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

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I published another dozen new items today -- Thursday, January 19, 2017 -- and here are some highlights:

* It's hard to say kind of president Donald Trump will be. It's pretty easy to say he was a cringe-worthy president-elect -- possibly the worst ever (http://on.msnbc.com/2jdtfxE).

* The incoming White House press secretary said the "totality of the diversity" in Trump's cabinet is "second to none." That's quite a claim, so let's do a little fact-checking (http://on.msnbc.com/2jD01Mp).

* Who looks more foolish: Rick Perry for accepting a job he knew nothing about, or Trump for offering a job he knew nothing about? (http://on.msnbc.com/2jP5I6Q)

* On a related note, when putting together a cabinet, Trump and his aides apparently bother to do any real research or vetting. As this week has made painfully clear, that was unwise (http://on.msnbc.com/2jcuehO).

* Congressional Republicans are starting to hear from voters about the importance of the Affordable Care Act. And as a result, some GOP lawmakers have started to hide from their constituents (http://on.msnbc.com/2k7CvHF).

* This week, Barack Obama and Donald Trump separately reflected on books. Their answers spoke volumes about their differences (http://on.msnbc.com/2k8h613).
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Steve Benen

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I published another dozen new items today -- Tuesday, January 17, 2017 -- and here are some highlights:

* Donald Trump's unpopularity is his own fault. It didn't have to be this way, but he deliberately chose a misguided course (http://on.msnbc.com/2iCAQVG).

* Nearly a half-century ago, 80 House Democrats boycotted Richard Nixon's second inaugural. This year, the Democratic boycott of Trump's inaugural will be ... close (http://on.msnbc.com/2iLBWS0).

* What would happen to the American health care system if the Republicans' repeal bill took effect? Today, an official report provided a detailed look at the answer -- which the GOP isn't going to like (http://on.msnbc.com/2j6gyET).

* For years, Republicans have said America's allies abroad, thanks to President Obama, can no longer count on the United States. The accusation was wrong -- but starting on Donald Trump's Inauguration Day, it's about to be right (http://on.msnbc.com/2jvZ0Fg).

* Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) wants Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) to thank white Republicans for civil rights. Given the Republican governor's recent history on race, this was a very, very bad idea (http://on.msnbc.com/2j5wyqA).

* Trump's choice for Health Secretary is caught up in a doozy of a controversy. It's been a foregone conclusion that Tom Price would be confirmed for HHS, but it's probably time to rethink those assumptions (http://on.msnbc.com/2iD7ciY).
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Steve Benen

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I published another dozen new items today -- Friday, January 13, 2017 -- and here are some highlights:

* Let's face it: Americans aren't buying what Donald Trump is selling. Some will argue the president-elect's weak public standing won't make much of a difference. Don't believe them (http://on.msnbc.com/2jruQjZ).

* A voter whose life was saved by the ACA challenged House Speaker Paul Ryan last night at a town-hall forum. The Republican leader responded with claims that were plainly wrong -- and in the process, he flunked an important test (http://on.msnbc.com/2jfkfLc).

* House Republicans aren't interested in investigating Donald Trump's conflicts of interest. They are interested in investigating the head of the Office of Government Ethics -- who's complained about Trump's conflicts of interest (http://on.msnbc.com/2isLEc2).

* A week ahead of Inauguration Day, Donald Trump isn't just struggling to win over most of the American public. The president-elect hasn't quite persuaded his own cabinet nominees to agree with his platform, either (http://on.msnbc.com/2jsJVBR).

* Trump asked this week, "Are we living in Nazi Germany?" It's a tough thing for his Republican allies to defend -- but they're trying (http://on.msnbc.com/2jgF8pu).

* It's easy to think of those who'd suffer from "Obamacare" repeal: low-income families, seniors, young adults, people with pre-existing conditions, etc. The very real impact on small businesses is often overlooked (http://on.msnbc.com/2ip49Li).
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Steve Benen

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I published another dozen new items today -- Wednesday, January 11, 2017 -- and here are some highlights:

* Last night, President Obama expressed his concerns about the future health of our democracy. This morning, Donald Trump validated those fears (http://on.msnbc.com/2il8ORs).

