Political Animal


November 16, 2012 5:26 PM Day’s End and Weekend Watch

By Ed Kilgore

You know, if I really had the hang of this news-cycle blogging thing, I’d never do what I just did: write a long, meaty post on a late Friday afternoon. But it was nice to see E.J. Dionne immediately tweet that he’d read it and found it “smart.” Have a nice weekend, E.J.!

Here are some remainders of the day:

* At WaPo, Jonathan Bernstein notes that with all but two House races having been called, Dems appear to have wound up with a net gain of 8 seats.

* Same guy, same place: Jonathan also supplies an extremely useful breakdown of what to look for in the fiscal negotiations.

* At The Nation, Jessica Valenti adds up feminist gains in 2012—not all of them just in the elections.

* At Ten Miles Square, Seth Masket supplies some example of Obama campaign tech innovations that even I can understand.

* At College Guide, Daniel Luzer reports research showing that state college “merit scholarships” designed to keep smart kids from going elsewhere haven’t really changed attendance patterns.

And in non-political news:

* Miguel Cabrera’s MVP award a triumph for baseball traditionalists over sabermetricians. You kids get off my trophy!

Okay, I’m out of here.

Kathleen Geier is back in for Weekend Blogging, bless her.


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.


  • Tomm Undergod on November 16, 2012 6:03 PM:

    Dionne is quite right about that excellent piece. In a meandering and unfocused Comment of my own, posted in response, I managed to omit the appropriate praise for the way in which you unwrapped the issues, so hasten to make amends here.

    Some years ago, when it was clear that technology was making it possible for everyone to live the Four Freedoms without necessarily putting in an endless work week (or even 40 hours, as used to be), I thought the problem we'd be facing by now was how to adjust ourselves to a post-scarcity world in a way that maximizes creativity, security, and joie de vivre, but the pig party returned us to scarcity, repealed the Enlightenment values of our Founders in favor of what the Nazarene railed against, and so here we all are sitting on the deck counting icebergs.

    Yet with money free to borrow, infrastructure, wifi, high-speed rail, and other Good Things at hand for us to build for a new millennium, already being squandered by OldThink, it is still conceivable that, as a nation, we will not need to prove the hypothesis that where there is no vision, the people perish.

    But the necessary vision is one in which "conservative" does not mean insanely racist idologue plutes, but a different approach to the new reality where no citizen needs to fear hunger, homelessness, ignorance, or a lack of meaningful opportunity.

    At least that would be an interesting discussion to have, rather than the current one about how far back toward the Dark Ages is appropriate.

  • Joe Friday on November 16, 2012 7:17 PM:

    WHOOPS !

    The RightWings' Golden Boy, Patreaus, clears both Susan Rice and the White House in regards to Benghazi.

    Yet, RightWingers are not convinced.

    What a shocker.

  • Quaker in a Basement on November 16, 2012 8:11 PM:

    Dems gained seats in the House, gained seats in the Senate, re-elected the President. And now Reince Preibus wants to keep his job?

    I'm for it.

  • Anonymous on November 16, 2012 11:55 PM:


    a helpful article about US tax reform.
    there is a chart of revenue and spending over the last 12 years which clearly shows the deficit increase from FY2001 to 2009 while the deficit gap is slowly but surely closing since 2009.
    Every time anyone complains about the deficit under Obama, we should show this chart.

    Plus we shouldn't cut deficits while the economy is in the weak recovery.
    it's like asking an obese patient to get out of bed to exercise right after he got out of life saving open heart surgery. it's all about timing.

  • yeahfeminist on November 17, 2012 12:16 AM:

    yeah for the feminist movement.
    I hope some of new supreme courts justices, new secretaries will be female as well!

    the first female secretary of defense would be pretty cool, for example.
    the current undersecretary, Michele Flournoy, could take the post after Penetta.
    Janet Napolitano could be attorneys' general after Eric Holder.

    I kinda hope Obama will nominate Susan Rice so that old grey GOP senators can belittle the qualified black woman in public.

    I also think a new CIA director is actually a good change since Petraeus escalated drones, over militarizing the CIA. They should bring the responsibility back to the pentagon under the military rules with accountability.

  • rea on November 17, 2012 9:19 AM: