Political Animal

October 2012 Archives

October 31, 2012 5:49 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Yeah, starting to get that chronic head-ache and buzzing in the ears I associate with the late stages of a close election. That makes three out of the last four...

By Ed Kilgore

October 31, 2012 5:02 PM Fruits of Polarization

Charles Pierce looks at the latest outrageous utterance by U.S. Rep. Steve King, and just can't take it any more: Really, Iowans, if you do nothing else, please force the...

By Ed Kilgore

October 31, 2012 4:04 PM The Plutocrat

If you want to read a well-reasoned, well-written, comprehensive case for voting against Mitt Romney for president, Jonathan Chait has penned a fine essay appearing today. I am particularly fond...

By Ed Kilgore

October 31, 2012 2:42 PM Mitt's Doritos Turn Into a Kitten

Like a lot of progressives writers, I had some good clean fun this morning with the hastily contrived and poorly executed "storm relief event" Mitt Romney put on in Ohio...

By Ed Kilgore

October 31, 2012 1:54 PM Lunch Buffet

Just taped an interview with NPR's Julie Rovner on the relatively high visibility of the abortion issue in this campaign; unclear when or on what show it will appear, but...

By Ed Kilgore

October 31, 2012 12:49 PM Inching Towards Relevance on Immigration

If Mitt Romney loses, and if Republicans fail to take advantage of an extraordinary opportunity to take control of the Senate, there will be a lot of justifiable talk about...

By Ed Kilgore

October 31, 2012 11:54 AM Through the Looking Glass

I know, I know: everybody knows Dick Morris is a lying, spin-mad hack, so why would I pay any attention to what he's saying? Here's why: everybody does not know...

By Ed Kilgore

October 31, 2012 10:49 AM Return of the Welfare Smear

Yesterday I talked about Romney doubling-down on the Jeep-Jobs-to-China fable, in the teeth of every known fact. Turns out that in the same state (Ohio) and elsewhere, Team Mitt's just...

By Ed Kilgore

October 31, 2012 10:20 AM Senate Underachievers

The steadily increasing likelihood (which Nate Silver currently pegs as a 90.9% probability) of Democrats hanging onto control of the Senate is the great underreported national political story of the...

By Ed Kilgore

October 31, 2012 9:43 AM Change of Plans

This morning's most amusing read by far is McKay Coppins' BuzzFeed account of the Romney campaign hastily transforming a "victory rally" in Dayton, Ohio, into a "storm relief event." One...

By Ed Kilgore

October 31, 2012 8:59 AM Repeat After Me: Nobody Knows

The most interesting things to come across my screen early this morning were two separate pieces by two well-regarded number-crunchers from two different ideological orientations on the same subject: the...

By Ed Kilgore

October 31, 2012 8:15 AM Daylight Video

Just felt the need for a jolt of energy this morning, aside from the caffeine. Here's the Cars performing "Let's Go" in 1979....

By Ed Kilgore

October 30, 2012 6:10 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Sandy is reportedly leaving the country by tomorrow. Good riddance. Here's some political-news remainders of the day: * Unsurprisingly, Sandy will slow down the collection of polling data at precisely...

By Ed Kilgore

October 30, 2012 5:32 PM Which Way the Wind Blows

The Washington Monthly's media consultant asked me earlier today if I wanted to go on radio to talk about Sandy's impact on the election, and I responded that I was...

By Ed Kilgore

October 30, 2012 5:11 PM Barone To the World: I'm Right No Matter What!

Watching the slow but steady decline of Michael Barone into partisan hackdom has been one of the sadder phenomena of my career in politics (certainly since 1976, when I bought...

By Ed Kilgore

October 30, 2012 4:09 PM Mitt on Emergency Management: Status Quo Minus

So Mitt Romney's crabwise retreat from his primary campaign suggestion of just dumping emergency management responsibilities on the states is this: Asked Monday whether Romney held the same position he...

By Ed Kilgore

October 30, 2012 3:32 PM Maybe Not This Time

As part of the general discussion of the Myth of Moderate Mitt, it's often taken for granted that if Romney does win and has to deal with a Democratic Senate,...

By Ed Kilgore

October 30, 2012 1:55 PM Lunch Buffet

Hope everyone made it through the night okay. I realize Sandy's still wreaking havoc--in some places where no one was much expecting it--but it appears DC was spared the worst,...

By Ed Kilgore

October 30, 2012 12:22 PM Default Drive Mendacity

In a display of chutzpah that would be remarkable coming from just about anywhere else, the Romney campaign, caught making a completely erroneous charge about Jeep moving jobs from Ohio...

By Ed Kilgore

October 30, 2012 11:53 AM The New Katherine Harris

If you are into nightmare scenarios for next Tuesday, there are plenty available at the moment, ranging from Sandy-enabled delays in voting and/or changes in polling procedures to voter intimidation...

By Ed Kilgore

October 30, 2012 10:54 AM Romney By Hook or By Crook

Speaking of Moderate Mitt and his mendacity, a lot of folk are gazing in awe today at the latest David Brooks column, which, predictably, offers the American Beauty Rose of...

By Ed Kilgore

October 30, 2012 10:09 AM Is Romney Lying to Antichoicers?

It takes a lot of little fables to add up to the big fat myth of Moderate Mitt From Massachusetts. And one of the fables currently circulating, with an active...

By Ed Kilgore

October 30, 2012 9:15 AM Storm Schadenfreude

If you need a break from the Weather Channel, you could check out how Sandy is being reported in unfriendly countries abroad, via The Atlantic's John Hudson. It's the perpetual...

By Ed Kilgore

October 30, 2012 8:26 AM Daylight Video

Don't know how many regular readers have power today, but we'll forge ahead, hoping everyone's safe and dry and fed. And a big shout-out to first responders! Here's Lena Horne...

By Ed Kilgore

October 29, 2012 6:16 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Sandy approaching landfall. Praying for all you folk in her path. Here, for those of you able to pay attention, or seeking distraction, or out of harm's way, are some...

By Ed Kilgore

October 29, 2012 5:42 PM Should Climate Change Activists Sandy-gogue?

You don't have to be a meteorologist or a scientist of any sort to understand that violent weather patterns are increasing in frequency, and that there are all sorts of...

By Ed Kilgore

October 29, 2012 4:58 PM If the Campaign Lasted Twenty Years....

So now, predictably, the Romney campaign is backtracking on his primary campaign suggestion that emergency management needs to be taken over by the states (implying in turn that FEMA should...

By Ed Kilgore

October 29, 2012 4:27 PM A Very Low Register

There's lots and lots of gabbing today over the Des Moines Register's endorsement of Mitt Romney. It's the paper's first Republican presidential endorsement since Nixon (fitting), though it's worth remembering...

By Ed Kilgore

October 29, 2012 3:04 PM Nail-Biter in California

I've done a couple of posts on California ballot initiatives already, but wanted to mention the public opinion research that is showing all but one of the eleven ballot measures...

By Ed Kilgore

October 29, 2012 1:51 PM Lunch Buffet

I'm sure more than a few readers are getting in what may be their last guaranteed hot meal for a bit, so here are a few warm side dishes: *...

By Ed Kilgore

October 29, 2012 1:14 PM Mitt's Slow Boat to China

Near the end of a transcript of a Mitt Romney speech to donors revealed by MoJo's David Corn (who brought the famous Boca Moment to our attention), Romney makes this...

By Ed Kilgore

October 29, 2012 12:28 PM The Semi-Final Expert Word on Undecideds

Since a big part of the background noise of political talk about the elections has to do with undecided voters--who they are, how many there are, which way they are...

By Ed Kilgore

October 29, 2012 10:20 AM The Card Left Unplayed: Medicaid

In his latest New York Times column, Paul Krugman makes an argument near and dear to my heart and familiar to regular readers here: the two parties' approach to the...

By Ed Kilgore

October 29, 2012 9:31 AM You're On Your Own When Disaster Strikes

A very good catch by Ryan Grim at HuffPost last night: During a CNN debate at the height of the GOP primary, Mitt Romney was asked, in the context of...

By Ed Kilgore

October 29, 2012 9:07 AM Sandy Hits the Landscape

It's obviously impossible to judge the physical and economic--must less the psychological and political--effect of an event like Sandy. But pundits have their jobs and their obsessions, and such a...

By Ed Kilgore

October 29, 2012 8:06 AM Daylight Video

For obvious reasons, here's Rodney Crowell and Emmylou Harris performing Dylan's "Shelter From the Storm." Stay safe....

By Ed Kilgore

October 29, 2012 12:38 AM Mormonism's Bain Moment

In a week, if President Obama is re-elected, the amount of attention the national press bestows upon the Mormon faith will decrease by roughly 100 percent. What better time, then,...

By Simon van Zuylen-Wood

October 28, 2012 6:05 PM In Defense of Flip-Flopping

When it comes to attacking Mitt Romney, team Obama has shuffled between two portrayals. On one hand, it paints him as a radical hell-bent on rolling back reproductive rights, financial...

By Simon van Zuylen-Wood

October 28, 2012 4:23 PM NYT, WSJ Paywalls taken down...

...Temporarily, so that readers can get news about Hurricane Sandy. Which raises a question: Is it unethical for non-subscribers who've eclipsed their monthly NYT reading limits to ingest news items...

By Simon van Zuylen-Wood

October 28, 2012 3:04 PM Debunking the "Romney Recovery"

In today's Sunday Review, David Leonhardt suggests that the way the economy is going (up), either candidate will get to take credit for the recovery should he take office in...

By Simon van Zuylen-Wood

October 28, 2012 11:42 AM The Affirmative Action Myth

John Sununu recently told CNN that Colin Powell only endorsed President Obama out of racial solidarity. Implied in his comments is the conservative trope that Obama is something of an...

By Simon van Zuylen-Wood

October 28, 2012 11:06 AM The Scourge of High School Concussions

While we're on the topic of football, some news from the darker side of the sport. A brand new survey out of Massachusetts, prompted by a 2010 state law, found...

By Simon van Zuylen-Wood

October 28, 2012 7:30 AM What Yesterday's Football Results Mean for the Election

On Thursday, Kevin Drum pointed to a recent study (via Tyler Cowen) that found that college football games taking place 10 days before the election had the power to sway...

