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If You Can't Win, Change The Rules

We have another riveting installment in the rich, sordid recent history of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, where in the last few years one justice stood accused of choking another in her chambers in the presence of other justices and the chief justice was called "a total bitch" by one of her brethren. Now the GOP-controlled legislature is advancing a state constitutional amendment that would effectively oust that same chief justice, a liberal woman who has held the post for nearly 20 years, by changing the rules on how the chief justice is selected.

Your Urban Legend of the Day: 'No Go Zones'

At a moment when we see that the danger of jihadist violence is quite real it is even more important to remember, to find out how much of what we hear in the media and especially the Fox News-o-sphere is just made up nonsense - like the '19 paramilitary Muslim training facilities' in US. To that end, today our Catherine Thompson traces the urban legend of the Muslim 'no go zones' in European cities, districts the police supposedly refuse to enter because they're run by jihadists enforcing Sharia Law.

The Executive Order Speech

Much of it is embedded in the words of the speech itself, which you can see here. But like any speech and especially with this speech, the words on the page only captured part of the presentation. I said late in the speech that what stuck out to me most was how few of those lines and flourishes there were aimed at drawing bipartisan rounds of applause, or even more the ones aimed at pulling the opposition into the festivities. Republicans did seem particularly unreceptive. But there were plenty of passages on the order of "You thought X. We'll X didn't happen. Sorry."

This passage about the Russian annexation of Crimea is a good case in point. The speech was jaunty, bumptious, with a certainly crackling of aggressiveness. But more than anything, with respect to the new Republican Congress, which is the big new show in town, the attitude was one of indifference.

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SOTU LiveBlog #3

10:10 PM: "Fifteen years into this new century, we have picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off, and begun again the work of remaking America."

10:12 PM: Let me know your thoughts, responses, what'd you think?

10:17 PM: Listening to the post-game commentary on NBC, sort of amazing to me what speech they watched, how this passes for commentary.

SOTU LiveBlog #2

9:27 PM: This puts the speech into context, what Obama is trying to achieve with this speech.

9:32 PM: I think Speaker Boehner is looking maybe even sadder than is helpful in political terms.

9:48 PM: And now for the special crap on John McCain's head portion of the speech ...

Last year, as we were doing the hard work of imposing sanctions along with our allies, some suggested that Mr. Putin’s aggression was a masterful display of strategy and strength. Well, today, it is America that stands strong and united with our allies, while Russia is isolated, with its economy in tatters.

That’s how America leads — not with bluster, but with persistent, steady resolve.

9:54 PM: Good Lord, getting bombarded by a bunch of doofusy emails from an outfit called generationopportunity.org.

10:05 PM: One thing that strikes me about this speech is how few lines there are aimed at getting cheers from Republicans.