Political Animal

February 2013 Archives

February 28, 2013 5:35 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Much of the news has involved a long day's journey into the weeds of Bob Woodwardism, I fear. I don't have boots sturdy enough for any more of that. Here...

By Ed Kilgore

February 28, 2013 4:30 PM Moving the Goal Posts Again on Abortion

Arkansas is making news for more than the deal Gov. Mike Beebe has cut with the feds to enable expansion of Medicaid via health care exchanges. Earlier this week Beebe...

By Ed Kilgore

February 28, 2013 3:46 PM Sequester Wins

In case anyone out there thought there was a chance Congress would delay or replace the appropriations sequester before it goes into effect tomorrow: sorry, no such luck. The Senate...

By Ed Kilgore

February 28, 2013 3:23 PM Conservative Hostility to VAWA Not About the Tribes

As you may know, the House finally passed the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act today, with 87 Republicans voting "aye" and 138 Republicans voting "no" (all 199 House...

By Ed Kilgore

February 28, 2013 1:39 PM Lunch Buffet

This feels like a Friday, what with the silliness of much of the news from Washington and Pyongyang. For all I know, many about-to-be-furloughed federal employees could indeed be starting...

By Ed Kilgore

February 28, 2013 1:10 PM You've Got a Friend

I wasn't going to write about Dennis Rodman's weird good-will trip to North Korea, or whatever it is, until it just got too surreal to ignore, per this report from...

By Ed Kilgore

February 28, 2013 12:08 PM "Medicaid Expansion" Via the Exchanges

In the wake of the deal whereby Rick Scott agreed to the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion in exchange for a waiver allowing him to contract with private managed care...

By Ed Kilgore

February 28, 2013 11:20 AM Why Elizabeth Warren Voted for Jack Lew for Treasury

Much to the surprise of very few, Jack Lew was confirmed as Treasury Secretary yesterday. A gifted technocrat with ties to Wall Street—one whose Citibank contract urged him to take...

By Samuel Knight

February 28, 2013 10:59 AM Fourth Quarter "Recession?" Never mind!

Remember the startling news last month that the GDP had actually declined in the fourth quarter of 2012? It became grist for many a conservative argument that we were headed...

By Ed Kilgore

February 28, 2013 10:25 AM So Much For Sequester Flexibility

The closest thing to the glimmer of a good idea Senate Republicans have had in many years was a budding effort to give executive branch administrators some flexibility in how...

By Ed Kilgore

February 28, 2013 9:41 AM Woodward Outfoxes Himself

I should begin by admitting a shameful secret: I have never, ever, not for a moment, fished into the Bob Woodward Myth. I lived through Watergate and was happy to...

By Ed Kilgore

February 28, 2013 8:30 AM Daylight Video

Early rock classic "Tobacco Road," performed by the Nashville Teens (from Weybridge, Surrey, of course) in 1965. Written, however, by John D. Loudermilk of Durham, NC....

By Ed Kilgore

February 27, 2013 5:17 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Raced through so many posts early this afternoon that I'm actually wrapping up a few minutes early for a change, with a couple of ideas for early tomorrow rattling around...

By Ed Kilgore

February 27, 2013 4:01 PM Run, Steve, Run!

Word's just in that U.S. Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA) will not run for Tom Harkin's open Senate seat in 2014. He was far-and-away the favorite among Republicans more interested in...

By Ed Kilgore

February 27, 2013 3:17 PM "Interfering" With Primaries

Even before the howls of rage have subsided in the wake of Karl Rove's expressed intention to intervene in Republican Senate primaries to keep stone losers from gaining nominations, one...

By Ed Kilgore

February 27, 2013 2:50 PM Just the Facts

It would be easy to mock Erick Erickson's post today at RedState calling for--and even expressing a willingness to pay for--more fact-based reporting in conservative media. Famously a bully-boy of...

By Ed Kilgore

February 27, 2013 1:28 PM Lunch Buffet

Very busy morning, eh? There's more on the way, including a post on Erick Erickson's halting, apologetic call for fact-based conservative reporting. But here are some mid-day odds and ends...

By Ed Kilgore

February 27, 2013 1:04 PM VRA On the Ropes

It was hardly unexpected, but early reports on today's oral arguments in the Supreme Court indicate that Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which requires jurisdictions (mostly...

By Ed Kilgore

February 27, 2013 12:23 PM How Long Must the South Be "Discriminated Against?"

Oral arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court over an Alabama county's challenge to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 are underway now, and we'll have some recaps...

By Ed Kilgore

February 27, 2013 11:59 AM Open Mic Nite at the False Equivalency Cafe

These are the days of wine and roses for practitioners of that fine old Beltway MSM tradition of partisan false equivalency. And why wouldn't they be? After all, we've got...

By Ed Kilgore

February 27, 2013 10:35 AM Smoking Gun

OMG. Read this stunning report from The Hill, which should shake Washington to its foundations: President Obama's pick to head the CIA was involved in crafting controversial talking points about...

By Ed Kilgore

February 27, 2013 9:56 AM Christie Dons the Sanbenito

In case anybody was wondering if Chris Christie's non-invitation to speak at CPAC next month stemmed from a scheduling conflict, or was merely an oversight that would soon be corrected,...

By Ed Kilgore

February 27, 2013 8:56 AM "Gun Referendum" In Chicago Not Close

Over the weekend, Kathleen Geier previewed the special Democratic primary in Illinois to replace U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., noting that it had become something of a referendum on gun...

By Ed Kilgore

February 27, 2013 8:30 AM Daylight Video

For something completely different, here's one of the better cello metal bands around, Finland's Apocalyptica, covering "Nothing Else Matters."...

By Ed Kilgore

February 26, 2013 5:44 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Tomorrow we'll have Supreme Court oral arguments over the challenge to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which aren't expected to go well for the good guys....

By Ed Kilgore

February 26, 2013 4:49 PM A Big Step Back For Telecommuting

As someone who no longer shows up at an office to work, and in fact lives nearly 3,000 miles from headquarters, I've had no particularly compelling reason to doubt the...

By Ed Kilgore

February 26, 2013 4:13 PM Lessons of the Asian-American Tilt

Although it still gets vastly less attention than the subject of Latino Americans, the question of Asian-American voter trends is gradually coming to the fore, in part because of this...

By Ed Kilgore

February 26, 2013 3:07 PM When Did "Tax Reform" Become a Tax Hike?

One of the issues baffling non-conservatives in assessing the latest stage of the fiscal conflict in Washington is that Republicans are treating Democratic demands for loophole-closing on the wealthy exactly...

By Ed Kilgore

February 26, 2013 1:36 PM Lunch Buffet

Small housekeeping note: after months of negligence, I am again regularly updating the "Best of Political Animal" feature on the site. So those looking for golden oldies can profitably look...

By Ed Kilgore

February 26, 2013 1:06 PM The Art of Displacement

We knew the presence of former governor Mark Sanford would make the special primary in South Carolina's 1st congressional district, well, special. But this ad from media scion Teddy Turner...

By Ed Kilgore

February 26, 2013 12:32 PM Ghosts at the CPAC

Here are two grains of salt to take with the stories you are probably reading about those wonderful problem-solving, bipartisan-oriented Republican governors who have none of the pathologies of their...

By Ed Kilgore

February 26, 2013 11:48 AM The Secret Nelson Rockefeller Most Feared the World Would Learn About Him

It looks like the filibuster of Chuck Hagel's nomination will end today. Personally, I don't think it would be a tragedy if Hagel didn't become defense secretary, since it would...

By Paul Glastris

February 26, 2013 10:46 AM Beyond the Sequester Panic

It's easy to get cynical about the alarums arising over the state-by-state estimates of sequester impact the White House has released into the hands of anxious and news-hungry local media...

By Ed Kilgore

February 26, 2013 9:52 AM Agony of the Florida Tea Folk

As you might imagine, Florida Gov. Rick Scott's decision to support the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion (at least for three years) has not only brought down scorn on him...

By Ed Kilgore

February 26, 2013 9:20 AM Learning To Embrace the Stupidity

So last time we checked on congressional plans for dealing with the appropriations sequester, there was (in my mind at least) a tiny glimmer of light in that Senate Republicans...

By Ed Kilgore

February 26, 2013 8:25 AM Daylight Video

To kick off the day, here's Lightnin' Hopkins performing "C'mon in This House" in 1960. If I'm not mistaken, that's an impossibly young Joan Baez watching him admiringly....

By Ed Kilgore

February 25, 2013 6:11 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Kinda got wrapped up researching past presidential primary elections and got behind schedule. Here are some final news/views items of the day: * Italian elections produce Euro-shaking, global market-bumming gridlock,...

