Political Animal

March 2012 Archives

March 31, 2012 1:44 PM It's the system, man!

The other day I was thumbing through my copy of Winner-Take-All-Politics, the excellent book by political scientists Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson which, better than any other work I have...

By Kathleen Geier

March 31, 2012 12:14 PM Inequality, elite failure, and America's long march to the right

The new issue of Tom Frank's journal, The Baffler, has finally arrived. So far, the only article from the new issue that's available online is this essay by Frank himself,...

By Kathleen Geier

March 31, 2012 9:37 AM Are Mega Millions and other lottery games on the up-and-up?

Did you buy a ticket for the Mega Millions jackpot in Illinois, Kansas, or Maryland? If so, you may be in luck; those are the states where the winning tickets...

By Kathleen Geier

March 31, 2012 7:27 AM Reading the tea leaves re: the Supreme Court and the ACA

How likely is it that the Supremes will strike down the Affordable Care Act? Clearly, it's not looking good. Professional courtwatchers like CNN's Jeffrey Toobin are hitting the panic button....

By Kathleen Geier

March 30, 2012 5:42 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

* Man, how much news can one medium-sized state make in a day? Federal judge in Wisconsin strikes down big chunk of Walker anti-union law. * A fourth poll shows...

By Ed Kilgore

March 30, 2012 5:30 PM "Special Favors"

Jamelle Bouie bums himself out today by evaluating a YouGuv survey that tells you, he says, "everything you need to know about contemporary race relations." On the first disturbing question,...

By Ed Kilgore

March 30, 2012 4:37 PM Judicial Legitimacy

In an important article at TNR, Jonathan Cohn underlines the gravity with which the Supreme Court Justices should approach their decision on ObamaCare: Rarely in American history has the Court...

By Ed Kilgore

March 30, 2012 3:35 PM Walker Recall: Game On

These are some momentous times for Wisconsin. Its presidential primary next Tuesday could more or less seal the deal for Mitt Romney. One of its elected officials, Rep. Paul Ryan,...

By Ed Kilgore

March 30, 2012 3:20 PM Who Slew the Santorum Campaign?

Probably in anticipation of Rick Santorum's increasingly likely defeat in Wisconsin next Tuesday, which will materially increase GOP establishment (and even movement-conservative establishment) calls for him to get out of...

By Ed Kilgore

March 30, 2012 1:40 PM Lunch Buffet

Day moving very fast, so here's just a few to-go morsels of news: * Big-time hubris: RNC ad aimed at mocking Solicitor General relies on doctored audio of Supreme Court...

By Ed Kilgore

March 30, 2012 1:04 PM Attack On Medicaid: A Whole New Abyss Opens

I'll try not to obsess too much about the apparent threat to Medicaid surprisingly opened up by the last round of oral arguments before the Supreme Court on ObamaCare earlier...

By Ed Kilgore

March 30, 2012 12:32 PM Saxby Says: "You Kids Get Away From That Camera"

Well, ol' Saxby Chambliss has searched high and low for the sources of the polarization afflicting Congress, and he wants us to know he's found it: Those damn CSPAN cameras!...

By Ed Kilgore

March 30, 2012 11:36 AM Nikki Haley and Dirty Blogger Politics

Yesterday I mentioned the rumors sweeping South Carolina political circles that Gov. Nikki Haley might be the target of a federal indictment for tax fraud in connection with her family's...

By Ed Kilgore

March 30, 2012 10:09 AM Penalties and Credits: Same Idea, Different Results

In his column appearing at Ten Miles Square today, Ezra Klein notes with irony that there's not that big a fundamental difference between the penalty-backed health insurance mandate that may...

By Ed Kilgore

March 30, 2012 9:28 AM Super-Thugs

In a New York Times op-ed, Progressive Policy Institute executive director Lindsay Mark Lewis and PPI senior fellow Jim Arkedis (disclosure: I'm a PPI senior fellow as well) put us...

By Ed Kilgore

March 30, 2012 8:41 AM March of the Lemmings?

Before spending any more time bashing Paul Ryan's budget proposal, let's pause for a moment and gaze in wonder at the determination of House Republicans to identify themselves with this...

By Ed Kilgore

March 29, 2012 5:59 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Real productive day in Congress, I see: * House passes Ryan budget without single Democratic vote; 10 Republicans defected. * Senate Democrats, White House grudgingly accept temporary extension of transporation...

By Ed Kilgore

March 29, 2012 5:30 PM Saving General Ryan

Well, this item from The Hill's Justin Sink would just make my day, if it weren't so horrifying: House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) expressed skepticism Thursday that U.S....

By Ed Kilgore

March 29, 2012 4:18 PM The Next Harold Stassen?

It's becoming apparent that the farewells to Newt Gingrich as a presidential candidate--somewhat forced, since he shows no signs of admitting defeat--will be more entertaining than coverage of his campaign....

By Ed Kilgore

March 29, 2012 3:50 PM The Pope Goes Squishy

In other news that could make heads explode in some conservative circles, veteran Republican foreign policy hand Elliot Abrams verbally spanks Pope Benedict XVI for failing to more forcefully upbraid...

By Ed Kilgore

March 29, 2012 3:22 PM A Conspiracy So Immense

The hot rumor out of South Cackalacky today is that Gov. Nikki Haley could face indictment on federal tax fraud charges related to an ongoing investigation of her family's handling...

By Ed Kilgore

March 29, 2012 2:14 PM Other Cool Stuff on the Site

We've got quite a few very interesting pieces elsewhere on the Washington Monthly site today. Here are some examples: * At Ten Miles Square, John Sides passes along an analysis...

By Ed Kilgore

March 29, 2012 1:25 PM Lunch Buffet

Still grumpy about Supreme Court oral arguments, but food therapy helps. Here's a quick dose of mental pick-me-ups: * Daily Caller's Matthew Boyle stares at George Zimmerman video and thinks...

By Ed Kilgore

March 29, 2012 12:44 PM Are We Writing Off Rick Too Fast?

As has been the case for a while now, Rick Santorum is fighting a two-front war against Mitt Romney and against the widespread belief of the media and opinion-leaders alike...

By Ed Kilgore

March 29, 2012 11:21 AM Amateur Square Badges and Deadly Force

Sadly, the Trayvon Martin case is becoming a national Rorschach Test in which we'll all choose up sides before the facts are firmly established (and yes, I fully understand that...

By Ed Kilgore

March 29, 2012 10:31 AM Adelson Speaks

One of the business people who's bought himself a big batch of craziness is Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, primary financier (until recently) of the Winning Our Future Super-PAC, without...

By Ed Kilgore

March 29, 2012 10:03 AM Cancel My Subscription To the Resurrection

I have a good friend who is extremely active in local chamber of commerce activities. He may be the best informed person I know in terms of strictly local issues,...

By Ed Kilgore

March 29, 2012 8:45 AM Conservative Bender

Now that I am a (more or less) full-time blogger, I try to remind myself periodically not to get too caught up in the "lefty blogger syndrome," seizing on every...

By Ed Kilgore

March 28, 2012 5:51 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Glad the Supreme Court oral arguments are over. I fear how much more damage might be done if they went on. Here are some leftovers from the day's news: *...

By Ed Kilgore

March 28, 2012 5:32 PM An Unexpected Attack on Medicaid

Going into this week's oral arguments before the Supreme Court, I think it's fair to say that hardly anyone thought the challenge to the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act's...

By Ed Kilgore

March 28, 2012 4:21 PM The Ron Paul Revolution's Thermidor

There's a big piece at the New York Times today from Richard Oppel inquiring into the occlusion of Ron Paul's presidential campaign. Having failed to achieve the long-awaited breakthrough victory...

By Ed Kilgore

March 28, 2012 3:35 PM The Court and 2012

Well before we know what the Supreme Court is actually going to do with respect to ObamaCare, my friend Jonathan Bernstein has bravely essayed the opinion at TNR that the...

By Ed Kilgore

March 28, 2012 2:40 PM Commerce Clause Counter-Revolution

If the individual health insurance purchasing mandate is declared unconstitutional, many conservatives will undoubtedly hail the decision as a heroic act that takes the nation back from the brink of...

By Ed Kilgore

March 28, 2012 1:22 PM Lunch Buffet

Hard to believe it's already the middle of the week. Definitely a day for fast food. Here's some items from the Value Menu: * Initial SCOTUSBlog report on severability oral...

By Ed Kilgore

March 28, 2012 12:53 PM Dogs Don't Like It

Even as Mitt Romney struggles to get his opponents out of the GOP presidential contest, his image is drifting into some really dangerous territory going forward. A new ABC/WaPo poll...

By Ed Kilgore

March 28, 2012 11:51 AM ***The "What Then" Debate

Now that there is a reasonable possibility that the Supreme Court will strike down as unconstitutional the individual mandate that represents the glue holding the Affordable Care Act together, we...

By Ed Kilgore

March 28, 2012 10:45 AM Stealing Christianity

TNR's Tim Noah wrote yesterday about one of my all-time biggest pet peeves: the constant appropriation of the word "Christian" by conservative evangelicals as exclusive to their distinctive and hardly...

By Ed Kilgore

March 28, 2012 9:48 AM Strategic Retreat For Anti-Choicers in Idaho

State bills to require pre-abortion ultrasound procedures initially looked like another successful weapon in the arsenal of anti-choicers determined to make abortions as difficult to obtain as possible until such...

By Ed Kilgore

March 28, 2012 9:13 AM The Ryan Budget: Serious Policy Or Political Stunt?

The New York Times invited a number of people, yours truly included, to contribute brief pieces to a Room For Debate forum on the question: Is the Ryan budget a...

By Ed Kilgore

March 28, 2012 8:35 AM From Health Reform To a Medicaid Expansion

Here's my brief nutshell analysis of what's on tap at the Supreme Court today: Pretty much everyone understands that yesterday's oral arguments represented the Big Enchilada, and we'll all just...

By Ed Kilgore

March 27, 2012 5:25 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Quite a day thanks to the Supremes, who will be in our thoughts for the next three months or so while they put together their ruling on ObamaCare. * Jon...

By Ed Kilgore

March 27, 2012 4:49 PM The Libertine Defense

You may have heard yesterday that former IMF chieftain and French Socialist Party poohbah Dominque Strauss-Kahn has been charged with "aggravated pimping" in connection with his admitted habit of attending...

