Political Animal

June 2013 Archives

June 30, 2013 2:26 PM Two cheers for immigration: why there's good reason for progressive ambivalence about reform

Right now, the prospects of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) bill currently before Congress are looking cloudy at best. As Dave Weigel explains here, many Republicans have done the electoral...

By Kathleen Geier

June 30, 2013 11:56 AM In which Republicans once again demonstrate that hypocrisy is a foreign concept to them

By all accounts, Hillary Clinton has a robust sense of humor. She's a big fan of the instant classic Texts from Hillary tumblr, for example. That's all to the good,...

By Kathleen Geier

June 30, 2013 10:48 AM Recommended reading: Scott McLemee on the history of spam

Spam is an aspect of modern life that is ubiquitous yet oddly underdiscussed. Partly that's because most email programs do a decent job of blocking it these days. In fact,...

By Kathleen Geier

June 30, 2013 9:11 AM The Roberts Court on labor rights: be afraid. Be very afraid.

In the wake of all the attention given to last week's Supreme Court rulings that gutted the Voting Rights Act and strengthened same-sex marriage rights, some of the Court's other...

By Kathleen Geier

June 30, 2013 7:57 AM Happy Pride Day!

In honor of Pride Day, here's a song that always puts a smile on my face. It's from Jon Cameron Mitchell's wonderful film of Stephen Trask's glam rock musical, Hedwig...

By Kathleen Geier

June 29, 2013 4:56 PM Your semi-regular reminder: Chris Christie is a) a hardcore conservative and b) a jerk

I grew up in New Jersey, in the part of the state that this jokey map refers to as "Christie Country." So when it comes to the media's love affair...

By Kathleen Geier

June 29, 2013 3:54 PM EPI launches fab new website on economic inequality

I wanted to hip readers to a fabulous new website created by the invaluable Economic Policy Institute. It's called Inequality Is, and it looks at what I believe to be...

By Kathleen Geier

June 29, 2013 11:23 AM Wendy Davis shows why progressives need to nurture the grassroots

Allow my to mount a hobbyhorse of mine. Like every other progressive in America, I was thrilled, inspired, and utterly gobsmacked by Texas state senator Wendy Davis's heroic filibuster to...

By Kathleen Geier

June 29, 2013 9:30 AM Today in Republicans making jackasses out of themselves: the baseless "pro sports is pimping for Obamacare" freak-out

I've got to hand it the GOP. They never run out of things to freak out about. When they exhaust reality-based events (unsurprisingly, they were not fans of this week's...

By Kathleen Geier

June 29, 2013 7:18 AM Morning music: Patton Oswalt enacts The Coup's "The Magic Clap"

The Coup is a hip hop outfit of Oakland, California who have been around for over 20 years now. Radicals to the bone, they not only write lyrics that are...

By Kathleen Geier

June 28, 2013 5:59 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

I'm cheating a bit by ending the day with only eleven posts, but there are a lot of words in the can. And here are a few more: * At...

By Ed Kilgore

June 28, 2013 5:20 PM Just a Small Reminder of the Revolution to Come

While Adam Kokesh's much-discussed July 4 march on Washington by gun-toting sons of liberty got called off (perhaps because of Kokesh's frequent incarcerations), the spirit lives on in Colorado, as...

By Ed Kilgore

June 28, 2013 4:54 PM From Data to Demagoguery

On Wednesday I wrote a post on Sean Trende's extended analysis on the "missing white voters of 2012" and worried about "the meme that may emerge from over-simplistic repetition of...

By Ed Kilgore

June 28, 2013 4:04 PM Derpaganza

At Lunch Buffet I noted the Krugman-Erickson exchange (in which I accidentally played midwife) over inflation rates, wherein the latter pretty much concedes Krugman is right but it doesn't matter...

By Ed Kilgore

June 28, 2013 2:30 PM Lunch Buffet

Argh, I always get overwrought a bit when I write about Southern culture, so I'm running a bit late. Here are some mid-day news/views snacks, the ones I found when...

By Ed Kilgore

June 28, 2013 1:43 PM Concerning "Crackers"

The alleged use of the term "Cracker" (or more specifically, "creepy ass cracker") by Trayvon Martin to describe the man who was stalking him and eventually shot him to death...

By Ed Kilgore

June 28, 2013 1:10 PM Is Scandalmania '13 Over?

I know it's been a week of real-world distractions, so it's not terribly surprising that we've heard a lot less about the IRS "scandal" (other than new information that undermines...

By Ed Kilgore

June 28, 2013 11:33 AM Falling Up

It's a Friday at the end of a heavy news week, so let's indulge in a frivolous topic: the subsequent careers of 2012 Republican presidential candidates, a motley crew of...

By Ed Kilgore

June 28, 2013 10:31 AM Renter Generation

There's plenty of talk in economic and political circles about the immediate future of the battered but reviving U.S. housing market. But whether the market is up or down in...

By Ed Kilgore

June 28, 2013 9:43 AM Voting Rights Affect Everybody, Everything

Are you one of those progressive folk whose eyes glazed over at the highly legalistic debate over the Supreme Court's destruction of Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of...

By Ed Kilgore

June 28, 2013 8:44 AM Daylight Video

It's the 99th anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie, which touched off the War To End All War. So here's the Scottish band Franz...

By Ed Kilgore

June 27, 2013 6:43 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Enough with my carping about the Gang of Eight bill! Give the Senate a hand for what is likely to be a short-lived triumph! Here are some final items of...

By Ed Kilgore

June 27, 2013 6:29 PM Vote For Immigration Reform? What a Laugh!

One final item today on the extent to which congressional Republicans have bought into comprehensive immigration reform, from a report by The Hill's Ramsey Cox: Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) accidentally...

By Ed Kilgore

June 27, 2013 6:02 PM The Corrupt Bargain of 2013

What with Rand Paul voting against the Gang of Eight immigration bill, and Ted Cruz voting "Hell No!" and Marco Rubio totally Ganged-Up, Greg Sargent asks an interesting question: What...

By Ed Kilgore

June 27, 2013 4:26 PM Rand Paul, Comedian

Yesterday I noted that Rand Paul had adopted the slippery-slope-to-bestiality argument against same-sex marriage, and wondered if he was trying to steal Rick Santorum's hard-earned thunder. Turns out I didn't...

By Ed Kilgore

June 27, 2013 3:16 PM Good News/Bad News on Immigration

So the good news for supporters of comprehensive immigration reform is that a cloture motion clearing the way for final passage of the revised Gang of Eight bill passed 68-32....

By Ed Kilgore

June 27, 2013 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Terrible heat wave here on the Central Coast. High today: 73 degrees! But highs will be back down into the 60s by July 4. Here are some mid-day hot links....

By Ed Kilgore

June 27, 2013 1:25 PM Playing To A Different Gallery

Don't know about you, but in watching and writing about the confrontation between state senator Wendy Davis and Gov. Rick Perry over the GOP's shut-down-the-clinics bill in the Texas legislature,...

By Ed Kilgore

June 27, 2013 12:44 PM Climate Breakthrough?

Those who follow the debate over environmental issues probably need no introduction to Mike Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, co-founders of the Breakthrough Institute, who exploded onto the national scene with...

By Ed Kilgore

June 27, 2013 11:44 AM Roberts Gets His Trophy

In my focus on the joyful and immediate exploitation of the Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder by southern Republicans who behaved like they were in the midst...

By Ed Kilgore

June 27, 2013 10:34 AM Day of Reckoning Only Deferred

After the Supreme Court decision announced Monday in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, the general tendency was to consign the issue of affirmative action in college admissions to...

By Ed Kilgore

June 27, 2013 9:43 AM Limits of Compromise on Immigration

As the Gang of Eight immigration reform bill slogs towards final passage in the Senate, most observers have been almost entirely focused on Republican sentiments on the legislation. Is the...

By Ed Kilgore

June 27, 2013 8:44 AM Daylight Video

For no particular reason other than a mood, here's Talking Heads performing "Take Me to the River" in 1980....

By Ed Kilgore

June 26, 2013 6:25 PM Day's End and Night Watch

So SCOTUS is finally done for this term, with some good, some bad, and some mixed results. Tomorrow we'll feature some additional thoughts on where the Court is headed in...

By Ed Kilgore

June 26, 2013 5:43 PM So Much for Big Mo on Immigration

Just a few days after the unveiling of the Corker-Hoeven "border surge" amendment conjured up excited conjecture that the Gang of Eight Bill would roll to victory with more than...

By Ed Kilgore

June 26, 2013 4:58 PM Paul Raids the Santorum Vote

I often talk here about the remarkable power exerted on Republicans who might want to run for president by the culture-issues-obsessed conservative activists of Iowa. Maybe that explains where Rand...