By Ed Kilgore

February 25, 2013 5:41 PM Good News, Bad News For GOP

It's never a good idea to pay too much attention to polls on fiscal issues unless you pay a lot of attention to how the questions are posed, but still:...

By Ed Kilgore

February 25, 2013 5:35 PM "Clearing the Field"

Jonathan Martin's Politico piece today wherein he asks a bunch of ambitious Democratic governors if they think Hillary Clinton could "clear the field" if she runs for president in 2016...

By Ed Kilgore

February 25, 2013 3:41 PM The Cruz Litmus Test

Parallel to the ongoing discussion of whether or not the Republican Party has any serious interest in curtailing the right-wing bender it's been on since at least 2009 (and arguably...

By Ed Kilgore

February 25, 2013 2:47 PM Transportation Money Shuffle

It's not often that state transportation bills make national political news. But given Virginia's proximity to Washington, and its hosting of a gubernatorial contest that will be one of the...

By Ed Kilgore

February 25, 2013 1:45 PM Lunch Buffet

Went out to dinner last night, and missed most of the Oscars for about the 50th consecutive time. Hope those of you into the event enjoyed the ten-hour spectacle. At...

By Ed Kilgore

February 25, 2013 12:56 PM Drunk Uncle

The metaphor of the Republican Party (or at least its most representative and real-world powerful entity, the House Republican Caucus) as a dysfunctional family that can't deal with a drunk...

By Ed Kilgore

February 25, 2013 11:21 AM Calling Out Stupidity

As we drift towards the sequester on Friday, it's worth paying attention now and then to politicians who are willing to make it clear to the public how stupid this...

By Ed Kilgore

February 25, 2013 11:03 AM Conservative Shakedown Scam?

I've been pretty conspicuous in arguing that the war of words between Karl Rove and Tea Folk over the former's announcement of a project to stop crazy people from winning...

By Ed Kilgore

February 25, 2013 10:31 AM NGA

When typing the words "governors" and "winter meeting" in the last post, I was nearly overcome by a wave of nostalgia and tedium. My first political/government job, you see, was...

By Ed Kilgore

February 25, 2013 9:31 AM Behind the Funhouse Mirror

Last week I kept talking about the stupidity that was suffusing most "debates" over the impending appropriations sequester. This week stupidity could give way to surrealism, as (1) the lurid...

By Ed Kilgore

February 25, 2013 8:35 AM Daylight Video

Another song from the distant memory banks: The Pretty Things performing "Private Sorrow" on French TV in 1968....

By Ed Kilgore

February 24, 2013 6:33 PM Oscar blogging: Django Unchained and the dog that didn't bark

In a little while I will be heading to a friend's house for her annual Oscar party, but before I do I wanted to squeeze in one more Oscar-related post....

By Kathleen Geier

February 24, 2013 1:34 PM Political battle to watch this week: gun policy and the primary for Jesse Jackson Jr.'s old Congressional seat

As you've probably heard, last year Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. stepped down from his Congressional seat on the south side of Chicago. At the time, Jackson cited mental health concerns...

By Kathleen Geier

February 24, 2013 12:12 PM Internet payday loans and the major banks that enable them: a growing scourge

Today's New York Times features an illuminating, and depressing, article about the growing scourge of internet payday loans. Payday loans, in which sleazy operators exploit poor people by sucking them...

By Kathleen Geier

February 24, 2013 11:08 AM Transvaginal probes . . . they're baaaack

Evidence continues to mount that, despite the humiliating defeat suffered by Mitt Romney and the Republicans last November, and despite the fact that the demographics of America are continue to...

By Kathleen Geier

February 24, 2013 8:59 AM Sunday morning gospel: Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Here's some gospel music to start your Sunday. This is my favorite gospel musician, and one of my all-time favorite musicians, period -- the great Sister Rosetta Tharpe, a one-of-a-kind...

By Kathleen Geier

February 24, 2013 8:00 AM What I said on McLaughlin Group (Spoiler Alert)

On the McLaughlin Group this weekend, the panelists--Eleanor Clift, Mort Zuckerman, Susan Ferrichio and yours truly--argue over whether Obama is hyping the potential impact of sequestration, whether raising the minimum...

By Paul Glastris

February 23, 2013 4:13 PM Union-buster, Cayman Islands tax evader, engineer of kickbacks from rip-off student loans, lavishly compensated recipient of sweetheart personal loans-- say hello to your new Democratic Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew!

As a Democrat, I sometimes wonder why I bother. Don't get me wrong -- there are many excellent reasons to remain a Democrat, in spite of it all. The Dems...

By Kathleen Geier

February 23, 2013 3:05 PM That zombie Republican electoral college rigging scam -- it lives!

Bobby Kennedy once allegedly said of Pennsylvania that it is "Philadelphia on one end, Pittsburgh on the other, and Mississippi in the middle." These days, Republican elected officials in the...

By Kathleen Geier

February 23, 2013 1:44 PM Strained relations between the Obama administration and advocates for immigrants: what's the backstory?

Yesterday, the Washington Post published an interesting article on a subject that doesn't get nearly as much attention as it should in the mainstream press: the strained relationship between the...

By Kathleen Geier

February 23, 2013 11:53 AM Apologies -- technical difficulties

Readers, I apologize for the lack of posts this morning. My laptop power cord decided to conk out this morning and I wrote my first post (and am writing this)...

By Kathleen Geier

February 23, 2013 8:47 AM Oscar weekend blogging: 75 years of best supporting actress winners in less than 6 minutes

Tomorrow is the day of the gay Superball, otherwise known as the Academy Awards. I unabashedly love the Oscars, though I certainly don't believe in the Oscars as an infallible...

By Kathleen Geier

February 22, 2013 5:30 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

I plan to watch a fair amount of television over the weekend, and for once, I will have no fear it will provide less intellectual stimulation than the preceding week...

By Ed Kilgore

February 22, 2013 4:59 PM Reminder: To Conservatives, It's Not Just About the Money

As every fiscal dispute between the two parties--and blame for the impasse--is relitigated in the days before the sequester hits, there's a misunderstanding to which many progressives continue to fall...

By Ed Kilgore

February 22, 2013 3:27 PM Return of the Squirrel Sex Study Meme

Just when you thought this week in politics could not get any dumber, Speaker John Boehner, in his flailing efforts to make his party's fiscal position going into the sequester...

By Ed Kilgore

February 22, 2013 2:03 PM Another Rorschach Test

Here's a news item from Greece via the New York Times' Niki Kitsantonis: Torrential rain of an intensity not seen in decades flooded roads in Athens on Friday, overturning parked...

By Ed Kilgore

February 22, 2013 1:24 PM Lunch Buffet

Kinda wish Dave Weigel had saved his classic "it's been a long and stupid week" line for this one. Here are some mid-day starchy treats: * At the New Yorker,...

By Ed Kilgore

February 22, 2013 1:07 PM How Uncertainty Killed the Fun at Walmart

I'm going to try to stick to my resolution not to make dissection of Peggy Noonan columns a weekly habit--even if I have to start a chapter of Noonanholics Anonymous--since...

By Ed Kilgore

February 22, 2013 11:54 AM Obama's Wedge Issues and Achilles Heel

National Journal's Ron Brownstein takes a long look at the latest national survey from the new polling partnership USAToday/Pew, and discovers, unsurprisingly, that Obama's 2012 voter coalition likes his current...

By Ed Kilgore

February 22, 2013 11:29 AM Don't Confuse Me With Facts!

Fitting in nicely with the overall theme of this pre-sequester Stupidity Week, a lot of vocal conservatives are furious that anyone is concerned about the impact of ham-handed budget cuts....

By Ed Kilgore

February 22, 2013 10:27 AM Sequester: How Low Can You Go?

If you want to comprehend the stupidity of the impending appropriations sequester, be sure to read Dylan Matthews' in-the-weeds analysis at Wonkblog of how it actually would work based on...

By Ed Kilgore

February 22, 2013 10:04 AM Sequester "Flexibility" Double-Vetoed

Yesterday I discussed the "backup plan" Senate Republicans are beginning to kick around for making the impending appropriations sequester less stupid by giving federal agencies flexibility to implement cuts as...

By Ed Kilgore

February 22, 2013 9:20 AM Wandering Down the Hall of Mirrors

One of the weird things about Benghazi! is that it's an issue discussed endlessly on the Right and barely at all on the Left (this is one of several ways...

