Political Animal


March 06, 2013 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

By Ed Kilgore

I’ve got some out-of-town family visiting, so posting could be occasionally erratic in its timing, particularly on an excrutiatingly slow news day like this one (so far, at least). But we’ll get you your blogospheric sustenance, like these mid-day morsels:

* As expected, city councilman Eric Garcetti and city controller Wendy Greuel finished first and second in yesterday’s Los Angeles mayor’s election amid terrible turnout, and will face each other in a May primary where turnout will be even lower.

* Speaking of California, the New York Times’ Norimitsu Onishi chronicles the $9 billion hit the state is expecting from sequestration, which could derail its long-awaited fiscal recovery.

* Politico reports Paul Ryan backing off from rumored plan to reduce “grandfathering” of near-retirees in his Medicare premium support proposal.

* Ezra Klein joins yours truly in expressing some chagrin that White House can’t bring itself to embrace flexibility in implementing the sequester on grounds that it doesn’t want to “own” the cuts.

* Rand Paul conducting an actual “talking filibuster” of Brennan confirmation; has been going on for a couple of hours, but he claims he’ll keep talking until his voice gives out.

And in non-political news:

* HuffPost’s Madeline Boardman interviews man who inspired “The Dude” character in The Big Lebowski on 15th anniversary of that wonderful flick’s release.

Just have to tee up one of my favorite Big Lebowski scenes: the scattering of Donnie’s ashes (WARNING: non-family-friendly language included).

Back after a brief break to check weather and guests’ itineraries.

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.


  • kindness on March 06, 2013 2:10 PM:

    Obama is right. Klein (and I like him) is wrong.

    Look, Republicans have been doing everything they can to stick Obama with the cuts. If Obama were to actually direct his staff to administer the cuts as they see fit, there would be no being able to separate Republican myth from MSM reality (which isn't even reality).

    Ezra, you are supposed to be a whiz kid yet you fail to see what is being done all around you?

  • RaflW on March 06, 2013 2:35 PM:

    I'm with kindness, but more so:

    This absurd law should be followed to the letter. Making better choices is what the Dems have done for years after each sh*tshow major bill has been passed by or with the GOP.


    The electorate needs to see how policy-stupid the GOP has become, and Obama tinkering at the edges of the sequester facilitates the GOP crazy by making the intended impacts softer.

    John Boehner said he got 98% of what he wanted when the sequester bill passed his House. So let his House deal with 100% of the consequences.

    And look, I know that real people will suffer if the sequester isn't lifted ASAP. But reducing the damage of sequester will probably prolong it, and may strengthen the GOP hand - they'll say "see, it ain't so bad!" and motor along to pushing more and more cuts causing more suffering.

    Sometimes tough love is actually, y'know, tough.

  • bdop4 on March 06, 2013 3:14 PM:

    Re sequestration: I think Obama needs to have a plan ready, but people need to feel the hit to nullify GOP's dismissal of the anticipated impacts.

    LA Election: I and my wife were 2 of ~300 people who voted in my precinct. That's NOTHING. Overall turnout: ~16%. Pathetic.

    That scene from Big Lebowsky is one of the funniest from the Coen Bros., and that's saying something.

  • cwolf on March 06, 2013 4:06 PM:

    You should be watching Sen. Wyden pitching in to help Rand Paul filibuster -
    - yea - a real Stand Your Ground Filibuster,,,
    Over assassinating by Drone of Americans in their homes.