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Nelson Mandela surrounded by family members in Qunu, South Africa on Monday.

What Mandela wants for his birthday

07/18/11 08:25PM

What do you get the man who changed the course of history? Nelson Mandela, who turned 93, isn't shy about offering a suggestion: your time and selflessness. Mandela is encouraging supporters around the world to take part in "Nelson Mandela Day."It's very simple, as actor Morgan Freeman explained this morning on NBC's Today Show. "We'll ask everybody to just take 67 minutes and do something. Do something that's going to help someone. Do something that's going to help make the world a better place, " said Freeman, who portrayed Mandela in the movie "Invictus." Why 67 minutes? read more

Obama on the art of compromise

07/18/11 07:12PM

The White House wants to hammer home this message of Obama as the adult in the room, the responsible leader. That might explain the delayed, yet calculated release of a new video posted to the White House blog on Friday. The clip was actually taken back in March, when Obama met with a bipartisan group of college kids in Dorchester, Massachusetts.In the meeting, Obama cited Abraham Lincoln’s compromises on The Emancipation Proclamation as bi-product of tough leadership choices. read more

Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor at a press conference on Capitol Hill Friday.

Poll: GOP takes hit on debt debate

07/18/11 05:34PM

As top Republicans and Democrats continue to haggle over the debt ceiling, new poll numbers suggest the White House is winning the PR war.The CBS News survey found a whopping 71% disapprove of the way Congressional Republicans have been handling the issue and only 21% approve of their approach. Within the GOP party itself,  51% disapprove of the Republican response (or lack there of) to the crisis.For the Dems in Congress, the disapproval rating was slightly better at 58% and an approval rating of 31%. read more

First Word: July 18, 2011

07/18/11 02:58PM

A look at stories we're following right now. What headlines have you been clicking on?White House rejects linking debt limit to balanced budget, threatens vetoPoll finds GOP so far losing the debt-ceiling debateMoody's suggests U.S. eliminate debt ceilingNews of the World phone-hacking whistleblower found deadRupert Murdoch struggles for control as scandal growsGov. Scott Walker concedes mistakes, defends policies read more

Happy 15th Birthday, MSNBC

Happy 15th Birthday, MSNBC

07/15/11 08:00PM

MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell travels back to the network's first day on-air exactly 15 years ago to shed some light on presidential campaign politics and the problems with making predictions so early in the race. watch

Marcus Bachmann defends clinic

Marcus Bachmann defends clinic

07/15/11 08:00PM

The husband of Republican presidential contender Michele Bachmann has come forward to defend his Christian counseling center. Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out joins MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell to discuss. watch

Obama holds his ground

Obama holds his ground

07/15/11 08:00PM

Bloomberg View columnist Jonathan Alter joins The Last Word to discuss the various deficit reduction plans presented by the president and members of Congress. watch

Happy Birthday to us!

07/15/11 07:51PM

msnbc premiered 15 years ago today. Lawrence was actually there from day one, on set in Fort Lee, New Jersey. He was on a panel discussion with Laura Ingram to talk about the recent poll numbers between Bill Clinton and Bob Dole. Seriously, Bill Clinton and Bob Dole! Everybody has The Friends haircut, it’s a total VHS time warp. We’ll show you that vintage clip of Lawrence tonight in the Rewrite. Here’s a longer promo version, counting down to msnbc’s debut. For the record, there were no blogs back then. My job didn’t exist. read more

Statement issued today by News Corp Chairman Rupert Murdoch

Apologies all around from News Corp

07/15/11 07:23PM

Another News Corp exec bit the dust today over the U.K. hacking scandal. Les Hinton, the CEO of Dow Jones & Co., resigned, saying in a statement it was the right thing to do. He said was "ignorant of what apparently happened" but apologized for the hurt caused by the actions News of the World staffers.Just earlier in the day, Rebekah Brooks, CEO of News International, formally announced her resignation. read more

The Last Word staffers Ronnie Polidoro, Anthony Reyes and I on our set. Note the Sorting Hat in the foreground.

Gone with the wand

07/15/11 05:10PM

Last night at midnight marked the end of a very magical era. The final installment in the Harry Potter films,  "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II" premiered across the U.S. and raked in a record-breaking $43.5 million from just the midnight showings.As you might have learned from some of our past blogs, there are a TON of Harry Potter fans on The Last Word staff. read more