Political Animal

January 2013 Archives

January 31, 2013 5:30 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Want to know why I don't watch political TV much? Things like discovering that listening to Michelle Malkin is even more unpleasant than reading her. Here are some remains of...

By Ed Kilgore

January 31, 2013 4:43 PM Too Much Love For "The Base?"

A new PPP survey of Texas has a couple of interesting findings, with the big question being whether they are inter-related. (1) Hillary Clinton currently leads the three named Republicans...

By Ed Kilgore

January 31, 2013 3:23 PM Welcome To the '14 Circus, Geraldo!

Boy, and I thought Paul Broun's addition to the ranks of Republican Senate candidates for 2014 would be hard to top. But now comes the news that Geraldo Rivera is...

By Ed Kilgore

January 31, 2013 2:35 PM The Bigger Higher-Ed Affirmative Action Issue

It is widely expected that before the U.S. Supreme Court ends its current session, it will act to significantly restrict college affirmative action programs in a case involving Texas. But...

By Ed Kilgore

January 31, 2013 1:45 PM Lunch Buffet

Straw man furiously burning on Fox News right now: allowing women into combat roles means they may someday be drafted! Here are some mid-day news-and-views morsels: * Example of why...

By Ed Kilgore

January 31, 2013 12:32 PM A Walk On the Wild Side

I was going to await his formal announcement before uttering the cry of joy every progressive blogger will share at the arrival of a cycle's worth of slow-news-day content. But...

By Ed Kilgore

January 31, 2013 12:13 PM You're Welcome, Beer Drinkers of America

Loyal readers might recall that in our November/December issue we ran a piece warning about the dangers of consolidation in the American beer market, arguing that creeping monopolization threatened both...

By Ryan Cooper

January 31, 2013 11:27 AM Hagel's First Steps To Confirmation

As confirmation hearings on Chuck Hagel begin in the Senate Armed Services Committee, you can probably expect an inverse relationship between the intensity of attacks on him from confirmed enemies,...

By Ed Kilgore

January 31, 2013 11:12 AM Powers Project Report

So yesterday I said I'd watch Kirsten Powers on Fox News when I could and judge from experience myself whether she seems to be the faux Democrat indicated in some...

By Ed Kilgore

January 31, 2013 10:31 AM The Randian Case for Restricting Immigration

You might figure a guy like Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) would have to be a bit conflicted on the immigration issue. Give his father's identity, he's probably been exposed to...

By Ed Kilgore

January 31, 2013 9:25 AM Unlucky Duckies

HHS regulations just issued clarifying implementation of the individual health care purchasing mandate should draw attention to the human costs associated with the little temper tantrums certain governors are throwing....

By Ed Kilgore

January 31, 2013 8:20 AM Daylight Video

It's the perfect song for drifing in and out of a fever dream: Living Colour performing "Love Rears Its Ugly Head" at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2001....

By Ed Kilgore

January 30, 2013 5:26 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Man, an afternoon of watching Fox was as harrowing as expected. What really amazes me are their "panels" where a lot of people together escalate right-wing arguments (that seems to...

By Ed Kilgore

January 30, 2013 5:00 PM The Racial Wealth Gap Gets a Lot Worse

It's become well known in the last decade or so that measurement of racial progress that focus strictly on income (still unequal, but getting less so) differentials miss a critical...

By Ed Kilgore

January 30, 2013 4:30 PM Sequester Versus Budgeting

While there's growing pessimism over Congress being able to reach any sort of agreement to avoid the scheduled March 1 "sequester" of appropriations, that's not to say the two parties...

By Ed Kilgore

January 30, 2013 3:26 PM Electoral College Rigging Threat Rapidly Diminishing

The electoral vote rigging initiatives that were kicking around just last week in battleground states carried by Barack Obama in 2012 but controlled by Republicans at the state level seem...

By Ed Kilgore

January 30, 2013 2:39 PM Premiums Under Obamacare: Who Pays More Or Less?

There's a lot of talk coming from conservatives lately about Obamacare leading to a shocking series of premium increases in private insurance policies that will quickly produce another big political...

By Ed Kilgore

January 30, 2013 1:43 PM Lunch Buffet

Well, my experiment of watching (or in some cases, listening to as I type) Fox News is underway, though I haven't spotted Kirsten Powers yet or heard anything that sounded...

By Ed Kilgore

January 30, 2013 12:25 PM The Divergent Fates of Sarah Palin and Shirley Sherrod

With the recent retirement of Sarah Palin from her grotesquely lucrative career as a Fox commentator, I immediately thought of another person who was inadvertently catapulted to national prominence: Shirley...

By Ryan Cooper

January 30, 2013 11:15 AM Will the Foreign Policy Version of "Fast & Furious" Ever End?

When a significant group of politicians decide to make some event or issue the center of media attention, they can often do so to a considerable extent whether it makes...

By Ed Kilgore

January 30, 2013 10:43 AM The Powers Project

Yesterday I did a post reacting to a column by Fox News "personality" and Daily Beast columnist Kirstin Powers accusing the president of trying illegally to shut down Fox because...

By Ed Kilgore

January 30, 2013 9:50 AM Race, Income and Health

There's been a long-standing debate in U.S. policy circles about the intersection of race, economics and health care quality. In the January/February issue of the Washington Monthly, senior editor Phillip...

By Ed Kilgore

January 30, 2013 9:23 AM So Is Austerity Now a Problem?

One of the more darkly entertaining things to watch in Washington right now is the dance of those who are alarmed about the pending March 1 "sequestration" of defense funds...

By Ed Kilgore

January 30, 2013 8:21 AM Daylight Video

For no specific reason, here's Lenny Kravitz in an apparently spontaneous appearance with the Voice of Praise Choir from the First Baptist Church of Lewisville, Texas, performing "Fly Away" at...

By Ed Kilgore

January 29, 2013 5:39 PM Day's End and Night Watch

The president's advocacy of speedy deliberation notwithstanding, I think we'll be arguing about immigration reform for a good chunk of this year. For now, here are some final news items...

By Ed Kilgore

January 29, 2013 5:11 PM Kerry Confirmed

So congrats to John Kerry, who was confirmed as the country's 68th Secretary of State this afternoon. The confirmation vote was 94-3. Both the senators from the homeland of the...

By Ed Kilgore

January 29, 2013 4:22 PM Obama Immigration Speech: It's About Time

If you read the transcript of the president's immigration policy speech in Las Vegas today, it mostly follows very familiar tracks. It defines "comprehensive reform" as including better enforcement at...

By Ed Kilgore

January 29, 2013 3:44 PM Erickson Disappoints

To those of us who hoped Erick Erickson would leap into the Republican primary to succeed retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss--perhaps mixing it up with other "true conservatives" like Paul Broun...

By Ed Kilgore

January 29, 2013 3:07 PM Can GOP Tolerate "Moderate" Wing?

I know I spend a fair amount of time criticizing David Brooks' New York Times columns here, and for good reason. But his latest essay is interesting. After accurately describing...

By Ed Kilgore

January 29, 2013 2:05 PM Lunch Buffet

Wonder how long I can deceive myself into believing I'm auditioning Daylight Video possibilities while checking out music at various points in the day? They wouldn't have tolerated this in...

By Ed Kilgore

January 29, 2013 1:07 PM The Purge

Anyone even vaguely familiar with political magazines is having a lot of fun today mocking this immensely stupid report from the Washington Free Beacon, under the headline "Hughes Drops Jews":...

By Ed Kilgore

January 29, 2013 12:24 PM Immigration Reform Linchpin

As we await the president's speech on immigration reform (due to be delivered at 2:55 EST in Las Vegas), the much-ballyhooed Senate Gang of Eight agreement on the subject continues...

By Ed Kilgore

January 29, 2013 11:53 AM Checking Out of the Feigned Outrage Biz

In contrast to the perpetually outraged Kirsten Powers, someone in the small tribe well to her right, Bay Buchanan, has checked out of politics to sell real estate because she...

By Ed Kilgore

January 29, 2013 11:45 AM Nobody Here But Us Liberals....

I would direct your attention, however briefly, to a fairly typical tirade by Fox News' Kirsten Powers on the Fox website about the bottomless fear in the hearts of all...

By Ed Kilgore

January 29, 2013 10:26 AM We All Agree on Immigration, But....

The rapidly emerging CW on comprehensive immigration reform is that it's a fast train leaving the station, thanks to a collective decision by the Republican Party that continuing to be...

By Ed Kilgore

January 29, 2013 9:29 AM Bad Faith Offer

Snakes alive, Bobby Jindal is a busy man these days! Even as pundits are still debating his Great Big Speech to the winter meeting of the Republican National Committee last...

By Ed Kilgore

January 29, 2013 8:43 AM Daylight Video

Should have posted this during the "you built that" furor last year: the Irish band Horslips performing "The Man Who Built America."...

By Ed Kilgore

January 28, 2013 5:44 PM Day's End and Night Watch

After we get a nice, succinct video of Friday's event on Race, History and Obama's Second Term, I'll get back to writing about some of the articles in the January/February...

By Ed Kilgore

January 28, 2013 5:11 PM Knee-Slapper

This report from Al Kamen's "In the Loop" column at WaPo shows either that Mitt Romney retains some affection from the people who helped finance his presidential campaign, or that...