By Ed Kilgore

March 27, 2012 4:02 PM Hypocrisy on Disclosure of Campaign Ads

Given the various constitutional problems afflicting efforts to reform campaign financing, it's more than a bit important, particularly in the post-Citizens United era, that the purchasing of political ads be...

By Ed Kilgore

March 27, 2012 2:45 PM About Those "Liberal Elites"

At Ten Miles Square, Andrew Gelman has some news for Sarah Palin and other Republicans in the habit of using "elite" as a synonym for Democrats or godless liberals: it...

By Ed Kilgore

March 27, 2012 2:24 PM The Free Beacon's Big Scoop

So the Washington Free Beacon, that self-consciously vicious new outlet for right-wing investigative journalism, has a big new scoop on the Trayvon Martin case. Don't read this without a paper...

By Ed Kilgore

March 27, 2012 1:52 PM It's "Kennedy's Call:" Oh, Brother!

Well, turns out the Wall Street Journal's live blog of the oral arguments before the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the individual mandate may have created an excessively optimistic...

By Ed Kilgore

March 27, 2012 12:38 PM Lunch Buffet

As we try to divine what's happening at the Supreme Court, time for a lunch break: * WSJ live blog of Supreme Court oral arguments suggests Roberts and Kennedy don't...

By Ed Kilgore

March 27, 2012 12:29 PM Newt's Latest "Big Idea:" A Flash-Mob Convention!

This is just too rich. In The Hill we learn that on Fox News today, Newt Gingrich suggested a rather unusual departure from precedent for the Republican National Convention: "We'll...

By Ed Kilgore

March 27, 2012 12:11 PM The Strange New Meaning of "Religious Freedom"

Whatever ultimately happens in various ongoing collisions between conservative clergy and laws to which they object, it is clear the former have already won a significant victory in convincing millions...

By Ed Kilgore

March 27, 2012 11:18 AM The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming!

It didn't get a great deal of attention; indeed foreign policy statements by Republican presidential candidates rarely do, unless they involve Iran. But Mitt Romney's remark on CNN yesterday calling...

By Ed Kilgore

March 27, 2012 10:40 AM Trying the Victim

Anyone familiar with the history of how rape cases are prosecuted and defended should recognize the M.O. of conservative opinion-leaders who are pushing back against the furor over the death...

By Ed Kilgore

March 27, 2012 9:37 AM A Day For Irony, Too

If you'd been out of the loop for the last three years or so and picked up a newspaper today, you might be more than a bit surprised to learn...

By Ed Kilgore

March 27, 2012 8:35 AM A Day For Mystery Lovers

Today could mark the most heavily scrutinized oral arguments in Supreme Court history, considering the stakes, substantive and political, in the Court's decision on the "individual mandate," the rapid expansion...

By Ed Kilgore

March 26, 2012 6:20 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Don't know if little kids are parading around in robes arguing about constitutionality of ObamaCare just yet, but the week is young. Some additional notes and links on the day:...

By Ed Kilgore

March 26, 2012 5:53 PM Invisible Primary '16. Ugh.

At Salon today, Alex Pareene alternates between ridiculing and reporting early, early speculation on the 2016 presidential field. Here's the best of his ridicule: The most important lesson of terrible...

By Ed Kilgore

March 26, 2012 5:27 PM Juan Williams Makes the Case for ObamaCare

I don't know what's up with Fox commentator Juan Williams these days; maybe he's gotten a bad rap for non-objectivity, or maybe getting beaten up by Newt Gingrich in a...

By Ed Kilgore

March 26, 2012 5:14 PM Alone Again, Naturally

Well, Newt Gingrich can say he's in the campaign til Tampa all he wants, but increasingly, he'll be doing so without the assurance that anyone other than the people right...

By Ed Kilgore

March 26, 2012 4:44 PM Election Optics

One of the more remarkable phenomena of U.S. politics is the relatively low utilization rate of the findings of political scientists by practitioners and journalists in the field. Until fairly...

By Ed Kilgore

March 26, 2012 3:31 PM Burden of Proof

One of the most predictable characteristics of the battle over voting rights in this country, which now largely centers on Republican efforts in a number of states to institute various...

By Ed Kilgore

March 26, 2012 1:40 PM Lunch Buffet

Ah, today's Supreme Court mania brings back bad memories of law school, and all the vendo-food I ate there over three long years of late-night studying. But here's some fresher...

By Ed Kilgore

March 26, 2012 12:32 PM ALEC and the Bad Law Industry

I'm glad that someone as prominent as Paul Krugman has shined a big spotlight on the role of the American Legislative Exchange (ALEC) in promoting cookie-cutter state legislation like Florida's...

By Ed Kilgore

March 26, 2012 11:53 AM Today's Threshold Issue

If you've read any of the better previews of the Supreme Court's oral arguments on ObamaCare this week, you may already understand that today's arguments don't even touch on the...

By Ed Kilgore

March 26, 2012 11:25 AM Cocktails With Keyser Soze

The single best indicator of Mitt Romney's grip on the GOP presidential nomination probably isn't delegate counts or cash-on-hand or even endorsements by poohbahs who might naturally be found in...

By Ed Kilgore

March 26, 2012 10:11 AM Rick Finally Wins Catholics; Farewells to Newt Begin

The greatly diminished media coverage was a tipoff to the fact that not much of anyone thought Rick Santorum's fairly decisive win (in the popular vote, anyway; so far he's...

By Ed Kilgore

March 26, 2012 8:44 AM Big Week

If there was anything that happened over the weekend (Rick Santorum's Louisiana victory, the latest developments in the Trayvon Martin case, the determination of the NCAA Final Four, the return--zooby...

By Ed Kilgore

March 25, 2012 5:08 PM Well They Blew Up the Chicken Man In Philly Last Night

It was a lot of fun, everyone. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday....

By Jesse Singal

March 25, 2012 4:02 PM Jonathan Haidt and Our Multiple Moralities

I asked Pantheon to send me a copy of Jonathan Haidt's The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion because I had every intention of blogging...

By Jesse Singal

March 25, 2012 2:14 PM Rick Moran Responds To My Response To His Inaccurate Blog Post...

...this is already getting tiring, isn't it? Still, I should post the "Clarification" he appended to the post in question, which wrongly accused President Obama of "essentially calling for the...

By Jesse Singal

March 25, 2012 1:28 PM Insomnia, Ambien and Personal Harm-Reduction

Gayle Greene's Sunday Review piece defending sleeping pills shines some valuable nuance on the medicate/don't medicate debate. Greene, who has long struggled with severe insomnia, writes that a new study...

By Jesse Singal

March 25, 2012 11:33 AM A Bit More on the New Black Panther Party Panic

Commenter tanstaafl steals a point I had wanted to make: From the linked article, "The Southern Poverty Law Center says the New Black Panther Party, a black-separatist group founded in...

By Jesse Singal

March 25, 2012 10:35 AM That's a Pretty Big Screw-Up, American Thinker

(Update: Moran responded.) Rick Moran of The American Thinker: The president jumps into the Trayvon Martin controversy without all the facts being known, essentially calling for the shooter to be...

By Jesse Singal

March 25, 2012 10:30 AM "Sounds About Right To Me"

Sometimes, that's all you can say: White House senior adviser David Plouffe did not mince words Sunday when talking about the reaction by Republican presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Newt...

By Jesse Singal

March 25, 2012 10:03 AM Young People Should Vote GOP Because [Argument]!

In today's Boston Globe, columnist and very-nice-guy-even-though-I-disagree-with-him-on-politics Jeff Jacoby wonders why the GOP has so much trouble appealing to youth voters (he is not the first conservative to wonder this)....

By Jesse Singal

March 25, 2012 9:45 AM Such a Mess...

This New Black Panther bounty announcement really isn't going to help those who are seeking justice for Trayvon Martin and his family. There's no warrant out for George Zimmerman yet....

By Jesse Singal

March 25, 2012 9:10 AM "Feelings of Fearful Grievance and Humiliation"

There's some striking honesty in Harold Pollack's take on Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman. Harold's characteristic empathy and insight are also on display, as tends to be the case whenever...

By Jesse Singal

March 25, 2012 8:55 AM Dick Cheney Gets a New Heart

Oh, all right: Here is your Dick Cheney heart surgery open thread. But keep it classy!...

By Jesse Singal

March 25, 2012 8:30 AM New Gingrich: Not Great With Numbers

The Louisiana GOP primary didn't tell us a huge amount. Everyone expected Rick Santorum to win by a lot, and he did. But it doesn't change the math, and the...

By Jesse Singal

March 24, 2012 5:00 PM You Were Wrong When You Said Everything's Gonna Be All Right

I am out for today. See you guys in the morning....

By Jesse Singal

March 24, 2012 4:20 PM More on the Shooting

An open-threadish question on Trayvon Martin: Given that we have the tragedy of a dead teenager on our hands, what's the best-case outcome at this point? What do you guys...

By Jesse Singal

March 24, 2012 3:31 PM Some Deep Thoughts on the Middle East

You know, reading this New York Times article about how the Muslim Brotherhood is pushing for rapprochement between Hamas and the more moderate Fatah, pulling itself back from Hamas in...

By Jesse Singal

March 24, 2012 2:39 PM Welcome to Phase 2 of the Trayvon Martin Debacle

Well something like this was inevitable, I suppose, and it isn't hard to anticipate the reaction from the usual suspects: Trayvon Martin may have attacked a Neighborhood Watch captain before...

By Jesse Singal

March 24, 2012 1:26 PM The Affordable Care Act in the Real World

In response to my earlier post on the debate over calling the Affordable Care Act "Obamacare," a couple commenters had rather compelling accounts of how the ACA has made things...

By Jesse Singal

March 24, 2012 12:40 PM The Trayvon Martin Case Could Come Down to One Garbled Word

A key issue in the case (or non-case) against George Zimmerman, who killed Florida teen Trayvon Martin last month, has to do with less than a second of difficult-to-make-out audio....

By Jesse Singal

March 24, 2012 12:00 PM Political Animal Springtime Lunch Break Music Funsplosion!

Kind of a slow news day, even for a Saturday, eh? At least it's lunchtime. I am in my hometown for a few days, so I am going to go...

By Jesse Singal

March 24, 2012 11:00 AM The Limitations of Ultra-Economized Reporting

Matt DeRienzo probably isn't a neutral observer when it comes to the spread of Patch, the hyperlocal journalism outlet, given his role as en editor of a bunch of local...

