Political Animal


May 29, 2012 1:43 PM Lunch Buffet

By Ed Kilgore

I’m on the hospital vending machine diet at present, but there are, after the sleepy weekend, some news treats:

* Rep. Thaddeus McCotter—the man, the legend—bumped from August primary ballot due to insufficient petitions; will run for re-election as write-in candidate.

* It’s always something: birthers shifting attention to Obama’s college transcripts.

* Other shoe drops: Corey Booker’s communications director resigns.

* Think you’re having a bad year? Sen. Mark Kirk, recovering from stroke, is accused by ex-wife of breaking campaign finance laws with girlfriend.

* Story of our lives: U.S. manufacturing up, real wages down.

And in non-political news:

CNN asks: What’s a realistic retirement age? I’ve been figuring it’ll be the age on my tombstone.

Back in just a while.

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.


  • Joe Friday on May 29, 2012 2:05 PM:

    "Think you're having a bad year? Sen. Mark Kirk, recovering from stroke, is accused by ex-wife of breaking campaign finance laws with girlfriend."


    "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned".

  • Ron Byers on May 29, 2012 2:16 PM:

    I have problems enough keeping a loving wife happy. I can't imagine the stress when you have both an angry ex-wife and a girlfriend. No wonder the SOB had a stroke.

  • Anonymous on May 29, 2012 2:21 PM:

    "birthers shifting attention to Obama’s college transcripts"

    They should be shifting attention to Obama's policy of targeting innocent people for death:


  • Ron Byers on May 29, 2012 2:23 PM:

    Having read the Kirk story it sounds very similar to John Edwards tail of woe, except the wife didn't die and the girlfriend didn't have a baby. According to the scorned ex-wife (who pocketted $40,000 herself from Kirk's campaign) the now ex girlfriend (who is in public relations--or is that pubic relations) pocketed $143,000 in funds funnelled through a front company.

    Kirk is a very conservative senator who just loves him some women and doesn't mind paying for what he loves.

  • Danp on May 29, 2012 2:26 PM:

    I must admit, I'd like to see Mitt Romney's college transcripts. He apparently got very good grades. Did he study anything that was relevant? For all the gifts, both natural and endowed upon him, he doesn't come across as particularly worldly. And he certainly doesn't like talking about anything in detail. "I can read a balance sheet?" Fine, tell us what you learn from one; how you use that information; how it's more useful than an earnings report.

  • jjm on May 29, 2012 2:43 PM:

    What's with the college transcripts thing? Just trying to insinuate that Obama is 'not qualified' the way Alioto thought women and minorities could NEVER be qualified to enroll at Princeton? It's SOOOO RACIST. Especially in questioning a man who graduated Magna at Harvard and was president of Law Review....

    Did anyone ask McCain for his transcripts? Didn't he graduate near the bottom at West Point?

    Not to mention Sarah Palin's....

  • DJ on May 29, 2012 3:00 PM:

    Did anyone ask McCain for his transcripts? Didn't he graduate near the bottom at West Point?

    Annapolis. FWIW, he was near the bottom of his class.

    From the way Trump is bringing it up, he contends that Obama's transcripts have his birthplace on them. Which is profoundly stupid; the only address one might have on them is the home address (different from birthplace). In the end, it's the tired racist screed that Obama really wasn't qualified to attend Columbia and Harvard Law School.

  • Ron Byers on May 29, 2012 3:09 PM:

    My God, anybody graduates Magna and is president of the Harvard Law Review is qualified. That is the beginning and end of the story for me. The last I looked Harvard Law is filled with alpha males and females and is just about the most competitive school in America. Harvard Law is the cream of the cream and the President of Harvard Law is the ultimate to which students can aspire. It isn't an affirmative action trophy.

  • Ron Byers on May 29, 2012 3:11 PM:

    Review, I left off Review in Harvard Law Review in the last sentence.

    The ignorant arrogance of people challenging the President's academic qualifications is just amazing.

  • g on May 29, 2012 3:13 PM:

    Seriously, how many of the fools who are ranting about college transcripts have even seen one?

    I saw mine a couple of years ago when I applied for graduate school. It listed my name at the time, my home address at the time my courses, my final grades, and my GPA. I don't recall whether it even gave a DOB.

    Plus, as was pointed out at the story link, it's illegal for colleges to release a person's transcript unless the person requests it. Student records are protected by FERPA, passed in 1974.

  • T2 on May 29, 2012 3:13 PM:

    the TX senate primary is interesting. Longtime state pol David Dewhurst is the "establishment", and minor league pol Ted Cruz is the "Tea Party " candidate.
    Cruz has ads calling Dewhurst a "moderate" and that's supposed to be a really, really bad thing. Up until now, anyone watching TX politics would have considered Dewhurst an extreme Hard Right Wing Nut and bootlicker to Tea Party favorite Rick Perry. Whooo...the GOP is really going bonkers.

  • j on May 29, 2012 4:47 PM:

    Just a random thought, but does anyone else ever question Donald Trump's sanity? I know the scots were a little wary, but this man is bonkers!

  • neil b on May 29, 2012 4:58 PM:

    tx for various, Ed, however: what's a good retirement age, *is* a political question. Maybe (per "Boltzmann" in the Craptcha) it's when entropy finally starts dragging you down?

  • Eli Rabett on May 29, 2012 5:11 PM:

    Is not Mark Kirk straying into John Edwards territory?

  • beb on May 29, 2012 5:44 PM:

    Since there is an increasing number of people in their 50s who, if laid off simply can't find a similar job because they're "too old," I think the ideal retirement age ought to be 55, prorated for the longer life of the retiree. Just as people retiring at 62 gets a prorated amount of the SS they'd have received at 65.

    While it's nice to see that Captcha has backed away from the incredibly impossible to guess words of a month back the second word being presented right now seems to have several poassible spellings.

  • waddanut on May 29, 2012 8:07 PM:

    A good retirement age should be dependent on the type of work the person does for a living.

    An executive working in an office or a politician in Washington may be able to work until age 70 - 75 or longer, where a person working construction may be worn out at age 55.