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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 -- Friday, June 24, 2016 -- and here are some highlights:

* Appearing in the U.K. today, Donald Trump had an incredible opportunity to look and act like a president. He failed so spectacularly, it's as if he weren't even trying (http://on.msnbc.com/28VurVF).

* For some Americans, the ‪#‎Brexit‬ results and Europe's unraveling may seem like a distant concern, unrelated to the U.S. Here's why that assumption is a mistake (http://on.msnbc.com/28RaRVo).

* Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, and Jeff Sessions recognize the global crisis Brexit has sparked. But for rather hilarious reasons, they're celebrating anyway (http://on.msnbc.com/28Vgwyq).

* On a related note, there's a lot of talk today about the nationalistic parallels between Brexit and the Trump campaign, but the differences matter, too (http://on.msnbc.com/28XW7s0).

* Paul Ryan had a bold idea: come up with a detailed policy agenda that proves Republicans are a credible governing party. Oops (http://on.msnbc.com/28W7OQW).

* Bernie Sanders was presented with a straightforward question: "Are you going to vote for Hillary Clinton in November?" His answer wasn't something we'd heard from the Vermont senator before (http://on.msnbc.com/292dN4B).
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Steve Benen

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I published another dozen new items today -- Wednesday, June 22, 2016 -- and here are some highlights:

* Marco Rubio's original decision not to seek re-election was an honorable moment -- which he's now throwing away by reversing course in the name of brazen opportunism (http://on.msnbc.com/28NzOEy).

* It's practically unheard of: members of Congress disrupting congressional proceedings, But the House Democratic 'sit-in' today is a protest of historic significance (http://on.msnbc.com/28Ok2r2).

* Donald Trump apparently wants the presidential race to be about honesty. His brazen lies this morning proved why that's a spectacularly bad idea (http://on.msnbc.com/28PtW09).

* The new House Republican alternative to "Obamacare" has one overarching problem: It's more of a joke than an actual plan (http://on.msnbc.com/28PNu2V).

* When Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) calls a policy "racist" and "divisive," it's a pretty safe bet that the truth is the opposite (http://on.msnbc.com/28QV9ha).

* Donald Trump has forged a new campaign partnership with Michele Bachmann and some of her evangelical pals. What could possibly go wrong? (http://on.msnbc.com/28OM1ut)
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+Ann M. Yes we do dear
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Steve Benen

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I published another dozen new items today -- Monday, June 20, 2016 -- and here are some highlights:

* It's come to this: in one specific area of the debate over guns, Donald Trump is actually to the right on the NRA (http://on.msnbc.com/28IMSeO).

* It's not common for elected officials to abandon their party in an election year, but it's hard not to notice the number of Republican officials giving up on the GOP (http://on.msnbc.com/28J0KIc).

* When a presidential candidate fires his campaign manager in mid-June -- less a month before the party's national convention -- it's a very bad sign (http://on.msnbc.com/28IyjWQ).

* Donald Trump generally likes to pretend he's always winning -- which makes recent campaign developments a little awkward for him (http://on.msnbc.com/28LAmct).

* Republicans are accustomed to corporate sponsors lining up to support their national convention. But this year, some of the country's largest companies don't want anything to do with the event -- because of one important detail (http://on.msnbc.com/28JSqI3).

* A week after Bernie Sanders insisted Democrats adopt a "50-state strategy," Hillary Clinton's response matters (http://on.msnbc.com/28K5r4m).
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Steve Benen

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I published another dozen new items today -- Tuesday, June 14, 2016 -- and here are some highlights:

* Republicans have raised plenty of questions about President Obama's counter-terrorism strategy. Today, he answered those questions in rather dramatic fashion. (http://on.msnbc.com/1ZONeBK).

* One day after the Orlando massacre, Donald Trump delivered one of the scariest American political speeches in at least a generation (http://on.msnbc.com/25ZXjzu).

* When a major-party presidential nominee goes to war with a newspaper, that's not normal (http://on.msnbc.com/1UxD3gL).

* Harry Truman once called the House Un-American Activities Committee "the most un-American thing in the country." Decades later, some Republicans in 2016 want to bring back the scandalous committee anyway (http://on.msnbc.com/1UOfP8O).

* Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) doesn't want to limit access to assault weapons, because bombs kill a lot of people. This is even dumber than it seems at first glance (http://on.msnbc.com/1VXgDuw).

* Just when it seemed 2016 couldn't possibly get any stranger, Russian government hackers helped kick things up a notch (http://on.msnbc.com/1WMNcw6).
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Steve Benen

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I published another dozen new items today -- Friday, June 10, 2016 -- and here are some highlights:

* Praying for the president is one thing. The anti-Obama "prayer" a Republican senator issued this morning is something very different (http://on.msnbc.com/1UqQJtY).

* It's easy to see the ads: Deadbeat Donald Trump claims to be a successful billionaire, but he doesn't pay his bills. Trump will have to respond, but it's unclear how (http://on.msnbc.com/1TZxVCt).

