Political Animal

January 2014 Archives

January 31, 2014 5:59 PM Day's End and Night Watch

A pretty lively Friday, as it turned out. I'm even getting trolled on Twitter, which doesn't happen that often, gentle and nonpartisan soul that I am. Now I'm waiting for...

By Ed Kilgore

January 31, 2014 5:17 PM Another Hurdle Cleared For Keystone XL

You could sort of sense this (as reported by Coral Davenport for the New York Times) coming, couldn't you? The State Department released a report on Friday that could pave...

By Ed Kilgore

January 31, 2014 4:45 PM David Brooks' Neo-Whiggery

My regular complaint about New York Times columnist David Brooks (whom I do not dislike the way many progressive writers do) is that he stands for an imaginary "centrist" constituency...

By Ed Kilgore

January 31, 2014 3:09 PM The Fight To Unite On an Empty Debt Limit Gesture

Has there every been a House party caucus retreat that's created as much buzz on as many topics as this week's GOP confab? Hard to remember one. Aside from the...

By Ed Kilgore

January 31, 2014 2:04 PM Lunch Buffet

Sorry for the slow start today, but decided to dive a bit deeper on the immigration bill, which required that I put on my Think-Like-a-Conservative hat and then quickly take...

By Ed Kilgore

January 31, 2014 1:38 PM Still Carrying the Torch for the Iraq War

Pew has a fascinating update out today on retrospective public attitudes towards the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Their writeup of the numbers emphasizes a growing bipartisan consensus that both...

By Ed Kilgore

January 31, 2014 12:57 PM Host With the Most

After years of deploring the serial shakedowns of cities and states that professional sports teams conduct, asking for free stadiums and infrastructure and other subsidies in exchange for the "prestige"...

By Ed Kilgore

January 31, 2014 12:29 PM "Establishment" Not the Only Republican Deceivers in Immigration Fight

Conservative reaction to the instantly famous House GOP "Principles on Immigration" has been pretty harshly negative, and a variety of complaints are popping up. Heritage's Derrick Morgan focuses on the...

By Ed Kilgore

January 31, 2014 11:10 AM The Contradiction at the Center of GOP Health Care Policy

Many times and in many different ways, some of us progressive gabbers have tried to make the point that the Republican approach to health care policy consistently exhibits a central...

By Ed Kilgore

January 31, 2014 10:03 AM Reasons to Just Say No

Today's Beltway buzz, it seems, will mostly be about reactions to the fruits of the House GOP's latest retreat, focused on plotting strategy for the rest of this election year....

By Ed Kilgore

January 31, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

For no particular reason, here's the Delta Blues legend Son House performing "Grinnin' In Your Face." It's good advice....

By Ed Kilgore

January 30, 2014 5:35 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Would you believe I'm going back to the dentist again in a few minutes? And again next week? It's sure expensive in treasure and time to keep the choppers working,...

By Ed Kilgore

January 30, 2014 4:49 PM Can House GOPers Trick the Base on Immigration?

Recently the intrepid Greg Sargent has done everything short of bringing out the hand puppets to show House Republicans how they can achieve a compromise on immigration reform that doesn't...

By Ed Kilgore

January 30, 2014 3:37 PM Academics and Blogging

Speaking of anachronisms, check out this report from Inside Higher Ed's Carl Straumsheim: The political science blogosphere has erupted in protest after the International Studies Association unveiled a proposal to...

By Ed Kilgore

January 30, 2014 3:14 PM Time To Shut Down the Conventions

Here's some interesting news from Molly Hooper at The Hill: This could be the year that Congress bans taxpayer money to pay for presidential political conventions. Public money for the...

By Ed Kilgore

January 30, 2014 2:03 PM Lunch Buffet

Woke up this morning and there was actual rain falling. I know this is small potatoes compared to weather conditions in the East and South, but it's a pretty big...

By Ed Kilgore

January 30, 2014 1:22 PM What If People Start Paying Attention To Obamacare's Good Features?

As Republicans prepare to talk nonstop about Obamacare between now and November, the question arises whether misinformation is better or worse than no information at all. The latter, to a...

By Ed Kilgore

January 30, 2014 12:53 PM Iran WarHawks Pause To Smell the Flowers

It's hard to tell if the president's latest veto threat aimed at the Iran sanctions bill, delivered in the SOTU address, was the cause or the product of this development....

By Ed Kilgore

January 30, 2014 12:08 PM Obama a Pretty Lazy Tyrant

Brookings' Christopher Ingraham decided to take a look at the history of presidential executive orders, and found out Barack Obama is a real piker when it comes to "tyranny:" Ted...

By Ed Kilgore

January 30, 2014 11:18 AM Waxman Retires

It was a bit startling to us old folks when George Miller announced his retirement from the House at the end of this year. Had he really first been elected...

By Ed Kilgore

January 30, 2014 10:57 AM Mini-Ohios, Mini-Floridas

I haven't been following the various Christie investigations very closely, so yesterday's plenary update from Kevin Drum was very helpful. Kevin thinks the "noose is tightening" around Christie. I dunno,...