By Simon van Zuylen-Wood

October 27, 2012 5:18 PM Could These Newspaper Endorsements Clinch it for Romney?

During President Obama’s off-again, on-again, interview relationship with the Des Moines Register this week, I couldn’t help but wonder why the brouhaha was making news. (Well, one reason was clear:...

By Simon van Zuylen-Wood

October 27, 2012 3:29 PM The Mike Bloomberg of the NBA

Born in 1942 to a middle-class Jewish household, he earned an Ivy League degree in 1966, and rose to prominence in the mid-80s, transforming an industry from his New York...

By Simon van Zuylen-Wood

October 27, 2012 12:34 PM Slippery Silvio

Continuing my habit of blogging about trials taking place on the Italian mainland, let us all now have mixed feelings about yesterday’s news that former Prime Minister Silvio “Bunga Bunga”...

By Simon van Zuylen-Wood

October 27, 2012 11:13 AM Greeking Out

What do Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, Maryland Congressman John Sarbanes, Walmart Foundation President Sylvia Mathews Burwell, and Washington Monthly Editor-in-Chief Paul Glastris have in common? They're all Greek Americans...

By Simon van Zuylen-Wood

October 27, 2012 10:36 AM Romney's Narrow Path to Victory

Forget momentum. Forget polling averages. Heck, forget Nate Silver for a minute of your lives. (I'm asking you to do a lot of forgetting today.) Just think about odds for...

By Simon van Zuylen-Wood

October 27, 2012 9:29 AM Forget the Electoral College, Fix the Primaries

There's a whiff of a possibility that in ten days President Obama wins the electoral college but loses the popular vote, as George W. Bush did in 2000. If he...

By Simon van Zuylen-Wood

October 27, 2012 7:56 AM Daylight Video: Sandy

"Oh Sandy the aurora is risin' behind us The pier lights our carnival life on the water"...

By Simon van Zuylen-Wood

October 26, 2012 5:00 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

I'm knocking off a bit early today (though with the usual number of posts in the can!) to head out for a brief weekend trip, but will obviously be alert...

By Ed Kilgore

October 26, 2012 4:45 PM Best Laid Plans

I don't want to obsess about Hurricane Sandy, but since its effects could become serious before I get back to blogging on Monday, just wanted to mention the ever-increasing probability...

By Ed Kilgore

October 26, 2012 4:21 PM Base Vs. Undecideds, 2012 Edition

As habitual consumers of political talk know, one of the most ancient arguments of American politics involves the relative emphasis campaigns should pay to persuasion and mobilization--to "base voters" and...

By Ed Kilgore

October 26, 2012 3:31 PM Romney's "Closing Argument"

For the candidate afflicted with "Romnesia," you never know when you hear that he's making his "closing argument" if that is indeed the case, or he's got three or four...

By Ed Kilgore

October 26, 2012 2:10 PM Obama is Making his Best Case for Reelection…Behind Closed Doors

On the eve of Obama's convention speech, I was asked by NPR's Neil Conan what the president's most important task was. Here’s what I said: GLASTRIS: Neal, well, the most...

By Paul Glastris

October 26, 2012 1:46 PM Lunch Buffet

Not trying to rub it in to East Coasters who are staring at Sandy's progress, but it's a really beautiful day on the Central Coast. Almost worth the cost-of-living differential....

By Ed Kilgore

October 26, 2012 1:07 PM Contacts and Turnout

At The Fix, Chris Cillizza draws attention to the information in the new ABC/WaPo poll (which shows Romney up 50-47 among LVs) detailing campaign contacts with voters in battleground states:...

By Ed Kilgore

October 26, 2012 12:49 PM The Right's Big Miscalculation

E.J. Dionne is getting a lot of attention for a provocative column suggesting that whatever happens on November 6, the Right has lost this election cycle because its presidential champion...

By Ed Kilgore

October 26, 2012 11:10 AM Obama's Katrina?

Here in California, everyone lives with the subconscious fear of The Big One, the earthquake that will finally, biblically, consume us. I'm certainly aware of it, living not that many...

By Ed Kilgore

October 26, 2012 10:22 AM The Drum Line

Last week I did a post offering some thoughts on California ballot initiatives, which have a way of influencing developments beyond the Golden State. But today I see my esteemed...

By Ed Kilgore

October 26, 2012 9:07 AM Big Mo Must Live!

Maybe it's just me, or maybe it's just the inevitable tone surrounding the end-game of a long, vicious, closely fought election cycle. But there seems to be a bit of...

By Ed Kilgore

October 26, 2012 8:15 AM Daylight Video

A little note to pundits from the people? Nah, just pure pop magic: Tracey Ullmann peforming "They Don't Know" on Top of the Pops in 1983....

By Ed Kilgore

October 25, 2012 6:39 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Long day's journey into a nice Central California afternoon, it transpires, so I can't complain. Here's what's left: * Big batch o' state polls from PPP, which has been belying...

By Ed Kilgore

October 25, 2012 5:44 PM Obama Stones Romney

As you may have heard by now, Rolling Stone has just published an interview (with essay) of the president by historian Douglas Brinkley, and like most Rolling Stone interviews with...

By Ed Kilgore

October 25, 2012 4:45 PM Mysteries of Ohio

TNR's Nate Cohn has a close-up analysis of where the presidential race stands in Ohio today, and uses as his starting point the last election where the Buckeye State was...

By Ed Kilgore

October 25, 2012 3:44 PM Ignoring Michael Bloomberg

Before getting into the issue of the insufferable egocentrism of Michael Bloomberg, let me confess something: I've spent my whole adult life in a state of chronic annoyance with Gotham...

By Ed Kilgore

October 25, 2012 2:47 PM Beneath the Surface

It's easy to assume that presidential campaigns are flawless machines whose directors cooly deploy and shift resources like Field Marshals, based on the very latest accurate data and finely honed...

By Ed Kilgore

October 25, 2012 1:56 PM Lunch Buffet

Another un-newsy day, to put it mildly. One campaign story is entitled "Obama Goes To Krispy Kreme," and that's about all it said. Here's some scraps I've found here and...

By Ed Kilgore

October 25, 2012 1:21 PM Ideology Versus Authenticity

In what reads like a first draft of a post-election "Why Obama Lost" piece, the New York Times' Matt Bai suggests that the president took bad advice from Bill Clinton...

By Ed Kilgore

October 25, 2012 12:35 PM Heads We Win, Tails You Lose

I've already registered some initial thoughts about Paul Ryan's "poverty speech" at Cleveland State yesterday. It's not getting a lot of attention. Charles Pierce, not a big fan of the...

By Ed Kilgore

October 25, 2012 11:39 AM Not-So-Big Mo

Unfortunately, I've heard nothing but crickets in response to my request the other day for evidence that media horse-race perceptions of "the lead" or "momentum" in a close presidential race...

By Ed Kilgore

October 25, 2012 10:52 AM Mourdock's Motivation

So in a development that delights many Democrats, we're into the second full day of pondering the hammer-headed views of Indiana Treasurer and Senate nominee Richard Mourdock on exactly which...

By Ed Kilgore

October 25, 2012 9:35 AM Powell Endorsement Not Part of the "Romney Momentum" Narrative

You'd figure the way the presidential election is shaping up, Colin Powell would be the quintessential "disappointed Obama supporter" from 2008--you know, a long-time Republican who supported Obama's "historic" candidacy...

By Ed Kilgore

October 25, 2012 8:18 AM Daylight Video

Need a dose of inspired silliness? Here's Southern Culture on the Skids performing "Walk Like a Camel" on Australian television. Oh, Little Debbie, Little Debbie!...

By Ed Kilgore

October 24, 2012 5:30 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Made it through the entire day without having to write about gripping saga of Obama campaign taking interview with Des Moines Register off and then on the record! Who cares?...

By Ed Kilgore

October 24, 2012 4:59 PM A War of Poverty

I can't find prepared remarks or a transcript just yet for Paul Ryan's big "poverty" speech in Ohio today, but an account from The Hill probably tells you pretty much...

By Ed Kilgore

October 24, 2012 4:13 PM The Sporadics

Mark Halperin of Time sometimes epitomizes the things that make me crazy about the MSM; he was, after all, founder of The Note back when it defined the self-referential Beltway...

By Ed Kilgore

October 24, 2012 3:16 PM When the Story/Narrative/Arc Ends

It was dispiriting for me yesterday to write a post defending the MSM from accusations they were throwing the election to Mitt Romney with their excitement over the story/narrative/arc of...

By Ed Kilgore

October 24, 2012 2:19 PM The First Lady Trap

As someone who has for years half-seriously proposed a constitutional amendment banning public mention of the families of politicians (or alternatively, the establishment of a constitutional monarchy so that we...

By Ed Kilgore

October 24, 2012 1:34 PM Lunch Buffet

Waiting for the landlord's minions to show up for some needed repairs, so I may disappear for a bit when that happens. But for now, here are some mid-day news...

By Ed Kilgore

October 24, 2012 1:16 PM A Comparative Take on the Ground Game

Most of the stories on the "ground game" of the two presidential campaigns and their parties are a matter of dueling quotes, with Team Obama touting its sterling 2008 reputation...

By Ed Kilgore

October 24, 2012 12:15 PM Are Mitt's Congressional Shackles Slipping?

What is potentially the most dramatic of all electoral subplots seems to be building with virtually no public comment: even as Mitt Romney postures to swing voters as the newly...

By Ed Kilgore

October 24, 2012 11:35 AM The Partisan Usages of Election Incompetence

Remember my post from Monday suggesting that "mistakes" made by local Republican election officials in places like Ohio might be worth watching? Get a load of this, from the New...

By Ed Kilgore

October 24, 2012 10:59 AM Akin's Youthful Indiscretions

Just as his movement-conservative-activist comrade Richard Mourdock was getting himself into hot water by quite literally attributing to God his views on the compulsory child-bearing obligations of rape victims, Missouri's...

By Ed Kilgore

October 24, 2012 9:32 AM Antichoice Mask Slips

So what bad luck, eh? In a second close and crucial U.S. Senate race, the Republican nominee says something shocking about the law and ethics of abortion in cases of...