By Jesse Singal

March 24, 2012 10:15 AM We Won't Be Able to Flee to the Sea After Our Aerial Drones Gain Self-Awareness

Score another one for the robots: Researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas and Virginia Tech have created an undersea vehicle inspired by the common jellyfish that runs on...

By Jesse Singal

March 24, 2012 9:39 AM The Social Forces Churning the US Toward Tolerance

Today's front-page New York Times article on the pro-gay-marriage movement's evolving donor network is well worth a read: This emerging group of donors is not quite like any other fund-raising...

By Jesse Singal

March 24, 2012 8:47 AM Obama Campaign: Sure, Call it 'Obamacare'

A month and a half ago I asked in this space whether "Obamacare" is really a derogatory term anymore, and several commenters pointed out that progressives had started to reclaim...

By Jesse Singal

March 24, 2012 8:29 AM Contrived Outrage Machine—Activate!

Yawn: Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich harshly criticized President Obama for commenting on Trayvon Martin’s race as he extended condolences to the 17-year-old shooting victim’s parents on Friday. Obama said,...

By Jesse Singal

March 23, 2012 6:40 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

Yes, I know some of you expect me to start blogging at 8:00 a.m. sharp EDT, and that hasn't happend yet. But I expect to stop blogging at 5:30 p,m....

By Ed Kilgore

March 23, 2012 5:59 PM Post-Palin Veep Vetting

As the presidential contest moves towards the general election phase, interest will continuously increase in Mitt Romney's choice of a running-mate. The scrutiny will be especially intense for two obvious...

By Ed Kilgore

March 23, 2012 4:54 PM Swinging Indies

So in its continuing effort to convince Democrats that they need to focus on attracting independent voters even if it risks the affection of "base" voters, the Third Way organization...

By Ed Kilgore

March 23, 2012 3:23 PM Other Good Stuff On the Site

There are several items elsewhere on the Washington Monthly site you shouldn't miss: * At Ten Miles Square, Jonathan Bernstein notes with reference to the Etch-A-Sketch incident that campaign "moments"...

By Ed Kilgore

March 23, 2012 2:44 PM Might As Well Be Wearing a Hoodie

After tomorrow, any pretense Newt Gingrich has of running for president will be pretty much laughable. Perhaps he's already making the transition back to his old game of attracting attention...

By Ed Kilgore

March 23, 2012 1:58 PM Lunch Buffet

Lunch on the run today. Here's some samples from the snack drawer: * Geraldo Rivera's comments on Trayvon Martin show why he's a perfect match for Fox News. * Santorum...

By Ed Kilgore

March 23, 2012 1:42 PM Romney Phones It In On Health Reform

Unsurprisingly, the putative GOP nominee for president has published an op-ed on health reform at USAToday. And for a guy who proved as governor of Massachusetts that he knew a...

By Ed Kilgore

March 23, 2012 11:38 AM "If I Had a Son, He'd Look Like Trayvon"

Ta-Nehisi Coates, who has done as much as anyone to bring the Trayvon Martin case to national attention, said of President Obama's comments this morning: Stunning. Pitch perfect. No idea...

By Ed Kilgore

March 23, 2012 11:26 AM "Billionaire Oil Guys" Lose Bid To Take Over Cato

It looks like the Koch Brothers' efforts to take over the libertarian think-tank the Cato Institute and oust long-time president Ed Crane has been thwarted. According to David Weigel, who...

By Ed Kilgore

March 23, 2012 10:59 AM PPP Louisiana Poll: Sean Payton Crushing Les Miles

PPP has a new survey of Republican primary voters in the Pelican State, and it's pretty fascinating. New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton, just suspended for a year over the...

By Ed Kilgore

March 23, 2012 10:04 AM All Etch-a-Sketchers Now

A big part of the reason for the continuing focus--angry as it makes people like Brendan Nyhan--on the Etch-a-Sketch incident is that it provides the dying campaigns of Mitt Romney's...

By Ed Kilgore

March 23, 2012 8:43 AM Health Debate Redux

It's kind of the social policy equivalent of one of those "triple witching hour" days in finance: the confluence of the second-year anniversary of the enactment of the Affordable Care...

By Ed Kilgore

March 22, 2012 6:34 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Lotta hoops tonight. Guess I should support teams from Battleground States, but will probably just cheer for upsets. * Eric Fehrnstrom gets the full-on Times profile treatment, which he'd probably...

By Ed Kilgore

March 22, 2012 6:02 PM Meanwhile, Down-Ballot....

As the GOP presidential nominating contest winds down (or grinds to a clanking stop, depending on how you look at it), I'll be spending more time here looking at down-ballot...

By Ed Kilgore

March 22, 2012 5:35 PM Mitt Reels In The Big Fish

If "conservative opinion-leader" signals matter in wrapping up the 2012 GOP presidential nominating contest for Mitt Romney, and I think they do, then forget about yesterday's Jeb Bush endorsment: Mitt...

By Ed Kilgore

March 22, 2012 5:02 PM "Mitt the Flip-Flopper" As a General Election Theme

One consequence of the Great Etcha-Sketch Incident of 2012 (other than its impact on Ohio Art stock) has been to stimulate discussion about whether Mitt Romney's rep as a world-class...

By Ed Kilgore

March 22, 2012 3:45 PM A Quandary For the Punditocracy

There is, as you may know, a Republican presidential primary coming up in Louisiana on Saturday. Three polls have been taken there this month, including two in the last few...

By Ed Kilgore

March 22, 2012 2:54 PM Un-Doing the Un-Deal

The announcement by House Speaker John Boehner that he's now behind efforts to undo last summer's "debt limit deal" may seem like a major development in Washington. But when you...

By Ed Kilgore

March 22, 2012 1:10 PM Lunch Buffet

After a slow start this morning, I'm now already out of gas. Time to refuel. * John Edwards' name comes up in connection w/ latest New York prostitution ring scandal....

By Ed Kilgore

March 22, 2012 12:39 PM Mitt's Gas Price Flip-Flop

You'd think by now that every one of Mitt Romney's policy flip-flops would be well known. Most of them were aired during his 2008 campaign--though some, most obviously his Massachusetts...

By Ed Kilgore

March 22, 2012 12:16 PM Going Numb

Bill Maher's New York Times op-ed suggesting a moratorium on outrage was predictable, funny, and ultimately wrong-headed--kind of like Maher himself on more than one occasion. Sure, a lot of...

By Ed Kilgore

March 22, 2012 11:38 AM Bring Me the Head of Eric Fehrnstrom

Least surprising news of the day? Veteran conservative columnist Bill McGurn suggests how Mitt Romney can atone for his communications director's Etch-a-Sketch gaffe: If Mitt Romney really wants to demonstrate...

By Ed Kilgore

March 22, 2012 10:01 AM In Ryan Budget Fight, Will Poor Folks Be An Afterthought?

If you've been reading Ezra Klein's outstanding reporting at WaPo on Paul Ryan's revised budget proposal, or Jonathan Cohn's at The New Republic, or my own commentary here, you are...

By Ed Kilgore

March 22, 2012 8:44 AM Setting His Own House On Fire

As someone who wrote Tuesday night that Mitt Romney had essentially, and finally, wrapped up the Republican presidential nomination, I find myself, like everyone else watching this peculiar contest, in...

By Ed Kilgore

March 21, 2012 5:44 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Typically busy hump-day news cycle. Here are some extras: * Brietbart op Jason Mattera ambushes "Bono" for in-your-face interview--but turns out it's a Bono impersonator. Great journalism, Jason. * RNC...

By Ed Kilgore

March 21, 2012 5:17 PM A Different Kind of Religious "Wedge"

Even as Republicans continue to hope that perceptions of Obama administration hostility to organized religion will increase and create a "wedge issue" hurting Democrats, evidence continues to mount that the...

By Ed Kilgore

March 21, 2012 4:27 PM Risky Business

In the course of his post-Illinois ruminations about Mitt Romney the putative GOP nominee, my TNR colleague Noam Scheiber discusses Romney's management-consultant tendency to play the safe strategic percentages, and...

By Ed Kilgore

March 21, 2012 3:09 PM Moral Fiber

It takes a lot these days to get the jaded and cynical Washington observer Dana Milbank angry. Paul Ryan managed easily to do so during his remarks on his budget...

By Ed Kilgore

March 21, 2012 1:40 PM Obama's Got Game on National Security

Interesting findings from some focus groups of swing voters conducted by the Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner in partnership with the think tank Third Way. Seems Obama will be...

By Paul Glastris

March 21, 2012 1:30 PM Lunch Buffet

Some hot pockets and cold cuts for your mid-week mid-day consumption: * PPP survey shows Palin still more popular w/ GOP voters than any of their actual candidates. * Ron...

By Ed Kilgore

March 21, 2012 12:54 PM And Remember: You Actually Can't Shake It Up and Restart It

There's a second reason the "Etch-a-Sketch" moment Eric Fehrnstrom just created for the Romney campaign is significant beyond the fact that it reinforced a negative stereotype about Mitt's lack of...

By Ed Kilgore

March 21, 2012 12:24 PM Shake It Up and Restart It

So say you're Mitt Romney, and you are trying very hard to convice stubborn conservatives to give up their resistance and entrust you with the GOP presidential nomination. They really,...

By Ed Kilgore

March 21, 2012 11:10 AM Jeb Sends the Signal

So the effort to consolidate elite opinion behind Romney and push Santorum, Gingrich and Paul into folding their tents or at least curtailing their campaigns got off to a roaring...

By Ed Kilgore

March 21, 2012 10:36 AM Inevitable Blahs

Now that Mitt Romney is finally wrapping up the GOP nomination, you can expect some serious buyer's remorse, or at least disenchantment, to ensue in elite Republican circles. I mean,...

By Ed Kilgore

March 21, 2012 9:30 AM Driven To Extremes

My first post on Paul Ryan's budget yesterday, which relied on Ezra Klein's analysis of its contents, suggested that Ryan and the GOP had decided to go in the political...

By Ed Kilgore

March 21, 2012 8:39 AM Beatdown

It wasn't particularly surprising, but Mitt Romney's beatdown of Rick Santorum in Illinois was the most thoroughgoing win for the front-runner since Florida. He won by a double-digit margin in...

