Political Animal


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

By Ed Kilgore

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 the day:

* At FT, Wolfgang Munchau argues Mario Monti’s resignation as Italy’s Prime Minister will and should force return to central conflicts of the European austerity crisis.

* Kurtz compares lack of genuine public or even media interest in the “fiscal cliff” to the debt limit drama of 2011.

* Yglesias notes Republicans moving money heavily into gold coins.

* At Ten Miles Square, Harold Pollack deplores the “wonk gap” and wishes conservatives had a substantive TV show.

* At College Guide, Daniel Luzer assesses the trend towards employers requiring college degrees for skilled jobs where a bachelor’s sheepskin is actually irrelevant.

And in non-political news:

* PPP survey finds the Chipmunks’ “Christmas Don’t Be Late” far and away the “most annoying holiday song.” But “Rocking Around the Xmas Tree” was not listed as an option.


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.


  • martin on December 10, 2012 6:22 PM:

    I guess Little Drummer Boy was disqualified because it is the MOST ANNOYING SONG EVER!

  • Joe Friday on December 10, 2012 7:10 PM:

    Caught this statement from Senator Debbie Stabenow during her appearance on 'THIS WEEK' yesterday:


    "George, let's look at the facts. First of all, there are three parts of the stool here to solve this problem. One's spending. We've already agreed to $1 trillion in spending reductions. Two, Medicare and entitlements. We've already agreed to over $700 billion in spending reductions on Medicare, starting by cutting overpayments to insurance companies. Three is making sure the wealthiest in the country contribute to solving the deficit problem. That's what hasn't passed.

    So for us to continue on this, we have to have the Senate bill that continues tax cuts for middle-class families, that says to the wealthiest among us, you're going to chip in, you're going to be part of the solution. The House just needs to pass it.

    That would mean we would have done something on each of the areas that my colleagues are talking about. Then we have to take another step on all three of those. But right now, the only thing I hear, the only thing we see is middle-class families being asked over and over again to be the ones who have the burden in solving this problem."


    Absolutely BRILLIANT !

    This should be the script from the White House and every Democratic member of the House and Senate.

    (My only critique is I wish she would have said "savings to Medicare", which is true, but we can't allow the perfect be the enemy of the good)

  • godoggo on December 10, 2012 7:28 PM:

    I'd agree with martin about "The Little Drummer Boy," unless you count the Joan Jett version. Nobody ever delivered the line "And we honor him when we come" the way she did.

    And I got "Rockin Around the Christmas Tree" on regular rotation on my last.fm station as well as a number of other Christmas songs by olde country singers, just because I like that kind of music, even though I don't celebrate Christmas. It's certainly no worse than most of the pop music we're subjected to the rest of the year.

  • godoggo on December 10, 2012 7:40 PM:

    OK, the version of "Rockin' around" I've been getting is by Donna Fargo, which is apparently not the popular version. But I like it OK.

  • schtick on December 10, 2012 7:44 PM:

    Seeing that they start playing Christmas songs on Halloween in all the stores, they ALL annoy me by December.

  • jhm on December 11, 2012 8:24 AM:

    Since I'm not usually exposed to much Xmass music that I don't select myself, I'll instead mention that Tivo has a record wishlist entitled "OldTime Christmas" which will automatically record various specials. Included in this list is a Shrek christmas special (remember, this is "Old Time") but NOT Charlie Brown!! I fit this into the general topic of Christmas Music by reminding everyone that the absolute best Christmas album, and one of the best generally, can be found on "A Charlie Brown Christmas" by the Vince Guaraldi Trio

  • cwolf on December 11, 2012 1:35 PM:

    PPP survey finds the Chipmunks’ “Christmas Don’t Be Late” far and away the “most annoying holiday song.” But “Rocking Around the Xmas Tree” was not listed as an option.

    When listing the candidates for “most annoying holiday song,” Was All The Above a given choice?

    I have never heard a xmas song i liked. They all suck.
    The “most annoying holiday song” is whatever one is audible at the time.

  • wahoofive on December 11, 2012 2:53 PM:

    Maybe "Little Drummer Boy" has a lifetime Most Annoying award so they excluded it to give the other songs a chance.

  • low-tech cyclist on December 11, 2012 3:18 PM:

    "Little Drummer Boy" wins easily, for any version you're likely to hear over a retail store's sound system.

  • zandru on December 11, 2012 3:42 PM:

    I for one would like to hear "I Yust Go Nuts at Christmas" more frequently. The family acquired a Dr Demento Xmas collection some years back which is always a must.