Political Animal


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

By Samuel Knight

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 other issues they’d be willing to compromise in order to get a climate change bill passed (this is, however, operating under the fatal assumption that the GOP would be willing to horse trade on this issue). I will report back to you all this evening.

But I digress…

-John McCain said that the Senate should finally hold a vote on Chuck Hagel’s nomination, despite casting aspersions on the former Nebraska Senator’s qualifications. McCain disparaged the Defense secretary nominee as “the most unimpressive that I’ve ever seen” but still indicated that he would vote to invoke cloture.

-Lindsey Graham echoed McCain’s sentiments, saying that vote should proceed, but called Hagel “one of the most unqualified, radical choices for secretary of defense in a very long time.” He, however, stated that he was satisfied with Hagel’s denial of comments attributed to him by a 2007 blog post. The post, which detailed a speech he made at Rutgers University, accused Hagel of saying that the “State Department had become adjunct to the Israeli Foreign Minister’s office,” according to the Washington Post. “I just take him at his word unless something new comes along,” Graham said.

-Four foreign nationals - an Egyptian, a South African, a Korean, and a Swede travelling with a U.S. passport, according to Al-Jazeera - have been arrested in Benghazi due to accusations that they are Christian missionaries. The charges carry the death penalty. Meanwhile, arms-sellers from Britain, France and Italy, according to the Guardian, are reaching out to the new Libyan government despite some Libyans’ concerns about security.“‘I can’t see the point of having this kind of exhibition in Libya now,’ said Hassan el-Amin, an independent member of congress who lived in exile in the UK for 28 years and who is chair of the congress communications committee. ‘One of our problems is that arms are everywhere, I can’t see any point in an arms exhibition right now.’”

-Forecasts indicate that a cold snap in Florida could threaten a significant part of the state’s citrus crop. But Robert Garcia, a meteorologist working for the National Weather Service in Tampa, predicted that the cold won’t last long enough to do much damage, according to Reuters. The brief dip in temperature, however, might harm campaigners in the state seeking to raise awareness about global warming, as those who deny the overwhelming preponderance of evidence taken from around the world will cite the single localized cold front as irrefutable proof that the anthropogenic phenomenon is all just a scam perpetrated by George Soros so he can sell funny light bulbs or something.

-John Kerry might find this interesting: According to a poll taken for the Financial Times, if Britain were to hold a referendum on E.U. Membership tomorrow, 50 percent of British voters would vote for withdrawal, 33 percent would vote to remain, and 17 percent wouldn’t vote either way.

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


  • j on February 17, 2013 3:06 PM:

    Someone should remind McCain that when he was running for president he said that for defense secretary, Chuck Hagel would be the finest choice he could make, Mitch McConnell also said that Hagel was one of the most respected voices in defense matters.
    I guess the fact that McCain lost to Obama changes all that!

  • mudwall jackson on February 17, 2013 5:48 PM:

    just for the record, this winter (and last) has been extraordinarily warm even by florida standards. this is the first true cold snap we've experienced since dec. 2011. temperatures last week were as high as 85.

  • Wapiti on February 17, 2013 5:58 PM:

    I think Obama should nominate McCain just to watch him be run through the wringer.

    If he gets approved by the Senate, wait until after Arizona holds the special election to replace McCain, then "accept his resignation".

  • c u n d gulag on February 17, 2013 6:15 PM:

    Besides Benghazi, if you want more proof of what a shameless douche-nozzle Senator Limpseed Cornpone Grahamcrackers (R Closet) is, read this.


    To avoid Sequestration, he wants to have the President to put Obamacare on the chopping block.

    Uh, yeah, right, Senator Douche-nozzle. The President will get right on that, Sir.

    The Republicans are obviously scared to death that itll succeed and then what will they have to pitch their epic hysterical hissy-fits over ? (Not that I doubt for a second that theyll find SOMEthing or make sh*t up out of whole cloth, like that Death Panel nonsense).

  • John on February 18, 2013 8:46 AM:

    I don't understand why McCain thinks it reflects well on him that he's calling a guy who was at one time a close ally of his, who served in the Senate with him for 12 years, "the most unimpressive [nominee] I've ever seen."

    Note to McCain: Acting this way makes you look like a petty asshole. I know that McCain is a petty asshole, but my understanding was that he didn't want to look so obviously like one.