Political Animal

April 2013 Archives

April 30, 2013 6:16 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Clearly, the American political world (other than the president) decided not to make actual news today. So us gabbers are pretty much bickering among ourselves. It happens. Here are some...

By Ed Kilgore

April 30, 2013 5:26 PM The Endless Spiral of Futility Over Closing Gitmo

When news of an ongoing hunger strikes among detainees at Guantanamo Bay drew a question to the president about the situation at this morning's press conference, a lot of people...

By Ed Kilgore

April 30, 2013 4:27 PM Bush as Truman

Having celebrated Jonathan Alter earlier today, while also writing some more about the George W. Bush retrospective we've all been wallowing in, I want to call your attention to a...

By Ed Kilgore

April 30, 2013 4:09 PM Rejecting "Bushism" For the Wrong Reasons

I've never thought most progressives understood the psychological necessities behind the conservative movement's repudiation of George W. Bush, the president who was twice nominated and elected (with the usual qualification...

By Ed Kilgore

April 30, 2013 3:23 PM How About Paying A Few More Journalists?

I figured everything that needed to be said had been said about the abominable "tradition" of the White House Correspondents' Dinner. But then I read (almost by accident, given the...

By Ed Kilgore

April 30, 2013 1:55 PM Lunch Buffet

My week being scrambled by Showtime practice of making Nurse Jackie and The Borgias available On Demand six days before actual cable-cast. Does avoid Sunday night Mad Men conflict, but...

By Ed Kilgore

April 30, 2013 1:22 PM The GOP Man Cave

If you like political humor (and what Animal doesn't?), you should check out the pilot episode for a new series being produced by Amazon Studios called "Alpha House" about four...

By Ed Kilgore

April 30, 2013 12:11 PM Permission Structure

In the president's press conference this morning, he was asked the usual question about his inability to get deals with congressional Republicans (on the sequester specifically), and Obama made an...

By Ed Kilgore

April 30, 2013 11:08 AM Dixiecrats and Goldwater

Late yesterday I devoted some time to a deconstruction of Kevin Williamson's latest revisionist claim that Barry Goldwater's 1964 campaign was a confirmation rather than a repudiation of the GOP's...

By Ed Kilgore

April 30, 2013 10:22 AM Never Mind What Mama Said

Many, perhaps most, political writers are prone to falling in love with particular politicians and becoming their open or covert advocates. Few are as transparent about it, though, as WaPo's...

By Ed Kilgore

April 30, 2013 9:30 AM Family Feud

This is a story I've hoped some reporter would write, and here it is in today's New York Times, by Ashley Parker: Jim DeMint helped make Marco Rubio a Senate...

By Ed Kilgore

April 30, 2013 8:33 AM Daylight Video

Here's some fine WAKE UP music: Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band performing "Click Clack" in Paris in 1973....

By Ed Kilgore

April 29, 2013 6:39 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Lost track of time while looking at 1964 election statistics (not as available online as you would hope); not sure if Kevin Williamson's essay on Goldwater the civil rights hero...

By Ed Kilgore

April 29, 2013 6:10 PM Goldwater And His 1964 Allies

Via Jamelle Bouie, we learn that Kevin Williamson is at it again: another revisionist take on the history of the two major political parties with respect to civil rights. This...

By Ed Kilgore

April 29, 2013 5:10 PM Ted Cruz and the Squishes

There's been a brouhaha today over remarks Sen. Ted Cruz made to a Texas FreedomWorks audience in which he mocked his Republican colleagues for an insufficient commitment to principle on...

By Ed Kilgore

April 29, 2013 4:44 PM Rights, Responsibilities and Rationality

As anyone following the perpetual gun debate knows, those who resist gun regulations tend to fall into four camps (which obviously overlap): (1) people who think they need guns to...

By Ed Kilgore

April 29, 2013 2:51 PM Too Many Arms To Twist

If you don't buy my mockery of the idea that Barack Obama could get a lot done if he just got in touch with his inner LBJ, how about the...

By Ed Kilgore

April 29, 2013 1:46 PM Lunch Buffet

I don't know how many of you watched Mad Men last night, but being old enough to remember MLK's assassination, I found the show's assessment of the reaction on Madison...

By Ed Kilgore

April 29, 2013 1:22 PM More Phony Outrage

Well, the transition among antichoicers from drawing attention to the illegal horrors of Dr. Gosnell's clinic in Philadelphia to a challenge to legal abortions generally is moving along at a...

By Ed Kilgore

April 29, 2013 12:15 PM Tax Reform = Tax Rate Cuts

In a post mainly devoted to making sure we are aware that congressional Republicans are again contemplating a debt limit hostage-taking exercise, Jonathan Chait raises another development that is of...

By Ed Kilgore

April 29, 2013 10:43 AM The Optimist's Case For Obamacare Implementation

Are you worried by all the baleful predictions being made by critics of the Affordable Care Act about how its implementation will proceed? It's hard not to worry. Sure, you...

By Ed Kilgore

April 29, 2013 9:47 AM Getting To Know You

I did an appeal last week for participation in an anonymous WaMo reader survey, and many of you responded (thank you!). But we'd like one more batch of respondents to...

By Ed Kilgore

April 29, 2013 9:34 AM Turnout In Black and White

Before it retreated too far into the distance, I wanted to draw attention to an AP analysis of the relationship between demographic change and turnout in affecting election results, which...

By Ed Kilgore

April 29, 2013 8:44 AM Daylight Video

For no particular reason, here's the Reverend Horton Heat performing "The Devil's Chasing Me" in Houston a few years ago....

By Ed Kilgore

April 28, 2013 9:20 PM Your moment of Zen: Diane Keaton talks tantric sex with Ellen Degeneres

Folks, sorry I didn't get to post about Rogoff and Reinhart this weekend, but that will have to wait until next time. I need to wrap this up -- it's...

By Kathleen Geier

April 28, 2013 7:40 PM Rape culture in action

I suppose it had to happen sooner or later. In response to my earlier post about rape culture on college campuses, I received my very first Twitter rape threat: @kathy__gee...

By Kathleen Geier

April 28, 2013 3:25 PM Chicago-bashing and the curse of New York City derangement syndrome

If you've lived in any major American city long enough, sooner or later you will have the grave misfortune of meeting a certain type of person. This type is that...

By Kathleen Geier

April 28, 2013 12:44 PM How can we prevent Bangladesh and West Texas-style workplace disasters?

News about the horrific Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh continues to unfold. According to the latest count, at least 362 people have died, but that toll is certain to...

By Kathleen Geier

April 28, 2013 10:04 AM Dartmouth College equates rape threats with anti-rape protests; threatens to discipline the anti-rape protesters

Dartmouth College administrators deserve to go to the back of the class for the way they're dealing with misogynist rape and death threats on campus. ThinkProgress reports that the school's...

By Kathleen Geier

April 28, 2013 8:07 AM Happy birthday, Kim Gordon!

Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon turns 60 today. I admire Kim Gordon for many reasons. First and foremost is the brilliance of the music she created with Sonic Youth, especially the...

By Kathleen Geier

April 27, 2013 5:25 PM What was the single worst thing about George W. Bush's presidency?

With Be Nice To Bush Day (H/T, Atrios) having come to a merciful conclusion, some of us, having had our unhappy memories of 2001-08 so rudely revived, have been thinking...

By Kathleen Geier

April 27, 2013 3:12 PM Today's entrant in the Stupid Olympics over the Boston Marathon bombing: Rep. Louie Gohmert

Dear God, please make it stop. In the wingnut race for the most deranged response to the Boston Marathan bombing, elected official division, I believe we have a winnah. Rep....

By Kathleen Geier

April 27, 2013 8:09 AM The Ballad of George Jones, 1931-2013

A great American artist and icon has left the earth. Yesterday, country singer George Jones died in a Nashville hospital at the age of 81. Jones was a legend in...

By Kathleen Geier

April 27, 2013 7:51 AM QOTD: Henry Farrell (channeling John Holbo) on the Reinhart-Rogoff Two-Step

Later I will have more to say on that now-infamous -- and, as it turns out, error-ridden, shoddy, and false -- pro-austerity study by Reinhart and Rogoff. But for now...

By Kathleen Geier

April 26, 2013 6:02 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

Well, the pop-up ad problem has gotten better (at least if you refresh the page), and we're still working on it, so again, thanks for everyone's patience. Here are some...

By Ed Kilgore

April 26, 2013 5:12 PM Know When To Fold 'Em--Or Call For a Fresh Deck

I'm typically fearful of over-reacting to individual political events and making them seem epochal (an occupational hazard for bloggers). But it's hard to argue with this assessment from Ezra Klein...

By Ed Kilgore

April 26, 2013 4:31 PM The Most Immediate Threat To Obamacare

In a column where the effort to appear "balanced" is a bit closer to real "balance" than has become customary for him, David Brooks examines the short-term future of the...

By Ed Kilgore

April 26, 2013 3:00 PM Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

The Monthly had a guest appearance on Chris Hayes' new show last night, All In: Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy If you can't...

By Ryan Cooper

April 26, 2013 1:43 PM Lunch Buffet

Still a bit teary-eyed about George Jones. Though a life-long fan of his music, I only saw him live once (strangely enough, it was at the launch event for the...