By Ed Kilgore

February 22, 2013 8:26 AM Daylight Video

Some fine wake-up music: Arthur Conley performing "Sweet Soul Music" on local TV in Miami, circa 1967....

By Ed Kilgore

February 21, 2013 6:16 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Running a bit late after taping an Alternet Radio appearance. Good clean fun. Anyway, here are some remainders of the day: * Not a good sign when chairman of House...

By Ed Kilgore

February 21, 2013 5:35 PM Minimum Wage Opinion Barometer

Want to know why the president proposed a minimum wage hike in his State of the Union Address, other than the fact that it's long overdue? Check out these numbers...

By Ed Kilgore

February 21, 2013 4:58 PM Struggle For the Votes of the Democratic Party

At TAP today our friend Jonathan Bernstein has a provocative story on Democrats in 2016: not the candidate horse race speculation about who is running, but instead what issues they...

By Ed Kilgore

February 21, 2013 4:27 PM Turning Point on Health Care? Not So Fast

Because of the close proximity of Rick Scott's surprising decision to accept the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid Expansion, and the appearance of the Holtz-Eakin/Roy strategy document for how Republicans can...

By Ed Kilgore

February 21, 2013 3:28 PM Slurring the Whigs

Any time anyone gets frustrated with one of the two major parties, or the two-party system, or just wants to write about third-party phantoms to scare or entertain little political...

By Ed Kilgore

February 21, 2013 2:05 PM Lunch Buffet

Thanks to Rick Scott for making actual news of a positive nature. Still think he's a horror-show, but glad for a moment. Here are some mid-day news/views items: * Lindsey...

By Ed Kilgore

February 21, 2013 1:00 PM Making the Sequester Slightly Less Stupid

TPM's Brian Beutler reports today that Senate Republicans are mulling over offering as their own "replacement plan" for the appropriations sequester a provision that would give agency administrators flexibility to...

By Ed Kilgore

February 21, 2013 11:33 AM Brennan, Benghazi & Drones

Speaking of strategery: the New York Times' Scott Shane and Mark Mazetti have published a hypothesis about how the White House is handling John Brennan's confirmation hearings that if true...

By Ed Kilgore

February 21, 2013 11:15 AM Newt's Dish Served Cold

The latest fiery arrow aimed at Karl Rove from a fellow-conservative was shot from an interesting bow: that of one Newt Gingrich, who assaults the Boy Genius at the High...

By Ed Kilgore

February 21, 2013 10:22 AM Mitt Returns to the Scene of the Crime

I've probably already said more than is merited by the news of Mitt Romney's pending zombie appearance at the 2013 CPAC conference. But since we had to spend so much...

By Ed Kilgore

February 21, 2013 9:07 AM Scott Flip-Flops On Medicaid

I mentioned yesterday that Florida Gov. Rick Scott, after years as a font of anti-Obamacare posturing, had suddenly gotten "cagey" about the fate of ACA's Medicaid expansion. Later in the...

By Ed Kilgore

February 21, 2013 8:20 AM Daylight Video

Great Morning Anxiety music: We Five performing "You Were On My Mind" on Hollywood Palace in 1965. Introduced by Fred Astaire!...

By Ed Kilgore

February 20, 2013 5:41 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Thanks to Kathleen Geier for supplying some fine early afternoon content; turns out our meeting lasted a lot longer than was expected. Here are some day's end items in the...

By Ed Kilgore

February 20, 2013 5:17 PM Mitt At CPAC: Nugget Cause You Dug It?

I'm not that surprised by anything that happens among conservatives these days. But an exception is the news that some guy named Mitt Romney will be speaking at CPAC's 2013...

By Ed Kilgore

February 20, 2013 4:58 PM The GOP's Ultimate Health Care Plan B

Because Republicans have spent so much time trying to erase their fingerprints on the blueprints for the Affordable Care Act, and pretending it's "socialized medicine," they haven't done much thinking...

By Ed Kilgore

February 20, 2013 2:45 PM Why have family-friendly work policies fallen off the national agenda?

Over the weekend, The New York Times published a terrific op-ed by historian Stephanie Coontz about a vexing subject: why the feminist project of gender equality seems to be badly...

By Kathleen Geier

February 20, 2013 1:30 PM Yet another threat to Obamacare: employers evading the mandate

Yesterday, Ed Kilgore wrote that "it’s hard to suppress the feeling that ACA implementation is not going the way it was originally intended." He was referring to two unexpected developments....

By Kathleen Geier

February 20, 2013 1:24 PM Lunch Buffet

We're about to have a rare all-hands WaMo meeting shortly, but so as to make sure all you folk remain entertained and informed, we're bringing in our frequent Guest Blogger...

By Ed Kilgore

February 20, 2013 1:01 PM Cruz Plays the Race Card

I didn't intend to do more than one Ted Cruz post today, but then I saw this report from the Dallas Morning News' Wayne Slater: Sen. Ted Cruz says some...

By Ed Kilgore

February 20, 2013 12:35 PM Hurricane Rick

For nearly a century, a lot of people have flocked to Florida in search of a semi-tropical paradise, while others have viewed it as a hot, swampy nightmare full of...

By Ed Kilgore

February 20, 2013 10:48 AM No Shutdown, At Least

If you've been wondering, as I have, about whether Republicans would engineer a government-shutdown-threatening fight over the continuing resolution on appropriations that runs out on March 31, even if an...

By Ed Kilgore

February 20, 2013 10:13 AM Wildfire

Speaking of contemporary standards of conservative behavior and McCarthyite tactics, remember when the people trying to destroy Chuck Hagel were shouting about "reports" that the Nebraskan had once spoken to...

By Ed Kilgore

February 20, 2013 9:43 AM Ahead of His Time

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) can barely contain his glee at being criticized for being a jerk, as reflected in this Reuters report from Corrie MacLaggan. First-term Republican Senator Ted Cruz...

By Ed Kilgore

February 20, 2013 8:35 AM Daylight Video

After all these years, this track still cracks me up: Kenny Rogers and the First Edition performing "Just Dropped In" on the Smothers Brothers show in either 1967 or 1968....

By Ed Kilgore

February 19, 2013 5:59 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Props to Michael Lind for waking me up on an increasingly drowsy Tuesday afternoon. Here are some final news/views items of the day: * Dumb wingnut state legislator du jour:...

By Ed Kilgore

February 19, 2013 5:23 PM Sequestration's Parents

Since it seems to be of transcendent importance to Republicans right now to get the entire political world to "admit" sequestration was an idea that began in the White House,...

By Ed Kilgore

February 19, 2013 4:58 PM The "Original Sin" of "Southernomics"

Ah, Michael Lind, that maddeningly erudite but tunnel-visioned scholar of American history and politics, has struck again! In a piece for Salon that epitomizes his strengths and weaknesses, Lind forces...

By Ed Kilgore

February 19, 2013 3:22 PM Here Come the Furloughs

Expect to hear some real shrieks of pain tomorrow as the Department of Defense announces its furlough plans for civilian employees if (as is a reasonably safe bet at the...

By Ed Kilgore

February 19, 2013 2:53 PM USAToday Trades Up

Last month USAToday and the Gallup Organization announced the end of their twenty-year polling partnership amongst general snickering about Gallup's increasingly poor reputation for accuracy and suspicions the "divorce" wasn't...

By Ed Kilgore

February 19, 2013 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Just nine days until the Sequester, when fiscal hawks will celebrate by mocking the newly unemployed. Just kidding about that last part, I think. Here are some mid-day morsels in...

By Ed Kilgore

February 19, 2013 12:48 PM The Deadly Threat to the Fourth Estate

Yesterday I noted that it was such a slow news day that aggregators were heavily featuring the fatuous whining of the White House press corps over its inability to "cover"...

By Ed Kilgore

February 19, 2013 11:57 AM Deficits and Old Folks

There's a new Simpson-Bowles plan out today, and your interest in it probably depends not only on your political views but on which news sources you consult--some of which are...

By Ed Kilgore

February 19, 2013 11:20 AM The Coffin of the Bush Coalition

TNR's Nate Cohn is just the latest of many to point out that Marco Rubio's putative "savior of the Republican Party" status may be based on a serious misunderstanding of...

By Ed Kilgore

February 19, 2013 10:48 AM Still Playing the Long Game

So the president's back from Florida today, and is immediately putting public pressure on congressional Republicans to accept a sequester replacement deal involving higher revenues via loophole-closing. Giving new life...

By Ed Kilgore

February 19, 2013 9:29 AM State(s) of the Health Care Exchanges

So much attention has been (rightly) paid to the decisions of states on whether to implement the Affordable Care Act's expansion of Medicaid eligibility that it's often forgotten states have...