* It's cognitive dissonance on a scale to which we're unaccustomed: Marco Rubio believes Donald Trump should be president. Marco Rubio also believes -- at the same time -- Donald Trump shouldn't be president (http://on.msnbc.com/1PP1I4i).

* Elizabeth Warren, who plays a unique role in Democratic politics, announced last night, "I'm ready." She meant that in more ways than one (http://on.msnbc.com/1XdQrN2).

* Mitch McConnell says "it's pretty obvious" that Donald Trump "doesn't know a lot about the issues." It's what McConnell said after that, though, that's a bigger problem (http://on.msnbc.com/1UHvBlO).

* The Republican National Committee doesn't want to talk about Donald Trump. When it comes to the RNC's website, I mean that literally (http://on.msnbc.com/1ZF1bCi).
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I want Grayson, not Murphy, to be the next US Senator from FL. So I need to spend my cash American money to help overcome establishment Dems' (like Obama, Biden, Reid, and I suppose, Wasserman Schultz and H. Clinton)  support for Murphy. I am referring to Harry Reid, who will turn the Senate Dem leadership over in January to Charles Schumer, US Senator from AIPAC and Wall Street. Then, if Muphy wins the primary on Aug 30, I'm supposed to forget about the cash I threw away, and vote for Clinton and Murphy on Nov 8. Yes, of course I will. If you need to reach me, I will be at my ancestral home in Cabbageville, between now and the primary.
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Steve Benen

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I published another dozen new items today -- Wednesday, June 8, 2016 -- and here are some highlights:

* The road ahead won't be easy, but Hillary Clinton starts the general-election phase with a lead and an opportunity to make history. Game on (http://on.msnbc.com/1YehlEa).

* Donald Trump will be the Republican Party's presidential nominee, right? Probably -- but not definitely (http://on.msnbc.com/1WF8r2Q).

* On a related note, the Trump campaign tried to lower the temperature yesterday on the scandal surrounding the candidate's racist rhetoric. It really didn't go well (http://on.msnbc.com/1Y90sKO).

* One of Trump's high-profile Senate supporters thinks everyone should "be nice to him" because he's a "first-time candidate." There's a pretty dramatic problem with this kind of thinking (http://on.msnbc.com/1RXrs8K).

* It's one of the year's strangest campaign strategies: A Republican senator is running for re-election while pretending he isn't already in office (http://on.msnbc.com/1UoE4aI).

* Paul Ryan set out to prove House Republicans are serious about combating poverty. The House Speaker inadvertently did the opposite (http://on.msnbc.com/1Ug4NdI).
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Steve Benen

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I published another dozen new items today -- Thursday, June 23, 2016 -- and here are some highlights:

* Americans already knew the 2016 presidential race was going to be extremely important, but the Supreme Court just raised the stakes in a very big way (http://on.msnbc.com/28OhlGM).

* And speaking of the high court, today's affirmative action ruling came as quite a surprise (http://on.msnbc.com/28SCRwm).

* The drama on the House floor overnight over gun reforms was unlike anything Americans have seen in a very long time -- and the resolution was quite unexpected (http://on.msnbc.com/28SdJHf).

* Donald Trump's trip to Scotland is a great example of a presidential candidate going to the wrong place at the wrong time for the wrong reason (http://on.msnbc.com/28SdUlC).

* The National Rifle Association is not accustomed to losing floor votes on gun policy -- but it lost a vote in the Senate today (http://on.msnbc.com/28VjX7F).

* Donald Trump said the Bush/Cheney administration lied the nation into a disastrous war. So why is Donald Rumsfeld endorsing Trump's presidential candidacy? There's a reason -- but it's not a good one (http://on.msnbc.com/290jcsY).
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Steve Benen

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I published another dozen new items today -- Tuesday, June 21, 2016 -- and here are some highlights:

* Even by Donald Trump standards, his decision to pick a fight over Hillary Clinton's religious faith is bonkers (http://on.msnbc.com/28SyI9V).

* California raised taxes on the wealthy. Kansas cut taxes on the wealthy. The economic results raise some very uncomfortable questions for conservatives (http://on.msnbc.com/28K6Fss).

* Donald J. Trump has all kinds of problems as a presidential candidate, but arguably his biggest crisis is his trouble with money (http://on.msnbc.com/28Mxdeo).

* Eight days after the deadliest mass shooting in American history, we learned exactly how much has changed among members of Congress (http://on.msnbc.com/28L16eK).

* Donald Trump's economic plan would very likely "produce a prolonged recession and heavy job losses." And this time, it's not Democrats who are making the argument (http://on.msnbc.com/28LIWIX).

* For criminal-defense attorneys who specialize in elected officials, this has been a Congress to remember (http://on.msnbc.com/28L9jN0).
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Michael Cannon's profile photoJippsey Jackson's profile photoflat earth CROATIAN (NOTW)'s profile photo
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Why dont u 2 fruitcakes get a room
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Steve Benen

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I published another dozen new items today -- Wednesday, June 15, 2016 -- and here are some highlights:

* The Orlando shooting took place at a club that describes itself as "the hottest gay bar in Orlando." There's a reason, however, Republicans want to pretend it wasn't a gay nightclub (http://on.msnbc.com/1WNuGUp).

