Political Animal

December 2012 Archives

December 31, 2012 6:20 PM Day's End and New Year's Watch

Wound up with the usual number of posts after hoping for a light blogging day. But chronicling the ragged end of the political year seemed necessary. As with many big...

By Ed Kilgore

December 31, 2012 5:24 PM The WaMo Fiscal Cliff

Since we've had months and months of alarms and threats over the "fiscal cliff," producing today's less than scintillating (and yet to be entirely resolved) anticlimax, let me give you...

By Ed Kilgore

December 31, 2012 4:54 PM Not With A Bang But a Whimper

It appears the fiscal deal between the White House and Senate Republicans will stick. But since the House is not scheduling a vote for tonight no matter what the Senate...

By Ed Kilgore

December 31, 2012 2:41 PM More Fiscal Funnies

The President's comments on the fiscal negotiations in the Senate were diffident, to say the least. Their main substantive burden was to make it plain that a "small deal" mainly...

By Ed Kilgore

December 31, 2012 1:19 PM Deal Or No Deal?

Even before the President speaks, guess I should pass along now-widespread reports that popped up while I was writing the Lunch Buffet post, indicating that a fiscal deal at least...

By Ed Kilgore

December 31, 2012 12:58 PM Lunch Buffet

Unless there are developments on the fiscal front, I may curtail blogging a bit early today since it's a semi-holiday for a lot of folks, as evidenced by the three...

By Ed Kilgore

December 31, 2012 12:16 PM The Blessed 2,700

Of all the disputes involved in the ongoing fiscal talks, one that is of transcendent importance to the GOP is the estate tax. If you want to get angry today,...

By Ed Kilgore

December 31, 2012 11:30 AM Doing Well By Doing Good

It's hard to make generalizations about Washington Monthly readers (other than their exceptional wisdom and good taste), but I suppose there are some who are spending this New Year's Eve...

By Ed Kilgore

December 31, 2012 11:17 AM Beltway Bite

So Slate's Matt Yglesias runs through all the real-life particulars of who gets hit or missed by a national plunge off the so-called "fiscal cliff," and closes with this interesting...

By Ed Kilgore

December 31, 2012 9:58 AM The Full Table

Beyond the payroll tax issue I mentioned in the last post, any serious fiscal talks aimed at avoiding a recession should include other items that aren't drawing a great deal...

By Ed Kilgore

December 31, 2012 9:34 AM Will the Economy Slow With Or Without Fiscal Deal?

It's bitterly ironic, given all the alarums about what the markets will do to punish Americans if our representatives don't reach a big fiscal deal tonight (you get the feeling...

By Ed Kilgore

December 31, 2012 8:42 AM Daylight Video

Since it's Year's End, and also the final moments before the Fiscal Cliff, when we are all supposed to run screaming through the streets in fear and despair, there's only...

By Ed Kilgore

December 30, 2012 11:28 PM Reforming India's sexual assault policies: the role of the human rights community

Yesterday, my colleague Jesse Singal blogged about the problem of unreported rapes in India. This follows the tragic death of a 23-year old student whose almost unbelievably vicious, ghastly gang...

By Kathleen Geier

December 30, 2012 10:28 PM Evening news roundup

-- Hillary Clinton has been hospitalized with a blood clot, stemming from her recent concussion. As Digby notes, the Fox News supergeniuses who a few weeks ago were theorizing that...

By Kathleen Geier

December 30, 2012 5:13 PM The most undercovered story of the year: political coercion of workers by bosses

Earlier this week, Starbucks made the news when it was revealed that its CEO, Howard Schultz, was ever-so-helpfully "urging" Starbucks to write "Come Together" on coffee cups. The "Come Together"...

By Kathleen Geier

December 30, 2012 3:07 PM Please give if you can -- only one more day left!

Like many organizations, the Monthly is currently hosting its annual, end-of-the-year fundraiser. We're asking you, the readers, to pitch in and give what you can to support the work we...

By Kathleen Geier

December 30, 2012 10:59 AM 500 murders in Chicago in 2012; 435 caused by guns

A couple of years ago, I began to notice a lot more young men in wheelchairs boarding the public buses in my hometown of Chicago. At first, I wondered if...

By Kathleen Geier

December 30, 2012 9:11 AM The New York Times' "The Lives They Lived"

Like many of its readers, and particularly many of its liberal readers, I have a love/hate relationship with the The New York Times. On the one hand, the paper is...

By Kathleen Geier

December 30, 2012 8:08 AM What are you doing New Year's Eve?

I take no position on the great Zooey Deschanel question that divides feminists and hipsters everywhere (she tends to attract a lot of haters, but also some defenders, from both...

By Kathleen Geier

December 29, 2012 4:33 PM I'd go with you if you asked me too/But we wouldn't get too far/Two strangers in the dark

First of all: Sorry for the server difficulties. I've been grappling with them too. In fact, if any of my posts today struck you as less than cogent or insightful,...

By Jesse Singal

December 29, 2012 2:55 PM The Wonderbread and/or Freshly-Baked Baguette of Freedom

Since a decent chunk of Political Animal readers are or soon will be under a blanket of snowfall, it seems like as good a time as any to recommend a...

By Jesse Singal

December 29, 2012 1:55 PM About Sums it Up

Jon Cohn has a characteristically smart rundown of the policy and political implications of the New Year's deadline: Is January 1 truly the make-or-break date that so many politicians and...

By Jesse Singal

December 29, 2012 1:00 PM Don't Worry - Dick Armey Will Be Okay!

By now most of you have probably read the Washington Post's Wild West account of how Dick Armey tried to seize control of FreedomWorks with an armed militia formed from...

By Jesse Singal

December 29, 2012 12:15 PM An Appeal

The Washington Monthly has had a pretty big impact on my life. Prior to my web-editing and Political-Animaling days, it was my first full-blown journalism internship, and I have fond...

By Jesse Singal

December 29, 2012 11:25 AM How Many Rapes Go Unreported in India?

That's been the question on my mind as I've read about the tragic news from India. The Times reports that "India, which has more than 1.3 billion people, recorded 24,000...

By Jesse Singal

December 29, 2012 10:30 AM It's the Unemployment, Stupid

You should check out Joe Wiesenthal's chart-jammed Business Insider piece arguing that there is only one way to fix the deficit, but it's "painless"—increase growth by reducing unemployment. I liked...

By Jesse Singal

December 29, 2012 9:45 AM State of Play

Sahil Kapur's rundown of the current situation in the fiscal cliff impasse/embarrassment is a very useful guide to the politics of the situation. The short version is (still) that Obama...

By Jesse Singal

December 29, 2012 9:24 AM Wait, This is a Thing?

You know that genre of righteous anger where what immediately follows is shame that you were naive enough to get angry about the thing in question, that you weren't jaded...

By Jesse Singal

December 28, 2012 5:35 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

So the President's going to show up in the White House briefing room at 5:45 EST, though it's not quite clear why, since reports are spreading there's nothing like a...

By Ed Kilgore

December 28, 2012 5:15 PM Against Cynicism and Kabuki

So political writers who haven't already checked out for the weekend are awaiting confirmation that the fiscal "summit" held at the White House this afternoon produced zilch, as would appear...

By Ed Kilgore

December 28, 2012 4:03 PM We Were Doing My Best

I am considering as one of my New Year's resolutions a pledge to ignore Peggy Noonan, as readers have often urged after viewing one of my occasional tirades about the...

By Ed Kilgore

December 28, 2012 3:32 PM The No-Government Lobby

Need more evidence that today's conservatives have drifted from a relativistic "let's rein in government excess" to an absolutist "let's gut government" posture? Check out this quote from right-wing war...

By Ed Kilgore

December 28, 2012 2:15 PM Kerry and the Benghazi "Chew-Toy"

If the White House thought John Kerry would have clear sailing among his fellow Senators in being confirmed as Secretary of State, it didn't reckon with the obsession of the...

By Ed Kilgore

December 28, 2012 1:39 PM Lunch Buffet

Having already planned to go on a serious diet January 1 (or maybe January 2, in light of the need for a pre-Capital One Bowl tailgate on New Year's Day),...

By Ed Kilgore

December 28, 2012 12:32 PM Little Eddie Kilgore Will Go To Bed Cranky Tonight

Perceptive readers may have noticed I'm in a bit of a cranky mood today, expressing annoyance over items big (the Fiscal Cliff Kabuki; cynical public-private "cooperation" schemes) and small (the...

By Ed Kilgore

December 28, 2012 11:53 AM Public-Private Cooperation (Wink! Wink!)

From Stateline's Josh Goodman comes one of the least surprising ledes of the year: Several states, most of them led by Republican governors, have experimented in recent years with the...

By Ed Kilgore

December 28, 2012 10:36 AM Polling Takeaways

Nate Cohn's only real competition for numbers-cruncher wunderkind (since Nate Silver's now a grizzled veteran!) is The Guardian's Harry Enten. So I'm all ears when Harry offers five lessons on...

