Political Animal

July 2013 Archives

July 31, 2013 6:49 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Something I learned from J.J. Cale's obituary in WaPo is that he changed his public monniker from Johnny to J.J. in order to avoid confusion with the Velvet Underground's John...

By Ed Kilgore

July 31, 2013 6:25 PM After Morsi's Fall

In a brisk summary at The New Yorker of the case that the recent events in Egypt represented a setback for Islamism similar to that which occurred after Algeria's civil...

By Ed Kilgore

July 31, 2013 5:20 PM Nihilism Or Principle?

As the distinguished Washington Monthly alum James Fallows warns at The Atlantic today, the impending fiscal collision in Washington this autumn is already getting a heavy dose of the False...

By Ed Kilgore

July 31, 2013 4:35 PM Why It's Not Morning In America Again

In a contrarian take on today's GDP numbers, WaPo's Neil Irwin deplores the lowered expectations of economic recovery that have become common in both government and business circles, but also...

By Ed Kilgore

July 31, 2013 4:10 PM The Fever Isn't Breaking

After ignoring a couple of useless polls about GOP rank-and-file interest in nonspecific "change," I was happy to dig into a new Pew survey that shows the rightward pressure on...

By Ed Kilgore

July 31, 2013 2:03 PM Lunch Buffet

Slowed down this morning by excessive poll-gazing, but here are some mid-day snacks: * Paul Ryan hints at support for violating Hastert Rule on immigration bill, but only if provisions...

By Ed Kilgore

July 31, 2013 1:45 PM Proposing Doomed "Bargains"

The speed (and predictability) of the rejection by Republican congressional leaders of the president's proposed "bargain" on corporate tax reform and jobs-creation spending is naturally leading some observers to wonder:...

By Ed Kilgore

July 31, 2013 12:40 PM Abortion and Geography

Both Pew and WaPo have come up with new public opinion research this week on regional variations in opinions about abortion. Using its standard optic of "legal in all or...

By Ed Kilgore

July 31, 2013 11:29 AM The Nuke Threat Worked

With out a whole lot of drama, the Senate approved all five NLRB appointments yesterday, giving that near-disabled agency a new lease on life. Whether it was the realization that...

By Ed Kilgore

July 31, 2013 10:22 AM Intern From Hell

By now you may well have read the epic, obscenity-laden rant that Anthony Weiner's communications director, Barbara Morgan, unleashed on a former intern who got celebrity treatment from the New...

By Ed Kilgore

July 31, 2013 9:41 AM 2d Quarter GDP: Eye of the Beholder

So the Commerce Department's estimate of real (constant dollar) GDP growth in the second quarter of this year came in at an annualized rate of 1.7%, well above the consensus...

By Ed Kilgore

July 31, 2013 8:44 AM Daylight Video

As promised, here's the guitarist and songwriter J.J. Cale, who died last weekend at the age of 74, performing "Call Me the Breeze."...

By Ed Kilgore

July 30, 2013 5:44 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Random news week will begin to concentrate on economy later this week, with second-quarter GDP numbers tomorrow and the July jobs report Friday. It's another reason Obama is talking economic...

By Ed Kilgore

July 30, 2013 5:12 PM Great Expectations

As the bipartisan consensus favoring a high-standards-and-assessments agenda for public schools begins to fall apart, and the entire U.S. education system (from pre-K through college) seems poised on the brink...

By Ed Kilgore

July 30, 2013 4:43 PM Is A Middle East Peace Deal Possible?

It's safe to say the prevailing attitude of knowledgeable Americans--and perhaps Israelis and Palestinians, at least since 2000--on hearing of new Middle East Peace Talks is one of weary cynicism....

By Ed Kilgore

July 30, 2013 3:53 PM Before Polarization

There are two political obituaries this week that bring back memories of the years before the two major political parties had fully undergone the ideological realignment that is so much...

By Ed Kilgore

July 30, 2013 2:42 PM Where Tech Innovation Is Happening

Yesterday I briefly discussed Barry Lynn's article from the July-August issue of the Washington Monthly arguing for a major federal effort to spur innovation in technology via antitrust actions and...

By Ed Kilgore

July 30, 2013 1:34 PM Lunch Buffet

It's going to be difficult to avoid the temptation to keep reposting The Fugs' "Nothing" in the coming months on those occasions when I look at the news aggregators and...

By Ed Kilgore

July 30, 2013 1:04 PM Thumb on the Scales

So do you wonder why many supporters of traditional public education view charter public schools as dimly as private schools receiving publicly financed vouchers? It's crap like this, via AP's...

By Ed Kilgore

July 30, 2013 12:29 PM The New Mini-Jumbo Bargain

In Tennessee today the president is expected to lay out what many reporters are calling a new "grand bargain" offer to Congress (the White House itself, in the handout I...

By Ed Kilgore

July 30, 2013 11:36 AM It's the Ideology

I was reading an article by MoJo's Tim Murphy this morning about Bobby Jindal's refusal to comment on Baton Rouge Parish's atavistic enforcement of Louisiana's anachronistic anti-sodomy law--which has somehow...

By Ed Kilgore

July 30, 2013 10:54 AM Devising an Immaculate Death for Immigration Reform

Like Matt Yglesias, I read Robert Costa's highly indulgent interview with Mitch McConnell yesterday and thought the saturnine Kentuckian's effort to use the Compromise of 1850 as a template for...

By Ed Kilgore

July 30, 2013 10:09 AM For Your Health and Safety

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory's decision to sign his state's new law imposing restrictions on abortion despite a very recent campaign pledge that he wouldn't do so is drawing a...

By Ed Kilgore

July 30, 2013 8:35 AM Daylight Video

Today, in honor of the upcoming news slough of the August Congressional Recess, we have The Fugs performing their Zen classic, "Nothing." UPDATE: Somehow missed the notices of J.J. Cale's...

By Ed Kilgore

July 29, 2013 5:41 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Gee, who knew there are so many songs about space? After posting ten, I've got tons more available, aside from suggestions by readers. Maybe we'll find another excuse for this...

By Ed Kilgore

July 29, 2013 5:11 PM Know When To Fold 'Em

The latest Q-Poll, in combination with the resignation of his campaign manager, is generally thought to confirm that Anthony Weiner isn't going to manage another comeback between now and September...

By Ed Kilgore

July 29, 2013 4:27 PM Romney's Rationalizations

WaPo is serializing excerpts from the new campaign book by its ace political reporter Dan Balz. In the Sunday edition, we're treated to tidbits from Balz's interviews with Mitt Romney....

By Ed Kilgore

July 29, 2013 3:14 PM More Heads We Win, Tails You Lose

After months and even years of blaming the president for lack of progress on the economy on every day he doesn't talk about it obsessively, conservative and MSM gabbers are...

By Ed Kilgore

July 29, 2013 3:00 PM Taking On Big Tech

The rapid dimming of the bright hopes of the 1990s that a tech boom would create a new era of broad-based income gains for all Americans is an issue that...

By Ed Kilgore

July 29, 2013 2:09 PM Lunch Buffet

Lack of real news in Washington makes it feel like the August recess has already begun. But actually, recess, scheduled to begin at the end of this week, could be...

By Ed Kilgore

July 29, 2013 1:23 PM Mitch Daniels and the "Sewer of Left-Wing Ideology"

As Daniel Luzer noted last week at College Guide, former Indiana governor and now Purdue University president Mitch Daniels has been in some hot water over the release of a...

By Ed Kilgore

July 29, 2013 12:44 PM About That "Uncomfortable" Fox Interview

You have probably heard about this special moment on Fox.com by now: It's worth examining before it becomes merely legendary. Here's a quick summary from Slate's Daniel Politi: It’s got...

By Ed Kilgore

July 29, 2013 12:02 PM Too Many Factions For a War?

One of this morning's most interesting reads is from the Washington Examiner's Byron York, who is both a political reporter and a conservative opinion-leader. He takes a look at the...

By Ed Kilgore

July 29, 2013 11:11 AM Heads We Win, Tails You Lose

Anyone harboring the illusion that Congress was going to "fix" Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, invalidated by the Supreme Court in the Shelby County v. Holder...

By Ed Kilgore

July 29, 2013 10:15 AM Immobilizing Atlanta

When Paul Krugman looked at the rankings of American cities in terms of social mobility recently compiled by a team of Harvard and U.C.-Berkeley researchers, he was apparently struck by...

By Ed Kilgore

July 29, 2013 8:35 AM Daylight Video

It's the 55th anniversary of the establishment of NASA. So we'll be enjoying some spacey songs today. Let's start with the generator of more space music than anyone else, David...

By Ed Kilgore

July 28, 2013 2:45 PM Afternoon Linkapalooza

I've got one more post in the works, but it's turning into a bit of a beast, so here's a quick link roundup before I can get that one out....

By Ryan Cooper

July 28, 2013 1:03 PM Galloping Economic Insecurity and the Desperate Need for Deracialized Voting

The AP is out with a big analysis today about how the American economy is increasingly delivering security and prosperity to only a tiny fraction of the population: Four out...

By Ryan Cooper

July 28, 2013 12:08 PM Against the Housing Status Quo

The face of evil. In the United States, homeownership is taken as a bedrock, unquestionably positive thing, part of the American Dream. There is perhaps nothing more valorized in our...