By Ed Kilgore

January 28, 2013 5:08 PM Jindal and "Populist Libertarianism"

Progressives (myself included) have had great sport with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's Great Big Speech to the RNC in Charlotte last week--and with the rave reviews he seemed to be...

By Ed Kilgore

January 28, 2013 4:20 PM California Model

Way back in the day, it used to be common-place for progressives to identify California as a national political trend-setter. More recently, it's been the Right that's most often pointed...

By Ed Kilgore

January 28, 2013 3:09 PM Post-Campaign Bitterness

After complaining about me "wasting space" by writing about Sarah Palin (I plead innocence of any big obsession with La Pasionaria of the Permafrost, but writing twelve posts a day...

By Ed Kilgore

January 28, 2013 1:48 PM Lunch Buffet

It's been a relatively quiet morning political-news-wise. But here's what I got in the way of mid-day items: * Politico's Dylan Byers offers a mixed-bag review of the newly relaunched...

By Ed Kilgore

January 28, 2013 1:29 PM Is You-Know-Who Really Gone?

I noted in passing the other day the news that Fox News and Sarah Palin had failed to reach agreement on an extension of the contract that apparently paid her...

By Ed Kilgore

January 28, 2013 12:20 PM The Harkin Retirement

It wasn't a complete surprise since he is currently 73 years old, but there wasn't much warning before Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) announced he's not running (as Sam Knight noted...

By Ed Kilgore

January 28, 2013 11:15 AM Immigration Reform Back On Track--For the Moment

Well, it only took five-and-a-half years to get another shot at comprehensive immigration reform after the Senate, in one of those maneuvers genuine filibuster reform might eliminate, killed a motion...

By Ed Kilgore

January 28, 2013 10:31 AM Bad Idea Whose Time Has Come--Again!

While reading Evan Soltsas' discussion at WaPo's Wonkblog of the pending "sequestration" of appropriations due to occur on March 1 if some agreement to kill or replace it doesn't happen,...

By Ed Kilgore

January 28, 2013 9:10 AM Waiting For Righty

It's always good to see Paul Krugman confirming one's arguments, as he did yesterday in a devastating column about the phony "reforms" going on in the Republican Party, as represented...

By Ed Kilgore

January 28, 2013 8:40 AM Daylight Video

I met a couple at church yesterday who were originally from Waycross, Georgia. So that got me thinking about Gram Parsons, who grew up there. Here's some rare video of...

By Ed Kilgore

January 27, 2013 5:04 PM Arizona could end up outdoing its crazy self

Just when you thought Arizona couldn't go any further out of its way to repel non-whites and foreigners, a state representative wants orderlies to join Phoenix's draconian crackdown on undocumented...

By Samuel Knight

January 27, 2013 3:59 PM When liberty beat security at the airport

A potentially important story was reported by Wired's David Kravets on Friday, though it resulted in nary a peep from the national media. A Virginia man named Aaron Tobey, detained...

By Samuel Knight

January 27, 2013 1:05 PM The trouble with the Stuxnet leak investigation

As I mentioned in this morning's news round-up, the Justice Department has stepped up its search for the source of the Stuxnet New York Times leak. In the summer of...

By Samuel Knight

January 27, 2013 10:38 AM Paul Ryan: We won't shut down the government

Paul Ryan, in his first live interview since November, offered a lot of the same combative and duplicitous talking points about fiscal policy that he employed in the run up...

By Samuel Knight

January 27, 2013 9:18 AM Sunday Morning Reads

-A fire broke out at a nightclub in southern Brazil last night, leaving at least 245 people dead and another 200 injured. -Just when you thought we'd get a respite...

By Samuel Knight

January 26, 2013 3:54 PM Four years later, Paul Ryan wants more of the same

Just when I thought that the National Review Institute demonstrated that Republicans are ready to compromise, Paul Ryan outlined a somewhat apocalyptic vision of budget negotiations there on Saturday. According...

By Samuel Knight

January 26, 2013 1:53 PM Four years later, is the GOP finally ready to legislate?

It's been a rough few months for the GOP. Barack Obama is no one-term President; Mitch McConnell's dream has been consigned to the dustbin of history. The only reason John...

By Samuel Knight

January 26, 2013 11:54 AM Another Dem to leave the Senate -- Harkin announces imminent retirement

From Democrats' point of view, Tom Harkin probably couldn't have picked a worse time to announce his impending retirement -- a move he made this morning. With John Kerry expected...

By Samuel Knight

January 26, 2013 10:50 AM UPDATED: Scott Brown issues a stern warning to his opponents: "Bqhatevwr"

Late last night, Scott Brown indicated that he will run in the special election set to take place if John Kerry is confirmed as Secretary of State -- an outcome...

By Samuel Knight

January 26, 2013 9:37 AM Saturday Morning Reads

-According to the New York Times, the Obama administration will soon decide the extent to which the U.S. will assist the French military's intervention in Mali. At the heart of...

By Samuel Knight

January 25, 2013 5:35 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

Its been a fun day, and now it's time, if you haven't already, to curl up for the weekend with your copy of the January/February issue of the Washington Monthly....

By Ed Kilgore

January 25, 2013 5:03 PM Guests At Phil Mickelson's Pity Party

Golfer Phil Mickelson isn't getting a lot of public sympathy for the pity party he publicly threw for himself about the marginal tax rates he will have to face in...

By Ed Kilgore

January 25, 2013 4:35 PM Believing Your Own Hype

I share Josh Marshall's astonishment at this news from Israel: Much like with Mitt Romney, it seems that Benjamin Netanyahu had no idea of the electoral drubbing headed his way,...

By Ed Kilgore

January 25, 2013 3:23 PM Race, History, and Obama's Second Term: A Discussion

If you missed the free live event this morning to discuss the many interconnected issues raised in the January/February issue of the Monthly--or the live broadcast at CSPAN and webcast...

By Ed Kilgore

January 25, 2013 3:02 PM No, I'm Not "Fighting Fascism"

I'm sure a lot of readers have "Googlegangers," someone with your name whose writings, life-events, legal activities or friends/enemies pop up when you enter your own self. My most famous...

By Ed Kilgore

January 25, 2013 1:48 PM Lunch Buffet

I hope a lot of you attended or watched the Free Live Event this morning. If you couldn't, I hope to have a link to a recording pretty soon. It...

By Ed Kilgore

January 25, 2013 1:22 PM Stupid Is As Stupid Does

It's not taking anyone much time to figure out exactly what Bobby Jindal was talking about in his Great Big Defining Speech at an RNC meeting last night when he...

By Ed Kilgore

January 25, 2013 12:34 PM Kerry and Climate Change

Perhaps seeking to enliven the dull confirmation hearings over John Kerry's nomination to serve as Secretary of State, Politico's Darren Samuelsohn and Jonathan Allen have penned a piece about Kerry...

By Ed Kilgore

January 25, 2013 11:59 AM Let the Extremist Games Begin!

So for those who enjoy fractious Republican Senate primaries, the bad news is that there won't be a "RINO hunt" for Saxby Chambliss in Georgia next year, thanks to Chambliss'...

By Ed Kilgore

January 25, 2013 9:48 AM Today's Live Event: Race, History and Obama's Second Term

As advertised earlier, the Washington Monthly is sponsoring a free event this morning to discuss the cover package in the new issue of the Monthly, entitled "Race, History and Obama's...

By Ed Kilgore

January 25, 2013 9:43 AM Genius At Work

Yesterday I mentioned the Great Big Speech Bobby Jindal was scheduled to do at a RNC meeting in Charlotte last night, and discussed the signals he was sending out that...

By Ed Kilgore

January 25, 2013 8:36 AM Daylight Video

For no particular reason, here's the James Gang performing "Walk Away" in 1971....

By Ed Kilgore

January 24, 2013 6:25 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Need a mental laxative after brisk trip through British political journalism. Here are some remains of the day: * Harry Reid admits to Ezra Klein that he's really not in...

By Ed Kilgore

January 24, 2013 5:17 PM Cameron's Euro-Pirouette

David Cameron's big Euro Speech was delayed from its original time and place in Amsterdam due to the Algerian hostage crisis, and then finally delivered yesterday in London. The basics...

By Ed Kilgore

January 24, 2013 3:53 PM Chris Christie and the "First Primary"

Speaking of the 2016 contest, as I guess we must now and then at a site called Political Animal: Esquire's Mark Warren offers a threshold for credible presidential candidates that...

By Ed Kilgore

January 24, 2013 2:54 PM Borderline

At WaPo's The Fix, where it's apparently Wingnut Week, Aaron Blake had a post yesterday on Sen. Rand Paul's efforts to stake out a position well to the right of...

By Ed Kilgore

January 24, 2013 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Onto day nine of second cycle of eleven-day diets; everything takes like sludge. What I get for letting go for so long. At any rate, though "lunch" is not an...

By Ed Kilgore

January 24, 2013 1:28 PM The Kansas "Experiment"

Soon after then-Senator Sam Brownback saw his presidential ambitions fade in 2007 when Mike Huckabee outflanked him as the candidate of hard-core Iowa anti-choicers and home schoolers, he turned his...

By Ed Kilgore

January 24, 2013 12:16 PM Already In the Line of Fire

The conservative reaction to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's announcement that the military would abolish its arbitrary restriction against women serving in positions defined as "combat roles" is predictable but a...