By Ed Kilgore

December 28, 2012 9:58 AM Worst Year-End Column?

Year-end punditry is often less than stellar, particularly if it involves scribblers and gabbers who are not, you know, actually working, but who launch weighty reflections on The Year That...

By Ed Kilgore

December 28, 2012 9:11 AM Lousy Lovers

Near the end of Jennifer Steinhauer's semi-dadaist piece for the New York Times on the absurdity of Congress (the Senate today, the House on Sunday) racing back to Washington "to...

By Ed Kilgore

December 28, 2012 8:44 AM Daylight Video

Ran across this by accident, and it seemed a nice slice of 70s nostalgia appropriate to my end-of-the-year blues: Helen Reddy introducing Curtis Mayfield, who performs "Superfly."...

By Ed Kilgore

December 27, 2012 5:57 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Ah, love these short blogging weeks, when I can miss some sleep and still make it until the weekend without hallucinating. Here are some remains of the day: * Speaker...

By Ed Kilgore

December 27, 2012 5:25 PM The Long Road From 1965

Via Josh Marshall, here's some interesting and important data from Pew: Blacks voted at a higher rate this year than other minority groups and for the first time in history...

By Ed Kilgore

December 27, 2012 4:44 PM A Monitor on the Permanent Campaign

This is hardly a new development or an original insight, but civic-minded Americans dare not tune out politics--wholesome as that might be from a mental health perspective--between the more intense...

By Ed Kilgore

December 27, 2012 4:27 PM 2012 In Review: The Year of Conservative Absolutism

Between now and New Year's Day, I will occasionally post thoughts about the big political phenomena of 2012. The biggest was the decision made the Republican Party's rank-and-file and leadership...

By Ed Kilgore

December 27, 2012 3:12 PM What the Tea Folk Want In the Fiscal Talks

To properly assess the lay of the land for the continuing fiscal negotiations in Washington, it's kind of important to understand what those conservative Tea types fighting John Boehner actually...

By Ed Kilgore

December 27, 2012 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

If you are currently getting an "error" of "access forbidden" message when you try to access this page or the comment thread, please just refresh the page until it goes...

By Ed Kilgore

December 27, 2012 1:32 PM "Plenty of Guns At My Home School"

No, I won't write about every stupid and blasphemous utterance by a Christian Right figure made in response to the Newtown massacre. But some really stand out, including this one...

By Ed Kilgore

December 27, 2012 12:44 PM No One Thing

Since so many people are sure that America is being ruined by partisan and/or ideological polarization in Washington, Nate Silver's latest take on the extent of polarization as reflected in...

By Ed Kilgore

December 27, 2012 11:12 AM Trusty Old Friend

My last post expressed a longstanding and passionate opinion of mine: that the only effective way to deal with the vast amount of politically relevant misinformation that is regularly circulating...

By Ed Kilgore

December 27, 2012 10:16 AM Pollsters' Regrets

If you spent a tenth the time I did staring at and trying to understand polls during the 2012 election cycle, then you owe it to yourself to read Steven...

By Ed Kilgore

December 27, 2012 9:29 AM Where Seniority Is Still King

In case you missed it because of time zone issues, Hawai'i Gov. Neil Abercrombie has appointed his lieutenant governor, Brian Schatz, to fill the Senate seat of the late Daniel...

By Ed Kilgore

December 27, 2012 8:21 AM Daylight Video

Ah, capricious memory! Woke up this morning with a voice in my head whispering "Terry Reid!" I hadn't thought of this underrated and all but forgotten rocker in many years,...

By Ed Kilgore

December 26, 2012 5:59 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Having eased back into regular blogging, I'll try to begin doing some year-end reflections from here on through Monday. Here's what we've got in the way of today's leftovers: *...

By Ed Kilgore

December 26, 2012 4:36 PM Antidote To Hackery

Insofar as there is enough hackishness in contemporary American political journalism to keep Alex Pareene angrily busy with his lists, every thinking citizen has a stake in supporting something better....

By Ed Kilgore

December 26, 2012 3:55 PM The Apex of Short Attention Span Journalism

Everybody's favorite angry young man, Salon's Alex Pareene, is at it again with another of his incendiary "Hack Lists." This time around, he's done sort of a hybrid attack on...

By Ed Kilgore

December 26, 2012 2:53 PM Cabinet Rope-a-Dope?

Despite the late push Chuck Hagel is getting from the commentariat in his presumed aspirations to become Secretary of Defense, it remains entirely possible Obama will move in a different...

By Ed Kilgore

December 26, 2012 1:56 PM Lunch Buffet

Despite the sparse political news, and the realization that a big chunk of the PA readership is just checked out until January, it's good to be back home with the...

By Ed Kilgore

December 26, 2012 1:32 PM Loudest Teapot Tempest Yet

Kudos to Jonathan Bernstein for identifying the dog that didn't bark in the fascinating and heavily reported internal battle for control over the original Big Bertha of the Tea Party...

By Ed Kilgore

December 26, 2012 12:53 PM Pete Peterson's Baristas

I suppose it's possible to come up with a phonier conflation of Holiday sentiments, political hardball, and corporate self-congratulation than the Starbucks "Come Together" campaign in its DC-area locations. But...

By Ed Kilgore

December 26, 2012 11:44 AM Chuck Hagel, the Multi-Faceted Symbol

One of the things I missed by taking a week off shortly before Christmas was the growing furor over an increasingly likely Obama appointment of Chuck Hagel as successor to...

By Ed Kilgore

December 26, 2012 10:20 AM No Moderate Makeover in Virginia

The only year-end phenomenon more predictable than "fiscal cliff" doom-crying is the plethora of claims that sensible folk (if not this very day then tomorrow!) are regaining control of the...

By Ed Kilgore

December 26, 2012 9:34 AM Just a Few Shopping Days Left Until the Fiscal Whatever

As of today, December 26, the maneuverings over various legislative tripwires scheduled to be crossed on January 1 have reached that quintessentially Washingtonian point where reality becomes fully Kabuki-ized. Congress...

By Ed Kilgore

December 26, 2012 8:21 AM Daylight Video

Here's some seasonal mood music: Simon and Garfunkel performing "Hazy Shade of Winter" in 2003....

By Ed Kilgore

December 25, 2012 9:57 AM Gift That Keeps On Giving

I hope those of you who celebrate Xmas got the gifts you really wanted. And if someone's generous gifts (those of the season or of the year) happened to fatten...

By Ed Kilgore

December 25, 2012 9:41 AM Christmas Day Open Thread

I'm going to be attending two family events today and then boarding a plane to return to California. Many of you are also undoubtedly doing to be busy or distracted...

By Ed Kilgore

December 25, 2012 7:52 AM Daylight Video

Merry Christmas! Here are Emmylou Harris and the McGarrigle sisters performing "Golden Cradle."...

By Ed Kilgore

December 24, 2012 5:20 PM Day's End and Holiday Watch

Ah, time to wash away the controversies of the day, week, month and year for a while. Let's see if I can find a few non-blood-pressure waiting items to wrap...

By Ed Kilgore

December 24, 2012 4:33 PM Christe Eleison

I hesitate to throw stones at fellow-Christians on the Eve of the Feast of the Nativity, so instead I will just ask for a bit of reflection over the following...

By Ed Kilgore

December 24, 2012 4:09 PM Don't Let Scientists Get Near Your Guns!

As Kevin Drum noted late last week, the theological nature of conservative firearms idolatry has been outrageously confirmed by Republican congressional efforts to suppress federally funded research on the real-life...

By Ed Kilgore

December 24, 2012 3:44 PM Celebrity Exceptionalism

So today's News of the Weird is a burgeoning petition drive demanding the deportation of CNN "personality" Piers Morgan for the sin of insulting long-time Gun Owners of America executive...

By Ed Kilgore

December 24, 2012 1:43 PM Lunch Buffet

Belated thanks to Kathleen, Ryan and Sam for covering PA during the last week-and-a-half. I'l be back to the regular schedule the day after Xmas, and will try to make...

By Ed Kilgore

December 24, 2012 11:26 AM Fiscal End-Times Cult

Being a student of religious phenomena, I'm pretty familiar with the impulse to speculate about--and use as an ideological weapon--End Times calculations. So Paul Krugman's comparison of "fiscal cliff" doomsayers...

By Ed Kilgore

December 24, 2012 10:35 AM Bullet Vote

For what seems like the thousandth time, progressives are absorbed with figuring out why America's gun laws are so toothless. Is it just the product of an atavistic culture? The...

By Ed Kilgore

December 24, 2012 8:57 AM Didn't Miss Much

During my week's vacation, I made a point of avoiding news and only rarely risking proximity to a keyboard. So it was good to tune into the Great "Fiscal Cliff"...

By Ed Kilgore

December 24, 2012 8:06 AM Daylight Video

Greetings from your long-lost regular blogger. It's good to be back, albeit on a Lite Holiday Blogging Schedule today. Since it's Xmas Eve, here's the Mainzer Domchor with my favorite...

