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NEW YORK—It really is a sick, masochistic thing we do, waking up every morning and watching “Morning Jo(k)e.” The only way we endure is to make a game of it: how long will we make it today before Joe Scarborough reminds us he was a three-term congressman? (Jan. 23: ~two-and-a-half minutes.) But in any event! Sometimes those goofballs end up fixating on something we missed, like this morning when Joe was afforded the chance to start our Monday morning off with a smile through the unlikely vessel of Mark Steyn, who wrote this lovely thing in the National Review yesterday: “Why is the stump speech so awful? ‘I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that’s the America millions of Americans believe in. That’s the America I love.’ Mitt paid some guy to write this insipid pap. And he paid others to approve it.” God that is good. We were so busy showering ourselves with foamy Cristal spray after President Obama’s big win in South Carolina that we missed this twenty-six word sentence from Mitt in which fully twenty-three percent of the words were “America.” Kind of like Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo—for patriots!

So in recent years it used to be that Republicans would just get hung up fighting the same old battles of the 60s; but nowadays they’re keeping focused on fighting the same fights from last quarter. So start your countdown clocks! Because with just about a month to go before the payroll tax holiday expires (again), John Boehner is hinting that House Republicans will tie the Keystone XL pipeline to any extension (again).

In what’s turning out to be the best thing to happen to New Yorkers since Carl Paladino, the Times has unearthed some damaging blog posts from senate wannabe Marc Cenedella. Cenedella, founder of the impossibly stupid/offensive/insensitive jobs website—a service which spares six-figure job hunters from slumming amongst all those proles on Monster—is mounting a challenge for Kirsten Gillebrand’s seat. And this Cenedella fellow apparently once wrote that March 14th ought to be something of a “men’s appreciation” holiday, a special occasion on which ladies are advised to express their profound appreciation for their beaus via steaks and/or blowjobs. Which is cute! Because apparently it’s never occurred to Mr. Cenedella that our kind of sort of misogynistic culture doesn’t already mandate every other day of the year to be such an occasion? But in any event, we do look forward to reading the Senate minutes the day he introduces a bill to formally codify this very special day as a national holiday.

Don’t miss this video message from Gabbie Giffords announcing her resignation. Spoiler alert: it’s really tear-jerky.

Oh, so a famous person died yesterday. And some people are sad! While other people are scratching their heads over how a man who stood idly by during decades of child rape in his locker room could inspire so much widespread mourning. [We’ll leave it as an exercise for the reader to guess which camp we fall into.—ed.]

A couple of important programming notes. First: Mitt is slated to release his 2010 tax returns tomorrow (no word yet on whether these will just be Mitt’s personal returns or if he’ll also be releasing filings from all those job-creating businesses he started in the Cayman Islands). Also tomorrow: State of the Union! Oh and don’t forget: there’s another debate tonight. The eighteenth of the season. And tonight’s chug word is “Saul Alinsky.” Enjoy!


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