Political Animal


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

By Ed Kilgore

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 9 was the day Thomas Paine published Common Sense (1776), the U.N. Building opened (1951), and Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone (2007).

In some more recent news from January 9:

* Labor Secretary Hilda Solis to step down. White House confirms Holder, Sebelius and Shinseki are sticking around.

* Here we go again: Obama invites minister with background of virulent hostility to LGBT folk to give benediction at Inauguration.

* Meyerson calls for elimination of preferential tax treatment of investment income.

* At Ten Miles Square, our own Ryan Cooper interviews Lawrence Tribe on the constitutionality of the platinum coin scheme.

* At College Guide, Daniel Luzer shows us a rigorous exam required of eight-graders in Kentucky a 100 years ago.

And in non-political news:

* 2013 Baseball Hall of Fame class will include no recent players (none cleared threshold for eligibility in vote by sportswriter). Nineteenth century catcher Deacon White will join HOF after being selected by veterans’ committee.

Closest to a musical hook to a baseball story I have is a video of Babe Ruth (the band, not the player) covering Curtis Mayfield’s “We People Who Are Darker Than Blue” back in 1975. Interesting, since the band is very, very pale, but the performance is solid, with the exception of a long and gratuitous bass solo.


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.


  • John on January 09, 2013 6:40 PM:

    I am tired of comments that attack people for anti-gay comments from the 90's and don't reference what their recent statements have been. The LGBT movement has made incredible progress in the last two decades by convincing people to change their minds about gay rights and gay marriage. We should be encouraging people to change their views, not condemn them for what they said previously. In Hagel's case he apologized. In the case of Pastor Louie Giglio, we do not yet know what his current view is.

  • Rod Hoffman on January 09, 2013 7:19 PM:

    which reminds me of the story about the explorer in the deepest, darkest hinterlands when the drums that had been beating incessantly suddenly stopped . His guide scanned the horizon and said, "Hmmm. Very bad when drums stop." The explorer, already unnerved, almost lost it.
    "Wha...Wha..What do you mean, ''very bad'"? The guide replied, "When drums stop, next comes bass solo."

  • T2 on January 10, 2013 9:30 AM:

    congrats to the baseball Hall of Fame for ignoring the drug users. The cases against Bonds and Clemens were the same as the case against Lance Armstrong....why should he lose his titles and they get in the Hall of Fame. A step in the right direction for Baseball, Football and Track should follow.

  • reidmc on January 10, 2013 12:37 PM:

    Babe Ruth? Really? That's the best you've got?