By Ed Kilgore

December 23, 2012 8:11 PM The Atlantic declares death "a good thing"

In the old Woody Allen movie Bananas, there's a memorable scene of a TV anchorman announcing the day's top news stories. One of those stories is more timely than ever:...

By Kathleen Geier

December 23, 2012 4:53 PM News flash: "good men" do not commit rape

Those of you who keep up with the feminist blogosphere may be following a controversy that has developed between feminist bloggers and a site called the Good Men Project. The...

By Kathleen Geier

December 23, 2012 2:19 PM Albert Hirschman, R.I.P.

On December 10, the great economist and all-round intellectual polymath Albert Hirschman died, at the age of 97. Given Hirschman's stature, it's downright bizarre that his death hasn't a received...

By Kathleen Geier

December 23, 2012 9:22 AM The Monthly's annual pledge drive goes on . . .

Guess what, here’s yet another reminder. I mentioned previously that the Monthly could operate if every reader donated just $1. And that’s true because we are fortunate to have quite...

By Paul Glastris

December 23, 2012 7:58 AM Cliff-hanger: what will happen once we fall off the fiscal cliff? Not much, apparently

Could the fiscal cliff be the 2013 version of Y2K? The Huffington Post's excellent Ryan Grim reports that this may indeed be the case. As you will no doubt recall,...

By Kathleen Geier

December 23, 2012 7:53 AM Morning Christmas caroling

More Christmas music, this time from the Roches. Their Christmas record We Three Kings is my favorite traditional-type Christmas album....

By Kathleen Geier

December 22, 2012 8:01 PM Seasonal Saturday sign-off, with The Crystals

I'll finish up the night with another favorite Christmas recording of mine, the Crystals' "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers." It's from one of the all-time greatest Christmas albums, the one...

By Kathleen Geier

December 22, 2012 3:12 PM Discrimination against Asian American students in Ivy League admissions

The New York Times has been having an interesting debate about the issue of anti-Asian quotas in the Ivy League. There was this op-ed earlier in the week, as well...

By Kathleen Geier

December 22, 2012 1:27 PM Yet another terrible idea from the NRA

If it were humanly possible for the NRA to climb any higher on my personal s%^& list, they would have done so after Wayne LaPierre's reprehensible press conference yesterday. His...

By Kathleen Geier

December 22, 2012 1:04 PM The best Christmas song you've never heard

Continuing with the Christmas music theme . . . here's an obscure one that I absolutely love. It's from a Christmas record that was recorded by members of the great...

By Kathleen Geier

December 22, 2012 12:22 PM THE ANNUAL PLEDGE DRIVE CONTINUES . . .

Believe me, I wouldn't keep pushing this if it weren't important. To keep us going strong, we need a little help. Your donation will not only help the magazine, but...

By Paul Glastris

December 22, 2012 10:23 AM How about a simple rule for Democratic cabinets: no bigots need apply

You've probably heard by now that former Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel, a Republican, is being considered for Obama's new Secretary of Defense, to replace the incumbent, Leon Panetta. I think...

By Kathleen Geier

December 22, 2012 9:15 AM Inequality: putting two and two together

I wanted to follow up and connect the dots between two posts that appeared on this blog earlier this week. On Tuesday, I wrote about a Reuters series about economic...

By Kathleen Geier

December 22, 2012 8:46 AM Morning Christmas music

Some people profess to hate Christmas music. But while there's certainly no lack of terrible seasonal music assaulting our eardrums from November to January ("Christmas Shoes," anyone?*), there are also...

By Kathleen Geier

December 21, 2012 5:54 PM Evening Links

That's it for me for today, folks. Kathleen Geier will be your weekend blogger. As always, thanks for reading and commenting. Here are some tidbits from around the web: 1....

By Ryan Cooper

December 21, 2012 3:49 PM Begone, Deficit Scolds, and Never Darken My Towels Again

The negotiations around the "fiscal cliff" have driven a goodly swath of the DC elite into such paroxysms of hypocrisy that it's beginning to distort space and time. It's almost...

By Ryan Cooper

December 21, 2012 3:23 PM Judge Strikes Down Filibuster Challenge

From McClatchy: In a 47-page ruling Friday, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan acknowledged that the "filibuster rule is an important and controversial issue...as in recent years, even the mere...

By Ryan Cooper

December 21, 2012 2:38 PM The NRA and America's Long History of Absolutist Extremism

Watching Wayne LaPierre's press conference today (transcript here) I found myself searching for various synonyms of "insane" to describe it. Unglued, unhinged, taken leave of his senses, etc. It...

By Ryan Cooper

December 21, 2012 1:30 PM The Drug War and Gun Violence in Latin America

Over at The Atlantic, Noah Smith has an excellent proposal (not in lieu of gun safety laws, but in addition): I'm talking about ending the drug war. Reliable statistics on...

By Ryan Cooper

December 21, 2012 11:35 AM Is Inequality Behind America's Plague of Mass Violence?

My colleague Daniel Luzer has a provocative hypothesis about America's plague of gun violence: The reality is that the American mass shooting probably has a lot to do with gun...

By Ryan Cooper

December 21, 2012 10:37 AM The Jobs of the Future Are Buried under Mass Unemployment

US News, in its long, sad decline from once-relevant journalism enterprise to assembler of gimmicky clickbait slideshows, has a listicle about the "100 best jobs of 2013." It's interesting not...

By Ryan Cooper

December 21, 2012 9:14 AM Our Annual Fundraiser Continues

We’re as tired of asking as you are of being asked, and we offer our sincere thanks to those of you who have already contributed. For those who haven't, here's...

By Paul Glastris

December 21, 2012 8:26 AM Speaker Boehner's Plan B Fails

The big news from late last night is that John Boehner's so-called Plan B, a measure chock-full of Republican goodies which was guaranteed to die in the Senate, failed in...

By Ryan Cooper

December 21, 2012 8:16 AM Morning Video

Howdy folks, Ryan Cooper here again. Thanks to Sam and Kathleen for filling in for the past three days, they did an excellent job. Here's a pretty cool timelapse from...

By Ryan Cooper

December 20, 2012 4:39 PM Oil Bonanza Fueled Growth a Mixed Bag for North Dakota

Using data from the twelve months leading up to July, the Census Bureau found today that North Dakota is the fastest growing state in the union. Its population grew by...

By Samuel Knight

December 20, 2012 2:37 PM Afternoon Reads

-Gareth Porter, writing for Truthout, details how General Petraeus managed "the war of perceptions" in Afghanistan after taking over there in July 2010. Porter's report includes details about how the...

By Samuel Knight

December 20, 2012 1:24 PM Charlie Rose Settles Intern Class Action for $250,000

When one thinks of labor exploitation, PBS doesn't typically come to mind. Yet an unpaid intern named Lucy Bickerton filed a class action suit against Charlie Rose's production company earlier...

By Samuel Knight

December 20, 2012 1:11 PM The Monthly's Annual Pledge Drive Goes On

Guess what, here’s yet another reminder. I mentioned previously that the Monthly could operate if every reader donated just $1. And that’s true because we are fortunate to have quite...

By Paul Glastris

December 20, 2012 12:23 PM Attorney General Holder Heads to Newtown; NRA Chief to Make MTP Appearance Sunday

The nation's response to the Sandy Hook school shootings is beginning to materialize less than a week after the fact. Today, Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to travel to...

By Samuel Knight

December 20, 2012 10:27 AM Allen West Takes Whackjob Benghazi Theory to New Height of Ugliness

Here's a friendly reminder why anyone with a shred of decency will be delighted to see the back of war criminal one term Congressman Allen West in January. Yesterday, on...

By Samuel Knight

December 20, 2012 9:42 AM A New York Police Chief's Proposal for Newtown Inspired Reform

Michael Biasotti, president of the New York State Chiefs of Police, has a modest approach to combating gun violence, which probably deserves nationwide attention. In a letter to the New...

By Samuel Knight

December 20, 2012 8:41 AM Morning Reads

-Good economic news: according to the Department of Commerce, GDP is estimated to have grown by 3.1% in the the third quarter. That calculation exceeds Bloomberg's 2.7% prediction. -Scott Brown,...

By Samuel Knight

December 19, 2012 4:56 PM Answers About Benghazi Emerge - But Are We Asking the Right Questions?

An independent commission released a report today on State Department shortcomings related to the fatal September 11 Benghazi consulate attack. Since then, three officials have tendered their resignations. Investigators, according...

By Samuel Knight

December 19, 2012 2:43 PM FHFA Report: Fannie & Freddie Should Consider Suing for $3 Billion LIBOR Loss

Fannie Mae and Freddie may have lost more than $3 billion because of LIBOR manipulation between 2008 and 2010, according to an internal Federal Housing Finance Agency report obtained by...

By Samuel Knight

December 19, 2012 1:26 PM Expect Off Topic Questions When You're Inaccessible

More thoughts on today's White House presser: While gun control is an important issue, and one that clearly needs addressing after the depraved Newtown massacre, criticism of reporters' fiscal cliff...

By Samuel Knight

December 19, 2012 12:48 PM White House Reporters Hardly Press Obama on Gun Control

The President just concluded a press conference in which he announced the formation of an inter-agency commission that will submit a gun control proposal to Congress in a matter of...

By Samuel Knight

December 19, 2012 12:04 PM "Fix the Debt" - Defense Contractor Ties Exposed

Nothing exposes GOP flailing about debt for the fraud that it is like defense budget scrutiny. When genuine deficit hawks point out how bloated and porky the Pentagon has become,...

By Samuel Knight

December 19, 2012 10:07 AM Midmorning Reads

I would have posted this earlier, but had a dentist appointment scheduled six months ago that I forgot about until Monday -- kind of like my own personal fiscal cliff,...

By Samuel Knight

December 19, 2012 9:20 AM The Unchained Gang

Earlier this week, President Obama floated a Social Security-cutting proposal for fiscal cliff evasive action that shocked the Democratic Party. And by "the Democratic Party," I mean Dems who didn't...

By Samuel Knight

December 19, 2012 7:54 AM The Annual Pledge Drive Continues...

Believe me, I wouldn't keep pushing this if it weren't important. To keep us going strong, we need a little help. Your donation will not only help the magazine, but...

By Paul Glastris

December 18, 2012 10:27 PM The worst in Newtown punditry: a round-up

It is a truth universally acknowledged: in American public life, wherever there is unimaginable tragedy and horror, farce and buffoonery are sure to follow. The clownishness is rarely inherent in...

By Kathleen Geier

December 18, 2012 6:03 PM It'll do you damage, it'll do you harm

One of the greatest of the British post-punk bands, Gang of Four, had a song about the Armalite rifle. Someone reminded me of it, in the wake of the awful...

By Kathleen Geier

December 18, 2012 5:18 PM The Steubenville, Ohio rape case

Over the weekend, the New York Times published an extremely disturbing article about a rape case in Steubenville, Ohio that is getting a lot of publicity there. In August, a...

By Kathleen Geier

December 18, 2012 4:54 PM Annual Holiday Fundraiser

THE MONTHLY'S ANNUAL FUNDRAISING DRIVE CONTINUES . . . Our most sincere thanks to those of you who have contributed already, and for those who haven't, here's a reminder that...

By Paul Glastris

December 18, 2012 3:55 PM Words to the wise about the Newtown tragedy

There are a couple of other pieces about Newtown that I thought were worthy of your eyeballs. First, on the New York Times editorial page, Priscilla Gilman, the mother of...

By Kathleen Geier

December 18, 2012 2:52 PM Walmart does business the old-fashioned way: they pay bribes!

America's worst corporate citizen strikes again! Today, the New York Times features a stunning investigative account of how, throughout the '00s, Walmart became a huge player in the Mexican economy....

By Kathleen Geier

December 18, 2012 1:33 PM Must-read piece of the day: guns don't secure freedom -- they destroy it

So much has already been written about the unspeakable tragedy at Newtown. And yet, so much more remains to be said. There's a lot that I want to write about...

By Kathleen Geier

December 18, 2012 12:07 PM What's driving economic inequality? Reuters has some answers

I wanted to draw everyone's attention to an important new series in Reuters on economic inequality in the states, called Redistributing Up. It has the usual jaw-dropping statistics: since 1989,...

By Kathleen Geier

December 18, 2012 9:20 AM Chained CPI . . . or chain of fools?

This morning brings news of a possible deal on the horizon, concerning the "fiscal cliff." Obama would get the an extension of the Bush tax cuts for households with incomes...

By Kathleen Geier

December 18, 2012 8:06 AM Senator Daniel Inouye, R.I.P.

As you may have heard by now, the Senate has lost one of its most distinguished members, Daniel Inouye of Hawaii. He was 88. Inouye, a Japanese-American, broke racial barriers...

By Kathleen Geier

December 18, 2012 7:59 AM Seasonal morning greetings

Morning greetings to one and all, from the wonderful Danish rock duo, the Raveonettes....

By Kathleen Geier

December 17, 2012 5:19 PM Evening Links

That's it for today folks, as always, thanks for reading and commenting. Here are some readings for this evening. 1. Bill Moyers compiles a list of lawmakers who are cashing...

By Ryan Cooper

December 17, 2012 4:03 PM Bill Keller, South Africa, and Political Dysfunction

Bill Keller, recently retired executive editor of the New York Times, apparently lived in South Africa for a time as the local bureau chief. The framing device for his column...

By Ryan Cooper

December 17, 2012 3:18 PM Who Will Succeed John Kerry in the Senate?

The buzz is that John Kerry will be nominated as Secretary of State, so the next question is who will take his seat in the Senate. First there would have...

By Ryan Cooper

December 17, 2012 3:17 PM It's that Time of Year...

Long-time readers may recall that we here at the Monthly host an annual fundraising drive. It's back, and in this season of giving, your tax-deductible donation can make a big...

By Paul Glastris

December 17, 2012 1:40 PM A Morally Serious Videogame about Guns and Violence

After mass shootings inevitably someone will suggest that violent videogames had something to do with it. This time it was Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper who obliged in a interview with...

By Ryan Cooper

December 17, 2012 1:18 PM Tim Scott Named to DeMint Senate Seat

Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina announced the other day that he would retire; his preferred replacement was Rep. Tim Scott. Now it's official: Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina...

By Ryan Cooper

December 17, 2012 12:43 PM Lunch Links

Pardon me while I break for some sustenance. Here are some readings in the meantime: 1. Matt Steinglass on the Newtown shooting. 2. Josh Marshall brings the history on the...

By Ryan Cooper

December 17, 2012 12:00 PM The Other Climate Change Threat

People tend to talk about climate change only along one axis: how much greenhouse gas we're dumping into the atmosphere, and how much heating is likely to happen as a...

By Ryan Cooper

December 17, 2012 11:19 AM Parenting a Disturbed Child

Gawker has a bloodcurdling piece on what it's like to raise a kid with Bond villain-levels of problems: I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my...

By Ryan Cooper

December 17, 2012 10:33 AM John Boehner Still Struggling to Learn How to Negotiate

The President's newfound "hardball" stance, where he led with a strongly lefty opening offer and waited for House Republicans to counter (also known as "negotiation") continues to flummox John Boehner....

By Ryan Cooper

December 17, 2012 10:14 AM US Gun Owners Possess One-Third of All Guns on the Planet

Via Ta-Nehisi Coates, yikes: A decreasing number of American gun owners own two-thirds of the nation's guns and as many as one-third of the guns on the planet -- even...

By Ryan Cooper

December 17, 2012 10:06 AM Morning Video

Ed's on vacation, so I'm filling in for the moment. Here's some positive vibes from an unexpected place:...

By Ryan Cooper

December 16, 2012 8:15 PM "Right to Work" States Employment Rates Deserve Scrutiny, Receive Some Here

One issue that would have featured prominently on Sunday talk shows before the tragic events in Newtown unfolded is “right to work” legislation. The discourse would have been courtesy of...

By Samuel Knight

December 16, 2012 3:15 PM Not the Video Game Blame Game, Again!

In the wake of Newtown, it was only a matter of time before a gun loving politician unleashed a torrent of verbal diarrhea upon video games. Enter Colorado's Democratic Governor...

By Samuel Knight

December 16, 2012 12:54 PM #GoodCall - Some Positive Signs on Twitter for Feinstein's Assault Weapons Ban Proposal

On “Meet The Press” this morning, Dianne Feinstein announced that she and Chuck Schumer will introduce an assault weapons ban when the 113rd Congress convenes on January 3rd. "I can...

By Samuel Knight

December 16, 2012 11:50 AM Sen. Kerry Likely Secretary of State Nominee - Expect WikiLeaks Flip-Flop to be Brought Up

According to reports (read: administration leaks to access journalists), John Kerry is set to be nominated the next Secretary of State. It seems likely that Republicans will be happy to...

By Samuel Knight

December 16, 2012 10:24 AM GOP History of Opposing Post-gun Massacre Safeguards

The New York Times' Charlie Savage detailed yesterday how the Justice Department shelved proposals to make background checks more robust in the wake of the 2011 Tuscon shooting that left...

By Samuel Knight

December 15, 2012 5:53 PM The ATF: A Portrait of an Impotent Bureau

If there's one federal agency that gun control advocates will want strengthened after Friday's killings in Newtown, its the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Will Congress actually do...

By Samuel Knight

December 15, 2012 3:38 PM Everyday Heroism - A Silver Lining in Newtown

As is the case with tragedies like it, inspirational anecdotes are emerging out of yesterday's shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. First, there are reports of the brave sacrifice made by first...

By Samuel Knight

December 15, 2012 1:48 PM Gun Control Advocates - Take Aim at the Senate Judiciary Committee

Just because advancing gun control in Congress - even post Newtown - seems like an insurmountable task, doesn't mean that the Senate Judiciary Committee shouldn't try to do it. Take...

By Samuel Knight

December 15, 2012 12:10 PM Newtown: Forcing America to Stare Into the Abyss

In this painful but necessary post-Newtown discussion, gun control advocates should prepare for the worst. That Republicans will ratchet up their extremism, that Democrats will cave as they do -...

By Samuel Knight

December 15, 2012 9:57 AM Thoughts on Post-Newtown Journo Policy Chatter

Typical of the aftermath of any major event, the media has inspired more than a few talking points in the wake of yesterday's tragedy in Newtown. One thread concerns how...

By Samuel Knight

December 14, 2012 5:33 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

The sad news continues to roll out regarding the Connecticut massacre, including the shooter's apparent earlier murder of his brother in New Jersey. We'll be hearing the depressing details for...

By Ed Kilgore

December 14, 2012 4:59 PM "Sitting Ducks" and a God On Strike

I'm not going to spend much time reading, much less writing about, idiotic or infuriating reactions--particular on Twitter, where uninhibited stupidity is never far away--to the Connecticut massacre. But one...

By Ed Kilgore

December 14, 2012 3:44 PM Obama Reacts, Pledges "Meaningful Action"

In case you weren't in a position to see this, here's video of President Barack Obama's reaction to the massacre in Connecticut. If you can avoid tearing up while watching...

By Ed Kilgore

December 14, 2012 2:54 PM Facts Behind the Tragedies

I'm watching CNN now, and it's very clear the initial reports of minimal casualties at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, were grievously erroneous. Local police are confirming...

By Ed Kilgore

December 14, 2012 1:52 PM Lunch Buffet

Still only sporadic details about the massacre in Connecticut. So as we await more news, here are some distractions: * Kevin Drum makes the case that the administration's strange handling...

By Ed Kilgore

December 14, 2012 1:22 PM Another Fearful Massacre

OMG. News just in that the death toll in the latest school shooting, this one at an elementary school in Connecticut, has reached 27, eighteen of the victims being children....

By Ed Kilgore

December 14, 2012 1:07 PM "Getting To Yes" Via Many "No's"

It's becoming something of a progressive article of faith that the increasingly frantic demands by Republicans that the president put specific spending reductions on the table reflect the GOP's own...

By Ed Kilgore

December 14, 2012 12:16 PM "Settling" For Kerry?

It's a bit of an irony that the long-time front-runner to become Secretary of State--and actually, the front-runner for the job in 2008 had not Hillary Clinton decided to take...

By Ed Kilgore

December 14, 2012 11:54 AM Next Up: The War on Chuck Hagel

Even before their victory-dance over allegedly derailing the hypothetical nomination of Susan Rice to become Secretary of State ends, Republicans have to decide whether to follow right up with a...

By Ed Kilgore

December 14, 2012 11:16 AM The Eternal Dodge of "States' Rights"

It's probably a mistake to treat a post by Jonah Goldberg as reflecting deep philosophical trends within conservatism. But there's something about his "Here's an idea: federalism!" (not the actual...

By Ed Kilgore

December 14, 2012 10:15 AM HAVA Good Laugh

It seems, according to Stateline's Jake Grovum, that the president's casual "we have to fix that" comment on long voting lines during his November 6 victory speech has put the...

By Ed Kilgore

December 14, 2012 8:15 AM Daylight Video

Here's more Looziana music: Dr. John performing "I Walk On Gilded Splinters."...

By Ed Kilgore

December 13, 2012 5:35 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Often when I'm in New Orleans I stay indoors during the day to avoid the insane heat. This time it's just blogging. Here are some final items from the day's...

By Ed Kilgore

December 13, 2012 5:03 PM Chicken-Egg Question

The day before Susan Rice's withdrawal from consideration to become Secretary of State, that great foreign policy thinker Rep. Steve King said this about "Benghazi" (formerly the name of a...

By Ed Kilgore

December 13, 2012 4:40 PM Rice Goes Away (From State, At Least), But Not Quietly

So the big news this afternoon is that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice has withdrawn from consideration to become Secretary of State, via a letter to the president that cited the...

By Ed Kilgore

December 13, 2012 3:23 PM Return of the "Red Queen"

At the end of a somewhat muddled meditation on the Greater Meaning of an HRC presidential candidacy in 2012, The Atlantic's Conor Friedersdorf offers a thought that has probably occurred...

By Ed Kilgore

December 13, 2012 1:37 PM Lunch Buffet

Thinking about heading either to Acme Oyster House for a shrimp po-boy, or over to Napolean House for the muffuletta (yes, yes, I know Central Grocery is where you are...

By Ed Kilgore

December 13, 2012 12:34 PM It's Not Your Ideology: It's Your A-Holery

Speaking of hilarious media accounts, today's Politico has a piece by Jonathan Allen reporting that House Republican leaders are trying to tamp down rapidly spreading right-wing fury over a "purge"...

By Ed Kilgore

December 13, 2012 12:08 PM Regrets

For a quick fun read, you can't beat Poynter's annual listing of notable media errors and corrections. Heading the list, of course, is the dual CNN/Fox News blown call on...

By Ed Kilgore

December 13, 2012 10:22 AM "Our Nikki" Navigating Turbulent Waters

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has been back in the national news thanks to her power to appoint a temporary successor to the conservative movement's Grand Poohbah, Sen. Jim DeMint....

By Ed Kilgore

December 13, 2012 9:24 AM Party of Angry Old White Folks Won't Go Away

There are some startling new projections out today from the U.S. Census Bureau based on the official 2010 census, that reinforce even more strongly than prior findings that the U.S....

By Ed Kilgore

December 13, 2012 9:07 AM Finding Another Dog To Kick

The hard line the administration is taking on Medicaid during the fiscal talks has an ancillary effect on the incoherent Republican negotiating position, reflected in John Boehner's repeated demands that...

By Ed Kilgore

December 13, 2012 8:53 AM Supremes' Inadvertent Gift To Medicaid

When the U.S. Supreme Court, even as it validated the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate, held that Congress could not require states to participate in ACA's Medicaid...

By Ed Kilgore

December 13, 2012 8:25 AM Daylight Video

Greetings from the Gret Stet of Looziana. Here are the Neville Brothers performing "Brother John" and "Iko Iko" in Germany in 1995....

By Ed Kilgore

December 12, 2012 5:17 PM Day's End and Night Watch

As indicated before, I'm on the road tonight, and connections permitting, will luxuriate tomorrow in the relatively late morning of CST. Here are some remainders of the day: * Slate's...

By Ed Kilgore

December 12, 2012 3:21 PM Fed Sets Specific Economic Targets

So the Federal Reserve Board not only confirmed continuation of its recent mildly expansionist monetary policies today, but also set specific economic targets that would have to be met before...

By Ed Kilgore

December 12, 2012 2:09 PM Schools Without Accountability Aren't "Public"

In the eternal conservative battle to insist Americans must choose between traditional public schools exactly as they are today, and use of tax dollars to indiscriminately subsidize private schools (mostly...

By Ed Kilgore

December 12, 2012 1:10 PM Obama's Mandate Redux

Much of the immediate post-election spin coming from Republicans involved denying the president's win gave him any sort of "mandate" to do any of the things he campaigned on. He...

By Ed Kilgore

December 12, 2012 12:28 PM Lunch Buffet

I'm accelerating the blogging schedule a bit today because I'm going to be traveling late this afternoon. In fact, I'll be in New Orleans tomorrow through Friday, before taking the...

By Ed Kilgore

December 12, 2012 12:06 PM The Fiscal Talks and the Hastert Rule

Via TPM's Brian Beutler, the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, offers an interesting explanation for John Boehner's procrastination in pursuing a pre-January fiscal...

By Ed Kilgore

December 12, 2012 11:35 AM Can the Era of Mass Incarceration Finally End?

As noted in an important piece by David Dagan and Steven Teles in the November/December issue of the Washington Monthly, one of the rare positive developments on the political Right...

By Ed Kilgore

December 12, 2012 11:09 AM The Octopus With a Thousand Tentacles

At NRO, Jim Geraghty has an unintentionally hilarious interview with RNC chairman Reince Priebus in which the party chief pledges a frantic effort to look everywhere for ways to improve...

By Ed Kilgore

December 12, 2012 10:31 AM Taxing Unproductive Wealth

At TNR today, John Judis has a must-read piece that challenges much of today's economic policy orthodoxy. Instead of worrying about how much we can tax the very wealthy without...

By Ed Kilgore

December 12, 2012 9:59 AM New Voting Rights Struggle?

Even as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares for what may be a fatal blow aimed at the enforcement provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, there is a-stirring new...

By Ed Kilgore

December 12, 2012 9:20 AM The Political Advantages of Not Caring

Near the end of a column on the Michigan "right-to-work" coup, Jonathan Chait offers an important insight on why Republicans are willing and able to pull these sort of stunts:...