By Ed Kilgore

February 19, 2013 8:29 AM Daylight Video

For no particular reason, here's White Stripes performing "I'm Finding It Harder To Be a Gentleman" at the Reading Festival in 2004....

By Ed Kilgore

February 18, 2013 5:35 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Well, thank God for Republican self-evaluations, such as they are, or I would have struggled to find much to write about today. Here are some final bites from the bottom...

By Ed Kilgore

February 18, 2013 4:34 PM Cuts R Us

Here's a fine nugget from Jonathan Bernstein at the WaPo Plum Line about Republican efforts to blame Obama for the sequester if it happens: Most of the time, on most...

By Ed Kilgore

February 18, 2013 4:10 PM First Steps Out of Denial: Gerson and Wehner

Unlike Ramesh Ponnuru, Michael Gerson and Peter Wehner don't have much of a reputation for brave truth-telling when their fellow conservatives have gone awry. But their essay on the Republican...

By Ed Kilgore

February 18, 2013 2:10 PM First Steps Out of Denial: Ponnuru

After months of phony self-examination and ersatz "rebranding" and "reform" noise among conservatives who are determined to go for the capillaries and protect their recent conquest of the GOP, there...

By Ed Kilgore

February 18, 2013 1:25 PM Lunch Buffet

As previously indicated, we're in Lite Blogging mode today because it is a federal holiday. And it's also a slow news day so far, as is indicated by the high...

By Ed Kilgore

February 18, 2013 12:11 PM Three-Fifths of a Truth Is A Whole Insult

My alma mater, Emory University, has been in the news in a not-so-good way, in connection with a column for the institution's magazine by the institution's president, James Wagner. Quoting...

By Ed Kilgore

February 18, 2013 10:58 AM Sanford and the "God of Second Chances"

Life often imitates parody in South Carolina: former Gov. Mark Sanford has just put up his first ad in his campaign to get back his old congressional seat, recently vacated...

By Ed Kilgore

February 18, 2013 9:57 AM McCain Plants His Flag in the Fever Swamps

It wasn't that new or surprising, but Sen. John McCain's insistence on Meet the Press yesterday that the Obama administration was engaged in a "massive coverup" of Benghazi! is an...

By Ed Kilgore

February 18, 2013 8:57 AM Daylight Video

So naturally, here are the Presidents of the United States of America performing "Mach 5."...

By Ed Kilgore

February 17, 2013 7:58 PM Straw poll: If "Forward" attendees had to concede to GOP for climate bill, they'd overwhelmingly vote to raise retirement age

If you're anything like me - and most Americans are, according to an AP poll - you think that Congress, like its counterpart in Germany, should already be aggressively supporting...

By Samuel Knight

February 17, 2013 2:26 PM Sunday afternoon reads.

The link round-up is coming earlier than usual. I am about to head down to the "Forward on Climate" rally (I will be cycling) where I will ask attendees what...

By Samuel Knight

February 17, 2013 12:40 PM Sen. Warren comes out swinging

In case you missed it, Elizabeth Warren made quite the splash at her first Senate Banking Committee hearing on Thursday. In front of a panel entitled “Wall Street Reform: Oversight...

By Samuel Knight

February 17, 2013 11:01 AM In first Sunday morning talk rounds, McDonough doesn't champion chained CPI

New White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough did the Sunday talk show rounds this morning. While on on ABC's “This Week,” he was questioned about John Boehner's assertion that...

By Samuel Knight

February 17, 2013 9:21 AM Sunday Morning Reads

-USA Today obtained a leaked draft of President Obama's plan for immigration reform. At it's core are proposals to offer permanent residency within eight years, more security funding, and a...

By Samuel Knight

February 16, 2013 6:21 PM Saturday Evening Reads

-President Obama, in Chicago yesterday to promote his gun control initiative, lamented the violence that plagues the city's youth. "Last year, there were 443 murders with a firearm in this...

By Samuel Knight

February 16, 2013 2:48 PM "Won't Back Down" revived as centerpiece of corporate lobbying campaign

By most accounts, "Won't Back Down" is a film that everyone would like to forget. The cringe-inducing anti-teachers' unions movie may have had the backing of wealthy corporate education reformers,...

By Samuel Knight

February 16, 2013 12:24 PM Karzai to ban Afghans from using NATO airstrikes; expected decree highlights drone deficiencies

On Friday, in a written response to questions submitted by members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, CIA Director nominee John Brennan said that the number of civilian casualties caused by...

By Samuel Knight

February 16, 2013 10:17 AM Joe Scarborough Is a total hack (but don't take my word for it)

In his latest salvo in his back-and-forth with Paul Krugman over the significance of the national debt, Joe Scarborough, writing in POLITICO today, displayed such a foul misunderstanding about economics,...

By Samuel Knight

February 16, 2013 8:55 AM Saturday Morning Reads

-According to Reuters, a remote control bomb was detonated in a Hazara Shi'ite quarter of Quetta, Pakistan today, killing at least 15 people. In recent months, Pakistan's Shi'ite Muslims have...

By Samuel Knight

February 15, 2013 5:35 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

It's a beautiful afternoon here on the Central Coast, and I'm ready to let politics go for a couple days. But as always, there are a few stories and opinionated...

By Ed Kilgore

February 15, 2013 4:54 PM Back in 19 and 70....

Think Progress sure nailed Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), supposedly one of the sharper tools in the Tea Party shed. Blackburn lectured today's workers that they needed to learn responsibility like...

By Ed Kilgore

February 15, 2013 3:50 PM Odd-Year Midterms

So If, as I've been incessantly noting, Republicans have a pretty significant turnout advantage in midterm elections thanks to a relatively new tight alignment of the two parties with elements...

By Ed Kilgore

February 15, 2013 2:33 PM Rich, Chocolatey Goodness

Maybe it's just the miasma of a Friday afternoon, but as I read Jake Sherman's obscure piece in Politico today about the intense discussions among House Republicans concerning their agenda...

By Ed Kilgore

February 15, 2013 1:40 PM Lunch Buffet

Just realized that Monday is a federal holiday. That means Lite Blogging for me, and probably not much to blog about--but I'll be right here, semi-alert. Here are some mid-day...

By Ed Kilgore

February 15, 2013 12:52 PM The Rubio Scam

Beth Reinhard has a long article up at National Journal today that achieves something of a breakthrough in explaining the allure to Republicans of Sen. Marco Rubio. To make the...

By Ed Kilgore

February 15, 2013 11:43 AM The Zen Bandwagon

If you want a glimpse at what a two-party open contest for the presidency is going to look and feel like in early, lazy media speculation, check out this Daily...

By Ed Kilgore

February 15, 2013 11:10 AM Hagel Kabuki Consummated

On Tuesday I offered the less-than-revolutionary analysis that the Hagel nomination had descended into a Kabuki Theater of pointless posturing that would only delay his confirmation and allow certain Republican...

By Ed Kilgore

February 15, 2013 10:20 AM Original Sin

In all the generally meh reaction to Marco Rubio's much-awaited Republican Response to the State of the Union Address, a lot of people (perhaps mesmerized by the silly "slurping" incident)...

By Ed Kilgore

February 15, 2013 9:47 AM U.S. House Locked and Loaded

No, this post isn't about gun regulation, though that's one of the issues affected by the political phenomenon it's actually about. I argued yesterday that Barack Obama may seem serene...

By Ed Kilgore

February 15, 2013 9:11 AM Incompatible Plans

In case you're having trouble keeping track of the various proposals out there for delaying or replacing the March 1 appropriations "sequester," Brad Plumer has a handy-dandy guide at WaPo's...

By Ed Kilgore

February 15, 2013 8:30 AM Daylight Video

Heard this last night at dinner, and couldn't get it out of my mind: James Brown performing "Cold Sweat" in Zaire in 1974....

By Ed Kilgore

February 14, 2013 5:44 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Well, I hope everyone reading this has someone to love, up close or afar, on this Valentine's Day, or can at least remember or hope for it. Here are some...

By Ed Kilgore

February 14, 2013 5:07 PM Wanted: A Coherent Republican National Security Viewpoint

Aside from its implications for the Obama administration or the rules of the Senate, the treatment of the Hagel nomination by Senate Republicans--particularly those on the Armed Services Committee--is raising...

By Ed Kilgore

February 14, 2013 3:41 PM The Fire This Time

The situation with the Hagel nomination is pretty murky at the moment. A filibuster is underway, and Harry Reid has (a) scheduled a cloture vote for tomorrow morning and (b)...