By Ed Kilgore

June 26, 2013 4:04 PM Dressing Up For the White Man's Party

If my last post was accurate, and conservatives begin to convince themselves they need more, not less, racial/ethnic polarization, U.S. Senate candidate Paul Broun, Jr., of Georgia, has a useful...

By Ed Kilgore

June 26, 2013 3:05 PM Doubling Down on the White Man's Party

Many political observers from both sides of the partisan barricades are genuinely puzzled that so many congressional Republicans seem willing, even eager, to court "demographic disaster" by opposing comprehensive immigration...

By Ed Kilgore

June 26, 2013 1:50 PM Lunch Buffet

One of those weeks when breaking news keeps eliminating short-term memories. Perhaps as the White House planned and hoped, Obama's climate change speech already half-forgotten. But probably not on K...

By Ed Kilgore

June 26, 2013 1:07 PM I Is What I Is: A Victim

I was beavering away on a post about Sean Trende's "missing white voter" hypothesis and the bottomless crack pipe it might inadvertently offer to certain kind of Republicans longing for...

By Ed Kilgore

June 26, 2013 12:05 PM Reaching For the Remote....

I'm not going to comment on this development, other than to say it makes me wonder what people watching this could be watching or reading in the embattled, cash-starved world...

By Ed Kilgore

June 26, 2013 11:23 AM Marching Back Across the Bridge

With a kind of sick fascination, I'm trying to keep track with how rapidly southern Republicans take advantage of yesterday's Supreme Court decision striking down Section 4 of the Voting...

By Ed Kilgore

June 26, 2013 10:44 AM Court Avoids the Landmark Marriage Equality Decision

For supporters of marriage equality, there's plenty to be happy about in the two Supreme Court decisions announced today. The 5-4 decision in U.S. v. Windsor strikes down the Defense...

By Ed Kilgore

June 26, 2013 9:48 AM Coup and Counter-Coup in Texas

As regular readers know, I'm not a fan of the filibuster as a parliamentary tactic. But if ever there was a moment for its appropriate exercise in an appropriate manner,...

By Ed Kilgore

June 26, 2013 8:44 AM Daylight Video

In honor of the midnight defeat of restrictive abortion legislation in Texas by Sen. Wendy Davis and a bunch of regular folk in the galleries, here's Van Morrison performing "Wild...

By Ed Kilgore

June 25, 2013 6:20 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Well, it's been quite the interesting day, and tomorrow we get two more big Supreme decisions, and probably a major spasm of conservative hysteria on climate change. Good times. Here...

By Ed Kilgore

June 25, 2013 5:49 PM Free At Last! Say Southern Republicans

Despite some vague talk this morning that no one should assume congressional Republicans won't leap to the challenge of "fixing" Sections 4 and 5 of the Voting Rights Act to...

By Ed Kilgore

June 25, 2013 5:30 PM IRS is the New ACORN

Even as evidence flows out that the IRS was not, after all, exclusively targeting Tea Party groups applying for 501(c)(4) status in the period between the 2010 and 2012 elections,...

By Ed Kilgore

June 25, 2013 3:55 PM Protecting Our Children From the Communists

I try not to indulge too much in quoting U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX). It's just too easy, and low as my opinion is of congressional Republicans these days, he's...

By Ed Kilgore

June 25, 2013 3:23 PM Slow-Jamming the Big Steps on Climate Change

It will take a while to assess the impact of the president's much-anticipated speech laying out his agenda on climate change at Georgetown today. According to those familiar with the...

By Ed Kilgore

June 25, 2013 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

While staring at the Shelby County decision this morning, I was suddenly reminded that one of the non-southern jurisdictions made subject to Section 5 preclearance requirements following the formula in...

By Ed Kilgore

June 25, 2013 12:52 PM Put It Right Up There on the House Agenda

On Twitter Sean Trende asks why everyone is so sure congressional Republicans won't respond to the Shelby County decision by cooperating to "repair" Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act,...

By Ed Kilgore

June 25, 2013 12:20 PM Throwing Away the Umbrella

Before moving along from today's retrogressive landmark decision by the Supreme Court in Shelby County v. Holder, you should read Justice Ginsburg's dissent (in which Justices Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan...

By Ed Kilgore

June 25, 2013 11:23 AM Final Shoes To Drop

Before announcing its decision in Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court released rulings strengthening the hands of property owners in regulatory disputes with government, and protecting the right of...

By Ed Kilgore

June 25, 2013 10:43 AM Voting Rights Dominoes Start To Fall

So in a much-dreaded opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court written by the Chief Justice, a 5-4 majority struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which...

By Ed Kilgore

June 25, 2013 9:43 AM Twas A Famous Victory

The cloture vote for a package of amendments to the Gang of Eight immigration bill highlighted by the Corker-Hoeven "border surge" passed 67-27 last night, amid moderately loud hosannas that...

By Ed Kilgore

June 25, 2013 8:44 AM Daylight Video

In honor of the president's climate change speech later today, and also with a nod to the Battle of Little Big Horn, waged this day in 1876, here's Neil Young...

By Ed Kilgore

June 24, 2013 6:34 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Tomorrow we will definitely have a furor over the president's climate change agenda, and in all likelihood one or two or three landmark SCOTUS decisions. We'll probably know by sunup...

By Ed Kilgore

June 24, 2013 6:10 PM Agony in August

A final note today on the obstacles to a bipartisan immigration reform bill comes from Reid Wilson of National Journal. He suggests we take a look at the calendar and...

By Ed Kilgore

June 24, 2013 5:53 PM Who Has "Momentum" on Immigration?

We might as well just get this out of the way before the Corker-Hoeven "border surge" amendment is passed in the Senate tonight and the hype machine gears back up...

By Ed Kilgore

June 24, 2013 5:03 PM More Medicaid Follies

While high-profile fights over the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion in states like Florida, Texas and most recently Michigan have gotten national attention, small disasters that loom large for the...

By Ed Kilgore

June 24, 2013 3:25 PM Paul Ryan, Friend of the Po' Folks

TPM's Tom Kludt wrote what he probably considered a pretty classic "man bites dog" story with an efficiently ironic lede: House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) said Monday that...

By Ed Kilgore

June 24, 2013 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Crazy news week actually off to a slow start thanks to SCOTUS anticlimax. But don't worry; it'll pick up directly. Here are some mid-day news/views snacks: * Third consecutive poll...

By Ed Kilgore

June 24, 2013 1:10 PM Antichoicers' Premature Victory Dance

As you may have heard, the drama in the Texas legislature wherein prochoice folk have engaged in round-the-clock protests and amendment efforts to stop the Republican Party's use of special...

By Ed Kilgore

June 24, 2013 12:48 PM SCOTUS and the Filibuster Battle

It won't get much attention because of the very large decisions that are rolling out of the Supreme Court this week, but before releasing its opinions today, the Court decided...

By Ed Kilgore

June 24, 2013 10:54 AM Affirmative Action in College Admissions Survives For Time Being

So of the four landmark decisions anticipated this week in the Supreme Court, three (involving Prop 8, DOMA and the Voting Rights Act) are still in suspense, while the decision...

By Ed Kilgore

June 24, 2013 9:43 AM The Fed "Tapers" Its Lonely Fight For Recovery

It should be reasonably clear by now that the product of Ben Bernanke's thinly veiled "signals" concerned the Fed's focus on curtailing its stimulus efforts as soon as it possibly...

By Ed Kilgore

June 24, 2013 9:23 AM Gearing Down For a Heavy Week

For those of us prone to complain about slow news days, this is the week we've been waiting for. In about 40 minutes, the Supreme Court is likely to roll...

By Ed Kilgore

June 24, 2013 8:35 AM Daylight Video

Bobby "Blue" Bland died yesterday in Memphis at the age of 83, so it's only appropriate to play his performance of "Stormy Monday."...

By Ed Kilgore

June 23, 2013 1:43 PM Open Thread

Now that we have a friendlier and more interactive commenting system, it's probably time to try out an Open Thread enabling readers to talk about whatever they wish. Go to...

By Ed Kilgore

June 23, 2013 1:25 PM Sunday News Roundup

Probably like some other readers, I fondly remember the days when my family used to follow up a gut-busting Sunday breakfast or brunch by handing around sections of the Sunday...

By Ed Kilgore

June 23, 2013 12:35 PM LeRamPage

So if you think the Obama administration is paranoid about leaks to the press, check out what's happening in the Great State of Maine, where accidental governor Paul LePage is...

By Ed Kilgore

June 23, 2013 11:01 AM Get Ready For a Warm Front On Tuesday

If the current disputes over immigration and surveillance policies aren't hot enough for you, get ready for a warm front to hit Washington on Tuesday afternoon, per this story from...

By Ed Kilgore

June 23, 2013 10:11 AM Surfing the Boos

When I opened up my favorite news aggregator this morning (thanks to Ryan for a respite post, allowing me to sleep all the way until 6:00 AM!), I was a...