By Ed Kilgore

January 24, 2013 11:54 AM The Filibuster Deal: Very Conventional Reform

Sam Stein and Ryan Grim of HuffPost report that Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell have reached an agreement to make modest changes in the Senate rules governing filibusters: The deal...

By Ed Kilgore

January 24, 2013 10:58 AM The Electoral College Rigging Scheme in Perspective

So if you've been semi-aware of the fast-developing story of state-level Republicans in battleground states proposing changes in electoral college allocations, here's the clearest account so far, from Emory's Alan...

By Ed Kilgore

January 24, 2013 10:16 AM Jindal's "I've Got It: Let's Move to the Right!" Prescription

I will be watching for a transcript of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's speech to the Republican National Committee's winter meeting in Charlotte tonight with considerable anticipation. It looks like he's...

By Ed Kilgore

January 24, 2013 9:38 AM Rejecting Medicaid Expansion: No Ground To Stand On

One of the more bizarre phenomena transpiring across the country--sort of a slow-motion riot--involves the efforts of (mostly Republican) governors and state legislators to deny their citizens the benefits of...

By Ed Kilgore

January 24, 2013 8:44 AM Daylight Video

Not expecting one of these, but it never hurts to hope: "Perfect Day," performed by Lou Reed at Montreux in 1980....

By Ed Kilgore

January 23, 2013 5:35 PM Day's End and Night Watch

On this day in 1997, Madeline Albright was sworn in as first woman to serve as Secretary of State. Wonder if Hillary Clinton realized that as she endured her farewell...

By Ed Kilgore

January 23, 2013 5:03 PM The House GOP's Strange, Hollow "Victory"

So today the House passed their ultra-gimmicky temporary debt limit bill today that threatened not a global economic collapse but a congressional pay suspension, in the pursuit of a demand...

By Ed Kilgore

January 23, 2013 4:35 PM Moses or Joshua?

As Barack Obama begins his second term, progressives are spending a significant amount of time trying to figure out reasonable expectations for him given political and fiscal realities. More than...

By Ed Kilgore

January 23, 2013 3:23 PM Action to Back Up Rhetoric on Voting Rights

I noted on Monday the promising sign that the president made ensuring voting rights among the small number of specific policy priorities he mentioned in his inaugural address. But we've...

By Ed Kilgore

January 23, 2013 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

There are painters doing some repair work at my place, so I may have to move around my blogging station a time or two. Here are today's lunch-time news items:...

By Ed Kilgore

January 23, 2013 1:35 PM Did USA Today Dump Gallup?

Late last week USAToday and the Gallup organization announced, as Politico's Dylan Byers reported, "a mutual decision to end their 20-year partnership." As anyone familiar with decisions to dissolve everything...

By Ed Kilgore

January 23, 2013 12:37 PM Partisan Differences on "Health Inefficiency" As Important as Tax Chasm

There are a variety of reasons I'm a pessimist about any sort of long-term bipartisan agreement on fiscal policy. The most obvious, of course, is the chasm between left and...

By Ed Kilgore

January 23, 2013 11:16 AM Liberalism and Freedom

Whatever else you think about the president's second inaugural address--its combative tone, its choice of issues to emphasize or ignore, its relationship to current disputes in Washington, and even its...

By Ed Kilgore

January 23, 2013 10:13 AM Don't Project U.S. Anxieties Into Israeli Election Results

Like a lot of people quickly reacting to the somewhat surprising Israeli election results yesterday, I noted that one possible governing coalition partner of Bibi Netanyahu, Yair Lapid of the...

By Ed Kilgore

January 23, 2013 9:05 AM LaPierre the Proud Absolutist

In his litany of anathemas aimed at today's conservative extremists during the second inaugural address, the president said: "We cannot mistake absolutism for principle." That could have well been aimed...

By Ed Kilgore

January 23, 2013 8:45 AM A Free Event for Political Animal Readers This Friday in DC

If any of you are in DC this Friday, you're welcome to attend a free live event we're having at the New America Foundation to discuss the cover package in...

By Paul Glastris

January 23, 2013 8:41 AM Daylight Video

Another song emerging unbidden from my unconscious upon arising: Desmond Dekker performing his ska classic, "Israelites," reportedly the first international chartbuster out of Jamaica....

By Ed Kilgore

January 22, 2013 5:44 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Got a bit behind this afternoon trying to divine the Israeli election returns, but am back on track to spend a few hours in uninterrupted sniffling and sneezing. Here are...

By Ed Kilgore

January 22, 2013 5:17 PM The Gap Between Public Opinion and Congress on Guns

In a highly informative piece on the state of play in the Senate over the president's upcoming proposal for a universal system of background checks for gun purchasers, WaPo's Greg...

By Ed Kilgore

January 22, 2013 4:59 PM Bibi's Big Decision

The normally very accurate Israeli exit polls show Bibi Netanyahu's Likud Beytenu party (a combination of the old Likud with Avigdor Lieberman's hard-right Yisrael Beiteinu grouping) winning the largest number...

By Ed Kilgore

January 22, 2013 4:35 PM Club For Growth: Debt Default, No; Government Shutdown, Yes

As House Republicans prepare to pass their rather convoluted temporary debt-limit increase legislation (requiring the Senate to pass a budget or face a constitutionally dubious pay cutoff), Dave Weigel notes...

By Ed Kilgore

January 22, 2013 3:45 PM Ryan's Attempted Clarification on "Takers"

Paul Ryan exhibited some chutzpah today in a cry of foul play aimed at the president's shot at those who divide Americans into "takers and makers," which until it got...

By Ed Kilgore

January 22, 2013 1:52 PM Lunch Buffet

Afraid I've been battling the same cold or flu that's hit so much of the country. So if I begin blogging a bit later in the morning this week it's...

By Ed Kilgore

January 22, 2013 1:16 PM Gerson's "Raging Bonfire of Straw Men"

Best I can tell, the small tribe of self-identified GOP moderates did not react to the president's second inaugural address in any sort of consistent way. David Frum was strictly...

By Ed Kilgore

January 22, 2013 12:15 PM Roe v. Wade's 40th Anniversary: The Irrepressible Conflict

Today is the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision making access to abortion services a federal constitutional right rather than a matter of state policy....

By Ed Kilgore

January 22, 2013 11:12 AM Meanwhile, Down in Richmond....

Eric Cantor is a pretty big cheese in Virginia Republican politics, right? So you have to figure that while he was making all those billing and cooing noises in Washington...

By Ed Kilgore

January 22, 2013 10:17 AM Will Phil Mickelson Go Galt?

Among the sweet and sour sentiments expressed during yesterday's Inaugural festivities, this bit of news struck a decidedly sour note: Speaking after Sunday's Humana Challenge, Mickelson hinted at what could...

By Ed Kilgore

January 22, 2013 9:11 AM Let's Compromise: Do It My Way!

I am grateful for some of the signs emanating from the Right yesterday indicating a willingness to accept the 2012 election results, and/or to stop treating the president of the...

By Ed Kilgore

January 22, 2013 8:39 AM Daylight Video

Feeling a little class warfare-ish this morning. So here's Curved Air performing "Marie Antoinette" on Belgian television in 1972....

By Ed Kilgore

January 21, 2013 5:30 PM Day's End and Night Watch

It's been a fascinating day of sights, sounds and words, and I'm sure we'll be talking about it off and on for the rest of the week. Before I forget,...

By Ed Kilgore

January 21, 2013 4:54 PM Voting Rights Moved Up In the Line

Looking once again at what was mentioned and un-mentioned in the president's second inaugural address, and in what context, I am struck in a favorable way by the high priority...

By Ed Kilgore

January 21, 2013 3:44 PM The Restoration That Wasn't

So how many of you found yourselves wondering today what the inauguration of Willard Mitt Romney would have looked and felt like? Aside from the certainty that the crowd would...

By Ed Kilgore

January 21, 2013 2:41 PM Obama Positions Himself For the Battles Just Ahead

The president's soaring rhetoric about equality and his stirring lines about women, GLBT folk, and immigrants may well be what history remembers about his second inaugural address. But the brief...

By Ed Kilgore

January 21, 2013 1:52 PM Lunch Buffet

As noted yesterday, this is both Inaugural Day and a federal holiday (when Lite Blogging is normally followered here), so I'll continue to do posts as developments dictate--particularly a couple...

By Ed Kilgore

January 21, 2013 1:27 PM Climate Change Out of the Shadows

Without question, the single most surprising passage--not so much in its existence, but in its length, central placement, and unambiguous language--in the president's second inaugural address involved climate change: We,...

By Ed Kilgore

January 21, 2013 12:57 PM We're Still Around

This morning Amy Sullivan offered an interesting tweet about the Inaugural benediction: When Rev Luis Leon gives the benediction at the Inauguration today, he'll be the first mainline Protestant to...

By Ed Kilgore

January 21, 2013 12:26 PM Obama Reclaims Declaration of Independence

I don't have the text of Barack Obama's second inaugural address just yet, but it will pretty be interpreted as an unambiguous, even combative, progressive reclamation of patriotic traditions and...

By Ed Kilgore

January 21, 2013 10:43 AM Obama, MLK and the Continuing Dilemma of the "First Black President"

Those of you who have been reading the new January/February issue of the Washington Monthly are well-attuned to the issues raised by Susan Saulny's front-page piece in today's New York...