By Ryan Cooper

July 28, 2013 11:22 AM Climate Contrarians and Freakonomics Disease

Who needs degrees and careful study when you've got blithe assertion? The news around climate sensitivity has driven our contrarian population to new heights of glib smugness, and that's saying...

By Ryan Cooper

July 28, 2013 9:23 AM Social Security Solves the Effective Demand Problem with Forced Saving Because the Money Isn't Stored

Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry coined one of my favorite rules of punditry, Weisenthal's Law, which reads: "Almost all economic punditry is moralizing in disguise." You find this especially in the business...

By Ryan Cooper

July 28, 2013 9:18 AM Morning Storytime

My dad was on his local public radio affiliate the other day, telling stories about the time he took the family down the Dolores river at flood stage: In case...

By Ryan Cooper

July 27, 2013 3:48 PM Lazy Saturday Reads

That's it for today folks, I'll see you tomorrow. In the meantime here are some reading materials from around the web: 1. China provides an object lesson in how environmental...

By Ryan Cooper

July 27, 2013 1:04 PM Why My Fellow Broke Young Men Will Sign Up for Obamacare

Who doesn't want to a trip to the emergency room to end in financial ruin? This guy. A couple days ago the news broke that Republicans are making a coordinated...

By Ryan Cooper

July 27, 2013 12:15 PM Tom Coburn Comes Out for Democratic Governance

Tom Coburn, R-OK Republicans are desperate to kill the Affordable Care Act, probably because they're increasingly anxious that it's going to work out and they'll find themselves 20 years down...

By Ryan Cooper

July 27, 2013 11:08 AM PayPal Accidentally Gave Some Guy $92 Quadrillion—Why It Didn't Cause Hyperinflation

Hard money types often evince a kind of "spooky action at a distance" view of printing money and inflation: do the first, and the second will follow necessarily. It makes...

By Ryan Cooper

July 27, 2013 10:05 AM The North Pole Hasn't Melted—Yet

Last year I speculated that when the ice sheet at the geographic North Pole has melted, it would be a ripe chance for a big media awareness push. Something close...

By Ryan Cooper

July 27, 2013 9:51 AM Morning Video

Happy Saturday! Check out one of my favorite science video series capturing some truly spectacular video of an AK-47 firing underwater: Especially don't miss the bubble shot at about 4:30....

By Ryan Cooper

July 26, 2013 6:11 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

Took a late break to go watch a local pet parade. My favorite category: "Miscellaneous." Here are some final items of the day: * Embattled San Diego mayor Bob Filner...

By Ed Kilgore

July 26, 2013 5:07 PM There's Always Trump

One of the odd things about being a politician or a state or local party committee in a place like Iowa or New Hampshire is that you are unusually willing...

By Ed Kilgore

July 26, 2013 4:54 PM Appeals Courts Split on Corporate Religious Rights

Last week I wrote about Sarah Posner's excellent work on Hobby Lobby's lawsuit claiming a religious exemption from the Affordable Care Act's contraceptions coverage mandate, which was validated by a...

By Ed Kilgore

July 26, 2013 4:00 PM The Taiwan Junket

It's being overshadowed by a simultaneous investigation into the 2012 presidential campaign of Michele Bachmann, but it did catch my attention that another Republican House member, Peter Roskam of Illinois,...

By Ed Kilgore

July 26, 2013 2:56 PM Rudy In Disguise

TNR's Alec MacGillis argues persuasively today that in his incendiary remarks about "libertarians" and anti-terror policies, Chris Christie has firmly placed himself in the Rudy Giuliani tradition of the GOP:...

By Ed Kilgore

July 26, 2013 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

I'm still trying to cope with the idea of Mick Jagger turning 70 today. It didn't help that my favorite Jagger performance--"Memo From Turner" from the movie appropriately named Performance--isn't...

By Ed Kilgore

July 26, 2013 1:31 PM "End-Run" Around SCOTUS?

It's not as prominent as internal GOP arguments over "de-funding Obamacare" or the War On Terror, and is almost certainly more one-sided, but there is some dissension in the Republican...

By Ed Kilgore

July 26, 2013 1:04 PM The Deeper Divide

There's been a lot of polling conducted about the George Zimmerman verdict, and/or the whole Zimmerman-Martin saga. And a lot of it tracks divisions on, well, most other major controversies...

By Ed Kilgore

July 26, 2013 12:26 PM The March of Folly

In his latest Bloomberg column, National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru calmly explains the manifest folly of growing conservative demands that this year's fiscal clash should make defunding of Obamacare its obsessive...

By Ed Kilgore

July 26, 2013 10:58 AM Christie Picks a Big Fight

Sometimes politicians stumble into fights. But sometimes they announce them in advance, calling out their opponents in an unmistakable, almost taunting way. It's hard to see Chris Christie's gratuitous slap...

By Ed Kilgore

July 26, 2013 9:34 AM The Godzilla Expectation

Less than ten weeks from now, the health care exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act of 2010 will be open for enrollment, and an awful lot of people...

By Ed Kilgore

July 26, 2013 8:44 AM Daylight Video

Well, this one's obligatory: It's Mick Jagger's 70th birthday. So here he was performing "Time Is On My Side" in 1964....

By Ed Kilgore

July 25, 2013 6:29 PM Day's End and Night Watch

It's been a fun day, what with Mark Sanford and Paula Deen and a right-wing JournoList popping up. Here are some remainders: * President in Jacksonville tells Congress to "stay...

By Ed Kilgore

July 25, 2013 4:51 PM Thoroughly Modern Paula

Just when we thought it was safe to forget about Paula Deen, now comes a new and in my opinion more telling portrait of her not from some deposition in...

By Ed Kilgore

July 25, 2013 4:25 PM The Side Door to Voting Rights Preclearance

I mentioned this briefly at Lunch Buffet, but because the story will be with us for a while, let me quote from Lyle Denniston's explanation at SCOTUSblog of Eric Holder's...

By Ed Kilgore

July 25, 2013 3:59 PM The Right-Wing JournoList

For some richly ironic reading, check out David Corn's piece at MoJo on the conservative message coordination organization Groundswell, which has sought to build media "narratives" combatting not only progressive...

By Ed Kilgore

July 25, 2013 2:56 PM The Mark Sanford Fashion Statement

You'd think that having survived what looked like a career-destroying sex scandal in which his political judgment as well as his ethics was called into question, newly reminted congressman Mark...

By Ed Kilgore

July 25, 2013 1:48 PM Lunch Buffet

As the Atlantic hurricane season arrives in full force, Weather.com offers a fascinating chart of actual hurricane strikes in U.S. since 1900 from the Texas/Mexico border to Boston. While you...

By Ed Kilgore

July 25, 2013 1:14 PM Heading Home To Talk About Fighting Washington

As the six-week August congressional recess approaches, House Republicans are getting their messaging together, and as Roll Call's Matt Fuller reported earlier this week, it's all about bashing the city...

By Ed Kilgore

July 25, 2013 12:39 PM Rubio Swoons, Cruz Surges

There's been a lot of talk about how Marco Rubio's high-profile role on immigration reform in the Senate has hurt his standing in the First-in-the-Nation-Caucus State of Iowa. Meanwhile, Iowa...

By Ed Kilgore

July 25, 2013 12:08 PM From the "Sleepover" To a Contest That's Wide Awake

Before the New York mayoral race became consumed with the still-blazing fire of Carlos Danger's self-immolation, it revolved to some extent around actual issues. One of those was public housing,...

By Ed Kilgore

July 25, 2013 10:59 AM This Is Nondefense Discretionary Spending

So the next stop in the president's economy speech tour will be in Jacksonville, Florida, where he is expected to talk about the obstruction of infrastructure investments by congressional Republicans,...

By Ed Kilgore

July 25, 2013 10:28 AM The Amash Coalition

As you might have heard, the House narrowly (217-205) defeated an amendment to the defense appropriations bill that would have pretty much killed off the NSA's telephone data sweeps. It...

By Ed Kilgore

July 25, 2013 8:42 AM Daylight Video

For those waking up unhappy today, here's John Lee Hooker with "Blues Before Sunrise."...

By Ed Kilgore

July 24, 2013 6:20 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Well, with the Royal Baby born and named and a sense of fatigue settling over the Weiner affair, maybe real news will make a comeback tomorrow. Here are some final...

By Ed Kilgore

July 24, 2013 5:35 PM Paper Chase Redux

I read with some interest Noam Scheiber's much-discussed TNR article on the recession that's hit America's "white shoe" law firms. Still, like Daniel Luzer at College Guide, I have to...

By Ed Kilgore

July 24, 2013 5:11 PM Storming the Ramparts, Pulling Up the Drawbridge

In a piece on the conservative policy blitz that has hit North Carolina this year, Slate's Dahlia Lithwick makes a simple observation that is critical to understanding the GOP strategy...

By Ed Kilgore

July 24, 2013 4:27 PM The Missing Piece

One criticism of the president's Knox College speech I agree with was best articulated by Matt Yglesias: The two big economic policy stories of the day are the president's speech...

By Ed Kilgore

July 24, 2013 4:09 PM "New Ideas" And Old Conflicts

As predicted, the president's Knox College speech did not include a lot of "new ideas" about how to improve the performance of the economy or the lives of Americans. It...