By Ed Kilgore

January 30, 2014 10:04 AM The Rich Folks and Their Pity Party

This was not the sort of headline I'm used to seeing at Politico: "Why the Rich Are Freaking Out." And the author, Ben White, doesn't really answer the question, other...

By Ed Kilgore

January 30, 2014 8:51 AM Daylight Video

Wow, what a bunch of calamities this day in history has produced. The assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. Hitler becoming Chancellor of Germany. Bloody Sunday in Northern Ireland. An attempted assassination...

By Ed Kilgore

January 29, 2014 5:53 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Just one week until college football's National Signing Day, as I am sure you are all aware. No, don't worry, I won't live blog it. Here are some remains of...

By Ed Kilgore

January 29, 2014 5:23 PM The Doomsday Machine

In the last scheduled installment of the "entitlement forum" over at The American Prospect, veteran center-left gadfly and Progressive Policy Institute president Will Marshall takes up the cudgels for rapidly...

By Ed Kilgore

January 29, 2014 5:15 PM Huck the New Christie?

There's growing buzz about a new PPP poll that shows Mike Huckabee, fresh on the publicity over his comments about contraception and the female libido, taking the lead in a...

By Ed Kilgore

January 29, 2014 3:55 PM Time's Up on Immigration Reform

I fully understand the extraordinary patience that immigration reform proponents have shown with John Boehner in particular and the House GOP in general up until now. After all, you have...

By Ed Kilgore

January 29, 2014 3:10 PM Snowstorms and Politicians

I realize there is often blame to be laid when public authorities fail to anticipate or properly prepare for bad weather. But while watching the freakout going on in Atlanta...

By Ed Kilgore

January 29, 2014 2:05 PM Lunch Buffet

Every time there is rush-hour snow or ice in Atlanta, a Trafficapocalypse occurs. Blame routine horrible traffic, lack of snow plows, even panicky southern drivers. But don't act like it's...

By Ed Kilgore

January 29, 2014 1:07 PM Oh, Now I Get It: Emptiness Is What They Were Going For

Readers of my live blog last night may recall I was enormously underwhelmed by the official Republican Response to the SOTU by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (I guess you could...

By Ed Kilgore

January 29, 2014 12:02 PM Farm Bill Insta-Passes House

You might well have missed it if you blinked. In a gambit that clearly looked designed to benefit from the distractions of the SOTU and all the after-spin, the House...

By Ed Kilgore

January 29, 2014 11:44 AM Stealing From An Empty Wallet

Well, can't help noticing yet another SOTU story, from Politico's Dyan Byers: Speaking to Fox News's Megyn Kelly, Marc Thiessen, the lead writer on Bush's 2007 State of the Union...

By Ed Kilgore

January 29, 2014 10:48 AM Base and Swing in Synch

Before leaving the subject of the SOTU Address, I'd add that some of its features that made it a mediocre overall production were almost certainly fine-tuned for particular categories of...

By Ed Kilgore

January 29, 2014 9:49 AM It's All About the Context

I said about all I had to say about the SOTU Address last night, so let's focus a bit on how well it met the "expectations game" and where it...

By Ed Kilgore

January 29, 2014 8:44 AM Daylight Video

50 years ago today, Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, was released to theaters. I recall begging my parents to see...

By Ed Kilgore

January 28, 2014 10:33 PM Republican Response(s)

Don't know much about Cathy McMorris Rodgers, but she's not off to a great start; sounds like a speaker at a DAR event. 7:35 Man, this is really Republican Rhetoric...

By Ed Kilgore

January 28, 2014 10:24 PM SOTU Review

In the aftermath, network gabbers mostly talking about Cory Remsberg. They seem to think the moment reflected some genuine bipartisanship that transcended everything else going on in Washington. I dunno...

By Ed Kilgore

January 28, 2014 10:02 PM SOTU Live Blog IV

10:02 I'm guessing the forpol/natsec stuff will be the last thematic items before the altar call. 10:04 He's said it before, but "America cannot remain on a permanent war footing"...

By Ed Kilgore

January 28, 2014 9:37 PM SOTU Live Blog III

9:36 Obama mandate to Biden to overhaul training programs will draw yawns, but it's really unconscionable how poorly these programs work. 9:38 Obama knows the UI stuff is a winner,...

By Ed Kilgore

January 28, 2014 9:15 PM SOTU Live Blog II

9:15 Obama breaks convention by refusing to start by opining about the State of the Union. 9:17 Okay, State of Union sound, but no thanks to Washington. 9:18 Only reference...

By Ed Kilgore

January 28, 2014 8:57 PM SOTU Live Blog I

I'm watching SOTU on ABC tonight, for no particular reason. May switch around later, but figure I'll try vanilla coverage first. Glad to see ABC's got a big fat YEAR...

By Ed Kilgore

January 28, 2014 8:33 PM SOTU Preview

I don't have a lot of information to share about the upcoming speech. The sparse excerpts released by the White House confirm that yes, the president's going to talk about...