By Ed Kilgore

January 21, 2013 9:41 AM Inaugural Schedule

Here, from AP, is a detailed schedule of today's Inaugural events: 11:30 a.m. EST: Ceremonial swearing-in, Capitol Hill The order of the program: Musical selections: The U.S. Marine Band Musical...

By Ed Kilgore

January 21, 2013 9:08 AM Daylight Video

For MLK Day (and also Inaugural Day), here's Mahalia Jackson performing "We Shall Overcome."...

By Ed Kilgore

January 20, 2013 8:27 PM Obama as a racial justice president

Over the weekend, the Washington Post published an op-ed by Frederick Harris, a political science professor at Columbia, which argues that Barack Obama has failed to adequately address "the persistence...

By Kathleen Geier

January 20, 2013 12:14 PM Rape one for the Gipper? Rape culture, maudlin sentimentality, and sports

Besides Monsignor Meth, the other irrestistible WTF story of the week was, of course, the Manti Te'o fake dead girlfriend saga. Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o continues to adamantly maintain...

By Kathleen Geier

January 20, 2013 10:55 AM Immigration reform? Gun control? What can we realistically expect from Obama's second term, anyway?

This is good news: today on CNN's State of the Union, one of Obama's top advisers, David Plouffe, said he thinks there's "'no reason' immigration reform shouldn't move through Congress...

By Kathleen Geier

January 20, 2013 8:55 AM Joseph Stiglitz: Inequality is preventing a recovery

The New York Times' Opinionator features a great piece by Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz about a subject that gets far too little attention: the relationship between economic inequality and...

By Kathleen Geier

January 20, 2013 7:03 AM R.I.P. Dear Abby

On Wednesday, Pauline Phillips, better known to the world as Dear Abby, passed away at the age of 94. For decades, Abby, along with her twin sister Ann Landers, was...

By Kathleen Geier

January 19, 2013 4:56 PM Catholic Church round-up: Connecticut's "Monsignor Meth," plus, a devastating report on sexual abuse in German Catholic Church is released the same week German Catholic hospitals refuse to treat a rape victim

I can't decide what my favorite news story of the past couple of days is. Is it the undeniably delectable Manti Te'o dead girlfriend hoax? Or the cross-dressing, meth-dealing priest...

By Kathleen Geier

January 19, 2013 4:16 PM A victory for labor in Chicago: a wage theft law with teeth

Victories for working people in this country are rare enough that whenever one comes along, it's doubly worth celebrating. This is certainly the case with a law that just passed...

By Kathleen Geier

January 19, 2013 12:06 PM Op-ed of the day: a depression sufferer begs, "Please take my gun away"

An op-ed in today's New York Times by a former political speechwriter named Wendy Button takes on a subject I've pondered myself: the dangers guns pose to people who suffer...

By Kathleen Geier

January 19, 2013 9:25 AM "Happy birthday, dead baby!" and other charming tactics from "pro-life" clinic protesters

With the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade approaching this Tuesday -- happy birthday, Roe! -- it's a safe bet that the anti-choice nutjobs are gearing up to full freakout...

By Kathleen Geier

January 19, 2013 7:44 AM Memorial for Aaron Swartz today in NYC at 4

Today in New York City, there will be a memorial for Aaron Swartz, the internet activist who tragically killed himself last week at the age of 26. The memorial is...

By Kathleen Geier

January 18, 2013 5:41 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

After a day of listening to people talk about a ho-hum House Republican Retreat, I'm ready for a retreat myself (just two days, though). Here are some final news items...

By Ed Kilgore

January 18, 2013 5:03 PM Leadership and Followership on Civil Rights

In yet another fine offering from the January/February issue of the Washington Monthly, our editor Haley Sweetland Edwards interviews MLK biographer Taylor Branch about a much-forgotten but momentous incident of...

By Ed Kilgore

January 18, 2013 4:20 PM Creative Can-Kicking

Understanding that a restive press corps wanted something tangible to report after a three-day House Republican retreat, Eric Cantor announced the House would take up and pass a three-month increase...

By Ed Kilgore

January 18, 2013 3:50 PM Kitchen-Table Bipartisanship

Seems that Mark Sanford's candidacy will not be the only strange feature of the Republican special primary to choose a successor to South Carolina congressmen Tim Scott (recently appointed to...

By Ed Kilgore

January 18, 2013 3:11 PM No "Struggle For the Soul of GOP" in the States, Either

One of the themes I've been talking about since November 6 is the frantic search of Republicans in Washington for something, anything to change other than its ideology in order...

By Ed Kilgore

January 18, 2013 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

* Daniel Drezner makes the abundantly good point that if holding the debt limit hostage is a bad idea now, it will be a bad idea a few months down...

By Ed Kilgore

January 18, 2013 1:19 PM Spurning David Brooks' Anguished Cry For Help

I was just about to perform, as a public service, another deconstruction of another David Brooks column. But Jonathan Chait beat me to the punch by a country mile, and...

By Ed Kilgore

January 18, 2013 12:50 PM Can "Patriots" Be Terrorists?

A new study has been published by the U.S. Military Academy's Combatting Terrorism Center analyzing the potential threat of far-right groups espousing violence to achieve their goals. Like a DHS-authorized...

By Ed Kilgore

January 18, 2013 11:42 AM What Government Actually Does

In drawing up the agenda for the House Republican retreat underway in Williamsburg, I am very confident in asserting that organizers did not for a moment consider America's preeminent number-cruncher,...

By Ed Kilgore

January 18, 2013 10:24 AM Buzzkill

As House Republicans sit through presentations and discussions about their immediate and long-term fate in Williamsburg this weekend, the buzzkill background includes not only the 2012 election results and the...

By Ed Kilgore

January 18, 2013 9:43 AM Retreat!

The big topic of the morning seems to be the reports beginning to leak out of Williamsburg, Virginia from the House GOP's three-day "retreat." With the exception of a few...

By Ed Kilgore

January 18, 2013 8:38 AM Daylight Video

Feeling solidarity with all the folks who have to get up in the dark to go to work. Here's DC's own Nighthawks performing "Sixteen Tons" at the Brass Monkey Blues...

By Ed Kilgore

January 17, 2013 5:30 PM Day's End and Night Watch

There actually wasn't a lot of political news today, but it was fun to deal with some hardy perennial subjects. Here's what I've got for remainders: * Fox renews Karl...

By Ed Kilgore

January 17, 2013 5:01 PM The Anti-Choicers' Fascination With Rape

If pro-choice Americans--or whatever it is we're supposed to call ourselves--are a bit hung up on the word "choice," their opponents have a problem with a very different word: rape....

By Ed Kilgore

January 17, 2013 3:50 PM If Not Pro-Choice, What?

There's been some buzz the last week or so about the announcement by Planned Parenthood that it's dropping use of the term "pro-choice" to describe its position on abortion and...

By Ed Kilgore

January 17, 2013 3:20 PM Rand Paul's Modified Limited Hangout on Israel

So who wants to run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016? It's been rumored for a while that the junior United States Senator from Kentucky is very interested. But...

By Ed Kilgore

January 17, 2013 1:55 PM Lunch Buffet

Got several longer posts out of the way, w/ more to come, I fear. Here are some mid-day news treats: * At TAP, Jamelle Bouie looks at promising new BLS...

By Ed Kilgore

January 17, 2013 1:13 PM About Those House GOP "Moderates" and "Pragmatists"

The desire to label people and phenomena is an inherent aspect of political analysis. And I don't question Noam Scheiber's effort at TNR to make distinctions between different varieties of...

By Ed Kilgore

January 17, 2013 11:50 AM The Red Tyrant

I don't want to create the impression that right-wing radio host Alex Jones is a credible figure. But his contributions to the latest, weird anti-Obama campaign focused on the presence...

By Ed Kilgore

January 17, 2013 11:30 AM Fish Without Chips, and David Cameron As UK's John Boehner

If you get bored with U.S. politics this week, there's always the impending Israeli election (in addition to a post here on Tuesday about the radicalized Israeli Right, I'd recommend...

By Ed Kilgore

January 17, 2013 10:43 AM Some "King"

A lot of the opposition to Obama's gun violence agenda we've heard since the trial balloons first went up was about his intention to implement some of it by executive...

By Ed Kilgore

January 17, 2013 9:59 AM Sign of the Times

You can read all the assessments you want of the politics of gun regulations (there's a good assessment today by Sean Sullivan at Wonkblog of the likely fate of Obama's...

By Ed Kilgore

January 17, 2013 9:40 AM Out of Their Place

The Washington Monthly's new January/February issue is devoted in no small part to a re-examination of U.S. race relations upon the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the re-election...

By Ed Kilgore

January 17, 2013 8:36 AM Daylight Video

Perfect song for those waking up from troubled sleep: The Allman Brothers perform "Dreams" at Beacon Theater in 2003....

By Ed Kilgore

January 16, 2013 5:58 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Having begun and ended my blogging day with efforts to deconstruct the thinking of Second Amendment Absolutists, I'm ready for a gun-free evening. Here are some final news/views items: *...

By Ed Kilgore

January 16, 2013 5:17 PM "Tyranny" Explained

The Plum Line's Greg Sargent reports this afternoon on a conversation with former Solicitor General Charles Fried, who served during Ronald Reagan's second term. Fried abundantly mocks the idea that...