By Ed Kilgore

June 23, 2013 8:44 AM Surveillance State News: Snowden Breaks for Moscow, McClatchy on the "Insider Threat Program"

The dramatic news today on the NSA front is that Edward Snowden has left Hong Kong and is on a flight to Moscow, apparently: A Moscow-based reservations agent at Aeroflot,...

By Ryan Cooper

June 22, 2013 3:37 PM SNAP! It's a Different Political System

Nancy Pelosi began her remarks at Netroots Nation having some fun at John Boehner's expense at the "amateur hour" represented by the Farm Bill Fail earlier this week. She noted...

By Ed Kilgore

June 22, 2013 2:40 PM Big Government's Messing With My Garage Elevator

While waiting for the luncheon session featuring Nancy Pelosi here at Netroots Nation (which I may or may not write about depending on what she has to say), I just...

By Ed Kilgore

June 22, 2013 1:07 PM Accentuating the Positive on Obamacare

Late yesterday I attended a Netroots Nation panel on Obamacare implementation featuring Alice Chen and Carolyn Senger of Doctors for America, Anthony Wright of Health Access America, Adam Stalker of...

By Ed Kilgore

June 22, 2013 11:39 AM Well Shut My Mouth!

I take no pleasure from the trouble food "personality" Paula Deen got herself into this last week, culminating in her firing by the Food Network after she stumbled through efforts...

By Ed Kilgore

June 22, 2013 11:01 AM An Invitation To Cruelty

Underneath the news today is a simmering, classic-DC Blame Game being held over the smoking ruins of the House Farm Bill. House Republicans, particularly those in leadership, really need to...

By Ed Kilgore

June 22, 2013 10:07 AM Saturday Morning News Roundup

Since I'm accustomed to spending Saturday morning willfully ignoring political news, Saturday blogging feels a bit strange for me. So let's start with a quick roundup of the stories people...

By Ed Kilgore

June 22, 2013 9:16 AM Daylight Video

On this day in 1950, the House Un-American Affairs Committee publicly names Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Lena Horne, Pete Seeger, Orson Welles, and Artie Shaw, among others, as "suspected Communist...

By Ed Kilgore

June 21, 2013 5:30 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Thanks to time zone differences the bulk of today's Netroots Nation activities will occur after COB EDT. But I'm handling the Weekend Blogging here tomorrow and Sunday, so I'll have...

By Ed Kilgore

June 21, 2013 5:15 PM Do You Believe In Magic?

Well, to read most political coverage today, the fix is in on immigration reform. Harry Reid has incorporated the Corker-Hoeven "border patrol surge" amendment (just unveiled late today, with some...

By Ed Kilgore

June 21, 2013 4:49 PM Data and Messaging

The first Netroots Nation session I attended today featured an array of alarmingly young political consultants who talked about the use of data to guide messaging in the 2012 culture-war...

By Ed Kilgore

June 21, 2013 3:35 PM The Conspiracy Fully Revealed

Just in time for the next wave of The Vetting, some hacker managed to come up with the archives for the legendary "left-wing" listserv JournoList, which according to various Breitbartians...

By Ed Kilgore

June 21, 2013 2:04 PM Wretchedly Irresponsible Science Derp in Buzzfeed

My hackles went up the second I saw the title of this Buzzfeed listicle: "8 Foods We Eat In The U.S. That Are Banned In Other Countries." It was...

By Ryan Cooper

June 21, 2013 1:48 PM Lunch Buffet

I'm just now arriving at Netroots Nation for today's festivities, and have decided to blog right on through the weekend. So let's catch up with the news in these tasty...

By Ed Kilgore

June 21, 2013 1:10 PM Too Darn Bad

As the chattering classes drifted away from SCOTUSblog after it became apparent yesterday that the same-sex marriage and affirmative action and voting rights decisions weren't coming down, a lot of...

By Ed Kilgore

June 21, 2013 12:44 PM The Calhoun Revival Continues

In a trend that's been moving right along under the national radar screen (with the exception of a few occasions of loud rebel yells that couldn't be ignored), state legislatures...

By Ed Kilgore

June 21, 2013 11:18 AM Voting Rights Silver Linings and Plans B

At Netroots Nation late yesterday, I attended a panel on voting rights sponsored by the Brennan Center for Justice and chaired by The Nation's Ari Berman. Panelists included the Brennan...

By Ed Kilgore

June 21, 2013 10:39 AM Those Were the Days

Having expressed my customary skepticism about the latest "breakthrough" on immigration reform, the Corker-Hoeven Amendment, I do want to acknowledge the talent of whoever decided first to call its deployment...

By Ed Kilgore

June 21, 2013 10:15 AM Freakout Friday

Fridays (or at least those when monthly Jobs Reports do not come out) are usually quiet political news days. Congress is typically in recess. News producers and consumers alike are...

By Ed Kilgore

June 21, 2013 8:48 AM Daylight Video

It's the Summer Solstice, a.k.a., the first day of Summer. Here are Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong performing "Summertime" from Porgy and Bess....

By Ed Kilgore

June 20, 2013 6:34 PM Day's End and Night Watch

I'm finally into the swing of things at Netroots Nation, and am about to listen to Digby talk about blog revenue trends, a topic of great interest at this event....

By Ed Kilgore

June 20, 2013 6:02 PM Revival Meeting

I just attended the Georgia Caucus at Netroots Nation, and it made me feel especially old, because I can remember a time when Republicans in that state were facing a...

By Ed Kilgore

June 20, 2013 4:31 PM It's Not Whether But What We Subsidize in Health Care

Paul Glastris posted a brief intro this morning to our Sneak Peek at a remarkable piece by Phillip Longman from the July/August issue about the connection between physician training, primary...

By Ed Kilgore

June 20, 2013 3:55 PM Farm Bill Goes Down Hard

In what was generally expected to be a close vote, the House Farm Bill was defeated pretty soundly on the floor today by a 195-234 margin. 172 Democrats joined with...

By Ed Kilgore

June 20, 2013 3:37 PM Greetings From San Jose

I've finally arrived at Netroots Nation, the annual meeting of the Digital Left--right in the middle of a lunch break, of course. I don't know if it's the venue, the...

By Ed Kilgore

June 20, 2013 2:30 PM Lunch Buffet

Got caught in a construction-related traffic jam en route to San Jose, so stopped at the In-N-Out in Morgan Hill to do this post. Such a sacrifice, eh? Here are...

By Ed Kilgore

June 20, 2013 12:09 PM "Gay Therapy" Ministry Founder Bags Entire Organization

The big news on the LGBT-rights front is the astonishing announcement that Exodus International (one of the original pray-the-gay-away "ministries") is folding up. Here's the press release: Irvine, Calif. (June...

By Ryan Cooper

June 20, 2013 11:53 AM Rector To the Barricades!

The tightrope Marco Rubio's taking in carrying the Republican Establishment's water on immigration reform is illustrated once again by a Tea Party protest in Washington yesterday, as described by WaPo's...

By Ed Kilgore

June 20, 2013 10:59 AM More Material for the VA Oppo Research File

It appears Virginia Republicans aren't taking my advice to send their nominee for Lieutenant Governor, Bishop E.W. Jackson, on a fact-finding mission to Moldova for the next six months. So...

By Ed Kilgore

June 20, 2013 10:34 AM Anticlimax At the Court

So SCOTUS handed down three decisions this morning, and I'm sure all of them are vastly more significant than any of us non-constitutional lawyers and lay people grasp at the...

By Ed Kilgore

June 20, 2013 9:49 AM Big Moment in the Senate on Immigration?

It's only one front in the complex battle over immigration reform, but it's the one that matters most at the moment: it looks like the Gang of Eight (and the...

By Ed Kilgore

June 20, 2013 9:16 AM How Medical Schools Fail to Produce the Doctors We Need

In America today, it takes nearly a month for the average new patient to get an appointment with a family doctor. But in most cities, you can see a...

By Paul Glastris

June 20, 2013 8:35 AM Daylight Video

It's the Sesquicentennial of West Virginia's admission to the Union. Here's Daniel Johnston with "Wild West Virginia."...

By Ed Kilgore

June 19, 2013 6:16 PM Day's End and Night Watch

So my plan is to stay home until after tomorrow's Supreme Court opinions are announced (normally after 10:00 EDT), and then head to San Jose for Netroots Nation, from which...

By Ed Kilgore

June 19, 2013 5:30 PM Dropping the Hammer on CDBG

For quite a few years I used to go home to Georgia once a year to speak of the mysteries of Washington to a meeting of the Georgia Municipal Association....

By Ed Kilgore

June 19, 2013 5:03 PM The House GOP's Savage Opening Bid On Immigration

While everybody tries to divine exactly what John Boehner might do if confronted with a choice between no enactment of immigration reform and allowing a mostly-Democratic coalition to enact a...

By Ed Kilgore

June 19, 2013 4:27 PM When Standing Pat Not Enough For Jittery Investors

A couple hours ago I saw a report that the Fed had decided to stand absolutely pat on monetary stimulus at its latest policy meeting. Whoever drafts their deliberately tedious...

By Ed Kilgore

June 19, 2013 3:36 PM The Conservative Petri Dish

If, as I have often suggested, Kansas and North Carolina are currently operating as sort of right-wing policy "laboratories" thanks to the highly-focused ideological nature of their Republican state legislative...

By Ed Kilgore

June 19, 2013 1:34 PM Lunch Buffet

As noted yesterday, I'll be at Netroots Nation in San Jose tomorrow, which could make for some funky blog scheduling. But I'll try to keep it interesting, with some help...

By Ed Kilgore

June 19, 2013 1:06 PM Ten Reasons Supporters of "Republican Rebranding" Could Meet In a Phone Booth

Hello? A lot of political observers seem to be perpetually baffled that the Republican Party's palpable need for "rebranding" after two straight presidential losses and under the shadow of adverse...

By Ed Kilgore

June 19, 2013 12:38 PM Doing His Job

The content of Barack Obama's speech in Berlin today may not get as much attention as crowd-size comparisons to his famous 2008 address in that city, or comparisons to JFK's...

By Ed Kilgore

June 19, 2013 11:39 AM The 501(c)(4) Wormhole

Finally, after weeks of investigations of the selective scrutiny by the IRS of organizations seeking to exploit a sort of wormhole at the intersection of tax and campaign finance laws,...

By Ed Kilgore

June 19, 2013 10:58 AM Abortion Kabuki

So the U.S. House of Representatives, as expected, passed the "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act" by a 228-196 margin. As you'd figure from a bill festooned in its title with...

By Ed Kilgore

June 19, 2013 10:02 AM Will CBO Save Immigration Reform?

There's a lot of over-optimistic hype surrounding the Senate Gang of Eight's immigration reform bill, based apparently on the theory that "momentum" will add a bunch of votes in the...

By Ed Kilgore

June 19, 2013 8:44 AM Daylight Video

It's the 148th Juneteenth--the day commemorating the final liberation of slaves in Texas on June 19, 1865, and thus the long-delayed implementation of the Emancipation Proclamation. Here's Shirley Verrett performing...

By Ed Kilgore

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

This Thursday through Saturday I'll be live-blogging from the Netroots Nation event, just up the road (nearly said "the 101," but remembered the trouble that got me in!) in San...

By Ed Kilgore

June 18, 2013 5:39 PM Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me

Here's a fascinating take on new polling data from Florida by Politico's Tal Kopan, with the headline: "Gov. Rick Scott rebounding." Florida Gov. Rick Scott trails two potential 2014 challengers...

By Ed Kilgore

June 18, 2013 5:21 PM Jindal Should Have Left Well Enough Alone

From the mockery it's arousing, I'm beginning to think Bobby Jindal's Politico op-ed today (which I mocked earlier) could wind up being as big a problem for his image, at...

By Ed Kilgore

June 18, 2013 4:45 PM Early Nose-Counting On Filibuster Reform

WaPo's Greg Sargent reports today that Harry Reid won't have much of a margin of error if he "goes nuclear" next month in order to end or restrict filibusters of...

By Ed Kilgore

June 18, 2013 3:37 PM For Those Who Can't Get Enough of Politico

Gotta say, TNR's Isaac Chotiner is on a roll today. Aside from raising solid doubts about Marco Rubio's investment in the ultimate success of comprehensive immigration reform, he's got an...

By Ed Kilgore

June 18, 2013 2:12 PM Lunch Buffet

Just spent a good part of the last half-hour in a Twitter conversation with my friends Greg Sargent and Jonathan Bernstein (with Mike Tomasky and Ezra Klein chipping in) over...

By Ed Kilgore

June 18, 2013 1:40 PM A Beneficial Escalation Over the Filibuster

For once, I'm happy with an utterance by Mitch McConnell (per TPM's Sahil Kapur): Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Tuesday starkly warned Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) not...

By Ed Kilgore

June 18, 2013 1:04 PM Rubio's Ideal Scenario

Since the byzantine course of comprehensive immigration reform legislation has gotten inextricably tied up with the political career of Marco Rubio (another development we can thank the Gang of Eight...

By Ed Kilgore

June 18, 2013 12:29 PM Pass Immigration Reform, Save the Filibuster

Much of the buzz about Ryan Lizza's vast New Yorker (paywall protected) piece offering an insider look at the development of the Senate's immigration reform legislation has revolved around a...

By Ed Kilgore

June 18, 2013 11:10 AM Different Tune On Abortion Way Off the Table

It's interesting that on the very day Bobby Jindal published his ukase ordering an end to the GOP rebranding project with all its "navel-gazing" and "bedwetting," one of the conservative...

By Ed Kilgore

June 18, 2013 9:58 AM Okay, Enough Thinking

Well, you gotta say, that Bobby Jindal's not afraid to change his tune. Back in January, he thrilled Beltway observers by telling Republicans to stop being the "stupid party." Now...

By Ed Kilgore

June 18, 2013 8:30 AM Daylight Video

Forty-six years ago today, the Monterey Pop Festival came to a close. Though not as large or iconic as Woodstock, Monterey Pop may have produced better music, and created quite...

By Ed Kilgore

June 17, 2013 6:11 PM Day's End and Night Watch

An interesting day, given the small offerings from the news gods (aside from our own reported story). Here are some final items of the day: * Conservatives in both Houses...

By Ed Kilgore

June 17, 2013 5:30 PM Bad News for the Amigos

Speaking of polls: Gallup asked about support for or opposition to the president's decisions to direct military aid to Syrian rebels. 37% of respondents approved while 54% disapproved. The partisan...

By Ed Kilgore

June 17, 2013 5:15 PM Disapproval Isn't Defection

So today's big news from the world of public opinion surveys is a new CNN/ORC poll that shows the president's job approval rating dropping from 53% in May to 45%...

By Ed Kilgore

June 17, 2013 4:36 PM "Let Allah Sort It Out"

I'm not quite willing to go as far as Salon's Joan Walsh, who says that St. Joan of the Tundra is politically relevant again now that she's kissed and made...

By Ed Kilgore

June 17, 2013 3:02 PM Supreme Court Bingo

As you may be aware, Supreme Court watchers often try to predict the direction of major decisions based on the Court's habit of evenly distributing opinion assignments as the end...

By Ed Kilgore

June 17, 2013 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

We don't do straight reportage at PA very often, so Anne Kim and I spent more time than is usual on the GOP/Church Health Plan conflict in the last post....

By Ed Kilgore

June 17, 2013 12:37 PM A Test of Republican Loyalties

How much do congressional Republicans hate Obamacare? How determined are they to see it fail? We may soon find out. For the first time, a constituency group to whom the...

By Anne Kim and Ed Kilgore

June 17, 2013 12:10 PM Andropov or Gorbachev?

The wave of optimism coming out of Iran after Hassan Rowhani's landslide victory in a tightly controlled presidential election is both heartening and understandable. The consolidation of reform-oriented voters behind...

By Ed Kilgore

June 17, 2013 11:03 AM When Will The Fiscal Deadlock End?

It's certainly good for the U.S. and global economies that a big fiscal showdown between the two parties with the federal government's solvency held hostage is vastly less likely than...

By Ed Kilgore

June 17, 2013 9:50 AM Raising the Stakes on Immigration

On Meet the Press yesterday, Sen. Lindsey Graham was a one-man expectations-raising crew, sunnily predicting that the Senate would pass immigration reform legislation with more than 70 votes, and then...

By Ed Kilgore

June 17, 2013 8:33 AM Daylight Video

Felt like some Paisley Underground this morning. Here's a shockingly old but still powerful Rain Parade performing "No Easy Way Down" in San Francisco last December....

By Ed Kilgore

June 16, 2013 4:25 PM GOP Sens. optimistic on immigration bill and other Sunday evening reads

*Marco Rubio said that an immigration reform bill is "95, 96 percent...in perfect shape and ready to go." "I think the debate now is about what that border security provision...

By Samuel Knight

June 16, 2013 3:04 PM Traffic stop reminder why libertarianism is awful

New Hampshire is known for it's wacky libertarian types. Hell, the state has even attracted a couple hundred of them who picked up and moved there in a bid to...

By Samuel Knight

June 16, 2013 1:50 PM Netanyahu still war-obsessed despite Iran's moderate swing

A war with Iran over its nuclear program seems far less likely in the near future, after the country chose Hassan Rouhani in Friday's (strictly controlled) presidential election. Rouhani, described...

By Samuel Knight

June 16, 2013 12:07 PM Meet the Horrible DC Foreign Policy Echo Chamber

David Gregory just had Lindsey Graham, Andrea Mitchell, and David Ignatius on "Meet the Press" to discuss U.S. involvement in the Syrian Civil War -- or the lack thereof. It...

