Political Animal


January 10, 2013 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

By Ed Kilgore

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 Dan Paul, a progressive who is a cousin of Ron and Rand—can retweet my tweet on the subject. It’s a half-serious way to deal with a serious problem in the White House’s thinking about religion.

Here are some mid-day news morsels lovingly selected at the news deli:

* At Wonkblog, Ezra Klein and Dylan Matthews offer six key facts about Treasury Secretary nominee Jack Lew. The one that got my attention was his stubborn fight to keep Medicaid off the cut list during the 2011 debt limit negotiations.

* George Will fulminates at length about federal spending and the need for a balanced budget amendment, but does not once mention defense spending.

* Law professor offers novel way around debt limit: issuance of IOUs (formally, “registered warrants”) to selected federal creditors.

* Harold Meyerson discusses possible successors to Hilda Solis as Labor Secretary.

* Dave Weigel explains the inevitability of Cory Booker as a U.S. Senate nominee.

And in non-political news:

* Fun post providing one sentence on the 2012 seasons of all 124 major-college football teams.

Back after a quick lunch of flotsam and jetsam.

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.


  • Alan Tomlinson on January 10, 2013 2:15 PM:

    Frankly, I don't know why anyone would give a shit about a minister speaking about God anywhere, much less at something as pointless as an inauguration. I believe that Jesus had some fairly pointed words about people who pray in public.


    Alan Tomlinson

  • Burr Deming on January 10, 2013 2:17 PM:

    On the idea of IOU's, there is an amusing, outrageous to conservatives at the time, precedent by Nelson Rockefeller when he was governor of New York State. When conservatives prevented the issuance of state bonds, Governor Rockefeller issued "Moral Bonds" with the promise that the state regarded it as a moral duty to pay bondholders with interest:

  • Gandalf on January 10, 2013 2:49 PM:

    George Will is a blithering idiot. Always has been and always will be. That article is such unadulterated bullshit it's amazing that Will would show his face in public after writing it. If he thinks the republicans are going to to win seats in the senate and house based on how much pain and suffering they can deliver he's not only and idiot but a fool as well.

  • boatboy_srq on January 10, 2013 3:05 PM:

    From the NYTimes item:

    He should threaten to issue scrip — “registered warrants” — to existing claims holders (other than those who own actual government debt) in lieu of money. Recipients of these I.O.U.’s could include federal employees, defense contractors, Medicare service providers, Social Security recipients and others. (emphasis added)

    It would be delicious to see Honeywell, GE, Lockheed, Aetna, et al suddenly turn up on the GOTea's doorstep demanding that the debt ceiling be lifted - just so they could get paid.

  • Anonymous on January 10, 2013 3:05 PM:

    Either my former or current pastor would be good choices as well. There are so many great clergy out there preaching the love of God and of one another, it's a shame most are not heard by a greater audience. No, instead we get tele-preachers as these types of events.

  • Stuart Shiffman on January 10, 2013 3:09 PM:

    Only an idiot continues to trumpet the notion of a balanced budget amendment. First, where was George when Bush was spending money we didn't have but kept it off the books. Second does George know that my home state of Illinois has a balanced budget provision in its constitution but is drowning in billions of debt.

    George is a fool!

  • Mimikatz on January 10, 2013 5:51 PM:

    Anyone who has lived in California for any length of time remembers the days of acrimonious budget fights that would result in the Legislature going over the limit for adopting a budget. Them the state would run out of money. State employees went to court and got paid, as did welfare recipients. But the state issued registered warrants for tax refunds and to pay bills to vendors. No reason except the relatively larger size of the federal government why the Feds can't do it too. Just use warrants for the largest creditors.

    But it won't come to this on the debt limit, possibly on the continuing resolution, though.

  • buckyor on January 11, 2013 12:49 PM:

    As a long suffering alumnus, I can't stop loving this one-sentence description of our football season:

    Northwestern has not won a bowl game since 2013.