Political Animal


May 13, 2013 1:48 PM Lunch Buffet

By Ed Kilgore

Egads, what a morning. I’ll try to find something other than Ben-IRS! to write about. Here are some more diverse mid-day morsels:

* At TNR, Jonathan Cohn reminds us that Obamacare’s impact on the delivery of health services goes beyond extension of health insurance.

* Carl Bernstein reminds us exactly what Richard Nixon personally did in encouraging IRS audits of “enemies.”

* Thought-provoking Abby Rapoport piece at TAP on union efforts to encourage worker “self-organizing” in situations where collective bargaining just not available.

* At The Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates explores long, disreputable history of research on race and IQ.

* Jury hung on two counts in Gosnell trial. Re-trial would please anti-choicers hoping to make Gosnell the face of late-term abortion.

And in sorta non-political news: UN Food and Agricultural Organization urges greater consumption of insects, despite “consumer disgust.” Yum!

I’ll check to see if I have any termites in the freezer. They’re said to taste like walnuts.

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.


  • CRhetts on May 13, 2013 3:23 PM:

    After reading the Coates article, I highly recommend reading the text of John Derbyshire's speech at the 2012 CPAC conference in Washington. The group "ProEnglish" was a co-sponsor of CPAC that year, and hosted a panel discussion titled "The Failure Of Multiculturalism". John Derbyshire's speech was: "Speech: Will Our Multicultural Elites Ever Become Race Realists?", and you can find it here:


    The whole thing is fascinating from the standpoint of understanding how naked racism, dressed up with junk science and biased anecdote, is re-packaged as objective science and then relied on by the GOP to set actual policy.

    My sense is that people like Derbyshire and Richwine are only saying things which a broad cross-section of conservatives agree with. Their input is not only tolerated, but welcomed, until, that is, they say or do something so overtly racist that the party leadership has to turn them out in an unconvincing display of mock indignity.

  • biggerbox on May 13, 2013 3:23 PM:

    Speaking of being out and about at lunch time, does this blog have some kind of a URL formatted for mobile users? With the switch to the new floating page ad, this site has gotten pretty close to unusable from my iPhone, what with scrolling around to find and tap the close button, then being lost in the wrong part of the page, or accidentally tapping the link beneath the close button and starting to load a completely different link. The usual suspects like "m.washingtonmonthly.com" or "mobile.washingtonmonthly.com" bring no joy.

  • hue cry on May 13, 2013 3:48 PM:

    I watched Carl Bernstein speak on MSNBC this a.m.
    Joe Scarborough tried over-talking him, shutting him down and interrupting him per usual--- especially as Carl made strong and valid points.
    I shipped off an email to Phil Griffin complaining that Scarborough more than once called the president a liar and alleged corruption and malfeasance without any shred of evidence this morning.
    Scarborough also made the outrageous remark that the press would have been all over George W. Bush if Bush was misleading.
    Biggest joke of this morning--that one.
    Morning Joke Program.
    Really--if Dubya was misleading?

    Let me re-post my previous, most fabulous link to the full range of known Bush scandals--400 here, in great detail:


  • mike shupp on May 13, 2013 3:56 PM:

    "I’ll check to see if I have any termites in the freezer. They’re said to taste like walnuts."

    Yeah. They're mostly cellulose.

  • Texas Aggie on May 13, 2013 7:12 PM:

    About eating insects, the people who don't understand that should get out more. When I once worked in Mali, if you went to an outdoor restaurant in the evening when the termite queens were swarming, you had to wait a while for your order to be taken because the waiters were all by the lights catching and eating the termites. The mopane worm, a huge caterpillar in southern Africa, is regarded as a delicacy and is sold along the road. In Uganda grasshoppers are roasted and salted like peanuts. There is even a booming export market to the US. The locusts that swarm throughout the Middle East and the arid parts of Africa are on the list of permitted kosher foods. I suspect that there is also a place in Oriental cuisine for insects. Anyone who eats soup made of bird nests will eat cockroaches.