Profile

Cover photo
Steve Benen
Works at MSNBC
Attended George Washington University
Lives in Essex Junction, Vermont
207 followers|139,099 views
AboutPostsPhotosVideos

Stream

Steve Benen

Shared publicly  - 
 
I published another dozen new items today -- Tuesday, August 25, 2015 -- and here are some highlights:

* Some Republicans want to blame Wall Street turmoil on President Obama. Others want to blame Planned Parenthood. Both are bonkers (http://on.msnbc.com/1PPO10y).

* Jeb Bush created a real mess for himself by using the term "anchor babies." But now, while trying to put out one fire, the Republican appears to have started another (http://on.msnbc.com/1Jjej9b).

* On a related note, it was bad enough when Jeb Bush said, "I'm not sure we need half a billion dollars for women's health issues." Today, he somehow managed to make things even worse (http://on.msnbc.com/1Ju4UZv).

* Maybe, one day soon, the Donald Trump balloon will burst. But new poll makes one thing clear: today is not that day (http://on.msnbc.com/1JwTFnk).

* The sex scandal in the Michigan legislature has a little bit of everything, including hypocrisy from "family values" conservatives. What it does not yet have is a resignation (http://on.msnbc.com/1ML3qzm).

* Scott Walker wants President Obama to cancel Chinese President Xi Jinping's upcoming state visit. Even some conservatives describe it as an "unbearably silly" argument for Walker to make (http://on.msnbc.com/1ML2CdD).
2
Add a comment...

Steve Benen

Shared publicly  - 
 
I published another dozen new items today -- Friday, August 21, 2015 -- and here are some highlights:

* In June, Ted Cruz mocked Joe Biden, just days after the vice president's son's death. Today, Cruz went after Jimmy Carter, just one day after his cancer news (http://on.msnbc.com/1MITnML). Basic human dignity requires some sense of limits.

* Officials say the unemployment rate is about 5%. Donald Trump says the "real" unemployment rate is 42%. Who's right? Well, as is often the case with Trump, the truth is actually a funny story (http://on.msnbc.com/1hy6NhG).

* Tom Cotton believes he's found proof that should derail a key aspect of Obama's foreign policy and push us towards war. There's just one problem: Cotton's proof is completely, demonstrably wrong (http://on.msnbc.com/1WJ7C7l).

* There's a good question Wisconsin's Scott Walker may struggle to answer. What does he say to a Republican who asks, "Why should I vote you if you're losing in your own state?" (http://on.msnbc.com/1hQjPHo)

* This week, an Iowa radio host proposed enslaving immigrants. Today, Ted Cruz gladly appeared on the host's show anyway. Do Democrats and Republicans play by a different set of rules? (http://on.msnbc.com/1JwmToi)

* A Tea Party governor is facing the very real possibility of impeachment. But the Republican recently said he doesn't have to be impeached -- because he's willing to resign (http://on.msnbc.com/1hy41sS).
1
Add a comment...

Steve Benen

Shared publicly  - 
 
I published another dozen new items today -- Wednesday, August 19, 2015 -- and here are some highlights:

* There was a time when the Republican Party was considered the dominant party on foreign policy. But that was before the "twilight of the wise man" (http://on.msnbc.com/1fpUhyT).

* If you're wealthy, healthy, and certain you'll never get sick, the new health plans from Scott Walker and Marco Rubio look pretty good. For everyone else, it's a different kind of story (http://on.msnbc.com/1Jr4ER6).

* Is the Constitution constitutional? Donald Trump has his doubts. The Republican has a doozy of an idea that, if implemented, might even deport people born in the United States (http://on.msnbc.com/1E3mHdZ).

* It's a problem that Mike Huckabee feels comfortable telling us what Martin Luther King Jr. would say today. It's a bigger problem that Huckabee has completely missed the point of a burgeoning civil-rights movement (http://on.msnbc.com/1fpRXbj).

* A celebrated writer in Miami is wondering whether Gov. Rick Scott (R) is "the worst governor in the history of Florida." It's worth appreciating what the Republican governor did recently to raise the question (http://on.msnbc.com/1MDtuOe).

* A senator from Kansas doesn't want Guantanamo detainees transferred to Fort Leavenworth's maximum-security prison. His reasoning is ridiculous, even for him (http://on.msnbc.com/1ECJ0BT).
There are still some Republicans who "take foreign policy seriously on its merits." On Capitol Hill, they're ignored by today's GOP.
3
Vik Arya's profile photo
 
The GOP hasn't been credible on foreign policy since maybe pre-Kissinger. When it comes to figuring out how to work with someone else they are like little children who never learned how to share. Not to say there aren't Dems like this but those are far and few in comparison.
Add a comment...