By Ed Kilgore

March 20, 2012 6:23 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Well, hope the green eye-shades among you have enjoyed Ryan Budget Release Day and all the numbers and charts. Federal budget battles are indeed the show that never ends. Here...

By Ed Kilgore

March 20, 2012 5:44 PM Ryan Budget: A "Good Start?"

Since you'll be reading a lot here and elsewhere over the next few days about the draconian impact implementing Paul Ryan's budget proposal would have (especially if you wring out...

By Ed Kilgore

March 20, 2012 4:35 PM Counties as "Communities"

Speaking of cool stuff elsewhere on our site, I was very interested in John Sides' report on the continuing debate over the "Big Sort" hypothesis, and a new study arguing...

By Ed Kilgore

March 20, 2012 3:27 PM Good Stuff Elsewhere on the Site

Much as I hope you enjoy reading Political Animal, there is a lot of other good stuff regularly appearing on the Washington Monthly's site. Here are a few worth checking...

By Daniel Luzer

March 20, 2012 3:09 PM A Choice, Not a Referendum

I wondered yesterday if Mitt Romney was deliberately striking a new tone on the economy by noting that it was improving, or had just forgotten his the-economy-is-a-disaster-vote-for-change message. According to...

By Ed Kilgore

March 20, 2012 2:22 PM Touchy White Folks

So at an Obama fundraiser headlined by the First Lady, Robert DeNiro tossed out a moderately funny joke: "Callista Gingrich. Karen Santorum. Ann Romney. Now do you really think our...

By Ed Kilgore

March 20, 2012 1:32 PM Lunch Buffet

Another Primary Tuesday. If you can't take an Illinois Republican to lunch, here's some takeout: * New PPP poll shows Warren with lead over Brown in MA; voters polarizing by...

By Ed Kilgore

March 20, 2012 1:19 PM More on Re-regulating the Airlines

If you haven't already read Phil Longman's and Lisa Khan's provocative story in our latest issue on how airline deregulation is destroying the economies of heartland cities, you should. And...

By Paul Glastris

March 20, 2012 11:58 AM Ryan Budget: Cui Bono?

Here's Ezra Klein's initial take on the new Paul Ryan budget blueprint. I think Ezra's emphasizing exactly the right points in sorting through the mass of details and numbers: Here’s...

By Ed Kilgore

March 20, 2012 11:21 AM Trayvon Martin Case: Roost, Meet Chicken

I hadn't paid much attention to the Trayvon Martin case until yesterday, but I can now understand why it is generating so much outrage. For all that it resembles a...

By Ed Kilgore

March 20, 2012 9:43 AM Rick Beaten A Third, Not Half, To Death

A small note: yesterday I guessed that Rick Santorum had been outspent in Illinois by the combined forces of the Romney campaign and Mitt's Super-PAC Restore Our Future by a...

By Ed Kilgore

March 20, 2012 9:28 AM With Friends Like These

Before we temporarily leave the subject of the GOP presidential contest and welcome Paul Ryan's revised budget, I'd draw your attention to a highly entertaining (if frightening) listicle prepared by...

By Ed Kilgore

March 20, 2012 8:49 AM Is the Romney Campaign Incompetent?

It is entirely possible that Mitt Romney will finally turn the corner tonight with a smashing win in Illinois and remove all reasonble doubt that he's going to be the...

By Ed Kilgore

March 19, 2012 6:20 PM Day's End and Night Watch

* Sen. Lisa Murkowski seems to be suggesting she blames her vote for the Blunt Amendment on the failure of Democratic colleagues to lobby her against it. * More than...

By Ed Kilgore

March 19, 2012 5:51 PM Gaffe Or Pivot?

Campaigning in Illinois today, Mitt Romney had this to say about that occasionally important issue, the U.S. economy, reports Politico's Alexander Burns: “I believe the economy is coming back, by...

By Ed Kilgore

March 19, 2012 5:32 PM Judicial Premonitions

As part of the run-up to next week's Supreme Court oral arguments on the constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act, the ever-lucid Jeffrey Toobin reminds us that the decision,...

By Ed Kilgore

March 19, 2012 5:13 PM Son of Ryan

You'd think that after careful consideration of the polling data that came out last year about Paul Ryan's budget proposal that congressional Republicans would be loath to bring it up...

By Ed Kilgore

March 19, 2012 4:45 PM From Dog Whistling To Howling at the Moon

One of the great refined arts of contemporary American politics is the Cultural Right "dog-whistle"--the ability of candidates to pose as just normal, standard-brand conservatives mainly concerned with creating jobs...

By Ed Kilgore

March 19, 2012 3:02 PM Victim, Jr.

Political discourse in this country would be considerably improved by a convention that the children of politicians be neither seen nor heard on the airwaves or in newsprint. They are...

By Ed Kilgore

March 19, 2012 1:34 PM Lunch Buffet

Cold, windy morning here in central California. But I'm not about to complain. Here are some freezer treats: * John McCain did not get the memo about GOPers winning contraception...

By Ed Kilgore

March 19, 2012 12:40 PM This Day In RINO Betrayal!

If you ever wonder about the origins and depths of the movement-conservative fear of "betrayal" of the Cause by Establishment Republicans, consider this post by Ed Whelan at National Review...

By Ed Kilgore

March 19, 2012 11:57 AM Rick's Car Breaks Down in a Bad Neighborhood

Unless PPP's latest survey of the state is uncharacteristically way off, Rick Santorum is cruisin' for a real bruisin' in tomorrow's Illinois primary. It shows Romney up 45-30, with Santorum...

By Ed Kilgore

March 19, 2012 10:39 AM See How They Run

I don't know whether the Obama administration is truly on the brink of releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to reduce upward pressure on gas prices, in conjunction with...

By Ed Kilgore

March 19, 2012 9:40 AM How Will Diane Ravitch Explain This?

Two years ago, the Washington Monthly published a special report, "Fighting the Drop-out Crisis," about three large urban school districts that were trying to apply the tools of the larger...

By Paul Glastris

March 19, 2012 8:38 AM Romney's Hollow "Latino Win"

So in the least surprising development of the 2012 GOP presidential nominating contest, Mitt Romney won the Puerto Rico primary yesterday, winning a majority of the vote and sweeping all...

By Ed Kilgore

March 18, 2012 11:30 AM The Zombie Lie That Won't Die: Gas Prices Edition

This morning, Mitt Romney passed along a conspiracy theory: "[President Obama] said that energy prices would skyrocket under his views and he selected three people to help him implement that...

By Elon Green

March 18, 2012 10:20 AM Rick Santorum's Hobby Horse

A couple of days ago, Roy Edroso noticed that conservative writers are irate, this time about the media's coverage of Rick Santorum's interest in pornography -- which the candidate believes...

By Elon Green

March 18, 2012 9:15 AM Maureen Dowd Likes to Recycle.

The last time I subbed for Ed I wrote about a characteristically poor Maureen Dowd column. Since it's Sunday, and political coverage seems, at least for the moment, relegated to...

By Elon Green

March 18, 2012 8:00 AM Hugh Hewitt, Romney's Special Pleader

Much attention was given to this week's Fox News interview with Mitt Romney during which the candidate, as is his wont, performed poorly. His interviewer, Megyn Kelly, didn't exactly go...

By Elon Green

March 17, 2012 1:39 PM Obama and the Anxieties of the Financial Meritocracy

In the New Republic, Alec MacGillis has a brilliantly insightful article (behind a pay wall) about the growing hostility towards Obama of many former supporters among the wealthiest hedge fund...

By Rich Yeselson

March 17, 2012 10:33 AM Why does David Brooks write stuff like this?

Yesterday, David Brooks wrote a typical David Brooks column. It was thoughtfully focused on the intersection between psychology and public policy, specifically on how Barack Obama's personality will effect what...

By Rich Yeselson

March 17, 2012 9:57 AM Progress

Amanda Terkel at Huffpost has an interesting article about a possible platform fight over same sex marriage at the Democratic National Convention. Even some Democrats who support same sex marriage,...

By Rich Yeselson

March 17, 2012 8:54 AM Undercover Boss and the Decline of the Working Class

Ever watch this show Undercover Boss on CBS? The premise is simple: the CEO of a company goes undercover, disguised as an ordinary worker, at his company for a couple...

By Rich Yeselson

March 16, 2012 6:10 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

TGIF, y'all. Here's what I've got after cleaning out the blog grinder: * Excitement builds for oral arguments in Supreme Court in ObamaCare suit. * Gallup says GOP voter enthusiasm...

By Ed Kilgore

March 16, 2012 5:39 PM Bypassing the Parties

Off and on all day, I've been mulling over Ezra Klein's column suggesting that the independent ballot lines being secured by the American Elect group could, regardless of whatever horror...

By Ed Kilgore

March 16, 2012 5:03 PM Why People Go To Law School

I read with interest Daniel Luzer's post at College Guide today about the status of class-action suits against law schools for misprepresenting their post-graduate placement and earnings statistics. Apparently, the...

By Ed Kilgore

March 16, 2012 4:45 PM Unhinged But Unbought

The New York Times took advantage of publicity over the surprise victory of Roy Moore as GOP nominee for Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in Tuesday's primaries to...

By Ed Kilgore

March 16, 2012 3:50 PM The Limbaugh-Maher Equivalence Game

No one was much surprised when the most frequent conservative response to the furor over Rush Limbaugh's slut-shaming of Sandra Fluke was not to defend or criticize Rush, but to...

By Ed Kilgore

March 16, 2012 2:30 PM Mitt The Destroyer

Just saw this tweet from Rick Santorum: "Real World Versus Romney World: Romney Destroyed Massachusetts Manufacturing." It linked to a press release with the same title, composed of two news...

By Ed Kilgore

March 16, 2012 1:22 PM Lunch Buffet

Again, I know I am competing with March Madness, but if you are taking a lunch break or are hoop-o-phobic to begin with, here are some mental snacks: * Three...

By Ed Kilgore

March 16, 2012 12:50 PM African-Americans and Statewide Offices

Belated props to The American Prospect's Jamelle Bouie for his important article on the virtual absence of viable African-American candidates for governor and senator this year (Jonathan Bernstein beat me...

By Ed Kilgore

March 16, 2012 11:25 AM Newt Don't Need Adelson's Stinkin' Money!