By Ed Kilgore

April 26, 2013 12:58 PM The Citizens of "This Town" Anticipate the Joys of Being Skewered

Is this Charles Pierce's birthday? It ought to be, because the world of political media is putting on a veritable banquet for his dyspeptic appetite today. Like me (though with...

By Ed Kilgore

April 26, 2013 12:14 PM It's Official! The Tea Party Is Back!

Say what you will about Politico, but aside from the many bits of useful phenomenological data its vast minions gather each day, it serves as a sort of public utility...

By Ed Kilgore

April 26, 2013 11:05 AM Losing the King of Broken Hearts

I don't usually make anything other than passing mention of the death of musical figures, but this one really hurts, per this Tweet from our friend Kathleen Geier: George Jones,...

By Ed Kilgore

April 26, 2013 10:37 AM Red Carpet For Ugly People

Reading Peggy Noonan got me into a bad mood, and it was just terrible luck that the next cookie on the plate was this earnest Politico piece by Patrick Gavin...

By Ed Kilgore

April 26, 2013 10:11 AM The Way We Were

I've been bravely ignoring Peggy Noonan's weekly columns and occasional blogs in the Wall Street Journal for a while now, on grounds that it's impossible to add much to her...

By Ed Kilgore

April 26, 2013 9:40 AM The SuperSonic Senate

I was working the door at a community event last night, and went to bed soon after arriving home, so it wasn't until this morning that I knew about the...

By Ed Kilgore

April 26, 2013 8:35 AM Daylight Video

In honor of the temporary suspension of congressional gridlock to succor business travelers by letting the FAA address flight delays despite sequestration, here's Steve Miller performing "Jet Airliner" at ORD--er,...

By Ed Kilgore

April 25, 2013 6:16 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Hey, Political Animals! I need your help. WaMo needs your help. But all we need is to know more about you, not to hustle you but to get a better...

By Ed Kilgore

April 25, 2013 5:35 PM Hating Bush

Reading Jonathan Chait's savage rebuttal today to the movement to favorably reconsider George W. Bush's legacy, I was reminded, as others probably were as well, that Chait got an awful...

By Ed Kilgore

April 25, 2013 5:03 PM They Might Think We're For Socialized Medicine!

Now here's a fresh angle on the demise of Eric Cantor's high-risk pool funding bill. It's not just that it was opposed by the Heritage Foundation and the Club for...

By Ed Kilgore

April 25, 2013 3:20 PM Ron Paul Broun

Just yesterday I wrote about the continuing rise of "constitutional conservatives" in Georgia as led by Senate candidate Paul Broun, as counterpoint to the usual Beltway talk about GOP extremism...

By Ed Kilgore

April 25, 2013 2:45 PM Chained CPI: Irresistible Force and Immovable Object

So today MoveOn is launching protests at Democratic congressional district offices around the country against the administration's Chained CPI proposal, and members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are asking the...

By Ed Kilgore

April 25, 2013 1:34 PM Lunch Buffet

Nearly got thrown off schedule by my self-indulgence in writing a 1254-word post on communitarian conservatism, but a brief burst of actual news saved me. Here are some mid-day snacks...

By Ed Kilgore

April 25, 2013 12:50 PM The Centrifuge of An Immigration Bill

As we all wait anxiously for white smoke from the deliberations of the House "Gang of Eight" working on immigration reform, the competing, centrifugal pressures on these solons are becoming...

By Ed Kilgore

April 25, 2013 11:59 AM Communitarian Conservatism Redux

There are so many overrated "arguments" underway among conservatives these days--mostly tactical disputes about how to sell a common ideology--that it's refreshing to see a real one, if a very...

By Ed Kilgore

April 25, 2013 10:52 AM Thanks, Mom

This AP story speaks for itself: Amid the celebration surrounding the opening of son George W. Bush's presidential library Thursday, former first lady Barbara Bush brushed aside talk of a...

By Ed Kilgore

April 25, 2013 10:30 AM The GOP's Idea of Health Care Eye Candy

I've already written a lot more than most non-specialist bloggers about the stunt Eric Cantor tried to pull yesterday on health care. But now that it's blown up in his...

By Ed Kilgore

April 25, 2013 9:25 AM So Glad "Social Issues" Are Dead

Gee, aren't you glad we've all decided that "social issues" are dead in today's politics, what with the Christian Right having been replaced by the Tea Party and then subsequently...

By Ed Kilgore

April 25, 2013 8:42 AM Daylight Video

During a quick tour of You Tube's Irish offerings yesterday, I stumbled once again on my old friends Horslips, and couldn't help but pass along this video of a performance...

By Ed Kilgore

April 24, 2013 6:03 PM Day's End and Night Watch

I keep thinking I should write about the Koch Brothers' possible bid to take ownership of the Tribune chain of newspapers, but am having trouble separating my memories of the...

By Ed Kilgore

April 24, 2013 5:26 PM The Rising

I began the day by noting it was the 97th anniversary of the Easter Rising in Ireland, and posting a music video. It deserves a bit more of a tribute...

By Ed Kilgore

April 24, 2013 5:16 PM Immigration Reform "Bonanza"

I didn't initially see the big Emily Schultheis piece at Politico yesterday arguing that comprehensive immigration reform could permanently shift the political landscape towards Democratic victory (at least at the...

By Ed Kilgore

April 24, 2013 4:43 PM Smarts and Ideology

In the wake of the "reevaluation of George W. Bush" that's capturing a rather ridiculous amount of attention this week, the sub-issue of the 43d president's intelligence is being re-examined...

By Ed Kilgore

April 24, 2013 3:12 PM More Medicaid Follies

Those rooting for some progress among states towards implementing the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion were cheered last week by the Arkansas legislature's final approval of the so-called "Arkansas Plan"...

By Ed Kilgore

April 24, 2013 1:54 PM Lunch Buffet

Stretch of warm, spectacular spring weather here on the central coast has broken, yielding to old, boring, semi-perfection. Good day to stay inside and blog, which is good, because that's...

By Ed Kilgore

April 24, 2013 1:21 PM The Remorseless Rightward Pressure On the GOP

Any time I read one of those articles about the Republican Party "rebranding" itself or "moving to the center" or "coming to its senses," I think of the drift of...

By Ed Kilgore

April 24, 2013 11:48 AM Just How Desperate Is Mark Sanford?

Anyone with a passing familiarity with American politics is also familiar with the debating-an-empty-chair ploy, beloved by doomed and/or underfunded candidates whose opponents refuse to give them a chance to...

By Ed Kilgore

April 24, 2013 11:08 AM Fine Old Cannibals

Last week I wrote about the cynical maneuever by House Republicans to exhibit compassion for those being denied health insurance due to pre-existing conditions by shifting money into an underfunded...

By Ed Kilgore

April 24, 2013 10:15 AM Why Didn't GOP Blame Clinton First?

There's a new 46-page report to which five different House committees contributed, about the House GOP's very favorite subject in the whole wide world: Benghazi! Benghazi! Different news sources deal...

By Ed Kilgore

April 24, 2013 9:34 AM The Precedent For Delaying Immigration Reform

Buried in Evan Soltas' Bloomberg column on how ridiculous it is to treat the Boston bombings as an excuse for delaying congressional action on immigration reform is this fascinating data...

By Ed Kilgore

April 24, 2013 8:48 AM Daylight Video

Today marks the 97th anniversary of the Easter Rising in Ireland. Here are the Young Dubliners performing "Foggy Dew."...

By Ed Kilgore

April 23, 2013 5:39 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Could watch the NBA playoffs tonight, but think I'd rather read a book. Maybe I'll download Jamie Malanowski's Book of Levon. Here are some remains of the news day: *...

By Ed Kilgore

April 23, 2013 5:03 PM Paul's Godfather

I just realized, via Julie Ingersoll of Religion Dispatches, that Howard Phillips, one of the true founders of the Christian Right and one of that movement's most aggressive theocrats, died...

By Ed Kilgore

April 23, 2013 3:32 PM Careers Taking a Turn For the Worse

It's surely a coincidence that Max Baucus' retirement came so soon after an April 6 article by the New York Times' Eric Lipton about the twenty-eight former Baucus staffers who...

By Ed Kilgore

April 23, 2013 3:09 PM Carpetbagger

Former Sen. Scott Brown, having passed up a campaign to take over John Kerry's Senate seat in Massachusetts, has been publicly kicking around the possibility of running in 2014 in...

By Ed Kilgore

April 23, 2013 2:32 PM No Public Panic Over Terrorism

So will those who are trying to convert the Boston bombings (and perhaps the foiled plot in Canada) into an excuse for a full-fledged return to the Global War on...

By Ed Kilgore

April 23, 2013 1:51 PM Lunch Buffet

Woke up in an allergy fog and entered a slow news day, but it's moving right along by now, thank you. Here are some mid-day munchies: * Bizarre hacking of...

By Ed Kilgore

April 23, 2013 12:57 PM Over the Edge With Cooch

Yesterday I wrote that the earliest stirrings about the GOP presidential nomination contest in 2016 seemed to signal a field even more extreme than the 2012 circus cast, what with...

By Ed Kilgore

April 23, 2013 11:56 AM W. Fans Come In From the Cold

You probably know that the campaign to rehabilitate the image of the 43d president of the United States has been launched with the opening of his presidential library. But like...

By Ed Kilgore

April 23, 2013 11:08 AM Sanford's Class Warfare

Down nine points in the most recent poll and without direct financial help from his national party, Mark Sanford's counter-attack against Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch begins two weeks from the...

By Ed Kilgore

April 23, 2013 10:28 AM Power Mongers

Another day, another big New York Times piece about the president's responsibility for the failure of gun legislation in the Senate. This one, by Michael Shear and Peter Baker, seems...

By Ed Kilgore

April 23, 2013 9:31 AM Internet Sales Taxes and Lost Utopias

I felt a bit nostalgic on reading that the U.S. Senate was moving on a bill to enable states to collect sales taxes on online commercial transactions. Back in the...

By Ed Kilgore

April 23, 2013 8:35 AM Daylight Video

At Blue Girl's request (and because his 66th birthday occurred over the weekend), here's Iggy Pop performing "Wild One" on the Letterman show in 1986....

By Ed Kilgore

April 22, 2013 5:50 PM Day's End and Night Watch

It's a spectacularly beautiful afternoon here on the central coast: temperature 72 degrees, not a cloud in the sky, very light breeze. Even the seagulls and crows seem to be...

By Ed Kilgore

April 22, 2013 5:21 PM Old White Men and Their Guns

So are you among those wondering how the roughly 10% of the population that opposes strong gun background check legislation prevailed over everybody else? It's fashionable to intone something about...

By Ed Kilgore

April 22, 2013 4:25 PM A Segment of the Whole World Is Watching!

There was a sense on Friday that the whole country was watching the dramatic moments leading up to the capture of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. As Alyssa Rosenberg of Think Progress reminds...

By Ed Kilgore

April 22, 2013 3:36 PM Another Search for WMD

Perhaps many readers were as flummoxed as I was upon reading that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been charged with using weapons of mass destruction. But Danger Room's Spencer Ackerman explains the...

By Ed Kilgore

April 22, 2013 2:56 PM More Pain For Economic Victims

Paul Krugman's latest column discusses the alarmingly large ranks of the long-term unemployed: Five years after the crisis, unemployment remains elevated, with almost 12 million Americans out of work. But...

By Ed Kilgore

April 22, 2013 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

When you start the week with little or no actual news but plenty of snarling, it kinda makes you want a nature break. I'm thinking about heading to the Monterey...

By Ed Kilgore

April 22, 2013 12:43 PM The '16 Field

This graph from a Manu Raju article at Politico on Ted Cruz' potential Leader of the Opposition role on immigration reform sure got my attention this morning: “Every leading GOP...

By Ed Kilgore

April 22, 2013 11:17 AM John Boehner and Gang Politics

Those looking down the road to the eventual disposition of immigration legislation may envision some Senate-driven bipartisan "momentum" that gets the job done. But aside from the many obstacles to...

By Ed Kilgore

April 22, 2013 10:09 AM Fear Factor

At the Daily Beast today, Mike Tomasky boils off a lot of the words being thrown around and gets to the dark heart of the default-drive conservative reaction to the...

By Ed Kilgore

April 22, 2013 9:49 AM Why Can't Barack Obama Be An Action Figure?

Charles Pierce and others obviously beat me to the punch in mocking Maureen Dowd's excoriation of the president for a failure of leadership on gun control. But an awful lot...

By Ed Kilgore

April 22, 2013 9:02 AM Memories of the First Earth Day

43 years ago today, America celebrated the first Earth Day. And in the public high school I attended in conservative Cobb County, Georgia, we had a big Earth Day program,...

By Ed Kilgore

April 22, 2013 8:27 AM Daylight Video

For no particular reason other than a sudden memory, here are The Hollies performing "Dear Eloise" in 1967, featuring Graham Nash. UPDATE: Dear c u n d gulag: You must...

By Ed Kilgore

April 21, 2013 3:57 PM Living with Levon

Levon Helm's story was that of a modern Job

By Jamie Malanowski

April 21, 2013 2:27 PM In the Times Magazine, a Flat Souffle

Remember, many a good story is ruined by an overdone ending. Underdone, too.

By Jamie Malanowski

April 21, 2013 12:08 PM Is the President Missing His Lever?

President Johnson secured the passage of the Civil Rights bill with a dazzling symphony of persuasion, threat, and good old fashioned wheeling-dealing

By Jamie Malanowski

April 21, 2013 11:37 AM Who's Doing the Terrorizing?

Lindsey Graham takes a page from the Bush-Cheney playbook

By Jamie Malanowski

April 21, 2013 9:44 AM Bring Out The Irony

``Having trouble wrapping my head around this. . . ''

By Jamie Malanowski

April 20, 2013 1:31 PM This Is A True Story

Nate Bell, guns, gun control

By Jamie Malanowski

April 20, 2013 12:09 PM Please Allow Me to Revise and Extend My Remarks. . .

What's wrong with that nincompoop Harry Reid?

By Jamie Malanowski

April 20, 2013 11:42 AM Taking The Really Long View

I hope Jim Messina's Organizing for Action makes an impact, but what I really hope is that somebody takes a pessimistic long term view

By Jamie Malanowski

April 20, 2013 9:07 AM GUNS AND PANIC

You can't expect people to live under the constant threat of unemployment, let alone be unemployed for months and years at a time, and expect them to feel secure and that others are looking out for them.

By Jamie Malanowski

April 19, 2013 5:35 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

So we end this work-day as it began: Boston in lockdown, police officers deployed and in peril, amidst a massive manhunt for someone probably strapped with explosives. Maybe we know...

By Ed Kilgore

April 19, 2013 5:08 PM Politicized Identities

In a meditation on reactions to the Boston bombings and the apparent identification of the perpetrators, TAP's Paul Waldman says something profound: Let's be honest and admit that everyone had...

By Ed Kilgore

April 19, 2013 3:37 PM A Delicate Piece of Construction, or a House of Cards?

The editors of Bloomberg View have an interesting opinion piece on prospects for passage of comprehensive immigration reform. While they're trying to be upbeat, and lavish a lot of praise...

By Ed Kilgore

April 19, 2013 3:02 PM A Filibuster By Any Other Name

I got briefly ensnared in a technical error yesterday by referring to Manchin-Toomey as a cloture vote when it was actually a vote on an amendment offered under a Unanimous...

By Ed Kilgore

April 19, 2013 2:15 PM Fertilizer Explosion Update: Weak Inspections and Strong Kolaches

There have been a few developments on the news of the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion. The bodies of 12 people have been recovered, and about 200 people were injured...

By Rhiannon M. Kirkland

April 19, 2013 1:43 PM Lunch Buffet

Twas a wild morning of disturbing and dramatic news. It's hard to imagine Dzhokhar Tsarnaev evading a massive dragnet and a city-wide lockdown a whole lot longer, but until he's...

By Ed Kilgore

April 19, 2013 1:19 PM Meme Watch: How Many Pounds of Flesh Does "The Base" Require?

I'm going to go back to regular programming until such time as there's anything fresh to talk about from the Boston saga (stay tuned to the "highlighter" box at the...

By Ed Kilgore

April 19, 2013 12:02 PM Flooded Out

This probably doesn't matter much to anyone other than journalists (and the people directly affected, plus their friends and relatives depending on media coverage), but while the news-consuming public is...

By Ed Kilgore

April 19, 2013 11:42 AM Special Bulletins

As someone who still associates mornings like this one with the old "Special Bulletin" program interruptions the major networks used to run back when they were the only public sources...

By Ed Kilgore

April 19, 2013 10:28 AM Trails Leading To Chaos

Even as police look for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who may be wearing an explosive vest, the first intelligible (if not always intelligent) accounts about him and his slain older brother, Tamerlan,...

By Ed Kilgore

April 19, 2013 9:49 AM Carrion Crows

The situation in Boston is fluid, to put it mildly. We know the two bombing (and cop-killing) suspects, one of whom is already dead, are brothers who are of Chechan...

By Ed Kilgore

April 19, 2013 8:44 AM Daylight Video

Boston under lockdown. A bombing suspect dead, another on the run, possibly with explosives attached to him. A policeman dead, a thousand others deployed. Explosions, gunfire, fear everywhere. This is...

By Ed Kilgore

April 18, 2013 6:07 PM Day's End and Night Watch

I periodically consult This Day in History to identify appropriate posting topics, which is why I knew the Great San Francisco Earthquake occurred on April 18, 1906. But also on...

By Ed Kilgore

April 18, 2013 5:21 PM Throwing Money At a Problem You Don't Want To Solve

A good measure of the perverse thinking behind contemporary conservative health care policy is the legislation being promoted by the House GOP leadership that would pour four billion dollars into...

By Ed Kilgore

April 18, 2013 4:54 PM King and Prince

In today's not-so-funny Weird News, it is reported that the man arrested on suspicion of sending a ricin-laced letter to Sen. Roger Wicker (and to the President of the United...

By Ed Kilgore

April 18, 2013 4:30 PM Gun Rally?

Maybe it's a product of the false hopes aroused when Manchin-Toomey was unveiled (Wow--Pat Toomey on a gun regulation bill?), but the recriminations and the vows of near-term vindication coming...

By Ed Kilgore

April 18, 2013 3:20 PM Anti-Immigration Reform Foxholes

Marco Rubio's participation in the Gang of Eight's immigration reform proposal is significant because he's a major conservative hero who has abandoned two of the foxholes his ideological colleagues long...

By Ed Kilgore

April 18, 2013 1:43 PM Lunch Buffet

Sorry for the somewhat late start this morning, which I'll blame on allergy medications and the insane desire for seven hours of sleep. But we're definitely rolling along now. Here...

By Ed Kilgore

April 18, 2013 1:03 PM Devastation

Today marks the 107th anniversary of the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, which along with the ensuing fires eventually killed over 3,000 people and destroyed 30,000 buildings, including most...

By Ed Kilgore

April 18, 2013 12:48 PM Next Up: The Gauntlet Facing Immigration Reform

So like a frivolous young person moving quickly from one love interest to another, the political chattering class can be expected to get over recriminations about gun legislation in a...

By Ed Kilgore

April 18, 2013 11:26 AM Vicious Circle of Antichoice Activism

If you want to cut through all the rhetoric (much of it insincere or at least self-interested) about who said what and when about the Kermit Gosnell case in Philadelphia,...

By Ed Kilgore

April 18, 2013 10:20 AM The Devil You Know

Today we learn that Mitch McConnell isn't simply using the "secret taping" of his political team to avoid scrutiny of the dirty tricks his political team was plotting, or to...

By Ed Kilgore

April 18, 2013 9:43 AM Victory Into Defeat

Of all the factors contributing to yesterday's gun legislation fiasco, I only have eyes today for the one that so many others writing about the "crushing defeat" of the Manchin-Toomey...

By Ed Kilgore

April 18, 2013 8:59 AM Daylight Video

With more bad news (a deadly fertilizer plant explosion in Texas), not much of a morning for upbeat tunes. So here's Roxy Music performing "In Every Dream Home a Heartache"...

By Ed Kilgore

April 17, 2013 5:29 PM Day's End and Night Watch

I'm co-facilitating a church history class this afternoon, so I'll make this brisk: * All sorts of crazy rumors of imminent arrests in connection with the Boston bombings. I'll wait...

By Ed Kilgore

April 17, 2013 5:11 PM The MarcoPhone

If you want to understand the political tightrope Marco Rubio is walking in his involvement with the Gang of Eight immigration bill, check out this post from a leading Florida...

By Ed Kilgore

April 17, 2013 4:35 PM Afternoon Buffet

Ugh. I wrote this post at the usual Lunch Buffet time, but didn't publish it because Ryan had a post in the queue. Then I forgot to go back and...

By Ed Kilgore

April 17, 2013 4:27 PM Data In the Hands of Ideologues

I haven't posted about the Reinhardt-Rogoff fiasco, and its implications for the deficit hawks and austerity fans who relied on this now-tainted study. But Rhiannon Kirkland has the basic info...

By Ed Kilgore

April 17, 2013 3:14 PM National GOP Drops Sanford

Okay, I promise, no more posts about Mark Sanford today after this one, but I do feel constrained to report that his behavior towards his ex-wife has now cost him...

By Ed Kilgore

April 17, 2013 1:02 PM We're Looking for Summer Interns

The Washington Monthly is looking for a couple of super-bright and motivated interns for our D.C. offices beginning in the next few weeks. It’s not a paid internship, alas, but...

By Ryan Cooper

April 17, 2013 12:11 PM Trespassing for Football & Fatherhood

I don't mean to obsess on the latest Mark Sanford story, but his reaction (per Political Wire) to the revelation that his ex complained to the courts about his serial...

By Ed Kilgore

April 17, 2013 11:48 AM It's Official: Senate Majority Thwarted on Manchin-Toomey

Though one of its authors had already thrown in the towel, it's worth noting that with Kelly Ayotte's statement opposing the Manchin-Toomey gun amendment, it's dead. But it's also worth...

By Ed Kilgore

April 17, 2013 10:46 AM Looking Like a Villain

It's increasingly likely that it will be months if not years before we know with any degree of certainty who was responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings. Unfortunately, that means...

By Ed Kilgore

April 17, 2013 9:56 AM Forgiving Trespasses

Just three weeks from a special congressional election that looks to be close, ex-SC Governor Mark Sanford is in the news in a bad way once again, as AP got...

By Ed Kilgore

April 17, 2013 9:20 AM Guns In the 60-Vote Senate

So the Manchin-Toomey proposal, which the NRA might have praised as its own handiwork not that long ago, is no longer wafting towards easy passage in the Senate on the...

By Ed Kilgore

April 17, 2013 8:33 AM Daylight Video

Woke up in a churlish mood with sinuses aflame, so here's Joe Cocker and Leon Russell and the rest of the Mad Dogs & Englishmen ensemble performing "Cry Me A...

By Ed Kilgore

April 16, 2013 5:53 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Aside from everything else going on, it's High Spring Allergy Season here and in many parts of the country, and I'm suffering from that wonderful combo platter of sinus congestion...

By Ed Kilgore

April 16, 2013 5:20 PM Palmetto Hijinks

Since this is from the notorious South Carolina right-wing blogger and Nikki Haley tormenter Will Folks, you can take it with a grain of salt, but FITS News reports internal...

By Ed Kilgore

April 16, 2013 4:58 PM The Era of Big Accomplishments Is Over--For Now

Ramesh Ponnuru has an odd column up at Bloomberg today razzing Barack Obama for getting off to a bad start in second-term legislative accomplishments despite the "ambitious liberal vision" laid...

By Ed Kilgore

April 16, 2013 3:50 PM Useless Scoops

Like many people who were annoyed by the New York Post's "scoops" yesterday--early reports claiming, erroneously, that 12 people had died in the Boston bombings, and that police were zeroing...

By Ed Kilgore

April 16, 2013 2:56 PM Benghazi-To-Boston

You'd hope there would be a decent interval here, but no: some conservatives are already beginning to revive their cries of Benghazi! Benghazi! in reaction to the president's initial public...

By Ed Kilgore

April 16, 2013 1:37 PM Lunch Buffet

After (figuratively) holding our breaths for many hours, I think we are all coming to the realization that "answers" about the Boston bombings may not emerge for a long time....

By Ed Kilgore

April 16, 2013 1:09 PM Liberal Honeymoon With Francis Ends Abruptly

Anyone familiar with the vast and complex edifice of the magisterium--the body of official Roman Catholic teaching--knew this was coming; that all the secular liberal high-fiving over Pope Francis' charming...

By Ed Kilgore

April 16, 2013 12:41 PM Jefferson, Jeremiah, Jesus, and Martin Luther King

Barnard College's Jonathan Reider of Barnard College reminds us in a New York Times op-ed today that this is the 50th anniversary of the publication of Martin Luther King's "Letter...

By Ed Kilgore

April 16, 2013 11:12 AM Rejecting the 60-Vote Senate

In discussing the handful of senators--quite a few of them Democratic--who hold the fate of gun legislation in their hands, WaPo's Greg Sargent makes a crucial point that is all...

By Ed Kilgore

April 16, 2013 10:04 AM Paul's Magical History Tour

So following up on his visit to Howard University to explain the political history of civil rights, Rand Paul took himself to another historically-black school (Simmons College) back in Kentucky,...

By Ed Kilgore

April 16, 2013 9:07 AM Confusion and Delay

Well, we don't really know much we didn't know last night about yesterday's Boston bombings. Some conservative media are still avidly pursuing any rumor that might point towards Islamic perpetrators,...

By Ed Kilgore

April 16, 2013 8:39 AM Daylight Video

Went to sleep somber, woke up somber, and none the wiser about the tragedy in Boston yesterday. Here, mainly as meditation music, is the Brass Section of the Bayerische Staatsoper...

By Ed Kilgore

April 15, 2013 6:16 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Greg Sargent is now tweeting that the FBI is characterizing the Boston bombings as a "terrorist attack," though it's unclear whether it's domestic or international in nature. Some of the...

By Ed Kilgore

April 15, 2013 5:26 PM Those Moments When the Worst Is Possible

Though there is little or no evidence at this point that the explosions in Boston today are part of some broader, much less national, pattern, authorities are hastening to provide...

By Ed Kilgore

April 15, 2013 5:10 PM A "Dean Scream" For Real This Time?

As supporters of Howard Dean's 2004 presidential campaign acutely recall, the event that went down into history as "Dean's Scream" was largely a media confection. A hoarse candidate mic'd up...

By Ed Kilgore

April 15, 2013 4:25 PM Did McConnell Call For African-American "Outreach" To Republicans?

Last night Roll Call's Meredith Shiner published a report on Mitch McConnell's obsessive efforts to head off (or undermine) a right-wing primary challenge in 2014 (perhaps, other observers suggest, from...

By Ed Kilgore

April 15, 2013 3:40 PM Explosions at the Boston Marathon

Details are hazy at this point, but news outlets are reporting that two explosions occurred near the finish line of the Boston Marathon a bit before 3:00 EDT. Injuries definitely...

By Ed Kilgore

April 15, 2013 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

I envy conservatives Tax Day as a convenient annual focus for agitprop. I mean, it's not as though progressives have some obvious calendar hook for a Greedy Rich People day,...

By Ed Kilgore

April 15, 2013 1:31 PM Will President Rubio Run For a Second Term?

After a few weeks of Rand Paul soaking up most of the air-time on the fantasy screens of conservative Republican activists, scribblers and gabbers, Marco Rubio is definitely back on...

By Ed Kilgore

April 15, 2013 11:47 AM Gosnell Primer

If you were following the furor late last week over the "liberal media conspiracy" to deny coverage to the Kermit Gosnell case in Pennsylvania (which, as Ryan Cooper reported Friday,...

By Ed Kilgore

April 15, 2013 11:26 AM Arkansas Trip-Wire

In the struggle over the implementation of Obamacare, the "Arkansas option" has been a major talking point for those who have long predicted that Republican-governed states would eventually come around...

By Ed Kilgore

April 15, 2013 10:27 AM The Day Care Non-System

If you are looking for some meaningful reading to begin the week, and/or are tired of the guns/immigration/budget triad that has dominated political news recently, do check out Jonathan Cohn's...

By Ed Kilgore

April 15, 2013 8:51 AM A Tax Day Alternative

This being April 15 and all, you will need to stay in an isolation tank all day to avoid the usual conservative demagoguery about the enslavement of the American people--and...

By Ed Kilgore

April 15, 2013 8:06 AM Daylight Video

To get the week underway, here's Cat Mother and the All Night Newsboys performing "Good Ol' Rock & Roll" in 1968....

By Ed Kilgore

April 14, 2013 7:15 PM Austerity good for world peace? That and other evening reads

*Nicolas Maduro, Hugo Chavez's former deputy, is expect to win today's snap presidential election in Venezuela. *The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute is reporting that world military spending fell in...

By Samuel Knight

April 14, 2013 5:14 PM Truth about Gosnell story fails to stem Rep. Smith's Derp

Over the past few days, House Republicans have been queuing up to take the stage at the Institute of Derp to grandstand about the alleged media cover-up of the gruesome...

By Samuel Knight

April 14, 2013 2:44 PM Worm to return to Pyongyang

Worried about the heightened tension on the Korean Peninsula? Well, worry no more. It was announced yesterday that we'll soon have a Worm in North Korea. Kind of. NBA legend...

By Samuel Knight

April 14, 2013 1:06 PM Rubio's "Meet The Press" talking points dissected

Marco Rubio was on "Meet the Press" this morning, primarily to tout the immigration reform plan that he and seven other Senators are currently hashing out. While it's admirable that...

By Samuel Knight

April 14, 2013 9:49 AM North Korea dominates the morning reads

*John Kerry and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida issued a joint statement today, offering a new round of diplomatic negotiations with North Korea if Pyongyang makes good on “its commitment...

By Samuel Knight

April 13, 2013 7:52 PM Gitmo bust up probably not a ploy for attention and other evening reads

*While attempting to move detainees from “communal to single-cell living,” guards at Guantanamo Bay encountered resistance from some prisoners and opened fire. “Some detainees resisted with improvised weapons, and in...

By Samuel Knight

April 13, 2013 5:29 PM Robert Johnson of Business Insider wrote the worst article on Guantanamo Bay that you will ever read

If they gave out an award for journalistic malpractice, I would bet my left foot that Robert Johnson of Business Insider would be nominated for what is probably the worst...

By Samuel Knight

April 13, 2013 4:03 PM The news cycle and why Ron Paul's new think tank should be welcomed by the left (spoiler alert: North Korea)

Ron Paul is often the subject of much derision from the left -- and deservedly so as he espouses crackpot economic theories that should be confined to books on the...

By Samuel Knight

April 13, 2013 2:32 PM Crude censorship on Arkansas oil spill story

The March 29 ExxonMobil oil spill in Mayflower, Arkansas might not come close to being the worst environmental disaster in recent American history, but it does, nonetheless, warrant significant media...

By Samuel Knight

April 13, 2013 10:07 AM Newtown mom gives presidential address and other a.m. reads

*This morning, President Obama yielded his platform to a Newtown mother in a bid to sway public opinion on gun control. Francine Wheeler, who stood in for the President during...

By Samuel Knight

April 12, 2013 6:05 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

After glancing at a couple more articles about us liberal scribblers conspiring to defend baby-killers in our larger effort to destroy Christianity, I'm finishing up just in time to help...

By Ed Kilgore

April 12, 2013 5:29 PM The Gosnell Case and the Coverage Machine

Dave Weigel is right: the case of Kermit Gosnell is gruesome in the extreme. But the rapidly coalescing conventional wisdom on the right that there was some sort of deliberate...

By Ryan Cooper

April 12, 2013 4:49 PM Ornstein's Conclusion

Since he's been writing for Roll Call for twenty years, and not that long ago was frequently called "the most quoted person in Washington" because of his reliable newsworthiness, it's...

By Ed Kilgore

April 12, 2013 3:30 PM News Hound

At TAP Paul Waldman offers one of those insights that you realize is pretty obvious once you think about it, but most of us haven't thought about it: [I]n the...

By Ed Kilgore

April 12, 2013 2:15 PM Lunch Buffet

In the comment thread to yesterday's Day's End post, I was upbraided serially for adopting the SoCal habit of appending "the" to the number of highways (e.g., "the 101"). I...

By Ed Kilgore

April 12, 2013 1:28 PM Jenny Takes a Walk, Not a Ride

In interesting political news from South Cackalacky, Jenny Sanford has let it be known she will not be making an endorsement in the 1st congressional district special election pitting her...

By Ed Kilgore

April 12, 2013 12:32 PM More Cigarette Taxes? How Weird!

Having just cast aspersions of the journalism of Janet Hook in her WSJ article on wafting bipartisanship, I'd hasten to say she'd deserve a Pulitzer for it if the only...

By Ed Kilgore

April 12, 2013 12:06 PM Hot Air

I don't want to become a crank about this, but as someone whose job is to comment many times a day on developments in American politics, I think this sort...

By Ed Kilgore

April 12, 2013 11:35 AM Ryan Counsels Strategic Dishonesty On Abortion

It's interesting to see the two very different story-lines assigned to Paul Ryan's speech to a fundraising event for the Susan B. Anthony List last night. One, exemplified by Brother...

By Ed Kilgore

April 12, 2013 10:25 AM The McConnell Taping Farce

If you want a demonstration that liberals should not emulate Breitbartian "guerrilla" tactics, look no further than the latest developments in the saga of the "secret tape" of Mitch McConnell...

By Ed Kilgore

April 12, 2013 9:02 AM Floodgates Arguments Gone Wild

As the odds of Congress enacting gun legislation drafted by two senators with "A" ratings from the NRA rise to maybe 20%, the hysteria among Second Amendment Absolutists is rising...

By Ed Kilgore

April 12, 2013 8:24 AM Daylight Video

It's the 152d anniversary of the firing on Fort Sumter and the beginning of the U.S. Civil War. Here's Malissa and Bernard Mollberg, with Mike Bond, Mike Fowler, and Louie...

By Ed Kilgore

April 11, 2013 6:58 PM Day's End and Night Watch

If I had the time or money, I'd cruise down the 101 to Hollywood right now to hang out at the Republican National Committee's Spring Retreat and watch a lot...

By Ed Kilgore

April 11, 2013 5:11 PM Restoring the Original Cost-Bending Vision of Obamacare

Now here's some really good news via Sarah Kliff: Plans to bend the health-care cost curve are pretty plentiful in the nation’s capital. Lots of think tanks and coalitions have...

By Ed Kilgore

April 11, 2013 4:54 PM Standing Up For the 14%

There's not a lot new in the numbers on immigration policy in a new NBC/Wall Street Journal survey just out, but it does nicely emphasize the disconnect between the public...

By Ed Kilgore

April 11, 2013 3:40 PM Southern Pride

Despite being sorely tempted, I haven't weighed in on the Brad Paisley/LL Cool J saga, in part because I'm only remotely informed about Paisley's prior work and history (I don't...

By Ed Kilgore

April 11, 2013 2:04 PM Lunch Buffet

Today's one of those days we may look back on with pleasure or with chagrin as typical of everything about Washington we long for or deplore. I'm in a better...

By Ed Kilgore

April 11, 2013 1:43 PM The Ted Cruz Standard For Filibusters

While we are on the subject of filibusters, one of the early supporters of the one just overcome in the Senate, Ted Cruz of Texas, had this illuminating comment on...

By Ed Kilgore

April 11, 2013 12:50 PM Baby Step

So the first Senate skirmish on gun legislation is over, and the good guys won, as WaPo reports: The Senate voted 68 to 31 to proceed to debate on legislation...

By Ed Kilgore

April 11, 2013 12:17 PM More Chutzpah on "Entitlement Reform"

In yesterday's Day's End post I noted this predictable development, as reported by TPM's Brian Beutler: Remember those warnings about how instead of welcoming President Obama’s adoption of Chained CPI,...