By Ed Kilgore

January 28, 2014 3:38 PM Boehner's Brick Wall

Ah, just can't resist poking some more fun at the Orange Man before being forced to gaze upon his permatan for an hour or so as it glows just behind...

By Ed Kilgore

January 28, 2014 1:27 PM Lunch Buffet

As most of you over the age of 30 and under the age of 55 recall, before 9/11 the most frequently cited "Where were you when..." moment for Americans was...

By Ed Kilgore

January 28, 2014 12:24 PM Underexposed

TNR's John Judis often takes a contrarian approach, particularly when his fellow progressives get too irrationally exuberant. So I wasn't surprised a bit to see his buzzkill of a column...

By Ed Kilgore

January 28, 2014 11:41 AM Hovering Above It All

When Barack Obama enters the House chamber tonight to deliver his State of the Union Address, he'll have to encounter a lot of Members he probably holds in minimum high...

By Ed Kilgore

January 28, 2014 11:11 AM Entitlements Are Not a Sacrament

Over at The American Prospect, the forum on entitlements has reached its sixth day with an essay by the ever-insightful Mark Schmitt, who asks progressives to keep their eyes on...

By Ed Kilgore

January 28, 2014 10:31 AM Life After the Deficit Boogeyman Has Gone

With federal budget deficits shrinking and due to shrink a bit more for the next few years, the wildly hospitable climate for deficit hawkery in Washington is about to turn...

By Ed Kilgore

January 28, 2014 9:44 AM Stroke of a Pen

The minimum wage increase for those employed by federal contractors on future projects that the president is going to announce tonight is about as good a place as any for...

By Ed Kilgore

January 28, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

The Challenger exploded on this day in 1986. Guess I can't think of any better tribute than David Bowie's "Space Oddity." UPDATE: Just realized Pete Seeger died last night. So...

By Ed Kilgore

January 27, 2014 6:16 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Looking forward to SOTU live-blogging with such trepidation that I took a brief preemptive nap this afternoon. Tomorrow I'll suspend blogging mid-afternoon and then resume when the hoopla from Washington...

By Ed Kilgore

January 27, 2014 5:44 PM Atlas Whined

Not being conversant with the habits of the very rich, I do not know if venture capitalist Tom Perkins much-mocked letter to the Wall Street Journal comparing people like him...

By Ed Kilgore

January 27, 2014 4:00 PM Iowa To Hillary: Show Us Some Love (and Money)

There's a (probably unintentionally) hilarious story up at Buzzfeed by Ruby Cramer about the first efforts in Iowa by the Ready for Hillary PAC, mostly focusing on veteran Clinton hand...

By Ed Kilgore

January 27, 2014 3:30 PM Entitlements and Inequality

In a fifth installment of the forum on entitlements underway over at The American Prospect (and cosponsored by The Democratic Strategist, my virtual home away from home), Dean Baker of...

By Ed Kilgore

January 27, 2014 1:48 PM Lunch Buffet

Local weather forecast actually shows possibility of rain on three days later this week. I honestly can't remember the last rainfall (last time I heard thunder I thought it might...

By Ed Kilgore

January 27, 2014 1:25 PM Public Aware of Asymmetric Polarization

Via Greg Sargent, Pew has a new survey out with this rather dramatic finding: By a margin of 52% to 27%, the public says Democrats are more willing than Republicans...

By Ed Kilgore

January 27, 2014 12:44 PM The Buckley Rule in Georgia

Jim Galloway's latest dispatch from the fever swamp that is the Republican U.S. Senate primary in Georgia is worthy of some broader attention: To anyone who questions whether Rep. Phil...

By Ed Kilgore

January 27, 2014 12:20 PM A Bright Orange Glow on the Horizon

Martin Longman commented on Ezra Klein's new journalistic venture yesterday, and I share his curiosity about and positive wishes towards the what could begin the Next Big Thing in the...

By Ed Kilgore

January 27, 2014 11:36 AM Potential Candidates Circle Iran Issue Warily

It's unlikely at this point that foreign policy issues are going to be front-and-center in the 2016 presidential contest. But you never know, and even if they don't talk much...

By Ed Kilgore

January 27, 2014 10:30 AM The D'Souza Witch-Hunt

I needed a good laugh this morning, and as usual NewsMax didn't let me down: Gerald Molen, the producer of Dinesh D'Souza's documentary film "2016: Obama's America," says he never...

By Ed Kilgore

January 27, 2014 10:00 AM SOTU Blues

Another year, another State of the Union Address. Perhaps it's just a sign of advancing age, but I've grown to dread these events. All these advance hype, whether or not...

By Ed Kilgore

January 27, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

On this day in 1970, John Lennon wrote and recorded "Instant Karma." Here it is:...

By Ed Kilgore

January 26, 2014 10:38 PM Some Thoughts on Ezra's New Venture

I am intrigued by Ezra Klein's ambition to provide a more contextual form of reporting. I agree with him that newspapers are less good at explaining why things are happening...