Politicians notoriously say stupid things when they are at the tail-end of losing campaigns. The night is darkest just before dawn, and victory is around the corner, and all that....

By Ed Kilgore

March 16, 2012 10:54 AM We Don't Need No Thought Control

So it seems Rick Santorum knew his electoral base better than we realized when he blasted President Obama for encouraging people to go to college. Check out this fascinating set...

By Ed Kilgore

March 16, 2012 10:11 AM Misremembering Rutherford B. Hayes

President Obama is getting a lot of flak for repeating a common but apochryphal anecdote about President Rutherford B. Hayes (seems he could have gotten it via Ronald Reagan) rejecting...

By Ed Kilgore

March 16, 2012 8:38 AM Their Own Alinsky

When at the top of an aggregation site I saw the headline ("Breitbart Is Here") and byline (Sarah Palin), I checked the calendar to make sure it wasn't April Fool's...

By Ed Kilgore

March 15, 2012 6:34 PM Day's End and Night Watch

I haven't watched any actual basketball yet (just occasionally checked the scoreboard), but that is about to change. Here are a few odd socks from the news dryer: * As...

By Ed Kilgore

March 15, 2012 6:15 PM April Showers

While the imponderable factor is how GOP elites might respond to a major upset of Mitt Romney by Rick Santorum in the remaining contests, or to painfully slow accumulation of...

By Ed Kilgore

March 15, 2012 5:50 PM Single-Entry Bookkeeping

Scanning the morning headlines today, I saw, as probably a lot of you did, the shrieking claims that CBO had "revealed" that "ObamaCare" was going to cost vastly more than...

By Ed Kilgore

March 15, 2012 4:09 PM If They Had Some Ham....

I admire a good, analytical look at an emotional issue, particularly by someone whose political allies seem to be careening around in highly emotional confusion. So I read with interest...

By Ed Kilgore

March 15, 2012 2:23 PM Who's Got the Wedge Issue Now?

My how the worm does turn. Last month Republicans were beside themselves with joy at the perception that they had found a sure-fire "wedge issue" in the administration's contraception coverage...

By Ed Kilgore

March 15, 2012 12:55 PM Lunch Buffet

Just discovered the dental appointment I thought I had this afternoon never got recorded. Makes me mad and relieved. Time to chow down: * Joe Biden makes big campaign speech....

By Ed Kilgore

March 15, 2012 12:25 PM Working Longer For Less

Every once in a while you read something that is at the same time revolutionary and somewhat obvious--which is a reminder of how many obvious things we all ignore each...

By Ed Kilgore

March 15, 2012 11:10 AM Good Stuff

Much as I hope you enjoy reading The Political Animal, there is, of course, a lot of other good stuff regularly appearing on the Washington Monthly's site. Here are a...

By Ed Kilgore

March 15, 2012 10:40 AM Obama's Radical Plan To Make America A Better Place

If I were a conservative, I'd be extremely intolerant of the "vetting" project that the late Andrew Breitbart charged his successors to undertake, and that the wingnutosphere in general seems...

By Ed Kilgore

March 15, 2012 9:52 AM Mad About Graduation Rates

Yes, today marks the beginning of the NCAA Men's College Basketball Tournament, and most particularly, the two-day frenzy of first-round games that will severely damage the nation's economic productivity. I...

By Ed Kilgore

March 15, 2012 9:15 AM Comic Relief

As I'm sure you know by now, Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau is doing a series on Texas' ultrasound law that some papers are choosing not to run; others are moving...

By Ed Kilgore

March 15, 2012 8:30 AM Morning Suggestion Box

It's occurred to me as I wait for the coffee to brew out here in the pre-dawn darkness of the West Coast, that perhaps instead of letting East Coast peeps...

By Ed Kilgore

March 14, 2012 5:44 PM ***Day's End and Night Watch

Well, having operated on short sleep, subsequently committing far too many typos (including the serial misrepresentation of Wendy Spencer as Wendy Sherman, the actual name of an actual Washington acquaintance...

By Ed Kilgore

March 14, 2012 5:11 PM Hitch Reports From Afterlife: Nothing To See Here, Folks!

When Christopher Hitchens died, I felt a little left out (not to mention decidedly D-list!) for having no stories of exchanging insults or sharing a drink with the renowned curmudgeon....

By Ed Kilgore

March 14, 2012 4:46 PM No Headlines For Rick This Weekend

Rick Santorum would love to follow up his victories in Alabama and Mississippi yesterday with some quick, fresh triumphs, partly to offset Mitt Romney's remoreseless progress in picking up delegates...

By Ed Kilgore

March 14, 2012 4:11 PM New Poll Position

Seems like it was just yesterday--and in fact, it was--that liberals were puzzling over two consecutive major national polls showing a sharp deterioration of the president's political standing, even as...

By Ed Kilgore

March 14, 2012 3:40 PM Chris Rock Acts Out!

It's becoming more apparent every day that Andrew Breitbart's successors are determined to offer America a font of unintentional humor (at least I think it's unintentional!). The latest episode involves...

By Ed Kilgore

March 14, 2012 3:20 PM Going Away Mad At Goldman Sachs

The big sensation today on Wall Street is a New York Times op-ed by a London-based executive director of Goldman Sachs announcing his resignation--and adding a few comments about the...

By Ed Kilgore

March 14, 2012 2:14 PM ***How Great a President is Barack Obama?

Paul Glastris's recent cover article about President Obama's accomplishments has generated some interesting discussion, but we'd like to hear from you. Here's a chance for anyone to contribute in a...

By Ed Kilgore

March 14, 2012 1:24 PM Lunch Buffet

I'm a bit foggy from late-night election-watching, tweeting, and column-writing, but still in the kitchen for some mid-day treats: * In the wee hours TNR published my column on what...

By Ed Kilgore

March 14, 2012 12:59 PM The Return of Judge Roy Moore

It didn't get a lot of attention in all the talk about the GOP presidential primary, but down-ballot in Alabama, a very famous name reappeared. Roy Moore, the so-called "Ten...

By Ed Kilgore

March 14, 2012 12:32 PM Free Wendy Spencer

Let's just say for the sake of argument you're Barack Obama, and just to get things in Washington moving a bit, you sent the Senate a nomination they could not...

By Ed Kilgore

March 14, 2012 10:55 AM Do Rick's Wins Matter?

So late last night my friend Jonathan Bernstein and I were having one of those twitter arguments about the greater meaning, if any, of last night's victories by Rick Santorum....

By Ed Kilgore

March 14, 2012 10:09 AM You and Me, Baby!

Funniest story of the morning is this one, from Jon Ward at HuffPost: A senior adviser to Newt Gingrich told The Huffington Post Tuesday night the campaign likes the idea...

By Ed Kilgore

March 14, 2012 8:49 AM Santorum Pulls the Upset

Rick Santorum was both good and lucky on March 13, winning in Alabama and Mississippi just as the great political god named Expectations figured him to be fading into irrelevance....

By Ed Kilgore

March 13, 2012 6:25 PM Day's End and Night Watch

It's probably a bad idea to end the day by thinking about, much less writing about, Queen Esther of the Permafrost. So for all of us, a quick palate-cleanser before...

By Ed Kilgore

March 13, 2012 5:57 PM The Weak Case for Ignoring Big Lies

The Atlantic's David Graham is unhappy with me. No, not me by name, but me as one of the "liberals" who have "gleefully" publicized the results of another poll showing...

By Ed Kilgore

March 13, 2012 4:18 PM Presidential Unaccomplishments

I missed it the other day because it was appended to one of his abominable anti-feminist meditations, but James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal actually offered a succinct version...

By Ed Kilgore

March 13, 2012 3:12 PM Those Canadians Are Scary, Eh?

Like the late-night comedian Craig Ferguson, who said he was shy in an encounter with Dick Cheney because "I never know how to behave around evil people," I never know...

By Ed Kilgore

March 13, 2012 2:41 PM Greedy GOPers Losing Anti-"Death Panel" Dems

It's not getting the attention it deserves, but House Republicans appear to be in the process of screwing up an opportunity to strike a blow against ObamaCare (and against any...

By Ed Kilgore

March 13, 2012 1:39 PM Lunch Buffet

I'm running late today, probably because I waded into the deep waters of southern culture in my last post. So here are some quick bites right from the pantry: *...

By Ed Kilgore

March 13, 2012 1:28 PM Candidates and Pundits Look Warily At Crazy Crackers

I made the argument yesterday that Alabama and Mississippi are places considered to be pretty strange even by fellow-southerners, mainly because they seem to have lingered in the Old...

By Ed Kilgore

March 13, 2012 11:49 AM Romney Air Superiority--Again

If Mitt Romney wins in Alabama and/or Mississippi tonight, you will hear a lot of talk about GOP elected officials in these two states supporting Mitt, Republicans voting for Mitt...

By Ed Kilgore

March 13, 2012 11:03 AM Is It Time to Re-Regulate the Airlines?

If there is anyone bullish about the airline industry--or the experience of commercial air travel--these days, it's exceedingly rare. As prices go up, service goes down, and news from the...

By Ed Kilgore

March 13, 2012 10:31 AM False Equivalence Watch, Richard Cohen Version

James Fallows, Jonathan Chait and others have done much to open our eyes to the wondrous breadth and diversity of false equivalence in American journalism—that is, the media’s insistent efforts...

By Paul Glastris

March 13, 2012 9:15 AM The Obama Poll Plunge

At Salon, Steve Kornacki directly asks the question that's rattling around the chattering classes today: what's with Obama's sudden plunge in the polls? When a poll showing Barack Obama’s approval...

By Ed Kilgore

March 13, 2012 8:39 AM He's Out of Touch, Paaaaaul!

Mitt Romney continued his Magic Mystery Tour of the deepest South yesterday, leading into today's primaries in Alabama and Mississippi. In a bold move, he appeared in front of one...

By Ed Kilgore

March 12, 2012 6:41 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Don't know about you guys, but I'm still suffering from the early time change shift. So everything today ran late, including these final notes: * WSJ features op-ed by Allysia...

By Ed Kilgore

March 12, 2012 5:53 PM Better Pick a Good Ambassador to the Netherlands, Rick

Rick Santorum has stirred up a lot of controversy on the campaign trail with various assertions of dubious facts. But if he does managed to get himself elected president, he...