By Ed Kilgore

April 11, 2013 10:49 AM Working the Refs By Taking Them Off the Court

Might as well go for a negativity Trifecta this morning: another bad sign of the underlying partisan atmosphere in Washington involves this underreported development, via Think Progress' Ian Millhiser. Here's...

By Ed Kilgore

April 11, 2013 10:22 AM Eyes on Prizes

Sorry to do a second Debbie Downer post this morning, but aside from the pitfalls that await gun and immigration legislation in the House even if they escape the Senate,...

By Ed Kilgore

April 11, 2013 9:05 AM Paths To Legislation

This morning's big news from Washington is that there's now been significant progress in the Senate on the hot button issues of guns and immigration. We talked about the latter...

By Ed Kilgore

April 11, 2013 8:17 AM Daylight Video

Another one of those tunes that sprang into my mind unbidden upon awakening: the Fabulous Poodles performing "Chicago Boxcar" in 1978. Yes, a song about hair. Shame I can't find...

By Ed Kilgore

April 10, 2013 5:53 PM Day's End and Night Watch

A very lively day, all things considered, and it's not as though the budget, gun and (tomorrow's specialty) immigration issues are going away any time soon. Here are some items...

By Ed Kilgore

April 10, 2013 5:15 PM What "Broke" the GOP?

It's no secret that political scientists as a tribe tend to downplay the importance of ideology and even of "issues" as active factors in American politics. Elections, they say (as...

By Ed Kilgore

April 10, 2013 3:46 PM It's Not As Though Partisan Differences Are Gone

In another effort towards achieving some perspective on the largely symbolic Battle of the Budgets, I recommend a reading of Matt Yglesias' post today on the rather large differences between...

By Ed Kilgore

April 10, 2013 3:08 PM Look Who's Opposing Chained CPI Now

If you've been aware that the president's "Chained CPI" proposal applies to tax bracket adjustments as well as to Social Security COLAs, perhaps this news from HuffPost's Arthur Delaney won't...

By Ed Kilgore

April 10, 2013 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

It's been a busy news morning for a change, one that appears to have ended the Thatcher Retrospective that dominated political talk the last two days. Here are some mid-day...

By Ed Kilgore

April 10, 2013 1:40 PM Rand Paul's Revisionist History

We're still awaiting a thorough first-hand account of Rand Paul's appearance at Howard University this morning; from Twitter, it appears there were some uncomfortable moments from the Kentuckian based on...

By Ed Kilgore

April 10, 2013 12:46 PM A Devil In the Details

WaPo's indispensable health reporter Sarah Kliff notes an item buried in the Obama budget that a lot of people will miss: the administration is proposing to delay $500 million in...

By Ed Kilgore

April 10, 2013 11:51 AM One Shoe Drops

The dynamic duo from Greater Appalachia, Joe Manchin and Pat Toomey have, as expected, released their "compromise" gun proposal, and as advertised, it shuts off the long-deplored "gun show" loophole...

By Ed Kilgore

April 10, 2013 10:57 AM Don't Blame It On the Internet

As we wait for the various news events of the morning to roll out, it's as good a time as any to mention Frank Rich's long meditation on the decline...

By Ed Kilgore

April 10, 2013 10:07 AM Police Yourselves!

As the debate on gun laws lurches along, Will Marshall draws attention in a Daily Beast column to an aspect of the gun lobby's message that I've written about off...

By Ed Kilgore

April 10, 2013 9:07 AM Rationale For Obama's Budget

So things will get interesting in Washington at 11:00 EDT today, which is when the president's budget is due to be formally released, and also when Joe Manchin and Pat...

By Ed Kilgore

April 10, 2013 8:35 AM Daylight Video

Today is the 147th anniversary of the founding of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. There are any number of songs I could offer in honor...

By Ed Kilgore

April 09, 2013 5:49 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Got some good news about my father's health, so I end this day in a fine mood. Here are some remainders of the day: * Obama declares today National Equal...

By Ed Kilgore

April 09, 2013 5:15 PM Gang of Eight To Speak

Thursday's looking to be a pretty entertaining day (and perhaps night) around the ol' U.S. Senate. Aside from the cloture vote on proceeding to the consideration of gun legislation I...

By Ed Kilgore

April 09, 2013 5:02 PM Reid Throws Down on Gun Bill

So faced with a filibuster against any near-term action on gun legislation that has now been joined by Mitch McConnell, Harry Reid appears to be calling some GOP bluff, and...

By Ed Kilgore

April 09, 2013 4:45 PM Why It's Fun To Make Fun of Bobby Jindal

Having written a lot about Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal in the last few months (roughly since his speech about the "stupid party" that got him reams of positive press as...

By Ed Kilgore

April 09, 2013 3:59 PM McConnell Does It Again

I wrote this morning about Mitch McConnell's devious ways. But during the course of the day he and his people have really outdone themselves in making McConnell the victim in...

By Ed Kilgore

April 09, 2013 1:55 PM Lunch Buffet

As you might imagine from the Daylight Video, stayed up a bit late beginning the baby steps of an education in Arabic Rock. Don't believe it conditioned me for submission...

By Ed Kilgore

April 09, 2013 1:24 PM Mitigating the Damage on Chained CPI?

Confirming a variety of earlier hints, in today's Wall Street Journal, John McKinnon reports that when the president's FY 2014 budget is formally unveiled tomorrow, his toxic-to-progressives proposal to embraced...

By Ed Kilgore

April 09, 2013 12:56 PM Bullseye on Pryor

In counterpoint to FiveThirtyEight's analysis of Republican vulnerabilities in gubernatorial elections, Roll Call's Stu Rothenberg offers an early take on the 2014 Senate landscape and sees mostly clear skies for...

By Ed Kilgore

April 09, 2013 11:05 AM 2014 Gubernatorial Landscape: GOPers Not Exactly Kicking Out the Jams

As most of the chattering class continues to meditate ponderously on Margaret Thatcher's legacy today, here's some eye candy for political junkies: at FiveThirtyEight, Micah Cohen looks at the job...

By Ed Kilgore

April 09, 2013 10:18 AM What's Mitch Up To?

On those occasions when I wonder what's going on in the devious mind of Mitch McConnell, I'm reminded of the movie Being John Malkovich. No telling what snakes writhe in...

By Ed Kilgore

April 09, 2013 9:05 AM Bob Barr Is Back!

In my home state of Georgia, it seems half the Republican Members of the U.S. House delegation have entered or will soon enter the more-conservative-than-thou festival of the primary to...

By Ed Kilgore

April 09, 2013 8:07 AM Daylight Video

Haven't had a chance to hear much Middle Eastern or North African rock-n-roll, but like what little I've heard. Here, on an impulse, is the Algerian syncretist Rachid Taha performing...

By Ed Kilgore

April 08, 2013 6:20 PM Day's End and Night Watch

I learned a few new things from today's Thatcher-fest, but it mostly brought back bad old memories. I wish her eternal rest, but plan to take a rest myself from...

By Ed Kilgore

April 08, 2013 5:48 PM The Ricks Just Won't Go Away

I saw a couple of pieces earlier today suggesting that Rick Perry was letting it be known he might still run for president in 2016, and didn't think it worth...

By Ed Kilgore

April 08, 2013 5:15 PM The Jindal Tax Plan Crashes

Lo, have the mighty fallen! Bobby Jindal, bedeviled by rapidly falling approval ratings on every front, officially threw in the towel on his burden-shifting tax plan in the speech opening...

By Ed Kilgore

April 08, 2013 3:41 PM The Reviews Are In

If you haven't gotten around to reading Haley Sweetland Edwards' article on Dodd-Frank implementation in the March-April issue of the Washington Monthly, you're definitely not hanging with the cool kids....

By Ed Kilgore

April 08, 2013 3:22 PM The New, "New Welfare Queens"

One of the more fascinating political phenomena of the last few years has been the search by constitutionally infuriated conservatives for some of the racially charged mojo of the anti-welfare...

By Ed Kilgore

April 08, 2013 1:47 PM Lunch Buffet

So I'm a bit groggy after staying up to watch the two-hour season premiere of Mad Men, which (mild spoiler alert!) could probably be summed up with these famous images:...

By Ed Kilgore

April 08, 2013 12:41 PM Holy Trinity

If you want a succinct, carved-in-stone official conservative account of the late twentieth century in world history, here it is from Bill Kristol at the Weekly Standard blog: And now...

By Ed Kilgore

April 08, 2013 11:57 AM Thatcher and Reagan

One of the aspects of Margaret Thatcher's career that made her so iconic to American conservatives was her almost eery foreshadowing of Ronald Reagan's career (sort of the reverse of...

By Ed Kilgore

April 08, 2013 10:37 AM The Manchin-Toomey Gang

In other Beltway Gangland news, we are informed this morning that the fate of gun legislation may lie in the hands of Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of WV, who boasts...

By Ed Kilgore

April 08, 2013 10:13 AM The Rubio-Labrador Gang

With Congress returning from its Easter Recess, there will be vast renewed interest in beltway circles in the progress of the bipartisan "gangs" in both Houses who have been working...