By Ed Kilgore

January 16, 2013 4:04 PM GOPers Cruisin' For Bruisin' on Debt Limit

A new ABC/WaPo survey shows that if public opinion matters, congressional Republicans who are spoiling for some kind of debt limit fight aren't exactly in a strong position. When asked...

By Ed Kilgore

January 16, 2013 3:14 PM Light Imprint

Sometimes you'll be reading through a political poll, and something jumps out at you that you'd normally pass right by. That happened to me today in reading PPP's summary of...

By Ed Kilgore

January 16, 2013 1:52 PM Lunch Buffet

Back on my boring diet, which has everything I need other than the joyful experience of eating. The mandatory ten glasses of water each day is a thrill, though. Here...

By Ed Kilgore

January 16, 2013 1:07 PM Obama's Gun Plan

So the president has made his speech announcing a "plan" to reduce gun violence through a combination of legislation and executive orders. The latter include 23 items, mostly dealing with...

By Ed Kilgore

January 16, 2013 11:59 AM The Dangerous "Prioritization" Canard

The idea got a big boost from a National Review editorial yesterday. And now, according to Reuters, it's gaining steam among congressional Republicans: the suggestion that "debt default" be "taken...

By Ed Kilgore

January 16, 2013 11:30 AM The Rotten Core of the Lost Cause

Many Civil War buffs love to imagine alternative scenarios whereby the Confederacy won via this or that twist or turn in military fortunes or political intrigue. And it's entirely credible...

By Ed Kilgore

January 16, 2013 10:57 AM Opening Shot

As you may have already heard, the National Rifle Association is making as its first high-profile contribution to the debate over gun regulations the argument that Barack Obama is an...

By Ed Kilgore

January 16, 2013 10:20 AM The Dog That's Still Not Barking

Here's an important reminder at WaPo's Wonklog from Jim Tankersley: There’s still a lot wrong with the U.S. economy. Unemployment remains stubbornly high, just under 8 percent. Growth remains too...

By Ed Kilgore

January 16, 2013 9:32 AM The Unequalizer

As we begin to talk about the president's proposed gun regulations today, it's very important to remember that one side in this "debate" doesn't think it's legitimate. To Second Amendment...

By Ed Kilgore

January 16, 2013 8:30 AM Daylight Video

The Atlanta DJ who first played this song within my hearing sarcastically called it "the love song of the 80s." It was also the first U.S. single ever recorded entirely...

By Ed Kilgore

January 15, 2013 5:58 PM Day's End and Night Watch

A very slow news day, but that should change tomorrow when the president formally unveils the administration's gun regulation proposals. Expect Second Amendment absolutists to begin firing in the air...

By Ed Kilgore

January 15, 2013 5:30 PM "McConnell Provision" Redux

At WaPo Jonathan Capehart has drawn attention to the president's pointed revival of the "McConnell Provision" as a procedure for resolving the debt limit impasse, and Greg Sargent has drawn...

By Ed Kilgore

January 15, 2013 4:51 PM A "Proportional Electoral Vote" Power Grab?

I haven't paid much attention to talk among Republicans about changing the electoral-vote allocation system in battleground states won by Obama in 2008 and 2012 because I figured it was...

By Ed Kilgore

January 15, 2013 3:13 PM Under the Surface of the "Status Quo Election"

National Journal's Ron Brownstein and Scott Bland have an extensive analysis of the racial and ethnic polarization of the two party caucuses in the U.S. House. But there's this tidbit...

By Ed Kilgore

January 15, 2013 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Still plan some posts on other articles in the latest issue of the Monthly. But you should get ahead of me by reading them yourself! In the meantime, here are...

By Ed Kilgore

January 15, 2013 1:28 PM Solution Is Obvious

Tying together several themes of the day, here's what Ann Coulter had to say on Sean Hannity's show about gun violence in America: "On the gun crimes, we keep hearing...

By Ed Kilgore

January 15, 2013 1:10 PM The "More Guns" Reaction to Newtown

While proposals to tighten gun regulation in various states (particularly New York, where legislation is moving towards enactment rapidly) have gotten a lot of attention in the days since the...

By Ed Kilgore

January 15, 2013 12:20 PM Obama, Lincoln and Premature Declarations of Victory Over Racism

One of the implicit (and sometimes explicit) questions posed in the new January/February issue of the Washington Monthly is whether Barack Obama's election and re-election as president has actually helped...

By Ed Kilgore

January 15, 2013 11:38 AM The Radicalization of the Israeli Right

The U.S. isn't the only country where the radicalization of conservatives has posed a major challenge to the political system and the overall direction of a nation. It appears to...

By Ed Kilgore

January 15, 2013 10:27 AM Impervious To Evidence

So in trying to guess what congressional Republicans will actually do at the conclusion of this game of chicken with the president over the debt limit, I would cite the...

By Ed Kilgore

January 15, 2013 9:34 AM Armies of One

I don't plan to harp on this perpetually, but since most MSM treatments of the issue don't seem to grasp the point that many of those defending their "Second Amendment...

By Ed Kilgore

January 15, 2013 8:24 AM Daylight Video

As gun stockpilers continue to boast they'll overthrow the government if anyone threatens their "rights," here's a tribute to their li'l darlings to the tune of The Clash's "Guns on...

By Ed Kilgore

January 14, 2013 6:29 PM Day's End and Night Watch

I struggled for a good while with the last post about race and the American Party System for all kinds of obvious reasons involving the complexity of the subject and...

By Ed Kilgore

January 14, 2013 5:51 PM Race, History, and the American Party System

One of the topics touched on in several articles in the latest issue of the Washington Monthly ("Race, History and Obama's Second Term") is the intersection of race relations in...

By Ed Kilgore

January 14, 2013 4:21 PM The Missing Piece of the Fiscal Fight

Even as both sides in the fiscal fight become more categorical in their rhetoric (with Boehner and McConnell having ruled out revenue increases for the rest of eternity and Obama...

By Ed Kilgore

January 14, 2013 3:19 PM Immigration and the Labor Movement

TPM's Benjy Sarlin has a good report on a development so gradual that its importance may have been missed: the emergence of the labor movement as a champion of comprehensive...

By Ed Kilgore

January 14, 2013 2:03 PM Lunch Buffet

Running a little late today thanks to preoccupation with the new issue of the magazine, but here are some mid-day news snacks: * Paul Krugman offers his take on the...

By Ed Kilgore

January 14, 2013 1:45 PM Echoes of Reconstruction

I've been reading the Washington Monthly pretty regularly since I discovered the publication a little over thirty years ago. With this background, let me say the January/February issue, released today,...

By Ed Kilgore

January 14, 2013 1:01 PM John McLaughlin on Our Latest Issue

Monthly Editor-in-chief Paul Glastris was on the McLaughlin Group last weekend, and the host was generous enough to give his thoughts on our new issue:...

By Ryan Cooper

January 14, 2013 12:41 PM Even Zealots Can Overreach

In her campaign to keep Chuck Hagel from becoming Secretary of Defense, WaPo's Jennifer Rubin has heretofore stayed on the relatively strong ground of appealing to people in both parties...

By Ed Kilgore

January 14, 2013 11:59 AM Paying the Bills

In his press conference this morning the president continued making an argument about the debt limit that is simple and quite interesting if you think about it: He objected to...

By Ed Kilgore

January 14, 2013 10:59 AM Solve This Problem

With a ponderous condescension that ill-befits a recently failed presidential candidate and a United States Senator who has largely distinguished himself by drawing attention to the vast gulf that separates...

By Ed Kilgore

January 14, 2013 9:39 AM Redistribution

This is an old story by now, but a lot of people haven't heard it, and Steve Greenhouse of the New York Times lines up the unhappy numbers effectively: Wages...

By Ed Kilgore

January 14, 2013 8:35 AM Has Obama Really Helped Blacks? Find Out in the Latest Washington Monthly.

Next week, Barack Obama will put his hand on the Lincoln Bible and be sworn in on Martin Luther King Day, almost exactly 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation went...

By Paul Glastris

January 14, 2013 8:21 AM Daylight Video

It's the coldest morning I've experienced here on the Central Coast. So here's Little Feat performing "Cold, Cold, Cold."...

By Ed Kilgore

January 13, 2013 4:37 PM Farewell For Now

As your nation's capital enters a frenzied week of inauguration preparations, I bid you farewell for now. Thanks so much for stopping by, and special thanks to the commenters. But...

By Adele Stan

January 13, 2013 3:26 PM The Hagel Wars

When President Barack Obama began floating the name of Republican Chuck Hagel, the former U.S. senator from Nebraska, to replace Leon Panetta as secretary of defense, the Washington punditocracy scratched...

By Adele Stan

January 13, 2013 1:31 PM Tears for a Coin

That splat, splat, splat you hear is the sound of a thousand tears hitting the surface of lattes in the coffee dens frequented by Washington, D.C., liberals upon hearing the...

By Adele Stan

January 13, 2013 10:41 AM Prosecutorial Overreach and the Death of a Genius

When the news first hit yesterday of the untimely death of activist and internet genius Aaron Swartz, people from the worlds of academia, journalism, progressive activism and the left-wing hacker...