By Ed Kilgore

March 12, 2012 5:36 PM Return--On Horseback--Of the Ten Commandments Judge

It won't get as much attention, obviously, as the presidential primary, but a downballot race in Alabama tomorrow that is of at least symbolic importance is the Republican primary for...

By Ed Kilgore

March 12, 2012 4:26 PM Return of Hot Mitt

So BuzzFeed has published a batch of Mitt Romney pix that includes several of him bare-chested on various family vacations around the world. None of this is campaign-sanctioned, but you...

By Ed Kilgore

March 12, 2012 3:37 PM How Accomplished Is Barack Obama?

I'd be remiss in not taking notice of the reaction of my much-esteemed founding forefather at Poltical Animal, Kevin Drum, to the Monthly's March-April cover package. If you read his...

By Ed Kilgore

March 12, 2012 2:27 PM Santorum's War on Speechwriters

As a former (and very occasionally current) political speechwriter, I must protest Rick Santorum's job-killing, discriminatory remarks against the time-honored craft, as reported by CNN's Chris Welch: Republican Rick Santorum...

By Ed Kilgore

March 12, 2012 1:22 PM Lunch Buffet

I know many of you will spend your lunch break beginning to fill out your NCAA brackets, but for everyone else, here are some quick reads: * Jeff Foxworthy campaigning...

By Ed Kilgore

March 12, 2012 12:59 PM Jumpin' Poll Flash Is a Gas, Gas, Gas

The new ABC-WaPo poll showing Barack Obama slipping against both Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum along with bright flashing arrows indicating rising gasoline prices are the main factor in this...

By Ed Kilgore

March 12, 2012 12:35 PM Conservative Evangelical "World View" In Sharp Relief

Lots of progressive bloggers are having lots of fun with some of the crosstabs from PPI's latest poll of likely Republican primary voters in Alabama and Mississippi--particularly the numbers showing...

By Ed Kilgore

March 12, 2012 11:51 AM What's the Matter With Alabama and Mississippi?

From the point of view of delegates to be selected, tomorrow is just another Tuesday, and not a particularly momentous one, in the GOP presidential nominating contest. But it's hard...

By Ed Kilgore

March 12, 2012 10:27 AM Day of Reckoning on Reproductive Rights

If you are interested in how the political culture wars became focused on contraception in the last year, a must-read is Neera Tandem's latest column for The New Republic: In...

By Ed Kilgore

March 12, 2012 8:45 AM Santorum's Peak

Whenever veterans of Rick Santorum's 2012 presidential campaign get together--at this year's Republican National Convention, or at anti-choice rallies and spiritual warfare conferences, or around Foster Friess' metaphorical campfires--they are...

By Ed Kilgore

March 11, 2012 8:56 PM ***The New Misogyny

Recent events -- particularly Rush Limbaugh's "slutgate" scandal, the Susan G. Komen Foundation's controversial decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood (which they later reversed), and harsh new anti-abortion legislation in...

By Kathleen Geier

March 11, 2012 4:29 PM Recommended reading

Here are some links to interesting posts and articles I've come across on the interwebs today: -- Political scientists Henry Farrell and economist John Quiggin, both of whom blog at...

By Kathleen Geier

March 11, 2012 12:36 PM "Nonprofit" Hospitals and the Push for Fair Care

I'm loath to write about local issues on what is, after all, a blog with a national focus. But I do want to mention an initiative here in my home...

By Kathleen Geier

March 11, 2012 12:02 PM Worker "Occupations": A Promising New Protest Technique for Labor?

In These Times reports that workers in three states have recently staged "occupations" in an attempt to win concession employers. In Chicago, workers actually took over a factory; in Atlanta...

By Kathleen Geier

March 11, 2012 10:38 AM Rush Limbaugh: the Fall-Out Continues

I've noticed, throughout my political lifetime, something interesting that tends to happen. Just at the times when I am most disgusted with politics and ready to despair at the seeming...

By Kathleen Geier

March 11, 2012 9:55 AM The GOP's Youth-Vote Problem, As Explained Via an Overextended Metaphor Involving Outback Steakhouse

The GOP is a really fat guy named Hiram who is convinced that if he could only slim down, he could get his dream girl Stacey (young voters) to go...

By Jesse Singal

March 11, 2012 8:30 AM Dennis Menaced

One news story in the past week that hasn't gotten as much attention as it deserves is the defeat of Dennis Kucinich in a Congressional primary. His old seat had...

By Kathleen Geier

March 10, 2012 3:13 PM Void Where Prohibited

QOTD, from Corey Robin: I wish academics, journalists, intellectuals, and bloggers had a more concrete sense of what it’s like to work in an actual workplace in America (not to...

By Kathleen Geier

March 10, 2012 2:29 PM Pro-choice = "Inappopriate"; Racism and Misogyny? Not So Much

Jim Romenesko is reporting that the St. Paul Pioneer Press and The Oregonian, among other newspapers, will not be running next week's Doonesbury strips, which deal with the effects of...

By Kathleen Geier

March 10, 2012 12:43 PM It's the Housing Bubble, Stupid!

Who's to blame for the recession? The right-wing noise machine has pointed the finger at a bewildering array of targets: everything from burdensome regulations to too-high government spending and taxes...

By Kathleen Geier

March 10, 2012 11:42 AM Threat to Religious Freedom?

Here's a sad item from Reuters' Tim Reid: Banks are foreclosing on America's churches in record numbers as lenders increasingly lose patience with religious facilities that have defaulted on their...

By Ed Kilgore

March 10, 2012 11:30 AM The February Jobs Numbers: Glass Half Empty Edition

The new jobs report is out, the reviews are in, and it seems that even the most bearish of economists sound grudgingly optimistic. "[D]efinitely a better jobs report than we...

By Kathleen Geier

March 10, 2012 10:59 AM Return of Anti-anti-racism

In trepidation over the sheer nastiness (and emptiness) of the Derrick Bell "scandal" that Andrew Breitbart's indeological heirs were so exercised about this last week, Kevin Drum reminds us of...

By Ed Kilgore

March 10, 2012 10:24 AM Low-Hanging Tropical Fruit

This is the sort of lede graph that those who think of the GOP as an orderly, hierarchical organization must dream of: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won the unanimous...

By Ed Kilgore

March 09, 2012 5:35 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

* Meditating on the Derrick Bell/Obama "scandal" of the last few days, Paul Waldman says the hard-core Right is making it very difficult to avoid accusations of racism. * On...

By Ed Kilgore

March 09, 2012 5:17 PM Getting on the Anti-School Bus

Like a lot of commentators (include Daniel Luzer and myself), Paul Krugman thought Mitt Romney's recent dissing of the idea of federal involvement in making higher education affordable was pretty...

By Ed Kilgore

March 09, 2012 4:44 PM The Anti-Tax Party Wants To Tax the Exercise of the Constitutional Right to Choose

Republicans hate taxes more than anything, right? Well, no--they hate legalized abortion more, it seems. That's certainly the case in the anti-choice hotbed of Kansas, where the GOP-controlled legislature, with...

By Ed Kilgore

March 09, 2012 4:30 PM ***2012 Primaries By the Numbers

Rob Richie of the FairVote organiztion has a cool item at HuffPost today that looks a little more deeply at the 2012 GOP primary and caucus results than has been...

By Ed Kilgore

March 09, 2012 2:55 PM Damage Control

On reading Paul Glastris' Editor's Note for the March/April issue of the Monthly, entitled "Clinton's Third Term," I figured some of the progressive readers who didn't agree with his cover...

By Ed Kilgore

March 09, 2012 1:43 PM Mitt the Cracker

Mitt Romney joins the long line of yankee politicians who campaign in the South and think it's a good idea to go native. It's usually a mistake unless you know...

By Ed Kilgore

March 09, 2012 1:10 PM Lunch Buffet

Some Friday fish-and-chips: * Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes buys New Republic at ripe old age of 28 (mag is 95 years old). * Raz poll of Alabama, which holds primary...

By Ed Kilgore

March 09, 2012 12:32 PM Rush Brought To You As A Public Service

Although Rush Limbaugh's official line is that everything's cool with his sponsorship base, and that the boycott involves only local sponsors or companies that don't even sponsor him at all,...

By Ed Kilgore

March 09, 2012 11:58 AM Cackalackey Chaos

My native state of South Carolina is not one unfamiliar with political scandals, to be sure. But today's resignation of Lt. Gov. Ken Ard (apparently as part of a plea...

By Ed Kilgore

March 09, 2012 10:20 AM Rebound

So in the context of today's jobs report, it's worth giving some consideration to where, geographically, the economy is improving. And though it's based on older data, there is a...

By Ed Kilgore

March 09, 2012 9:40 AM Pillar On Morning Edition

Maybe you caught it at home, work or in traffic, but Paul Pillar was on NPR's Morning Edition to discuss his article from the March/April issue of the Washington Monthly,...

By Ed Kilgore

March 09, 2012 8:43 AM Another Positive Jobs Report

Gee, this is kind of exciting. As a West Coaster, I haven't in the past usually been awake (or caffeinated) when these monthly jobs reports come out. It's kinda like...

By Ed Kilgore

March 08, 2012 5:59 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Gotta tell you, news cycle blogging has revived my appreciate for weekends, including the one now approaching. Here are a few more items for the indefatigable: * Tim Noah reports...

By Ed Kilgore

March 08, 2012 5:30 PM White Noise, White Space For Great White Chief

It's not entirely clear what's going on with sponsorship of Rush Limbaugh's radio show, but some weird things are happening. As Media Matters noted today, there was a noticeable "dead...

By Ed Kilgore

March 08, 2012 5:17 PM Presidential Self-Promotion and the "Referendum" Trap

The public discussion over the cover package in the April/May issue of the Washington Monthly, "The Incomplete Greatness of Barack Obama," is getting underway. At WaPo's Plumb Line, Greg Sargent...

By Ed Kilgore

March 08, 2012 4:21 PM Is Mitt Waging Generational Warfare?

On Super Tuesday, as Daniel Luzer noted at College Guide, Mitt Romney told a high school student worried about college costs that he'd better "shop around" for low tuitions, and...

By Ed Kilgore

March 08, 2012 3:30 PM Hard To Keep the Hate Straight

As you may know, the siege mentality surrounding the Rush Limbaugh/Sandra Fluke saga has, in most precincts of serious right-wing talk and activity, been replaced by white-hot anger. It's aimed...

