Political Animal


January 27, 2013 9:18 AM Sunday Morning Reads

By Samuel Knight

-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 from political ad bombardments with the election long over, the New York Times reports that wealthy anonymous mostly Republican donors are funding anti-Chuck Hagel advertising through Super PACs. “[T]he effort comes with a built-in consolation prize should it fail: depleting some of Mr. Obama’s political capital as he embarks on a new term with fresh momentum.”

-The FBI has stepped up its search for the person who leaked information about U.S. involvement in the Stuxnet attack on Iran’s nuclear program to the New York Times. Federal officials, according to the Washington Post, “have conducted extensive analysis of the e-mail accounts and phone records of current and former government officials in a search for links to journalists.”

-Gun violence in Chicago continues to be rampant: the AP reports that five people were shot dead in separate incidents yesterday. The deceased include a 34-year old man whose mother had already lost two other sons and a daughter to gun violence since 1995.

-French and Malian forces entered Timbuktu without meeting any resistance, according to the Guardian. Islamist insurgents appear to have fled the city after rebel positions were pummeled by French airstrikes. “The advancing troops were working on securing the town, a Unesco world heritage site and labyrinth of ancient mosques, monuments and mud-brick homes, ready to flush out any fighters who may still be hiding among the population.” The rebels had been there since last year. Their destruction of ancient shrines led to a global outcry.

Samuel Knight is a freelance journalist living in DC and a former intern at the Washington Monthly.


  • AF on January 27, 2013 11:13 AM:

    I don't get how those anti-Hagel ads would deplete the president's political capital. After Hagel is confirmed, the ads will demonstrate how ineffectual they were, and show President Obama's ability to get something else done.

    These wealthy people can spend their money any way they want. But the anti-Hagel ads have the feel of a scam, in which consultants profit.

  • esaud on January 27, 2013 11:26 AM:

    That Stuxnet story made my blood boil. So we are teaming up with Israel to launch a cyber attack on Iran in secret. So Eric Holder decides to go after the leakers????

    Ashcroft was a better AG than Holder. Obama's justice department is more like Stasi than any previous Republican administration.