By Ed Kilgore

April 08, 2013 8:32 AM RIP Margaret Thatcher

So word's just out that former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has died of a stroke at the age of 87. Americans often think of her as Britain's Ronald Reagan,...

By Ed Kilgore

April 08, 2013 8:07 AM Daylight Video

Yesterday in passing Kathleen Geier mentioned the Sir Douglas Quintet, which fired up my memory banks. Here's that iconic Texas band performing "She's About A Mover" on Hullabaloo in 1965....

By Ed Kilgore

April 07, 2013 5:54 PM Roger Ebert: Film-Lover, Bon Vivant, Disability Rights Icon, and Mensch, R.I.P.

I wanted to take a moment this weekend to pay my respects to Roger Ebert, the film critic who died this week at the age of 70, after a long...

By Kathleen Geier

April 07, 2013 4:43 PM The first British general strike in 86 years? Why, how rude!

When this story appeared on one of my listservs, I must confess that my pulse quickened and my eyes lit up. A general strike, 'ey? Mark Serwotka, head of Britain's...

By Kathleen Geier

April 07, 2013 2:56 PM Two new reports show how our high-unemployment economy is killing the American dream

As you no doubt have heard by now, Friday's jobs report was pretty awful. Two newly released reports document the devastating effects our high-unemployment, low-growth economy is having on millions...

By Kathleen Geier

April 07, 2013 11:29 AM Debtors' prisons are back: how heart-warmingly Dickensian!

Sometimes, I think our society is becoming more and more Dickensian. Unfortunately, I don't mean Dickensian in the sense of the big happy family gathering around the hearth for a...

By Kathleen Geier

April 07, 2013 11:00 AM QOTD: Brad DeLong on Ben Bernanke: worst Fed Chair since the Great Depression?

Brad DeLong on Friday's dismal jobs report: Twenty years from now, young whippersnapper economic historians will come to interview me. They will ask: "Why don't you think Ben Bernanke was...

By Kathleen Geier

April 07, 2013 8:02 AM Morning music: the dB's are back!

The dB's were one of the great power pop bands of late 70s and 80s. Originally from North Carolina, they were New York City-based. They put out a few outstanding...

By Kathleen Geier

April 06, 2013 1:16 PM Afternoon Reads

That's it for me, folks, Kathleen Geier will take over for tomorrow. As always, thanks for reading and commenting. Here are some luxurious weekend tidbits, if you need a distraction...

By Ryan Cooper

April 06, 2013 12:53 PM The Power of Honorable Media

A couple days ago Jon Stewart did a sincere segment in defense of Bassem Yousef, the "Egyptian Jon Stewart," who was facing legal sanction for criticizing President Morsi. (This resulted...

By Ryan Cooper

April 06, 2013 12:17 PM Megabanks, Hoist with Their Own Petard?

Ezra Klein had a very interesting positive thought in his column from yesterday: The Capitol today is thick with financial wonks arguing that too-big-to-fail is too-big-to-exist and working to devise...

By Ryan Cooper

April 06, 2013 11:39 AM Climate Weirding in the Arctic

It has been a chilly March across much of the Northern Hemisphere, due to a blocking high pressure system that was stalled over Greenland. Climate Central explains: As Climate Central...

By Ryan Cooper

April 06, 2013 10:35 AM How NIMBY Anti-Density Policies Impede Heating Efficiency

Emily Badger reported the other day on a study looking at the difference in energy use between Minneapolis and Miami: Minneapolis - just talking here about heating and cooling -...

By Ryan Cooper

April 06, 2013 9:25 AM Saturday Morning Japanese Economic History

Japan was for many years the paradigmatic example of how poor monetary policy could put one's economy into a semi-permanent depression. But on Wednesday, the Abe government announced a strong...

By Ryan Cooper

April 06, 2013 9:13 AM Morning Jams

Today, a laid-back track from Caveman, who have a new album out just a couple days ago: They'll be in Washington DC on the 9th....

By Ryan Cooper

April 05, 2013 5:44 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

As predicted, news dropped off on a Spring Friday afternoon. The aggregator I rely on most is running the same stories we talked about this morning, I guess for slow...

By Ed Kilgore

April 05, 2013 4:32 PM On Dodd-Frank, Timing Is Everything

After citing Haley Sweetland Edwards' article in the March-April issue of the Washington Monthly as "the best single piece on Dodd-Frank implementation I've seen," the Roosevelt Institute's Mike Konczal (a.k.a....

By Ed Kilgore

April 05, 2013 4:12 PM Limits of Aggie Conservatism

Since I posted yesterday about the Student Senate at Texas A&M University passing a "religious liberty" measure aimed at letting students "opt out" of helping fund a GLBT Resource Center...

By Ed Kilgore

April 05, 2013 3:11 PM BFOQ

There's the controversy over the president's comments about the physical attractiveness of the Attorney General of California yesterday, and then there's the controversy about the defenses various people (many of...

By Ed Kilgore

April 05, 2013 2:09 PM Lunch Buffet

It was the strongest news morning in a month or so, but now it's Friday afternoon, so I'm sure we'll settle down to a near-snooze unless the North Koreans really...

By Ed Kilgore

April 05, 2013 1:30 PM Educational Feedback Loop

Yesterday Kevin Drum had a fascinating post about the potential for computer software offering quick feedback to students taking writing tests, and essentially offering continuous learning and assessment instead of...

By Ed Kilgore

April 05, 2013 12:32 PM "Clearing the Field" Redux

I wrote about this in February, but since Tod Lindberg's piece at TNR throwing cold water on the idea of HRC "clearing the field" of Democrats in 2016 will likely...

By Ed Kilgore

April 05, 2013 11:03 AM Will Republicans Run Against Social Security Cuts?

In a downbeat post about today's leading news (the March jobs report and Obama's FY 2014 budget), TPM's Brian Beutler mentions a possibility that hadn't quite occurred to me: The...

By Ed Kilgore

April 05, 2013 10:45 AM Baby-Killing Over the Counter For Kids!

To reproductive rights advocates starved for some good news amidst the continuing crusade of Republican-controlled state legislatures to restrict the availability of theoretically legal abortions, today's decision by a federal...

By Ed Kilgore

April 05, 2013 10:11 AM The Obama Budget: Less Than Meets the Eye

On Twitter this morning I observed the irony that after an anemic jobs report the chattering classes would spend the rest of the day talking about whether the president's budget...

By Ed Kilgore

April 05, 2013 8:48 AM March Jobs: Slow As You Go

If I were into spinning economic statistics, I might just say the unemployment rate dropped to 7.6% in March, and that would be accurate. I'd also say the net job...

By Ed Kilgore

April 05, 2013 8:17 AM Daylight Video

Just read about Jim DeMint's letter to his new employees at Heritage about all the looters who depend on government, so in his honor, here are the Rolling Stones performing...

By Ed Kilgore

April 04, 2013 5:48 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Guess I should have mentioned the North Korean nuclear threat "crisis" at some point today, but quite honestly, I don't know how seriously to take it. An obviously unstable regime...

By Ed Kilgore

April 04, 2013 5:26 PM April 4, 1968

I'd be remiss in failing to note that this is the 45th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King in Memphis. I remember hearing about it as graphically...

By Ed Kilgore

April 04, 2013 5:06 PM Green Fissures

A couple of times I've mentioned Jason Mark's long piece at TAP about growing tensions within the environmental movement, and am surprised it hasn't created more of a buzz (in...

By Ed Kilgore

April 04, 2013 4:11 PM Federalism As A Strategy, Not a Principle

At the New York Times, veteran legal journalist Linda Greenhouse notes some of the cheerleading (from progressives even more than from conservatives) for the probability that the Supreme Court will...

By Ed Kilgore

April 04, 2013 3:43 PM Who's the Audience For Black Conservatives?

Ta-Nehisi Coates has a New York Times column and a post at The Atlantic that say pretty much everything that needs to be said about the current cult of Dr....

By Ed Kilgore

April 04, 2013 2:04 PM Lunch Buffet

On a rare rainy day here on the Central Coast, I'm warming myself by the iMAC and beginning to make summer vacation plans to go somewhere probably less fabulous than...

By Ed Kilgore

April 04, 2013 1:33 PM Moneybag False Equivalency

Yesterday Politico had a big feature story on Tom Steyer, the San Francisco hedge-fund billionaire who is very opposed to the Keystone XL Pipeline and has intervened in the Massachusetts...

By Ed Kilgore

April 04, 2013 12:44 PM Aggie Conservatism

The Texas A&M University Student Senate made some unfortunate news late last night: After three hours of emotional debate, the Texas A&M Student Senate voted 35-28 Wednesday night to approve...

By Ed Kilgore

April 04, 2013 11:57 AM The Fundamentals and the Direction of the GOP

A big part of the political discussion this year has revolved around a debate in GOP circles about what if anything the Republican Party can do to overcome its losing...

By Ed Kilgore

April 04, 2013 10:22 AM Who'll Be the Boogyman?

There's some welcome if not unexpected news on the gun front today from Connecticut (home for the obvious reason to the most robust debate on the subject after the Newtown...