By Ed Kilgore

March 08, 2012 2:30 PM Poor Poor Pitiful "Player"

One of the hardy perennials of Beltway journalism is reporting the self-pity of Members of Congress. They work too hard; they can't get anything done; they have to travel all...

By Ed Kilgore

March 08, 2012 12:28 PM Lunch Buffet

My laptop's really acting up. Time for me to reboot, and you to have a lunch break. Here's some mental eats: * It's International Women's Day. There's a lot to...

By Ed Kilgore

March 08, 2012 12:22 PM Last Waltz

When I saw the headline--"Gingrich Takes a Break"--I immediately rode the memory train to last summer, when Newt and Callista suddenly took a Mediterranean cruise just as other candidates were...

By Ed Kilgore

March 08, 2012 11:57 AM Bottom of the Barrel

In case you were wondering, the combined efforts of the Breitbart dumpster-divers and Sean Hannity to convince people that the late Andrew's cherished tape of Barack Obama speaking at Harvard...

By Ed Kilgore

March 08, 2012 11:21 AM Beyond Mitt's Small Donor Problem

It's pretty well known that the virtually certain 2012 presidential nominee of the Republican Party, Mitt Romney, has financed his campaign so far with an exceptionally successful corporate fundraising effort...

By Ed Kilgore

March 08, 2012 9:55 AM "The Incomplete Greatness of Barack Obama"

Most of what we talk about here at Political Animal these days--and indeed, most of what the whole chattering classes discuss--is affected fundamentally by Barack Obama's character, ideology, political strategy,...

By Ed Kilgore

March 08, 2012 8:53 AM ***Pride of the Southland

No question about it, if there ever was: Newt Gingrich is staking what's left of his presidential candidacy on his appeal in the Deepest South. Having won only in SC...

By Ed Kilgore

March 07, 2012 6:22 PM Day's End and Night Watch

So we're at the end of Super Wednesday, I suppose. Here are some clipping floor items: * Rush compares lost sponsors to losing a few french fries in the drive-thru....

By Ed Kilgore

March 07, 2012 5:59 PM You Shall Not Tempt the Lord Your God!

I missed this item earlier today, but it's a pretty good one, from NBC's First Read: Mitt Romney's campaign gathered the national press corps in their campaign war room this...

By Ed Kilgore

March 07, 2012 5:50 PM From 50,000 Feet--Or Mars?

Conservatives have begun to figure out that they've really stepped in it by making the administration's contraception coverage mandate a big issue. So they're struggling to reframe it. Who better...

By Ed Kilgore

March 07, 2012 5:30 PM Shocked Yet?

So the latest installment from the Andrew Breitbart Seance the wingnutosphere is conducting (for how long? who knows?) is video of law student Barack Obama participating in a protest in...

By Ed Kilgore

March 07, 2012 4:44 PM States' Rights, Party Autonomy and the Nomination Process

There's been an interesting indirect debate the last few days, with Super Tuesday providing the context, of the perennial topic of improving the presidential nominating process--or leaving it alone. At...

By Ed Kilgore

March 07, 2012 2:56 PM Bibi's Biblical Politics--and Sarah Palin's

One of the odder bits of news today is that in their White House meeting, Bibi Netanyahu presented President Obama with a scroll version of the Book of Esther from...

By Ed Kilgore

March 07, 2012 1:05 PM Lunch Buffet

Rush and Super Tuesday; Rush and Super Tuesday. It's a somewhat monotonous news day, so I had to root for truffles like a French pig to come up with a...

By Ed Kilgore

March 07, 2012 12:48 PM Quick Note About Perspective

Just to clear something up that's been bothering me for a while: some readers (at least as reflected in the comment thread) seem to be concerned that my analysis of...

By Ed Kilgore

March 07, 2012 11:45 AM End of an Era

It wasn't a big surprise, since he was facing another incumbent Democrat (Marcy Kaptur) who had represented a larger share of a new district, but it was still a bit...

By Ed Kilgore

March 07, 2012 10:09 AM Santorum and the Catholic Vote, Revisited

I thought we were all straight on this, but there is was again: across Twitter, and at some MSM sites as well, there was amazement last night that Rick Santorum...

By Ed Kilgore

March 07, 2012 9:25 AM Southern Discomfort

You can't go too far wrong by assuming that anything Newt Gingrich says is off in some serious respect. Yet one completely irrational thing he keeps saying appears to have...

By Ed Kilgore

March 07, 2012 8:38 AM Mitt's Glass Half Empty

By any objective measurement, Mitt Romney should be deemed the clear "winner" of Super Tuesday. He won six of the ten contests (MA, VT, VA, OH, ID and AK), with...

By Ed Kilgore

March 06, 2012 6:32 PM Day's End and Night Watch

* Ex-Mossad director says Romney op-ed on Iran making situation on the ground much worse. Thanks, Mitt. * Josh Marshall says surge in support for Newt (!) will be significant...

By Ed Kilgore

March 06, 2012 6:26 PM King of Maine

So former two-term indie governor of Maine, Angus King, threw the race to succeed Sen. Olympia Snowe into some disarray by announcing his candidacy, running again as an independent. According...

By Ed Kilgore

March 06, 2012 5:53 PM 34 and Counting

The growing ad boycott of Rush Limbaugh's show by former (or occasional) sponsors, fed by rather massive social media pressure, is now becoming nearly as big a phenomenon as anything...

By Ed Kilgore

March 06, 2012 4:40 PM 1980 And All That

In an effort to cheer up Republicans who may have read George Will's column suggesting they forget about the presidency and focus on winning Congress, the Wall Street Journal's William...

By Ed Kilgore

March 06, 2012 3:11 PM In the Shadow of Death

Many of you probably remember the tragic saga of Dr. George Tiller, the Wichita abortion provider who was gunned down in the vestibule of his church on a Sunday morning...

By Ed Kilgore

March 06, 2012 2:30 PM Money Not Talking For Santorum

We all know that to every true conservative, political contributions are the very essence of constitutionally protected free speech, and those who can spend a lot more get to talk...

By Ed Kilgore

March 06, 2012 1:04 PM Lunch Buffet

Time to tie on the feedbag, thoroughbreds. Here's some quality oats: * At Economix, Annie Lowery documents the economic value of contraception to women, and to the country. * An...

By Ed Kilgore

March 06, 2012 12:49 PM ***Underwater

We have a new data point today on the impact of the GOP nominating contest on the general electorate, and if I were a Republican, I'd be worried, per ABC...

By Ed Kilgore

March 06, 2012 12:29 PM The "Messaging Amendment"

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) voted last week for the unsuccessful Blunt Amendment that would have repealed any contraception coverage mandate for any employer who claimed to object to it on...

By Ed Kilgore

March 06, 2012 10:59 AM The @Washmonthly Twitter Collective

I don't know how many of you are Twitter followers and/or enthusiasts. I resisted the medium until just a few months ago, and then happily succumbed, greeting the task of...

By Ed Kilgore

March 06, 2012 10:19 AM In Ronnie's Shoes

So as he tries to nail down the GOP presidential nomination with victories in ten states today, Team Romney pulled the trigger on a WaPo op-ed on the foreign policy...

By Ed Kilgore

March 06, 2012 8:44 AM Is the Circus Finally Leaving Town?

This time tomorrow we could be discussing exactly how and when, not whether, Mitt Romney can wrap up the GOP presidential nomination. For the first time, this discussion would not...

By Ed Kilgore

March 05, 2012 6:25 PM Day's End and Night Watch

If you are a Rush Limbaugh sponsor, you have only minutes to make today's final list of "former sponsors." Here's what else is going on: * In one of those...

By Ed Kilgore

March 05, 2012 5:53 PM Rush's Gift to Romney?

In an update to his Super Tuesday projections, 538's Nate Silver discussed Rick Santorum's sagging position in many polls (aside from Romney's gains against him in Ohio and elsewhere, Newt...

By Ed Kilgore

March 05, 2012 5:15 PM Jim Wallis' "Startling Statements"

The Blaze is Glenn Beck's website so I'm not too surprised at anything that appears there. Still, there's a leading article up (which has drawn well over 500 comments) by...

By Ed Kilgore

March 05, 2012 4:10 PM GOP Variations On Birtherism and Rushism

This morning I mentioned PPP's three-state battery of primary polls from OH, TN and GA in the contest of the presidential nominating contest. But PPP also asked some other questions...

By Ed Kilgore

March 05, 2012 3:05 PM The Andrew Breitbart Seance

I didn't post about the death of Andrew Breitbart, or the post-death-of-Andrew-Breibart blogospheric flame war, for a number of reasons. Yes, perhaps because I am a fogie, or perhaps because...

By Ed Kilgore

March 05, 2012 2:41 PM Limbaugh's Advertisers: The Dead Enders

ThinkProgress has been able to confirm only two advertisers that are still sticking with Rush Limbaugh. One is Lear Capital, one of those peddlers of gold coins common on talk...

By Paul Glastris

March 05, 2012 1:04 PM Lunch Buffet

While the big political feeding-frenzy will occur tomorrow, there's plenty of chum in the water right now: * AOL becomes eighth sponsor to pull ads from Rush Limbaugh's show. *...

By Ed Kilgore

March 05, 2012 12:39 PM Mitt Romney and the GOP Slough of Despond

Last week brought a couple of high-prestige but conflicting national polls about the current status of the two parties heading towards the presidential general election, with Politico/GWU/Battleground confirming the conventional...

By Ed Kilgore

March 05, 2012 11:15 AM The "So's Your Old Man" Defense Can't Work With Rush

As Rush Limbaugh undoubtedly simmers in fury that he was forced to make an extraordinarily half-hearted "apology" to Sandra Fluke that repeats everything in the original assault other than the...

By Ed Kilgore

March 05, 2012 10:02 AM Paul Pillar: War With Iran Worse Than Nuclear Iran

The whole question of Iran's nuclear program and its effect on relations with Israel and the U.S., and on the stability of the Middle East (and the global economy) is...

By Ed Kilgore

March 05, 2012 8:59 AM Obama Draws His Own Lines at AIPAC

As Adele Stan noted yesterday, the President's speech to AIPAC was a pretty big deal: "Given tensions with Iran and the rhetoric of the Republican presidential primary campaign, the importance...

