Political Animal


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

By Ed Kilgore

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 multiple political personalities.

But here are some final items of this day, consequential or not:

* For some reason, Pew is issuing a “second debate expectations” poll with Obama still rated most likely winner but by a reduced 41/37 margin.

* Statewide candidate in Pennsylvania calls on supporters to form “Christian Army.”

* At WaPo, Jamelle Bouie explodes the silly argument that African-American supporters of Barack Obama are racists.

* At Ten Miles Square, Harold Pollack asks an obvious but rarely uttered question: why not broaden the tax base without reducing rates?

* At College Guide, Daniel Luzer notes U.S. businesses not willing to pay more for the “highly-skilled workers” they claim they need.

And in non-political news:

* Impossible to resist: photo of Hunter Thompson shaving Johnny Depp’s head for appearance in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

I’m storing up some Big Think pieces for tomorrow’s run-up to the debate. And Lord help me, yes, I’ll be live-blogging that sucker.


Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Joe Friday on October 15, 2012 6:44 PM:

    "Harold Pollack asks an obvious but rarely uttered question: why not broaden the tax base without reducing rates?"

    The even MORE obvious but rarely uttered question: Why do either ?

    The Middle-class did not run-up our massive federal debt, so why "broaden the tax base" (code for raising taxes on the Middle-class) ?

    The overwhelming majority of our current federal debt was as a result of the massive decline in federal income tax revenue caused by the numerous rounds of tax cuts that overwhelmingly benefited the Rich & Corporate enacted by Chimpy Bush and the Republican Congressional Majority.

  • Deceiveth Ryan on October 15, 2012 7:56 PM:

    Danger, Will Robinson:

    From the debate:

    Paul Ryan uttered “I don’t see how a person can separate their public life from their private life or from their faith. Our faith informs us in everything we do.”

    His statement inherently conflicts with the separation of church and state.

    Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

  • Halloween boos for Romney/Ryan/Issa on October 15, 2012 8:06 PM:

    Saw Darrell Issa on Bill Maher's show trying to act as cool as the governor of Montana or actor Ben Affleck. Failed, though...

    Favorite economist Paul Krugman, ever the fighter, observes with less snark than I would have:

    "At a hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform last Wednesday, Representative Darrell Issa, Republican of California and the committee’s chairman, talked of “examining security failures that led to the Benghazi tragedy.”
    He said lawmakers had an obligation to protect federal workers overseas. On Sunday, he said more should be spent on diplomatic security.
    But as part of the Republican majority that has controlled the House the last two years, Mr. Issa joined in cutting nearly a half-billion dollars from the State Department’s two main security accounts.
    One covers things like security staffing, including local guards, armored vehicles and security technology; the other, embassy construction and upgrades.
    In 2011 and 2012, President Obama sought a total of $5 billion, and the House approved $4.5 billion. In 2009, Mr. Issa voted for an amendment that would have cut nearly 300 diplomatic security positions.
    And the draconian budgets proposed by Mitt Romney’s running mate, Representative Paul Ryan, would cut foreign affairs spending by 10 percent in 2013 and even more in 2016."

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  • Joe Friday on October 15, 2012 11:44 PM:

    Emblematic of his fake tax and budget proposals, Ryan stages a fake photo-op at a soup kitchen in Ohio:


    Brian J. Antag, president of the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society in Youngstown, told the Washington Post that the Romney campaign had not asked to make the Saturday visit to the soup kitchen. He said that he runs an apolitical faith-based organization which has bylaws barring it from hosting political candidates, and that the visit jeopardized donations from private individuals.

    Ryan was photographed cleaning "large metal pans that did not appear to be dirty" during a 15-minute visit.

    When Ryan arrived on the site in the early afternoon, the kitchen was clean and the dining area was empty, according to a pool report. After his time in the kitchen Ryan spoke to homeless people outside the soup kitchen, but reporters were kept from monitoring the conversation.


  • Hue and Cry on October 16, 2012 5:56 AM:

    Best lines on the web relating to Ryan pretending to scrub the Youngstown area soup kitchen's pots and pans:

    You didn’t wash that. ~~(Really clever take on 'you didn't build that')

    Atlas Scrubbed.

    Washing dishes that are already clean is like give tax breaks to rich people who are already rich...maybe something will trickle down.

    Washing dishes that don't need to be washed can be a new meme for GOP's continuing attempts to avoid tackling the real problems in the country, and instead "solving" non-problems, like:
    Privatizing the social security system;
    Voucher-izing Medicare;
    Increasing defense spending.
    Hey, if it ain't dirty, don't wash it.... "

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