By Ed Kilgore

October 24, 2012 7:54 AM Daylight Video

Feeling the weight of weltzschmerz this morning, so here's Howlin' Wolf performing "How Many More Years."...

By Ed Kilgore

October 23, 2012 6:06 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Dreadfully slow news day, for this close to an election. But you never know what minor item will prove to be important later. Here are a few: * Paul Ryan's...

By Ed Kilgore

October 23, 2012 5:44 PM 40/90

One of the underlying topics of political discussion this year has been the irreducible minimum of white voters Barack Obama needed to be re-elected. TNR's invaluable Nate Cohn has the...

By Ed Kilgore

October 23, 2012 4:58 PM A SLAP IN THE FACE to the Bayonet Industry

When the president delivered his sardonic lines last night reminding Mitt Romney that we don't have as many Navy ships as we used to because the military's changed, he famously...

By Ed Kilgore

October 23, 2012 3:46 PM Missing Latinos--Again

Since we're all doomed to be transfixed by polls for the next two weeks, it's well worth paying attention to this protest from Latino Decisions' Matt Baretto: In 1998 Harry...

By Ed Kilgore

October 23, 2012 3:05 PM The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

When my esteemed friend Mike Tomasky writes, "Today may be the most important single day of the campaign," it gets my attention. It does so particularly when he seems to...

By Ed Kilgore

October 23, 2012 1:48 PM Lunch Buffet

So in what's already another slow news day (unless you enjoy endless post-debate spin), the political world has ground to a halt in anticipation of the daily release of the...

By Ed Kilgore

October 23, 2012 12:51 PM Centralized Planning

I understand fully why the Obama campaign is releasing a 20-page booklet advertised as a "plan for jobs and middle-class security," to be heavily distributed and then flourished at campaign...

By Ed Kilgore

October 23, 2012 12:28 PM Pricing Moderate Mitt's Medicaid Block Grant

I found it very odd in the debate last night that in talking about how he'd pay for a defense spending increase (along with his tax cut) Mitt Romney singled...

By Ed Kilgore

October 23, 2012 11:38 AM The Base Eats Its Islamophobic Crumbs

You wouldn't figure conservative activists had found too much to get them excited in Mitt Romney's performance last night. But these birds are hungry for any crumbs, as illustrated by...

By Ed Kilgore

October 23, 2012 10:14 AM This Year's Ballot Joke

Every election cycle, some national political reporters get the easy assignment of writing up some ludicrous candidate for statewide office who got on the general election ballot by a fluke...

By Ed Kilgore

October 23, 2012 9:34 AM Romney Stands Pat

Having read much of the spin and post-debate assessment, it seems reasonably clear that Mitt Romney basically took a pass on directly challenging the president's foreign policy record and views...

By Ed Kilgore

October 23, 2012 8:15 AM Daylight Video

Guess you could call this the Undecided Voter Blues: Muddy Waters performing "Got My Mojo Working," at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1960....

By Ed Kilgore

October 22, 2012 11:33 PM Post-Debate Spin & Assessment

The MSM reaction is similar to though a bit stronger than in the second debate: Obama won, but Mitt got another high-profile chance to repeat his "economic referendum" rap and...

By Ed Kilgore

October 22, 2012 10:33 PM Boca Debate Live-Blog III

* Obama coasts on Af/Pak, transitions to freeing up money for vets. * Mitt gets direct question on cutting off Pakistan, gets wonky and responsible. Even credits Obama for right...

By Ed Kilgore

October 22, 2012 10:01 PM Boca Debate Live-Blog II

* Supposedly new segment, but Mitt goes right back into Economy plus Defense Spending rap. * Mitt now building pretty big time-of-possession gap. * Obama says "we're still strongest country;"...

By Ed Kilgore

October 22, 2012 9:31 PM Boca Debate Live-Blog I

* Back to the original red-tie-Romney blue-tie-Obama arrangement. * Schieffer remembers Cuban missile crisis, as do I, but how many swing voters do? Certainly sets up Mitt on Iran. *...

By Ed Kilgore

October 22, 2012 8:45 PM Boca Debate Preview

I hadn't really focused until today on the fact that this debate is being held in the same city as Romney's infamous "47%" fundraiser. So Mitt gets a second "Boca...

By Ed Kilgore

October 22, 2012 4:39 PM Final Debate Hiatus

For the last time (except maybe for Election Day itself, when I figure I'll do a live-blogging marathon), I'm shortening the blogging day just a bit in order to prepare...

By Ed Kilgore

October 22, 2012 4:31 PM No More Grenadas

Towards the end of a grumpy preview of tonight's debate as likely to be "vacuous," TAP's Paul Waldman mentions a historical precedent for Mitt Romney's overwhelming emphasis on the Importance...

By Ed Kilgore

October 22, 2012 3:50 PM Last Skirmish in the War on Voting

At TNR, Alec MacGinnis has a fine overview of the various efforts by Republicans--particularly in Ohio--to limit the franchise by various means. He chronicles the battles over voter ID laws...

By Ed Kilgore

October 22, 2012 3:20 PM The Deeper Consequences of the Tea Party Movement

At the risk of paying too much attention to a phoned-in op-ed, I'd note Joe Scarborough's pandering argument at Politico that the Tea Party Movement has been good for the...

By Ed Kilgore

October 22, 2012 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

I am, as you may have noticed, a bit behind the curve today, partly by design (it's the final Debate Live Blogging day and night, so I'm taking it a...

By Ed Kilgore

October 22, 2012 1:10 PM Cross To Bear

Josh Marshall saw a front-page headline on the CNN site this morning that freaked him out: "Obama the 'wrong' kind of Christian?" I’ll note that the piece itself is not...

By Ed Kilgore

October 22, 2012 11:58 AM Three Big Strategic Question Going Into Final Stretch

So fifteen days out, there seem to be three big strategic questions about the presidential contest that are still very much up in the air, aside from the impact of...

By Ed Kilgore

October 22, 2012 11:17 AM Good Person, Bad Things

Ryan Cooper took note of the passing of George McGovern over the weekend. But as a 1972 precinct chairman for McGovern who also spent a lot of time over the...

By Ed Kilgore

October 22, 2012 9:44 AM Where's Moderate Mitt on Foreign Policy?

As many observers have noted, the focus of the third and last presidential candidates' debate on foreign policy is not particularly fortunate for Mitt Romney. Best anyone can tell, his...

By Ed Kilgore

October 22, 2012 8:16 AM Daylight Video

Ah, fifteen days to go until November 6. But could feel like an eternity. Here's Alice Cooper performing "Long Way To Go" in Greece in 2007....

By Ed Kilgore

October 21, 2012 1:04 PM Sunday Links

That's it for me today. As always, thanks for reading and commenting. Here are some links for this afternoon: 1. Iraq records huge increase in birth defects. Apparently linked to...

By Ryan Cooper

October 21, 2012 11:50 AM The Failure of the Liberal Idea Machine

I was talking to a colleague in the office the other day, critiquing the first presidential debate. He was talking about how Romney's responses were all organized around the theme...

By Ryan Cooper

October 21, 2012 11:20 AM RIP George McGovern, 1922-2012

The Times: George McGovern, the United States senator who won the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 1972 as an opponent of the war in Vietnam and a champion of liberal...

By Ryan Cooper

October 21, 2012 9:02 AM Two New Pieces of Benghazi Reporting

This came out yesterday, but in case you missed it, some important pieces of the Benghazi puzzle came to light yesterday. The first, from David Ignatius, somewhat exonerates UN Ambassador...

By Ryan Cooper

October 21, 2012 8:27 AM Iran Agrees to Direct Talks

A rare mild spot of good news from the Middle East: The United States and Iran have agreed in principle for the first time to one-on-one negotiations over Iran’s nuclear...

By Ryan Cooper

October 20, 2012 2:59 PM Some Strange Fed Scolding

Ever since the Federal Reserve started its latest round of monetary stimulus, the scold brigade has struggled for something to find wrong with it. The latest entry comes from Henny...

By Ryan Cooper

October 20, 2012 9:24 AM What's Wrong with the Northeast's Economy?

David Dayen provides the following chart of unemployment in the Northeast region: As he says, this is is something of a mystery: I haven’t seen a legitimate explanation for this,...

By Ryan Cooper

October 20, 2012 8:28 AM Total Obstructionism Not a Guaranteed Winning Strategy for the Minority

When Lyndon Johnson took power as Minority Leader in the Senate in 1953, he reasoned that the way back to the majority was to accumulate a good record of accomplishment...

By Ryan Cooper

October 20, 2012 7:11 AM Marginal Revolution University Update

I've been dutifully working my way through the first videos in the Marginal Revolution University course on development economics, and so far I'm rather pleased. The videos are quick, low-budget,...

By Ryan Cooper

October 20, 2012 5:07 AM Climate Change Is Simple

For your morning coffee today, check out this remix/mashup I made of a David Roberts TEDx climate talk. It's best on HD, fullscreen, with some decent speakers: Any technical/aesthetic recommendations...

By Ryan Cooper

October 19, 2012 6:20 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

Why if we are getting so close to Election Day does it still seem so eternally far away? A question for psychologists, to be sure. Here's what I have left...

By Ed Kilgore

October 19, 2012 5:20 PM To Know Him Is To Mistrust Him

It will have zero effect on a certain Romney landslide in Utah, but the particular wording and reasoning of the Salt Lake Tribune's editorial endorsing Barack Obama will resonate far...

By Ed Kilgore

October 19, 2012 4:45 PM More Bobbing and Weaving on Abortion

Strangely enough, Mitt Romney's ever-slippery position on abortion policy, one of the enduringly shameful features of his entire public career, is at the center of an argument that the mean...

By Ed Kilgore

October 19, 2012 3:22 PM Obama Disappoints Noonan

Big national events apparently aren't complete until Peggy Noonan pontificates about them--particularly if they involve The Presidency, the institution she invariably presumes to be protecting because Ronald Reagan--ah! the very...

By Ed Kilgore

October 19, 2012 2:44 PM How Do You Measure the Ground Game?

At Daily Beast today, John Avlon and Michael Keller attempt to assess the quality of the two presidential campaigns' GOTV "ground games," but immediately run into different theories of how...