By Ed Kilgore

March 05, 2012 8:30 AM Super Tuesday Benchmarks

The so-called Super Tuesday events are actually seven primaries and three caucuses in states with 437 delegates to the GOP National Convention. The results are likely to point in one...

By Ed Kilgore

March 04, 2012 5:17 PM This 'n' That - Until We Meet Again

It's sign-off time, and I'd like to thank everybody for your comments and your kindness toward yours truly, your weekend guest blogger. Some odds and ends to leave you with:...

By Adele Stan

March 04, 2012 3:28 PM Rick Santorum's Old-Time Religion

Rick Santorum, a proudly letter-of-the-canon-law kind of Catholic, was once a good bit more relaxed in the practice of his natal faith, according to a profile of the Republican presidential...

By Adele Stan

March 04, 2012 11:36 AM Obama Addresses AIPAC, Urging Caution on Talk of War Against Iran

As I write, President Barack Obama is addressing the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). (I had planned cover it live, but AIPAC denied me...

By Adele Stan

March 04, 2012 10:07 AM ***Rush Limbaugh's Non-Apology Apology

The headlines have it all wrong: "Rush Limbaugh Apologizes to Georgetown Student," reads Politico, while the Washington Post puts this headline on an Associated Press story: "Limbaugh Apologizes to Student,...

By Adele Stan

March 04, 2012 8:29 AM Romney Wins Washington State Caucuses and Cantor Endorsement

Well, that's what I get for going out on a limb. Don't you know, Mitt Romney not only won yesterday's caucuses in the Evergreen State, he did so by a...

By Adele Stan

March 04, 2012 8:28 AM The War on the War on Voting?

One of the upcoming election's little discussed subplots has to be the Republican effort to make it harder for millions of Americans to cast their ballots, all under the guise...

By Sebastian Jones

March 03, 2012 4:03 PM Other Fish to Fry

It's time for your humble Mystery Blogger to embrace the more exciting aspects of her life, such as picking up the dry-cleaning and foraging for food. Thanks for reading and...

By Adele Stan

March 03, 2012 3:27 PM Helping Romney Win the All-Important Confederate Constituency

So Mitt Romney has an important new celebrity endorser: none other than Ted Nugent, of "Cat Scratch Fever" fame (and not any other hit song kind of fame). Nugent conveyed...

By Adele Stan

March 03, 2012 2:24 PM Santorum Can't Win for Almost Winning

Today Republicans in the State of Washington will caucus in a contest that doesn't award delegates, so based on that fact, I'll go out on a limb and predict that...

By Adele Stan

March 03, 2012 2:00 PM James Q. Wilson RIP

Yesterday on Twitter I speculated that Andrew Breitbart’s death would garner a thousand times more attention than the passing of Harvard political scientist James Q. Wilson. I hope I’m proven...

By Paul Glastris

March 03, 2012 1:00 PM Fun with fuel pricing

Rising gas prices, as usual, have prompted all sorts of theories about the economics of energy, some of them very, very questionable. But while supply and demand are at work...

By Daniel Luzer

March 03, 2012 11:47 AM Limbaugh Unfairly Attacked By Dems?!

Ordinarily, I love me some David Weigel. This prolific Slate scribe is not only one of the most insightful reporters covering the G.O.P. and its right wing, but also a...

By Adele Stan

March 03, 2012 10:00 AM When is it okay to stop being all nice about Andrew Breitbart?

For those of you wondering about the appropriate point for being nasty about Davy Jones, Andrew Brietbart, or (admittedly less likely) James Q. Wilson, here’s a handy chart: So, um,...

By Daniel Luzer

March 03, 2012 9:53 AM Your Mystery Blogger Revealed

Good morning! You were promised a Mystery Blogger, and here, I am, dropping my veil, so to speak. I'm Adele Stan, Washington correspondent for AlterNet, where I have the privilege...

By Adele Stan

March 03, 2012 9:40 AM Republican Pol 's Sex Romps in Back Seat of Government-Issue Car

On a winter evening in 2009, a 911 call came in to the police department of Anne Arundel County, Maryland, where the state Capital, Annapolis, is located. "I see some...

By Paul Glastris

March 02, 2012 5:33 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

A very long week indeed. But there's always more: * Santorum calls Rush's ravings "absurd," but offers him the classic "entertainer" defense. * Jon Huntsman dropped from big GOP donor...

By Ed Kilgore

March 02, 2012 5:26 PM The Nasty-As-He-Wants-To-Be Factor

In all the endless discussion of Mitt Romney's courtship of the conservative movement, it's never much occurred to me that his "electability" appeal to GOP voters depends on conveying the...

By Ed Kilgore

March 02, 2012 5:00 PM Senate Battleground Re-Booted

So now that George Will is saying that Republicans should forget about the White House and concentrate on willing Congress, what is the state of play in Senate elections this...

By Ed Kilgore

March 02, 2012 4:04 PM Et Tu, Erick?

I originally missed it, but Red State's Erick Erickson sorta kinda came to Rush's defense today, or to be more precise, lashed out at former GOP senatorial candidate Carly Fiorina...

By Ed Kilgore

March 02, 2012 3:32 PM Bad Day for the Bully

You never know with these things, but there are signs aborning that Rush Limbaugh's two-day tirade against Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke may have been a very serious mistake. When...

By Ed Kilgore

March 02, 2012 3:02 PM Plan B

It's not an entirely original thought, but it's still interesting that in a pending Sunday column (according to Politico, which has an advance copy), George Will is going to suggest...

By Ed Kilgore

March 02, 2012 1:51 PM Libertarian Cage Match

It's never been much of a secret that America's self-conscious libertarians, small and hardy band that they are, love a good eye-gouging internecine fight. Perhaps it goes back to the...

By Ed Kilgore

March 02, 2012 12:58 PM ***Lunch Buffet

I'm in Georgia today, so I'll join the EST crowd for lunch: * At Salon, Tom Schaller notes how rapidly same-sex marriage has flipped from a conservative to a progressive...

By Ed Kilgore

March 02, 2012 12:42 PM The Super Tuesday Context

A couple days ago I suggested the spin wars over Mitt Romney's narrow win in Michigan might actually influence its significance, insofar as the GOP Establishment's fragile confidence in its...

By Ed Kilgore

March 02, 2012 11:33 AM Santorum's Interesting Omission

It was a bit of the same-old same-old when Rick Santorum argued at a campaign stop in Washington State today that Republicans need to nominate him because Americans just hate...

By Ed Kilgore

March 02, 2012 10:55 AM Old Spin

It wasn't the main point of his piece, but WaPo columnist Michael Gerson yesterday casually referred to the notorious Abu Ghraib scandal as making George W. Bush and his team...

By Ed Kilgore

March 02, 2012 10:31 AM Can't Have It Both Ways

One of the things about checking out of political talk for a day or two is that it offers a moment for regaining perspective. Checking back in today, I see...

By Ed Kilgore

March 02, 2012 8:33 AM Slut-Shaming To Become Official GOP Talking Point?

When I mocked a droolingly ignorant column by CNS' Craig Bannister suggesting women supporting a contraception coverage mandate were having too much sex, I felt a little cheap. Clearly, Bannister...

By Ed Kilgore

March 01, 2012 5:15 PM Adios

Good night, washingtonmonthlonians. A pleasure as always....

By Jesse Singal

March 01, 2012 4:13 PM Don't Speak Ill Of The Recently Departed, Unless The Recently Departed Spoke Ill Of The Recently Departed

I don’t agree with my friend Jack Shafer that it’s okay to speak ill of the recently departed. Even if the deceased was your bitterest enemy and richly deserves a...

By Paul Glastris

March 01, 2012 4:00 PM I Think Obama Probably Could Pull Off A Hipster Fedora

Well this is original: By now, we all know President Obama is actually a fist-bumping Muslim socialist. But there’s another side to the president, as Republican Utah Senator Orrin Hatch...

By Jesse Singal

March 01, 2012 3:00 PM Obama Talks Hoops, Seems Human-ish

Part of me feels bad for liking this clip of President Obama talking NBA with Bill Simmons, like I'm buying into all the dumb "Who would you rather have a...

By Jesse Singal

March 01, 2012 1:43 PM Sorry, Culture Warriors

The Blunt amendment is dead: WASHINGTON — The Senate on Thursday killed a Republican effort to let employers and health insurance companies deny coverage for contraceptives and other services to...

By Jesse Singal

March 01, 2012 12:15 PM BREAKING: Right-Wing Group Thinks Various Organizations Are Anti-Israel

Here's the ad that the Emergency Committee for Israel, Bill Kristol's right-wing Israel activism group, bought in today's New York Times. First, I am shocked and saddened to hear that...

By Jesse Singal

March 01, 2012 11:34 AM A First for Obama's "Stealth Climate Policy"

There's a piece in today's Washington Post that doesn't seem like the biggest news in the world, about how a couple of energy companies have decided to shut down ten...

By Paul Glastris

March 01, 2012 11:00 AM Looking Ahead To Ohio

The most important state on Super Tuesday is Ohio, and The Hill's campaign blog points out that it's pretty similar to Michigan in terms of its demographic makeup and economic...

By Jesse Singal

March 01, 2012 10:30 AM Olympia Snowe's Tea-Party-Induced Surrender

This New York Times piece about Olympia Snowe's decision to retire from the Senate paints a picture of a lawmaker who got absolutely shellacked by the unleashing of Tea Party...

By Jesse Singal

March 01, 2012 10:15 AM Can Mitt Romney Out-Mitt-Romney Mitt Romney?

Slightly late to this, but still, all signs point to yes: Presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Wednesday he opposed Senate Republicans' effort that critics say would limit insurance coverage of...

By Jesse Singal

March 01, 2012 9:55 AM Andrew Breitbart Died

ABC has confirmed it. Whatever your thoughts on him, he definitely had a big impact on activist conservative journalism. Here are profiles of him from The New Yorker (Rebecca Mead)...

By Jesse Singal

March 01, 2012 9:24 AM Contraception: That's Not How It Works, Guys

I am not going to link to the Rush Limbaugh "slut" comment. I have too busy a day ahead to spend the next six hours furiously scrubbing myself in the...

By Jesse Singal

March 01, 2012 8:38 AM Wow

From TPM: Montana Chief U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull, a George W. Bush nominee, admitted on Wednesday that he forwarded a racially-charged email implying that President Barack Obama might have...

By Jesse Singal

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