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Steve Benen
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Attended George Washington University
Lives in Essex Junction, Vermont
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Steve Benen

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I published another dozen or so new items today -- Friday, July 11, 2014 -- and here are some highlights:

* For weeks, House Republicans talked up a major new lawsuit against President Obama, whom they characterized as an out-of-control tyrant. But yesterday, when Speaker Boehner faced a put-up-or-shut-up challenge, he blew it (

* As far as Mitch McConnell is concerned, "most of the barriers" for American women, have been already been "lowered." Maybe this helps explain why he opposed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the Violence Against Women Act, and the Paycheck Fairness Act? (

* A U.S. Senate candidate in Virginia believes working for the minimum wage is awesome: "It's where you learn the social aspect of work, where you play on a softball team or go for a beer after work." Reality tells a very different kind of story (

* Karl Rove has a new complaint about the president: Obama "makes time for [fundraising] no matter how pressing world or national affairs are." One wonders why Rove didn't have similar concerns when Bush made time for fundraising during comparable crises (

* Todd Akin is back, he's not sorry, and he wants to re-litigate whether women impregnated during a "legitimate rape" can "shut that whole thing down" (

* Elections shenanigan in Florida? You don't say (

* If Republicans can't impeach Obama, gosh darn it they're going to have to impeach someone else. Apparently, GOP lawmakers have their eye on Holder (
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Steve Benen

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I published another a dozen new items today -- Wednesday, July 9, 2014 -- and here are some highlights:

* Speaker Boehner claims he's passed "more than 40 jobs bills" that Democrats have ignored. Is that true? There's one way to find out: let's take a closer look at the list of so-called "jobs bills" (

* When it comes to the humanitarian crisis at the border, President Obama wants a policy solution, not a photo-op. Congressional Republicans want a photo-op, not a policy solution (

* Not too long ago, Republicans talking about impeaching President Obama were widely considered extremists. But as one prominent political scientist said yesterday, "the lunatic fringe," is starting to go "mainstream" (

* Last week, the Supreme Court's conservative majority weighed in on contraception, saying some employers can limit women's access to birth control. Today, the Senate's Democratic majority unveil their important response (

* The communications director for the RNC made a bold claim: the Supreme Court has unanimously "struck down the president's executive orders" 13 times. In reality, he's off by 13. All of this is the result of an awful game of "telephone" (

* If a senator is going to chastise an Obama administration official during an important hearing, the senator should at least try to yell at the right person. In an unfortunately funny incident, that didn't quite go well for Sen. John McCain this afternoon (
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I published another a dozen new items today -- Friday, July 7, 2014 -- and here are some highlights:

* The Supreme Court has quietly returned to its Hobby Lobby ruling - twice - making it worse both times. Much of the country missed it, but Sotomayor called out Alito in unusually harsh terms right before the holiday weekend - and he deserved it (

* In the abstract, Americans love the First Amendment. In practice, Americans don't seem to know what's in the First Amendment (

* What's worse than the president's critics constantly looking for "Obama's Watergate"? The president's critics constantly looking for "Obama's Katrina" (

* Joe Lieberman and the right have a new talking point: the Supreme Court has issued 13 unanimous rulings saying the Obama administration exceeded its constitutional authority. There's just one problem: the talking point isn't true (

* If the House Republicans' anti-Obama lawsuit has real merit, why can't House Speaker John Boehner explain its purpose in a clear, rational way? (

* Texas Gov. Rick Perry thinks he can explain the recent humanitarian crisis along the Southern border: there's an Obama conspiracy. Involving whom? He doesn't know. To what end? He doesn't know. How did the conspiracy come together? He doesn't know (
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I published another a dozen new items today -- Wednesday, July 2, 2014 -- and here are some highlights:

* According to a Fox News host, single women -- whom he calls "Beyonce Voters" -- have a choice: depend on husbands or they can depend on government. He wasn't kidding (

* The Beltway media seems pretty excited today about a poll that says Obama's the worst modern president and Reagan's the best. There's just one problem: the poll is utterly ridiculous and misleading (

* Imagine you're a parent in Texas and you're concerned about dangerous chemicals being stored near your kid's school. Under state law, you're on your own -- parents should "drive around" looking for facilities that might have dangerous chemicals, then go knock on the door (

* Target became the latest in a series of major national chains to deliver a clear message to customers: Leave your guns at home. In this case, there was very likely one specific incident that led to the shift in store policy (

* Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) says an America without the Civil Rights Act, enacted 50 years ago today, is "simply unimaginable." But he couldn't find it too hard to imagine -- Rand Paul used to oppose the Civil Rights Act (

* Is it possible that House Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) office literally doesn't understand what "oversight" means? (
Esmond Missen's profile photoScott Goins's profile photolayzo B's profile photo
layzo B
Oh my fox boobs.nothing suprise from that bunch.
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Steve Benen

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I published another a dozen new items today -- Monday, June 30, 2014 -- and here are some highlights:

* Are corporations people capable of exercising religious beliefs? For many years, the answer was no -- the exercise of religion was for "natural persons, not artificial legal entities." As of this morning, the game has changed in fundamental ways (

* Republicans are celebrating the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling, but they're dancing on a political landmine. The GOP is now the party of restrictions on contraception access. Did Democrats lose the case but win a campaign issue? (

* A year ago, House Speaker John Boehner made a public vow on immigration: "It is time for Congress to act.... I believe the House has its job to do, and we will do our job." It is a commitment House Republicans will now break (

* Karl Rove is certain that President Obama, unlike Rove's former boss, George W. Bush, has pushed executive power too far. Rove may not remember recent history, but his argument is demonstrably ridiculous (

* If Senate Republicans take the majority, would GOP leader Mitch McConnell focus on jobs? No, he'll focus on abortion (

* And it looks like Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) won't be lending his new allies a hand on the Voting Rights Act after all ( That's gratitude for you.
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Citizens United Against a stacked Supreme Court!
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Steve Benen

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I published another a dozen new items today -- Thursday, June 26, 2014 -- and here are some highlights:

* Only on Fox News can one hear a guest argue the World Cup is intended "to distract people" from the stories Fox considers important. Keith Ablow declared today, "I am a little suspicious" of the international tournament. He wasn't kidding (

* The Supreme Court did not outlaw abortion in its new ruling, but in a major decision, the justices did make it tougher for women trying to access abortion services to get past protestors (

* The justices also weighed in on recess appointments, which are a lot more interesting than you might think (

* Is there evidence to suggest Speaker Boehner's upcoming lawsuit against President Obama is a transparent sham? At the same press conference in which Boehner condemned Obama for circumventing Congress, he also urged Obama to go around Congress (

* Republicans and much of the media claimed to have uncovered a new scandal: the IRS, they said, targeted a Republican senator. There's just one problem: the allegation isn't even close to being true. The new "scandal" is another dud (

* One year after the Voting Rights Act was gutted by conservatives on the Supreme Court, civil-rights activists have an interesting idea: since black Democrats rescued Sen. Thad Cochran's career this week, maybe it's time for him to return the favor? (

* Did Virginia Republicans kinda sorta break into Gov. Terry McAuliffe's (D) office? I guess it depends on how one defines "break into" (

* Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has joined the club of congressional Republicans who support marriage equality. It now has seven members -- 2.5% of all federal GOP lawmakers (
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Steve: been following you since "Monthly." I just heard about the "Obama  Bilderberg Speech" Hoax. Wow, it's mindblowing, 19 seconds on YT taken out of context. A search turns up pages of wacko sites with same thing. They have the date wrong by 3 days, really his 3/26/14 Brussels speech, they have it as 3/23 to the Bilderberg group, which he never addressed, and it met in Denmark. 
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Have him in circles
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Steve Benen

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I published another a dozen new items today -- Thursday, July 10, 2014 -- and here are some highlights:

* When it comes to immigration, Republicans were against symbolic photo-ops before they were for them (

* Perhaps the biggest proof yet the right has lost the fight over the Affordable Care Act: even Republican consumers are happy with the coverage (

* Benghazi conspiracy theorists have been heavily invested in the so-called "stand-down order." There's now definitive proof that the charge was wrong (

* Hoping to make Obama look worse and Putin look better, the right said earlier this year that Russia is "gaining prestige and influence throughout the world." Conservatives had it backwards -- and it looks like Obama was right all along (

* Mitch McConnell wants to distance himself from the Paul Ryan budget? Two words: too late (

* What's the Republican plan for the border crisis? Other than complaining about President Obama, they don't have one (

* The worst argument against climate change ever? A Kentucky state senator believes Mars and Earth have the exact same temperatures, "Yet there are no coal mines on Mars" (
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Steve Benen

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I published another a dozen new items today -- Tuesday, July 8, 2014 -- and here are some highlights:

* Sarah Palin is demanding that Republicans impeach President Obama. This may prove to be an election-year gift to Democrats (

* First, Chris Christie vetoed a gun-safety bill that might save lives. Second, the governor refused to meet with grieving Sandy Hook parents. And third, Christie suggested to reporters that since gun reforms can't save everyone, he won't try to save anyone (

* House Republicans aren't just wasting time and energy on a new Benghazi committee. We learned today that they're also investing $3.3 million to ask Benghazi questions that have already been answered. Care to guess who'll pick up the entire tab? (

* Abstinence education may not work as advertised, but Colorado is showing what happens when low-income women have access to contraception at low or no cost (

* High-profile figures from the Bush/Cheney team still, even now, love Ahmad Chalabi. It'd be funny if it weren't so sad (

* As the job market improves considerably, will President Obama get credit? Probably not, and I kicked around a couple of possible reasons why (
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Steve Benen