By Ed Kilgore

October 19, 2012 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

More backbiting arguments (and some sheer pettifoggery) today than any real news. Here are a few items for your nourishment: * Gallup Tracking has Romney LV lead down one to...

By Ed Kilgore

October 19, 2012 1:04 PM Battling House-to-House

So WaPo's Chris Cillizza is out with The Fix's list of the 60 House seats most likely to flip (36 currently held by Rs, 24 by Ds), and you don't...

By Ed Kilgore

October 19, 2012 12:11 PM Team Obama After November 6

There's a vast article by George Condon up at the National Journal site today offering the first detailed handicapping I've seen about the staffing of a second Obama term if...

By Ed Kilgore

October 19, 2012 11:33 AM The Great Lost GOP Opportunity

The Pew has published a major new survey of American Hispanics correlating religious affiliation with political views and voting tendencies. And it tells you a lot about the great lost...

By Ed Kilgore

October 19, 2012 10:28 AM Here's A Check. Now Lower My Taxes.

One of the most alarming trends in a generally alarming landscape for campaign finance is the recent realization of many rich-as-Croesus conservatives how much fun they can have dumping huge...

By Ed Kilgore

October 19, 2012 9:34 AM Galluping To Conclusions

It's safe to say that yesterday's Gallup Tracking Poll showing Mitt Romney opening up a 7-point lead among likely voters produced a serious freakout amongst the chattering classes. Weren't we...

By Ed Kilgore

October 19, 2012 8:20 AM Daylight Video

Just to change things up a bit, here's P-Funk performing "Dr. Funkenstein" in Houston on Halloween 1976....

By Ed Kilgore

October 18, 2012 5:39 PM Day's End and Night Watch

19 days to go until the Big Day. And the state of play is probably more confused than ever. Here are some final notes from today's news and chatter: *...

By Ed Kilgore

October 18, 2012 5:20 PM The D'Souza Dumpster Fire

Like my friend Harold Pollack, I have no desire to throw my own kindling into the dumpster fire that is consuming Dinesh D'Souza's career and personal life, or warm myself...

By Ed Kilgore

October 18, 2012 4:39 PM Don't Think Some Voters Will Accept "Broad Mandate"

On second thought, there's another line in that Weekly Standard post excoriating early voting that's worth a bit of commentary: The traditional Election Day ensured that all Americans went to...

By Ed Kilgore

October 18, 2012 4:13 PM How To Get a "Single Electorate"

I guess it shouldn't be surprising in a conservative publication where early voting is considered a major threat to the election of Mitt Romney and a Republican Congress. But the...

By Ed Kilgore

October 18, 2012 3:11 PM Unlike Bush, Mitt Will Have Five-Point Plan

In many respects the most interesting moment in the second presidential candidates' debate didn't involve Libya or "binders full of women" or any of the other stuff post-debate chatter centered...

By Ed Kilgore

October 18, 2012 1:54 PM Lunch Buffet

Felt the need for carbo-loading, and consumed a big bowl of pasta for brunch. Will likely regret it later, but in any event, here are some lighter snacks for you:...

By Ed Kilgore

October 18, 2012 12:55 PM Not Fully American

In an absolute must-read--particularly for anyone who hasn't thought through the implications of the Romney/Ryan Medicaid block grant proposal--Jonathan Cohn of TNR takes a close look at state-level decisions over...

By Ed Kilgore

October 18, 2012 12:02 PM Mitt's Moderate "Tonality"

Both TNR's Alec MacGillis and WaPo's Dana Milbank have been asking a pretty obvious question this week: if, as the most political observers (other than yours truly) seem to think,...

By Ed Kilgore

October 18, 2012 10:54 AM "The Welfare" Get a Fresh Spanking

I might not even mention this if I didn't fear it was the first sign of a theme that's about to show up in Romney/Ryan ads, but that fine legislator...

By Ed Kilgore

October 18, 2012 10:04 AM Out-Of-Print

In the least surprising media news of the year, NewsBeast honcho Tina Brown announced that the print edition of Newsweek would cease publication at the end of the year. After...

By Ed Kilgore

October 18, 2012 9:29 AM Senate GOP Blame Game

It's entirely possible that Republicans will get a few breaks and a last-minute battleground state tail wind and win control of the Senate on November 6. But it ain't looking...

By Ed Kilgore

October 18, 2012 8:14 AM Daylight Video

On a morning when I'm really wishing this election cycle would come to a merciful end, here's Hot Tuna performing "Hesitation Blues" in 1970....

By Ed Kilgore

October 17, 2012 5:30 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Those who follow conservative opinionating have doubtless been amused today by the vast firepower aimed at Candy Crowley and the total obsession with establishing that Romney "won" the point on...

By Ed Kilgore

October 17, 2012 4:48 PM California Initiative Sinkhole

Californians who grumble about being left out of the national electoral conversation these days certainly can't complain there's nothing going on in the Golden State this year. For one thing,...

By Ed Kilgore

October 17, 2012 3:46 PM Other Cool Stuff on the Site

Debate live-blogging preempted my usual Day's End post yesterday, so I missed the chance to draw attention to other cool stuff that's up on the Washington Monthly site. Here are...

By Ed Kilgore

October 17, 2012 3:13 PM Above the Pit of Contemporary Journalism

Like some of you, no doubt, I watched and wrote about last night's presidential debate under half-protest, annoyed at the hysterically overwrought coverage that treated the event like a WWE...

By Ed Kilgore

October 17, 2012 2:44 PM "Moderate" Compared To What?

I mentioned in the Lunch Buffet post that the Romney campaign is running an ad suggesting that the attacks on Mitt for extremism on abortion are untrue and unfair because...

By Ed Kilgore

October 17, 2012 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

It's my wedding anniversary day, but both my wife and I are working (in her case, into the evening). Since I couldn't do this gig or much of anything else...

By Ed Kilgore

October 17, 2012 12:53 PM "Gallup Truthers" On the Way?

In a rude interruption of the spin battles over the second presidential candidates' debate, the Gallup organization published its latest estimates of trends in unemployment, and they reinforce the BLS...

By Ed Kilgore

October 17, 2012 12:26 PM The Long Pedigree of "Trickle-Down Government"

When I heard Mitt Romney refer (several times, as it happened) to the supposed Obama creed of "trickle-down government" in the first presidential candidates' debate in Denver, I figured some...

By Ed Kilgore

October 17, 2012 11:26 AM Tripping Over the Threshold Of an Actual Issue

The most intense day-after spin from the second presidential debate involves the bizarre exchange near the end when Romney accused the president of lying in saying he had referred to...

By Ed Kilgore

October 17, 2012 10:57 AM The Total Eclipse

Anyone with a sense of history has probably been struck by the remarkably skewed nature of the current national discussion (as reflected in the presidential contest) on energy and the...

By Ed Kilgore

October 17, 2012 9:25 AM Hofstra Debate Conclusions

So reactions to the second presidential candidates' debate didn't much change as they marinated overnight. The CW take remains an Obama win and a badly needed reversal of First Debate...

By Ed Kilgore

October 17, 2012 8:15 AM Daylight Video

Since we're dealing with the aftermath of another debate, to set the tone here's LMFAO with Jimmy Fallon performing the "Spin Class Song."...

By Ed Kilgore

October 16, 2012 11:19 PM Post-Debate Spin

While most conservative spinners are calling it a "draw," the MSM CW is that Obama won, and certainly exceeded expectations. Lotta talk about Obama's passion and effective counter-punching. Unlike first...

By Ed Kilgore

October 16, 2012 10:40 PM Hofstra Debate Live-Blog III

* Another non-winner for Mitt: an immigration question. He's not answering question, but is off to the races on immigration subject generally. * Huh? Romney wants kids will have path...

By Ed Kilgore

October 16, 2012 9:58 PM Hofstra Debate Live-Blog II

* Next question a high lob to Obama on pay equity. Moving kind of slow on his answer; don't think he can get to other issues important to women. On...

By Ed Kilgore

October 16, 2012 9:37 PM Hofstra Debate Live-Blog I

Brian Williams opens NBC coverage by suggesting tonight's a gut check for Obama--not Romney. Expectations creeping back up. * Candidates seem to have agreed to switch tie color scheme. *...

By Ed Kilgore

October 16, 2012 8:44 PM Second Presidential Debate Preview

So the second debate begins at 9:00 EDT, and will revolve around up to 12 pre-screened questions from undecided voters living in the general area of Hofstra University. There's some...

By Ed Kilgore

October 16, 2012 3:53 PM Pre-Debate Hiatus

So I'm suspending blogging for the afternoon, but will be back between 8:00-8:30 EDT for a preview of the debate, to be followed by live-blogging and then some analysis. Please...

By Ed Kilgore

October 16, 2012 3:44 PM Needed: A Big Theory of Managing National Challenges

Now that not much of anybody is maintaining that "debates don't matter," and with Mitt Romney having pulled slightly ahead in the RCP poll average, there's lots of advice being...

By Ed Kilgore

October 16, 2012 2:44 PM Plan-Meets-Need

Don't know how many of you debated in high school or college (I did, though not all that well), but two things that I recall from the mists of time...

By Ed Kilgore

October 16, 2012 1:40 PM Lunch Buffet

So as per usual on debate nights, I'll knock off regular blogging early this afternoon and then resume with live-blogging of the event at Hofstra. May even take a nap,...

By Ed Kilgore

October 16, 2012 1:05 PM Catbird Seat

There's a long new profile of Paul Ryan done by Mark Leibovich for the New York Times Magazine that's part campaign travelogue, part abbreviated biography, and part political analysis. The...

By Ed Kilgore

October 16, 2012 11:45 AM The I-Hate-Debates Club

As part of our preparations for watching tonight's second presidential candidates' debate, we have a moral obligation to pay attention to at least one tirade about the exaggerated importance of...

By Ed Kilgore

October 16, 2012 10:07 AM Tax "Reform" and Growth

A big part of the complicated makeover Mitt Romney is attempting (and will attempt to consummate tonight) involves connecting his fiscal agenda to some sort of argument that he will...