By Ed Kilgore

December 12, 2012 8:30 AM Daylight Video

Ravi Shankar, who introduced the sitar (and in general, Indian music) to most of America, died yesterday at the age of 92. Here he is performing on the Dick Cavett...

By Ed Kilgore

December 11, 2012 6:16 PM Day's End and Night Watch

* Snyder signs Michigan "right-to-work" laws, but declines to do so in public. * Greg Sargent outlines strategy whereby opponents of the new Michigan laws may still be able to...

By Ed Kilgore

December 11, 2012 5:23 PM From Tiger Beat On the Potomac

Somehow or other, I got to the end of the blogging day without once looking at Politico. So I read with virgin eyes a hilarious rant from Charles Pierce about...

By Ed Kilgore

December 11, 2012 4:59 PM Setting the Record Straight On Rights of Non-Union Members

Much of the propaganda being launched into the air by supporters of the Michigan "right-to-work" coup suggests that the law liberates workers from an obligation to join unions, and/or from...

By Ed Kilgore

December 11, 2012 4:10 PM Procreate Or Die!

One of the more lurid aspects of the American conservative lurch-to-the-right in recent years has been the quashing of the inhibitions of the Self-Righteous Rich. Like characters in the Ayn...

By Ed Kilgore

December 11, 2012 3:23 PM Remembering Who You Are Dealing With

At TNR, Noam Scheiber objects to the widespread assumption that allowing a plunge over the "fiscal cliff" would be a tactical victory but a strategic defeat for Barack Obama. Yes,...

By Ed Kilgore

December 11, 2012 2:28 PM Haley Muddies the Waters

It's not every day a governor gets to place someone in the United States Senate, so I guess you can forgive Nikki Haley for milking as much publicity as she...

By Ed Kilgore

December 11, 2012 1:51 PM Lunch Buffet

I'm a little behind in the usual blogging schedule today due to some non-work distractions, but I'll catch up. Here are some mid-day items of interest: * Here at Ten...

By Ed Kilgore

December 11, 2012 1:24 PM Simple Query

I'm sure I am not the first to have this insight, but it's worth underlining: if right-to-work laws are indeed, as supporters claim, a "liberty" issue for workers who are...

By Ed Kilgore

December 11, 2012 11:58 AM Obama Refuses To Help Wreck Obamacare

As you are probably aware, now that Republicans are in some disarray on the tax front, and are having to beg Democrats to propose Medicare cuts to give them cover...

By Ed Kilgore

December 11, 2012 10:28 AM Chained CPI and "True Inflation"

If you are trying to follow the fiscal talks (or are for whatever reason a connoisseur of deficit reduction menu items) you probably know all about "chained CPI," a method...

By Ed Kilgore

December 11, 2012 9:31 AM Ancient Battle

The right-to-work blitz in Michigan may have been a tactical surprise to unions and to Democrats. But timing aside, the legislation represents an ancient, almost primal cause among conservatives who...

By Ed Kilgore

December 11, 2012 8:30 AM Daylight Video

So you want some different Christmas music? Check out this performance of "A Christmas Camel" by Procol Harum at the Bilzen Jazz Festival in Holland in 1967. It's different, all...

By Ed Kilgore

December 10, 2012 5:57 PM Day's End and Night Watch

With a consensus growing that the congressional Republican "fiscal cliff" positioning is weak and incoherent, GOPers only have twenty-one shopping days to find a new strategy. Here's some remainders of...

By Ed Kilgore

December 10, 2012 5:30 PM Up From the Credit Hour

Frequent WaMo contributor Kevin Carey of the New America Foundation has an op-ed in the New York Times today challenging one of the great longstanding totems of U.S. higher education:...

By Ed Kilgore

December 10, 2012 5:15 PM The Big Story of 2012

Here's quite a lede from Dan Froomkin at HuffPost: Post-mortems of contemporary election coverage typically include regrets about horserace journalism, he-said-she-said stenography, and the lack of enlightening stories about the...

By Ed Kilgore

December 10, 2012 4:40 PM Return of the Oligarchs

Paul Krugman had a much-discussed column today that discussed record corporate profits and weighed the effects of technology and sheer corporate power in keeping those profits from benefitting workers via...

By Ed Kilgore

December 10, 2012 3:46 PM Why Michigan Republicans Had To Race To the Bottom

Despite some (in my mind unjustified) hopes that President Obama's appearance in Michigan today might produce a delay in the Republican race to enact "right-to-work" legislation during a lame-duck session,...

By Ed Kilgore

December 10, 2012 1:43 PM Lunch Buffet

Since I linked to it earlier today, I should probably express my thanks for Digby's very kind remarks about me in a post over the weekend. I'll try to live...

By Ed Kilgore

December 10, 2012 1:10 PM Goosing the Means-Testing Ghost

We are led to believe that another non-negotiable congressional Republican demand at the center of the big fiscal talks is "means-testing" of Social Security and/or Medicare. This has become quite...

By Ed Kilgore

December 10, 2012 12:11 PM The "Entitlement Reform" Nobody Really Wants

Just when you thought the fiscal talks couldn't get any more absurd, there is growing evidence that the big sticking point may be an "entitlement reform" that nobody has any...

By Ed Kilgore

December 10, 2012 11:24 AM Demography and Productivity

One of the hardiest of all the arguments for "entitlement reform" is that demographic factors (notably the size of the baby-boom and baby-bust generations) make current retirement programs inherently unsustainable....

By Ed Kilgore

December 10, 2012 10:31 AM White Evangelicals and the "Mormon Factor"

By November 6, there weren't many observers left who still believed conservative evangelical Protestant doubts or fears about the heterodoxy of the LDS church were going to be a problem...

By Ed Kilgore

December 10, 2012 9:24 AM Brown or Backlash?

The Supreme Court's agreement to hear two same-sex marriage cases has created a sort of solemn expectation that the Big Moment may be about to happen on LGBT rights: a...

By Ed Kilgore

December 10, 2012 8:20 AM Daylight Video

For some beginning the week energy, here's X performing "Hot House" and "Breathless" on David Letterman's show in 1983....

By Ed Kilgore

December 09, 2012 9:12 PM Until We Meet Again...

Well, Animals, it's been another delightful weekend blogging for you, and I'm grateful to Ed Kilgore and Washington Monthly for inviting me in. I got a bit carried away, I'm...

By Adele Stan

December 09, 2012 4:13 PM Republicans Against People With Disabilities

If you expected Senate Republicans to have learned any lessons from the drubbing they took in the November elections, you'd have done well to have expected them to learn the...

By Adele Stan

December 09, 2012 12:46 PM Two Assessments of the DeMint Era and Its Aftermath

Reading right-wingers assess the Senate legacy of Jim DeMint, R-S.C., which we discussed at some length in yesterday's post, is always amusing, if not so intended by the assessor. Here's...

By Adele Stan

December 09, 2012 10:49 AM In Michigan: Revenge of the Kochs?

Let's say you and your brother are a pair of billionaires who reap your profits from the poisoning of the earth and whose daddy co-founded the John Birch Society --...

By Adele Stan

December 09, 2012 10:08 AM The Fiscal, Uh, Thing: Soliciting Suggestions

So, as I mentioned in my opening post, everybody here in the Village, as digby likes to call it, is all abuzz about what kind of deal the president and...

By Adele Stan

December 09, 2012 8:50 AM A Tea and Newspapers Day

Good morning, Animals. Forgive me for eschewing my customary exclamation point at the end of that greeting, but it's a grey, raining day here in your nation's capital, the kind...

By Adele Stan

December 08, 2012 2:30 PM Weekend Tidbits

Time to get back to the work of actually living (as opposed to blogging) -- you know, eating one's lunch, playing one's ukulele, getting one's groceries in a place where...

By Adele Stan

December 08, 2012 12:31 PM How to Lose Big and Make Millions

For Tea Party engineers Dick Armey and Jim DeMint, the 2012 elections were a disaster. Take for instance, Richard Mourdock, the U.S. Senate candidate in Indiana, who described a baby...

By Adele Stan

December 08, 2012 11:25 AM Medicare Eligibility Age on the Table?

In Washington, when a rumor just won't die, it begins to look like strategy. And one rumor that has Washington riveted is the potential for a deal on the fiscal...

By Adele Stan

December 08, 2012 9:52 AM Supreme Court to Decide the Fate of Marriage in America

In its wisdom, the Supreme Court yesterday decided to hear two cases that will determine the shape of marriage in America -- who, by mutual consent, gets to marry the...

By Adele Stan

December 08, 2012 8:33 AM A Week for Sore Losers

Good morning, Animals! How good it is to be back, and thank you to Brother Kilgore and Boss Glastris for making it so. Was that some week or what?! I'm...

By Adele Stan

December 07, 2012 6:32 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

Blogging got kind of deep this afternoon, but I doubt a lot of people read it. Occupational hazard of the news-cycle blogger, I guess. Here are some final items for...

