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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 about a dozen new items today; here are some highlights that may be of interest:

* Most Americans who make under $30,000 a year don't vote. Most Americans who make over $30,000 a year do vote. Imagine what American politics would be like if this were reversed (http://on.msnbc.com/1p7d7yu).

* Overnight, sky gazers were able to enjoy a rare and beautiful sight: a "blood moon." But if it didn't occur to you to blame Obama for the eclipse, you're not as creative as some on the far-right (http://on.msnbc.com/1gBBlLp).

* When it comes to Cliven Bundy's ranch, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, "We can't have an American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it. So it's not over." Of course not. It can't be over (http://on.msnbc.com/1ilCSpu).

* When someone asks whether the Civil Rights Act is constitutional, the correct answer is, "Yes." Unfortunately, it's a fact one Republican congressman from Florida apparently forgot (http://on.msnbc.com/1iVIXW6).

* The minimum-wage fight in Alaska is kind of amazing (http://on.msnbc.com/1p7e1e9). Anytime Republicans are voting for a wage hike and Dems are voting against it, you know something weird is going on.

* When Florida's state House approved new abortion restrictions late last week, they kept the teenage pages outside of the chamber, deeming the debate too racy for minors. The pages then returned for the debate over the next bill: on guns (http://on.msnbc.com/1p7erRQ).
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Steve Benen

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I published about a dozen new items today; here are some highlights that may be of interest:

* Kathleen Sebelius' departure isn't the final page of a failed story; it's a drop-the-mic moment for an official who got the last laugh after some early stumbles (http://on.msnbc.com/ORqyl6).

* For Louisiana Republicans, why is an extra-marital kiss worse than extra-marital hookers? The answer has little to do with "breaches of trust" (http://on.msnbc.com/1egwIYa).

* Arguably the most amazing health care story of the day comes out of Arkansas, where a free clinic is closing for the best possible reason: their patients now have insurance under the ACA, making the clinic unnecessary (http://on.msnbc.com/1lQxs6f).

* A few weeks ago, Mitt Romney, Dick Cheney, and others said the "stature" of the United States is falling around the world. Today we were reminded: they're wrong (http://on.msnbc.com/1kCeDGZ).

* Six states have either raised their minimum wage or are about to. The important thing is to understand what all six have in common -- and what it tells us about the growing differences between "blue" states and "red" states (http://on.msnbc.com/1lWiGNP).

* House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) seems alarmingly confused about the basics of unemployment benefits. Maybe I can help him out (http://on.msnbc.com/1kddrXH).
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Steve Benen

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I published about a dozen new items today; here are some highlights that may be of interest:

* Senate Democrats again tried to overcome a Republican filibuster this morning on the Paycheck Fairness Act. It didn't go well. Care to guess how many GOP votes the bill received? (http://on.msnbc.com/1ixJGxJ)

* The Beltway wants to know, can presidents still do 'big things'? With a responsible Congress, yes. With this Congress, no (http://on.msnbc.com/1hgKwSd).

* The Koch brothers' political operation urges Americans not to apply for Obamacare benefits. The Koch brothers' business operation received taxpayer subsidies under Obamacare. Oops (http://on.msnbc.com/1kLZr5K).

* Jim DeMint, the Heritage Foundation chief and former senator, thinks "big government" didn't end slavery. What in the world is he talking about? (http://on.msnbc.com/1kryAQy)

* The House GOP leadership announced yesterday its plan to unveil an ACA alternative is being delayed "at least a month." It's kind of amazing to see why they're having so much trouble: credible alternatives end up looking "a hell of a lot like the Affordable Care Act" (http://on.msnbc.com/1krc22m).
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Steve Benen

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I published about a dozen new items today; here are some highlights that may be of interest:

* All of the latest evidence, including some interesting new data out this morning, points in the same direction: the Affordable Care Act is working (http://on.msnbc.com/1gDcDG1).

* A Fox News segment recently told viewers were told that it's a "myth" that American women receive unequal pay for equal work. This week, the White House will go in a far more progressive direction on wage discrimination (http://on.msnbc.com/1lFDZ3G).