By Ed Kilgore

April 04, 2013 9:15 AM Other Woman Follies

A day after absorbing the basic news that Mark Sanford had won the Republican nomination for his old gig representing SC's 1st District in Congress, the chattering classes shifted focus...

By Ed Kilgore

April 04, 2013 8:17 AM Daylight Video

To get the day off to a upbeat start, here are The Seeds on Shebang (an L.A. show hosted by Casey Kasem) circa 1967, performing "Pushin' Too Hard." Terrible lip-synching,...

By Ed Kilgore

April 03, 2013 5:44 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Didn't get around to writing about the Jason Mark piece on enviros and fracking, but will try to do so tomorrow. You should read it yourself if you have time....

By Ed Kilgore

April 03, 2013 5:11 PM The False Premise At the Heart of the Balanced Budget Movement

There's been lots of derision aimed at White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer for saying today that balanced budgets should not be an end in themselves. Matt Yglesias calmly explains...

By Ed Kilgore

April 03, 2013 4:54 PM Infanticide! Infanticide!

Having just counseled against despair about the emptiness of so much conservative policy offerings and rhetoric, sometimes you really do just need to hoot and point. A fine example is...

By Ed Kilgore

April 03, 2013 4:15 PM Cutting To the Chase

This seems to be the day for center-left bloggers to self-examine about how they talk about conservatives. Here's my distinguished predecessor Kevin Drum over at MoJo: I've got a problem....

By Ed Kilgore

April 03, 2013 3:27 PM Apples and No Apples

There are two must-reads today I'd like to recommend. One is a long post on the intramural arguments in the U.S. environmental movement that are now exploding in the controversy...

By Ed Kilgore

April 03, 2013 1:48 PM Lunch Buffet

I'm back on another serious diet (I attend one of the few churches where there are so many pot-luck dinners that it's customary to gain weight during Lent), so may...

By Ed Kilgore

April 03, 2013 1:16 PM 666 Pennsylvania Avenue

Since we've been talking off and on about the boundary-line that separates regular conservatives from the extremist fringe, and also because one of my regular topics is the intersection of...

By Ed Kilgore

April 03, 2013 12:23 PM Quoting Bigots

In the comment thread to my post yesterday on Alan Keyes' "no retreat" comments on same-sex marriage, NealB made this passionate plea: If Ed Kilgore believes what he portends in...

By Ed Kilgore

April 03, 2013 11:28 AM More From the Department of False Choices

Since we've been talking about Bobby Jindal's private school voucher program (which is currently facing a review of the constitutionality of its funding mechanism by the Lousiana Supreme Court), which...

By Ed Kilgore

April 03, 2013 10:40 AM Bobby Jindal's Ideological Freight

I noted briefly in the Day's End post yesterday that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's approval ratings seem to be sinking like a stone. I'd like to wallow in that topic...

By Ed Kilgore

April 03, 2013 8:41 AM Appalachian Trail to Comeback Trail?

So one of the most thoroughly disgraced and humiliated pols of our era (at least among those who have not worn the orange jumpsuit), Mark Sanford, has won the Republican...

By Ed Kilgore

April 03, 2013 8:08 AM Daylight Video

As a follow-on to yesterday's Otis-fest, here's The Doors performing the 1969 tune "Runnin' Blue," with an a capella intro adapted from Leadbelly....

By Ed Kilgore

April 02, 2013 5:52 PM Day's End and Night Watch

A slow news days with lots of brain food out there. I didn't even get to Michael Gerson's obnoxious op-ed celebrating private school vouchers and ignoring every other avenue for...

By Ed Kilgore

April 02, 2013 5:14 PM Meritocracy and "Merit"

This afternoon I stumbled on a piece at New York by Maureen O'Connor, who has been writing critically about the viral utterances of a "Princeton Mom" who encouraged Ivy League...

By Ed Kilgore

April 02, 2013 3:27 PM Bleeding Kansas

Sometimes I fret that I spend too much time writing about right-wing extremism. But as I have often observed, the radicalization of the conservative movement and the Republican Party is...

By Ed Kilgore

April 02, 2013 2:46 PM All About Marco

One of today's more interesting items of Beltway gabbery comes from deep within the relentlessly beating heart of Tiger Beat on the Potomac (as Charles Pierce has unforgettably dubbed Politico)....

By Ed Kilgore

April 02, 2013 1:31 PM Lunch Buffet

While I'm okay with my Georgia Bulldogs losing to a gritty Cal Bear team (virtual neighbors of mine, really) in overtime in the Western Regional Final of the NCAA Women's...

By Ed Kilgore

April 02, 2013 12:58 PM Crime Against Humanity

One of the differences in the politics of legalized abortion and the politics of same-sex marriage has been that even though it's pretty much the same people who oppose both,...

By Ed Kilgore

April 02, 2013 12:28 PM Natural Gas and Renewables: Not Enemies?

Dave Roberts has a long and important post at Grist today discussing the relationship of shale gas and renewable energy sources, playing off a new Citigroup analysis suggesting that greater...

By Ed Kilgore

April 02, 2013 11:33 AM State's Rights Craziness Without the Constitutional Amendments

Many of you are probably aware that one of the wingnut ideas that has accompanied the rise of the Tea Party Movement was repealing the 17th amendment and letting state...

By Ed Kilgore

April 02, 2013 10:22 AM The Big Apple's Big Political Scandal

I haven't followed New York City politics very closely in a long time (certainly not like I did in 1965 when my father kinda lost it upon discovering I was...

By Ed Kilgore

April 02, 2013 10:04 AM Judgment Day In South Cackalacky

Election-starved political junkies will get some rare sustenance tonight when we learn whether disgraced ex-governor Mark Sanford will take another step back towards the congressional seat he once held, or...

By Ed Kilgore

April 02, 2013 9:10 AM Now the Sequester Is Hurting

For once, I'm kinda happy this is an incredibly slow news morning. That's because one story that needs to be read perhaps will be. It's from HuffPost's Sam Stein and...

By Ed Kilgore

April 02, 2013 8:08 AM Daylight Video

This is probably the first Stax record I ever owned: Otis Redding and Carla Thomas performing "Tramp" in 1967. "I'll buy you mink, rat, frog, squirrel, whatever you want."...

By Ed Kilgore

April 01, 2013 5:42 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Another week under way, with most of the Beltway talk looking back at the Supremes' same-sex marriage fiesta, or forward to the gun and immigration melees in Congress after its...

By Ed Kilgore

April 01, 2013 5:15 PM Having It Both Ways on Means-Testing

Republicans are forever arguing that some of what they want in the way of "entitlement reform" involves means-testing (or in reality, greater means-testing) of Social Security and Medicare benefits. Many...

By Ed Kilgore

April 01, 2013 4:54 PM Antichoice Civil War?

Salon's Irin Carmon is an intrepid reporter of the wars over reproductive rights, so I'm inclined to defer to her interpretation of the recent cascade of state legislation banning relatively...

By Ed Kilgore

April 01, 2013 4:20 PM Starving the Victims

I've often marveled at the strange doings of Tennessee's recently conquered Republican legislature, but the Volunteer State's right-wing solons are really outdoing themselves now, according to a report from Tom...

By Ed Kilgore

April 01, 2013 4:04 PM Do Progressives Need "Contrarians"?

It is psychologically important to conservatives these days to argue that the Democratic Party and progressives generally have "moved Left" under Barack Obama, partly to explain away their obstructionism and...

By Ed Kilgore

April 01, 2013 1:51 PM Lunch Buffet

It's good to be home blogging at the trusty iMac, albeit loaded with antibiotics to combat the bronchitis that made my week in Georgia exceptionally miserable. As always, I enjoyed...

By Ed Kilgore

April 01, 2013 1:22 PM Hillary Clinton Is No Mitt Romney

David Frum has generally become an interesting writer offering fresh perspectives--not least on the GOP to which he remains tenuously connected--but his CNN column on why Democrats should not "settle"...

By Ed Kilgore

April 01, 2013 12:58 PM "Libertarian" Doesn't Mean "Liberal"

An exchange between New York's Kevin Roose and Liberty University president Jerry Falwell, Jr., casts an interesting light on the big media meme that conservatism is being increasingly dominated by...

By Ed Kilgore

April 01, 2013 11:23 AM Crumbling Pillars of Discrimination

One reason support for laws prohibiting same-sex marriage is crumbling is that supporters of discrimination have chosen a particularly poor argument on its behalf: that marriage equality will contribute to...

By Ed Kilgore

April 01, 2013 11:03 AM Cup Runneth Over

In his gloomy 2014 forecast for Senate races I discussed in my last post, Jonathan Bernstein did mention my home state of Georgia as a pick-up opportunity, partly to show...

By Ed Kilgore

April 01, 2013 9:50 AM Midterm Senate Gloom

There's not much news today, as one might expect on Easter Monday/7th Day of Passover, with Congress in recess. But over the weekend, Jonathan Bernstein penned a real buzz-kill for...

By Ed Kilgore

April 01, 2013 8:20 AM Daylight Video

Being gullible by nature, I really dislike April Fool's Day. But I know it's important to a lot of tricksters out there, so I'll post a couple of videos today...

By Ed Kilgore

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