Political Animal


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

By Ed Kilgore

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 savaging from Senate Republicans today.

In any event, here are some news remainders of a fractious day:

* Defense secretary Leon Panetta reportedly about to kill ban on women serving in combat roles, as recommended by Joint Chiefs of Staff.

* Matt Yglesias says it’s crazy to talk about reducing health care spending without looking at Canada’s example.

* Dave Weigel reports Virginia legislature moving on bill to eliminate winner-take-all electorate votes.

* At Ten Miles Square, Don Taylor notes that “normal” congressional action on budget stopped the day the Bowles-Simpson Report was released in 2010.

* At College Guide, Daniel Luzer reports that Latinos outnumber whites in Fall 2013 applications for admission to the University of California system. Wow.

And in non-political news:

* Group of Utah doctors declares health emergency over Salt Lake City pollution.

To end the day, here’s more Desmond Dekker with “Perseverance.”


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.


  • Mrs. J on January 23, 2013 6:11 PM:

    Well said, Ed. It was an attempt to ideologically savage Mrs. Clinton. The right wing conspiracy with all too familiar faces.
    McCain was infuriatingly jealous and self-deluded. Rand Paul a grandiose disgrace. Wisconsin's uninspiring turn-off Senator Johnson made a total fool of himself. Is he even educated? I miss Russ Feingold.

    Uncompassionate conservatism. Right wing rhetoric. Moral miscreants with cheap speechifying and wild eyes.

    Obstructionists. The bigotry of conspicuous opponents.

    I only caught part of the house--cannot believe they scheduled her for all of that on one full day... inexcusable

  • Anonymous on January 23, 2013 6:39 PM:

    Arapahoe County (CO) sheriff disagrees with other CO sheriffs who say they won't uphold new gun laws, refers to constitution! (This was the jurisdiction in which the Aurora theater shooting occurred.)


    In a written statement released Tuesday, Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said neither he, Vallario nor Smith have “the constitutional authority, responsibility, and in most cases, the credentials to determine the constitutionality of any issue.”

    While he didn’t name the sheriffs specifically, Robinson called the arguments put forth by both Vallario and Smith misguided.

    “The rhetoric of a few related to these significant constitutional issues has been interpreted by many who believe that a person in a position of authority might be able to determine the constitutionality of an issue,” Robinson said.

    Robinson went on to state that such an interpretation is not only false but unconstitutional in its own right.

    “If an issue were to be arbitrarily deemed ‘unconstitutional,’ the decision to curtail further enforcement responsibilities would be in direct conflict with the concept of the balance of powers, as defined by our founders,” Robinson said. “The authority to determine the legality and/or constitutionality of a matter is to be accomplished by the judicial branch, as clearly defined in the Constitution.”

  • Bob M on January 23, 2013 11:14 PM:

    Hilary looked presidential. The GOP looked like bureaucrats.

  • j on January 24, 2013 9:44 AM:

    What's with McCain, he says he knew of the security concerns because the ambassador confided in him, he also knew his party had refused money for security, and he did nothing!!!!!
    He was on a fact finding trip, did he tell anyone of the facts?
    Perhaps he & buddy Graham were together and busy buying rugs!

  • CharlieM on January 24, 2013 10:10 AM:

    I had always wondered why one of the TeaPartys less mentioned stated goals is the repeal of the 17th amendment (direct election of Senators).
    I mean, aren't these the people who squeal on and on about freedom, liberty, tyranny and blah blah blah? Why would they give up their vote?
    Now I understand - it's an attempt to rig the electoral college. Have them appointed by a red legislature and, with the proposed VA legislation, you'll put 2 of the electoral votesin the Repub column safely beyond election reach.