* Donald Trump has criticized U.S. troops in ways no other modern presidential candidate has (http://on.msnbc.com/1tqRiO6).

* Consider just how far Donald Trump has gone -- over the last five days -- to take the presidential election in an unprecedented direction (http://on.msnbc.com/1S5nUl5).

* One thing is clear from the new polling data: this isn't how Republicans hoped to start the 2016 general election (http://on.msnbc.com/2639bRc).

* Cooler heads aren't prevailing. House Republicans really are moving forward with their latest impeachment gambit -- for reasons that really don't make any sense at all (http://on.msnbc.com/28Fosdo).

* Congressional Republicans won't even allow CDC researchers to collect data on gun-related deaths as a public health issue. The American Medical Association has a few important thoughts on the subject (http://on.msnbc.com/1Ys1L7w).
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+Tony R
i'm kinda used to it
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Steve Benen

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I published another dozen new items today -- Monday, June 13, 2016 -- and here are some highlights:

* The deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history created a test for Donald Trump's presidential candidacy. In ways even his critics found surprising, he flunked spectacularly (http://on.msnbc.com/1ULjWSS).

* This is what it's come to in 2016: The day after the worst shooting in American history, the Republicans' presidential candidate suggested Obama might be a terrorist sympathizer (http://on.msnbc.com/28xrlwD).

* It was a vote that's suddenly become a lot more important: The day Senate Republicans said those on the terrorist watch list should be allowed to buy guns (http://on.msnbc.com/1U940gv).

* Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, among others, believe using the right words -- not having the right policies -- defeats terrorists. There's a reason this is this is impossible to take seriously (http://on.msnbc.com/25YveZe).

* "The issue isn't the weapons [terrorists] are using," Marco Rubio said. "The issue here is ideology." There's a reason this is exactly backwards (http://on.msnbc.com/1UM1Z6I).

* I saw some media reports suggesting today Hillary Clinton's rhetoric shifted on counter-terrorism, but a closer look points in a very different direction (http://on.msnbc.com/1UP1y8S).
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Steve Benen

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I published another dozen new items today -- Thursday, June 9, 2016 -- and here are some highlights:

* "I don't think there's ever been someone so qualified to hold this office," President Obama said, endorsing Hillary Clinton. The announcement followed an interesting Obama meeting with Bernie Sanders at the White House (http://on.msnbc.com/1tdY8pY).

* Watching some of Donald Trump's day-to-day strategic decisions, many are now wondering: What in the world is he doing? Did he study campaign management at Trump University? (http://on.msnbc.com/1UEAdX5)

* When it comes to the presidential race, Mitch McConnell has effectively become a coach on a reality show called "Faking It" (http://on.msnbc.com/1PiM1wG).

* Given his vast wealth, Donald Trump shouldn't have any money troubles. But as it turns out, money is near the top of the list of his problems (http://on.msnbc.com/1XHRcyH).

* The new Priorities USA ad, "Grace," is pretty amazing in its own right, but it also gives us a sense of what the Democratic messaging will be like in the coming months (http://on.msnbc.com/1WGBtzd).

* It's rare for an elected official to abandon his or her political party, especially during a legislative session and an election year. But Donald Trump has that kind of effect on some people (http://on.msnbc.com/1U8KKwm).
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Steve Benen

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I published another dozen new items today -- Tuesday, June 7, 2016 -- and here are some highlights:

* House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) believes Donald Trump's racist outbursts are "indefensible" and "unacceptable" -- but he wants Trump to lead the free world anyway (http://on.msnbc.com/215WvWv).

* On a related note, Trump believes he's found the real racists. Unfortunately, he appears to have the entire story backwards (http://on.msnbc.com/1ZuDYCB).

* The political world thought it knew how the race for the Democratic nomination was going to wrap up. Surprise! (http://on.msnbc.com/1rbjrqX).

* The more Donald Trump flails, the more Marco Rubio thinks he's entitled to an "I told you so" moment. Here's why that's wrong (http://on.msnbc.com/1ZvATSL).

* Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) saw playing games with an ambassadorial nomination as "a way to inflict special pain" on President Obama. Now that the nominee has died unexpectedly, it's worth thinking about Cotton's callousness in a new light (http://on.msnbc.com/1svnjnW).

* Hillary Clinton told Rachel last night she expects Donald Trump's campaign to "move on to women judges" as his next target. It was an off-hand comment that turned out to be quite prescient (http://on.msnbc.com/1rbKVga).

* The controversy surrounding "Trump University" looked pretty bad for Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi (R) before. And now it's gotten quite a bit worse (http://on.msnbc.com/1ZuSHNZ).
The House Speaker claims to be outraged by Trump's racism, but he expects Americans to elect him president anyway.
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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
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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