By Ed Kilgore

October 16, 2012 9:43 AM Poll Spin Madness

With the polls coming at us more rapidly every day, each greeted with a blare of trumpets from one camp or the other, it's very helpful to keep a few...

By Ed Kilgore

October 16, 2012 9:20 AM Frank Rich and Liberal Fatigue

Liberals whose nerves have been shot recently by this or that political development should probably just take a little time off to wallow in Frank Rich's defeatist essay at New...

By Ed Kilgore

October 16, 2012 8:03 AM Daylight Video

For a little extra energy, today we have Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band performing "Sure 'nuff 'n Yes I do" on the beach in Cannes in 1968....

By Ed Kilgore

October 15, 2012 6:19 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Truth be told, we're all just waiting for tomorrow night's second presidential debate, even though it shouldn't much matter unless Mitt Romney breaks down and confesses he's tired of his...

By Ed Kilgore

October 15, 2012 5:49 PM Mitt Romney, Non-Job-Creator

Back in August, the famous Reagan Budget Director David Stockman tore Paul Ryan a new one in an op-ed accusing his presumed doppelganger of great feats of mendacity and cowardice....

By Ed Kilgore

October 15, 2012 5:29 PM Voter ID Battles and Wars

I meant to write about this last week, but better late than never: Stateline's Josh Grovum wrote an analysis of the judicial and political struggle over voter ID laws under...

By Ed Kilgore

October 15, 2012 4:51 PM Tracking Early Voting Non-Anecdotally

So like many of you, I've casually followed early voting news from the battleground states, and had the impression that Dems were doing well in Iowa and maybe Ohio, while...

By Ed Kilgore

October 15, 2012 3:55 PM Change and "Safe Change"

Greg Sargent argues today, quoting no less an authority than Stan Greenberg, at whose feet I often sit for enlightenment, that Mitt Romney's recent polling gains, and with it a...

By Ed Kilgore

October 15, 2012 3:28 PM Non-Defense Discretionary Blues

A lot of the trouble liberals (and the MSM) have had with getting a firm handle on Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan's fiscal policies is that so much of them...

By Ed Kilgore

October 15, 2012 1:25 PM Lunch Buffet

Slowest Monday for political news in a good while, at least so far. Coupla polls, coupla dumb quotes. Some good analysis, which I'll probably be commenting on further. Here's what...

By Ed Kilgore

October 15, 2012 12:55 PM Vote For the Fraud. It's Important.

Sometimes a candidate receives an endorsement that's not exactly worth the collateral damage. That may be the case with infotainment celebrity Piers Morgan, whose assessment of Mitt's Romney's candidacy at...

By Ed Kilgore

October 15, 2012 12:10 PM Debt-a-Ganza

You never know if this sort of thing is just misdirection, but CNN's Peter Hamby is reporting today that the "message of the week" for the Romney campaign is very...

By Ed Kilgore

October 15, 2012 10:43 AM Chicken Little May Be Right

One of the memes you are going to definitely hear a lot of if the presidential contest stays close and if the turnout machines and ad campaigns ratchet up interparty...

By Ed Kilgore

October 15, 2012 9:35 AM Defining the Horse Race's New Normal

After two weeks of turbulence and furor over highly contrasting measurements of the presidential contest--not just by polls, but via CW--today's new WaPo/ABC and Politico/Battleground/GWU national surveys arrive today with...

By Ed Kilgore

October 15, 2012 8:15 AM Daylight Video

Just getting ready for another fine week of politics on the Tube: Here's the Mothers of Invention performing "Trouble Every Day" with images from the 1965 and 1992 riots in...

By Ed Kilgore

October 14, 2012 8:24 PM Koch brother who is a big Romney donor is accused of imprisoning employee

Holy crap! A former employee of right-wing billionaire William Koch has filed a lawsuit alleging that his employer kidnapped and imprisoned him, in an incident that lasted for days. The...

By Kathleen Geier

October 14, 2012 7:01 PM Most outrageous lie I've heard all week (and maybe all year) . . .

is this, from an editorial in The Economist: no Wall Street financier has done as much damage to American social mobility as the teachers’ unions have. How is this wrong?...

By Kathleen Geier

October 14, 2012 2:04 PM Weekend blogging: true crime edition

I am a woman of many strange interests and hobbies; one of these is that I am something of a true crime buff. I am fascinated by famous crimes, and...

By Kathleen Geier

October 14, 2012 12:13 PM The AP: deliberately offensive, or just braindead?

Question that the Asscociated Press will never ask: Do White People Support Romney Because He's White? Free answer: yes!! A more interesting question: is the AP deliberately trolling us with...

By Kathleen Geier

October 14, 2012 10:22 AM Sexism at the New York Times Magazine; or, it's the little things

By now, some of you may have heard about the controversy concerning sexist comments made by New York Times Magazine writer Andrew Goldman. Goldman, who writes the weekly interview column...

By Kathleen Geier

October 14, 2012 9:17 AM Must-read op-ed of the day: "The Self-Destruction of the 1 Percent"

Financial reporter Chystia Freeland has an excellent op-ed in today's New York Times. It concerns a very important subject, which is the way that, in highly unequal societies like our...

By Kathleen Geier

October 13, 2012 2:18 PM She's baaacck . . . Salon's interminable interview with Camille Paglia

You know, as a humble weekend blogger, I sometimes struggle about what in the world I should write about. Weekends are often slow news periods, and frequently I am at...

By Kathleen Geier

October 13, 2012 12:15 PM Dept. of WTF: the EU wins Nobel Peace Prize! Really!!

I haven't seen much about this in most of the political blogs I frequent, but the Nobel committee's decision to award this year's Peace Prize to the European Union strikes...

By Kathleen Geier

October 13, 2012 10:45 AM A troll unmasked: the riveting tale of Reddit's notorious Violentacrez

I have to say, one of the most deeply satisfying web posts I have ever read has got to be this one, posted yesterday, in which Gawker's Adrian Chen unmasks...

By Kathleen Geier

October 13, 2012 9:14 AM Must-watch video of the day: "I had an abortion . . . or maybe I didn't"

The anti-abortion movement has had many triumphs; one of the most unfortunate ones is that they have driven the millions of women who have had abortions back into the closet....

By Kathleen Geier

October 12, 2012 5:44 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

Looks like we'll barely be finished with This Week's Debate before speculation about Next Week's Debate begins. As a writer, I love close elections; as a citizen, not so much....

By Ed Kilgore

October 12, 2012 4:54 PM The Hero, Diminished

I've been wondering ever since Moderate Mitt came out of hiding after five years to beat his chest during the first presidential debate whether there'd be some serious conservative blowback....

By Ed Kilgore

October 12, 2012 4:22 PM Can't "Negotiate" What Doesn't Exist

There's a fair amount of buzz today about a Bloomberg column by Josh Barro that conducts a definitive smackdown on the Romney's tax proposal and the idea that Mitt can...

By Ed Kilgore

October 12, 2012 4:01 PM Bipartisanship in a Romney Administration

I've probably yelled enough about the mendacity of Mitt Romney's claims last week that he'd "sit down with Democrats" the day after the election and start charting a bipartisan path...

By Ed Kilgore

October 12, 2012 3:11 PM The Cannonball

Just did an appearance on KCRW's fine show "To the Point," and tried to make the point that Joe Biden's accomplishment wasn't just a matter of "aggressiveness," but of a...

By Ed Kilgore

October 12, 2012 1:39 PM Lunch Buffet

So shortly after I decided to "adopt" the Bay Area teams in the MLB post-season, the Giants made the cut but the A's didn't. And while I'm not an obsessive...

By Ed Kilgore

October 12, 2012 12:58 PM Better Late Than Never For Gallup

So right in the middle of all the yelling and screaming over polling methodologies, Gallup responds to long-standing criticisms (particularly from Mark Blumenthal) and changes its ways of choose its...

By Ed Kilgore

October 12, 2012 12:20 PM Eddie Haskell Moments

Assessments of the overall debate aside, a fun aspect of watching it was to look for Eddie Haskell moments where Paul Ryan tried to fool Mrs. Cleaver. "I just think...

By Ed Kilgore

October 12, 2012 10:58 AM Reproductive Rights As a Trifle

While we are on the subject of abortion policy, Michael Barone's take on the Veep debate included a cynical thought that you often hear expressed by "sophisticated" conservatives who figure...

By Ed Kilgore

October 12, 2012 10:16 AM The "Catholic Question" in the Biden/Ryan Debate

The final question posed in last night's Veep debate was the most skewed, even if moderator Martha Raddatz rationalized it by noting this was the first time two Catholics had...

By Ed Kilgore

October 12, 2012 9:43 AM Leaving It All on the Field

Having slept on it, and read this morning's ruminations from near and far, I haven't had any blazing new insights on last night's vice-presidential debate, but am convinced more than...

By Ed Kilgore

October 12, 2012 8:30 AM Daylight Video

As the political season's intensity reaches a new level, here's Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie performing "Hot House" in 1952....

By Ed Kilgore

October 11, 2012 11:29 PM Post-Spin Veep Debate Assessment

Before too many readers lay into me for failing to immediately score this as a big Biden win, I'll remind you I didn't think Romney did all that well in...

By Ed Kilgore

October 11, 2012 10:39 PM React Before Spin

Well, can't see anyone calling this a big win. Ryan will, as I predicted, get props for "holding his own" re foreign policy. He was also fluid and stuck to...

By Ed Kilgore

October 11, 2012 10:32 PM Veep Live-Blogging V

Abrupt switch to abortion, with narrow framing of how candidates' Catholicism affected views. * Ryan off to the races w/personal story. Makes Romney policy sound moderate. And now switches to...

By Ed Kilgore

October 11, 2012 10:14 PM Veep Live-Blogging IV

Suddenly off to defense spending. * Biden does good job hitting Ryan on sequester and defense spending generally. * Afghanistan: Ryan spends some time making sure Romney's failure to mention...

By Ed Kilgore

October 11, 2012 9:55 PM Veep Live-Blogging III

* Biden off to the races on taxes. Threw an awful lot out there for Ryan to deal with. * Ryan does the "ain't enough money for rich people to...