By Martin Longman

January 26, 2014 4:38 PM Odds & Ends

Matthew O'Brien, writing in The Atlantic, asks if the American Dream is dead in the South. Roy Edroso reads Jonah Goldberg so you don't have to. Did you know that...

By Martin Longman

January 26, 2014 1:50 PM Fighting in a Defensive Crouch

This is just ridiculous: WASHINGTON (AP) — Income inequality is out, "ladders of opportunity" is in. Eager to dispel claims that President Barack Obama is engaging in "class warfare" as...

By Martin Longman

January 26, 2014 11:12 AM GOP is Anti-Voting

Tucker Carlson is concerned that some states are allowing 17 year olds to pre-register to vote and participate in party primaries if they will be 18 on election day. His...

By Martin Longman

January 26, 2014 9:35 AM John McCain Not Wingnutty Enough

John McCain can't catch a break. Even after he went on a local radio station and said that the president is far worse than Jimmy Carter in his foreign policy,...

By Martin Longman

January 26, 2014 1:37 AM Congress is Worthless

Scott Wilson has an important piece up at the Washington Post that takes a look at how the Obama administration is preparing to deal with a reality in which they...

By Martin Longman

January 25, 2014 2:32 PM Casual Observation

Call me skeptical, but I don't think this is a winning political message: Pope Francis is the Catholic Church’s Obama - God help us Pope Francis is undergoing a popularity...

By Martin Longman

January 25, 2014 12:34 PM Kathleen Parker Has No More Clue Than I Do

I know that I am a little hung-up on Mike Huckabee's libido remarks, but I can't help myself. I am certain that someone, somewhere knows what the hell he was...

By Martin Longman

January 25, 2014 11:21 AM Okie-Dokey Plan to Ban Marriage

A federal judge ruled last week that Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. But that doesn't mean that Okie Republicans are taking the news lying down. They have a...

By Martin Longman

January 25, 2014 8:51 AM What Was Huckabee Talking About?

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus invited former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee to be the keynote speaker at the RNC's winter meeting, but it appears that he regrets that decision:...

By Martin Longman

January 24, 2014 6:16 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

I'm guessing next week will bring us a better harvest of hard news, but it's been good shooting the breeze with you all anyway. Here are some remains of the...

By Ed Kilgore

January 24, 2014 4:54 PM Unintended Consequences?

Most of the talk about the RNC's new rules for the presidential nominating process assumes confidently that it will enable the next John McCain or Mitt Romney--you know, a Republican...

By Ed Kilgore

January 24, 2014 4:12 PM The Bible and the "Abortifacient" Meme

What used to be a small, technical point in the wars over abortion policy has been lifted by the fight against the Obamacare contraception coverage mandate into a really big...

By Ed Kilgore

January 24, 2014 3:19 PM Rebranding: Who Needs It?

The Mike Huckabee brouhaha yesterday offered about the 155th recent opportunity for non-conservatives to observe that the "rebranding" exercise of the Republican Party isn't going that well. But as The...

By Ed Kilgore

January 24, 2014 1:42 PM Lunch Buffet

Friday's finally here, but a side project could wipe out the weekend. I feel like Sisyphus. Here are some midday small plate items to fuel your own transition to the...

By Ed Kilgore

January 24, 2014 12:56 PM More on the Republican Backlash Against Common Core

There are all sorts of legitimate concerns being expressed across the political spectrum about the Common Core Standards initiative that is the latest and perhaps last expression of a decades-long...

By Ed Kilgore

January 24, 2014 12:43 PM Imaginary Consensus

I can't imagine that Jon Huntsman's strangely anachronistic call for non-partisanship on behalf of the "No Labels" organization at WaPo today is going to strike many chords. Huntsman's plea to...

By Ed Kilgore

January 24, 2014 11:44 AM The Case for Greater Means-Testing of Retirement Programs

In the latest installment of the forum on entitlements being cosponsored by the American Prospect and The Democratic Strategist, Bill Galston of the Brookings Institution makes the case that modestly...

By Ed Kilgore

January 24, 2014 9:58 AM Just What the Political Doctor Ordered: John Bolton!

So if the potential 2016 Republican presidential field is looking a bit thinner with all of Chris Christie's problems, have no fear, GOPers: an old friend may be coming to...

By Ed Kilgore

January 24, 2014 9:41 AM Profile in Chutzpah

Do you know how hard it is, in the era of Citizens United, to violate federal campaign finance laws unless you do something really stupid? Or to put it another...

By Ed Kilgore

January 24, 2014 8:44 AM Daylight Video

24th Amendment to the Constitution, outlawing poll tax, ratified on this day 50 years ago. Has been circumvented some, but still important. Here's Mavis Staples performing the hymn/anthem "We Shall...

By Ed Kilgore

January 23, 2014 5:35 PM Day's End and Night Watch

In case I decide not to make it the hook for a Daylight Video, wanted you to know that tomorrow is the 79th anniversary of the first appearance of canned...