By Ed Kilgore

July 24, 2013 1:54 PM Lunch Buffet

A strange morning of warmed-over not-news and impending news. Here are some mid-day items with nutritional promise: * The president's Knox College speech frames fight for full economic recovery as...

By Ed Kilgore

July 24, 2013 1:34 PM Job Approval Ratings Aren't Votes

At TNR yesterday, Nate Cohn looked at Pew's latest measurement of presidential approval ratings--one of several to show a significant mid-summer decline--and saw a very clear trend: Today’s Pew Research...

By Ed Kilgore

July 24, 2013 12:29 PM Speaking of Big Egos....

I'm not suggesting a direct comparison in moving immediately from questions about Anthony Weiner's ego to that of Chris Christie, and have zero reason to believe Christie's sexual or internet...

By Ed Kilgore

July 24, 2013 11:54 AM The Weiner Circus

I guess it would be irresponsible of me to fail to take notice of the firestorm that appears to be consuming the mayoral campaign if not the entire career of...

By Ed Kilgore

July 24, 2013 11:03 AM Those Crazy Lefties and Their Demands For A Return to 90s

Just when you think you've gotten the journalistic habit of "false equivalency" on the run, it pops up again in unlikely places: the usually excellent Beth Reinhard of National Journal...

By Ed Kilgore

July 24, 2013 10:11 AM The "Pivot"

When the president makes his Knox College speech on the economy in a few hours, what he says will get far less attention in Beltway circles than arguments about why...

By Ed Kilgore

July 24, 2013 8:44 AM Daylight Video

Here's the 80s Canadian band Doug & the Slugs with their fine tribute to the struggles of life, "Day by Day:"...

By Ed Kilgore

July 23, 2013 6:25 PM Day's End and Night Watch

So the Royals still haven't named the new prince. If you missed Paul Glatris' post this morning soliciting some American suggestions, check it out now and chip in. I'm pretty...

By Ed Kilgore

July 23, 2013 5:43 PM It's Not the Heat; It's the Stupidity

I've taken to heart various warnings about using the language of warfare to describe political fisticuffs. So I am resisting the temptation to say that Ta-Nehisi Coates "demolished" or "destroyed"...

By Ed Kilgore

July 23, 2013 5:05 PM The Sisyphian Task of Making GOP Latino-Friendly

It's pretty obvious that the sudden interest in House GOP circles in some sort of DREAM Act-ish accommodation of the children of undocumented workers is closely related to the growing...

By Ed Kilgore

July 23, 2013 3:07 PM Killing Obamacare Before It Can Work

In my earlier post about the growing interest of congressional Republicans about demanding a "defunding" of or delay in Obamacare implementation as the price for cooperation in a debt limit...

By Ed Kilgore

July 23, 2013 2:54 PM "Crowd" Must Wait To Engage in "Crowdfunding"

As you may know, in 2012 Congress authorized a move towards "crowdfunding"--investment solicitations to the general public--as a way to expand access to capital for small firms and start-ups. Just...

By Ed Kilgore

July 23, 2013 1:43 PM Lunch Buffet

Another slow day for non-Royal news. But here are some mid-day morsels that all happen to relate to developments on the campaign trail: * Michelle Nunn (disclosure: an old friend...

By Ed Kilgore

July 23, 2013 1:22 PM Supreme Court Decisions Have Consequences

So do you think the Supreme Court decision largely invalidating the preclearance requirement imposed by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was no big deal, since southern...

By Ed Kilgore

July 23, 2013 1:01 PM Which Way, GOP?

You'd think there might be a broader discussion of this rather startling finding from a new WaPo-ABC survey, as presented by ABC's Gary Langer: Democrats and independents who lean toward...

By Ed Kilgore

July 23, 2013 11:18 AM Are Old Folks Souring on the GOP?

It will come as no surprise to regular readers to hear that if I could design a T-shirt or bumper sticker promoting some basic political fact that is forgotten far...

By Ed Kilgore

July 23, 2013 10:31 AM The Latest and Greatest Government Shutdown Threat

It's been a few months since the last major Republican threat to shut down the federal government, so with the inevitability of the change of seasons, a new threat is...

By Ed Kilgore

July 23, 2013 9:25 AM Naming William and Kate's Boy: Some Suggestions from Across the Pond

So it's a boy for Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge. The next step, says CNN, is picking a name for the third in line for the British throne:...

By Paul Glastris

July 23, 2013 8:45 AM Daylight Video

Another one of those songs that popped up in a dream: the Grateful Dead performing Jerry Garcia's "To Lay Me Down" at Radio City Music Hall....

By Ed Kilgore

July 22, 2013 6:43 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Running a little late thanks to a brief server problem and then a long work-related phone call. But the day did get a bit more interesting. Here are some final...

By Ed Kilgore

July 22, 2013 6:15 PM Upward Mobility and Geography

David Leonhardt's troubling piece today in the New York Times on recent data about social mobility is worth dwelling and puzzling over as raising as many questions as it answers....

By Ed Kilgore

July 22, 2013 5:26 PM A Slippery Slope

Man, it's tough to be chairman of the Republican National Committee these days. Having sponsored a 2012 "autopsy" that suggested all sorts of dangerous heresies for the GOP, Reince Preibus...

By Ed Kilgore

July 22, 2013 4:17 PM The Ray Kelly Paradox

The first high-profile suggestion that NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly might be a good successor to Janet Napolitano at the Department of Homeland Security was from New York Democratic Sen. Chuck...

By Ed Kilgore

July 22, 2013 3:00 PM Nate Defects to WWL

As some of you know, I was a casualty of Nate Silver's deal to operate his FiveThirtyEight blog at the New York Times back in 2011 (right before the new...

By Ed Kilgore

July 22, 2013 1:55 PM Lunch Buffet

As you may know, this is a really dead news day so far. But here are some mid-day items I scrounged up from the back of the fridge: * Prime...

By Ed Kilgore

July 22, 2013 1:15 PM The Dirty Hippies of Conservatism

In a well-circulated piece today, New York's Jonathan Chait engages in a chore a lot of us progressive bloggers (most definitely yours truly) find ourselves spending a great deal of...

By Ed Kilgore

July 22, 2013 12:41 PM Constituent Disservices

As anyone who has worked on Capitol Hill or dealt extensively with congressional offices knows, a big chunk of each senator or representative's budget is devoted to constituent services--answering phone...

By Ed Kilgore

July 22, 2013 11:44 AM Shots Across the Bow

While Liz Cheney's challenge to Sen. Mike Enzi fits one model of conservative maneuvering to keep rightward pressure on the GOP--an effort to replace of relatively weak time-servers with loud-and-proud...

By Ed Kilgore

July 22, 2013 10:39 AM An Economic Agenda of Doing Less Harm

I'll have more about this as the president's speech tour is formally launched on Wednesday in Illinois (at Knox College, where Obama made his first big nationally recognized speech on...

By Ed Kilgore

July 22, 2013 9:43 AM The Unity Candidate

After pointing to Ted Cruz's first trip to Iowa over the weekend as a potentially exciting event for conservatives who like their rage neat, and noting he hit the ground...

By Ed Kilgore

July 22, 2013 8:44 AM Daylight Video

Ah, Monday morning. Here's Elvis Costello in San Franciso in 2007 performing "Welcome to the Working Week," along with "Miracle Man," both from My Aim Is True, released on this...

By Ed Kilgore

July 21, 2013 2:48 PM Mideast peace talks might be derailed before starting and other afternoon reads

*The recently announced resumption of peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators has been thrown into doubt. Factions within the Israeli government made hostile comments about the prospects for peace...

By Samuel Knight

July 21, 2013 1:19 PM Como se dice "drone" en espanol?

The Washington Post's Craig Whitlock reported this morning that the Obama administration is going to to employ drones more for surveillance and less for lethal operations in the future. If...

By Samuel Knight

July 21, 2013 12:00 PM Goldman's bets on aluminum kind of pay for themselves

The New York Times published a lengthy report on commodities speculation, focusing on Goldman Sachs' aluminum industry-distorting “investments.” It seems like a good piece to read if you want a...

By Samuel Knight

July 21, 2013 11:14 AM "This is not about a kid with a hoodie"

Ohio Democrat and Congressional Black Caucus member Marcia Fudge cited a rash of recent political developments to explain why there has been so much despair in the black community in...

By Samuel Knight

July 21, 2013 9:47 AM The War on Everything and other Sunday reads

*The War on Everything continues. Via the BBC, from earlier this morning: US fighter jets dropped inert bombs on the Great Barrier Reef off Australia's coast during a training exercise...

By Samuel Knight

July 20, 2013 5:12 PM Trayvon's parents speak at rallies: the evening round-up

*Thousands of people attended "Justice for Trayvon Martin" rallies in over 100 cities today. Martin's mother spoke alongside Rev. Al Sharpton in New York City, and his father spoke at...

By Samuel Knight

July 20, 2013 3:27 PM Obama admin now openly embracing neoconservative rhetoric, too

It's not enough for the Obama administration to embrace some of the most aggressive national security policies of the Bush Administration - it has, apparently, decided it must embrace neoconservative...