By Ed Kilgore

December 07, 2012 4:54 PM Old Democratic Position on Drugs Going Up In Smoke

One of the rapidly developing second-term problems for Barack Obama is his administration's retrograde commitment to elements of the failed War on Drugs, and particularly the legal collision soon to...

By Ed Kilgore

December 07, 2012 4:27 PM Supremes Take Up Marriage Equality Cases

Took a while, but it's happening, per this report from The Hill's Sam Baker (who beat SCOTUSBlog to the punch): The Supreme Court announced Friday that it will hear a...

By Ed Kilgore

December 07, 2012 4:03 PM Keeping Calm About Fiscal Talk Strategy

Yesterday afternoon, Jonathan Chait wrote a post suggesting that since Obama concessions on the entitlement front will ultimately be made if there is to be any kind of fiscal agreement,...

By Ed Kilgore

December 07, 2012 2:56 PM Brooks Chows Down On Thin Gruel

Earlier this week I offered a less-than-glowing review of the speeches by Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan at the Jack Kemp Foundation dinner, which mocked their advance billing as harbingers...

By Ed Kilgore

December 07, 2012 1:40 PM Lunch Buffet

After rainy, foggy week, it's a beautiful day on the Central Coast; the storms have at least temporarily dispersed the ugly brown line of kelp that sometimes spoils the long...

By Ed Kilgore

December 07, 2012 1:13 PM The WaPo Paywall Cometh

It's hardly a big surprise, but it's still with a sense of foreboding that I read this signal-of-future-intentions from the Washington Post: The Washington Post will probably start charging online...

By Ed Kilgore

December 07, 2012 12:26 PM Racing To the Bottom In Michigan

It won't be formal until next Tuesday (thanks to a five-day delay requirement for bills passed by both Houses), but the Michigan legislature has indeed approved "right-to-work" legislation in a...

By Ed Kilgore

December 07, 2012 10:44 AM Palmetto RINOs

The drama surrounding Jim DeMint's sudden resignation from the Senate continues to unfold down in South Cackalacky, where Gov. Nikki Haley must soon appoint an interim Senator to serve until...

By Ed Kilgore

December 07, 2012 10:02 AM Eyes on the Next Prize

One reason for the apparent willingness of so many Republicans to focus on who gets blame or credit for a fiscal "fix" rather than the nature of the "fix" itself...

By Ed Kilgore

December 07, 2012 9:24 AM The Jobs Report No One Will Notice

It's the first Friday of the month. For much of the last two years, that was a political red-letter day, as writers and gabbers everywhere gathered virtually at 8:30 AM...

By Ed Kilgore

December 07, 2012 8:30 AM Daylight Video

The anthem of everyone creative who still dreams of producing The Big One, and also a fine sardonic travel song: The Band performing Dylan's "When I Paint My Masterpiece."...

By Ed Kilgore

December 06, 2012 5:30 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Today alternated between a sort of political news coma (unless you enjoy reading those who are just catching up on earlier developments in the fiscal fight) and reasonably big stuff,...

By Ed Kilgore

December 06, 2012 4:54 PM Macing Unions

As you may have heard, police used pepper spray on protestors at the Michigan State Capitol today after Gov. Rick Snyder and GOP legislative leaders unveiled a plan to blitz...

By Ed Kilgore

December 06, 2012 3:27 PM Jindal's Big Dumb Fixes

For a guy with a reputation as a genius, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal sure has some dumb "ideas" about how to fix Washington's dysfunctional fiscal politics. Nestled in the usual...

By Ed Kilgore

December 06, 2012 2:23 PM Chicken Home To Roost

As part of his long, smart series of posts on how the fiscal fights in Washington have wound up trapping Republicans, New York's Jonathan Chait reminds us today that the...

By Ed Kilgore

December 06, 2012 1:27 PM Lunch Buffet

Sorry again for the power outage and early slow posting, but we're now ahead of schedule (and thanks to Ryan for an intervention!). Here are some mid-day snacks from the...

By Ed Kilgore

December 06, 2012 12:53 PM Drone Surge

It's increasingly obvious that the use of drones in Afghanistan has become a way to continue the war at a level of great intensity while "withdrawing" in terms of boots-on-the-ground....

By Ed Kilgore

December 06, 2012 12:38 PM Liberals, the Fiscal Thingy, and Message Discipline

The last several weeks of negotiations have have provided a good example of one of the left's biggest weaknesses: message discipline. Ben Bernanke came up with the phrase "fiscal cliff,"...

By Ryan Cooper

December 06, 2012 12:11 PM Senator Scott?

It's unclear how much notice Jim DeMint gave SC Gov. Nikki Haley of his decision to resign his Senate seat almost immediately (before the convening of the next Congress in...

By Ed Kilgore

December 06, 2012 11:32 AM DeMint Goes Guerrilla

You'd have to think that the stunning announcement by Jim DeMint that he is resigning his Senate seat in January to succeed Ed Feulner as president of the Heritage Foundation...

By Ed Kilgore

December 06, 2012 10:58 AM Productivity Disconnect

In a thought-provoking piece for National Journal, Jonathan Rauch suggests political actors are failing to come to grips with the central economic problem of our era: If the American economy...

By Ed Kilgore

December 06, 2012 10:17 AM Save Me, O Enemy

One of the odder phenomena surrounding the big fiscal talks is the extent to which Obama-hating Republicans are relying on the charity of Barack Obama to save them from their...

By Ed Kilgore

December 06, 2012 10:13 AM Technical Difficulties

Just as my first substantive post was about to be saved, the power went out (I'm guessing due to a delayed tree-fall attributable to the big Pacific storm over the...

By Ed Kilgore

December 06, 2012 8:30 AM Daylight Video

In a final tribute to Dave Brubeck, who died yesterday, here's a video of the Quartet floating above L.A. on a magic carpet as they perform "Blue Rondo a la...

By Ed Kilgore

December 05, 2012 5:44 PM Day's End and Night Watch

It's WaMo's great friend Blue Girl's birthday today, and to celebrate it, I recommend you check out the Facebook page she maintains for us, among her other contributions. In news...

By Ed Kilgore

December 05, 2012 4:59 PM Austerity Forever, British Style

You can say this about conservatives in the United Kingdom: they are a lot more upfront about the unhappy impact of their policies, per this report from the New York...

By Ed Kilgore

December 05, 2012 4:09 PM Austerity Forever!

Greg Sargent offers an important reminder today of a certain item that is being heavily ignored in MSM coverage of the fiscal talks: The $1.6 trillion in tax hikes in...

By Ed Kilgore

December 05, 2012 3:09 PM Don't Love You, Man!

The evening before Paul Ryan rolled out the new compassionate rhetoric of a GOP that cares about poor people and just wants to give them wings to fly, a very...

By Ed Kilgore

December 05, 2012 2:46 PM Love You, Man!

So Paul Ryan and Mark Rubio regaled the audience at last night's Jack Kemp Foundation's award dinner with what might be called a two-pronged attack on the GOP's present political...

By Ed Kilgore

December 05, 2012 1:40 PM Lunch Buffet

I don't know exactly how many shopping days are left until Xmas, but am trying to maintain a hard-earned reputation for ignoring it all until the last possible minute. News-cycle...

By Ed Kilgore

December 05, 2012 1:10 PM How To End Fiscal Cliffhanging

Matt Miller has a column today at WaPo suggesting that the pattern of successive "fiscal cliffs" might extend indefinitely until such time as the American people make up their minds...

By Ed Kilgore

December 05, 2012 11:21 AM Golden State Rebound

As aficionados of conservative punditry probably understand, there is no recent staple of right-wing journalism hardier than the Dysfunctional California meme. The Golden State, were are told, illustrates the Grecian...

By Ed Kilgore

December 05, 2012 10:49 AM Eye of the Austerity Storm

This lede from WaPo's Neil Irwin sums up the strange dynamics of fiscal cliffsmanship better than anything you'll find: In Washington, debate over the “fiscal cliff” is cloaked in apocalyptic...

By Ed Kilgore

December 05, 2012 10:00 AM The Predictable Benching of Rove and Morris

New York's Gabriel Sherman has a fine scoop on some internal decision-making at Fox News, but I fear he's missing the big picture here: The post-election soul searching going on...

By Ed Kilgore

December 05, 2012 9:38 AM Blowing Stuff Up

Not being privy to the internal deliberations--much less the private thoughts--of Republicans, I have no way of knowing whether Speaker John Boehner and his right-wing critics are engaged in a...

By Ed Kilgore

December 05, 2012 8:30 AM Daylight Video

Stayed in a dream state for a while after the alarm went off this morning, and this is about the only musical offering I can come up with to reflect...

By Ed Kilgore

December 04, 2012 5:44 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Political news Between the Holidays continues to follow a pattern of brief bursts followed by crickets. But here's what we have for the end of the day: * Dick Armey...