By Ed Kilgore

January 23, 2014 4:45 PM Why Not Rand Paul, Frontrunner?

After accepting (as I do) the proposition that whatever happens to Chris Christie, he can no longer be described as the "frontrunner" for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, Peter Beinart...

By Ed Kilgore

January 23, 2014 4:07 PM Follow the Money, Cherchez La Femme

The scandal enveloping former VA Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, who are joined not just in matrimony but in a felony corruption indictment, is already descending into pop culture...

By Ed Kilgore

January 23, 2014 3:11 PM Huck's Back

It's a solid sign of the reality and extent of polarization that someone who might want to run for president of the United States makes a comment that raises his...

By Ed Kilgore

January 23, 2014 2:56 PM Y'all Come

Never one to pass up the opportunity to make a clumsy and predictable pandering gesture, Louisiana Gov. Bobby "Aging Boy Wonder" Jindal has another one, per the Times-Pic's Julia O'Donoghue:...

By Ed Kilgore

January 23, 2014 1:47 PM Lunch Buffet

For a "short" week (at least for folks who had Monday off), this one's creeping by in slow-motion. I aim to sleep til noon on Saturday. Here are some midday...

By Ed Kilgore

January 23, 2014 1:01 PM Christie the Nixonian Corrupt Bargainer

The meme I've joined in that suggests there's something Nixonian about Chris Christie got an explanatory boost today from Jonathan Chait, who notes that a "bullying" willingness to reward allies...

By Ed Kilgore

January 23, 2014 12:35 PM Kuttner's Two Big Shifts For Retirement and Health Care

In the American Prospect/Democratic Strategist forum on entitlements, Prospect co-founder Robert Kuttner is up today, and he offers two big-picture perspectives to serve as the progressive foundations for thinking about...

By Ed Kilgore

January 23, 2014 11:30 AM Let Us Raise Health Insurance Premiums, Or We'll Blow Up the Economy!

Fans of the grotesque must be enjoying the current Republican game of asserting simultaneously that they'd never in a gazillion years risk a public debt default or provide a debt...

By Ed Kilgore

January 23, 2014 10:13 AM Stephen Moore to the Rescue!

It speaks volumes about the rightward lurch of the conservative movement in the last few years that the hiring of Stephen Moore by the Heritage Foundation is being treated as...

By Ed Kilgore

January 23, 2014 9:38 AM Senate Boomerang

If you are in the mood for some serious electoral math today, check out Sean Trende's analyses of the 2014 and 2016 Senate landscapes at RealClearPolitics. Trende's 2014 piece is...

By Ed Kilgore

January 23, 2014 8:44 AM Daylight Video

To help all ya'll who are freezing this morning, here's Muddy Waters with "Cold Weather Blues."...

By Ed Kilgore

January 22, 2014 6:02 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Didn't realize until I looked at This Day in History that LBJ died on the same day Roe v. Wade decision was announced. He was only 64, and was by...

By Ed Kilgore

January 22, 2014 5:26 PM Speed the Plow

Not being a New Yorker and all, I don't quite know what to make of the criticism of newly elected mayor Bill de Blasio for allowing some neighborhoods to go...

By Ed Kilgore

January 22, 2014 5:10 PM The "Lines Commission" Report Bears Fragile Fruit

If you haven't spent much time anticipating the report of the bipartisan commission the President promised to appoint on Election Night 2012 to deal with long voting lines, don't feel...

By Ed Kilgore

January 22, 2014 4:24 PM The Rebranding Mirage

Anyone who reads a lot of political commentary is aware there's a broad division in opinion about what's going on in the Republican Party these days. One camp holds that...

By Ed Kilgore

January 22, 2014 3:14 PM Poor Pitiful Persecuted Bullies

On the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, it seems the antichoice movement is focused less on extending its recent state-level gains than on denying their significance as a rollback...

By Ed Kilgore

January 22, 2014 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Looks like more polar vortex fun for those of you east of the Mississippi. Bundle up. Here are some warm midday news/views snacks: * In contrast to what's happening in...

By Ed Kilgore

January 22, 2014 1:23 PM Beyond Keynes

In the American Prospect/Democratic Strategist forum on entitlements I wrote about yesterday, Andrew Levison offers a provocative essay today arguing that progressives are fighting a losing battle if they continue...

By Ed Kilgore

January 22, 2014 1:10 PM The Unlikely Revival of Right-To-Work

If the anti-union Right-to-Work forces win a big victory in the U.S. Supreme Court in the Harris v. Quinn case, it will be little more remarkable than its 2012 battery...

By Ed Kilgore

January 22, 2014 12:11 PM Conspiracy Theories

So in an odd move, the Washington Post has decided to take over publishing The Volokh Conspiracy, a self-consciously conservative (or at least right-of-center) legal site. There's been, so far...

By Ed Kilgore

January 22, 2014 10:57 AM Christie's Media-Bashing Strategy

At TNR Noam Scheiber has an interesting preemptive strike on the idea that Chris Christie's going to be able to rebuild his status in a right-bent Republican Party by bashing...

