Political Animal


August 24, 2012 6:02 PM Day’s End and Weekend Watch

By Ed Kilgore

Before enduring the Republican Convention (not in person, but via TV and internet, and with fire tongs handy), my wife and I are treating ourselves to Braves-Giants game tomorrow, which may be last contest of any sort for a while that seems relatively innocent (college football’s too serious for that!). Here are some final reads for this day and week:

* Only 10% of likely voters in new CNN/ORC poll say there’s a chance they’ll change their minds about candidate preference. That’s very low.

* Atlantic’s Matthew O’Brien stomps on barely-breathing carcass of Niall Ferguson’s credibility and then sets it on fire.

* Laura D’Andrea Tyson explains, among other things, why Ryan’s “premium support” proposal for Medicare is the same as “vouchers” because of arbitrary subsidy cap.

* Sean Trende, Honest Conservative, looks at full range of economic indicators and suggests 2012 is most like 1960, 1976, 1992, and 2004. All but one of those were photo-finish elections.

* At College Guide, Daniel Luzer reports skeptically on Texas’ new pay-for-performance bonuses for college administrators.

* ThinkProgress identifies seven speakers at Republican Convention who have at least flirted significantly with birtherism. And that’s no joke.

So that’s it for this pre-convention week. Kathleen Geier will back back for weekend blogging duty, which usually means excellent verbal fireworks.


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.


  • mad_nVT on August 24, 2012 7:48 PM:

    Yo Kilgore: Next week when you get your chance to interview Romney and Ryan together (if only), could you ask each of them to provide a simple honest answer to these questions:

    1. Where was Obama born?

    2. Is Obama a Christian or a Muslim?

    3. Do you believe in evolution?

    4. How old is the earth-- 6,000 years or 4,500,000,000 years? (Hey guys, zeros matter.)

    5. Is the earth flat or is it round or is it both?

    6. Does Constitutionally-protected American human life begin at conception? If so, would that mean that all abortions are illegal, under any circumstances, no exceptions?

    7. Did Ronald Reagan ever raise taxes?

  • anonymously on August 24, 2012 8:06 PM:

    Pathetic the insult that Romney offered on the birther issue. I think it will significantly detract from him and eventually he will be left pooping in magic underwear

  • anongal on August 24, 2012 8:15 PM:

    I blame Newsweek's Tina Brown for the clearly disputable article from Niall Ferguson. It turns out that Newsweek, under Ms. Brown, has absolutely no fact-checkers. It is smarmy that she let this type of publication be completed. She has lost all respect here, and no amount of repeat performances on the MSNBC Morning Joe can save her from this foolish endeavor.
    Winners and losers, a big mistake on her part.

  • Mimikatz on August 24, 2012 8:16 PM:

    Saw Giants-Braves last night--very entertaining! Hope Bumgarner pitches as well as he did against the Dodgers.

    Interesting that in the 1960, 1976, and 1992 elections, the challengers won, but they were all Democrats. In 2004, which is the election I think this most resembles in tone, the challenger, who was also a Dem but a not-so-great candidate, lost to an incumbent half the country hated.

  • anongal on August 25, 2012 8:50 AM:

    The plot has certainly thickened with the publication by Gawker, to which PA linked this week--thank you.

    Good dissection & summary that huffpo offered yesterday--where the quid pro quo with Adelson is shown, Romney's big supporter. Stunning to me the financial linkages that continue.
    What kind of presidency would Romney's be--I think the question is certainly answered.


    "Another Bain investment fund, Sankaty High Yield Partners II, based in Delaware, held nearly $3 million in loans to Adelson's Las Vegas Sands. Adelson is the largest public donor in this year's presidential race, giving more than $45 million to super political action committees benefiting Romney and other GOP candidates."