By Adele Stan

January 13, 2013 8:34 AM How to Talk Nice to Voters, and Other Sunday Morning Reading

Good morning, Animals! Time to fetch that latte and brioche, and settle into a morning of liberal heaven: Sunday papers and shows full of people talking politics. But before we...

By Adele Stan

January 13, 2013 12:38 AM Catch Washington Monthly on The McLaughlin Group

Watch our fearless leader, Editor in Chief Paul Glastris, this morning on The McLaughlin Group. To find out when the show is scheduled to air in your area, or to...

By Adele Stan

January 12, 2013 12:49 PM Guns, Guns and More Guns!

A headline on today's New York Times blares: Sales of Guns Soar in U.S. as Nation Weighs Tougher Limits (Well, the Times' trumpet blares through a mute.) Here's some of...

By Adele Stan

January 12, 2013 11:34 AM Brunchtime Blues: Loudon Wainwright III

This performance, from the acclaimed composer of "Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road," (and featured in the aforementioned Moyers & Company episode) took place at The New Yorker...

By Adele Stan

January 12, 2013 10:42 AM Paul Krugman Explains Why He Really Didn't Want That Treasury Job, Anyway

In a fascinating and sprawling interview with Bill Moyers, airing this weekend on the PBS show, Moyers & Company, New York Times columnist and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman explained why...

By Adele Stan

January 12, 2013 9:15 AM Wake-Up Call

Good morning, animals! It's so great to be back with you this weekend, thanks to the kind offices of Brother Kilgore. In case you haven't noticed, we've been having, here...

By Adele Stan

January 11, 2013 6:20 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

Sorry I spent so high a percentage of posts today just bashing conservatives (and their friends the Second Amendment absolutists). But sometimes they leave no choice. Here are some remainders...

By Ed Kilgore

January 11, 2013 5:08 PM Golden State in the Black

Those who make a living comparing California to Greece as a hellish socialist cesspool of debt will have to work a little harder to make their case. As reported by...

By Ed Kilgore

January 11, 2013 4:53 PM No Pretenses

One of the favorite rhetorical tactics of the anti-choice movement is concern trolling about women's health. It seems the poor dears need the help of the state to protect them...

By Ed Kilgore

January 11, 2013 4:03 PM Family Circus in South Carolina

When Nikki Haley bent to national party pressure (or at least that's my theory) and picked Low Country congressman Tim Scott to temporarily replace Jim DeMint, she created, consciously or...

By Ed Kilgore

January 11, 2013 2:40 PM Educators

This news item out of Portland from Raw Story is a true sign of the times (if not the End Times): Two men walked the streets of Portland armed with...

By Ed Kilgore

January 11, 2013 1:52 PM Lunch Buffet

I'm still shaking my head over the comments of Georgia congressman Phil Gingrey on "legitimate rape." You have to appreciate he represents not only my home state but the area...

By Ed Kilgore

January 11, 2013 12:58 PM Please Just Shut Up

From the "They Just Can't Help Themselves" file, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's intrepid Jim Galloway informs us that U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), an OB-GYN, went out of his way in...

By Ed Kilgore

January 11, 2013 12:35 PM Dynasty's End?

I rushed over the news of Jay Rockefeller's retirement earlier today in order to examine the Senate landscape for Democrats in 2014. But as Aaron Blake of WaPo noted, it...

By Ed Kilgore

January 11, 2013 11:17 AM The GOP Tax Increase Agenda and Those Promising Governors

Everybody knows Republicans would never, ever support tax increases (or at least haven't for decades until weak-kneed RINOs allowed Barack Obama to boost income taxes on the wealthy lest they...

By Ed Kilgore

January 11, 2013 10:13 AM Another Rocky Senate Landscape For Democrats

The announcement by West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller that he will not run for a sixth term in 2014 should draw attention to a basic political fact: having survived and...

By Ed Kilgore

January 11, 2013 9:43 AM Who Gets To Decide?

It's not fair or right to attribute the views of random extremists to those who share a general political orientation. But sometimes the crazy people will come right out and...

By Ed Kilgore

January 11, 2013 8:44 AM Daylight Video

So how many of you associate Friday mornings with accumulated sleep deprivation? Here's the late great Warren Zevon's bitter and defiant tribute to white nights: I'll Sleep When I'm Dead,"...

By Ed Kilgore

January 10, 2013 5:53 PM Day's End and Night Watch

The dark, stormy morning gave way to a fine Central Coast day, so I can't complain. This is traditionally the Monsoon season in these parts, and it's good for the...

By Ed Kilgore

January 10, 2013 5:14 PM Lead and the Crime Wave

If you carefully read Kevin Drum's fascinating MoJo article on lead exposure and crime and other pathologies, you probably understand he wasn't claiming lead was the sole or even the...

By Ed Kilgore

January 10, 2013 4:54 PM Ezra's Case for Biden '16

At Ten Miles Square, Ezra Klein has noticed something that a lot of early 2016 handicappers haven't quite digested: Joe Biden is in the news an awful lot these days....

By Ed Kilgore

January 10, 2013 4:31 PM Never Say Never

The Hill has a dispatch on Sen. Jeff Sessions' reaction to the nomination of Jack Lew to serve as Treasury Secretary that illustrates some of the contemporary GOP's basic problems:...

By Ed Kilgore

January 10, 2013 3:23 PM More on Democrats' Mid-Term "Fall-off" Problem

As regular readers know, I rant regularly about the well-known but often ignored problem of the "two electorates"--one large and relatively diverse that votes in presidential years, one significantly smaller,...

By Ed Kilgore

January 10, 2013 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Anyone with a Twitter account who wants to join my campaign to get Obama to stop looking for reactionary ministers for his inauguration and choose a different "outreach" speaker--my minister...

By Ed Kilgore

January 10, 2013 1:25 PM No Country For Young Men (Or Women)

Sabrina Tavernise of the New York Times has a disturbing story on a new report identifying the real source of the United State's persistently poor rankings among developed countries in...

By Ed Kilgore

January 10, 2013 12:14 PM Benediction and Outreach

You may have heard by now about the very negative reaction that greeted the news that the president had chosen Louie Giglio, a conservative evangelical megachurch minister from Atlanta, to...

By Ed Kilgore

January 10, 2013 11:31 AM Shine On Brightly

I'm not a big fan of the journalism of Politico's Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen. You could look it up. But now and then, they offer something their fellow Beltway...

By Ed Kilgore

January 10, 2013 10:00 AM Limits of Executive Action on Guns

Slate's David Weigel, in noting the semi-psychotic frenzy breaking out among Second Amendment absolutists in response to allusions by the vice president and others about actions the administration can take...

By Ed Kilgore

January 10, 2013 9:43 AM Defense Hawks Swoop

John Boehner should probably stop doing interviews. His reported talk with the Wall Street Journal's Stephen Moore that was published Monday under the provocative title "The Education of John Boehner"...

By Ed Kilgore

January 10, 2013 8:44 AM Daylight Video

It's dark, cold and rainy this morning on the Central Coast, so I felt like something ominous: John Hiatt performing "Spy Boy" with clips from the movie Blade Runner....

By Ed Kilgore

January 09, 2013 5:53 PM Day's End and Night Watch

The Nixon centennial inspired me to look at This Day In History (a habit every topic-starved blogger should cultivate). I discovered that in addition to The Tricky One's birth, January...

By Ed Kilgore

January 09, 2013 5:12 PM Splits in the Gun Club

Why is the White House apparently so bullish on actually making progress on gun regulation? Aroused citizens not willing to let the gun lobby push them around any more are...

By Ed Kilgore

January 09, 2013 4:54 PM A New Foreign Policy For Republicans?

That perpetually interesting Daniel Larison, who writes for that surprisingly stimulating paleoconservative periodical and site, The American Conservative, penned a response to a critique of Republican foreign policy done by...

By Ed Kilgore

January 09, 2013 4:22 PM Return of the Town Hall Wars

TPM's Evan McMorris-Santoro files a report on a town hall meeting on gun violence held by California's centrist Democratic congressman Mike Thompson: On Tuesday night, Thompson hosted the first of...

By Ed Kilgore

January 09, 2013 3:46 PM Strategic Retreat On Debt Limit?

Jonathan Chait draws attention to a piece by AEI's James Capretta at National Review that he thinks might signal where Republicans are about to go on the debt-limit negotiations. It's...

By Ed Kilgore

January 09, 2013 1:50 PM Lunch Buffet

Didn't expect to do two posts on Richard Nixon, but then I didn't realize when I woke up this morning that it was the centennial of that strange man's birth....

By Ed Kilgore

January 09, 2013 12:56 PM The Democracy Initiative

This might disappoint Breitbartians who believe every left-of-center writer receives daily instructions from The Cabal, but I knew nothing about the big meeting of "top brass from three dozen of...

By Ed Kilgore

January 09, 2013 12:11 PM A Look Back At the Strategic Battle of 2012

If only because of the overlap between the strategic questions facing progressives right now and those facing the Obama campaign in the 2012 elections, I'm suggesting you check out a...

By Ed Kilgore

January 09, 2013 11:43 AM The Nixon Legacy of Resentment Lives On

As an add-on to the last post, it's worth emphasizing that while the policy legacy of Richard M. Nixon has been discarded and implicitly denounced as Satanic by contemporary conservatives,...