By Samuel Knight

June 16, 2013 10:02 AM Fathers' Day hodge-podge

*The AP published a lengthy report on NSA surveillance based on interviews with anonymous officials. It's not clear to what extent reporters were being fed talking points (as a few...

By Samuel Knight

June 15, 2013 1:40 PM No extradition discussion about Snowden and other afternoon news

*The South China Morning Post is reporting that the U.S. government hasn't made any official outreach to Hong Kong about Edward Snowden, according to “a source familiar with the situation.”...

By Samuel Knight

June 15, 2013 1:08 PM Emerging pattern in Tamerlan Tsarnaev case and NSA dragnet justifications

POLITICO's Josh Gerstein came out with a story on Tamerlan Tsarnaev today that could have an impact on the NSA debate. Gerstein noticed that during “a little-noticed exchange before the...

By Samuel Knight

June 15, 2013 11:48 AM Officials tell Senate staffers they can't do their job at work

Will all Senate staffers please report to the Senate Security Office? That's what one email from the office effectively said on Friday. According to Forbes, the letter “asks security managers...

By Samuel Knight

June 15, 2013 10:44 AM Will NSA scandal inadvertently bury alleged BOA foreclosure fraud?

I, for one, have been glued to the news about NSA surveillance, and personally think Glenn Greenwald has done Americans a massive service. We deserve to know what a state...

By Samuel Knight

June 15, 2013 9:13 AM Details emerge about National Security Letters and other morning news

*Another minor occurrence in the NSA surveillance scandal: Facebook, Microsoft, and Google were given permission last night to publish information about how many national security letters they receive under FISA...

By Samuel Knight

June 14, 2013 6:15 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

I was winding down to a mellow week's end until I ran across the Rick Perry "Merry Christmas Bill" story. It's getting to where I hope he does run for...

By Ed Kilgore

June 14, 2013 5:30 PM Xmas In June For Rick Perry

Buttressing his already formidable reputation as a purveyor of cheap demagoguery, Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed a so-called "Merry Christmas bill" before jetting off to Washington to speak at Ralph...

By Ed Kilgore

June 14, 2013 4:54 PM IMF To Washington: Don't Be Ridiculous

While austerity fans have become pretty quiet in the United States of late (outside those White House meetings with Senate Republicans), their policies continue to have baleful effects, to the...

By Ed Kilgore

June 14, 2013 4:40 PM Limits of Class-Based Affirmative Action

As we wait around to find out exactly how much (if any) will be left of affirmative action in college admissions after this Supreme Court term, and mull polls showing...

By Ed Kilgore

June 14, 2013 2:56 PM ENDA Is Back, With Momentum

Harry Reid is tossing a new hand grenade into the volatile mix of Senate legislation on tap for July: shortly before becoming the 50th cosponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimation Act...

By Ed Kilgore

June 14, 2013 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Relieved to learn via Twitter that Rich Yeselson doesn't mind my calling his labor movement strategy "neo-Fabian." Them's fighting words in some circles. Here are some mid-day news/views morsels, some...

By Ed Kilgore

June 14, 2013 1:16 PM The Labor Movement of the Future

Earlier this week I wrote about Rich Yeselson's analysis in an extensive essay at Democracy of the enduring legacy of the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 in reversing the American labor...

By Ed Kilgore

June 14, 2013 12:32 PM Wheeler Dealers

Notice anything odd about this lede from Alex Altman's glowing profile of Sen. Chuck Schumer at TIME? Chuck Schumer has a unified theory about how to do a big deal...

By Ed Kilgore

June 14, 2013 11:33 AM Syrian Balancing Act

So the "red line's" been crossed and the U.S. is now intervening in the Syrian civil war in a much more forceful manner: President Barack Obama authorized his administration to...

By Ed Kilgore

June 14, 2013 10:16 AM Unlikely Hero

Progressives find themselves in the unlikely position today of feeling warm thoughts towards Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, best known until recently as an advocate for ethnic profiling as a tool...

By Ed Kilgore

June 14, 2013 8:53 AM Using Big Data to Spy on Foreign Threats is Just Us Doing What We're Good At

A source in the national security world sent me some thoughts on the leaked NSA programs that are worth sharing: Every country and every non-state actor is going to exploit...

By Paul Glastris

June 14, 2013 8:35 AM Daylight Video

For absolutely no reason other than a sudden memory, here are the Blues Magoos performing "We Ain't Got Nothing Yet" at some point in the mid-1960s....

By Ed Kilgore

June 13, 2013 6:20 PM Day's End and Night Watch

I have two projects that should see the light tomorrow: a second post on Rich Yeselson's important essay on the labor movement at Democracy; and (time permitting) my first effort...

By Ed Kilgore

June 13, 2013 5:44 PM Making Hay While the Sun Shines

I initially missed the fine snapshot of contemporary politics in North Carolina by Chris Komm and Sue Sturgins that TAP published last week. But I heartily recommend it not just...

By Ed Kilgore

June 13, 2013 4:13 PM 41 Senate Votes For Hell No!

The conventional wisdom seems to be that immigration reform legislation in the Senate is moving along as expected and without grounds for alarm, as the chamber voted 57-43 to table...

By Ed Kilgore

June 13, 2013 3:55 PM Paul Tries To Wedge Christian Right From Neocons

Rand Paul's strategy for building a broader base of support within the Republican Party for the non-interventionist views that made his father a pariah took an interesting turn today, as...

By Ed Kilgore

June 13, 2013 3:09 PM Honky Blues

In case you missed it, the Census Bureau had some really bad news for the Republican Party yesterday: More white people died in the United States last year than were...

By Ed Kilgore

June 13, 2013 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

What started out as a dreadfully slow news day where everybody was writing about stuff I wrote about yesterday is picking up smartly. Here are some mid-day updates in the...

By Ed Kilgore

June 13, 2013 1:31 PM For Shame

There's a lot of fascinating material in a new Pew survey of LGBT Americans, and I'll have more to say about it later. But for now, I'd just like anyone...

By Ed Kilgore

June 13, 2013 1:01 PM Virginia Republicans & Their Black Wingnut Preacher Addiction

You'd think the Virginia Republican Party would be frantic by now to disassociate themselves from the miasma of Crazy that their nomination of Bishop E. W. Jackson for Lieutenant Governor...

By Ed Kilgore

June 13, 2013 11:35 AM A Carrot as Well as a Stick

From Michael Bloomberg's point of view, appealing to New Yorkers not to give any more campaign money directly or indirectly to Democratic senators who voted against the incredibly modest Manchin-Toomey...

By Ed Kilgore

June 13, 2013 10:37 AM Bad Brains

On an incredibly slow news morning, guess I'll take a page from Brother Benen and have some fun at the expense of the Republican leader in the Maine House of...

By Ed Kilgore

June 13, 2013 9:57 AM Farm Bill Mad House

In a year when House Republicans seem determined to spoil any of their own party's "rebranding" efforts, another fiasco seems well under development with the latest effort to enact a...

By Ed Kilgore

June 13, 2013 8:42 AM Daylight Video

Given the weather report in the south and northeast, maybe time to take cover. Here's Santana covering the Classics IV hit "Stormy."...

By Ed Kilgore

June 12, 2013 6:16 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Sorry that yesterday's sudden political news gusher has played out for the moment. But there are a few more items of interest: * Follow-up meeting b/t White House Chief of...

By Ed Kilgore

June 12, 2013 5:39 PM No Libertarian Paradise

Last week at Salon Michael Lind penned an essay posing a question so obvious that I for one didn't even bother to cite it: Why are there no libertarian countries?...

By Ed Kilgore

June 12, 2013 5:01 PM Forget About Bipartisan Tax Reform For Now

One those short lists of issues that might theoretically get some bipartisan attention this year or next, you often see "tax reform" mentioned. That's probably because both the White House...

By Ed Kilgore

June 12, 2013 4:30 PM 2016 and Obama's Left Flank

For those of us who can't quite stop looking ahead to the next presidential election, veteran political reporter Walter Shapiro has a nice treat at TAP today: a missive to...

By Ed Kilgore

June 12, 2013 3:05 PM Parties Polarize on Immigration in Senate

So no sooner had Politico's Manu Raju and John Bresnahan reported a rift between Sens. Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid over the degree to which conservative amendments to the Gang...

By Ed Kilgore

June 12, 2013 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Violent storm front moving into midwest makes me grateful, once again, to live in a place with boringly placid weather. Here are some mid-day news/views snacks from the truck: *...

By Ed Kilgore

June 12, 2013 1:30 PM Institutionalists and Insurrectionists

Digby had a typically thoughtful post last night in which she used Chris Hayes' distinction between "institutionalists" and "insurrectionists" among elite opinion leaders to explain the varying reactions to the...

