On Sunday afternoon—just 24 hours after Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced his presidential candidacy—an email arrived in my inbox titled, “14 Reasons Why Rick Perry Would Be a Really, Really Bad President.” The article contained in the email took such a harsh tone toward Perry, I assumed, for a brief moment, that a liberal interest group was quickly jumping on the newest entrant in the Republican presidential field. In turns out, however, that the piece was the product of a right-wing website called The American Dream.

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  Here at the blog formerly known as Citizen Cohn, we bring you the bad news as well as the good. And so we must draw your attention to the latest state-by-state statistics on unemployment -- and, specifically, the unemployment rate in Michigan. It's up to 10.9 percent, the third consecutive month that it's risen.

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In the popular imagination of large portions of the pundit class, Rick Perry is not only a popular Republican governor of Texas, but a legendary campaigner the likes of which the nation hasn’t seen for years. Here is a man, we’ve been told, who has never lost a single race, a person whose personal charm and keen political instincts had proven, time and again, irresistible to voters. But, a closer look at his history on the stump reveals that, while it’s true that Perry is undefeated in electoral contests, his mythic reputation isn’t entirely earned.

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Block Party

In 2006, Democrats won a landslide victory at the polls, sweeping to majorities in both houses of Congress. And then, the Democrats proceeded to do … hardly anything at all. Their agenda consisted mainly of halting George W. Bush’s domestic agenda. Even on the Iraq war, the unpopularity of which fueled the Democratic wave, the party did not make a serious effort to defund the campaign. Ultimately, Democrats funded a troop surge. The rough equivalent would be if Republicans this year wound up expanding the Affordable Care Act to cover illegal immigrants.

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Bedford, New Hampshire—I’m on vacation, but I couldn’t resist driving over to the Bedford Village Inn this morning to hear the newest Republican candidate for president, Texas Governor Rick Perry, at the regular “Politics and Eggs” get together. I thought that, with one exception, Perry came off pretty well—enough to make him a formidable challenger to Mitt Romney. He also didn’t position himself so far to the right that he would become an easy target in the general election.  Perry has rugged Marlboro Man good looks, but he is not a commanding figure.

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Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy Yes, President Obama is going to make a serious push to do something about jobs. It’s going to begin right after Labor Day. White House officials are telling reporters that Obama plans to give a major speech on the economy, right after the holiday weekend. In that speech, the officials are saying, Obama will propose a series of initiatives to bolster the economy and promote higher employment.

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In the months leading up to his declared presidential candidacy, Rick Perry was busy shoring up his religious bonafides. In April, while his state burned under 8,000 wildfires and was afflicted by a pernicious drought, the governor decreed three days of prayer to call rain down from the heavens.

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[Guest post by Matthew Zeitlin]  Last week, Think Progress caught Mitt Romney saying “corporations are people, my friend.” Jon Chait pointed out that Romney was clearly referring to the incidence of corporate taxes—which are ultimately borne by people—not the more-than-century old legal doctrine by which corporations have the some of the rights and protections as individuals. Romney committed a classic “Kinsley gaffe,” whereby a politician catches flack for saying something true.

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Obama said plenty of things at Monday's town hall in Minnesota that made me happy. But probably none pleased me more than his riff on the phrase "Obamacare," which is the way opponents generally refer to the Affordable Care Act. He gave it while answering a question about prescription drugs: With respect to prescription drugs, the prescription drug program that now is part of Medicare obviously has been very helpful, but the costs had been going up and up and up. So part of the Affordable Care Act health care reform, also known as “Obamacare” -- by the way, you know what?

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The scenes of violence that emerged from London last week—the burning buildings and rampant looting, the police and firefighters under attack—were undeniably upsetting, but that’s not to say they were unfamiliar. The riots not only bore a strong resemblance to several recent instances of violent crime in the United States, they hearkened directly to the incendiary outbursts of racial violence that plagued this country from 1965 to 1968—from Watts in Los Angeles, to Detroit, to the H Street corridor in Washington D.C.

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