National Journal Online

Unemployment Falls to 9.0 Percent

The nation added only 36,000 jobs in January, its most anemic total in many months and far lower than most analysts had been expecting.

Though the unemployment rate dropped from 9.4 to 9.0 percent, an unexpectedly big drop that brought it to its lowest level in nearly two years, the new report highlighted once again that the labor market remains the weakest link in the recovery.

Posted: Friday, February 4, 2011 - 9:48am

Starting Lineup: A Country, Divided

Good Friday morning and welcome back to the Starting Lineup. Here's our take on the day's political news.

A Polarization Problem: With all the focus on Pres. Obama's shift to the center in preparation for his reelection campaign, new numbers from Gallup shed light on an uncomfortable statistic for the president: He is one of the most polarizing presidents in recent history.

Posted: Friday, February 4, 2011 - 8:18am

Crossroads Takes On The DCCC

Crossroads GPS is coming out swinging against ads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released against 19 House Republicans earlier this week -- and they're putting more cash behind their effort in new radio ads supporting the targeted freshmen.

Posted: Thursday, February 3, 2011 - 7:44pm

A Phone Call Would Have Saved Miller

Even in politics, sometimes it pays to be nice.

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) told Dan Rather this week that after Joe Miller beat her in the Republican primary last August, she might not have launched a write-in campaign against him if he'd just been less of a sore winner.

"As for Joe Miller," Rather writes, "Murkowski told us she might not have challenged him at all had he been more gracious during her concession call."

Posted: Thursday, February 3, 2011 - 4:58pm

Mitt Romney's Lamontagne Problem

Earlier this week, Sean Sullivan pointed out a new rising star in New Hampshire politics: 2010 Senate contender Ovide Lamontagne (R).

That reminded me of something I'd heard a lot during a recent swing through the Granite State: Lamontagne's campaign, which almost upset front-runner Kelly Ayotte, proved to be a challenge to one presidential contender that is going to have an impact on the 2012 primary.

Posted: Thursday, February 3, 2011 - 3:50pm

NRA Already In Position To Celebrate In 2012

Facing stiff scrutiny in the wake of the Tucson shootings, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin seemed to make the smallest of concessions in her speech to the Safari Club in Nevada this past weekend. Palin, the most in-your-face supporter of 2nd Amendment rights in the potential 2012 Republican field, was heard through the closed ballroom door saying, "Don't retreat, stand tall" -- a softer version of her controversial catchphrase, "Don't retread, reload."

Posted: Thursday, February 3, 2011 - 3:32pm

Romney Gives $130K To Republicans

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) has ponied up to Republican members of Congress in a big way, dishing out nearly $130,000 in his first contributions of the 2012 cycle.

Posted: Thursday, February 3, 2011 - 12:40pm

Insiders Split On Public Financing For Pres. Campaigns

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Posted: Thursday, February 3, 2011 - 12:30pm

Cuomo Takes Christie-Like Stand On Budget

When it comes to figuring out how to eliminate New York's $10 billion budget deficit, Republicans are proving to be perhaps stronger allies of Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) than some members of his own party.

This is crucial not just for Cuomo but for Democratic executives across the country as Cuomo may be providing an example for how to work with a split legislature that has a reputation for being fiercely partisan.

Posted: Thursday, February 3, 2011 - 12:00pm

Insiders to GOP: Keep Your Mitts off Medicare

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Posted: Thursday, February 3, 2011 - 11:00am