Political Animal


April 18, 2012 5:33 PM Day’s End and Night Watch

By Ed Kilgore

It’s been a relatively slow news day, if you aren’t interested in dog abuse stories, but here are a few items from the clipping room floor:

* Chris Cillizza shocked at Pew survey showing over half of Americans don’t know identity of Chief Justice.

* Catholic League threatens boycott of Daily Show over “vagina manger” joke.

* Ryan Lizza explains GOP secrecy on plans to eliminate Cabinet departments.

* Obama issues first of many-to-come warnings that government may shut down at end of September if deficit agreement abandoned.

* Florida judge recuses herself from Zimmerman case because of husband’s ties to CNN.

And in sad, non-political news: Dick Clark dies at 82.

I’m heading back to the courtroom for more voir dire fun. See you early tomorrow.


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.


  • POed Lib on April 18, 2012 6:26 PM:

    Sorry, when an 82-YO guy dies, that is not sad. That is normal. I'm not sad. If he was like my dad (who died 2 years ago at 85, same age as his father), he was probably happy to go. You go downhill fast north of 80 in many cases.

    "Sad" is when a 10 YO chess champion dies from gunfire from some gang banger, or when George Zimmerman killed Trayvon. THAT is sad.

  • hells littlest angel on April 18, 2012 6:43 PM:

    What does the Catholic League boycott of the Daily Show amount to? Was Bill Bennett a viewer in the first place? Well, it will give the writers a few minutes of material.

    Last time I checked, sad is whatever makes someone sad, not what POed says it is.

  • Doug on April 18, 2012 7:02 PM:

    Chris Cillizza shocked? Hasn't he been watching what passes for national news for the past decade or more?

  • gelfling545 on April 18, 2012 7:04 PM:

    Somehow I doubt that the Catholic League is Stewart's target audience or that many Catholics, judging by my large acquaintance among Catholics, know much about it or care about it id they do know.

  • barkleyg on April 18, 2012 7:19 PM:

    "Florida judge recuses herself from Zimmerman case because of husband’s ties to CNN."

    Boyyy, that is one judge that the "gods" are looking out for!

    Got rid of an Impossible case to be the Judge for, and showed common sense, instead of the Stubbornness that so many Egotistical Republican judges take pride in, stubbornness being the KEY word!

  • researcher on April 18, 2012 7:43 PM:

    Unlimited spin and not telling the truth is what Mitt is repeatedly doing throughout this campaign--and some research is revealing.
    I visited a site featuring scholars/intellectuals at

    Then i linked to a site where a former member and author of "Lying for the Lord" talks about how lying is promoted--a couple of excerpts below.

    "....Evidence presented in this essay establishes that when the church image or its leaders needed protection it was and is, okay to fib, deceive, distort, inflate, minimize, exaggerate, prevaricate or lie. You will read quotations by church leaders who admitted that deception is a useful tool to protect the church and its leaders "when they are in tight spot," or "to beat the devil at his own game." They admit engaging in moral gymnastics; that God approves of deception - if it's done to protect the "Lord's Church" or "the brethren" as the leaders are called..."
    "...In my effort to defend the church from detractors I learned that ironically, members get excommunicated precisely because they publish the truth, and refuse to adopt lying, deception, or suppression of facts as an ethical standard. Loyalty is more important in the LDS church than honesty..."

  • Blue Girl on April 18, 2012 7:45 PM:

    Poor Chris Cillizza...he's really gonna lose it when he finds out about gambling in the casino!

  • Mark Kawakami on April 18, 2012 8:02 PM:

    At first I read it as "Florida judge *rescues* herself" rather than "recuses"... And then I realized that this trial is going to be a huge headache to deal with, and there's no way -- regardless of the outcome of the trial -- that she could preside without someone calling her "biased, activist judge".

    So I decided my original misreading wasn't that far off after all.

  • Crissa on April 18, 2012 8:09 PM:

    So, was the judge biased to Martin or Zimmerman? Neither makes any sense. That her husband said he couldn't be his lawyer but recommended someone else is hardly a reason to recuse.


    Also, Dick Clark was supposed to be immortal!

  • This Guy on April 18, 2012 8:20 PM:

    Threatening the president is a crime. The secret service has set up an appointment with Ted Nugent where they will detain him for a 72 hour psychological evaluation, while the confiscate all the guns out of his home, or they will out right arrest him and then clean out all of the guns in his house. Or the secret Service will hire some hookers and forget all about their duty to protect the "Black" president.

  • RalfW on April 18, 2012 9:39 PM:

    I watch Jon Stewart 1-3 times a week. And I can't really recall who most of his advertisers are (oops! Sorry advertisers!). But I'm guessing they're not all that nervous about what the Catholic League says they're going to boycott.

    The Catholic League sounds like something from the late 1800s. lace doilies and knickers in a twist. Not really Jon's target demo (as has been pointed out already).

  • Anonymous on April 18, 2012 9:44 PM:

    Nugent is a self-confessed pedophile. He has been accussed on numerous occasions of raping 12 and 13 YO girls. Courtney Love has accused him of forcing her to give him a blow job when she was 12.

    He should be in jail, and be forced to forfeit his firearm collection as he is a pedophile, which is a felony. He should also be given the label of "sex offender", which is a life-long tag.

  • Jim H on April 18, 2012 9:48 PM:

    Re the Catholic "League":

    "We will not stop with a boycott!"

    Leaving aside secret plans, the "League" (that is, Mr. Donahue) really needs to stop referring to himself in the plural.

  • Rip on April 18, 2012 11:29 PM:

    Roughly a third of eligible Americans aren't even registered to vote, and probably an equal amount are unreliable voters, who turn out for the Presidential contests at best. These people are generally so disengaged from the political process that I'm sure most of them can't name the mayor of the town or city they live in, let alone who the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is.

    Even when they understand that who sits on the court and who holds office can have direct effect on their lives, they don't feel they have any real control over it, so why worry about it.

    On the flipside, it seems the more one becomes engaged in the political process, that regardless of political persuasion, the more one becomes convinced we are just one election away from a totalitarian police state.

  • researcher on April 18, 2012 11:52 PM:

  • Phil In Denver on April 19, 2012 1:10 AM:

    I got yer SELAH right here.

    ...freekin' spare me already....