* Did Russian officials communicate with members of Trump's team during the presidential campaign? Much of the scandal hinges on the answer -- and the president-elect finally addressed it this morning (http://on.msnbc.com/2ikFw5q).

* Americans have never had a president who asked whether we're living in Nazi Germany. To this extent, Donald Trump made history this morning (http://on.msnbc.com/2ijCnmy).

* Trump finally has a plan to deal with his many conflicts of interest related to his business enterprise. That's the good news. The bad news is a wholly inadequate plan (http://on.msnbc.com/2idVEXW).

* "I would never comment on investigations," FBI Director James Comey said yesterday. It was a comment that raised some important questions about Comey's Election Year decisions (http://on.msnbc.com/2jjFXLY).
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Steve Benen

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I published another dozen new items today -- Monday, January 9, 2017 -- and here are some highlights:

* According to one of Donald Trump's top aides, Americans shouldn't necessarily believe "what's come out of his mouth." Team Trump's efforts to explain away his falsehoods are getting weirder all the time (http://on.msnbc.com/2jm3o6o).

* When it comes to Trump's new feud with Meryl Streep, here's what you need to know: The president-elect lied, then lied about the lie, and is now lying about having lied about mocking a disabled journalist (http://on.msnbc.com/2i6qku7).

* On Friday, Trump got caught lying about his intelligence briefing on the Russia hacking scandal. Over the weekend, the president-elect and his team made matters much worse (http://on.msnbc.com/2juhtCO).

* On a related note, U.S. intelligence agencies believe Russia stole Democratic documents to help put Trump in the White House. Trump wants Americans to blame Democrats (http://on.msnbc.com/2juJhXI).

* Trump is claiming credit for a Fiat-Chrysler investment in Michigan and Ohio. Take a wild guess whether the announcement has anything to do with the president-elect or his policies (http://on.msnbc.com/2i7idxJ).

* If Trump's transition team didn't fully vet his cabinet nominees, and the Office of Government Ethics isn't done with its own review, the potential for real trouble lurks on the horizon (http://on.msnbc.com/2ib6Mn0).

* Trump likes to claim that people call him "the Ernest Hemingway of Twitter." That got me wondering about who these people are (http://on.msnbc.com/2iUNJMz).
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Steve Benen

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I published another dozen new items today -- Thursday, January 5, 2017 -- and here are some highlights:

* A variety of prominent political figures have said Donald Trump will be smarter and more responsible once he's given more information. Here's why those hopes are almost certainly wrong (http://on.msnbc.com/2iflkzt).

* If Republicans thought they could repeal the Affordable Care Act swiftly and easily, they thought wrong. "Obamacare" is helping so many people, the GOP crusade is up against hurdles the party didn't fully appreciate (http://on.msnbc.com/2hW2NY2).

* Intelligence professionals told Trump what he didn't want to hear. He's responding with a plan to cut back intelligence agencies -- a move that will have ripple effects across the government (http://on.msnbc.com/2iTh7lP).

* The most enthusiastic Trump supporter in American media isn't a cable network, a website, or a newspaper. It appears to be one of the nation's most well-known supermarket tabloids (http://on.msnbc.com/2hX6sbf).

* As U.S. auto sales reach record highs, it's clear President Obama was right, Republicans were wrong, and Trump doesn't know nearly enough about the auto industry (http://on.msnbc.com/2iIr9GE).

* Mitch McConnell doesn't seem to understand that he and his party effectively broke the Supreme Court nominating process in 2016. Democrats have no reason to help Republicans clean up the mess (http://on.msnbc.com/2jeXaJE).
Information only matters to those who are interested in learning. Donald Trump is not.
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Steve,
are you, Cory, Rob, Tricia and all of the others who work on the maddow show understand how completely unaware, ignorant, biased, hateful, and ridiculous maddow is? she had no clue as to who the winner of the election would be. so out of touch...so sad...a complete waste smh and lmfao
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Steve Benen

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I published another dozen new items today -- Wednesday, January 18, 2017 -- and here are some highlights:

* Donald Trump may be staring his presidency with woefully low poll numbers, but President Obama is exiting the White House on a very high note (http://on.msnbc.com/2jzrcHb).

