Political Animal


April 04, 2013 2:04 PM Lunch Buffet

By Ed Kilgore

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 where I am. Can’t much complain.

Here are some mid-day news/views nuggets:

* High weekly jobless claims are beginning to build expectation that tomorrow’s Jobs Report for March may be seriously underwhelming.

* Another NY pol, a Bronx assemblyman, has been arrested in connection with the Malcolm Smith bribery scandal, and yet another legislator will soon resign as part of a plea deal.

* In better news from New York, fast food workers are staging lightning strike today for better wages and real chance to form unions.

* Gingrich warns practice of Christianity in danger of being outlawed, compared culture wars to ancient fights between Christians and pagans.

* Interesting Zvika Krieger piece at The Atlantic about battle for gay surrogacy rights in Israel.

And in non-political news:

* BOA begins installing “ATMs With Assist” machines that allow live chat with remote teller. Will she be named “Tillie?”

Back after a nutrition 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.


  • boatboy_srq on April 04, 2013 2:22 PM:

    * Gingrich warns practice of Christianity in danger of being outlawed, compared culture wars to ancient fights between Christians and pagans.

    Meaning of course that heretics are pushing to deny the True Believers™ the freedom to impose their faith [sic]. Better comparison is between Catholics and Protestants (circa 1580).

    Exactly which century is the GOTea boldly leading the Confederacy -um, nation - toward?

  • Lifelong Dem on April 04, 2013 2:52 PM:

    Can anyone in the media please explain WHY you waste time interviewing and then quoting Newt Gingrich?

  • Blue Girl on April 04, 2013 3:02 PM:

    Someone tell Newt that Christianity didn't so much fight with Pagans as they co-opted their rites and holidays. Baptism was an Egyptian rite about 3000 years before Christ, Christmas is derived from Saturnalia and Easter is derived from Ishtar, a sex-and-fertility rite. We even kept the bunnies and eggs.

    Or, alternatively, we could all just stop paying attention to Newt and quoting him. He ain't that entertaining that he would be missed. It isn't like he's Louie Gohmert or Steve King...

  • Anonymous on April 04, 2013 3:33 PM:

    This is good:
    Secret Files Expose Offshore's Global Impact

    If this gets legs, maybe
    Heads really will roll.

  • T2 on April 04, 2013 3:38 PM:

    "seriously underwhelming" well sure. When you have one of the two major political parties actively engaged in stonewalling any and all attempts to get the economy on solid footing, it won't be on solid footing. I'll let the readers decide which party I'm referring to.

  • Wapiti on April 04, 2013 3:46 PM:

    Ah, Tillie the (ATM) Teller. I remember her from the bank at Georgia Tech back in the 80s.

  • cwolf on April 04, 2013 3:51 PM:

    The Hits Keep Coming.
    In the Hearts & Minds Department:

    NATO air strike kills Afghan police and civilians

  • cwolf on April 04, 2013 3:53 PM:

  • jpeckjr on April 04, 2013 4:24 PM:

    @wapiti. Yes. I remember Tillie the All Time Teller, First National Bank of Atlanta's ATM, and her jingle:

    I'm Tillie the All Time Teller,
    I work for First National Bank.
    I'll make your life easier,
    I'm one more good reason for,
    Banking with First National Bank.

    This gave us the illusion we were dealing with a "person" rather than a machine. So, now, we'll be dealing with a person and a machine.

    My guess is Wells Fargo, which merged with Wachovia, which bought First National Atlanta probably still owns the rights to Tillie.

  • gab on April 04, 2013 4:47 PM:

    The jobless claims number was affected by the seasonals that occur around Easter every year and usually take a couple of weeks to sort out.

  • Daniel Kim on April 04, 2013 4:54 PM:

    I won't be impressed with "ATMs with Assist" until they match the level of service shown in this video: