Political Animal


February 13, 2013 1:12 PM Lunch Buffet

By Ed Kilgore

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 occur in the brief interim, it’ll just have to wait.

Here are some mid-day items that should nourish you even if you are fasting:

* McCain threatening to flip on Hagel filibuster unless more attention paid to Benghazi! Benghazi! Guess Graham reminded him of some favor he still owes.

* Boehner attacks Obama minimum wage increase proposal in terms that would apply to any minimum wage at any level.

* But at TNR, Tim Noah argues the minimum wage level Obama called for is too low.

* Times suggests Booker challenge has revived Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who may still retire but not before throwing a scare into Cory.

* A second snap poll—from PPP—shows positive public reaction to SOTU Address, this time by two-to-one margin.

And in non-political news:

* After bizarre series of announcements and retractions, discovery of Christopher Dorner’s driver’s license in rubble of burned cabin increases likelihood charred body is his; testing should soon confirm it.

Back after I deal with some chores.

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.


  • majun on February 13, 2013 2:06 PM:

    "But at TNR, Tim Noah argues the minimum wage level Obama called for is too low."

    And he is right. The last time I worked for minimum wage was in 1970 and when I ran my wage from then through an inflation calculator I came just north of $10/hour, so raising the minimum wage to $9/hour would still leave today's workers about 10% behind their grandparents in terms of buying power.

    But that is a ham handed comparison. Things cost differently now than they did then. When I was working for minimum wage I could afford a one bedroom apartment and I had a nice little 13 inch black and white TV in that apartment. The TV was courtesy of my parents, who gave me one of their old sets. A new B&W 13" set in those days would have set me back more than a week's wages - before taxes. Today for about the same outlay, after adjusting for inflation, I could afford a nice 50" flat screen plasma HDTV (of course I wouldn't be able to afford the cable bill that would come with it, but at least I would have a wall decoration).

    I can get along without cable and without a TV. But what about that nice little one bedroom apartment I had, which ate up about half of my take-home income back then. I just looked at Zillow and found a similar apartment in the same neighborhood that would only cost me 90% of my pre-tax monthly income if the minimum wage were raised up to $10/hour.

    So I guess Tim Noah has a point.

  • j on February 13, 2013 3:30 PM:

    RAW STORY has the audio and full story about the death of Dorner, the police set the cabin alight to burn him alive!
    Apparently when the front was on fire he tried to get out the back but was forced back in. Sounds like execution to me.

  • FriscoSF on February 13, 2013 3:46 PM:

    I guess it's the new Tea Party meme

    The government is responsible for the Real Estate Melt down ........ Who Knew ??
    That's what pretty little Marco said

    It wasn't Greedy Bankers
    It wasn't Greedy Mortgage Companies
    It wasn't Greedy Real Estate Speculators or Bond Traders
    It was the Government !!

    Someone akd Marco WHY the BofA, Wells Fargo, and CitiBank had to pay those fines

  • jkl; on February 13, 2013 3:49 PM:

    Hard to watch McCain display so much jealousy and rancor toward the president, and toward his friend Chuck Hagel. At this point McCain's negativity is totally pathological, pathetic, personal, problematic

  • cwolf on February 14, 2013 1:13 PM:

    "...administer ashes." ???

    I guess you haven't yet begun to recover from your case of catholicism.