* Trump's inauguration hasn't arrived just yet, but he's already making claims about it that are demonstrably untrue (http://on.msnbc.com/2jzT9yC).

* Trump is eager to get to work implementing his agenda, but he's not that eager. The new president is already pushing off his first day of actual work (http://on.msnbc.com/2iBfT2d).

* Obama and Clinton preferred written intelligence briefings. Bush liked oral reports from intel professionals. Trump has something altogether different in mind (http://on.msnbc.com/2joq7A6).

* There's a certain irony surrounding Trump's choice to lead the Department of Education: Betsy DeVos, an opponent of public schools, failed to do her homework -- so she flunked her big test (http://on.msnbc.com/2jK43zo).

* The more Trump demands credit for jobs he had nothing to do with, the more inclined I am to point out how wrong it is for him to pull this scam (http://on.msnbc.com/2jKgCLg).
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Steve Benen

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I published another dozen new items today -- Monday, January 16, 2017 -- and here are some highlights:

* Over the weekend, Donald Trump commented on a variety of international issues, which mattered for one big reason: If the Kremlin had literally written a script for the Republican president-elect, it would've sounded like Trump's answers (http://on.msnbc.com/2iunbVh).

* Trump's allies are arguing President Obama never faced Republican questions about illegitimacy. Ever get the feeling Trump supporters conveniently forget about his existence? (http://on.msnbc.com/2jXKs2d)

* Trump is promising universal coverage, low deductibles, and a less expensive system in which all Americans are "beautifully covered." There's a reason his failure is inevitable (http://on.msnbc.com/2jhHEtO).

* A Republican congressman wanted to host a nice little "community event" at a local library. What Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) didn't know, however, was that his pro-health care constituents would show up (http://on.msnbc.com/2iyt1Qu).

* On MLK Day weekend, Donald Trump thought it'd be wise to feud with one of the most honorable and respected Americans alive. The president-elect's shots at John Lewis, however, had the opposite of the intended effect (http://on.msnbc.com/2jgj3Fm).
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Steve Benen

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I published another dozen new items today -- Thursday, January 12, 2017 -- and here are some highlights:

* During the campaign, an executive at a major retailer gave an illegally large campaign contribution to a pro-Trump PAC. Today, Donald Trump used his notoriety to encourage people to shop at the donor's stores (http://on.msnbc.com/2iouYlY).

* Trump says he'll be "the greatest jobs producer that God ever created." If so, the president-elect will have to learn what unemployment is (http://on.msnbc.com/2jzB5Sf).

* Just when it seemed Trump couldn't possibly add anyone else from Goldman Sachs to his team, he does it again. Remember when Trump spent a year accusing his opponents of being too close to the Wall Street giant? (http://on.msnbc.com/2jcEidf)

* It's like watching a joke come to life: When it comes to health care reform, Republicans actually have a bridge they want to sell you (http://on.msnbc.com/2ipyDzX).

* Did the FBI and Director James Comey go too far in their election-year activities? A new Justice Department investigation intends to find out (http://on.msnbc.com/2jc7fGj).

* One of Sen. Jeff Sessions' (R-Ala.) top supporters believes the Attorney General nominee is facing too much pushback. It's all the result of a "war on whites," an Alabama congressman said (http://on.msnbc.com/2iL80Dp).
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Steve Benen

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I published another dozen new items today -- Tuesday, January 10, 2017 -- and here are some highlights:

* Republicans are deeply divided on health care and could use some presidential leadership. Unfortunately for the GOP, they have Donald Trump, who today made clear he has absolutely no idea what he's talking about (http://on.msnbc.com/2idv7oW).

* On a related note, a week into the new Republican Congress, the far-right dream of repealing "Obamacare" is quickly turning into a GOP nightmare (http://on.msnbc.com/2ibTfZ0).