By Ed Kilgore

October 11, 2012 9:44 PM Veep Live-Blogging II

* Onto economy now, and Biden hitting narly every single point Obama faulted for failing to make against Romney--inherited mess, auto bailout, 47%, Ryan's "takers" comments, etc., etc. * Ryan...

By Ed Kilgore

October 11, 2012 9:22 PM Veep Live-Blogging I

Well, Biden gets a nasty opening pitch from Raddatz: Do Libya killings represent massive intelligence failure? * Biden very smooth in shifting to broad national security case for administration, and...

By Ed Kilgore

October 11, 2012 8:36 PM The Veep Debate Preview

I don't have much of an idea what to expect tonight, other than Joe Biden exhibiting all the stylistic qualities Barack Obama failed to exhibit last week in Denver, and...

By Ed Kilgore

October 11, 2012 4:01 PM Pre-Debate Hiatus

Okay, you know the drill: I'm going to take some time off to recharge the batteries and read up a bit more, but will be back to live-blog the Biden-Ryan...

By Ed Kilgore

October 11, 2012 3:41 PM Did Voters Already Think Mitt's a Moderate?

Well, just as I was getting settled into my theory that Mitt's perceived "move to the center" was a pretty big strategic deal, along comes John Sides with at least...

By Ed Kilgore

October 11, 2012 2:47 PM Merchants of Death

Like my friend and sometimes colleague Harold Pollack of the University of Chicago, I've tended to get a lot angrier at Mitt Romney for policy positions that will undoubtedly hurt...

By Ed Kilgore

October 11, 2012 2:09 PM Lunch Buffet

So today we'll have the usual Special Evening Event drill of an early suspension of blogging followed by live-blogging of tonight's Biden-Ryan debate. I'd recommend PA as a superior and...

By Ed Kilgore

October 11, 2012 1:30 PM Truth-Telling As Fascism

It's getting a lot of derisive attention today, but let me add my own hilarity to the general reaction to Daniel Henninger's Wall Street Journal column today suggesting that people...

By Ed Kilgore

October 11, 2012 11:45 AM Cutting Through the Fog of Political War

I've read quite a few "what to watch for" or "why it matters" or "why ___ will win" pieces on tonight's vice presidential candidates' debate, and it's obvious that the...

By Ed Kilgore

October 11, 2012 10:52 AM No Alternative To Crazy

In the wake of national shock and hilarity over the latest antics of United States Representative Paul Broun, Jr., a man who makes Allen West look reasonable and well-informed, Charlie...

By Ed Kilgore

October 11, 2012 10:20 AM That's "Medicaid," Not Medicare

Regular readers know that I'm more than a little cranky about the ancient habit of Democrats of raising heaven and hell to defend the Medicare program while ignoring threats to...

By Ed Kilgore

October 11, 2012 8:53 AM Debate Prep

I'm sure Team Obama is aware of the heightened stakes for tonight's vice presidential debate given the interminable hype and spin associated with the first presidential debate, which could harden...

By Ed Kilgore

October 11, 2012 8:14 AM Daylight Video

A little song of encouragement for Joe Biden tonight: MC5 performing "Kick Out the Jams" at Wayne State University back in the day....

By Ed Kilgore

October 10, 2012 5:41 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Just heard thunder, and wondered, What are those booming noises? Love the weather here! Meanwhile, here are some final news items for this mid-week day: * Another poll to throw...

By Ed Kilgore

October 10, 2012 5:03 PM The Seminar

So the Supreme Court's oral arguments in the case of Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin have ended pretty much where they started, with Justice Kennedy getting to decide...

By Ed Kilgore

October 10, 2012 4:31 PM Separating the Debate Wheat From the Debate Chaff

As Ezra Klein explained this morning at Wonkblog, the Romney poll surge after last week's debate is being excessively touted to "prove" that the political science consensus that debates usually...

By Ed Kilgore

October 10, 2012 3:04 PM Broun's Crazy-Talk Just About "Religion," Not Science or Politics

Faithful readers may recall that I lost it a bit last Friday in reaction to watching a video of Rep. Paul Broun, Jr. (R-GA) speaking to a Baptist Sportsmen's group...

By Ed Kilgore

October 10, 2012 2:30 PM When Political Journalism Wasn't An Echo Chamber

American political journalism hasn't exactly showered itself with glory lately. The snail's-eye-view treatment of elections as tactical battles revolving around "game-changing" events and polls rather than as national decisions on...

By Ed Kilgore

October 10, 2012 1:46 PM Lunch Buffet

Slow political news morning. Guess we need some more polls. But here's what I got in the pantry: * SCOTUSblog offers "half-time report" on oral arguments in the Texas college...

By Ed Kilgore

October 10, 2012 1:15 PM Abortion, the Supreme Court, and the Long Game

I've already written today about the mendacity of Mitt Romney's comment that legislation restricting abortion rights wasn't part of "his agenda," and wondered whether any of his anti-choicer allies would...

By Ed Kilgore

October 10, 2012 12:20 PM The Loneliness of the Long-Form Writer

It's probably still a bit too early to conclude that the first presidential candidates' debate had a genuinely seismic impact on the contest, but at some point the perception that...

By Ed Kilgore

October 10, 2012 11:21 AM Will Republicans Exploit College Admissions Case?

As you probably know, the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments today in a case that many have predicted will produce a judicial ban, or at least major new...

By Ed Kilgore

October 10, 2012 10:46 AM Post-Election Truthers

At Slate yesterday, election-law wizard Rick Hasen raised a question that's been in the back of a lot of minds lately: will conservatives accept an adverse result on November 6,...

By Ed Kilgore

October 10, 2012 9:40 AM Moderate This Statement

So Moderate Mitt Romney told the editorial board of the Des Moines Register yesterday that he had no interest in promoting anti-abortion legislation as president: “There’s no legislation with regards...

By Ed Kilgore

October 10, 2012 8:23 AM Daylight Video

One of those mornings when I look at the political news and think: "Is this the Stupid Election or what?" So here's the Sex Pistols with "Pretty Vacant," performed in...

By Ed Kilgore

October 09, 2012 5:57 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Just ran across a conservative blog that suggested of me that "Someone should crush this guy's skull with one of Obama's teleprompters." So I went on his comment thread and...

By Ed Kilgore

October 09, 2012 5:45 PM Event Video: Making College Cheaper and Better

Recently we had an event at the New America foundation. The panelists included: Stephen Burd, a New America scholar, who explained his plan for abolishing the student loan repo man...

By Ryan Cooper

October 09, 2012 5:26 PM No Struggle For Soul of GOP On Tap

I'm working on a longer piece about this for TNR, but since Matt Bai addressed it today, I'll go ahead and state the semi-obvious: no, if Mitt Romney loses on...

By Ed Kilgore

October 09, 2012 4:58 PM Waste, Fraud, Abuse and Big Bird

It is one of the most firmly established facts in U.S. politics that steady majorities of Americans dislike "government spending" as an abstract matter, but approve of most actual spending...

By Ed Kilgore

October 09, 2012 3:50 PM The Hack Gap

As I noted earlier, my esteemed predecessor Kevin Drum touched off a bit of a blogospheric firestorm by suggesting last night that the liberal commentariat's garment-rending criticism of Barack Obama's...

By Ed Kilgore

October 09, 2012 2:46 PM Bring Out the Hand Puppets

I greatly admire policy wonks who go to the trouble to try to explain their work to non-policy-wonks. It's not a universal trait of the breed, by any means; indeed,...

By Ed Kilgore

October 09, 2012 1:34 PM Lunch Buffet

Beautiful morning here on the Central Coast. Tourists on ocean walking trail don't seem perturbed by the Pew Poll. Here are some mid-day political morsels: * Gallup one-day tracking poll...

By Ed Kilgore

October 09, 2012 12:58 PM Next Up In Conservative Spin: The Romney "Wave"

You gotta hand it to conservative gabbers: they don't often lose touch with their long-term objectives. Here's Hugh Hewitt quickly pocketing the "Romney surge" as though it is an established...

By Ed Kilgore

October 09, 2012 12:20 PM "Moderate Mitt" and His Promises

Don't mean to be a crank about this, but as I've feared, the "Moderate Mitt Meme" is being widely accepted in the MSM and many liberal precincts (though not, by...

By Ed Kilgore

October 09, 2012 11:23 AM Ann 'n' Tagg Reintroduce Moderate Mitt as Conservatives Cheer

You had to feel this was coming: with polls showing at least a momentary Romney surge, someone within the campaign had to get credit for engineering the big, "game-changing" shift...

By Ed Kilgore

October 09, 2012 10:43 AM Slow Rise of the Religiously Unaffiliated

Well, the latest presidential horse-race poll isn't the only notable new offering from the Pew public opinion empire. A big new survey from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public...

By Ed Kilgore

October 09, 2012 9:47 AM The Pew Poll and Confirmation Bias

In the Daylight Video, I was reacting to the first look at the aggregators this morning, which showed plenty of gloating among conservatives about favorable poll numbers for Romney late...

By Ed Kilgore

October 09, 2012 8:17 AM Daylight Video

Got up this morning expecting hordes of conservatives in the streets raising a primitive, bone-chilling war cry: the election is over because of the Pew Poll! The Pew Poll! Instead...

By Ed Kilgore

October 08, 2012 6:25 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Okay, for this federal holiday I'm calling it a day with a tenth post. Hasn't been much political news today, but here are some final items: * TAP's Paul Waldman...

By Ed Kilgore

October 08, 2012 5:32 PM Being Hated On

In a Daily Beast column suggesting that all of Obama's recent Big Television Appearances (the convention speech, the 60 Minutes interview, and the debate) show a pattern, Mike Tomasky nestles...

By Ed Kilgore

October 08, 2012 4:49 PM Pew's Perfect Post-Debate Window

If you haven't heard about this yet, you will soon, probably from some of the same gabbers who were complaining just last week that the polls were all biased for...

By Ed Kilgore

October 08, 2012 3:46 PM Not Real Complicated

Poll Denialism has subsided a bit since Romney began making gains last last week, but here it is again from John Nolte at Breitbart.com, in a form whose perversity really...

By Ed Kilgore

October 08, 2012 1:38 PM Lunch Buffet

* Krugman supplies definitive smackdown of BLS truthers. Link and send to friends and family circulating crazy emails on this crazy meme. * Whoa! Latest Gallup tracking poll shows Obama...