* Some Republican presidential hopefuls are "courting" Donald Rumsfeld in advance of 2016 (http://on.msnbc.com/1hxkLIk). Follow-up question: why?

* Bush's former CIA director believes Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is being too "emotional" about Bush/Cheney torture policies. He couldn't have picked a less cringe-worthy word? (http://on.msnbc.com/1ipElbM)

* Darrell Issa: "There is simply no evidence that any liberal or progressive group received enhanced scrutiny" from the IRS. Reality: "There is plenty of evidence that liberal and progressive groups received enhanced scrutiny from the IRS" (http://on.msnbc.com/1qeUplr).

* The story about the state House Republican leader in Wisconsin accused of sexual misconduct -- and when Sen. Ron Johnson knew about allegations -- is just an extraordinary controversy (http://on.msnbc.com/QXLB7L).
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Steve Benen

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I published about a dozen new items today; here are some highlights that may be of interest:

* Charles Koch seems quite comfortable dishing out hard-hitting criticisms of Democrats and liberals. Charles Koch seems far less comfortable when Democrats and liberals respond in kind (http://on.msnbc.com/1i4ggWz).

* Senate Democrats have a choice: (a) fight for a $10.10/hour minimum-wage increase, which Senate Republicans intend to kill; or (b) pursue a $9/hour minimum-wage increase, which House Republicans would likely kill (http://on.msnbc.com/1gqVBeb).

* Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) imposed new voting restrictions in his state last week. He added insult to injury this week, with a new policy on elections "observers" hovering 36 inches from voters (http://on.msnbc.com/1mMSVzD).

* Florida Gov. Rick Scott's (R) "voter purge" was an illegal mess in 2012. So why did he try to pull off the same stunt again in 2014? (http://on.msnbc.com/1i58fRa)

* Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) thinks he's put together a credible alternative to the Affordable Care Act. He's mistaken -- "Bobbycare" is a mess (http://on.msnbc.com/1jFC0wl).

* As for House Republicans' ACA alternative, the old line was, "It's on the way." The new line is, "Don't call us; we'll call you" (http://on.msnbc.com/1gqVEqg).
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Steve Benen

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I published about a dozen new items today; here are some highlights that may be of interest:

* It must be incredibly frustrating to be an ACA critic right now. All of the recent news regarding the law has been good news -- especially today's revelations (http://on.msnbc.com/1nmOrx9).

* A little too often, some on the right compare contemporary American life to Nazi Germany. Over the weekend, Mike Huckabee changed course: he compared us to North Korea (http://on.msnbc.com/1qWHvHh).

* The Bundy crisis in Nevada risks establishing a radical precedent: those with well-armed friends pointing guns at Americans can ignore laws they don't like (http://on.msnbc.com/QmcBg2).

* Paul Ryan says "a family must balance its budget," so "Washington should too." That may have folksy charm, but it reflects a bizarre approach to economics (http://on.msnbc.com/1hO1TF5).

* The latest "smoking gun" in the IRS story is shooting blanks (http://on.msnbc.com/1nmOCZs).

* Republicans have a new election-year strategy: "encourage candidates to include their wives and daughters in campaign ads" (http://on.msnbc.com/1nmOE3C).
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Steve Benen

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I published about a dozen new items today; here are some highlights that may be of interest:

* The president claimed yesterday, "This has become the least productive Congress in modern history." Is that true? Take a look at a striking chart on the subject (http://on.msnbc.com/1hl047r).

* The Republicans' preoccupation with naming stuff after Reagan is getting a little out of hand. For example, the U.S. already has a Mount Reagan. GOP lawmakers want another one (http://on.msnbc.com/1ixBDzL).

* If Florida Gov. Rick Scott's (R) anti-Obamacare arguments have been debunked, why is he still repeating them? And if the ACA is really so bad, why does the governor have to push bogus claims? (http://on.msnbc.com/1ee1fFY)

* Perhaps it's time to call Paul Ryan's budget blueprint what it is: a fairly radical plan to redistribute wealth. Nearly 95% of House Republicans voted for it anyway (http://on.msnbc.com/1iyhVDX).

* When people compare Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) to Joe McCarthy and the witch hunts of McCarthyism, they're sometimes being literal. The similarities are often quite striking (http://on.msnbc.com/1gesG1p).