By Ed Kilgore

June 12, 2013 1:01 PM Back to the Poisoned Well

There have been two incidents today displaying the inability of Republican solons to steer clear of deeply offensive positions and postures in their ongoing effort to engineer an anti-choice revolution....

By Ed Kilgore

June 12, 2013 11:35 AM The Wave Rolled Back: The Legacy of Taft-Hartley

At Democracy: A Journal, PA's good friend and sometimes contributor Rich Yeselson has penned an important and multi-facted analysis of the contemporary plight of the American labor movement, and of...

By Ed Kilgore

June 12, 2013 10:13 AM Is Financialization Causing Labor's Collapsing Income Share?

Over the weekend Kathleen Geier took a look at new reports finding that labor's share of national income has fallen drastically all across the world (above you see a...

By Ryan Cooper

June 12, 2013 9:43 AM Drop the T-Word, Please

Initial inhibitions notwithstanding, members of Congress from both parties are beginning to whale away at Edward Snowden, as Politico's Alexander Burns notes this morning: He is the toast of the...

By Ed Kilgore

June 12, 2013 8:38 AM Daylight Video

As briefly noted yesterday, this is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of civil rights activist Medgar Evers in Jackson, Mississippi. Here's Phil Ochs with his tribute to Evers, famously...

By Ed Kilgore

June 11, 2013 5:39 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Lotta political news for a change. I'm sure it won't last, but for now it's nice. Here are some final items of the day: * Immigration bill predictably clears first...

By Ed Kilgore

June 11, 2013 5:11 PM Lightning Unlikely To Strike Twice in Massachusetts

We're actually going to have a major election in 18 days: the special election to fill the remainder of Secretary of State John Kerry's seat in the U.S. Senate. And...

By Ed Kilgore

June 11, 2013 4:58 PM Dual Base-In Coalitions

While I don't think there's going to be any sort of "liberaltarian" realignment of American politics, the occasional convergence of Left and Right does create some interesting possibilities that can...

By Ed Kilgore

June 11, 2013 4:30 PM A "Liberaltarian" Moment, But Not a Movement

Since there's a lot of interest in--and in some circles, excitement about--the convergence of many on the Left and Right in outrage about the NSA surveillance programs and appreciation for...

By Ed Kilgore

June 11, 2013 3:05 PM The Equal Pay Act - Powerful But Not Enough

Fifty years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act, women are earning 77 cents on the dollar compared to men. While this gap is still bigger than it should...

By Anne Kim

June 11, 2013 2:06 PM Lunch Buffet

I really blows my mind that the events I wrote about in today's first two posts occurred 50 years ago. Perhaps as a southerner and the worst little political junkie...

By Ed Kilgore

June 11, 2013 1:34 PM Another Rough Beast....

In a legislative development involving a bill (and a political dynamic) even messier than the immigration reform bill, the Senate passed a version of the multi-year "Farm Bill" for the...

By Ed Kilgore

June 11, 2013 12:53 PM More On Cross-Border Shootings

Many of you, I hope, read John Carlos Frey's article (based on reporting conducted in partnership with the Investigative Fund and The Nation Institute) in the May/June issue of the...

By Ed Kilgore

June 11, 2013 12:44 PM Slouching Towards Bethlehem

The Senate begins debate today on comprehensive immigration reform legislation, using the Gang of Eight bill as modified by the Judiciary Committee as its baseline. Mitch McConnell signaled early on...

By Ed Kilgore

June 11, 2013 10:34 AM The T-Word

So now both Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and John Boehner, the Republican Speaker of the House, are on record calling Edward Snowden a traitor....

By Ed Kilgore

June 11, 2013 9:43 AM "The Time Has Come For This Nation To Fulfill Its Promise"

I noted in the Daylight Video that the desegregation of the University of Alabama finally occurred on this day a half-century ago, when George Wallace got his political pound of...

By Ed Kilgore

June 11, 2013 8:38 AM Daylight Video

Fifty years ago today, the University of Alabama was desegregated when Governor George Wallace yielded to federalized National Guard troops and allowed Vivian Malone and James Hood to enroll. So...

By Ed Kilgore

June 10, 2013 6:52 PM Day's End and Night Watch

A long day's journey into the EDT evening, it seems. Here are some final items: * Late today Dianne Feinstein described Snowden's acts as "treason." Safe to say she probably...

By Ed Kilgore

June 10, 2013 5:53 PM Boehner To the Rescue?

Just as I consistently differ with some of my progressive gabber counterparts in estimates of the relative power of conservative activists and "The Republican Establishment" (guessing that in any confrontation...

By Ed Kilgore

June 10, 2013 4:59 PM Establishing the Boundaries of Debate

I missed this early when writing about Democratic and Republican confusion over the NSA revelations and the self-revelation of their source, but I'd say Fox "analyst" Ralph Peters established a...

By Ed Kilgore

June 10, 2013 4:45 PM Quiet Day For the IRS

One thing you can say about the NSA "scandal:" it's sure obscured the IRS "scandal" for a moment. The only "IRS story" out there today is a claim by the...

By Ed Kilgore

June 10, 2013 3:50 PM Edward Snowden, Slayer of Party Unity?

Whatever the Edward Snowden story ultimately represents in terms of the conflict between national security claims and civil liberties, the political impact is clearly going to be intense and fast-moving....

By Ed Kilgore

June 10, 2013 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

My mental health habit of ignoring political news over the weekend caught up with me today as the Edward Snowden story dominated every conversation. If you also blew off political...

By Ed Kilgore

June 10, 2013 1:39 PM With Amigos Like These

With the endorsement of Samantha Power's nomination as Ambassador to the United Nations by Sens. John McCain and Lindsay Graham, you'd figure prospects for her quick confirmation went way up....

By Ed Kilgore

June 10, 2013 1:19 PM Dim Prospects For Brown-Vitter

I don't know about you, but when I first heard about the bipartisan legislation cracking down on "too big to fail" banks, promoted by the unlikely duo of Sens. Sherrod...

By Ed Kilgore

June 10, 2013 12:44 PM The No-Privacy Age

In my earlier post on initial impressions of Edward Snowden as a Rorschach Test (and from the comment thread and other highly emotional discussions I've heard online and offline, it...

By Ed Kilgore

June 10, 2013 11:08 AM Cronyn's Poison, Rubio's Choice

You'd have to say that Marco Rubio and Harry Reid don't exactly see eye to eye on immigration legislation. Last week Rubio raised eyebrows by saying the Gang of Eight...

By Ed Kilgore

June 10, 2013 10:13 AM The Edward Snowden Rorschach Test

We're going to learn a lot this week about surveillance technologies and the policies that support their use by government intelligence agencies and their private-sector agents. But we're also going...

By Ed Kilgore

June 10, 2013 8:30 AM Daylight Video

Entering another probable week of Scandalmania, thought I'd lead with "Catch Hell Blues" from White Stripes, performed in Germany in 2007....

By Ed Kilgore

June 09, 2013 7:49 PM For Game of Thrones fans: historical inspirations for the books, plus some pointless but fun speculation

I am sad to report that tonight will be the last episode of the season of what has become one of my all-time favorite television shows, Game of Thrones. Last...

By Kathleen Geier

June 09, 2013 5:28 PM The secret of Costco's success revealed! (hint: no MBAs need apply)

Recently, there's been a round of news stories focusing on various problems with the nation's largest retailer, and one of its worst employers, Walmart. These problems range from national and...

By Kathleen Geier

June 09, 2013 3:41 PM NSA scandal links and updates: a round-up

I wish I had something useful to contribute to the discussion about the NSA spying scandal. Sadly, I don't -- I'm still in the learning-and-processing stage. But since I feel...

By Kathleen Geier

June 09, 2013 11:28 AM A disturbing trend: labor's falling share of GDP, virtually everywhere in the world

The International Labor Organization (ILO) recently released its Global Wage Report 2012/13. Econ blogger Timothy Taylor, the "Conversable Economist," (H/T Economist's View) points to one of the report's most disturbing...

By Kathleen Geier

June 09, 2013 9:22 AM Your morning heartbreak: post-Newtown, how victims' families cope

Sunday's Washington Post features an article that will break your heart. Written by Eli Saslow, it's a brilliant piece of journalism titled "After Newtown shooting, mourning parents enter into the...

By Kathleen Geier

June 09, 2013 8:17 AM Happy birthday, Cole Porter!

The divine Cole Porter was born on this day in Peru, Indiana in 1891. Porter was among the greatest American popular songwriters of the pre-rock era. Though he wrote both...

By Kathleen Geier

June 08, 2013 4:54 PM Twilight of the Elites, the Saga Continues: Susan Komen Foundation Edition

On Thursday of this week, the Washington Post's Jena McGregor noted something very strange: Nancy Brinker is still the CEO of the Susan Koman Foundation. Not only that, she's helped...

