Political Animal


August 24, 2012 1:50 PM Lunch Buffet

By Ed Kilgore

I know a lot of my journalistic buddies are heading for Tampa this weekend, but it never much crossed my mind to do so. Reporting from inside convention bubble like covering football game from tunnel outside locker-room. And then there are hurricanes. No thanks. Anyway, here’s some midday news bites of assorted size and quality:

* Romney makes birther joke. Is this the famous Mitt sense-o-humor we keep hearing about?

* Odds of Isaac—a storm with very big winspan—at least brushing Tampa with high winds and rain getting a lot higher.

* Limbaugh suggests “Obama’s FEMA” will interfere with convention. Doesn’t mention FEMA chief was Jeb Bush’s emergency management director in Florida. Probably doesn’t know, care.

* Krugman flays Ryan for goldbug leanings.

* Cathy Young claims Rand critics don’t take her “vision” seriously. Sorry, Cathy, I plead innocence.

And in non-political news:

* Anti-Doping Agency throws book at Lance Armstrong.

Back after I check my own weather, which rarely changes.

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.


  • DJ on August 24, 2012 2:04 PM:

    * Limbaugh suggests “Obama’s FEMA” will interfere with convention.

    If they're that concerned about it, they should just hit Mons Venus and the other notorious Tampa strip clubs first thing Sunday night when they arrive. I would imagine they'll have extended hours for the occasion.

  • james on August 24, 2012 2:09 PM:

    We've never askedd for your birth certificate, Mitt, because the robot factory where you were pieced together mysteriously burned after you bought it while at Bain Capital. All the records of your manufacture were lost in the fire.

  • boatboy_srq on August 24, 2012 2:22 PM:

    @james - beat me to it. I don't need to see the manufacturing date - but I do want to find out where "Made in U.S.A." is stamped/branded/tattooed, and I'd love to find out when the warranty expired (I'm guessing that was 2009).


    RE: birther joke: The Mitt sense-o-humor pegs my histurnometer every time - right past the entitlement-red line. But of course to those listening at the event, TABMITWH so that's enough.

  • boatboy_srq on August 24, 2012 2:25 PM:

    @NELiz: friendly reminder - The Onion isn't a news outlet. Then again, neither is Fox.

  • Gandalf on August 24, 2012 2:36 PM:

    If this blog is a village of sorts then I guess every village has an idiot and there hasn't been a real contender since AL. NE Elisabeth the title is now yours.

  • nitpicker on August 24, 2012 2:41 PM:

    Cool @Elizabeth, I guess you won't mind when Obama comes out tomorrow and says, "No one ever asked me if my church believes in the Holy Trinity."

  • Mitch on August 24, 2012 2:52 PM:

    I don't know, ladies & gentlemen, I kind of find Elizabeth to be refreshing.

    Here at Political Animal we tend to be focused on facts and reality and in-depth analysis of politics. Elizabeth brings a certain fact-free, hyper-opinionated hubris that I can't help find enthralling.

    Al was a parody, but I can't help but feel as though Elizabeth is a true believer. And maybe we all need more exposure to such individuals for our own continuing education and enjoyment.

    I certainly enjoy each of her posts. Or at least, they always make me laugh.

  • DJ on August 24, 2012 2:54 PM:

    "Yes, they HAVE seen my birth certificate, Gov. Romney. They've also seen my income tax returns."

  • BillFromPA on August 24, 2012 2:55 PM:

    Expect to see more of these 'unscripted' coments from Willard as with the birther 'joke'. If course it was planned, of course it broached a bit of wingnuttery with the slightest figleaf of deniability, and its dual purpose was a wink-wink nudge-nudge to the loonies and an attempt to provoke a response from the WH. The Obama campaign needs to brush these thing off with a comment that laughs AT Romney without giving weight to a jab that's ovbiously intended to force an error. Romney will have not have a scrap of dignity left at the end, but he will go down.

  • Renai on August 24, 2012 3:06 PM:

    Eloquent and succinct, DJ.