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I published another a dozen new items today -- Thursday, July 3, 2014 -- and here are some highlights:

* It's pretty impressive to see just how much the unemployment rate has dropped since President Obama took office (

* Indeed, it would appear the "Where are the jobs?" question has been answered in an emphatic way (

* The more the job market improves, the tougher it is for the right to explain. If you're Speaker Boehner or Fox News, how do you respond to today's great news on jobs? That's easy: pretend the news didn't happen and hope no one notices (

* The point of limiting high-capacity magazines is to take the "mass" out of "mass shootings." So why did Chris Christie veto a good bill yesterday, calling it "trivial"? (

* House Republicans have a new demand: Obama should start deporting Dream Act kids. The GOP seems eager to become the Deportation Party, or perhaps more accurately, "the party of 'get the hell out'" (

* When the American mainstream loses confidence in the major federal institutions, does the right consider that good news or bad? (
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Steve Benen

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I published another a dozen new items today -- Tuesday, July 1, 2014 -- and here are some highlights:

* House Republicans are getting rid of policy staff on Capitol Hill -- while hiring "messaging" staff. Why doesn't Congress get anything done? Maybe because Congress is literally investing more in public relations, less in governing (

* Republicans now claim they have proof -- real, actual evidence -- of Obama's "out-of-control imperial" presidency. The "proof" is some of the silliest charges the GOP has made in a long, long time (

* The conservative version of political correctness is kind of weird. The NRA published a commentary, for example, suggesting that just because a man with a gun shot and killed people, we shouldn't necessarily describe the murderer as a "gunman" or a "shooter" (

* Gov. Chris Christie (R) thinks he's a "good leader" because he refuses to give an opinion about the Supreme Court's contraception case. Don't real leaders show courage and take a stand on controversial issues? (

* Gov. Sam Brownback (R) thought he'd create an economic model for the nation by slashing taxes beyond what Kansas could afford. What happened next created a different kind of model for other states: what not to do (

* Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) met eight times with members of the ultra-conservative "Sovereign Citizens" movement, which rejects the legitimacy of the United States. Wondering why LePage did this? You're not alone (
Jennifer Hatcher's profile photo
You may as well add Nikki Haley to the Chris Christie/ Hobby Lobby story. She still hasn't released a statement. She's too busy talking about small business, NFIB, guns, and taking shots at Vincent Sheheen.
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I published another a dozen new items today -- Friday, June 27, 2014 -- and here are some highlights:

* The right and much of the media spent months hailing Russian President Vladimir Putin as a strategic mastermind. But it's Barack Obama who's getting the last laugh (

* Bill Clinton in one corner, criticizing Dick Cheney. Dick Cheney in the other corner, talking trash about Bill Clinton. The smart money is on Clinton coming out on top in this fight (

* A Fox News host now believes it's "almost treason" for Obama to combat the climate crisis. The host added that global warming can't be true because European settlers were hot in the summer of 1607. He wasn't kidding (

* Immigration reform is dead. In this game of political "Clue," the culprit was Republicans, in the House, with their indifference (

* It matters that every Republican prediction about the Affordable Care Act turned out to be wrong. It matters even more, however, that those who made the wrong predictions still believe they were right, reality be damned (

* Congressional Republicans have stopped a federal minimum-wage increase. But away from Capitol Hill, there's progress GOP lawmakers can't stop (
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Steve Benen

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I published another a dozen new items today -- Wednesday, June 25, 2014 -- and here are some highlights:

* The police need a search warrant before going through the contents of your cell phone. The Supreme Court made the call today and it's definitely the right one (

* As Speaker of the House, John Boehner has made some dangerous moves, some reckless moves, and some irresponsible moves. But he arguably hasn't done anything quite as dumb as filing a lawsuit against President Obama for using his presidential powers (

* When it comes to terrorist threats, Dick Cheney wants you to be afraid -- very afraid. In fact, it's easy to forget just how important fear has been to Cheney whenever he's tried to persuade the public (

* Hearing Mitch McConnell complain about Capitol Hill dysfunction is a bit like hearing Uruguay's Luis Suarez complain about biting in soccer. It requires a failure of self-awareness that's almost too staggering to contemplate (

* House Republican leaders haven't actually seen the new, bipartisan plan to extend unemployment benefits ... but they already know they intend to kill it (

* The U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent $70 million to elect Republicans to Congress. At this point, it clearly was not money well spent -- the GOP is neglecting, ignoring, or rejecting the business lobby's top priorities (

* The first-quarter GDP revisions may look awful, but I'd recommend not worrying too much about this, at least not yet (
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Have him in circles
137 people
    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
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Essex Junction, Vermont
Washington, DC - Miami, FL
Campaign-covering, chart-making, policy-wonking progressive blogger/reporter/commentator for MSNBC

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 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.)
  • George Washington University
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