Political Animal


October 24, 2012 1:34 PM Lunch Buffet

By Ed Kilgore

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 bites:

* Trump’s “bombshell” announcement predictably focuses on promoting an old & nasty right-wing meme: an offer of a $5 million charity donation if BHO “fully” releases college transcripts. Assuming he doesn’t, that’s more “proof” he was an undeserving beneficiary of “racist” affirmative action.

* Guest post at The Monkey Cage notes that U.S. controls 50% of world’s naval power today, as compared to 11% in 1916. No data yet on whether there’s a “bayonet gap” with some other country.

* Interesting Milbank piece on how Twitter formed final debate consensus for MSM.

* Good Newshour report on places in Virginia where “sequestration” is a household word.

* Today’s Gallup Tracking drops Romney’s lead in seven-day averages among LVs to 3 points (50-47), and boosts Obama’s daily job approval rating to 53% (vs. 42% disapproval).

And in non-political news:

* Feds file billion-dollar lawsuit against BoA for mortgage fraud.

Back shortly.

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.


  • Robert from upstate on October 24, 2012 1:46 PM:

    SOOOO based upon today's Gallup OBAMA GOES INTO THE FINAL 2 WEEKS WITH THE MOMENTUM! I'm sure PBS and CNN will run this tonight as their lead story.

  • g on October 24, 2012 1:50 PM:

    unless BHO “fully” releases college transcripts. Assuming he doesn’t, that’s more “proof” he was an undeserving beneficiary of “racist” affirmative action

    Ever see a college transcript? It doesn't say anything about how/why you were admitted.

  • martin on October 24, 2012 1:58 PM:

    How is the feds filing a massive and belated lawsuit against BOA not political?

    Bet Fox labels is an October Surprise.

    And why nothing on the lefty blogs about Fox's totally idiotic "scoop" about he Benghzi emails. They're blogging and "reporting" like their hair is on fire.

  • Calvin Ross on October 24, 2012 2:06 PM:

    Watch out, women, the real Republican agenda is on full display:


    I wonder how this could be tolerated. We'll see...

  • Quaker in a Basement on October 24, 2012 2:21 PM:

    Really? THAT'S the "bombshell"?

    One assumes that Trump honked a little bicycle horn and squirted himself with a seltzer bottle afterward.

  • SFBay on October 24, 2012 2:27 PM:

    RE: Gallup poll - only one of the 7 days if after the third debate and already Romney's lead is cut in half. I'm looking forward to this poll on Friday and Saturday when the majority of the 7 day average will be after the last debate.

  • Bodacious on October 24, 2012 2:28 PM:

    What else could Trump do? I guess the $5 million would not have gone far in getting Romney's tax returns, so he turned it toward Obama's college days. Would be nice if Obama matches the challenge, and then demands the money go to Planned Parenthood.

  • DRF on October 24, 2012 2:30 PM:

    That was Trump's bombshell? He just continues to embarass himself.

  • Quaker in a Basement on October 24, 2012 2:47 PM:

  • Sgt. Gym Bunny on October 24, 2012 2:48 PM:

    I work in the record's office of a fairly prestigious graduate school, and I will say this: transcripts really aren't that important.

    1. What "g" said above

    2. Most people don't really need good grades to get ahead. A few well written reference letters and application statements and even a few good jobs/internships always make up for less-than-stellar/mediocre grades. (Similarly, a 4.0 doesn't necessarily mean the person is sufficiently useful in the productive sense.)

    3. Not everybody who graduates and goes on to get a VIP job was a rocket scientist. Hell, in some cases you don't even need to graduate!!!

    4. For many employment screenings (which typically happen when there's an offer on the table), the employer will verify the dates of enrollment and the degree earned if any. Hardly anyone asks for GPA particulars...

  • Mitch on October 24, 2012 2:51 PM:

    We control much more than 50% of the world's naval power. It seems the authors of that article based their calculation on total number of ships, but that's only a part of the equation, and not even the most important part. The strength of our navy lies with our aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines, and our technological superiority.

    We have eleven carriers in service, one in reserve and three under construction. Our nearest competitor is Italy with two. All other major nations have merely one carrier. India and the UK both have two under construction, and China has a few more under construction (sorry, I don't recall how many and lack the time to search for an accurate list). In addition, all of our carriers are "supercarriers" that grossly outclass all other ships at sea. No other nation has even a single supercarrier. To put this in perspective, our smallest carrier (the Enterprise, which will be reitred and replaced next year) has a gross tonnage that is 27,200 tons greater than the next largest carrier at sea (the Chinese Liaoning, a 24 year old used carrier that China purchased from Russia).

    The submarine breakdown would be much more complicated than this, so I won't bore you with the details. Last time I checked we had seventy-one submarines, with CHina coming in at number two with sixty-three. Russia and North Korea have somewhere around fifty each. Every other nation has less than twenty. Of course, this is just a breakdown of raw numbers. Our submarines are so much more advanced than the competition, that we could actually have LESS than everyone else and still be in the lead.

    Finally, our tech is simply decades ahead of everyone else. And that's just looking at what has been declassified.

    We are unquestionably the mightiest military power to ever exist (like it or not). Anyone who suggest otherwise is either a fool or a liar, or both.

  • schtick on October 24, 2012 3:12 PM:

    How can you tell someone doesn't have an ounce of college education? They think they can find out the secrets of the President in their transcripts.

  • mellowjohn on October 24, 2012 3:34 PM:

    i'm offering $5 of president obama will go on national TV and tell the donald to go fuck himself.
    i'm also sure 1 million other people will join in.

  • Hue and Cry on October 24, 2012 6:06 PM:

    1)MSM is absolutely influential this election period.
    What I see is how MSM picks and chooses what poll to display, shafting others. All stations seemingly guilty except for Al Gore's Current TV.

    2) It is so racially biased that Donald Trump continues to harass the president.... exploitative, to keep his own name in the news. It is sheer subterfuge.
    Trump has trumped himself in the attention-seeking category of aging celebrities.

    3)Watching and rooting for the president as he gains in terms of his standing following achievements in the final two debates.

    4)Just as more voters are paying attention, a candidate that Romney is on video supporting says demeaning things about rape victims.... God intends pregnancy rape... this will repel voters even more than the last debate.
    Rommey still supports the dude.
    Evangelical and Mormon Theocratic views do not belong in our government.

  • exlibra on October 24, 2012 10:37 PM:

    Totally agree with Martin, @1:58 PM; feds poking into BoA is, very much, a political piece of news. Indeed, the Business section of any half decent newspaper (like the NYTimes, for example) is, probably, more important to read than the front section, when it comes to judging the political temperature. The front section, esp the part devoted strictly to the election, tends to concentrate too much on frou-frou like Romney's facial expressions and Obama's body language (or the other way 'round).

    Where were you, Kilgore, when we (in commie countries) studied Marx? Money and politics are like two sides of the same hand; you cannot separate them.