By Samuel Knight

July 20, 2013 12:31 PM POLITICO report on Elizabeth Warren very POLITICO-like

According to a report in POLITICO this morning, President Obama made a fruitless appeal to Elizabeth Warren to back the student loan deal he hashed out with Senate leaders. The...

By Samuel Knight

July 20, 2013 10:32 AM RIP Helen Thomas

Helen Thomas, the former White House correspondent who was on the beat for five decades, passed away today at the age of 92. I won't be able to properly assess...

By Samuel Knight

July 20, 2013 9:43 AM Prisoner release the basis for renewed Israel-Palestine peace talks and other morning reads

Good morning, sunshine! Here is some news you can use. Or just read. *To meet a prerequisite for the resumption of peace talks, Israel has agreed to release "heavyweight [Palestinian]...

By Samuel Knight

July 19, 2013 6:34 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

Today's political news sure took an unexpected turn, eh? And on a Friday afternoon! Here are some final items: * Having agreed on separating SNAP from Farm Bill, House GOPers...

By Ed Kilgore

July 19, 2013 6:16 PM Cruz Missile Lands in Iowa

In his first trip to the First In Nation Caucus State, Sen. Ted Cruz did not disappoint those hungering for red meat, per this report from Jennifer Jacobs of the...

By Ed Kilgore

July 19, 2013 5:35 PM Out of Place

I've been re-reading the January/February issue of the Washington Monthly (typical of the magazine to anticipate a big debate by a bit too long), with the cover title of "Race,...

By Ed Kilgore

July 19, 2013 5:11 PM Obama Breaches the Cone of Silence About Race

As the reaction continues to the president's surprise remarks today about the George Zimmerman verdict, the racial profiling of young black men, and the "experiences and history" of racial discrimination...

By Ed Kilgore

July 19, 2013 3:46 PM Peggy Noonan's "Bombshell"

When I saw Peggy Noonan's regular Friday column pop up at RealClearPolitics this morning, I groaned aloud. That wasn't just because the title--"A Bombshell in the IRS Scandal"--was so feverishly...

By Ed Kilgore

July 19, 2013 2:27 PM Experiences and History

I just watched the video of the president's unannounced appearance at a White House press briefing, where he simply and bluntly identified with the "experiences and history" that lead African-Americans...

By Ed Kilgore

July 19, 2013 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

* Greg Sargent reports on the plans of business and religious groups to lobby House Republicans one-by-one against obstructing immigration reform. * Obama shows up at White House presser and...

By Ed Kilgore

July 19, 2013 1:19 PM The Most Common Kind of Racist

Best I can tell, the furor over Jack Hunter, a long-time South Carolina-based neo-Confederate who co-authored a book with Rand Paul and then joined his Senate staff, is more or...

By Ed Kilgore

July 19, 2013 12:40 PM Bankruptcy and Moral Leprosy

I'm sure there are plenty of valid lessons to learn from the City of Detroit's municipal bankruptcy filing. A steadily depopulating city providing services to large tracts of empty buildings...

By Ed Kilgore

July 19, 2013 11:33 AM "Base" Won't Get Fooled Again?

TPM's Josh Marshall has invited (and is apparently receiving) some guff from readers for a confident assertion that Marco Rubio's 2016 presidential campaign is dying before it even came close...

By Ed Kilgore

July 19, 2013 10:13 AM Will Ghost of Trayvon Haunt Rick Scott?

Floridians aggrieved by George Zimmerman's acquittal might get some succor from a federal civil rights charge, or maybe at some point a civil suit. But the one thing for sure...

By Ed Kilgore

July 19, 2013 8:49 AM Daylight Video

How's about some Friday blues? Here's B.B. King and Jeff Beck performing the blues standard "Key to the Highway."...

By Ed Kilgore

July 18, 2013 6:10 PM Day's End and Night Watch

A long day of historical reminiscences and ongoing political battles. Here are some final items: * Cloture for Gina McCarthy confirmation at EPA passes 69-31; actual confirmation passes 59-40 (with...

By Ed Kilgore

July 18, 2013 5:15 PM Can For-Profit Corporations Have a "Religious Conscience?"

I've only had a chance to quickly read Sarah Posner's important new article at TAP on the ongoing litigation involving the craft store Hobby Lobby, which is claiming an exception...

By Ed Kilgore

July 18, 2013 4:27 PM Priceless Resources

Since libertarianism is an inescapable topic these days, it's very useful to remember that aside from the antitheses of the terrifying State and the liberty-seeking Individual (or even those private...

By Ed Kilgore

July 18, 2013 3:44 PM Populism Needs To Be Popular

Having already posted my thoughts on the problems associated with the Republican Party adopting some ideology or message of "libertarian populism," I will note in passing Ramesh Ponnuru's succinct rejection...

By Ed Kilgore

July 18, 2013 3:09 PM Why the Spanish Civil War Still Fascinates

Since it is, as noted in the Daylight Video, the 77th anniversary of the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, thought I might offer a few thoughts on why that...

By Ed Kilgore

July 18, 2013 1:52 PM Lunch Buffet

Given PA's general inclination to avoid multiple-page posts, any time I've jumped to a second page twice before lunchtime, I've figured it's time for a break to quench the word-fever....

By Ed Kilgore

July 18, 2013 1:19 PM The Larger Story of Senate Obstructionism

Lest anyone think this week's agreement (shaky as it is) on the filibustering of seven executive-branch nominations has "solved" the problem of unprecedented minority obstruction of the routine business of...

By Ed Kilgore

July 18, 2013 12:58 PM Public Opinion on Abortion: Not as "Conflicted" As It Seems

At FiveThirtyEight yesterday, David Leonhardt entered the thicket of public opinion on abortion policy with the goal of making some defensible generalizations, with some success. But on the crucial question...

By Ed Kilgore

July 18, 2013 11:48 AM Why Not Ted Cruz?

I know some people are annoyed by ridiculously early 2016 speculation, but sometimes it is unavoidable, particularly when early activity is occurring in early caucus and primary states, where presidential...

By Ed Kilgore

July 18, 2013 10:40 AM Many Obamacares

WaPo's Ezra Klein and Sarah Kliff have written an extensive report on Obamacare implementation, which Ezra then usefully summarized at Wonkblog. You can and should read it all yourself, but...

By Ed Kilgore

July 18, 2013 10:11 AM The Stab in the Back

When a cloture vote for proceeding to Thomas Perez' nomination barely cleared the threshold of 60 votes yesterday, with Marco Rubio shrieking against the nomination and the "deal" that had...

By Ed Kilgore

July 18, 2013 8:51 AM Daylight Video

On this day in 1936, the Spanish Civil War began as troops under the overall leadership of Francisco Franco rose against the Republic. Here's John McCutcheon with "Abraham Lincoln Brigade"...

By Ed Kilgore

July 17, 2013 6:02 PM Day's End and Night Watch

'Twas a pretty lively day. I plan tomorrow morning to dive into David Leonhardt's analysis of polling on abortion, a complex topic that is one of my long-time favorite brain-teasers....

By Ed Kilgore

July 17, 2013 5:30 PM Filibuster Agreement Shaky?

So today in the second cloture vote following yesterday's "deal" guaranteeing up-or-down votes on seven Obama nominations, the deal barely held, with 60 senators agreeing to proceed to a vote...

By Ed Kilgore

July 17, 2013 5:03 PM GOP Education Policy in Flux

In a remarkably under-discussed development, the House GOP is moving quickly to pass a K-12 education reauthorization bill that the president has already threatened to veto (that won't be necessary,...

By Ed Kilgore

July 17, 2013 4:31 PM Yes, It's About the Guns, Too--and Barbarism

Even as reaction to the Zimmerman verdict becomes mostly about race (thanks in part to Richard Cohen, who should be on his knees retching with shame if he read Ta-Nehisi...

By Ed Kilgore

July 17, 2013 3:44 PM Cooch Tries to Make the Best of a Bad Issue

One of the issues that makes it easy for Virginia Democrats to depict GOP gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli look like an out-of-touch culture warrior is his relentless battle as Attorney...

By Ed Kilgore

July 17, 2013 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

* Jared Bernstein explains once again why the Affordable Care Act is unavoidably complicated. * Rolling Stone cover feature on Jahar Tsarnaev, which offers some valuable insights, getting blasted for...

By Ed Kilgore

July 17, 2013 12:52 PM Waiting For Corbett To Quit

There's an interesting contrast to be made between the political situation of Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi, who was on no one's watch list of incumbent Republicans vulnerable to a general...

By Ed Kilgore

July 17, 2013 12:08 PM Primary Care Running on Empty

As noted here earlier, a major theme of the July/August issue of the Washington Monthly is the heavy hand of medical specialists in the U.S. health care system, at the...

By Ed Kilgore

July 17, 2013 11:23 AM Holy Twitter

New York Times columnist (and former Washington Monthly editor back in the day) Joe Nocera penned a self-consciously Cranky Old Journalist piece about Twitter today that transcended the usual limits...

By Ed Kilgore

July 17, 2013 10:54 AM The Symbolism of Liz Cheney's Senate Run

You can already see it happening: Liz Cheney's primary challenge to Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) is being cast by the chattering classes into the classic Tea Party Versus Establishment mode,...