By Ed Kilgore

February 14, 2013 3:20 PM Minimum Wage Up, EITC Down

As Matt Yglesias, quoting--um--liberally from a 1998 article by Paul Krugman, notes today, the president's call for a significant minimum wage hike (followed by indexing) is a continuation of a...

By Ed Kilgore

February 14, 2013 1:39 PM Lunch Buffet

Kinda disappointed no one has "liked" or commented on this morning's Daylight Video. The song is one of the best descriptions of the ambiguity of romantic love ("Love her so...

By Ed Kilgore

February 14, 2013 12:57 PM Mark Kleiman and Glenn Loury on Bloggingheads

On the Glenn Show (land of the epic beard), Loury himself and Mark Kleiman had an excellent discussion about crime, public policy, and morality based around their articles in our...

By Ryan Cooper

February 14, 2013 12:53 PM The Cool Kids of the GOP Show the Christian Right the Door

Today's Big Read for those who are bored with the regular news (or lack thereof) is Robert Draper's very long piece in the New York Times Magazine about the difficulty...

By Ed Kilgore

February 14, 2013 12:14 PM Why Is Obama More Cheerful?

E.J. Dionne nicely sums up a feeling broadly shared by many progressives that the president we heard in the 2013 State of the Union Address is standing on higher ground...

By Ed Kilgore

February 14, 2013 11:15 AM Mismanagement and Hubris

There's not a whole lot to add to David Corn's reporting on the growing revelations that the famous Tea Party organization FreedomWorks was in its absolute heyday run like a...

By Ed Kilgore

February 14, 2013 10:16 AM The Scott Walker Triple Gainer

Yesterday Scott Walker finally announced his much-awaited decision about how to deal with the Medicaid expansion provided for in the Affordable Care Act. And he managed to come up with...

By Ed Kilgore

February 14, 2013 9:40 AM Wayne Lapierre's Dystopia

If you're sleepy this morning (as I am), and need a good jolt of noise to snap your eyes open, like a cattle-prod plunged into your bathwater, check out the...

By Ed Kilgore

February 14, 2013 8:41 AM Daylight Video

For Valentine's Day, here's Joe Jackson performing "Stranger Than Fiction" in Sydney in 1991....

By Ed Kilgore

February 13, 2013 5:48 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Good to get back to the normally abnormal blogging schedule. Next live-blogging may not happen until fall elections, unless it's possible to live-blog a government shutdown. Here are some remainders...

By Ed Kilgore

February 13, 2013 5:01 PM "Buckley Rule" In Action?

No sooner did I finish my last post than I ran across a little item that might provide a good test for the "Buckley Rule" in action, via the Atlanta...

By Ed Kilgore

February 13, 2013 4:30 PM The "Buckley Rule" and Its Implications

You may have heard during the kerfuffle over American Crossroads' "Conservative Victory Fund" that Karl Rove is defending his planned intervention in Republican primaries as justified by the so-called "Buckley...

By Ed Kilgore

February 13, 2013 3:40 PM You're Welcome, Cash-Strapped Future College Students of America

During the State of the Union, one part in particular stood out to us here at Monthly HQ. It was during the section on education (starting at about 4:15): From...

By Ryan Cooper

February 13, 2013 2:18 PM Race to the Bottom

I don't know if Sen. Marco Rubio's nothing-burger of a SOTU response cheered his fellow aspirant to the Republican Great Minority Hope title, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. On the...

By Ed Kilgore

February 13, 2013 1:12 PM Lunch Buffet

Quick programming note: a bit before 3:00 PM EST, I'll be heading over to my church to help administer ashes. Shouldn't take that long, but if breaking news happens to...

By Ed Kilgore

February 13, 2013 12:37 PM SOTU Policy Stuff: Election Reform

The Nation's Ari Berman, the preeminent reporter on the Republican Party's "war on voting," pretty much described my own reaction to the president's rap last night on election reform: President...

By Ed Kilgore

February 13, 2013 12:20 PM About Those Frightened Senate Democrats

A standard bit of conservative agitprop (or self-reassurance) last night was that while Barack Obama may be on a crazy liberal bender, his party's Senate majority is dependent on vulnerable...

By Ed Kilgore

February 13, 2013 11:12 AM Deserving a Vote

One of the odder features of the president's State of the Union Address was a certain disconnect between his rhetoric and what he actually proposed to do via Congress. On...

By Ed Kilgore

February 13, 2013 10:20 AM SOTU Policy Stuff: Back to Universal Pre-K!

At various points during the day and week, I'll probably do posts discussing some policy issues that the president raised in the State of the Union Address that deserve more...

By Ed Kilgore

February 13, 2013 9:49 AM SOTU Day-After Thoughts

Well, don't know about you, but I'm happy to stand by my initial reactions to the State of the Union Address. It was by no means perfect: there were several...

By Ed Kilgore

February 13, 2013 8:26 AM Daylight Video

Welcome to Lent, y'all. Here's David Bowie performing "Ashes To Ashes" in 1983....

By Ed Kilgore

February 12, 2013 10:48 PM SOTU Live-Blog: Final Thoughts

Well, Rand Paul will soon be delivering his own "response" to the SOTU Address on behalf of the Tea Party Express, via a live-stream at Red State, but I don't...

By Ed Kilgore

February 12, 2013 10:47 PM SOTU Live-Blog: Rubio Response

I've joked Republicans have been generous in offering three responses (Rubio, Paul and Nugent). I'm not watching Fox News, so haven't heard anything from Nugent. Now Rubio's up. * Very...

By Ed Kilgore

February 12, 2013 10:27 PM SOTU Live-Blog: Recap

CNN can barely let applause die before delivering breaking news that Dorner found dead. Suspect the story will step all over usual SOTU wallowing. Before I hear CNN "analysis," I...

By Ed Kilgore

February 12, 2013 10:16 PM SOTU Live-Blog IV

* Immigration rap same as in recent speech. Members from both parties generally applauding. Totally deferring to Congress at this point. * You knew he had to take shot at...

By Ed Kilgore

February 12, 2013 9:47 PM SOTU Live Blog III

* Very quick transition from manufacturing policy to energy and then climate change. First mention: Boehner sat on his hands. * Most elaborate use of weather evidence to support climate...

By Ed Kilgore

February 12, 2013 9:32 PM SOTU Live-Blog II

* Obama still on bipartisan rap with progress report on deficit reduction: now pivoting to the sequester. * Sequester would "slow the recovery," a pretty mild description of economic impact....

By Ed Kilgore

February 12, 2013 9:21 PM SOTU Live-Blog: The Opening

* John Kerry led the Cabinet in; Steven Chu was the Cabinet member left behind this time to run the government if catastrophe strikes. * CNN's John King talking in...

By Ed Kilgore

February 12, 2013 8:59 PM SOTU Live-Blog: The Runup

These speeches are typically a combo platter of ceremonial, tedium and occasional drama. The long run-up to the speech features the first two qualities: Members parked on the aisle to...

By Ed Kilgore

February 12, 2013 5:03 PM Hiatus Til Tonight

So I'm taking a break to pause and refresh, but will be back a bit before 9:00 EST to live-blog the State of the Union Address....

By Ed Kilgore

February 12, 2013 4:36 PM Hagel Confirmation Gets All Kabuki

So to sum up what appears to be the trajectory of the Hagel confirmation: * After an endless session today where Senators have had the chance to restate their positions...

By Ed Kilgore

February 12, 2013 3:59 PM Just When You Thought Republicans Only Had To Worry About Latinos...

It's no secret that the GOP's political weakness among minority voters is pervasive. But as Jamelle Bouie points out today at TAP, it's not particularly well known that Republicans are...

By Ed Kilgore

February 12, 2013 2:30 PM Other Cool Stuff On the Site

I generally highlight one item from Ten Miles Square and one from College Guide in the Day's End post, but since (a) cool stuff's beginning to pile up, and (b)...

By Ed Kilgore

February 12, 2013 1:21 PM Lunch Buffet

I'm planning to live-blog the SOTU tonight (it begins at 9:00 EST), so will follow my usual Hard Day's Night practice of knocking off regular blogging a bit early this...

By Ed Kilgore

February 12, 2013 12:37 PM What You See Is What You Get

It was bad enough that House Republican Leader Eric Cantor's Great Big Speech at the American Enterprise Institute on February 5 was largely barren of anything like the new policy...

By Ed Kilgore

February 12, 2013 11:57 AM An Earned Celebrity

One of the least surprising ventures of the shiny new New Republic, with its focus on what might be called the aesthetic side of politics, is an extensive profile of...

