Political Animal


March 15, 2012 8:30 AM Morning Suggestion Box

By Ed Kilgore

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 find something else to read until I figure out what to write about first, I should ask what you would like to see addressed. Any stories out there that jump out at you, particularly those that I might have missed in my perusal of the standard news sites?

Let me know in the comment thread, and if this is successful, perhaps it can become a regular feature.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Halleck on March 15, 2012 8:45 AM:

    I'd really like to get your take on how long Romney (and really Santorum and Newt as well) can continue to lie with increasing brazenness and frequency before the mainstream media starts calling him (them) out on it. Or do you feel this is going to be more a function of the Obama campaign? (to call him out on lying)

    Do you think anyone will ever use the word lie?

  • jomo on March 15, 2012 8:46 AM:

    David Plouffe (I think) declared to the Obama troops - "if the election were held today Obama would lose to Romney. Laugh all you want at the Republicans - but we have a lot of work to do and a short time to do it." We have all been watching and enjoying the GOP primaries. Would love to discuss the true prospects and the landmines for Obama in 2012

  • Extreme Moderate on March 15, 2012 8:48 AM:

    How about addressing the Doonesbury strips currently running on abortion in Texas?

  • martin on March 15, 2012 8:51 AM:

    What is the international press reporting that the American media is ignoring?

  • j on March 15, 2012 8:52 AM:

    Do the widespread public know that with all our veterans coming home with PSD and other injuries, Mitt Romney would give the VA over to the private sector, also that he has signed on to the Ryan plan for medicare?

  • Danp on March 15, 2012 8:54 AM:

    I'll be gone much of the day, but the story that fascinates me is the Goldman-Sachs op-ed. Why does this generate so much more interest than say the $550 million dollar settlement GS paid for actually misleading investors? Or their sell-off of MBS's before the 2008 crisis? The op-ed did little more than testify that these people do this stuff on purpose. Well, no kidding!

  • M on March 15, 2012 9:00 AM:

    There were reports of how many people voted for Obama in NH, but since then nothing that I've seen. Are people going to the polls to support an unchallenged President? It would seem to be an indicator of how turnout in Nov. may go.

  • hells littlest angel on March 15, 2012 9:05 AM:

    You could write about how Jonah Goldberg asks his readers to do his research for him.

  • Kim K on March 15, 2012 9:06 AM:

    Only because I pay more attention than the average American to the European debt crisis, the UK is being threatened with loosing it's AAA credit rating. While the UK is not technically part of the Euro (they still have the pound sterling), debt vultures are still out there. Austerity will not make your economy grow. What does this say about Greece? Italy? Spain? Ireland? Portugal?

  • Snarki, child of Loki on March 15, 2012 9:09 AM:

    I like martin's suggestion; because of time-zone differences, early morning (US) is a good time to concentrate on international news.

  • SYSPROG on March 15, 2012 9:12 AM:

    I would like to know what the Mormon Church is doing behind the scenes to elect Mitt? We know they were very active politically in Prop 8. We know they have been big players in the Republican Party. I want to know what strings they are pulling for Mitt. Money, politics, it all. I know they have a huge ad buy on 'I am Mormon' to show the Church in a positive light. I know they are 'getting out the vote' in big Mormon states. What else?

  • stormskies on March 15, 2012 9:12 AM:

    I would like to see an expose of the corrupt corporate media and the polls they manufacture in order to have the result that want versus the accurate polls like Pew's who have no stake in the outcome of any election by anyone.

  • steve on March 15, 2012 9:16 AM:

    I never saw that much about this:

    would love to hear more...

  • Paula68154 on March 15, 2012 9:16 AM:

    Minimum wage, food stamps, and Medicaid. How are taxpayers subsidizing employers that do pay a livable wage, and how profitable are those companies and their CEOs.


    How profitable are non-profit hospitals? Here in Omaha, most of our hospitals are religious non-profits. They are squeezing the doctors and nurses hard, meanwhile administrators are employees by more than one hospitals making over $600k.


    Kalamazoo River oil spill, Keystone XL, and Cornell's report.

  • mad_nVT on March 15, 2012 9:22 AM:

    Please keep a constant eye on how Wall Street is able to control policy and action so as to benefit Wall Street.

    Have they captured government? Both Dem and GOP?

    Keep constant comparison of how Wall Street is doing compared to Main Street.