By Kathleen Geier

June 08, 2013 1:27 PM It's official: Cory Booker announces senate run today

So, today, Cory Booker made it official; he announced he's running for the U.S. senate, to fill the New Jersey seat left vacant by the recent death of senate veteran...

By Kathleen Geier

June 08, 2013 11:12 AM One way to help close the gender wage gap: raise the minimum wage

This week, ThinkProgress's excellent Bryce Covert wrote about a new report by the National Women's Law Project about the relationship between the minimum wage and the gender pay gap. As...

By Kathleen Geier

June 08, 2013 10:38 AM "The sequester will help the economy": another right-wing fairy tale debunks itself

Remember all those fearless predictions by the usual grinning idiots on the right about how the sequester was going to work miracles for the economy? Well guess what? That never...

By Kathleen Geier

June 08, 2013 8:11 AM Morning music: Lee Hyori

Korean pop is the music world's latest sensation. If I ran the zoo, "Bad Girls," the latest single and video by Lee Hyori (roughly, the K-pop equivalent of Beyonce), would...

By Kathleen Geier

June 07, 2013 5:49 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

Still a little bummed from the subject-matter of the last post, and bummed additionally by another week when I managed to save some of my best writing for a late...

By Ed Kilgore

June 07, 2013 5:16 PM Rotting in Hell

There's all sorts of reconsideration going on across the U.S. political spectrum about the War on Drugs, mandatory sentencing, and other relics of the law enforcement policies of the 1980s,...

By Ed Kilgore

June 07, 2013 4:54 PM Bringing Red Meat to the Picnic

In our continuing watch for early 2016 stirrings, today's news is that Ted Cruz is making his Iowa debut next month as the keynoter for the Republican Party of Iowa's...

By Ed Kilgore

June 07, 2013 4:22 PM The IRS and the Henry II Theory of Presidential Responsibility

Republicans obviously still hope the investigation of the IRS' scrutiny of 501(c)(4) applicants produce evidence of high-level direct encouragement, preferably from within the White House itself. But they are beginning...

By Ed Kilgore

June 07, 2013 3:08 PM Data-Mining and Public Opinion

Since I raised the distinct possibility earlier today that civil libertarians might over-interpret negative U.S. reactions to the data-mining revelations of the week, let me add this analysis from Josh...

By Ed Kilgore

June 07, 2013 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Well, there's nothing quite like a mediocre monthly Jobs Report to get one's Friday started on a slow roll, and we'll soon be into the regular slide into the weekend....

By Ed Kilgore

June 07, 2013 1:29 PM Behind the Obamacare Derangement Syndrome

At TNR today, Noam Scheiber looks at the deep investment Republican pols and conservative scribblers and gabbers seem to have in the failure of the Affordable Care Act of 2010,...

By Ed Kilgore

June 07, 2013 11:35 AM Where Are We On the Post-War Road?

In a reaction to the data-mining revelations of this week that helps clarify my own, WaPo's Greg Sargent suggests quite appropriately that we view this issue through the prism (no...

By Ed Kilgore

June 07, 2013 10:53 AM The Midterm/Presidential Disconnect

It's natural to have mixed feelings when an acknowledged expert calmly expresses something you've been howling about in the wilderness for a long time. But I'm actually grateful to Ron...

By Ed Kilgore

June 07, 2013 10:09 AM Legal But Unnerving

As observed yesterday, the disclosure of the NSA's vast data-mining operations, conducted through telecom companies and (as revealed in a second big story in the Guardian) internet providers, happened at...

By Ed Kilgore

June 07, 2013 9:23 AM The MOR Jobs Report

Yeah, it was the four-door family sedan of monthly jobs reports: 175,000 net new jobs in May, right at expectations. Republicans will make much of the unemployment rate ticking up...

By Ed Kilgore

June 07, 2013 8:44 AM Daylight Video

Before we get into the May Jobs Report, here's the B-52s with a reminder that all work and no play isn't Athens, GA, in the mid 1970s: "Deadbeat Club." UPDATE:...

By Ed Kilgore

June 06, 2013 5:39 PM Day's End and Night Watch

A bit of a rollercoaster of a day, but pretty much a steady bummer at the White House, I'd guess. We'll have to see if tomorrow's May Jobs Report changes...

By Ed Kilgore

June 06, 2013 5:08 PM The GOP's New Senator

The new interim United States Senator just appointed by Chris Christie has mostly labored in his boss' big shadow, and despite occupying a statewide office the last year, doesn't have...

By Ed Kilgore

June 06, 2013 4:54 PM Rebranding Grumpy Old White Men

In all the talk about the recent College Republican National Committee study of the GOP's problems with young voters, this passage got a lot of attention: In the focus group...

By Ed Kilgore

June 06, 2013 4:30 PM Who's Zooming Who on Immigration?

The spin wars over John Cornyn's proposed amendment to the Gang of Eight immigration bill to make legalization measures strictly contingent on achievement of "hard targets" for border control--and "hard"...

By Ed Kilgore

June 06, 2013 3:37 PM A Very Odd Sort of IRS Witch-Hunt

In the continuing search for the actual harm inflicted by the IRS' extra scrutiny of 501(c)(4) applications by certain kinds of conservative groups, a new data point has popped up...

By Ed Kilgore

June 06, 2013 2:06 PM Lunch Buffet

I've gotten a bit behind schedule, mainly because I've been trying to re-aquaint myself with the arcana of FISA. But here are some mid-day treats, leading with the long-awaited news...

By Ed Kilgore

June 06, 2013 1:28 PM A Man After My Own Heart

Matt Stout of the Boston Herald undoubtedly got some high-fives from his colleagues at that right-wing tabloid for disclosing that Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick told an informal audience he'd "tied...

By Ed Kilgore

June 06, 2013 12:58 PM Power and the Neocons

In some slightly better news today for the Obama administration, it looks like the GOP faction most interested in foreign policy, our friends the neocons, are viewing UN-Ambassador-designate Samantha Power,...

By Ed Kilgore

June 06, 2013 12:14 PM Glenn Greenwald Strikes Gold

For many casual readers of the news, today's Verizon data-mining-for-the-NSA story is probably just another blast of noise in the ongoing cacophony about government threats to privacy justified vaguely by...

By Ed Kilgore

June 06, 2013 10:52 AM Thank God For His Good Bishop

Just when I had gotten all despair-y about the political condition of the country and prospects for a nasty and often pointless summer of rage, something brightened my day: the...

By Ed Kilgore

June 06, 2013 9:39 AM How We'll Spend Our Summer

On April 11 of this very year, Janet Hook of the Wall Street Journal offered a very upbeat assessment of the political climate in Washington under the headline, "Bipartisan Breezes...

By Ed Kilgore

June 06, 2013 8:24 AM Daylight Video

Perhaps as a hangover from my late-60s-fest yesterday, here's Steppenwolf's revisionist take on American history from 1969, "Monster."...

By Ed Kilgore

June 05, 2013 5:35 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Having wandered off into the political world of 1968, it's a bit tough to return to the often-unexciting daily grind of 2013. But I must, and here are some final...

By Ed Kilgore

June 05, 2013 5:14 PM The Big 1968 What-If

Since we began the day contemplating the RFK assassination, it's appropriate to bring it near to closing time with the eternal What-If of 1968: what if RFK had evaded Sirhan...

By Ed Kilgore

June 05, 2013 4:13 PM Democrats and the White Working Class Vote

There's probably no topic of political strategy quite so often imprecisely addressed as the relationship between the Democratic Party and white working class (WWC) voters. Definitional issues aside, the "debate"...

By Ed Kilgore

June 05, 2013 3:37 PM Do Reporter Shield Laws Protect Political Animals?

Lindsey Graham stumbled into one of those perpetual arguments about the definition of journalism today, per National Journal's Brian Fung: Whether bloggers count as journalists has mostly been a matter...

By Ed Kilgore

June 05, 2013 3:19 PM Blame the 17th Amendment

The furor over Chris Christie's handling of a Senate vacancy--and other, if less intensive furors surrounding other vacancies in the relatively recent past--raises the question: how did the practice of...

By Ed Kilgore

June 05, 2013 1:34 PM Lunch Buffet

Some WaMo business discussions delayed mid-morning blogging, but we're back on schedule now. Here are an assortment of luncheon treats: * White House announces foreign policy shuffle, with Susan Rice...

By Ed Kilgore

June 05, 2013 1:10 PM The Return of "Repeal and Reverse"

Presumably as part of Eric Cantor's dubious effort to dust off ancient conservative policy proposals to offer "positive alternatives" that make life easier for The Folks, Rep. Tom Price (R-GA)...

By Ed Kilgore

June 05, 2013 12:58 PM In Defense of Chris Christie

It seems criticism of Chris Christie's decision to hold an October special election to fill the unexpired term of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg is drawing a lot more fire...