By Ed Kilgore

July 17, 2013 10:11 AM Doing Less on Lead

Conservatives are supposed to care a great deal about reducing crime. That's why the alleged need for guns for self-protection against criminals has remained high on the list of arguments...

By Ed Kilgore

July 17, 2013 8:41 AM Daylight Video

Feeling a bit of the old weltschmerz this morning. So here's Eric Clapton and Dr. John performing the Leroy Carr/Scrapper Blackwell classic "How Long, How Long Blues."...

By Ed Kilgore

July 16, 2013 6:51 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Hope you didn't mind some of the deeper dives today, but the sparse political news carried a lot of freight. Here are some final items for the day: * RINO...

By Ed Kilgore

July 16, 2013 6:02 PM Treason!

To tie together this morning's hot topic of filibuster reform with my last post on the unusual perspective of the people who actually drive conservative politics, let's have a look...

By Ed Kilgore

July 16, 2013 5:26 PM Uh, Yeah, This Is a Different GOP

I have journalistic friends who aren't really happy with me for early (and middle, and late) doom-saying about the trajectory of gun and immigration reform legislation. Yeah, I was right,...

By Ed Kilgore

July 16, 2013 3:50 PM Cohen Goes All Archie Bunker

Richard Cohen is a Washington Post columnist mainly known for regurgitating Conventional Wisdom with a lack of rigor offensive even to people who generally agree with him, and for squandering...

By Ed Kilgore

July 16, 2013 2:09 PM Lunch Buffet

Air went out of news day with Senate "deal" averting nuclear option. There's no substitute for all-out partisan warfare. But here are some mid-day hot links: * The right-wing policy...

By Ed Kilgore

July 16, 2013 1:39 PM Killing Immigration Reform Doesn't Look Like Suicide To Tom Cotton

Beneath all the talk about the long-term interests of the Republican Party in this or that demographic and the implications for this or that position on immigration reform is a...

By Ed Kilgore

July 16, 2013 12:05 PM A Measured Blow to the Tyranny of King Phil

As the Daylight Video indicated, I was rooting for the invocation of the "nuclear option" by Senate Democrats today, which would have implemented a long-delayed and much-needed effort to rein...

By Ed Kilgore

July 16, 2013 10:19 AM Boehner on Immigration: Nowhere To Hide

A good scoop by Greg Sargent late yesterday, via an interview with Univision anchor Jorge Ramos (see the profile of Ramos and his influence by Laura Colarusso in the May/June...

By Ed Kilgore

July 16, 2013 10:16 AM The Stain Expands in Virginia GOP

For a while there, it looked like Bob McDonnell's misfortune might be relatively good news for the 2013 Republican nominee for to succeed him as governor of Virginia, Ken Cuccinelli....

By Ed Kilgore

July 16, 2013 9:43 AM May Cooler Heads Not Prevail

Well, we may not know until 10:00 EDT what exactly is going to happen with Senate filibuster rules. That's when Harry Reid has scheduled the first of seven votes on...

By Ed Kilgore

July 16, 2013 8:44 AM Daylight Video

Interesting that the "nuclear option" may be exercised in the Senate on the day when the atomic bomb first tested in 1945. Here's Fear performing "Let's Have a War" from...

By Ed Kilgore

July 15, 2013 6:14 PM Day's End and Night Watch

We'll be on "nuclear alert" overnight, in anticipation of the first blow against King Filibuster tomorrow morning. In the meantime, here are some final items of this day: * Legislation...

By Ed Kilgore

July 15, 2013 5:44 PM Inventing Race Riots

A few days ago (after the trial judge made a manslaughter conviction possible), if you had told me that George Zimmerman was going to walk away from his trial a...

By Ed Kilgore

July 15, 2013 5:21 PM The Nuclear Option and the "New Nullification"

Though bipartisan discussions are on tap for this evening, and there are rumors of efforts to create yet another "gang" to head off filibuster reform, Harry Reid has been gratifyingly...

By Ed Kilgore

July 15, 2013 4:54 PM Another Fading Point of Bipartisanship

In a touching ceremony at the White House today, President Obama invited President George H.W. Bush to attend the awarding of the 5,000th daily "Point of Light," an commemoration of...

By Ed Kilgore

July 15, 2013 3:23 PM Anniversary of a Diplomatic Coup--And a Meme

In addition to the Goldwater nomination in 1964, this day also marked Richard M. Nixon's surprise announcement in 1971 that he would be making a trip to the People's Republic...

By Ed Kilgore

July 15, 2013 2:19 PM Lunch Buffet

Watching Dexter and Ray Donovan back-to-back not a recipe for good dreams, so I'm a little hazy today. But here are some spicy mid-day treats: * Greg Sargent notes that...

By Ed Kilgore

July 15, 2013 1:19 PM An Anti-Obama Peace Prize?

When Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, amidst all sorts of caterwauling from conservatives the whole world around about the outrage the award represented, I doubt anyone...

By Ed Kilgore

July 15, 2013 1:04 PM Marco's Bill

If comprehensive immigration reform legislation indeed dies in this session of Congress, there in the grave with it could well be Marco Rubio's presidential ambitions--or at least his prior reputation...

By Ed Kilgore

July 15, 2013 12:23 PM More Prophecy Than Precursor

Being a little preoccupied with the Zimmerman verdict, I didn't post a Daylight Video today commemorating something that happened on this day in history. But there are a couple of...

By Ed Kilgore

July 15, 2013 10:43 AM Brian Schweitzer and Filibuster Reform

I haven't seen it yet, but I'd bet that by sundown today someone will have written a column arguing that Brian Schweitzer's decision against running for the Senate ought to...

By Ed Kilgore

July 15, 2013 10:02 AM Licenses to Kill

I didn't obsessively follow the George Zimmerman trial, and even tried to ignore the incessant cheerleading on the Right for the defendant--certainly a rare positioning for most of these birds...

By Ed Kilgore

July 15, 2013 8:16 AM Daylight Video

Some mood music in reaction to the latest twist in the Martin/Zimmerman case, from Marvin Gaye....

By Ed Kilgore

July 14, 2013 8:51 PM The case against Walmart, and for DC's big box living wage law

Our old friend Walmart has been back in the news this week. Gawker has been continuing its exemplary series in which Walmart workers, powerfully and movingly, tell the true stories...

By Kathleen Geier

July 14, 2013 7:11 PM Trayvon Martin verdict: links and updates

Here are some updates related to the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case: -- President Obama has released a written statement about the verdict. He calls Trayvon Martin's death a...

By Kathleen Geier

July 14, 2013 3:46 PM What the austerians hath wrought: significantly higher rates of child abuse -- and fewer resources for its victims

So! This weekend, thus far, we've covered the fact that Texas just passed one of the worst abortion laws in the nation; the news that Democratic attempts to hold onto...

By Kathleen Geier

July 14, 2013 12:09 PM Homelessness, hunger, the immiseration of the unemployed, decimated Head Start programs and public schools: all brought to you, courtesy of the sequester

The federal budget sequester -- that Rosemary's baby that resulted from the unholy alliance between political elites' bipartisan fetish on the one hand, and their austerity mania on the other...

By Kathleen Geier

July 14, 2013 9:30 AM Here we go again: the Trayvon Martin verdict, and the white supremacist Groundhog Day that is American history

I woke up this morning to the horrible news that George Zimmerman has gotten away with murder. Sadly, this verdict was not unexpected. At the beginning of the trial, I...

By Kathleen Geier

July 14, 2013 7:56 AM Morning music, in solidarity: Jimmy Cliff

Someone on the internets recently reminded me of what a great album the soundtrack of The Harder They Come is. So I listened to it again, and that verdict was...

By Kathleen Geier

July 13, 2013 2:24 PM Garry Wills on Pope Francis: he's been "doing wonderful things," but canonizing John Paul is not one of them

Over at the New York Review of Books, progressive Catholic icon and public intellectual extraordinaire Garry Wills has written a a terrific blog post about the politics of canonization in...

By Kathleen Geier

July 13, 2013 1:09 PM Surprise announcement: former Montana governor Brian Schweitzer says he won't run for the U.S. Senate in 2014

Former Democratic governor of Montana Brian Schweitzer announced today that he won't run for the state's open U.S. senate seat, current held by retiring Democrat Max Baucus. Schweitzer has long...

By Kathleen Geier

July 13, 2013 12:42 PM The woman who is wrong about everything is still batting 1,000

Megan McArdle: As it happens, I like the filibuster. I’m fine with its broad use against as many laws as the minority likes. I like minorities being able to hold...

By Kathleen Geier

July 13, 2013 10:56 AM Bad news: Texas abortion bill passes

As expected, late last night the Texas state senate voted to approve the state's draconian abortion bill. Governor Rick Perry will soon sign it into law. It will become one...

By Kathleen Geier

July 13, 2013 8:00 AM Morning music: ABBA + pet adoption = total awesomeness

This YouTube has been on the internets for a while now, but it's well worth sharing again, for those who haven't seen it yet. For one thing, there is the...

By Kathleen Geier

July 12, 2013 6:16 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

Ah, it's been a crazy day. Starting tomorrow, don't think I'll voluntarily listen to another disco song for a good while. Here are some final items of the day. Just...