* Maine's GOP governor said he's rejecting Medicaid expansion, denying coverage to 60,000 people, in part because he's "watching the federal deficit climb." The federal deficit isn't climbing; it's shrinking (http://on.msnbc.com/R7moYp).
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Steve Benen

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I published about a dozen new items today; here are some highlights that may be of interest:

* Republican Rep. Vance McAllister ran as "Faith and Family" candidate in his Louisiana district. It makes his extra-marital dalliance with a staffer and donor a bit of a problem (http://on.msnbc.com/1hzg6FJ).

* In what universe is it "condescending" to take steps to prevent wage discrimination against women? (http://on.msnbc.com/1itQ8pC)

* House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is still trying to blame Obama for Republicans killing immigration reform (http://on.msnbc.com/1ipOZ12). I'd mind the dishonesty less if the Speaker made more of an effort to lie effectively. Boehner's pitch is just lazy.

* Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) tried to block MoveOn.org from criticizing his policies on a billboard. A federal court had other ideas (http://on.msnbc.com/1eeyVDK).

* Have you heard about the Minnesota candidate for Congress who's running because his daughter learned evolution in a public school science class? It's tough to even know where to start with this one (http://on.msnbc.com/1qnweQ4).

* If you've ever wondered what Attorney General Eric Holder really thinks of Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), have I got a video for you (http://on.msnbc.com/1kosEYA).
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Steve Benen

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I published about a dozen new items today; here are some highlights that may be of interest:

* It's not every day a "pro-life" Republican in a deep red state says things like this: "What happened to the Republican Party that I joined? The party [that] felt women should have the right to control their own destiny?" (http://on.msnbc.com/1q0FdXi)

* In the wake of the Fort Hood shooting, House Speaker John Boehner claims Congress just approved a project "dealing with mental health issues and weapons." That project does not appear to exist in reality (http://on.msnbc.com/1hoqRuC).

* House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on extended jobless aid: "It doesn't create any jobs." Reality on extended jobless aid: "It will create 200,000 jobs in 2014 alone" (http://on.msnbc.com/1q1M0Qs).

* The jobs charts are looking pretty good (http://on.msnbc.com/Ohm7Qg). I assume the right will say the White House is "cooking the books"?

* Colorado's Cory Gardner said he flip-flopped two weeks ago on "personhood." Now, both the left and right are pushing back, saying he didn't really change his position (http://on.msnbc.com/PrPbWA). This is perhaps the first instance I've ever seen of a politician declaring, "I've flip-flopped on a major issue," only to be told by friend and foe alike, "Actually, no, you didn't."

* There's a bipartisan plan to help Dream Act kids become citizens if they serve in the U.S. military. Steve King not only opposes the idea, he wants to tell the young immigrants, "We have a bus for you to Tijuana" (http://on.msnbc.com/1horIvf). Classy.
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Steve Benen

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I published about a dozen new items today; here are some highlights that may be of interest:

* The right sure has made a lot of predictions during the Obama era. But have any of the predictions turned out to be true? (http://on.msnbc.com/1lCd9fp)

* In Citizens United, the Supreme Court took a sledgehammer to campaign-finance laws. In today's McCutcheon ruling, the court's five conservative judges went even further (http://on.msnbc.com/PjbQDW).

* As Obamacare's successes become more obvious, Republicans say they're committed to "replacing" the law. Replace it with what? (http://on.msnbc.com/OdcDWh)

* In the hopes of combating wage discrimination against women, Senate Democrats are pushing the Paycheck Fairness Act this week and next. One Republican senator wants to know: what's in it for men? (http://on.msnbc.com/1dN5Mzb)

* Especially after yesterday's ACA news, Republican talking points have fallen on hard times. But as we were reminded this morning, when all else fails, there's always Benghazi conspiracy theories (http://on.msnbc.com/1i2zWdA).

* And Sen. Rand Paul's (R-Ky.) ongoing celebration of corporate tax-avoidance schemes is a little creepy (http://on.msnbc.com/QFrSJP).
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People
In his circles
3 people
Have him in circles
114 people
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