By Ed Kilgore

January 22, 2014 10:07 AM A Big Threat to Public-Sector Unions

As you may know, the U.S. Supreme Court held oral arguments yesterday on a case from Illinois involving home health care workers that could very well lead to a major...

By Ed Kilgore

January 22, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

The Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade was announced on this day 41 years ago. As a transition from MLK Day to this commemoration, here's Ani DiFranco's "Hello Birmingham."...

By Ed Kilgore

January 21, 2014 5:21 PM Day's End and Night Watch

I had a brief feeling this morning that I missed winter snow out here where it's as rare as a penguin. Then I looked at my coatless, bootless closet and...

By Ed Kilgore

January 21, 2014 4:54 PM The Empire Will Strike Back

At the Daily Beast, Mike Tomasky looks at the meta-politics of the Christie saga, and winds up almost exactly where I've been from the moment the New Jersey governor got...

By Ed Kilgore

January 21, 2014 4:36 PM The Safety Net's Regression From Triumph to Tribulation

Earlier today I noted the forum on Progressive Perspectives on the Future of the New Deal/Great Society Entitlement Programs being cosponsored by The American Prospect and The Democratic Strategist. I...

By Ed Kilgore

January 21, 2014 4:18 PM Advance Man for the Antichrist

In recommending Alan Abramowitz' column on racial/ethnic and religious cleavages in the American population being the basis of partisan polarization, it occurs to me that people who don't pay much...

By Ed Kilgore

January 21, 2014 2:55 PM The Emerging "Mend Don't End" Red State Dem Line on Obamacare

Greg Sargent has been following an important emerging political development in red and purple states: Democrats who are reluctant to embrace the Affordable Care Act are still blasting Republicans for...

By Ed Kilgore

January 21, 2014 2:06 PM Lunch Buffet

It's been a busy morning here on the Central Coast thanks to some of my extra-curricular activities with The Democratic Strategist and TPMCafe. But rest assured we will get you...

By Ed Kilgore

January 21, 2014 12:48 PM Polarization, By God

As another valuable contribution to the eternal debate over "polarization," Emory's Alan Abramowitz offered a reminder at WaPo's Monkey Cage yesterday that sharp partisan and ideological differences among Americans aren't...

By Ed Kilgore

January 21, 2014 11:48 AM Pure Meanness

Commenter lehighvpa alerted me to this story yesterday, and it's a potentially big one: In Arkansas, the state that pioneered the strategy of cutting a deal with the Obama administration...

By Ed Kilgore

January 21, 2014 10:44 AM A Progressives-Only Debate on Entitlements

One of the good things that happened in 2013 was an abatement in federal budget deficits that undercut media-driven debt panic and the Republican drive for their idea of "entitlement...

By Ed Kilgore

January 21, 2014 10:27 AM So Much For Christie Cruising

Fans of Chris Christie have been seizing every bit of public opinion research available to argue that the BridgeGate scandal is an elite "media feeding frenzy" phenomenon that actual Americans...

By Ed Kilgore

January 21, 2014 9:25 AM Assessing the "Third-Term Curse" Myth

Here at PA on Sunday, Martin Longman took a rather dim view of John Sides' fundamentals-based effort to dispute Dan Balz's analysis of presidential electoral vote trends favoring Democrats. In...

By Ed Kilgore

January 21, 2014 8:44 AM Daylight Video

Figured it was time for some Winter Music, so here's Johnny Winter performing "Be Careful With a Fool" on Danish television in 1970....

By Ed Kilgore

January 20, 2014 5:35 PM Day's End and Night Watch

If you didn't have to work today (or maybe if you did), I do hope you had a least a moment to think about MLK's life and legacy. I know...

By Ed Kilgore

January 20, 2014 4:31 PM Christie, Tony Soprano, and the Prosecutorial Ethic

I've mostly been ignoring the Chris Christie furor because I'm waiting for more facts to come out, and also for conservatives to make up their minds whether they want to...

By Ed Kilgore

January 20, 2014 3:37 PM Right Angles on MLK Day

Aware that I was risking exposure to "MLK was a Republican" lies and the usual stuff about the only racists being race-card-playing liberals, I checked out a few conservative sites...

By Ed Kilgore

January 20, 2014 12:49 PM Lunch Buffet

So I wonder what bigots do when they get MLK Day off as a holiday? Complain about it? Here are some midday news/views snacks for a Lite Holiday Blogging menu:...

By Ed Kilgore

January 20, 2014 12:24 PM Running Voting Rights Bill By the Boss

It's appropriate on the MLK holiday to look again at where we are on the project of "fixing" the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to deal with the Supreme Court...

By Ed Kilgore

January 20, 2014 10:40 AM Why King Still Matters

I don't have anything terribly original to offer this King Day about my hero's historical significance. He held up a mirror to America and asked us all to live up...

By Ed Kilgore

January 20, 2014 8:51 AM Daylight Video

From Martin Luther King, Jr.'s funeral in Atlanta, on April 9, 1968....

