Political Animal


May 01, 2013 1:42 PM Lunch Buffet

By Ed Kilgore

Had a debilitating stomach bug last night which destroyed my leisure time, but the devil that planted it clearly wants me to work.

Here are some mid-day news/views treats that are pre-tested for digestibility:

* Ad wars in Montana appear to be based on assumption that Max Baucus could switch his vote on background checks now that he’s retiring. How cynical.

* Obama administration’s two-year reduction in the minimum age for OTC purchases of Plan B not going over real well among reproductive rights advocates.

* Matt Yglesias looks at the “401(k) world” and finds it very depressing, as do I.

* MoDo keeps up her savaging of Obama for alleged leadership failures. Charles Pierce goes entertainingly wild.

* It didn’t just start in 2000: At TNR, Linda Hirshman discovers 1988 letter from Justice Sandra Day O’Conner to Barry Goldwater cheerleading for Poppy Bush’s election.

And in non-political news:

* Interesting debate in blogosphere over identifying “most average city in America.”

Back after a cautious bite.

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.


  • esaud on May 01, 2013 2:13 PM:

    The next time some inside-the-beltway pundit decries the lack of bipartisanship, whip out Jonathan Karl's asinine "question" to Obama, Do you have the juice.

    Talk about lack of respect, dumb questioning, insufferable arrogance all rolled into one. It's as though some invisible assignment editor has decided that Republican intransigence is somehow Obama's fault.

    Karl should have been fired for his rudeness, but I guess trashing Democrats is how he keeps his bona fides as a overpaid media star.

  • exlibra on May 01, 2013 2:28 PM:

    * Obama administrationís two-year reduction in the minimum age for OTC purchases of Plan B not going over real well among reproductive rights advocates.

    Not surprising; they seem to have used Solomon's judgement -- let's cut that baby in half -- and came up with an unholy mess of shitage, which makes no one happy. The religionuts will be unhappy with OTC availability of Plan B, no matter the age. Meanwhile, every reason against age limits mentioned in that article is 100% valid. The court, in recommending no age limits, had it right.

  • Kathryn on May 01, 2013 2:35 PM:

    Love Charlie Pierce, Maureen Dowd has written at least 6 (probably more) columns decrying "Barry Obama". Something tells me that Ms. Dowd did not enjoy his mild jab at her during the Correspondents Dinner. The New York Times could do better than having a highly paid columnist write a version of the same article once a month. I subscribe to the Times and am getting pretty sick of her schtick and her characterization of Obama's so called irritation, lecturing and in this column, primness. Give Charles Blow more space NYT.

  • jjm on May 01, 2013 2:36 PM:

    15 is not the age of consent is it? Shouldn't we change statutory rape laws? A girl buying this pill at age 15 might open her boyfriend, who might be the same age or younger, to charges, no?

    The age of consent in some European countries is 13.

  • Sgt. Gym Bunny on May 01, 2013 2:57 PM:


    Doubt it. It's different every where, but most jurisdictions don't waste their time trying prosecute 15 or 16 year old boys for doing the oochi-coochie with 15 or 16 year old girls. And you know men folk wouldn't seriously try to prosecute boys for "being boys". They barely even want to prosecute forcible rape. Just sayin...

    But, seriously, most OTC cough syrups and pain meds are more dangerous than Plan B will ever be (minus some unknown side effect). There's only one pill in the box, so a girl ain't likely to OD. But appearances, appearances... If we keep pandering to the puritanical scruples of the rights, teenage girls will start to have to get permission to buy tampons!!!

  • emjayay on May 01, 2013 3:48 PM:

    YES I AM PRO-CHOICE!!!!!!!

  • exlibra on May 01, 2013 4:39 PM:

    jjm, @2:36 PM,

    If there is no age limit on buying Plan B pill, then nobody knows how old the buyer is, because nobody asks. So a boyfriend doesn't enter into the equation, unless someone makes a point of reporting him. OTOH, if a 15yo gets pregnant, the boyfriend might well get jailed.

    Sgt Gym Bunny, @2:57 PM,

    It all depends... Remember this case?