By Ed Kilgore

July 12, 2013 5:38 PM Sharknado, the Twitterverse, and Politics

I don't spend a lot of time on Twitter in the evenings, being only an occupational user of that social medium, not an addict. So I missed the Twitterpalooza last...

By Ed Kilgore

July 12, 2013 5:11 PM Daley the Younger

It's mostly a generational thing that leads me to observe that Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley made a much greater impression on me than Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. To...

By Ed Kilgore

July 12, 2013 2:56 PM Fracklandia? Gunorado?

Urban-rural conflicts, ethnic tensions, and regional rivalries are nothing new in state (or for that matter, national) politics. But according to a report from CBS, it's getting serious enough in...

By Ed Kilgore

July 12, 2013 2:24 PM Lunch Buffet

Blogging has been delayed by several Safari crashes, which I have decided to attribute to an overload of disco music. Speaking of which, the latest crash erased a long meditation...

By Ed Kilgore

July 12, 2013 1:34 PM Concerning "Libertarian Populism"

Like any political tradition associated with the defense of privilege, American conservatism has been the object of many efforts to give it a popularizing makeover. There was the "Modern Republicanism"...

By Ed Kilgore

July 12, 2013 12:32 PM Napolitano Splits to the Coast

Having occupied one of the federal government's most thankless and ill-defined jobs since 2009, former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano resigned today to head up the University of California system. It's...

By Ed Kilgore

July 12, 2013 11:51 AM On the Make

While I have no present intention of reading Mark Leibovich's This Town, it's becoming difficult not to read about the book, which appears to be coursing through that very lucrative...

By Ed Kilgore

July 12, 2013 10:17 AM The McDonnell Implosion

Politico's Alexander Burns sums up the "Huh?" factor in the rapidly escalating fall of Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell: In 2010, the political world pegged Bob McDonnell as a president in...

By Ed Kilgore

July 12, 2013 9:43 AM Day Late, Dollar Short

There's nothing quite so sad as an elite opinion-leader who discovers he's way, way behind the curve. That seems to have happened to David Brooks today, who looked up and...

By Ed Kilgore

July 12, 2013 8:53 AM Daylight Video

34 years ago today the Chicago White Sox hosted the infamous Disco Demolition Night, in which fans were given a discount admission price at Comiskey Park for bringing a disco...

By Ed Kilgore

July 11, 2013 5:44 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Perhaps I've overreached in trying to correlate every sparrow that falls to the ground with an item from the slim playlist of the 70s English rock band Babe Ruth, but...

By Ed Kilgore

July 11, 2013 5:06 PM Bleaching the GOP Vote in a Tanning Electorate

I'm not sure what represents a greater threat to Sean Trende's "missing white voter" hypothesis for the GOP's electoral problems: the misappropriation of his work by conservative stand-patters and double-downers...

By Ed Kilgore

July 11, 2013 4:04 PM By the Skin of His Nicotine-Stained Teeth

In a supreme test of the leadership of Speaker John Boehner and his team, the House managed to pass a Farm Bill shorn of any SNAP (food stamp) funding authorization...

By Ed Kilgore

July 11, 2013 3:11 PM About That "Can't Trust Obama on Enforcement" Meme

Anyone following the immigration reform debate closely is aware that opponents of the Senate-passed bill (including Senators like Rand Paul) have increasingly focused on the argument that "hard triggers" for...

By Ed Kilgore

July 11, 2013 2:06 PM Lunch Buffet

After a slow start, it's been a very active morning, which may get even more active later today depending on events on Capitol Hill and in a Florida courtroom. Here...

By Ed Kilgore

July 11, 2013 1:42 PM Tweet O' the Day

In response to Sen. Rand Paul's defense of his book co-author and Senate staffer Jack "Southern Avenger" Hunter's neo-Confederate sentiments (which he seems to regard as a "youthful indiscretion"), David...

By Ed Kilgore

July 11, 2013 12:46 PM Zimmerman Travesty Averted?

As the George Zimmerman trial in Florida nears its conclusion, Judge Debra Nelson made a potentially crucial ruling that will allow the jury to consider convicting Zimmerman of manslaughter if...

By Ed Kilgore

July 11, 2013 12:17 PM Dashing Dreams

The one tiny sliver of an opening in the obdurate opposition of House conservatives to comprehensive immigration reform involves the children of undocumented workers, the object of both legislative and...

By Ed Kilgore

July 11, 2013 11:57 AM Filibusters Aimed At Paralysis

As Senate Democrats meet to discuss filibuster reform today, an exchange on the floor between Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell made it abundantly clear where the battle lines are likely...

By Ed Kilgore

July 11, 2013 11:15 AM Who's Afraid of the Latino Vote?

In his take on the devolution of comprehensive immigration reform this morning, Ezra Klein focuses on the fading Republican fear of retribution from Latino voters. He attributes that in part...

By Ed Kilgore

July 11, 2013 10:16 AM House GOP on Immigration: Our Way or the Highway

So the big House Republican confab on immigration has come and gone, with plenty of both public and private reporting of what transpired. Lest anyone be confused by the meaning...

By Ed Kilgore

July 11, 2013 8:44 AM Daylight Video

99 years ago today, Babe Ruth made his major league debut. So here, of course, is Babe Ruth, performing "Wells Fargo" in Montreal in 1975. It's a waker-upper, all right....

By Ed Kilgore

July 10, 2013 6:22 PM Day's End and Night Watch

It's been a long day of monkey business here at PA. Here are some final, non-simian items: * Senate HELP Committee approves ENDA by 15-7 margin, with 3 Republicans on...

By Ed Kilgore

July 10, 2013 5:44 PM Don't Confuse Trends With Wins

There's been considerable interest in progressive circles since 2012 about the possibility that demographic change could convert deep red states to blue, particularly in Deep South states with rapidly rising...

By Ed Kilgore

July 10, 2013 5:26 PM Koch's Idea of "Social Mobility"

Conservatives have long argued against minimum wage laws on grounds that they kills low-end jobs. Still, it's a bit shocking to hear David Koch, whose net worth is around $47...

By Ed Kilgore

July 10, 2013 5:12 PM OK For Investors, Bad for Workers

I've argued off and on for a while that although most of us (quite appropriately) focus on the long-term unemployed in assessing the human damage wreaked by the Great Recession...

By Ed Kilgore

July 10, 2013 3:11 PM The Inevitable SCOTUS Review of State Abortion Laws

The renewed blizzard of Republican-controlled state legislative activity restricting abortion has become pretty difficult to ignore, thanks to the dramatics currently taking place in Texas and North Carolina. And the...

By Ed Kilgore

July 10, 2013 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Resolved this morning to rewatch the movie version of Inherit the Wind, the dramatized version of the Scopes trial. Those fascinated with William Jennings Bryan's role in the case might...

By Ed Kilgore

July 10, 2013 1:34 PM Don't Believe the Latest Palin Hype

There it sat on the news aggregator last night, a headline fairly glowing with the cheesy traffic-generating glamor of vain hopes and fears: "Sarah Palin considering 2014 Senate bid." I...

By Ed Kilgore

July 10, 2013 12:57 PM Rand Paul and His Confederate Friends

The second-day story about Rand Paul and the neo-Confederate history of his book co-author and social media director Jack Hunter involves the motives of the Washington Free Beacon in publishing...

By Ed Kilgore

July 10, 2013 11:24 AM Enabling Immigration Con Artists

If as appears increasingly likely comprehensive immigration reform legislation dies in this Congress, there will be one silver lining: halting a headlong trend towards setting up conditions for legalization and/or...

By Ed Kilgore

July 10, 2013 10:13 AM How Much Worse Can the Senate Get?

There's a lot of talk in the air today about the Senate Democratic Caucus discussions (apparently culminating tomorrow) on precisely how to deal with Republican obstruction of presidential nominations via...

By Ed Kilgore

July 10, 2013 9:00 AM The Death of Dodd-Frank Has Been Greatly Exaggerated

In her epic story on how the Washington rule-making machine is treating Dodd-Frank, Haley Sweetland Edwards explained how Congress, influenced by Wall Street, puts pressure on regulators to go easy...

By Paul Glastris

July 10, 2013 8:15 AM Daylight Video

Eighty-eight years ago today, the Scopes "Monkey Trial" on the teaching of evolution began in Dayton, Tennessee. So we'll have some monkey music today, beginning with the Rolling Stones performing...

By Ed Kilgore

July 09, 2013 6:02 PM Day's End and Night Watch

I see from the Weather Channel that a violent storm system has developed in the midwest and is headed later to the northeast. Keep safe, y'all. Here, in the meantime,...

By Ed Kilgore

July 09, 2013 5:21 PM The Vanishing Unicorn

So if the growing chorus of conservative denunciation of the Senate immigration bill, and the large majority of GOP Senators opposing it, and the redundant threats to John Boehner by...

By Ed Kilgore

July 09, 2013 4:58 PM Rand Paul's Deep Roots Outside the Mainstream

As I noted at the Lunch Buffet, the day after we published Stuart Reid's article on Rand Paul's growing influence on GOP foreign policy, the hyper-conservative Washington Free Beacon published...

By Ed Kilgore

July 09, 2013 4:12 PM Action on Immigration Now! Kill the Bill!