By Ed Kilgore

February 12, 2013 10:45 AM On Equality Front, From "Why?" to "Why Not?"

It's a token of how rapidly the political dam against LGBT equality has broken that the Pentagon's announcement that it is extending family benefits to gay men and women serving...

By Ed Kilgore

February 12, 2013 10:11 AM Two, Three, Many SOTU Responses

Well, it appears Republicans won't have any dearth of responses to tonight's State of the Union Address. There's the Official Response by Marco Rubio, which will apparently utilize Real Live...

By Ed Kilgore

February 12, 2013 9:43 AM Selling Action On Climate Change

While intense opposition from "coal counties" strategically situated in battleground states had a lot to do with the president muting any discussion of climate change during the 2012 campaign, there's...

By Ed Kilgore

February 12, 2013 8:30 AM Daylight Video

For obvious reasons, here's The Meters performing "Mardi Gras Mambo."...

By Ed Kilgore

February 11, 2013 5:59 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Tomorrow night, God help me, I'll be live-blogging the SOTU, when I could have been at my church participating in the Protestant version of Mardi Gras: Pancakes and Karaoke! While...

By Ed Kilgore

February 11, 2013 4:45 PM Is Rubio the Republican Wes Clark?

I've been among those mocking the Savior of the GOP status of novice Sen. Marco Rubio, especially in terms of the false notion that his championship of moderately responsible immigration...

By Ed Kilgore

February 11, 2013 4:13 PM Flunking the Infrastructure No-Brainer

WaPo Wonkblog's Neil Irwin is correct, if perhaps too logical, in identifying infrastructure investments as the kind of issue on which Republicans and Democrats in Congress ought to be able...

By Ed Kilgore

February 11, 2013 3:17 PM Early Papal Line

It's a bit early for any serious speculation--much less red-hat-counting--about the likely identity of Benedict XVI's successor as Pope. But there is one fascinating bit of earlier analysis, via the...

By Ed Kilgore

February 11, 2013 2:47 PM Who's Afraid of Karl Rove?

In all the commentary over Karl Rove's announced intention of making his American Crossroads outfit a big crazy-crushing player in Republican primaries in 2014, I've mainly confined myself to criticizing...

By Ed Kilgore

February 11, 2013 2:06 PM The Mortgage Servicer Industry Still Reeks of Corruption

One of the key parts of the great subprime housing bubble was the originate-and-distribute model. Where in ages past banks would hold on to mortgages for the duration of the...

By Ryan Cooper

February 11, 2013 1:34 PM Lunch Buffet

It's not often that we have two such very different "dominant" news stories: the resignation of a Pope, and a State of the Union Address. Having the obligation of trying...

By Ed Kilgore

February 11, 2013 11:59 AM Protestants and Abortion

While the election of a new Pope will likely rekindle (at least in this country and in Europe) arguments over the retrograde position of the Vatican on reproductive rights, it's...

By Ed Kilgore

February 11, 2013 11:10 AM Graham's Continuing Hissy Fit

The standard conservative line about Chuck Hagel's confirmation process is that his hearings in the Senate Armed Services Committee were a disaster for the administration, revealing the nominee's fecklessness and...

By Ed Kilgore

February 11, 2013 10:20 AM Ratzinger's Strange Reign

I'm not a Roman Catholic, so any thoughts I have about the remarkable resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, his legacy, or his successor are gratuitous if unavoidable. It is clear...

By Ed Kilgore

February 11, 2013 9:29 AM A Very Complicated Speech Opportunity

One of the pervasive myths of American politics is that the president, as the preacher at the "bully pulpit," has a regular ability to significantly change public opinion, and thus...

By Ed Kilgore

February 11, 2013 8:30 AM Daylight Video

With the startling announcement that Pope Benedict XVI is resigning (the first voluntary papal abdication in over half a millennium) due to "frailty," I guess the only appropriate song is...

By Ed Kilgore

February 10, 2013 12:55 PM Pay No Attention to the Conservative Behind the Curtain

Before I leave you lovely people to your Sunday, here are two quotes from this morning's "Meet the Press": * “We’ve got to be talking about helping folks.” * "[T]he...

By Elon Green

February 10, 2013 11:30 AM It's Easy to Forget a Half-Trillion Dollar Jobs Package

Try not to chuckle as you read this morning's Byron York column on President Obama's State of the Union address. His thesis: White House spinners are working furiously in the...

By Elon Green

February 10, 2013 9:45 AM "The Party of Calhoun"

As expected, The New Republic has under its new owner, ex-Facebooker Chris Hughes, developed a keener grasp of the web. Several days ago the magazine leaked the cover of the...

By Elon Green

February 10, 2013 8:00 AM Rand Paul's Fascinating Refusal to Say 'No'

On Thursday, Ben Shapiro of Breitbart News reported that "one of the reasons that President Barack Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, has not turned over requested documents...

By Elon Green

February 09, 2013 5:36 PM Until We Meet Again...

As always, dear Animals, it's been a pleasure to guest-blog for you. Thanks to Ed Kilgore and Paul Glastris for having me in. Tomorrow you'll be treated to the musings...

By Adele Stan

February 09, 2013 4:14 PM The State of Our Union is Sexy

When President Barack Obama delivers his fourth State of the Union address this Tuesday, I gamely predict we will see more of the pugilistic, right-back-atcha Obama 2.0 who showed up...

By Adele Stan

February 09, 2013 1:23 PM Tea Party Hatin' on Rove

Of all the intramural competitions on display in this great land of ours, none is quite so riveting as the burst of bile between Karl Rove and the self-appointed leaders...

By Adele Stan

February 09, 2013 11:11 AM Morning Mash-Up

I know I've got this a bit backwards, and should have kicked off the morning with a list of bulleted items, but I was so captivated by the possibilities of...

By Adele Stan

February 09, 2013 9:16 AM Naming Nemo

Good morning, Animals! So good to be back with you, if only for a day, to once again examine the peculiar politics of our time -- which these days includes...

By Adele Stan

February 08, 2013 5:24 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

After an exhausting and frustrating day of endlessly checking the website and writing and losing posts, I'd glad to see things seem to have settled down for the moment. Here...

By Ed Kilgore

February 08, 2013 4:54 PM Speaking of Rand Paul....

Word's just in that the junior senator from Kentucky has signed on to deliver a "Tea Party" response to both the president's SOTU and Marco Rubio's official GOP response. And...

By Ed Kilgore

February 08, 2013 4:34 PM Goldilocks On Acid

In a Day's End post a couple of days ago, I mocked Rand Paul's inscrutable national policy "vision" speech at the Heritage Foundation as advancing a policy of "aggressive non-interventionism,...

By Ed Kilgore

February 08, 2013 3:55 PM Technical Problems

Hi folks, just wanted to pop in while I can and let you know that we all haven't died, we've just been having serious technical problems both with our web...

By Ryan Cooper

February 08, 2013 3:50 PM Late Lunch Buffet

Profound regrets for the website issues we've had today. Believe me, no one is more frustrated than I am (for one thing, I'm having to recreate this post having lost...

By Ed Kilgore

February 08, 2013 12:19 PM Who Is Humble? Who Fears God?

The New York Times' Sarah Wheaton reports on the president's remarks at today's National Prayer Breakfast: President Obama delivered a contemplative call for humility, driven by faith and abiding respect...

By Ed Kilgore

February 08, 2013 11:24 AM Uphill Climb for House Democrats

I noted earlier today the possibility of a highly entertaining Al Franken/Michele Bachmann Senate race in 2014. But by and large, 2014 still seems a blessedly long time away--unless you...

By Ed Kilgore

February 08, 2013 10:49 AM Dealing With the Non-Crisis In Fertility

Sometimes it's in order to raise alarms about the sustainability of entitlement programs, and sometimes it's just to scourge the "selfishness" of liberals and feminists. But a lot of conservatives...

By Ed Kilgore

February 08, 2013 10:04 AM Medicaid Tipping Point?

The recent decisions of three Republican governors--Jan Brewer of Arizona, John Kasich of Ohio, and Rick Snyer of Michigan--to go along with the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion provisions has...

By Ed Kilgore

February 08, 2013 9:16 AM Oh Goody

Slogging through the usual slim pickings of early-morning political news, I ran across this article from RealClearPolitics' Scott Conroy that made my whole day: But despite [a] presidential fade-out and...

By Ed Kilgore

February 08, 2013 7:30 AM Daylight Video

Great, forgotten anthem for procrastinators (of which I am one by nature): "I can't relax 'cause I haven't done a thing, and I can't do a thing 'cause I can't...