By Ed Kilgore

October 08, 2012 1:06 PM Not-So-Clear Eyes

Interesting that the very morning Mitt Romney delivers yet another Big Foreign Policy Speech that could have been (and for all I know, might have been) ghost-written by John Bolton,...

By Ed Kilgore

October 08, 2012 11:58 AM Money and Magic

So the prepared text for Mitt Romney's latest "big foreign policy speech," this time at VMI, is now available, and if there is anything new in it, it sure doesn't...

By Ed Kilgore

October 08, 2012 11:08 AM More On the "Moderate Mitt" Meme

As I am sure you know, there is a rapidly congealing MSM meme that in last week's first presidential debate, Mitt Romney shook himself loose of his reactionary party and...

By Ed Kilgore

October 08, 2012 9:58 AM What It Always Was

Despite the excitement of Republicans (and horse-race-frenzied pundits of every variety) over the first presidential debate, anyone looking at the race seriously knew we'd have a wait a few days...

By Ed Kilgore

October 08, 2012 8:30 AM Daylight Video

Happy Columbus Day, especially to our Italian brothers and sisters! This being a federal holiday (and one that has always been celebrated a lot more thoroughly in Washington than in...

By Ed Kilgore

October 07, 2012 5:11 PM Can We Force Men to be Better Dads?

A new round in our ongoing national conversation about the "end of men" has kicked off in the past month. First, Hanna Rosin released her eponymous book on the subject....

By Simon van Zuylen-Wood

October 07, 2012 3:24 PM The Corruption of Crowds

I'm not fond of the notion that the "crowds" are inherently "wise." Sure, InTrade works pretty well. But that only tells us that crowds are pretty good at predicting binary...

By Simon van Zuylen-Wood

October 07, 2012 1:05 PM How an Obama Victory Hurts Republican Men

In response to habitual conservative claims that polling firms are cooking the books in Obama's favor, Jon Chait recently made the case that poll denialism was understandable, even if its...

By Simon van Zuylen-Wood

October 07, 2012 12:32 PM Google's Do-Gooder Myth

By Simon van Zuylen-Wood

October 07, 2012 9:50 AM Real Live Voter Fraud

Jaded by relentless GOP vote suppression efforts directed towards phantom voter impersonators, it's easy to forget that real fraud actually happens. Today Adam Liptak of the New York Times surveys...

By Simon van Zuylen-Wood

October 07, 2012 8:06 AM Daylight Video: Big Bird Speaks

No longer content to sit idly by while the commentariat uses him as a political talking point, Big Bird finally speaks out on "Saturday Night Live."...

By Simon van Zuylen-Wood

October 06, 2012 6:00 PM The Unorthodox Extremism of Mitt's Education Policy

For the most part, Mitt Romney's education platform—a move away from Bush and Obama's federal accountability measures-- reflects contemporary GOP orthodoxy. To a lesser degree, he has spoken favorably about...

By Simon van Zuylen-Wood

October 06, 2012 2:24 PM Saving State Money, One Charles Manson Acolyte at a Time

"A former Charles Manson follower who was imprisoned for a double murder engineered by Manson won a recommendation of parole Thursday after 40 years in prison."--CBS News, October 5, 2012....

By Simon van Zuylen-Wood

October 06, 2012 12:40 PM Romney's Bay State Love Affair with PBS

It's old news by now that Mitt Romney wants to fire Big Bird (and Rick Santorum wants to eat him, apparently) by cutting federal subsidies to PBS, where Sesame Street...

By Simon van Zuylen-Wood

October 06, 2012 10:50 AM Biden to the Rescue?

After Obama's downer performance in Denver, what could be worse for Chicago than a looming vice-presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan? In one corner the goofy, irrepressible gaffemeister;...

By Simon van Zuylen-Wood

October 06, 2012 10:10 AM Vatileaks, Ctd, Ctd.

Last weekend, I highlighted the return of the Vatileaks story, as ex-Papal butler Paolo Gabriele (one of fewer than ten men with access to the Pontiff's personal elevator) went on...

By Simon van Zuylen-Wood

October 06, 2012 7:42 AM Daylight Video: Romney Gangnam Style!

Galvanized by his strong debate performance, Mitt Romney's gone Gangnam:...

By Simon van Zuylen-Wood

October 05, 2012 5:25 PM Days End and Weekend Watch

Another wild week as we all mosey along in the great cattle drive of life. Who knows if the political thunder and lightning around us mean anything? Yeah, I need...

By Ed Kilgore

October 05, 2012 5:01 PM Quote of the Day: The Avignon Presidency

Sometimes a writer comes up with a sentence that summarizes the broader meaning of the day's news so well there's not much you can add. Here's Dave Weigel: The way...

By Ed Kilgore

October 05, 2012 4:31 PM Another Fine Scientist on the Hill

So you think a level 85 orc running for office is scary? Consider the prevailing community standards, wherein the great biologist and women's health advocate Todd Akin sits on the...

By Ed Kilgore

October 05, 2012 3:54 PM Orc Disses Grover!

Ah, well, it's Friday afternoon, so time for a little Political News of the Weird, from Maine via The Note: These days a completely original line of attack in politics...

By Ed Kilgore

October 05, 2012 3:32 PM Will BLS Trutherism Backfire?

Well, I had hoped for better news fare, but the BLS Truthers are kind of blotting out the sun at the moment, infecting a lot of people who should know...

By Ed Kilgore

October 05, 2012 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Jobs report got day off to a quick start, but now political discourse degenerating fast thanks to BLS Truthers. Just amazing. But here are some other mid-day news bites: *...

By Ed Kilgore

October 05, 2012 12:29 PM Could Hugo Chavez Finally Lose?

I'm not any sort of expert on Latin American politics, much less the complicated landscape of Hugo Chavez's Venezuela. But with elections on tap there Sunday, I was fascinated to...

By Ed Kilgore

October 05, 2012 12:11 PM The Double Whammy On Big Bird

Like a lot of debate viewers, I thought "unforced error" when Mitt Romney made his little joke about PBS funding during the debate on Wednesday night. It was sure to...

By Ed Kilgore

October 05, 2012 10:55 AM No, Romney Did Not "Move to the Center" in Debate

Before it becomes a kind of Fact-Made-Fact-By-Repetition, I'd like to challenge the much-assumed idea that in the first presidential debate Mitt Romney "moved to the center" in a real, substantive...

By Ed Kilgore

October 05, 2012 9:29 AM BLS Truthers

You expect this sort of thing from the more distant regions of the fever swamps, but not from an American business titan: Former General Electric Co. (GE) Chief Executive Officer...

By Ed Kilgore

October 05, 2012 8:44 AM Unemployment Rate Finally Drops Below 8%

Well, the September Jobs Report is out, and it's pretty good for a change. Net job growth is pegged at 114,000 right on the nose of most predictions. But upward...

By Ed Kilgore

October 05, 2012 8:18 AM Daylight Video

For no particular reason other than a feeling, here's the Beatles with "A Day in the Life."...

By Ed Kilgore

October 04, 2012 6:52 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Wrote this a while ago but wanted to let Paul's post stay up top longer. Then like an idiot, unplugged the iMac (to move it) without saving! Time for a...

By Ed Kilgore

October 04, 2012 5:56 PM Why Last Night’s Debate was a Replay of the First Bush/Gore 2000 Debate

This morning on the BBC I was asked why the “great communicator” Barack Obama had done so poorly in last night’s debate. It suggested several reasons. Partly, I said, it...

By Paul Glastris

October 04, 2012 5:49 PM What To Expect From the September Jobs Report

So in a ritual that's getting mighty old by now, not only the financial world, but the whole hep political world, will be hitting the refresh button on the Bureau...

By Ed Kilgore

October 04, 2012 5:09 PM Right Out of the Bush/Rove Playbook

Those of us who think this election is a referendum on George W. Bush as well as on Barack Obama or Mitt Romney aren't just arguing this would be an...

By Ed Kilgore

October 04, 2012 4:40 PM Political Boss

Without question, one of the oldest games in American politics is the habit of employers--public and private--to use the implicit or explicit threat of job losses to pressure employees into...

By Ed Kilgore

October 04, 2012 3:14 PM Telling A Story Washington Still Needs To Hear

As regular readers know, we are inordinately proud here at the Washington Monthly of our history, our mission, and the array of fine journalists who got their training and made...

By Ed Kilgore

October 04, 2012 2:32 PM The Audacity of Mendacity

We have four weeks and five days before Election Day, with more and more people casting early votes each day that goes by. There are two more presidential debates, a...

By Ed Kilgore

October 04, 2012 1:47 PM Lunch Buffet

After blogging pretty late last night, dreamed about the debate all night, waking up tired but with no new insights. What really depresses me is the day or two of...

By Ed Kilgore

October 04, 2012 12:32 PM "Domestic Policy"

At least one more thought about last night's debate, if you don't mind: aside from "the 47%" and Bain Capital, there were a lot of topics most of us expected...

By Ed Kilgore

October 04, 2012 12:05 PM Why Obama Didn't Go After Mitt

A lot of progressives are very upset today that in last night's first presidential debate the President did not mention Romney "Boca Moment," or tie his criticisms of companies outsourcing...

By Ed Kilgore

October 04, 2012 10:31 AM One Percent Honesty

Krugman's right: in the grand scale of things, Romney's repetition last night of the lie that his "health care plan" takes care of people with pre-existing conditions was more egregious...

By Ed Kilgore

October 04, 2012 9:41 AM Mitt Gets Away With It--For Now

So other than the fading echoes of Republican celebration and Democratic angst from last night's presidential debate, and the wait we will now have to endure to see if it...

By Ed Kilgore

October 04, 2012 8:29 AM Daylight Video

In tribute to Mitt Romney's latest reinvention last night, here's Pearl Jam with "Sleight of Hand."...

By Ed Kilgore

October 03, 2012 11:05 PM Spin Room

I gather from brief glances at Twitter and initial reaction at NBC that Mitt won pretty big on style points. A lot of progressives are beside themselves that Obama didn't...