By Ed Kilgore

June 05, 2013 12:11 PM Universal Versus Means-Tested Benefits

Here's an interesting straw in the wind across the pond, as reported by BBC's Nick Robinson: When this [Tory/LibDem] government decided to cut child benefit from higher and top-rate taxpayers...

By Ed Kilgore

June 05, 2013 10:43 AM The Tax Debates We Aren't Having

As we watch Ted Cruz try to use the IRS "scandal" to flog a Flat Tax, while Ways & Means Committee chairman Dave Camp tries to use it to draw...

By Ed Kilgore

June 05, 2013 9:25 AM Marco Rubio's Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

So when Sen. Marco Rubio disagreed with the prevailing assumption that the Gang of Eight immigration bill had at least the 60 votes necessary to overcome a filibuster by his...

By Ed Kilgore

June 05, 2013 8:35 AM Daylight Video

On this day in 1968, Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in Los Angeles, just after winning the California presidential primary. Like a lot of people in the East, I woke...

By Ed Kilgore

June 04, 2013 6:07 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Ever run out of gas within sight of home? That's what I felt like today with eleven posts done but my brain turning to sludge. Had to hitch myself to...

By Ed Kilgore

June 04, 2013 5:17 PM Gallup Comes Clean

An organization that did nearly as badly last November 6 as the Romney-Ryan campaign was the Gallup Organization, or at least that part of the organization responsible for presidential polling....

By Ed Kilgore

June 04, 2013 4:45 PM The Wingnut Gap and the Potential Backlash

At Wonkblog today, Ezra Klein cites a Rand Corporation study analyzing 14 states that have firmly rejected the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion option, and toting up the damage: [T]hey...

By Ed Kilgore

June 04, 2013 3:37 PM Christie's Self-Serving Calendar

So Chris Christie's announced the schedule for a special election to replace the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg, and short of appointing himself, he's taken the route most likely to serve...

By Ed Kilgore

June 04, 2013 3:16 PM Rubio's Self-Serving Math

Perhaps the least surprising political news today is this item, reported by Huffpost's Luke Johnson: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a member of the bipartisan "gang of eight" authoring comprehensive immigration...

By Ed Kilgore

June 04, 2013 1:48 PM Lunch Buffet

I really had trouble waking up and firing up the iMac this morning (probably took me a half-hour to settle on the Bikini Kill video). I blame it on the...

By Ed Kilgore

June 04, 2013 1:10 PM Consider the Source

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant appears to have crossed the Todd Akin Line in an online discussion at WaPo today, as WaPo's own Valerie Strauss reports: Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R)...

By Ed Kilgore

June 04, 2013 12:38 PM The 2020 Landscape

I occasionally feel bad for writing a post about the "2016 landscape" because I know it will infuriate readers who are annoyed by the tendency of political writers to wallow...

By Ed Kilgore

June 04, 2013 11:43 AM Let's Hear It For Apes On a Treadmill!

So it's now clear the earlier reports that the president might quickly offer nominations to fill openings on the D.C. Court of Appeals, perhaps setting up a grand confrontation over...

By Ed Kilgore

June 04, 2013 11:23 AM Erickson Versus Barro

You may hear more as the day goes by about Erick Erickson's nasty-gram aimed at Josh Barro as a representative of "elitist" writers getting attention as "conservative reformers" because liberals...

By Ed Kilgore

June 04, 2013 10:04 AM Blowing the Slam Dunk

Congressional Republicans have obviously been given an enormous gift by the IRS' behavior in setting up special foot-dragging procedures for dealing with 501(c)(4) applications. The substance of the issue is...

By Ed Kilgore

June 04, 2013 8:57 AM Daylight Video

On this day in 1919, Congress passed the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution, guaranteeing women the right to vote. So for the suffragists, here's Bikini Kill performing "Rebel Girl" in...

By Ed Kilgore

June 03, 2013 6:16 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Some readers may be wondering why I haven't posted about the new College National Republican Committee's report on why the GOP isn't connecting with Millenial voters. But I decided to...

By Ed Kilgore

June 03, 2013 5:30 PM Blasts From the Recent Past

If you didn't read PA over the weekend, you might have missed Ryan Cooper's hilarious-yet-meaningful countdown of Obama-era conservative-generated "scandals" that turned out to be hoaxes, or--most obviously in the...

By Ed Kilgore

June 03, 2013 5:03 PM Frum's Conservative Reform Checklist

As you may have heard, the conservative commentator David Frum (one of the "reformish conservative" writers profiled by Ryan Cooper in the May/June issue of the Washington Monthly) is shutting...

By Ed Kilgore

June 03, 2013 4:31 PM Desperately Seeking Disrupters

National Journal's typically insightful Reid Wilson published a column today that seeks to make a bit more concrete the widespread talk that Republicans chances of retaking the Senate next year...

By Ed Kilgore

June 03, 2013 2:56 PM As Predicted: Flat Tax Coming Back! And Its Apostle Is Ted Cruz!

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later, as I predicted when the IRS "scandal" first broke. But it's interesting to see who's roaring out of the gate with...

By Ed Kilgore

June 03, 2013 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

I missed last night's Mad Men and the third season premiere of The Killing, so I'm dodging online spoilers today. But it's all a diversion until Breaking Bad comes back...

By Ed Kilgore

June 03, 2013 1:01 PM Christie's Dilemma

The death of Senator Frank Lautenberg will create a bit of a political dilemma for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, as TAP's Paul Waldman points out: Yes, it's crass and...

By Ed Kilgore

June 03, 2013 12:41 PM A Fine Example of GOP Yea-Saying

Earlier this morning I wrote about the new NSRC ad touting the positive spirit of the Grand Old Party, which appears to echo the broader "rebranding" effort launched earlier this...

By Ed Kilgore

June 03, 2013 11:21 AM RIP Frank Lautenberg

As you may have heard, Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey died this morning at the age of 89. His obituaries will note that he was the last remaining World...

By Ed Kilgore

June 03, 2013 10:24 AM Yes! To Saying No!

A short post by Emma Roller at Slate this morning displays the default message that Republicans may well fall back on given their signal inability to identify (or agree on)...

By Ed Kilgore

June 03, 2013 9:57 AM To the Winners of Genetic Lotteries

When you are a person capable of destroying billions of dollars of financial assets overnight by blandly noting in public that some day monetary stimulus would end, a commencement address...

By Ed Kilgore

June 03, 2013 8:33 AM Daylight Video

On this day 57 years ago, the city of Santa Cruz, California, banned public performances of rock & roll music as "detrimental to both the health and morals of our...

By Ed Kilgore

June 02, 2013 4:41 PM Evening Reads

That's it for me folks, as always thanks for reading and commenting. Things went a little longer than I was planning due to that monster post earlier, so I'm going...

By Ryan Cooper

June 02, 2013 2:26 PM On Singerian Ethics

I've been chewing over Dylan Matthews' great piece in Wonkblog about one Jason Trigg, a man who works at a high-frequency trading firm with the goal of making as much...

By Ryan Cooper

June 02, 2013 10:44 AM The 11 Biggest Conservative Scandal Flops

With most of the right convinced that Barack Obama is the most corrupt president since Nixon, or maybe Harding, or probably Of All Time, conservative media just can't resist a...

By Ryan Cooper

June 02, 2013 9:47 AM Polio Eradication Would be Much Easier If the CIA Would Stop Validating the Crazy People

In Somalia, a polio vaccination campaign has hit a snag. The AP has the report: Al-Shabab, the rebels linked to al-Qaeda, have discouraged parents from getting their children inoculated against...

By Ryan Cooper

June 02, 2013 8:37 AM Morning Video

This is (apparently) an unreleased video from the 64 Goldwater campaign: Anxiety about the culture and young people seems to be a timeless conservative trait....

By Ryan Cooper

June 01, 2013 2:09 PM Afternoon Linkapalooza

That's it for me for today, folks. Here are some tidbits from around the web. First, some dope links: 1. Due to the new marijuana law, Washington state cops are...

By Ryan Cooper

June 01, 2013 12:45 PM Let's Legalize Pot, but Keep It a Yeoman's Trade

Brookings had a very interesting report the other day on the spectacular evolution of public attitudes towards marijuana legalization. I was particularly struck by this graph: In 1993—the year Bill...

By Ryan Cooper

June 01, 2013 10:40 AM No, CFCs are Almost Certainly Not Causing All of Global Warming

The right has jumped all over a new paper by Qing-Bin Lu purporting to demonstrate that chlorofluorocarbons, not carbon dioxide, are behind global warming. Since CFC production has tapered off...

By Ryan Cooper

June 01, 2013 9:13 AM American Austerity

The chart above (borrowed from Jim Pethokoukis) shows the rather staggering amount of austerity the US economy has been trying to choke down this year, mostly coming from the...

By Ryan Cooper

June 01, 2013 9:05 AM Morning Video

This time, Ze Frank gives us the inner thoughts of dogs:...

By Ryan Cooper

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