  • T2 on March 15, 2012 9:23 AM:

    SYSPROG has a point. Imagine if, say, Iran, was buying tons of ad time on our National Broadcast Media to show "I'm a Muslim" commercials. Or White Supremeists buying ads saying "I'm a racist", etc. No, only the Mormon Church is buying ads across the nation introducing/indoctrinating us all to the fact that LDS is everywhere and quite normal at that.
    The simple fact is that the LDS is totally involved in the Romney candidacy, both financially and down to the few hundred cheering youths that show up at his rallies. This is not to denigrate the LDS, simply to say that SYSPROG is right, the Media has so far taken a "hands off" to Romney's considerable Mormon roots and the Church's support of his campaign. I say "Follow the Money", and "Follow the Missionaries".

  • Danp on March 15, 2012 9:31 AM:

    Ooh! I second Paula68154's first suggestion. I'd also like to see something that correlates the relationship between states that get more from the Fed gov't and their fiscal policies. In other words, are states that receive a lot of food stamps and infrastructure money more or less likely to have policies that encourage living wages.

  • Missouri Maven on March 15, 2012 9:33 AM:

    I'm with Paula, especially on the non-profit hospitals.

    Also have seen nothing about the fact that Mitt outspent by several times his rivals in MS and AL and still lost. This has happened to him several times. Is it possible that money really doesn't control voting? Or is it just that you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear (or maybe vice versa in the case of Mitt) no matter how much money you have. If not, this is a big story. And possibly A Good Thing?

  • Jeff In Ohio on March 15, 2012 9:34 AM:

    I suggest you write two posts the night before and automatically upload them. You need to sleep in, your getting grumpy.

    And CAPTCHA blows.

  • schtick on March 15, 2012 9:47 AM:

    How about all the drugs they pump into our food and what, if anything, they really know of the effects on our health. I think most people know how the animals are treated, really bad, but what is done with the tons of their manure and what effects are there from that disposal? Is there a connection with them pumping antibiotics into our food and the antibiotic resistant strains of disease?

  • PTate in MN on March 15, 2012 10:20 AM:

    This morning, Andrew Sullivan linked to this article on the value of a 40-hour workweek. I'll repeat the money quote that Sullivan used because it really is the best one:

    "Itís a heresy now (good luck convincing your boss of what Iím about to say), but every hour you work over 40 hours a week is making you less effective and productive over both the short and the long haul. And it may sound weird, but itís true: the single easiest, fastest thing your company can do to boost its output and profits -- starting right now, today -- is to get everybody off the 55-hour-a-week treadmill, and back onto a 40-hour footing.

    The author was paid by the word; the article is about twice as long as it needs to be. So, while it isn't "news," summarizing it may help get this important perspective back into the public discourse.

  • brainchild on March 15, 2012 10:21 AM:

    How about a reflection on the advertising that gets pushed onto this site? Today featured a "Fakegate" banner, and a slimy box ad by Americans United for Life ("Who put the 'con' in contraception?") leading to their website, where one is greeted, among other things, with the claim that birth control pills are abortifactants.

    I constantly see right-wing ads here, but extremely rarely do I see ads promoting anything the readers here might actually agree with. Why is that, and what can be done about it?

  • Shelly on March 15, 2012 10:34 AM:

    I'd like to see pieces that promote Democrats and what they're doing in Congress and in the states. We hear about the crazy crap Republicans pull, but we rarely hear about sane legislation that helps the poor, small businesses, the environment, education, families, etc. It would be nice if we had solid examples of how Democrats are For the People to contrast with how Republicans are against them. It would help combat the false equivalencies and speed the migration to the Democratic party.

  • French Qutarter Morris on March 15, 2012 10:35 AM:


    Now that the Senate has overwhelmingly approved a $109 billion transportation bill, Democrats are urging House Speaker John Boehner to help pass the measure in the GOP-controlled House. The legislation, which funds highway and mass transit programs for the next two years, also includes a provision that would set aside 80 percent of Clean Water Act fines paid for the 2010 BP oil spill to the five Gulf States. That's been a top priority for members of the Louisiana congressional delegation.

  • Fess on March 15, 2012 10:49 AM:

    On Captcha: On many sites, and more every day, the only way to comment is to have a Facebook page. While some sites offer a way to sign in using Google or Yahoo, they pretty much all come back to Facebook even if you choose one of the alternates. I don't use Facebook. I don't want to use Facebook. I'm old and cranky. At one point, I set up a shell Facebook account, but stopped at the point they wanted my phone number. I don't want them to have my phone number - they're notorious for "sharing". No phone number, no shell account, no comment. What, have all sites become shills for Facebook? I understand that sites have issues with how their comment sections are used, and I understand that if a comment can come home to roost with the author some problems are avoided. I can't accept that coercing everyone into dealing with Facebook is the answer. I'll deal with Captcha any day.