By Ed Kilgore

January 09, 2013 10:40 AM The Tricky One at 100

Today is the 100th anniversary of the birth of the 37th president of the United States, Richard Milhous Nixon. You will not hear much hagiography--certainly nothing like the shrines being...

By Ed Kilgore

January 09, 2013 9:39 AM Inflation and Morality

I don't know if the "platinum coin" scheme is strictly legal, and I don't know if its deployment would freak out people whose freakouts tend to produce things like financial...

By Ed Kilgore

January 09, 2013 8:35 AM Daylight Video

For absolutely no reason other than loving this song when it first came out (I associate it with taking breaks in studying for the bar exam), here's Sparks performing "Tips...

By Ed Kilgore

January 08, 2013 5:53 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Finally have a relatively open evening, and there's no more college football. Time to take a big bite out of Hilary Mantel's Bring Up the Bodies, the fabulous Tudor historical...

By Ed Kilgore

January 08, 2013 5:20 PM Up From the Grave?

Here was some startling news today from Steve LaTourette, the just-retired House Member who has taken over the hoary Republican Main Street Partnership, as reported by Yahoo's Chris Moody: The...

By Ed Kilgore

January 08, 2013 4:03 PM Rick Scott's Parallel Universe of Ideological "Facts"

Via Think Progress, another item from the ever-increasing database of "facts" Republicans use to buttress ideologically dictated positions comes from everybody's favorite health care expert, Florida Gov. Rick Scott. Scott...

By Ed Kilgore

January 08, 2013 3:14 PM Charlie Cook Throws in the Towel on Indies

One of the more heated political science controversies in recent years has been over the role of independents in deciding elections and/or embodying "the center" of public opinion. Emory's Alan...

By Ed Kilgore

January 08, 2013 1:43 PM Lunch Buffet

If I haven't grossed you out with the last post discussing such phenomena as....Congress: here are some mid-day news nuggets: * Buzzfeed's Andrew Kaczynski digs up Chuck Hagel's 1996-vintage extremist...

By Ed Kilgore

January 08, 2013 1:19 PM Congress and Cockroaches

Think the "fiscal cliff" shenanigans and the upcoming debt limit fiasco have damaged the already battered reputation of Congress? If so, looks like you are right. PPP has a new...

By Ed Kilgore

January 08, 2013 11:39 AM Smoky Barbecue, Pretty Women, and College Football

In less serious news, a bit of a Twitter Civil War is heating up over a comment made by Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples in response to the seventh consecutive college...

By Ed Kilgore

January 08, 2013 11:06 AM Stop Stepping On My Anti-Hagel Message!

As a follow-on to my last post, I am richly amused by Jennifer Rubin's reaction to David Brooks' argument that the Hagel nomination is actually aimed at finding an appropriate...

By Ed Kilgore

January 08, 2013 10:28 AM Chuck the Knife

I've been calling rather monotonously for some attention to be paid during the confirmation debate over Chuck Hagel to U.S. national security strategy. I know we'll all enjoy another rousing...

By Ed Kilgore

January 08, 2013 10:02 AM Kristol's Latest Moment

If you aren't familiar with the career of William Kristol, who will without doubt be the most quoted and televised opponent of Chuck Hagel's confirmation as Defense Secretary, do check...

By Ed Kilgore

January 08, 2013 9:20 AM Gun Grabber

I'll believe it when I see it, but a WaPo report over the weekend that a White House task force led by the vice president is considering "a far broader...

By Ed Kilgore

January 08, 2013 8:39 AM Daylight Video

After the Crimson Tide's third national championship in four years, I figured the proper tribute is Alabama Shakes covering the Zeppelin classic "How Many More Times?" live in Huntsville last...

By Ed Kilgore

January 07, 2013 5:53 PM Day's End and Night Watch

I've written several longer-than-usual posts today, probably because otherwise I'd just be reporting the latest back-and-forth over one or two subjects. In any event, here are remains of the news...

By Ed Kilgore

January 07, 2013 5:35 PM With a Sandwich In His Hand

You can't pay attention to every inflammatory statement by a Christian Right leader (many of them deliberately inflammatory to attract MSM attention) or there would be no time to do...

By Ed Kilgore

January 07, 2013 5:08 PM Jennifer Rubin Goes To War

It's not often that activists or pundits openly admit they are proposing a "litmus test" for politicians. The very term is typically used to denounce ideological constraints on policy-makers that...

By Ed Kilgore

January 07, 2013 4:20 PM Wave After Wave of Toxic But Legal Schemes

In discussing at TAP the recent buzz among Republicans about changing how electorate votes are allocated by states, Jonathan Bernstein makes an important point: it's just the latest in a...

By Ed Kilgore

January 07, 2013 2:40 PM Up From Foreign Policy Timidity

As progressives (generally) get themselves reluctantly roused up to fight for Chuck Hagel's confirmation as Defense Secretary, Peter Beinert has penned the most passionate argument for why the Nebraskan could...

By Ed Kilgore

January 07, 2013 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

The people whose long Xmas break I've been envying are generally returning to work today. Welcome back. Here are some mid-day news treats for everybody: * Obama formally nominates both...

By Ed Kilgore

January 07, 2013 1:13 PM The Crux of the Matter on Voting Rights

At the end of an update on the pending Supreme Court review of the Voting Rights Act (and particularly the Section 5 "preclearance" provision that applies only to jurisdictions with...

By Ed Kilgore

January 07, 2013 11:21 AM Hagel and the National Security "Consensus"

Before discussion of the Hagel nomination as Defense Secretary becomes totally a matter of partisan Kabuki, and/or revolves around ancient offensive quotes from the Nebraskan about "the Jewish Lobby" or...

By Ed Kilgore

January 07, 2013 11:12 AM The Future of Conservative "Populism"

Having referred to Erick Erickson's New Year's meditation on a future agenda for conservatives as "rambling" (a nicer term for "incoherent"), I was naturally interested to see it touted as...

By Ed Kilgore

January 07, 2013 10:22 AM Impure Compromises Between Unreconcilable Perspectives

As should be obvious, a lot of the factors that divide progressives from conservatives these days are cultural and psychological. The former tend to view human history as in no...

By Ed Kilgore

January 07, 2013 8:59 AM The Pre-Election Mood of the GOP

There was a lot of talk immediately after the elections and even deep into the "fiscal cliff" negotiations of a new, chastened mood in the Republican Party, led by people...

By Ed Kilgore

January 07, 2013 8:00 AM Daylight Video

Was watching Sixty Minutes piece last night about the decline of newspapers (focusing on the New Orleans Times-Picayune) and got nostalgic for the old days and their ambivalent joys. Here's...

By Ed Kilgore

January 06, 2013 2:02 PM Republican Senators take time out from their Sunday to attack Chuck Hagel

Senate Republicans lashed out at their former comrade Chuck Hagel today, blasting the man presumed to be President Obama's choice to replace Leon Panetta as Defense Secretary. Lindsey Graham called...

By Samuel Knight

January 06, 2013 12:41 PM Simpson and Bowles, "spending problem" voodoo economics ignores the lack of "crowding out"

Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles - co-founders of the corporate lobby Campaign to Fix the Debt - were on Meet the Press this morning. I couldn't drag myself to watch...

By Samuel Knight

January 06, 2013 10:33 AM Pelosi: Tax revenue discussion isn't over

On "Face The Nation" this morning, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that Democrats' wont relinquish their desire to raise tax revenues in the ongoing debate over the federal budget....

By Samuel Knight

January 06, 2013 9:55 AM Sunday Morning Reads

-Yesterday, President Obama hinted that he might use executive power to avert a debt ceiling related default. "One thing I will not compromise over is whether or not Congress should...

By Samuel Knight

January 05, 2013 5:59 PM Saturday Evening Reads

Evening Reads: -Bernie Sanders told MSNBC's Ed Schultz that he's ready to do battle with President Obama as Republicans threaten to engineer a government default in February's debt ceiling negotiations....

By Samuel Knight

January 05, 2013 3:55 PM Get ready for post Fiscal Cliff rates to reignite the debate on tax flight

Accountants, lawyers and other number crunching nerds are combing through the Fiscal Cliff deal to see what 2013 tax payments might look like. The New York Times has already declared...

By Samuel Knight

January 05, 2013 12:32 PM More gun murders in Aurora hours after Gov. Hickenlooper talks gun control

Just hours after Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper offered specific proposals on gun control in an interview with CBS' Denver affiliate, gun violence claimed more lives in Aurora -- the town...

By Samuel Knight

January 05, 2013 11:34 AM Could proposed FDA rules lead to a food fight?

On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration revealed proposals to reform the country's food safety regulations, floating rule changes that would affect food manufacturers and fruit and vegetable producers. The...

By Samuel Knight

January 05, 2013 9:46 AM Saturday Morning Reads

Here are some noteworthy non Fiscal Cliff (you're welcome) related articles: -President Obama said on Thursday that he would attempt to sidestep whistleblower protection provisions in the National Defense Authorization...

By Samuel Knight

January 04, 2013 5:53 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

The first week of 2013 doesn't exactly feel like it's ushering in any fresh start in Washington, now does it? Maybe next week will be better, but don't hold your...