By Ed Kilgore

October 03, 2012 10:33 PM Debate Live-Blog V: Role of Government & Closings

Guess Lehrer's going to snuff Segment VI, so we won't find out how he views difference between "role of government" and "governing." * BHO may be filibustering a bit here....

By Ed Kilgore

October 03, 2012 10:10 PM Debate Live Blog IV: Health Care

* Mitt's indictment of Obamacare inexplicably omits slavery of individual mandate. * BHO on Obamacare: "Insurance companies can't jerk you around." I like that one. * Mitt's excitement at memorizing...

By Ed Kilgore

October 03, 2012 9:54 PM Debate Live-Blog III: Third Economic Segment

* BHO misses opportunity to mention that Paul Ryan author of Social Security privatization proposal. * Obama very professorial on Medicare. Needs a little more passion. * Was about to...

By Ed Kilgore

October 03, 2012 9:26 PM Debate Live-Blog II: Second Segment

First segment ran way, way over. This one is on deficit. * Mitt promises to croak Big Bird. Don't quite know why he had to point that out. * Glad...

By Ed Kilgore

October 03, 2012 8:59 PM Debate Live-Blog I: First 15-Minute Segment

* Romney wins coin toss and will get final closing statement. * Blue tie for BHO, red tie for Mitt. That's so you can tell them apart. * Interesting framing...

By Ed Kilgore

October 03, 2012 8:42 PM Pre-Debate Crankiness

According to BuzzFeed's McKay Coppins, Mitt Romney got "virtually no sleep" on Monday night thanks to freight trains that kept barreling past his hotel. I can relate. Was going to...

By Ed Kilgore

October 03, 2012 4:13 PM Pre-Debate Hiatus

As indicated earlier, I'm taking a break from blogging until around 8:30 PM EDT, when I'll begin live-blogging the first presidential debate (which formally begins at 9:00). One of my...

By Ed Kilgore

October 03, 2012 4:11 PM The Bible Tells Me So!

At Religion Dispatches Sarah Posner has a very thorough post on the latest efforts of conservative evangelicals to push for a broader religion-based exemption from HHS rules mandating contraception coverage...

By Ed Kilgore

October 03, 2012 2:53 PM Fred Barnes, Mine Canary

Today I read about the eightieth column (and maybe the twentieth just in the Wall Street Journal) from a conservative telling Mitt Romney he has to "go large" and get...

By Ed Kilgore

October 03, 2012 1:52 PM Lunch Buffet

Just did BBC Radio 4, providing my brief thoughts on the debates. The Republican participant (didn't catch her last name very clearly, but her first name was "Jennifer," which created...

By Ed Kilgore

October 03, 2012 12:58 PM No Such Thing As a "Statistical Tie"

Now that a couple of national polls have come out showing Romney moving a bit closer to Obama, we're beginning to hear that ol' chestnut: "The presidential race is in...

By Ed Kilgore

October 03, 2012 12:20 PM Can Romney Call Bush a Liberal?

I suggested yesterday that the debate question Mitt Romney really can't convincingly answer is: "“Governor Romney, how exactly do your economic policies differ from those of George W. Bush?” At...

By Ed Kilgore

October 03, 2012 11:27 AM "Zingers" That Aren't

The professed intention of the Romney campaign to deploy a few well-rehearsed "zingers" in tonight's first presidential debate doesn't deserve anything like the attention it's getting. Of course they think...

By Ed Kilgore

October 03, 2012 10:43 AM Ryan's Boca Lite Moment

Brother Steve Benen casts his usual bright spotlight this morning on a speech given by Paul Ryan about this time last year at an American Spectator event (first brought to...

By Ed Kilgore

October 03, 2012 9:39 AM Barack Obama: Bigger and Blacker Than Ever!

I suppose I have to say something about the nastiness that emanated from conservative media yesterday about a previously chewed-over speech then-senator Barack Obama made in Virginia in 2007. The...

By Ed Kilgore

October 03, 2012 9:10 AM The Run-Up To Friday's Jobs Report

Friday's September Jobs Report is perhaps the last predictable external event that could affect the presidential contest. Yes, there will be one more of the suckers the Friday before Election...

By Ed Kilgore

October 03, 2012 8:24 AM Daylight Video

After meditating for a bit on Matt Drudge's distinctive contributions to political discourse, I decided to go in his honor with a Pixies performance of "Debaser" in Brixton, 1991....

By Ed Kilgore

October 02, 2012 5:26 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Five weeks until Election Day. Sounds like an eternity now, but time will fly when we are not having fun. Here are some news remainders from a relatively slow day:...

By Ed Kilgore

October 02, 2012 5:11 PM Arithmetic

Having already internalized the fact that Romney and Ryan routinely lie about their fiscal proposals, I haven't paid very close attention to the sleuthing efforts of various analysts to prove...

By Ed Kilgore

October 02, 2012 4:13 PM Miracle Mitt's Debate Plan

Anyone interested in a take from the Romney camp about what he intends to accomplish in tomorrow night's debate should definitely read Robert Costa's preview at National Review based on...

By Ed Kilgore

October 02, 2012 3:22 PM Verbal Sauce For the Gander

The ever-insightful Paul Waldman has a useful piece up at MSNBC today offering a personal typology of campaign "gaffes," ranging from "The Head Scratcher" to "The Opinion Clearly Expressed, Then...

By Ed Kilgore

October 02, 2012 2:38 PM The Mississippi Model

I noted earlier today, as I often do, that if the race-to-the-bottom keep-business-costs-as-low-as-possible approach to economic growth now being championed by the GOP made sense, then Mississippi would be the...

By Ed Kilgore

October 02, 2012 2:18 PM The College Guide on MSNBC

We've been doing our college rankings issue since 2005, and it seems that we've managed to break into the national discourse a bit more than usual this year. US News...

By Ryan Cooper

October 02, 2012 1:33 PM Lunch Buffet

Already getting bored with debate previews. They're bringing back bad memories of those dozens of GOP primary debates I had to watch. But here are some mid-day diversions: * You...

By Ed Kilgore

October 02, 2012 12:32 PM State Elections Offer Superior ROI

There's an interesting WaPo piece today by T.W. Farnam concerning a million-dollar investment by the Koch Brothers' Americans for Prosperity in, of all places, Arkansas: Arkansas is not a battleground...

By Ed Kilgore

October 02, 2012 11:58 AM Nothing To Say On the Economy

Ezra Klein absolutely nailed it yesterday in his assessment of what Mitt Romney needs to provide in the debates but can't: [H]e needs to do more than convince voters that...

By Ed Kilgore

October 02, 2012 11:17 AM The Debate Question Mitt Can't Answer

We've heard repeatedly that Team Romney has developed and honed some "zingers" for tomorrow night's first candidate debate. Since Mitt is not exactly a natural comedian, you'd have to figure...

By Ed Kilgore

October 02, 2012 10:40 AM Imperfect Vessel

Political campaigns have a lot of tools for determining targets of opportunity in the electorate. The real difficulty comes in assessing the weight to assign to each. In the end,...

By Ed Kilgore

October 02, 2012 9:29 AM Liberal! Liberal! Liberal!

Having looked (via Greg Sargent) at Mitt Romney's latest campaign ad, I'm feeling a strong sense of deja vu. To be more precise, I'm feeling very 1986, the year no...

By Ed Kilgore

October 02, 2012 7:58 AM Daylight Video

Given the season, just had to post this video of one of the great early British Invasion bands, the Hollies, on Hullabaloo, framed as a football team. The song, "Look...

By Ed Kilgore

October 01, 2012 5:49 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Good to get to the end of another spin-dominated, low-actual-news day, and closer not only to the first debate, but to next weekend's pivotal Georgia-South Carolina game. Here are some...

By Ed Kilgore

October 01, 2012 4:40 PM Young Voters and New Voters

As noted earlier today, one important variable for Democrats on November 6 is the size of the under-30 vote, a huge asset in 2008. But as a moment's reflection should...

By Ed Kilgore

October 01, 2012 3:46 PM Unsurprised

Playing off a very entertaining Kevin Drum post on the dismal history of "October Surprises" (dating all the way back to 1940!), Jonathan Bernstein offers a fine encapsulation of why...

By Ed Kilgore

October 01, 2012 3:05 PM Choice-iness

Amidst the strategic confusion surrounding the Romney/Ryan campaign--I say "surrounding," because while it's clear it has infected Mitt's intended echo chamber, we don't actually know if they are as internally...

By Ed Kilgore

October 01, 2012 1:58 PM Free College Guide Event Wednesday

In case you haven't heard, we're holding our annual College Guide event this Wednesday, October 3rd at the New America Foundation here in DC. We'll be talking about college and...

By Ryan Cooper

October 01, 2012 1:54 PM Lunch Buffet

For an entire week of family visits, skies were cloudy and foggy here on the Central Coast. No one to show around this week, and the weather is absolutely perfect....

By Ed Kilgore

October 01, 2012 1:16 PM GOTV and the Obama Electorate

While the general consensus of observers outside the wingnutosphere is that the shape of the two parties' coalitions are beginning to strikingly resemble those who voted in 2008 (which does...

By Ed Kilgore

October 01, 2012 12:52 PM Public-Sector Vandals

sabotate There's a natural tendency, certainly shared by the MSM, that in an era of partisan gridlock, particular election results may not really matter. If Mitt Romney wins the presidency,...

By Ed Kilgore

October 01, 2012 11:09 AM Benghazi Truthers

Now and then you read a report from "within" a presidential campaign that strains credulity to the point where you wonder if it was deliberately put out as disinformation. That's...

By Ed Kilgore

October 01, 2012 10:00 AM Here Come the Warm Jets

Here's the New York Times' brief description of the economic statistics we will be hearing about in the course of this week: Data to be released include the I.S.M. [Institute...

By Ed Kilgore

October 01, 2012 9:22 AM No Daylight

Since Mitt Romney has decided, for reasons that are a bit obscure, to make foreign policy a major focus of his campaign at this sensitive moment of the presidential contest,...

By Ed Kilgore

October 01, 2012 7:40 AM Daylight Video

On general principles of nervous patriotism, here's the Grateful Dead performing "U.S. Blues" at Winterland in 1974....

By Ed Kilgore

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