Verily, my cup runneth over. On the heels a fine day of schadenfreude after reading Marin Cogan's piece on Bobby Jindal's descent into political hell, the Louisiana Governor himself pens...

By Ed Kilgore

July 09, 2013 3:35 PM Galloping Spiritual Pluralism

Watch closely, because I'm about to do something I haven't done in a very long time: agree entirely with a David Brooks column. In doing so, I'm handicapped a bit...

By Ed Kilgore

July 09, 2013 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Had a brief hiatus this morning to attend a WaMo conference call, but we're about caught up with the usual schedule. Here are some mid-day news/views snacks I found in...

By Ed Kilgore

July 09, 2013 1:40 PM That Which Does Not Kill Them Makes Them Stronger

Since we are awash in politicians--Mark Sanford, Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer, to name the most prominent--who have made or are making unlikely comebacks from devastating sex scandals, it's worth...

By Ed Kilgore

July 09, 2013 12:29 PM Picking Your Poison

It's good to see that progressives writers looking at Sean Trende's provocative work on the implications of the "missing white voter" theory of 2012 are being a little more rigorous...

By Ed Kilgore

July 09, 2013 10:48 AM The Antichoice Woodstock

The current (and also second) special session of the Texas legislature called by Rick Perry in no small part to enact abortion restrictions temporarily halted by Sen. Wendy Davis' filibuster...

By Ed Kilgore

July 09, 2013 10:36 AM Rand Paul, the Non-Neocon

The moment when Ron Paul's Revolution reached its limits and exposed its vulnerabilities during his relatively strong 2012 presidential campaign is pretty easy to identify: December 15, 2011, at a...

By Ed Kilgore

July 09, 2013 9:30 AM Is Your iPhone Illegal in Florida?

Today's news of the weird, as is often the case, comes from the State of Florida, and it does not involve Burmese pythons. It does involve another exotic species, the...

By Ed Kilgore

July 09, 2013 8:40 AM Daylight Video

167 years ago today, during the Mexican War, a U.S. naval captain occupied the Yerba Buena, later renamed San Francisco. There are plenty of songs about the City by the...

By Ed Kilgore

July 08, 2013 6:49 PM Day's End and Night Watch

After very slow start, Republican hijinks once again kept this blog lively. Thank you Rick Perry, Rand Paul, and Bobby Jindal! Here are some final items of the day: *...

By Ed Kilgore

July 08, 2013 6:20 PM Bad Precedents

After the violence in Egypt this morning, it's not at all clear what will happen next in that country (the interim president is scheduling elections and designing a referendum for...

By Ed Kilgore

July 08, 2013 5:08 PM Jindal Going Nowhere Fast

Regular readers know that one of my least favorite Republican pols is Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. Aside from his championship of two of the most atavistic conservative policy "ideas"--no-strings...

By Ed Kilgore

July 08, 2013 4:36 PM So Much For the "Obamacare Implementation Fiasco"

I alluded earlier to the fact that last week's delay in implementation of the Affordable Care Act's employer mandate (plus another postponement of income reporting requirements associated with qualification for...

By Ed Kilgore

July 08, 2013 4:08 PM Rick Perry: Strategic Retreat To Presidential Campaign?

Rick Perry took advantage of a very slow national political news day to get a lot of attention for his rather self-important speech disclosing his future political plans--or at least,...

By Ed Kilgore

July 08, 2013 3:22 PM At Least Rand Paul Is Happy

Most Americans are watching events in Egypt with trepidition and uncertainty, and other than (a) neocons who are cheerleading for the military coup, and (b) sticklers for legality troubled that...

By Ed Kilgore

July 08, 2013 2:06 PM Lunch Buffet

As we all wait with bated breath for Rick Perry's disclosure of his political future (an indication of how slowly political news is recovering from the long holiday weekend), here...

By Ed Kilgore

July 08, 2013 1:22 PM Odds for Immigration Reform Continue to Drop

Since we are presumably going to have to pretend for a while that comprehensive immigration reform is a lively proposition in the House, it's worth noticing the several very fundamental...

By Ed Kilgore

July 08, 2013 12:41 PM Answer In Search of a Question

I was extremely amused today to run across a Washington Examiner piece by Conn Carroll suggesting that the real culprit if House Republicans kill immigration reform (which of course the...

By Ed Kilgore

July 08, 2013 10:59 AM Don't Back Down, Harry!

Tomorrow the Senate Democratic Caucus will begin formal discussion of its option for dealing with actual or imminent Republican obstruction of presidential nominations, mostly via abuse of the filibuster power....

By Ed Kilgore

July 08, 2013 9:43 AM Doctoring the System

When contemplating the anomalous fact that Americans as a whole pay far more for health care than anyone else on the planet, without securing better health outcomes (or even basic...

By Ed Kilgore

July 08, 2013 8:44 AM Daylight Video

Dreamed about being in Las Vegas and living in Washington, DC, last night. So this great song occurred to me: the Flying Burrito Brothers' "Sin City."...

By Ed Kilgore

July 07, 2013 10:06 AM How Good Do We Want Our Policemen to Be?

Efficiency has killed privacy, and it bothers us that we don’t really miss it, and don’t know if we should.

By Jamie Malanowski

July 07, 2013 8:00 AM Sign the Petition--Retire General Hood!

``You are a DIAPER HEAD, nothing more,'' one man wrote, in response to what I thought would be an unassailable argument.

By Jamie Malanowski

July 07, 2013 7:23 AM Mad Men's Waning Republicanism

One of the more satisfying moments of an underwhelming sixth season season of Mad Men came in the final episode two weeks ago, when Don encountered an evangelist in a...

By Jamie Malanowski

July 06, 2013 3:49 PM Best Book of the Summer

After David Berg's brother is murdered, he suffers a second death when an inept prosecutor and a corrupt defense lawyer combine to let the killer walk.

By Jamie Malanowski

July 06, 2013 1:56 PM The GOP Out-Muscles the NFL

Perhaps everyone who favors health care reform should write a letter to Peyton Manning.

By Jamie Malanowski

July 06, 2013 1:09 PM WEINER CHANNELS KOCH

Weiner’s ``You’re acting like a bozo!’’ is almost a direct reference to Koch’s ``Wackos!’’ epithet, which he gleefully wielded with great effect.

By Jamie Malanowski

July 06, 2013 12:41 PM Edward Snowden, Man Without a Country

Philip Nolan knew nothing of Sheremetyevo airport, but he was an expert on isolation

By Jamie Malanowski

July 06, 2013 12:20 PM Technical Difficulties and Open Thread

Due to complications arising from a holiday weekend and time zone differences, our weekend blogger hasn't been able to get our publishing platform to work this morning, but we should...

By Ed Kilgore

July 05, 2013 5:30 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

We've glided from the holiday to the weekend pretty quickly. But here are a few final items of the day and week: * WaPo comes out flatly for suspending aid...

By Ed Kilgore

July 05, 2013 4:58 PM Sound Familiar?

In the debate over the justifiability of the Egyptian military coup, David Brooks comes down very emphatically in favor on the "yes" side, but does so with a sadly facile...

By Ed Kilgore

July 05, 2013 3:37 PM Much Better Than the Duke

In the cover article for the current May-June issue of the Washington Monthly, Haley Sweetland Edwards became the first national journalist to take a serious look at Maryland Gov. Martin...

By Ed Kilgore

July 05, 2013 2:05 PM Lunch Buffet

Should have known: Brother Benen at least half-bluffing in suggesting he was taking the day off. And indeed, even on a slow semi-holiday Friday, there are bones to gnaw on:...

By Ed Kilgore

July 05, 2013 1:19 PM News Too Good For the Bond Market

I had sort of assumed this morning that the stability of the unemployment rate in the June jobs report would prevent any panicky "OMG, quantitative easing is ending soon" market...

By Ed Kilgore

July 05, 2013 11:54 AM The "Democratic Recession" in Egypt and Elsewhere

Predictably, pro-Morsi forces in Egypt called for a "day of rejection" today to show some popular resistance to the army's coup two days ago. Clashes between protestors and troops in...

By Ed Kilgore

July 05, 2013 9:15 AM June Jobs Report: More Slow-and-Steady

According to today's Jobs Report for June, the U.S. economy added a net 195,000 jobs in June, somewhat above economists' predictions. Upward revisions to the April and May figures added...

By Ed Kilgore

July 05, 2013 8:26 AM Daylight Video

For no particular reason, here's one of my favorite songs from the 80s: the Swimming Pool Q's performing "Stick in My Hand." M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I!...

By Ed Kilgore

July 04, 2013 2:38 PM Independence

One thing July 4th means to most (though hardly all) Americans is independence from work, so I'm going to wrap up the blogging and do a little celebrating myself. To...

By Ed Kilgore

July 04, 2013 2:23 PM American Revolutionaries

Many July 4 celebrations include a ritual reading of the Declaration of Independence. And now as in the past, it's important to be aware different Americans hear very different things...

By Ed Kilgore

July 04, 2013 1:50 PM Holiday News Roundup

Every July 4 I think of the vast commemorations of the Bicentennial we witnessed back in 1976--37 years ago!--and then of that great Bicentennial-inflected Robert Altman film Nashville. I'm shocked...

By Ed Kilgore

July 04, 2013 12:39 PM American Exceptionalism

An unavoidable subject on every Independence Day is the extent to which patriotic Americans are expected to proclaim that the United States isn't just our beloved homeland, or a rich...