Steve Benen

Shared publicly  - 
 
I published another dozen new items today -- Monday, August 17, 2015 -- and here are some highlights:

* The good news: Donald Trump has released a relatively detailed immigration plan to the public. The bad news: the plan is a little ... bonkers (http://on.msnbc.com/1NAFdKs).

* Should an 11-year-old rape victim be forced by the government to take a pregnancy to term? Mike Huckabee's answer to this question matters quite a bit (http://on.msnbc.com/1MtPaLl).

* Just six months ago, Jeb Bush was asked about his brother's foreign policy failures. "I won't talk about the past," he replied. Now, Jeb Bush is saying something ... very different (http://on.msnbc.com/1TNH5l3).

* Multiple states recently launched investigations into Planned Parenthood, looking for possible wrongdoing. The results of the investigations aren't quite what many expected to find (http://on.msnbc.com/1HSuI0j).

* Are Republicans united in their opposition to the Iran nuclear deal? In a surprising twist, no -- President Obama's position has picked up some surprising bipartisan support (http://on.msnbc.com/1HSuSVb).

* Ordinarily, when one increasingly popular candidate, over the course of a few days, makes bizarre comments about vaccinations, the minimum wage, and climate change, it'd be a huge problem. But in August 2015, it barely causes a ripple (http://on.msnbc.com/1TQCG6d).
1
Add a comment...

Steve Benen

Shared publicly  - 
 
I published another dozen new items today -- Wednesday, August 12, 2015 -- and here are some highlights:

* George W. Bush launched a disastrous war under false pretenses and failed to manage the conflict responsibly. His brother not only wants to follow in his footsteps, Jeb also wants you to blame President Obama and Hillary Clinton (http://on.msnbc.com/1IKnQUe).

* In Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker (R) may not have $250 million for education ...  but he does have $250 million for the local basketball team? (http://on.msnbc.com/1L6vX3s) Is this "fiscal conservatism"?

* Ted Cruz now says he wants to "prosecute" Planned Parenthood. But he also inadvertently gave away the game, making clear that his concerns go well beyond the health care organization (http://on.msnbc.com/1J4wEIn).

* For some Beltway pundits, it's not enough that President Obama is right about the international Iran deal. It's a problem, they say, that he's not being nicer to Republicans about it (http://on.msnbc.com/1Pl19dK).

* Dozens of retired U.S. military leaders -- including four four-star generals -- have endorsed the Iran deal. Their joint letter comes on the heels of a similar letter from dozens of nuclear experts, which came on the heels of a similar letter from national security officials from previous U.S. administrations, which came on the heels of a similar letter from more than 100 former ambassadors (http://on.msnbc.com/1Pl0Mjz). Does expert consensus matter?

* According to the Constitution, everyone born in the United States is a citizen of the United States. Chris Christie isn't sure the Constitution is right (http://on.msnbc.com/1II60U5).
1
Add a comment...

Steve Benen

Shared publicly  - 
 
I published another dozen new items today -- Monday, August 10, 2015 -- and here are some highlights:

* With his "blood coming out of her wherever" comments, Donald Trump's campaign has finally reached a crossroads (http://on.msnbc.com/1IEkKkG).

* Jeb Bush told a right-wing media personality over the weekend, "You're on the side of women." At the time, Bush was talking to a Republican with a lengthy history of misogyny (http://on.msnbc.com/1IEl7M5).

* We've all seen politicians get caught up in sex scandals, but Michigan offers up a new one: Two married, right-wing lawmakers are accused of having an affair -- and concocting a wild cover-up scheme (http://on.msnbc.com/1gtCGqI).

* Rand Paul has a rather unique explanation for income inequality in the U.S. I had no idea, for example, that the rich are just "working harder" than the rest of us (http://on.msnbc.com/1PhaP97).

* For much of the Beltway, John Kasich, the Ohio governor and GOP presidential candidate, is a "moderate." But a real moderate wouldn't even think of saying what Kasich just said about climate change and global warming (http://on.msnbc.com/1J7kVdP).

* Note to all candidates: before you refer votes to your website's "issues" page, make sure you have an "issues" page (http://on.msnbc.com/1EkbWyB).
3
Add a comment...
In his circles
4 people
Have him in circles
207 people
Adam McGinnis's profile photo
Ngoc Bich's profile photo
Jonathan Abbey's profile photo
Rachel Hillerman's profile photo
Joseph Logston's profile photo
Safiya Simmons's profile photo
Gloria Watson's profile photo
Lisa Carper's profile photo
Hope Gibbs's profile photo

Steve Benen

Shared publicly  - 
 
I published another dozen new items today -- Monday, August 24, 2015 -- and here are some highlights:

* It's the campaign mailer that left everyone scratching their heads: why does it look like Jeb Bush is shown with one white hand and one black hand? (http://on.msnbc.com/1V4kuDd)

* The "rules" of modern campaigning tell us Donald Trump couldn't possibly win the GOP nomination. But what if the "rules" are suddenly being rewritten? What if, as one political scientist put it, "this time really is different"? (http://on.msnbc.com/1NQdANT)

* Would Scott Walker sit down with activists associated with the Black Lives Matter movement? "I'm going to meet with voters," he replied, adding, "Who knows who that is?" There's one big problem with that answer (http://on.msnbc.com/1V4OPBN).

