Political Animal


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

By Ed Kilgore

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 from the day’s news:

* Senate Republicans are insisting on 60-vote threshold for confirmation of, but just don’t want to call it a “filibuster.”

* Likewise, Rand Paul is putting “hold” on Brennan nomination, which amounts to the same thing.

* Scott Brown to make debut as Fox News gabber on Hannity’s show tonight.

* At Ten Miles Square, Henry Farrell examines the U.S. welfare state as compared to that of similarly wealthy countries, and notes it is hardly “redistributive.”

* At College Guide, Peter Orszag makes the macroeconomic case for expanding access to college.

And in non-political news:

* National Catholic Reporter’s John Allen suggests absence of “funeral effect” overshadowing election of next Pope makes departure from Benedict XVI’s policies more likely.

On that optimistic note, here’s David Bowie again, performing “Changes” in Paris in 2002.


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.


  • Quaker in a Basement on February 13, 2013 7:33 PM:

    * National Catholic Reporter’s John Allen suggests absence of “funeral effect” overshadowing election of next Pope makes departure from Benedict XVI’s policies more likely.

    Too early to rule it out. Just sayin'.

  • jharp on February 14, 2013 2:32 AM:

    Really like your music video picks.

    Brings back memories. I saw David Bowie in Cleveland circa 1978 perform the same song.

    Many thanks.

  • dweb on February 14, 2013 7:33 AM:

    When the group picking a new pope is made up of around 118 old, white, very conservative men, hand picked almost totally by Benedict and his predecessor, the chances they are going to pick a new pope who even hints at changes is about as likely as Sarah Palin getting a PhD in astrophysics.

    These guys have gone after nuns who dared to oppose their positions, acted repeatedly to cover up a massive and global scandal involving sexual abuse by priests, been caught money laundering and getting themselves deeply involved in domestic politics.

    These are not folks who will embrace change. They'll be looking for a candidate who "preserves the eternal truths of the Church."

  • smartalek on February 15, 2013 12:54 AM:

    Yes, what dweb said, plus:
    I read the NCR piece, and found it even less rational, or even plausible, than dweb did.
    By what possible logic is the continued survival of the man from the same repressive, backward-looking clicque as the man who preceded him in the office, and who furthered the stacking of the college of Cardinals with equally hidebound reactionaries, somehow going to conduce to even the tiniest discontinuity, let alone any major shift, in policies?
    I thought the Catholics were supposed to be strong at logical analysis?
    Well, perhaps it's only the Jesuits.
    Also, this amusing detail:
    "After the audience this morning, a large brass band from Germany processed down the Via della Conciliazione away from St. Peter's Square, pounding out a rousing march number and carrying a banner expressing pride in 'our pope.'"
    Sadly, no indication whether their "march" entailed goose-stepping.
    (It is, of course, all about the traditions in the Holy See.)

  • smartalek on February 15, 2013 1:57 AM:

    Wups, sorry for not.closing that tag properly. Hopefully won't mess up any further comments (if any).