Political Animal


March 29, 2013 4:30 PM Day’s End and Weekend Watch

By Ed Kilgore

This being a Friday, and a religious holiday for many of us, I’m bringing today’s blogging to an early close after eleven posts. This step will also enable me to make my flight back home to California.

Here are some final items of the day:

* A new Harvard report suggests that the final combined U.S. price tag for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be between $4-6 trillion dollars.

* NPR cancelling mid-day Talk of the Nation call-in show after 21 years.

* Paul Waldman suggests complaints of conservatives that their tender sensitivities and fragile marriages will be impaired by marriage equality is comparable to George Constanza’s famous break-up line: “It’s not you; it’s me.”

* At Ten Miles Square, Jonathan Bernstein reminds us in comparing the different trajectories of gun control and marriage equality that “public opinion” is a political asset only when it’s active and mobilized.

* At College Guide, Daniel Luzer discusses the debate in Texas over limiting the number of standardized tests required of students.

And in non-political news:

* American Airlines bribing passengers to check bags with priority boarding for those without carryons.

Kathleen Geier will be back for Weekend Blogging.

To close weekday blogging this Holy Week, here’s the final chorus from the St. Matthew Passion.


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.


  • c u n d gulag on March 29, 2013 4:40 PM:

    Happy Easter, Ed!

    Mine is in a month.
    And I don't believe anyway, so the cheap ham I just bought, will be eaten on a secular weekend of my choosing.

  • MarkusOfarkus on March 29, 2013 4:54 PM:

    I don't get it. If you don't care about getting overhead space near your seat, what's the point of boarding earlier?

  • Anonymous on March 29, 2013 5:12 PM:

    Many has been the time that I have stood in a narrow airplane aisle waiting for the couple of dozen people ahead of me to stow their bags overhead and thought "We would all board so much faster if they would let the non-overhead-stowers board first."

    Nevertheless, I have an even better suggestion for the airlines: If they don't want people lugging their giant bags on an airplane, STOP CHARGING CHECKED BAGGAGE FEES."

  • jkl; on March 29, 2013 5:34 PM:

    Have a nice Easter, Ed.
    ELEVEN posts is the definition of prolific.
    More than anyone could accomplish, plus you write so well!
    Love the phraseology and interesting takes.

    Will miss NPR Talk of the Nation--just listened to it thru DC to PA earlier this week. It kind of saved me, as the classic rock and hillbilly music grew tiresome. To much food on hands to get CDs.

    And I just love and admire Johnathan Bernstein, a frequent guest on Martin Bashir's program on MSNBC...his is a sane and intelligent voice to which I look forward.

    I enjoy Katherine Grier. And you, Ed, deserve a break.

    One of the things that blows me away is Republicans keep wah-wahing about the debt, when most of it is derived from the trillion dollar wars Bush and Cheney and the neocons pushed on us. Hey Republicans--everyone's on to ya-----hence, the election.
    You ran up the debt trying to enrich Haliburton and the rest of the military-industrial complex that Ike Eisenhower warned future generations of.

    And I like Chris Matthews, yet he needs to treat David Corn more respectfully rather than interrupting him so much. I diagnose an envy somehow. Corn handles it well

    Despite Rence Pribus hoping his party will stop with the offensive statements, their offensiveness lives on. Wetbacks??

    Republicans are a big joke.

    Ben Carson just blew it permanently. Strangely offensive words that he related to marriage equality. I would say he just lost any race in which he would seek to engage.

    Losers/abusers/grifters/obstructionist time wasters. Talking to you Cruz and Paul.

    Thanks for the opportunity to comment

  • Eric k on March 29, 2013 6:29 PM:


    I've been on a few flights that give first boarding to people without carryons and had the same reaction, if I have checked bags one the benefits is being able to board last and not have to sit around on the plane. The only reason I rush to board as soon asi an is when I need overhead space.

  • low-tech cyclist on March 29, 2013 6:34 PM:

    I particularly look forward to the weekends when Kathleen Geier is blogging, and I agree with Krugman's assessment of her ("The excellent Kathleen Geier — give this woman a bigger job!"). Where does she blog when she's not Ed's weekend backup?

  • joe monroe on March 29, 2013 7:03 PM:

    $4 to $6 TRILLION you say? Hmmmm.

    Remember when Dumbsfeld said this?

    "... something under $50 billion for the cost. How much of that would be the U.S. burden, and how much would be other countries, is an open question.”
    01/10/2003, Donald Rumsfeld, Then Secretary of Defense

  • Neildsmith on March 29, 2013 9:43 PM:

    Also from St. Matthew's Passion...


    At evening, hour of calm and peace,
    Was Adams fall made manifest;
    At evening, too, the Lords redeeming love.
    At evening homeward turned the dove
    And bore the olive-leaves as token.
    O beauteous time! O evening hour!
    Our lasting peace is now with God made sure,
    For Jesus hath His Cross endured.
    His body sinks to rest.
    Go, loving servant, ask thou it,
    Go, be it thine, the lifeless Savior's body.
    O, wondrous Gift! O precious, holy burden.

    Make thee clean, my heart, from sin;
    I would my Lord inter,
    May He find rest in me,
    Ever in eternity,
    His sweet repose be here.
    World, depart, let Jesus in!

  • catclub on March 29, 2013 11:36 PM:

    I am pretty sure ( but not certain) they must be singing in Swedish. Which makes sense, since they are Swedish. Just surprised.