* On a related note. for all his rhetoric about being "unintimidated," Walker managed to take three very different positions on birthright citizenship over the course of six days (http://on.msnbc.com/1JrsGFf).

* Dick Cheney wants a debate over Iran. That's a great idea. Let's start with Cheney's role in creating the mess President Obama is trying to clean up (http://on.msnbc.com/1LtC1QL).

* Justice Alito for President? One prominent Republican media figure likes the idea. The GOP has 17 presidential candidates -- and some in the party *still*don't see a winner? (http://on.msnbc.com/1KI3WJO)
5
Mike Jone's profile photoBill Ezell's profile photo
2 comments
 
Jeb's stance opposing crypto alone convinces me that he's either technically illiterate or malevolent, either of which immediately rules him out of consideration for me.
Add a comment...

Steve Benen

Shared publicly  - 
 
I published another dozen new items today -- Thursday, August 20, 2015 -- and here are some highlights:

* I've been looking for a reason to take the Clinton email story seriously. So far, I haven't found one (http://on.msnbc.com/1Jl1L2d).

* The congressional fight over the Iran deal is effectively over. The next question is whether or not congressional Republicans will lose this in a smart way or a dumb way (http://on.msnbc.com/1NHKDDx).

* Republican presidential candidate John Kasich has uncovered an education problem he'd love to fix: The governor wants to scrap teachers' lounges (http://on.msnbc.com/1hOHhEJ).

* Ted Cruz knows what the Constitution says about birthright citizenship. So take a wild guess what Cruz wants to do to the Constitution (http://on.msnbc.com/1Ky0At4).

* A prominent far-right voice in Iowa has endorsed slave labor for undocumented immigrants in the U.S. So why do Republican presidential candidates talk to this guy? (http://on.msnbc.com/1Llk4DT)

* If the term "anchor baby" is "disgusting and dehumanizing," why in the world is Jeb Bush using it? (http://on.msnbc.com/1E6Ui6K)
Sorry, Hillary Clinton critics, but vague question and ambiguous allegations do not a "scandal" make.
5
1
Valkyrie's profile photo
Add a comment...

Steve Benen

Shared publicly  - 
 
I published another dozen new items today -- Tuesday, August 18, 2015 -- and here are some highlights:

* The Constitution says if you're born in the United States, you're a citizen of the United States. It's amazing how many GOP presidential candidates oppose this principle -- and want to change or challenge the Constitution (http://on.msnbc.com/1EAC4oU).

* On his first day in office, President Obama banned torture. How many of his Republican successors are prepared to roll back the clock? Quite a few, actually (http://on.msnbc.com/1TRqxZr).

* If Donald Trump learns about national security entirely by watching pundits on TV, why do Republican voters consider him the best candidate to take on ISIS? (http://on.msnbc.com/1hKq1Rg)

* The birther "movement" never succeeded in forcing President Obama from office -- but the activists aren't giving up. Now they have a whole new group of candidates whose eligibility they're questioning (http://on.msnbc.com/1PkHbzl).

* In March 2014, Rick Perry described the debate over pay equity for women as "nonsense." A year and a half later, his position is arguably even worse (http://on.msnbc.com/1PkJ7Yu).

* Who looks at the barriers separating Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank and thinks, "You know, the United States needs more of this"? One GOP presidential candidate, that's who (http://on.msnbc.com/1NrgbzF).
3
Add a comment...

Steve Benen

Shared publicly  - 
 
I published another dozen new items today -- Thursday, August 13, 2015 -- and here are some highlights:

* For those desperately waiting for "Obamacare" to fail, this week has been crushing. New evidence shows the Affordable Care Act succeeding in historic ways (http://on.msnbc.com/1h5Ziyo).

* The more Jeb Bush talks about Hillary Clinton's emails, the more we're reminded he did the exact same thing she did (http://on.msnbc.com/1TuYzYE). It's a stunning failure of self-awareness.

* When it comes to reducing unemployment, who has the more impressive record: Barack Obama or Ronald Reagan? Let's take a closer look. The answer may not be what most Americans expect (http://on.msnbc.com/1EpAyWH).

* GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson went after Planned Parenthood over fetal-tissue research, which makes his own record with fetal-tissue research a real problem (http://on.msnbc.com/1DQmtXn).

* Grover Norquist's anti-tax "pledge" is widely seen as a mindless, knee-jerk obstacle to good governance. And yet, Republican presidential candidates keep signing it anyway (http://on.msnbc.com/1J6fBpa).

* Scott Walker sees Iranian weapons inspections as similar to keeping an eye on his teen-aged sons. The closer one looks at the comparison, the more obvious it is that the Wisconsin governor needs more foreign-policy lessons (http://on.msnbc.com/1MndWwm).
1
Add a comment...

Steve Benen

Shared publicly  - 
 
I published another dozen new items today -- Tuesday, August 11, 2015 -- and here are some highlights:

* Under fire from Hillary Clinton, Marco Rubio has a bold, new campaign message for voters: Fertilized human eggs, Rubio wants you to know, can't develop into cats (http://on.msnbc.com/1L4aAzI).

* How to tell when Obamacare Derangement Syndrome has gotten completely out of control: Republicans are starting to see it everywhere -- even in Hillary Clinton's higher-education plan (http://on.msnbc.com/1JTbsFY).

* Rand Paul believes Donald Trump is the emperor with no clothes. The senator neglected to notice his own nudity (http://on.msnbc.com/1J1HGOz).

* The more Donald Trump talks about possibly running for president as an independent, the more he needs to learn what "sore-loser laws" are (http://on.msnbc.com/1N1sBz4).

* Why does Joe Lieberman have a curious new job? It's a funny story about a group opposed to the Iran deal, whose chairman now supports the Iran deal (http://on.msnbc.com/1J2kLTg).

* How far would Ted Cruz go to sabotage the Obama administration's foreign policy? Far enough that he hopes to see state governments join him in undermining the Iran nuclear deal (http://on.msnbc.com/1J7mto3).
1
1
Sabeena LoBello's profile photo
Add a comment...

Steve Benen

Shared publicly  - 
 
I published another dozen new items today -- Friday, August 7, 2015 -- and here are some highlights:

* Who was the big winner in the Republican presidential candidates' debate? I'd argue it was Hillary Clinton (http://on.msnbc.com/1NevGJ9).

* If a woman is impregnated by a rapist, should the government force her to take the pregnancy to term?  Marco Rubio's answer is ... problematic (http://on.msnbc.com/1MSlbOs).

* Republicans were outraged when Obama said they're aligned with Iranian hardliners against the Iran deal. Would the president walk it back? Not a chance (http://on.msnbc.com/1NfozA4).

* It's illegal to use the IRS as a political weapon against a president's enemies. So why did a Republican presidential candidate promise last night he'd sic the IRS on Planned Parenthood? (http://on.msnbc.com/1Edzm8F)

* Republicans keep pointing to Reagan as a model for Obama to follow on policy towards Iran. It's as if the GOP has wiped a certain devastating scandal from their collective memories (http://on.msnbc.com/1JREFB5).

* Conservatives often argue President Obama isn't respected abroad, while Vladimir Putin is seen as impressive internationally. Is it true? Consider the new evidence about which leader is celebrated across the globe -- and which one isn't (http://on.msnbc.com/1JRDfX2).
1
Add a comment...
People
In his circles
4 people
Have him in circles
207 people
Adam McGinnis's profile photo
Ngoc Bich's profile photo
Jonathan Abbey's profile photo
Rachel Hillerman's profile photo
Joseph Logston's profile photo
Safiya Simmons's profile photo
Gloria Watson's profile photo
Lisa Carper's profile photo
Hope Gibbs's profile photo
Work
Employment
  • MSNBC
    Producer, The Rachel Maddow Show, 2012 - present
  • Washington Monthly
    Contributing Writer, 2008 - 2012
  • The Carpetbagger Report
    Founder, Publisher, 2003 - 2008
  • Americans United for Separation of Church and State
    Communications Department, 1997 - 2002
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Essex Junction, Vermont
Previously
Washington, DC - Miami, FL
Story
Tagline
Campaign-covering, chart-making, policy-wonking progressive blogger/reporter/commentator for MSNBC
Introduction

Before joining MSNBC, I was a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, headlining the "Political Animal" blog. I've also written for a variety of other publications, including Talking Points Memo, The American Prospect, the Huffington Post, the New York Daily News, and Salon.com. My blogging career started in February 2003 with the launch of The Carpetbagger Report.

Bragging rights
In July 2009, The Atlantic named me one of the top 50 most influential political commentators in the United States. (I finished one slot above Lou Dobbs, which made the honor that much more satisfying.)
Education
  • George Washington University
    1996
Basic Information
Gender
Male