By Ed Kilgore

January 04, 2013 5:38 PM Ridiculous Times Call for Ridiculous Platinum-Based Measures

As we look down the barrel of another pointless debt ceiling crisis, several folks have managed to push a rather improbable-sounding option for sidestepping the ceiling through a legal loophole....

By Ryan Cooper

January 04, 2013 4:52 PM Rape in India and the VAWA

As I hope my sarcastic reference to rape apologists in the last post reflected, rape is among the ugliest phenomena of our species, and not something to be rationalized or...

By Ed Kilgore

January 04, 2013 4:43 PM Women and Libertarianism

The eternal problem of the relative dearth of women in the Libertarian Movement is a classic Friday Afternoon topic: it's not my problem, so I'm not in danger of getting...

By Ed Kilgore

January 04, 2013 3:26 PM The Deeper Problem With Media Acceptance of Republican Irresponsibility

Alarms are going up all over the progressive commentariat about the early signs of Beltway complacency--particularly in the MSM--about Republicans threats to wreak holy havoc on the economy by taking...

By Ed Kilgore

January 04, 2013 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Expected this to be an incredibly slow news day, but we're actually ahead of schedule on posting. Here are some mid-day treats: * Club for Growth makes vote for Sandy...

By Ed Kilgore

January 04, 2013 1:19 PM Final 2012 Results

David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report, who has been obsessively following late returns, provisional ballot rulings, and other adjustments, has issued his final tally of the 2012 presidential election...

By Ed Kilgore

January 04, 2013 12:53 PM House GOPers Fighting For Your Medicare

So according to Sam Baker of The Hill, House GOPers paused briefly from their 24-7 campaign to insist the president and congressional Democrats propose cuts in entitlement benefits if they...

By Ed Kilgore

January 04, 2013 10:48 AM Mr. Forgettable

The Atlantic's Conor Friedersdorf gives us an interesting peek at a vast "whither conservatism" debate at Commentary that's mostly going on behind a paywall. A lot of it seems to...

By Ed Kilgore

January 04, 2013 10:11 AM Senator Frank?

So Barney Frank, who just retired after 32 years in the House, is letting it be known he'd love to be appointed an interim Senator between the time John Kerry...

By Ed Kilgore

January 04, 2013 9:28 AM Slow But Steady

Yes, it's the first Friday of the month, and even though political animals may not follow the numbers as obsessively as they did prior to November 6, there is a...

By Ed Kilgore

January 04, 2013 9:07 AM Tips From the Coach

Just can't resist this story from The Hill's Justin Sink: Newt Gingrich warned Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) that he risks losing control of his conference without a more coherant strategy....

By Ed Kilgore

January 04, 2013 8:49 AM Daylight Video

Here's some vintage late-sixties silly/creepy pyschedelia: Donovan performing "Hurdy Gurdy Man."...

By Ed Kilgore

January 03, 2013 5:53 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Can't get over the mental image of House Republicans consoling a weeping John Boehner in the cloakroom after 9 colleagues dissed him by voting against his re-election as Speaker. Can't...

By Ed Kilgore

January 03, 2013 5:21 PM '14 Purge?

Lots of observers noted the rather large and decisive regional splits in the House vote on the "fiscal cliff" tax bill. Here's John Judis' summary: All in all, 85 Republicans...

By Ed Kilgore

January 03, 2013 4:36 PM The Lead Hypothesis

If you're really tired of contemporary politics and want to read something very different with vast political implications, check out Kevin Drum's fascinating article for MoJo on the growing evidence...

By Ed Kilgore

January 03, 2013 4:30 PM Paths From Cultural Despair

Matt K. Lewis of the Daily Caller penned a column for The Week that is getting some twitter-love from progressives. Perhaps it's the headline: "The culture war is over and...

By Ed Kilgore

January 03, 2013 3:50 PM Joe Drifts Away

David Lightman, who spent nearly two decades covering Joe Lieberman when he was with the Hartford Courant, pens a fairly long farewell to the retiring heresiarch, with this nut graph:...

By Ed Kilgore

January 03, 2013 2:17 PM Lunch Buffet

Running late because I got suckered into paying attention to the painfully slow House Speaker election. Here's some slightly tardy mid-day news bites: * Obama signs defense reauthorization bill despite...

By Ed Kilgore

January 03, 2013 12:59 PM McConnell Declares War

In a pronouncement that's only surprising because it has emanated first from Senate rather than House Republicans, Mitch McConnell has ruled out any tax measures as part of a deal...

By Ed Kilgore

January 03, 2013 11:33 AM Cold War on Women

The House's implicit decision to kill reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act at the end of the 112th Congress didn't get as much attention as the Sandy Funding Fail,...

By Ed Kilgore

January 03, 2013 10:40 AM The Wile E. Coyote Congress

This isn't real news, but Ezra Klein's scorching documentation in his Bloomberg column of exactly how bad the just-ended 112th Congress has been deserves repetition and reflection: What’s the record...

By Ed Kilgore

January 03, 2013 10:09 AM Real Tax Impact

While we're at the task of unraveling real-life consequences from symbolism, via Wonkbook's Suzy Khimm the Tax Policy Center has weighed the "distributional effects" of the new tax bill and...

By Ed Kilgore

January 03, 2013 9:34 AM Tear Down Those Tax "Shrines"

In the web-wide effort to identify winners and losers in the "fiscal cliff" battle (with the best answer, IMO, being "nobody knows" until we see how it affects the next,...

By Ed Kilgore

January 03, 2013 8:25 AM Daylight Video

Woke up today with this song in my head, probably reflecting a lifelong fantasy: here's The Beatles performing "Paperback Writer" in Japan....

By Ed Kilgore

January 02, 2013 6:34 PM Day's End and Night Watch

It's been a long day full of time-consuming distractions. Here's what I've got in the way of leftovers and late news: * Like Odysseus lashed to the mast, Boehner vows...

By Ed Kilgore

January 02, 2013 6:15 PM Sully's Experiment

We're all getting used to the gradual growth of paywalls for popular online content. And some of us have wondered whether the decline of some previously big and bad online...

By Ed Kilgore

January 02, 2013 5:42 PM From the Other Side of the Looking Glass

At The Guardian, Michael Cohen pens a tirade with which I sympathize enormously: Since Republicans won the House of Representatives in 2010, the country has staggered from one pointless fiscal...

By Ed Kilgore

January 02, 2013 4:31 PM Longest Day For Filibuster Reform

In case you've been wondering, as I have, why there wasn't more talk about Harry Reid imposing filibuster reform via a first-day-of-the-session change in the Senate rules (particularly in wake...

By Ed Kilgore

January 02, 2013 2:30 PM Making Boehner Cry

Tomorrow as the new Congress convenes the first order of business in the House is the election of a Speaker. Thanks to right-wing disgruntlement over John Boehner's handling of the...

By Ed Kilgore

January 02, 2013 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Sorry for the brief blogging hiatus before the last post, but I had to have a long conversation with other WaMo folk about an upcoming issue of the magazine. I...

By Ed Kilgore

January 02, 2013 1:42 PM Stockpiling Arms To Overthrow the Government

Kudos to National Review's Kevin Williamson for coming right out and articulating the "conservative" (for once the quote marks are truly necessarily) perspective that is usually left just beneath the...

By Ed Kilgore

January 02, 2013 11:45 AM The Deal and the Working Poor

Since it's gotten relatively little attention as compared to the impact on people with taxable income over $250k, let's give a brief look to the impact of the tax bill...

By Ed Kilgore

January 02, 2013 10:40 AM Sandy Amnesia

Considering the northeastern venue of most media centers, it's not surprising that the House's refusal to follow the Senate in enacting a package of relief and recovery funds for states...

By Ed Kilgore

January 02, 2013 10:04 AM Fire Next Time

As noted often here and among the more discerning observers for a good while, the "fiscal cliff" brouhaha was in part originally, and is far more now, a preliminary event...

By Ed Kilgore

January 02, 2013 8:58 AM Crisis Averted! For Weeks!

As you have probably heard by now, given the unearthly din of hype, the House completed its clumsy performance of "Ideologues on (Thin) Ice" late last night and approved the...

By Ed Kilgore

January 02, 2013 8:12 AM Daylight Video

Welcome to 2013, the year of panics anticipated, panics manufactured, panics averted yielding to panics yet to come. Here's Widespread Panic covering that great anthem for deranged times, Buffalo Springfield's...

By Ed Kilgore

January 01, 2013 7:13 PM Finessing the Hastert Rule

In a typically odd maneuver, John Boenher is polling House Republicans to see if he can find 218 votes for a package of spending-cut amendments to the Senate-passed tax bill....

By Ed Kilgore

January 01, 2013 4:59 PM Into Overtime

The House Republican Caucus is scheduled to meet at 5:15 EST--their second meeting of New Year's Day--to figure out what to do with the Senate-passed tax package. Of the three...

By Ed Kilgore

January 01, 2013 3:14 PM Will the House GOP Blow Up the Deal?

So here's the latest on House GOP discussions about the fiscal deal that breezed through the Senate from Politico's Sherman and Brown: An overwhelming number of House Republicans in a...

By Ed Kilgore

January 01, 2013 12:21 PM New Year's Day: The Deal and An Open Thread

So the fiscal deal got done, and passed the Senate early this morning by a 89-8 margin. It's exactly what everyone heard all day yesterday, with the addition of a...

By Ed Kilgore

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