Political Animal


July 04, 2012 3:26 PM Day’s End and Night Watch

By Ed Kilgore

So I’m curtailing this day of Lite Blogging a bit early, in hopes of participating in one of the traditional Independence Day observances here on the Central Coast. There’s naturally not much political news today, but here are a few items worth reading if you are not taking the day off:

* In his most blatant flip-flop in a while, and in another indication that “the base” rules his campaign, Mitt Romney now says the individual mandate is a tax.

* Matt Yglesias discusses the abuse of words like “freedom” and “property rights,” and the universal case for full employment.

* Mark Schmitt makes the case for the argument that insurance companies won’t let Republicans repeal portions of ACA that are subject to reconciliation rules while leaving insurance regulations in place.

* Bobby Jindal continues what looks like bid to make himself movement-conservative favorite for Veep (or something higher in ‘16 or ‘20) with highly demagogic (yet Mitt-pandering) RedState post. He is indeed a dangerous dude.

* French government announces tax increases (half on banks and very wealthy) to reduce budget deficit.

And in non-political news:

* Why you should spiral-cut your hot dogs today.


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.


  • delNorte on July 04, 2012 4:17 PM:

    The actual title of the video is "Why You Should Spiral-Cut Your Wiener..."

    The 12 year old inside of me just wanted to point that out.

  • gelfling545 on July 04, 2012 4:29 PM:

    Had hot dogs spiral cut style at my daughter's on Sat. Made a surprising difference in taste even with the cheap store brand hots we used.

  • ResumeMan on July 04, 2012 4:36 PM:

    Re: the Schmitt article - why does everyone assume that the GOP Senate will limit itself to a current understanding of the rules? If they sweep in November, I'm quite certain they'll just make sure they have a Parliamentarian who will interpret the entire ACA as falling under Reconciliation (because it's all interlocked, as the SCOTUS dissent said), or will just scrap the filibuster on Day 1. Then they'll repeal the whole thing, and Romney will sign it on Jan 21.

    The only thing that will save Obamacare is a positive outcome in November.

  • Anonymous on July 04, 2012 4:53 PM:

    * In his most blatant flip-flop in a while, and in another indication that “the base” rules his campaign, Mitt Romney now says the individual mandate is a tax.

    Jesus! Yes, it is a tax. Romney approved a tax increase as a governor. Obama approved a tax increase as a president.

  • Doug on July 04, 2012 6:30 PM:

    Anon, it's the ONLY voluntary "tax" I can think of. One would think Republicans would LOVE it, but then consistency isn't the GOP's strong point, is it?

  • John Sully on July 04, 2012 7:26 PM:

    Going to the wharf to watch the drunk sailors fire off their expired flares? And oh yeah, the fireworks?

  • Anonymous on July 04, 2012 9:11 PM:


    The mandate isn't "voluntary": you must pay it unless you purchase health insurance.

    I assume that by "voluntary" you mean that a person can avoid the tax by taking an affirmative step. However, if that is the definition of voluntary then ALL taxes are voluntary in the sense that they can be avoided, in theory if not in practical reality: property taxes can be avoided by not owning property, income taxes can be avoided by not working, road tolls can be avoided by not driving on highways, etc. Just because a tax can be avoided doesn't make it not a tax.

    Romney sounds absurdly silly trying to draw a distinction between the Mass mandate and the ACA. But you sound just as silly trying to pretend that a tax isn't a tax.

  • Texas Aggie on July 04, 2012 11:41 PM:

    I read Jindal's screed at RedPost and it looks like deceit and half truths are SOP for the right wing. I rarely see such garbage and to give you an idea of how mentally challenged Jindal is, none of it is difficult at all to "refudiate." The only other time I run into this phenomenon is when my dearly beloved congress critter uses right wing talking points on his web page to justify holding really stupid, dysfunctional positions. What is it with these people? Don't they think? Is this the reason that the Texas Republican Party has put a plank in its platform outlawing critical thinking in the schools (and that isn't a joke, they really did that)?