By Ed Kilgore

February 07, 2013 5:23 PM Day's End and Night Watch

I'm trying to enjoy that brief anxiety-free calendar space between National Signing Day and Ash Wednesday. But the political types just won't let me. Here are some remains of the...

By Ed Kilgore

February 07, 2013 4:43 PM Sequester Hawks

It's kind of ironic that a Republican Party allegedly horrified by Chuck Hagel's openness to defense spending cuts is allegedly girding up its loins to accept--nay, even insist--on an immediate...

By Ed Kilgore

February 07, 2013 4:12 PM No Smiley-Face For Southern Republicans

Even as we argue about whether the incessantly marketed "reinvention" of the national Republican Party is a great step forward or a total hoax, there isn't a lot of pretense...

By Ed Kilgore

February 07, 2013 3:55 PM Race, Income, Gender, and Family Structure

Oldsters and social scientists are probably aware of the furor that greeted Daniel Patrick Monynihan's 1965 report to President Lyndon B. Johnson, entitled "The Negro Family: The Case for National...

By Ed Kilgore

February 07, 2013 2:23 PM Getting Played

I'm getting a tad hoarse objecting to the meme that the Republican Party is engaged in a struggle for its very soul between "moderates" like Bobby Jindal and Marco Rubio...

By Ed Kilgore

February 07, 2013 1:52 PM Lunch Buffet

Still getting angry every time I think about Rick Perry and his attempted "raid" of Californians. It reminds me of watching him during his presidential campaign strut around various Tea...

By Ed Kilgore

February 07, 2013 11:35 AM Why the "Drone Doctrine" Is Such a Flashpoint

As The Atlantic's Conor Friedersdorf notes, we're seeing a very unusual set of battlelines developing over the Obama administration's internal justifications for drone strikes against American citizens: Some neoconservatives have...

By Ed Kilgore

February 07, 2013 10:49 AM The New Boss

David Frum mocks the phenomenon, posting a Time Magazine cover depicting Sen. Marco Rubio as "the Republican Savior" and noting sardonically: "Well That Was Easy." WaPo's Chris Cillizza takes it...

By Ed Kilgore

February 07, 2013 10:04 AM 401-Nay

In yesterday's Lunch Buffet, I briefly noted Duncan Black's (better known as Eschaton's Atrios) op-ed in USAToday calling for a major increase in Social Security benefits to offset the "disaster"...

By Ed Kilgore

February 07, 2013 9:07 AM Living In the Age of Miracles

Via Brad Plumer at Wonkblog, check out this clip from Walter Cronkite in 1967 explaining how the kitchens of the twenty-first century would work. Makes me want to send my...

By Ed Kilgore

February 07, 2013 8:53 AM The Eric Cantor Rorschach Test

It's hardly unusual for different people to hear the same speech and have entirely different reactions. But gotta say, Eric Cantor's Great Big Speech earlier this week at the American...

By Ed Kilgore

February 07, 2013 8:21 AM Daylight Video

Ah, the song of my generation: ever-rising expectations, never met. Here's Lucinda Williams performing "I Lost It" in Ithaca New York in 2011....

By Ed Kilgore

February 06, 2013 5:41 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Things did not get better for the Georgia Bulldogs on National Signing Day, but ESPN still rated its class tenth nationally. SEC dominated as usual; SEC teams had six of...

By Ed Kilgore

February 06, 2013 4:45 PM Farewell to Dick Morris?

Has any dismissal from a media gig ever been as richly earned as that of Dick Morris? He was officially dropped from the Fox lineup yesterday after a lengthy absence...

By Ed Kilgore

February 06, 2013 3:02 PM Militant Atheism in the Idaho GOP

I don't normally think it useful to focus on the random utterances or actions of random wingnuts, particularly at the state legislative level. But occasionally you just have to call...

By Ed Kilgore

February 06, 2013 2:19 PM Messing With Texas

As you've probably heard, Gov. Rick Perry's race-to-the-bottom radio ads inviting California business to "come check out Texas" hasn't gone over very well in the Golden State. Gov. Jerry Brown,...

By Ed Kilgore

February 06, 2013 12:58 PM Lunch Buffet

As some of you may know, today is National Signing Day for college football recruits. This might normally affect my blogging productivity. But since my Georgia Bulldogs already had 30...

By Ed Kilgore

February 06, 2013 12:35 PM Phony War, Phony History

Underlying some of the phony war going on "for the soul of the Republican Party" is some phony history, too. One voice in the attacks on Karl Rove for allegedly...

By Ed Kilgore

February 06, 2013 11:33 AM Another Try At Expanding Homeownership

After the great U.S. housing bubble burst, there was a sense, particularly among conservatives, that a foolish liberal experiment in expanding homeownership to people without the income or credit or...

By Ed Kilgore

February 06, 2013 10:13 AM Darkening the Sky

Via Politico's Alexander Burns and Maggie Haberman comes the grim news that Florida Gov. Rick Scott is planning to spend up to $100 million to hang onto his gubernatorial position...

By Ed Kilgore

February 06, 2013 9:43 AM RIP Saturday Postal Delivery

It's been expected for eons, but still: today's news that the U.S. Postal Service will eliminate Saturday service for first-class mail on August 1 was mildly shocking in a sign-of-the-times...

By Ed Kilgore

February 06, 2013 9:16 AM The Big Trade-Off

Anyone not wearing ideological blinders had to read yesterday's updated economic outlook from the Congressional Budget Office and kinda nod along: If the current laws that govern federal taxes and...

By Ed Kilgore

February 06, 2013 8:48 AM Bad Speech Poorly Delivered

I wrote at some length yesterday about House Republican Leader Eric Cantor's Great Big Speech at AEI and its astonishing lack of originality. What I didn't know, since I was...

By Ed Kilgore

February 06, 2013 8:03 AM Daylight Video

1964. Late at night, transistor radio under the sheets, tuned in to WLS Chicago. This is what I remember hearing: the Honeycombs (featuring drummer Honey Lantree) performing "Have I the...

By Ed Kilgore

February 05, 2013 5:35 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Another one of those days when news starts briskly and then decelerates to Kabuki slow-mo. Here are some leftovers from today's offerings: * Obama suggests a small, not grand, deficit...

By Ed Kilgore

February 05, 2013 4:52 PM This Day In History

There are two items of American political history that jump out at you when checking out "This Day in History." The first was the veto override in 1917 whereby Congress...

By Ed Kilgore

February 05, 2013 4:09 PM Purge This, Karl!

PPP has a new survey of Iowa that supplies additional evidence of the folly of American Crossroads' announced plan to make sure Rep. Steve King isn't the Republican nominee for...

By Ed Kilgore

February 05, 2013 3:37 PM Marriage Equality Advances in Europe

While the American chattering classes have been mainly absorbed with the spectacle of the GOP's creaky and self-exculpatory "reinvention" efforts, there were major breakthroughs in the legalization of same-sex marriage...

By Ed Kilgore

February 05, 2013 3:19 PM Cantor's Big Speech: Small, Greasy Nuggets of Policy

The latest of the many Big Speeches delivered by Republicans aimed at changing the party's image without changing its ideology was delivered today by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of...

By Ed Kilgore

February 05, 2013 1:16 PM Lunch Buffet

So my wife and I have been gradually viewing episodes of House of Cards, the dark Netflix series starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. I'm avoiding reviews so as not...

By Ed Kilgore

February 05, 2013 12:44 PM Brennan's Reading List

So you think Chuck Hagel had a tough Senate confirmation hearing? It may turn out to be child's play compared to the grilling CIA Director nominee John Brennan could face...

By Ed Kilgore

February 05, 2013 11:59 AM California's Coming War Over Fracking

The passage of a ballot initiative raising taxes to deal with a chronic budget crisis, and the achievement of super-majorities in both state legislative chambers by Democrats, have for the...

By Ed Kilgore

February 05, 2013 10:33 AM Invisible People

Conservatives are supposed to be pretty good at "cost-benefit analysis." But you will notice that in any discussion of health care policy lately, many of them just can't bring themselves...

By Ed Kilgore

February 05, 2013 10:04 AM Long Lines And Voting Rights

In case you haven't noticed or thought about it, the president's fairly frequent references--most notably in his election night remarks and in his second inaugural address--to voting rights problems have...

By Ed Kilgore

February 05, 2013 8:59 AM Talyor Branch On Why We Must Discuss Race

If you missed attending or watching the January 25 event at the New America Foundation to discuss the January/February issue of the Washington Monthly on "Race, History and Obama's Second...