By Ed Kilgore

January 19, 2014 7:13 PM The Price For Letting Them Off Easy

Things that make me want to sanitize my brain by dunking my head in a bucket of iodine: As George W. Bush's public image improves, more former Bush officials are...

By Martin Longman

January 19, 2014 2:33 PM Two Things I Never Thought I'd Hear

The president is quoted today saying some things I never excepted a president to say. Maybe it is a sign of the times or maybe it's the liberation of not...

By Martin Longman

January 19, 2014 11:29 AM One Model Does Not Analysis Make

Associate Professor of Political Science at George Washington University, John Sides, attempts to rebut Dan Balz's fine analysis yesterday that the Republican Party has an uphill battle to win the...

By Martin Longman

January 19, 2014 8:19 AM Thankfully, Dennis Rodman Seeks Treatment

I didn't like it when people were making great sport of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's clear substance abuse problems, and I'm not going to make fun of Dennis Rodman now...

By Martin Longman

January 18, 2014 4:37 PM As Presently Constructed, GOP Cannot Win White House

I have written many, many, many times about the Republicans' Electoral College problem. The Washington Post's Dan Balz does a great breakdown on the issue in today's paper. The short...

By Martin Longman

January 18, 2014 3:02 PM James Lankford is Wrong About Everything

While I won't miss his presence in the U.S. Senate, I am sorry to hear that Tom Coburn of Oklahoma is suffering with cancer and will retire. I hope he...

By Martin Longman

January 18, 2014 1:53 PM I've Had Enough of Mitt

I don't think I could sit through a documentary about Mitt Romney in order to write a movie review. The man told too many lies. Maybe some of you know...

By Martin Longman

January 18, 2014 10:16 AM Iraq Worked Out Nicely, For Some People

For a certain class of Americans, the following represents a victory and a justification for the invasion of Iraq. The point of the invasion, for them, wasn't about liberating Iraqis...

By Martin Longman

January 18, 2014 9:02 AM Hoboken Mayor Levels Accusations At Christie Administration

MSNBC is lucky to have Steve Kornacki because his extensive experience covering New Jersey politics is paying off in spades now that its time to report on the intricate ways...

By Martin Longman

January 17, 2014 5:30 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

We'll be on a Lite Federal Holiday Blogging schedule Monday for the MLK commemoration. As a southerner, this has always been an important day for me, and I'll try to...

By Ed Kilgore

January 17, 2014 5:11 PM Limited Setback For Voter ID in PA

I'm sure a lot of voting rights advocates have been struck by the irony that one day after the unveiling of a Voting Rights Act "fix" bill that omitted voter...

By Ed Kilgore

January 17, 2014 3:37 PM Poor Befuddled Americans and Their Privacy Concerns

Greg Sargent asks via Twitter what this statement issued by John Boehner in response to the president's speech on NSA actually means: Our national security programs exist to root out...

By Ed Kilgore

January 17, 2014 3:00 PM Rand Paul Needs To Stop Writing a Revisionist History of Civil Rights

I understand that a revisionist history of the civil rights movement is of great psychological importance to some conservatives. We'll probably hear a lot more of it on Monday in...

By Ed Kilgore

January 17, 2014 2:04 PM Lunch Buffet

Guess it's time to start thawing out the Obama Steaks assortment a relative sent for Christmas; all those mini-steaks and mini-desserts have been staring at me reproachfully from the freezer...

By Ed Kilgore

January 17, 2014 1:04 PM No Plan B For Republican Establishment

I'm gratified at having an argument I've made about the metapolitical significance of Chris Christie's problems confirmed by McKay Coppins, a very acute and well-sourced observer of GOPLand: In the...

By Ed Kilgore

January 17, 2014 12:29 PM Hatred of Snowden Is Spooky

If you're inclined to sympathize with the president's caution on curtailing the NSA surveillance program in the wake of a furor fanned if not created by Edward Snowden's revelations, you...

By Ed Kilgore

January 17, 2014 12:14 PM Obama Inches Forward on NSA Oversight

In a much-anticipated speech at the Justice Department this morning, the president adopted a few high-profile reforms--as recommended last month by a review panel he appointed-- of the NSA's telecommunications...

By Ed Kilgore

January 17, 2014 11:36 AM Senate Naysayers on Approps Bill

Relatively speaking, there was a larger dissent against the Omnibus Appropriations bill in the Senate (26 of 98) than in the House (67 of 426). All of the Senate naysayers...

By Ed Kilgore

January 17, 2014 10:34 AM Back From the Brink on Iran Sanctions

There's some good news from Congress other than its success in avoiding another government shutdown: it seems prospects for passage of preemptive Iran sanctions legislation, timed to sabotage negotiations, have...

By Ed Kilgore

January 17, 2014 9:47 AM Virtue, Vice and Inequality

As regular readers know, I have a issue with the tendency of conservatives to identify wealth with virtue and poverty with vice. It adds insult to injury to blame the...