By Ed Kilgore

December 04, 2012 5:12 PM That Pesky ACORN, and a Surge of Interest in Panetta-Burns

Public Policy Polling clearly decided to have some fun in its first post-election national survey. Take it away, Tom Jensen! 49% of GOP voters nationally say they think that ACORN...

By Ed Kilgore

December 04, 2012 3:35 PM Campaign Internal Polls--and a Note To HRC

It's not a big post-election issue, but for the record, Nate Silver does a nice job at FiveThirtyEight of sorting out the problems with internal campaign polling. One problem is...

By Ed Kilgore

December 04, 2012 3:12 PM The Power of the Homeschool Lobby

So in one of those developments that you are warned about, but can't quite visualize happening, the U.S. Senate failed to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of...

By Ed Kilgore

December 04, 2012 1:34 PM Lunch Buffet

Had gone several hours without thinking about the SEC championship game when I called my local pharmacy and the woman who answered the phone--another Georgia expat--asked me if I'd "gotten...

By Ed Kilgore

December 04, 2012 1:19 PM About Those Medicare Retirement Age "Savings"

At WaPo's Wonkblog, Sarah Kliff notes that the relatively paltry $5.7 billion first-year savings to the federal government that an increase in Medicare's retirement age from 65 to 67 would...

By Ed Kilgore

December 04, 2012 12:01 PM The Fiscal Debate We Are Not Having

What with the entire national political debate being perpetually centered on fiscal priorities, it's truly striking how little attention is being devoted (outside a few left-wing or libertarian precincts) to...

By Ed Kilgore

December 04, 2012 11:35 AM Beyond Partisanship on Filibuster Reform

In a Bloomberg column, conservative pundit (and newly established AEI wonk) Ramesh Ponnuru provides a good summary of the argument that Democrats may live to regret their recent interest in...

By Ed Kilgore

December 04, 2012 10:54 AM Bad Idea Oscars

Beware, America! Leading Republicans are gathering in Washington tonight to honor each other at a Jack Kemp Foundation awards dinner. The inherent nature of the event, held in the name...

By Ed Kilgore

December 04, 2012 10:22 AM The Film Subsidy Fool's Gold Rush

Gotta say, I'm beginning to think Louise Story's series in the New York Times on state and local government corporate subsidies represents some of the very best journalism of the...

By Ed Kilgore

December 04, 2012 9:28 AM The House Purge of "True Conservatives"

Coming to a political column near you soon: a pat on the head for the Serious Adults of the House GOP for getting control of their caucus and putting conservative...

By Ed Kilgore

December 04, 2012 8:27 AM Daylight Video

Just a little daily anthem: the Patti Smith Group performing Velvet Underground's "We're Going To Have a Real Good Time" in 1976....

By Ed Kilgore

December 03, 2012 6:20 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Political news got off to a decent start today but then started to dry up as everyone stared at the GOP fiscal "counteroffer," meagre as it was. In any event,...

By Ed Kilgore

December 03, 2012 5:50 PM Santorum To Hang With Birthers

Well, at least one potential 2016 presidential candidate is banking on the Republican Party continuing its hard-right trajectory after its 2012 defeat. That would be Rick Santorum, who has chosen...

By Ed Kilgore

December 03, 2012 5:39 PM GOP Fiscal Maneuvers

So there are two pieces of news out today about the Republican response to the president's so-far-very-successful maneuvers on the big fiscal issues. The first is a formal counter-offer from...

By Ed Kilgore

December 03, 2012 4:36 PM Online Cheaters

At College Guide today, we feature a web-exclusive report by freelance higher ed journalist Jamaal Abdul-alim about the growing problem of cheating by students on online college courses. The proliferation...

By Ed Kilgore

December 03, 2012 2:30 PM Bobby's Big Day

So Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal popped up twice on the political news aggregators today: first because of a puffy McKay Coppins Buzzfeed column about how his BFF relationship with Rick...

By Ed Kilgore

December 03, 2012 1:48 PM Lunch Buffet

I'm still recovering from Saturday's SEC championship football game, and its insanely frustrating ending. But it did mean not having to find the money or time to be in Miami,...

By Ed Kilgore

December 03, 2012 1:25 PM Stepping Onto the Right's Shining Path

In case anyone is keeping score, it's now nearly a month since the 2012 elections took place, and signs of a "struggle for the soul of the Republican Party" remain...

By Ed Kilgore

December 03, 2012 12:43 PM No Reverse Coattails

The University of Minnesota's Smart Politics site crosses some t's and dots some i's with respect to an argument that should have been over quite some time ago: as the...

By Ed Kilgore

December 03, 2012 11:39 AM Telling Old Folks the Truth

I think we've all come to realize that the biggest Republican dilemma during the fiscal talks--as it's been under the surface for years now--how to reconcile the fundamental desire to...

By Ed Kilgore

December 03, 2012 10:45 AM Cavemen in Neckties

This is hardly a new subject--TNR's Alec MacGillis among others did some serious investigative reporting back when Rick Perry was a viable presidential candidate--but Louise Story of the New York...

By Ed Kilgore

December 03, 2012 9:38 AM Whatever Sheldon Wants

One of the things about the pace of contemporary American politics is that it's dangerously easy to get used to outrageous developments. That's how I feel, anyway, about the post-Citizens...

By Ed Kilgore

December 03, 2012 8:18 AM Daylight Video

Some frantic music to get the week off to an energetic start: the Dixie Dregs performing "The Bash" at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1978. This was about a year...

By Ed Kilgore

December 02, 2012 5:04 PM Why do Asian Americans vote so heavily Democratic? Political science research has some answers

One of the more surprising voting trends in American politics over the past two decades is the dramatic shift of Asian Americans toward the Democratic Party. Only 31% of the...

By Kathleen Geier

December 02, 2012 4:03 PM Thomas Jefferson is "one of the most deeply creepy people in American history." Agreed!

An interesting scholarly controversy has broken out among historians. Independent scholar Henry Wiencek has written a book about Thomas Jefferson, a withering assessment called Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson...

By Kathleen Geier

December 02, 2012 1:52 PM Spectacularly nutzo true crime story of the day: John McAfee

OMG, this is so insane! True crime fans and others who are looking for a highly diverting read this Sunday afternoon: let me strongly recommend David Segal's excellent New York...

By Kathleen Geier

December 02, 2012 12:51 PM Report: Walmart plans to deny health care benefits to new employees

Why the ACA can't kick in soon enough, part the infinite: the Huffington Post is reporting that, according to a new policy that will take effect in January, Walmart will...

By Kathleen Geier

December 02, 2012 10:00 AM When corporations act like protection rackets . . . and taxpayers are left holding the bag

As if my earlier post about the curse of the state lotteries were not depressing enough, here comes yet another depressing report from the laboratories of democracy. In part one...

By Kathleen Geier

December 02, 2012 8:31 AM State lotteries and the winner's curse

In auction theory, economists have studied a phenomenon they call the "winner's curse." This occurs when, in common value auctions (auctions in which the item is of approximately the same...

By Kathleen Geier

December 01, 2012 4:30 PM Brother Benjamin is off in France/We're taking Trenton back again...

That's it for me, folks. Hope you've had an enjoyable Saturday. Also, happy birthday to Washington Monthly editor in chief Paul Glastris. Paul is a great editor and a great...

By Jesse Singal

December 01, 2012 3:30 PM Rice, Kerry, and the Appointment Fight

In The Boston Globe, Robert Kuttner argues that John Kerry shouldn't be nominated as secretary of state or defense. Doing so, he says, would legitimize baseless Republican attacks on UN...

By Jesse Singal

December 01, 2012 2:10 PM Grover Norquist's Fascinating Theory

Grover Norquist, despite what some might construe as recent evidence to the contrary, is nothing if not bullish on the future of his brand of radical anti-tax ideology: "We are...

By Jesse Singal

December 01, 2012 1:20 PM Item #234432 in the "Silver Was Right" File

If, like me, you can't get enough of people who are less intelligent than Nate Silver getting their comeuppance after sternly lecturing their audiences that Silver couldn't possibly be correct...

By Jesse Singal

December 01, 2012 12:30 PM The Art of Strategic Feedback Solicitation

Marketing research can be pretty fascinating: In an experiment, subjects were divided into two groups and directed to replicate the preparation of an "award-winning smoothie." All of the participants were...

By Jesse Singal

December 01, 2012 11:20 AM Dispatch from Ramallah

A month ago I was in Israel and Palestine with some classmates. As part of the final "policy workshop" we must complete to get out of here with our shiny...

By Jesse Singal

December 01, 2012 10:00 AM Your Move, Mr. President

There's a good rundown in the Times of how young activists in the immigration reform movement—many of them undocumented immigrants themselves—helped get President Obama re-elected: Now, movement leaders say, it...

By Jesse Singal

December 01, 2012 9:05 AM Spoiling the Peace

Morning! Very good to be back at Political Animal after what felt like a lifetime away. Let's start with the always-cheerful subject of Israeli-Palestinian relations — namely, Mahmoud Abbas's trip...

By Jesse Singal

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