* In his farewell address, President Obama will have plenty to say about his economic record. Maybe he should bring some charts to help prove the most important point (http://on.msnbc.com/2j4IgVC).

* Why are Republicans holding Obama's and Trump's cabinet selections to very different standards? Because, one GOP senator conceded, the two presidents are "different" (http://on.msnbc.com/2i9RjFm).

* Trump's aides wants the president-elect to get "the benefit of the doubt." That's awfully difficult when he lies about things big and small. Take dress sales in Washington, DC, for example (http://on.msnbc.com/2jz9chb).

* A tidbit that's hard to believe, but which is true: "The incoming president, who has no background in public service at any level, will have a chief of staff, a chief strategist, a chief counselor, and a senior advisor with a combined total of zero days of governing experience" (http://on.msnbc.com/2jq8zlF).
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Steve Benen

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I published another dozen new items today -- Friday, January 6, 2017 -- and here are some highlights:

* It's almost impressive how vacuous Donald Trump's statement is in response to the long-awaited intelligence briefing on the Russia scandal (http://on.msnbc.com/2hZOdim).

* Trump doesn't want Congress to investigate a foreign adversary subverting American democracy on his behalf though leaks ... but he does want Congress to investigate a news organization reporting details he doesn't like from intelligence agencies (http://on.msnbc.com/2jcGXk9).

* In the 2012 presidential election, Mitt Romney claimed that by today, he might be able to get the unemployment rate down to 6%. Given President Obama's record, Romney's prediction is kind of hilarious (http://on.msnbc.com/2i0kp8u).

* Which is the higher priority for Republicans: reducing the deficit or gutting "Obamacare"? As of today, it's not even a close contest (http://on.msnbc.com/2iKUS3L).

* On a related note, a growing number of Republicans are already balking in response to their own party's "Obamacare" repeal crusade. The GOP's strategy may be slowing falling apart (http://on.msnbc.com/2iRdO1o).

* Republicans never used to question the moral authority of the United States. In the Trump era, and in the wake of the Russia scandal, GOP politics has taken an extraordinary turn (http://on.msnbc.com/2ikh5CU).

* For months, Donald Trump has mocked and taunted U.S. intelligence agencies. For months, the agencies said nothing in response. Yesterday, that changed (http://on.msnbc.com/2jiLe9w).
Intelligence professionals told Donald Trump today that Russia was responsible for the attack on our election, but he doesn't want to mention this core truth.
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Steve Benen

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I published another dozen new items today -- Wednesday, January 4, 2017 -- and here are some highlights:

* Donald Trump had already picked an "insanely dangerous" fight with U.S. intelligence agencies. Then, for reasons that are entirely unclear, he made it much, much worse (http://on.msnbc.com/2j4dGrJ).

* Just when it seemed the tensions between Trump and U.S. intelligence agencies couldn't get any worse, the president-elect sides with Julian Assange over the CIA (http://on.msnbc.com/2hSdK1H).

* Trump, who spent months railing against the influence of the financial industry, has tapped a Wall Street insider ... to oversee Wall Street (http://on.msnbc.com/2hRf145).

* Much of the media is inclined to give Donald Trump credit for Republicans reversing course on gutting congressional ethics. But that's not quite what happened. In fact, there's a lesson to be learned here -- which has nothing to do with the president-elect (http://on.msnbc.com/2jaL5oJ).

* The Senate Republicans were prepared to hold open a Supreme Court vacancy for years. Surprisingly, Senate Democrats are now moving forward with the same idea (http://on.msnbc.com/2hSpMq2).

*Trump wants credit for saving Ford jobs in Michigan -- which he had nothing to do with. There's a reason the president-elect keeps trying to pull this trick (http://on.msnbc.com/2j9LLL7).

* The Senate Republican leadership is prepared to overlook Russia's alleged cyberattack on the American presidential election. But starting tomorrow, an investigation will likely begin anyway (http://on.msnbc.com/2j5TAxp).
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Harley is not in robbys archives
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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
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