By Ed Kilgore

July 04, 2013 10:43 AM Democracy and Legitimacy

The conjunction of our own Independence Day with the dramatic events in Egypt makes it difficult for thoughtful Americans to avoid serious questions about democracy and legitimacy. One question revolves...

By Ed Kilgore

July 04, 2013 8:33 AM Daylight Video

Happy Independence Day! To celebrate America, here's Woody Guthrie's immortal "This Land Is Your Land."...

By Ed Kilgore

July 03, 2013 5:53 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Atmosphere in Egypt getting a lot less celebratory, with suppression and arrest of Islamist journalists. We'll keeping watching the situation and write about it as events warrant, but the plan...

By Ed Kilgore

July 03, 2013 5:12 PM Intelligence Wizards

Kevin Drum is incredulous over the bizarre incident whereby several European countries, reportedly on the request of the United States, worked together to force the presidential plane of Bolivian head...

By Ed Kilgore

July 03, 2013 4:59 PM You Just Have to Read the Book

One of the most heavily pre-advertised political books in years is about to hit the bookstands, Mark Liebovich's insider take on Washington insiders, This Town. As I observed back in...

By Ed Kilgore

July 03, 2013 3:30 PM Shoe Drops in Egypt

As you may know by now, the Egyptian military has suspended the constitution and removed President Mohamed Morsi from office. In announcing this coup to cheering crowds, the military chief...

By Ed Kilgore

July 03, 2013 3:11 PM So's-Your-Old-Man "Centrism"

Like most people who read about Bishop E.W. Jackson's latest strange missive to the world, my first reaction to this story from DailyKos' Hunter was hilarity: In today's E.W. Jackson...

By Ed Kilgore

July 03, 2013 1:51 PM Lunch Buffet

I know it was a stretch to relate Jim Morrison performing "Alabama Song" to a post on voting rights, but I do love that the Doors chose to put a...

By Ed Kilgore

July 03, 2013 1:11 PM Rubio's Compensatory Damages

It's the least surprising news of this or any other recent day, and it's appropriate that it's being reported by the official Conservative Establishment bulletin board named Fred Barnes: Senator...

By Ed Kilgore

July 03, 2013 11:59 AM Voting Rights: We've Been Here Before

In yesterday's Day's End post I briefly noted a new Ten Miles Square piece by Swarthmore College's Rick Valelly, one of the country's leading historians of the struggle for voting...

By Ed Kilgore

July 03, 2013 11:30 AM Selective Fundamentalism in North Carolina

Something tells me the North Carolina legislators who suddenly (in order, it seems, to prevent the kind of protests their brethren in Texas are encountering) popped a let's-shut-down-the-abortion clinics bill...

By Ed Kilgore

July 03, 2013 10:25 AM Egyptian Impasse

A Reuters dispatch from Egypt just over an hour ago kind of says it all: Egypt's army commander and Islamist President Mohamed Mursi each pledged to die for his cause...

By Ed Kilgore

July 03, 2013 10:04 AM Employer Mandate Delay: Big Trouble Or Small Potatoes?

It's inescapable that the administration's announcement of a one-year delay in implementation of the Affordable Care Act's "employer mandate" (more accurately, the requirement that larger employers back up individual employee...

By Ed Kilgore

July 03, 2013 8:44 AM Daylight Video

On July 3, 1969, the Rolling Stones' Brian Jones died. On July 3, 1971, the Doors' Jim Morrison died. We'll post some videos of both at various points in the...

By Ed Kilgore

July 02, 2013 6:25 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Ah, what a long day, but a productive one, from my perspective looking back at several posts that I hope get a decent readership. But there's always more news coming...

By Ed Kilgore

July 02, 2013 6:07 PM "David, Are You There?"

In mentioning Dan Balz's new 2012 campaign book earlier, I didn't mean to imply that "moments" in a campaign, while rarely as big a deal as their breathless chroniclers imply,...

By Ed Kilgore

July 02, 2013 5:53 PM All in the Family

At Plum Line today, Jamelle Bouie makes a very important point about today's Republican Party in the context of the immigration reform battle: [I]t’s not a matter of “establishment” Republicans...

By Ed Kilgore

July 02, 2013 5:24 PM Oops, Will He Do It Again?

Since we are talking about Texas and Rick Perry's frustrated effort to get a bill through his Republican legislature shutting down all but a handful of the state's abortion providers,...

By Ed Kilgore

July 02, 2013 4:49 PM It's "About" Kermit, Not Wendy!

Antichoicers are very displeased about the heroic treatment Wendy Davis is receiving from progressives after her (at least temporarily) successful filibuster against Texas Republicans' abortion restriction bill. The bill, like...

By Ed Kilgore

July 02, 2013 3:02 PM The TwitterVerse and Its Limits

A colleague (who fondly remembers Ezra Klein from his days as a Washington Monthly intern) drew my attention to a post by The Atlantic's Conor Friedersdorf quoting off-the-cuff remarks Ezra...

By Ed Kilgore

July 02, 2013 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Got a bit distracted by someone on Twitter challenging my "hillbilly" use of the term "folk," but will get over it with a belt of moonshine. Here are some alcohol-free...

By Ed Kilgore

July 02, 2013 1:15 PM Fifth Element in Egypt?

I claim no special insight into the dramatic events going on in Egypt. But part of what makes it all so fascinating and volatile is the interplay among four important...

By Ed Kilgore

July 02, 2013 12:10 PM White Sale

I've been writing about this for the last week in the context of Sean Trende's analysis of ethnic and racial voting data. But MSNBC's Benjy Sarlin has an excellent summary...

By Ed Kilgore

July 02, 2013 11:30 AM Civil Rights Amendment "Originalism"

While we are talking about the relationship of the struggle for civil rights with contemporary politics and jurisprudence, I'd like to call your attention to Eric Schnurer's fine essay at...

By Ed Kilgore

July 02, 2013 10:31 AM "Getting Over" Jim Crow

I took note of the Civil Rights Act anniversary today in part because of the controversies over the racial history of the South revived by the Supreme Court's Shelby County...

By Ed Kilgore

July 02, 2013 8:39 AM Daylight Video

49 years ago today, Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law. A year earlier Sam Cooke released this song: "A Change Is Gonna Come."...

By Ed Kilgore

July 01, 2013 6:07 PM Day's End and Night Watch

A programming note: we'll be on the Federal Holiday Lite Blogging Schedule July 4, and may slack off a bit on Friday if I get the impression readers are slacking...

By Ed Kilgore

July 01, 2013 5:44 PM SCOTUS Reaction: Thumbs Up to Same-Sex Marriage and Affirmative Action; Thumbs Down to Evisceration of Voting Rights Act

The first poll (from USAToday) is now out weighing public reaction to the batch of major Supreme Court decisions last week, and they should provide a tonic to progressives. Support...

By Ed Kilgore

July 01, 2013 5:30 PM Happy (or Unhappy) State Fiscal New Year's Day!

As you may be aware, July 1 is the beginning of a new fiscal year in most states--46 of them to be exact (all but Alabama, Michigan, New York and...

By Ed Kilgore

July 01, 2013 4:54 PM CanadaCare/ObamaCare

As is appropriate on Canada Day, Wonkblog's indispensable Sarah Kliff provides a careful comparison of the much-praised, much-malinged health care system to our north with the system the Affordable Care...

By Ed Kilgore

July 01, 2013 3:32 PM How Can I Forget You If You Don't Go Away?

Throughout the NSA/Snowden saga, critics of the government's surveillance programs have often accused defenders of these programs of focusing on the motives of Snowden himself (or of the journalists who...

By Ed Kilgore

July 01, 2013 2:50 PM New Deal

At TNR, as part of a long rumination on Obama's second-term options, Noam Scheiber offers a new twist on the immigration reform end-game. Like many other observers, he asserts that...

By Ed Kilgore

July 01, 2013 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Yeah, like I said last week, ruminating on questions about the South--or the Civil War--tends to screw up the posting schedule here. But I think it's worth it. Here are...

By Ed Kilgore

July 01, 2013 1:43 PM Was the Civil War a Mistake?

Last week the racial history of America was very much in the air, with the Supreme Court disabling the Voting Rights Act of 1965, while disputes over Paula Deen's affection...

By Ed Kilgore

July 01, 2013 12:10 PM Mini-August?

Congress is in recess this week, and Members touring their districts to grin and grip and patriotically parade may get a preview of the longer and usually much hotter August...

By Ed Kilgore

July 01, 2013 11:21 AM Fire This Time

I don't know if you are monitoring the situation in Egypt right now, but it's gotten very intense, with the sack of the Muslim Brotherhood HQ in Cairo, and now...

By Ed Kilgore

July 01, 2013 10:06 AM Young Fogies Versus Old Progressives

One of the overriding realities of contemporary American politics is the unusual alignment of the two parties' electorates with racial/ethnic and generational fault lines since 2008. Because the two "tribes"...

By Ed Kilgore

July 01, 2013 8:44 AM Daylight Video

It's Canada Day! In honor of our neighbors to the North (of whom I am inordinately fond), here's Devin Townsend's 2001 song "Canada."...

By Ed Kilgore

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