  • Shane Taylor on August 24, 2012 3:06 PM:

    I'm sorry, but Ayn Rand didn't take industrial economies seriously. Atlas Shrugged reduced everything to sole proprietors. That is a level of intellectual integrity on par with 9/11 "truth."

  • bluestatedon on August 24, 2012 3:16 PM:

    I'd bet that Elizabeth is a man.

  • Ron Byers on August 24, 2012 3:25 PM:

    Armstrong has been retired for several years. Why throw the book at him now? Cycling as a sport was never very popular. I guess it is all but dead now.

  • vhh on August 24, 2012 3:28 PM:

    Cathy Young was born in Russia as Ekaterina Jung and emigrated to the US with her family in the US at age 17. Ayn Rand was also born in Russia as Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum and emigrated to the US in her twenties. Getting out of the USSR was difficult and dangerous, you had to be highly motivated to do it. I've known a fair number of Soviet emigres, some quite well, and for most of them, the starting point of their politics is Anti-whatever-it-is in the USSR. Not a lot of love lost on the old country. (note---this is much less true of more recent emigres who left after the collapse of the USSR). Soviet intellectuals (like both Rand and Young) also tend toward a certain absolutism. In Rand, the combination of absolutism and hard line reaction to the horrible of the USSR led her to intolerant views of Stalin-like certitude: she even had a personality cult of young admirers (incl Alan Greenspan). But what Rand derided as Soviet "collectivism" was in fact oligarchic rule (which falsely claimed collective good as justification). In Atlas Shrugged, she constructed an anti collectivist fable which ended up just as oligarchic as the rule of the commissars. Sort of an Animal Farm in reverse (which shows the true genius of Orwell). Cathy Young strikes me as having some of the same tendencies.

  • MuddyLee on August 24, 2012 3:36 PM:

    If Romney is going to make birther jokes, then I say bring on the polygamist heritage jokes. And more jokes about his legal, but not quite fair, low income tax rate. And looks like the repubs will have at least one ethically challenged speaker at the convention: Nikki Haley of SC, endorsed by Sarah Palin of AK and reality tv. Haley is under attack by members of her own party, it should be noted.


  • DisgustedWithItAll on August 24, 2012 3:47 PM:

    Isn't there a political truth-doping agency so that after Fox and the Right Wing Noise Machine have to give up their defense of manufacturing lies, they get banned from the public sphere?

  • June on August 24, 2012 3:48 PM:

    "No one asked me because I'm white, heh, heh!" That's essentially what Romney was saying, and that was supposed to be funny. I don't know what bigots like @Elizabeth think would be so revealing about Obama's college records, but they haven't asked Romney for those, either. That should tell "Mr. Heh-heh" something, but no doubt, he'll remain tone-deaf.

  • Kolubian on August 24, 2012 4:00 PM:

    Well, if we're in the mood for jokes, might as well bring in "Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan" (or should that be swapped, considering what Mitt said about Ryan; Northeast Elizabeth? Take a look at the phrase below and note the relation:

    "My ultimate Ayn Rand Porn".

    BTW, what's up with anyone who says "let's crack open those school record", the school isn't suppose to just hand out confidential private stuff.

  • st john on August 24, 2012 4:18 PM:

    Since we have people recognizing Personhood at conception/fertilization of the egg as a measure of viability as a human being, perhaps the test for Natural Born Citizen should be adjusted to Natural Conceived U.S. Person. Proof of conception on U.S. Soil them becomes the measure of qualification for POTUS. As a side benefit, proving time and place of conception could expose some paternity issues: who's your daddy? Was Mitt conceived in Mexico or the U.S.? Prove it!

  • st john on August 24, 2012 4:33 PM:

    ...Soil then, not them.
    Alert to Trolls: I know that as long as one of the parents is a U.S. Citizen, country of birth is irrelevant to qualify. "by being born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents" Wikipedia. But,of course, we have to argue, does that apply if only one of the parents is a U.S. Citizen at time of birth in a foreign country? If an anchor baby is conceived outside the U.S. but born "on U.S. soil," under the personhood definition occurring at conception, does h/she automatically get U.S. citizenship? So many questions. So many opinions. What is truth?