  • ex-curm on March 15, 2012 10:53 AM:

    Bloggers Greenwald and Drum have offered different takes on whether Yemeni journalist Shaye is affiliated with al-Qaeda based on evidence that hasn't been made public and deserves to be in jail there, or that Barack Obama seeks to keep him in prison based on the fact that the White House is annoyed that Shaye interviewed Yemeni terrorists and took photos of Tomahawk missile debris with made in the usa logo used in strikes?

    Your view?

  • Jack G on March 15, 2012 10:59 AM:

    It is amazing to me how with the almost daily appearance of new, frightening research on global warming, not to mention the bizarre weather we've been having, that it is not even a minor issue in the presidential debate.

  • Bob R on March 15, 2012 11:00 AM:

    Drop your elitism.

    Real Americans don't "...wait for the coffee to brew", they set the timer in the Mr. Coffee the night before and have it waiting for them.

    As for a real suggestion - keep writing what you know. Beyond the reactive news stuff, keep taking time to write about white southerners.

  • truthbetold on March 15, 2012 11:27 AM:

    The Obama flag controversy in FL.

  • jpeckjr on March 15, 2012 11:39 AM:

    The Arizona Senate birth control bill allowing employers to require women who are using birth control pills to prove they are for "medical" reasons instead of for, you know, birth control, reasons.

    Bunch of nanny state intrusive big government Dem . . . oops, I mean deeply concerned about the well-being of women and unconceived children Republicans. How could I have gotten them confused?


  • SecularAnimist on March 15, 2012 12:12 PM:

    Global warming.

    Because everything else is just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, really.

  • MarieP on March 15, 2012 12:20 PM:

    I'm with Paula156 - I'm hearing about Catholic Hospitals - they get paid tax dollars (what percentage?) but they appear to be, or be on the verge of, imposing their extremely tiresome restrictions on people who end up in them. That is offensive on so many levels - as well as very worrying.

    Fess mentioned blogs using FB to login - I agree with him there. There are blogs I like a lot but won't comment on because I'm not interested in having FB track my activities.

    Enjoying your work very much Ed!

  • Kevin (not the famous one) on March 15, 2012 1:04 PM:

    This week in God

    Climate (previously mentioned)

    pink slime recipes

    Craptcha: fictyle confift

  • Amusing Alias on March 15, 2012 1:40 PM:

    Please take a look at Romney's interview with Megan Kelly. She recounted all his rich guy "gaffes" (friends who own NFL teams, etc.) and asked him if he was too rich to understand the plight of the average American. He answered by talking about how very, very wealthy he was, never denying that he was too rich too appreciate the struggles of average Americans.

    I'm not seeing that he essentially acknowledged that Kelly's framing was correct covered anywhere.

  • Old Uncle Dave on March 15, 2012 3:33 PM:

    How about looking at the evidence that Koni 2012 is an evangelical christian/CIA psy-op?

  • burro on March 15, 2012 3:54 PM:

    An aspect of the war on voting that I hadn't considered is the incessant efforts to hobble and diminish the postal service.

    This was highlighted the other day on KQED's "California Report" program.


    From the article:

    If you're like most people in Shasta County, when Election Day rolls around, you don't worry about getting to the polls because you've already voted. Voting by mail lets you conveniently vote at home or even your favorite cafe. Then, to get your ballot to your county elections office in time, you drop it in the mail by the Friday before Election Day.

    Unfortunately, a U.S. Postal Service (USPS) plan to shut down 223 big mail processing hubs across the country and 14 here in California � including the one located in Redding � threatens to disenfranchise millions of Californians who vote by mail.

    Implementing this plan in the middle of a presidential election year would be a disaster for democracy. That's why I am calling on the USPS to delay the closure plan it may roll out just 21 days before California's June 5 Presidential Primary Election. Instead, the USPS should delay shutdowns until after the November 5 General Election.


    I hadn't considered the impact a hollowed out USPS would have on vote by mail, but it would be significant and negative.

  • Gary Goldberg on March 15, 2012 7:28 PM:

    President Obama was a constitutional law professor before he became a Senator. I'd really like to see someone delve into how that knowledge and perspective has informed the way he approaches his job -- particularly with respect to much of the civil liberties issues Glenn Greenwald usually discusses on Salon. Thanks.

  • $2Bill on March 15, 2012 8:04 PM:

    What's informed thinking in Washington vis-a-vis Iran/Israel? A lot of buckler beating going on there. If that pot boils over it will become the #1 issue. More to the point, what would a President Romney do? In foreign policy the man is a cipher.