Political Animal


March 04, 2013 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

By Ed Kilgore

Tried to watch first episode of History Channel’s The Bible last night, but turned it off when angels escorting Lot’s family from Sodom started sporting martial arts moves.

Anyway, the White House announced a three-pack of major nominations this morning, and that leads our lunchtime offerings:

* MIT’s Ernest Moniz nominated to succeed Stephen Chu as Secretary of Energy; some environmentalists have criticized him for alleged indirect support for fracking.

* Gina McCarthy, currently assistant EPA administrator for Air and Radiation, nominated to lead EPA. Coal interests really don’t like her, but other businesses seem reasonably supportive.

* Shirley Mathews Burwell, deputy OMB Director and deputy White House chief of staff under Bill Clinton, nominated to head OMB. She also had notable stint with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and most recently has headed the Walmart Foundation, which may raise eyebrows.

* After complaints from Jeff Sessions’ staff, Jonathan Chait reconsiders a post savaging Sessions use of a GAO study on Obamacare costs, then concedes it was far too generous to the junior senator from Alabama.

* Wonkblog’s Dylan Matthews reports study showing state legislators—and particularly conservatives—systematically overestimate the conservatism of their constituents.

And in non-political news:

* Latest World’s Tallest Hotel Building—72 floors—opens in Dubai.

Back after a chore break.

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.


  • FlipYrWhig on March 04, 2013 2:11 PM:

    The Burwell thing seems to be a case of a policy wonk moving from the government to the private sector (to spruce up Walmart's rep) and back, rather than--as my Facebook feed full of Obama-skeptical progressives would have it--a sop to the "corporatists."

  • OKDem on March 04, 2013 3:32 PM:

    Perhaps "The Bible" adapters got Jacob wrestling the angle confused with the Lot story?

  • j on March 04, 2013 3:34 PM:

    I was just thinking, the repubs talk about tax hikes versus entitlements. I think it would be true to call it
    tax loopholes for the wealthy versus benefits that we have paid for all of our working lives.
    That puts it in a better perspective for me!

  • jpeckjr on March 04, 2013 3:38 PM:

    "alleged indirect support of fracking?" What the hell does that mean? Someone at a faculty club cocktail party overheard him say, "I'm still undecided about fracking" and jumped to the conclusion he is indirectly supportive because he's not clearly opposed?