Political Animal


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

By Ed Kilgore

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 glories left in the queue:

* I didn’t even feel the temptation to go after Peggy Noonan this week, because Charles Pierce—who calls her Our Lady of the Dolphins—took care of that chore quite abundantly.

* Sen. Elizabeth Warren walking the walk on the Senate Banking Committee.

* TNR’s Jonathan Cohn notes that headline of “universal pre-K” for Obama proposal may be misleading, since administration wants to let states experiment with different approaches to early childhood education.

* At Ten Miles Square, Sarah Binder sorts through the various definitional issues surrounding the Hagel filibuster (and that’s what it is!).

* At College Guide, Daniel Luzer argues that getting an undergraduate business degree is usually a bad idea.

And in non-political news:

* Damn, thought I had problems with the sometimes-perverse hi-fi in my head: a British woman reports she’s had “How Much Is That Doggie In the Window” stuck in her brain for three years. I mean, even if someone answered the question, there’s inflation to consider.

Sam Knight is in for Weekend Blogging tomorrow. As noted earlier, Monday is a federal holiday, so I’ll be blogging, but maybe not so early: a rare chance to watch all my favorite Sunday Night TV shows!

To end the week, here is the Godfather Of Soul once again, performing “Soul Power” in Kinshasa in 1974.


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.


  • Joe Friday on February 15, 2013 6:55 PM:

    "Sen. Elizabeth Warren walking the walk on the Senate Banking Committee."

    Wall Street bankers howling that Warren was "too tough" on them and she was being "extreme".

    BOO HOO !

    About damn time we stopped coddling the 1%.

    Warren asked why the book value of the big banks was lower, when most corporations trade well above book value. She claimed there could be only two reasons for it:

    "One would be because nobody believes that the banks' books are honest. Second, would be that nobody believes that the banks are really manageable. That is, if they are too complex either for their own institutions to manage them or for the regulators to manage them"


  • Skipjack on February 15, 2013 7:56 PM:

    Wait a second that's The Big Payback. Still a great song and great performance, and goes with Elizabeth Warren item too.

  • Rich2506 on February 15, 2013 9:51 PM:

    For the problem of having an unsatisfactory tune stuck in my head, I usually finding that singing the Protestant Doxology to myself once or twice is usually enough to clear my head. Of course, it's good to have another tune somewhere to replace the bad one, but the Doxology is usually enough to act as a cleaning agent.

  • jeff S. on February 16, 2013 1:08 AM:

    James Brown is indeed performing The Big Payback, @Skipjack! Rumor has it that the clip is from a documentary called Soul Power.

  • jkl; on February 16, 2013 6:07 PM:

    Love how Charlie Pierce referred to the Republicans as
    "the rolling carnival of dysfunction."

    He just nails it---"This is your Republican party a collection of inchoate grievances, energized by a collection of cheapjack tactics, and all in service of a political philosophy that's falling to sticks and splinters around them. Chuck Hagel is merely the latest, and most convenient, victim. The use of dysfunction as a political tactic is the worst kind of solipsism. And these people call the president a narcissist? Yoicks."

  • nonymous on February 16, 2013 6:29 PM:

    BEST of the web:

    "It's ironic that the RNC is centrally controlled and dictatorial while espousing free market policies.
    The real reason that the Republican Party's leadership will not be able to timely adopt new world strategies and tactics is because the party leadership is not connected to or working on behalf of their grass roots members, and the members have to be engaged for these new systems to work.
    The Republican leadership is under the total control of the international military industrial big pharma big finance conglomerates that have succumbed to greed as their religion and true north.
    They (the Koch bothers for example) have suckered a few uninformed uneducated lightweights into the Tea Party point of view, but it isn't sustainable or scalable. "The revolution will not be televised!" Big corporate interests cannot, by definition, create a real grass roots campaign."