By Ed Kilgore

February 05, 2013 8:26 AM Daylight Video

Some pure alternative whimsy from my dream soundtrack last night: King Missile with "The Boy Who Ate Lasagna and Could Jump Over a Church."...

By Ed Kilgore

February 04, 2013 6:16 PM Day's End and Night Watch

We're into February now, and the political subjects we're all talking about haven't much changed at all, have they? As Edna St. Vincent Millay was reported to have said: "Life...

By Ed Kilgore

February 04, 2013 5:44 PM Breaking Through Clerical Solidarity in L.A.

The gesture will probably strike many non-Catholics and quite a few Catholics as too little and too late. But still, given the past behavior of the Catholic hierarchy over the...

By Ed Kilgore

February 04, 2013 4:45 PM Second Bite At the Apple

Regular readers of the Washington Monthly may recall an article in the July/August 2012 issue of the magazine by John Gravois about the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which...

By Ed Kilgore

February 04, 2013 3:59 PM Kasich Gives Away the Game

Ohio Gov. John Kasich's decision to go along with the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion in his state may or may not affect the handful of Republican governors who are...

By Ed Kilgore

February 04, 2013 3:30 PM Plus La Change...

I was going to write up a preview of Eric Cantor's Big Speech tomorrow adding his two cents to the effusion of advice to Republicans about how to turn their...

By Ed Kilgore

February 04, 2013 1:38 PM Lunch Buffet

I wasn't planning on watching the SuperBowl (note to football-o-phones: college fans and pro fans are often not the same people), and missed about half of it, getting drawn in...

By Ed Kilgore

February 04, 2013 1:10 PM Polarization and Gerrymandering

As he often does, political scientist John Sides has cast an empirical spotlight on a widely held bit of conventional wisdom and found it wanting, this time at Wonkblog with...

By Ed Kilgore

February 04, 2013 12:23 PM Koch, Lindsay and Archie Bunker

Not being a New Yorker, I've refrained from comment on the legacy of former New York mayor Ed Koch, someone whose identity was completely tangled up in Gotham politics, culture...

By Ed Kilgore

February 04, 2013 11:03 AM Near the End of the Road--Or Rope

Probably like a lot of people in my sub-generation, I read Catherine Rampell's New York Times piece over the weekend on the plight of those nearing but not yet at...

By Ed Kilgore

February 04, 2013 10:04 AM Romney '13

Could the Lord be so beneficent as to give Massachusetts Democrats a second chance to defeat the Romney family in much less than a year? It's beginning to look that...

By Ed Kilgore

February 04, 2013 9:32 AM Rove vs. King

Yesterday Kathleen Geier noted the most interesting political story of the weekend: the rapidly escalating war of words on the Right between so-called "Establishment" Republicans led by Karl Rove and...

By Ed Kilgore

February 04, 2013 8:23 AM Daylight Video

In honor of the winners of Super Bowl Whatever Roman Numeral We Are Up To Now, here's Bobby Bare performing "Streets of Baltimore" in 1966....

By Ed Kilgore

February 03, 2013 9:07 PM Must-read of the day: The Nation's Richard Kim on Ed Koch and the cost of the closet

Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch died on Friday. I've avoided writing about this, because I most definitely was not a fan, and I just didn't have the stomach...

By Kathleen Geier

February 03, 2013 5:22 PM The times, they have changed

Very rarely do I find myself disagreeing with Paul Krugman. But I do take exception to this post. In it, Krugman writes that he was disturbed by the use of...

By Kathleen Geier

February 03, 2013 2:57 PM Creepy op-ed writers who obsess over women's wombs

And no, this time I'm not talking about Ross Douthat or William Saletan. Today, is The Weekly Standard Jonathan Last who is trolling women about the tragedy of their barren...

By Kathleen Geier

February 03, 2013 1:40 PM Dissension within GOP-land. Pass the popcorn!

Don't you just love it when wingnuts fight amongst themselves? Call this round "The Empire Strikes Back." The New York Times is reporting that some of the top donors in...

By Kathleen Geier

February 03, 2013 11:23 AM William Saletan, torture apologist

If you ever wondered why so many liberals and lefties have a visceral loathing for that plague upon humanity known as journalistic contrarianism, you need look no further than the...

By Kathleen Geier

February 03, 2013 8:59 AM Are you ready for the sporting event of the year?

I am speaking, of course, of the Puppy Bowl -- the annual televised extravaganza on Animal Planet, which bills it as "the cutest sporting event of the year." What is...

By Kathleen Geier

February 02, 2013 1:47 PM Meet Shirley Chambers. She has lost every one of her four children to gun violence.

Horrific mass shootings like the ones that occurred last year in Newtown and Aurora grab a lot of headlines, and understandably so. They are among the very worst crimes imaginable,...

By Kathleen Geier

February 02, 2013 11:56 AM Op-ed of the day: Charles Blow on Rosa Parks

Every American is familiar with the legend of Rosa Parks. In school, many of us were taught what is essentially Rosa Parks, the myth: the sanitized-for-public-consumption story about the meek...

By Kathleen Geier

February 02, 2013 9:24 AM The Obama administration's birth control cave-in: bad policy, bad politics

Yesterday brought news that the White House had once again "compromised" on a woman's right to reproductive health care. The newly announced compromise would allow employees at large not-for-profit organizations...

By Kathleen Geier

February 02, 2013 7:38 AM Patty Andrews, R.I.P.

The twentieth century continues to recede ever further into the distant, irretrievable past. This becomes especially clear with each loss of the dwindling remaining links to that century -- the...

By Kathleen Geier

February 01, 2013 7:22 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

Ah, a long week of real and contrived political events. But most of us had a more pleasant week than did Chuck Hagel. Here are the news remainders of this...

By Ed Kilgore

February 01, 2013 6:20 PM What Explains the Democratic Party's Unity?

I did not realize that Policy Review, the moderately conservative journal published by the Hoover Institution, is shutting down. I guess journals come and go, but at a time when...

By Paul Glastris

February 01, 2013 5:11 PM Have Demographics "Liberated" Obama?

I'm always interested in Ron Browstein's analysis, and his latest National Journal column grapples with one of the central issues of this stage of the Obama administration: has the electoral...

By Ed Kilgore

February 01, 2013 3:50 PM Rivera and Christie, Jersey RINOs

Well, my decision to spend a few days with Fox News on in the background to check out Kirsten Powers' (relatively sparse) appearances paid off, because I got to watch...

By Ed Kilgore

February 01, 2013 3:37 PM So Many Enemies!

In my last post I should have noted once again that the public overwhelmingly supports universal background checks, with one recent poll showing 85% of self-identified Republicans supporting the idea....

By Ed Kilgore

February 01, 2013 2:47 PM The Big NRA Flip-Flop On Background Checks

You know, I had premonitions of this story, thinking: Didn't the NRA used to support universal background checks as the alternative to every gun control measure? Between deadline pressures and...

By Ed Kilgore

February 01, 2013 1:51 PM Lunch Buffet

Well, my earlier prediction was right: turned on Fox News, and jobs report being spun as totally being about tiny bump in unemployment rate. Had jobs numbers been bad and...

By Ed Kilgore

February 01, 2013 1:15 PM How to Fix Our Monstrously Unjust Criminal Justice System

Two pieces in our latest print issue take a look at the slow-motion avalanche of cruelty and racism that is the American criminal justice system. The first, by Glenn Loury,...

By Ryan Cooper

February 01, 2013 12:56 PM Contraception Coverage Exemptions: It's About Power, Not Money

We'll have to see what the details are like, but reports abound that the Department of Health and Human Resources will release today a new set of regs providing a...

By Ed Kilgore

February 01, 2013 11:44 AM It Just Doesn't Matter

So conservatives are still high-fiving each other over the pounding that Chuck Hagel took yesterday from Republicans on the Armed Services Committee, and it was probably Jennifer Rubin's favorite day...

By Ed Kilgore

February 01, 2013 10:57 AM Another Solid Jobs Report

In another sign of how differently news is perceived in a non-election year, the January jobs report came out this morning at 8:30 AM just like it always does--and I...

By Ed Kilgore

February 01, 2013 9:52 AM The Predictable Wrath of Lindsay Graham

Having watched the nasty little trick Sen. Lindsay Graham pulled on a hapless Chuck Hagel during yesterday's confirmation hearings (asking him to "name" senators who were "intimidated" by the "Jewish...

By Ed Kilgore

February 01, 2013 8:35 AM Daylight Video

Some serious wake-up music: Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels performing "C.C. Rider/Jenny Take a Ride" in 1966....

By Ed Kilgore

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