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First Word: June 20, 2011

06/20/11 02:53PM

Here are some links we've been reading this afternoon, on this last day of spring. What headlines are you checking out?Florida Tea Party leader: GOP Medicare plan a ‘public policy nightmare’Meghan McCain's 7 Tips for Republican hopefulsJohn McCain blaming illegal immigrants for Arizona Wildfires?Mitt Romney under GOP fire on Afghanistan, abortionSupreme Court blocks massive sex-discrimination suit against Wal-MartNo, Gov. Pawlenty, tax cuts don’t pay for themselvesJon Stewart's feisty interview with Chris Wallace  read more

The Colbert commencement speech

06/17/11 08:12PM

Stephen Colbert is a favorite of ours here at The Last Word HQ. So for a bit of Friday fun, check out his hilarious commencement address given just a few hours ago (amazing how fast things get on YouTube). He told the students that "some call you the greatest generation." After quite a bit of laughter Colbert admitted he's really the only one saying that, adding: "Be great... no pressure." read more

Is the war on drugs worth it?

Is the war on drugs worth it?

06/17/11 08:00PM

Today is the 40th anniversary of America's longest war, the war on drugs. Is it working? MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell gets analysis from Michelle Alexander, an associate professor of law at Ohio State University. watch

Georgia’s new immigration law

Georgia’s new immigration law

06/17/11 08:00PM

Georgia's former governor, Republican Sonny Perdue, says his state's new law makes Georgia look unwelcoming to anyone of color. Professor of sociology at Georgetown, Michael Eric Dyson, joins The Last Word with more. watch

The war on drugs: a lost cause?

06/17/11 05:24PM

We’re devoting tonight’s D-block to the subject of drugs. President Nixon launched the war on drugs 40 years ago. But a new report from the Global Commission on Drug Policy — composed of former presidents, prime ministers and other worldwide leaders — suggests these crackdowns have done more harm than good. The report says usage has actually increased in from 1998 to 2008 alone: opiate use is up 34.5 percent, cocaine use is up 27 percent and marijuana is up 8.5 percent. read more

Lawrence hosting 'Erasing Hate' doc

06/17/11 04:20PM

Can someone who has known nothing but violence and bigotry, change his life when the evidence of his past is permanently etched on his face? Lawrence will host this new msnbc documentary, "Erasing Hate," on Sunday June 26 at 9 pm ET.The piece chronicles Bryon Widner, a former skinhead. While most skinheads are known for sporting tattoos, Bryon’s head-to-toe ink made his appearance especially menacing.After years of extreme violence against minorities in the name of the white race, Bryon’s life changed forever when he became a husband and father in 2006. read more

First Word: June 17, 2011

06/17/11 03:22PM

A look at stories catching our attention. What headlines are you clicking on today?Progressives ‘break up’ with ObamaWhite House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer defends record to NetrootsJimmy Carter: call off the global drug warDid AARP agree to put Social Security on the chopping blockTim Pawlenty goes after Mitt Romney, part twoConservative group launches TV ad defending the Ryan budget planAnthony Weiner offered role on HBO show read more