rising to a fever pitch, columnist for the Washington Post Ezra Klein joins The Last Word to discuss how debt talks can progress. watch

Colbert forms Super PAC

Colbert forms Super PAC

06/30/11 08:00PM

The Huffington Post’s Alex Wagner joins the Last Word to discuss the fine line between comedy and reality after Stephen Colbert's controversial day at the FEC. watch

Building up Bachmann?

Building up Bachmann?

06/30/11 08:00PM

Senior Political Editor of the Huffington Post Howard Fineman joins the Last Word to break down the array of responses to Michele Bachmann's headline-grabbing candidacy. watch

Stephen Colbert forms Super PAC

06/30/11 07:18PM

The Federal Election Commission granted Stephen Colbert permission to set up his own political action committee, Colbert Super PAC. No joke.The Comedy Central host appeared at a meeting with the FEC today in Washington D.C. with his personal attorney at his side. The commission voted in-favor of the comedian in a 5-1 vote.Colbert can run ads for his Super PAC on his program, The Colbert Report, without disclosing contributions from Comedy Central or its parent company, Viacom. read more

Retiring Defense Secy. Gates and Pres. Obama share a laugh today in Arlington, Va. during Gates' Armed Forces Farewell Tribute at the Pentagon.

Gates awarded Medal of Freedom

06/30/11 07:17PM

To mark the end of his decades-long career in Washington, today President Obama surprised retiring Defense Secretary Robert Gates by awarding him the Presidential Medal of Freedom on his very last day in the job. The honor is the highest any civilian can receive in the United States. During his remarks President Obama thanked Gates for his "profound sense of duty." He also called Gates a "humble American patriot" adding that his greatest legacy may likely be helping to save the lives of U.S. troops. read more

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid speaking to reporters along with Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin on Capitol Hill Thursday.

Senate 4th of July break canceled

06/30/11 05:36PM

Senators can kiss those holiday BBQs goodbye. With debt negotiations up in the air, the Senate announced today it cancelled their week long July 4th break to try and stop the government from barreling towards a first-ever default.Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the whole caucus needs to be on hand to help deal with the debt talks.“These things get resolved by meetings, people meeting and discussing things,” said Reid in a press conference. “I've had a number of senators both Democrats and Republicans say to me, do we really need to be here? read more

First Word: June 30, 2011

06/30/11 03:27PM

A look at stories shaping our rundown now.House GOP living up to 'Pledge to America'Senate to work next week on debt limit impasseHow you know the debt negotiations have truly failedBill Clinton sizes up GOP fieldStephen Colbert scores campaign finance win in Super PacNew York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to lift fracturing ban?Jimmy Kimmel presidents 'Michele Bachmann's story of America' read more