By Ed Kilgore

January 17, 2014 8:44 AM Daylight Video

Since we'll be inevitably talking about spying today, let's start with Tina Turner performing "Undercover Agent For the Blues."...

By Ed Kilgore

January 16, 2014 5:39 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Since we're commemorating the beginning of Prohibition today, I should note there is still a Prohibition Party operating in this country, though it did split into two factions in a...

By Ed Kilgore

January 16, 2014 5:07 PM The True Believer

Via Dave Weigel, I ran across a campaign video prepared by Ben Sasse, the "true conservative" candidate for the Senate from Nebraska this year. Sasse has been endorsed by the...

By Ed Kilgore

January 16, 2014 3:50 PM The Latest Reason Not To Text While Driving--Or Not Driving

This revelation from the Guardian's James Ball should surprise no one, but it's probably unwelcome to the president the day before his announcement of measures to deal with the National...

By Ed Kilgore

January 16, 2014 3:34 PM Voting Rights Act "Fix:" What Will the Party of Lincoln Do?

As noted at Lunch Buffet, the long-awaited bipartisan and bicameral legislation responding to the damage done to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by the U.S. Supreme Court in its...

By Ed Kilgore

January 16, 2014 2:24 PM Who's Rubin's Early Fave for '16?

One of the more amusing pastimes in Washington on slow news days is to observe how certain pundits who are only happy if they are shilling for a presidential campaign...

By Ed Kilgore

January 16, 2014 1:48 PM Lunch Buffet

Watched an episode of Top Chef last night in which contestants had to build Po-Boy sandwiches, and it made me nostalgic for my new friend Lloyd in Baton Rouge and...

By Ed Kilgore

January 16, 2014 1:07 PM Sound Advice For Pundits

Fine by me if we call this "Marshall's Rule," per this bit of advice for Stu Rothenberg from Josh Marshall after the famous beltway election handicapper and occasional pundit called...

By Ed Kilgore

January 16, 2014 12:41 PM More of the Agony of Being Jack Kingston

I've had occasional fun here at the expense of U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), a standard-brand conservative Republican career pol who's having trouble keeping up with the new style of...

By Ed Kilgore

January 16, 2014 11:59 AM The Nefarious Conservative Conspiracy to Save Obamacare

Like me, you were probably under the impression that bashing Obamacare was a party-wide Republican obsession and pretty much the GOP's central talking point for 2014. That made sense not...

By Ed Kilgore

January 16, 2014 10:13 AM The Anti-Establishment Establishment

To those of us who are perpetually skeptical of the alleged power of the incredibly "adult" and deeply "responsible" Republican Establishment to keep the "constitutional conservatives" in line, a Timothy...

By Ed Kilgore

January 16, 2014 9:34 AM Christie "Cruising" For a Bruising

Today's First Read from NBC is a classic of example of the determination to see a glass half full. Under the headline "Poll: Christie cruising through the bridge scandal (so...

By Ed Kilgore

January 16, 2014 8:44 AM Daylight Video

National Prohibition took effect on this day in 1919. Here's the New Lost City Ramblers performing "Goodbye Old Booze."...

By Ed Kilgore

January 15, 2014 5:17 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Got so attached to the little Chromebook while traveling that I haven't switched back to the iMac. But I fear the desktop will jealously punish me for blogging around, so...

By Ed Kilgore

January 15, 2014 4:45 PM The Courage To Mention Immigration

Well, expectations from Republicans for courageous advocacy of comprehensive immigration reform have sure gone down in the last year. At this point in 2013, after party "rebranders" insisted the GOP...

By Ed Kilgore

January 15, 2014 4:07 PM Schweitzer as the Anti-Obama

There's a lot of buzz today about an interview that MSNBC's Benjy Sarlin secured with former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, who has been making noises about running for president. Here...

By Ed Kilgore

January 15, 2014 3:18 PM Still the War Party

I mean no disrespect to Jamelle Bouie by saying that he kills a mosquito with a bazooka in swatting down the idea that the tables could be turned in 2016...

By Ed Kilgore

January 15, 2014 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Shifting back to PST after periodic EST and CST sojourns has been a pain, so sorry if I'm hitting the snooze button three times and putting up the Daylight Video...

By Ed Kilgore

January 15, 2014 1:16 PM But Maybe the Sky Is Falling After All

I'm afraid my measured, anything-can-happen take on the DC Court of Appeals' net neutrality decision yesterday may under-represent a contrary point of view. Here it is as articulated by the...

By Ed Kilgore

January 15, 2014 12:53 PM Jerry Won't Bite on Presidential Availability

Those of you who hoped for one reason or other that California Gov. Jerry Brown would tease us all with a refusal to rule out a 2016 presidential bid got...

By Ed Kilgore

January 15, 2014 12:40 PM The Gillespie Rorschach Test

It's interesting to watch the highly variable reaction of political observers to the prospect of uber-lobbyist Ed Gillespie running against Mark Warner in Virginia this year. To Washington Establishment types...

By Ed Kilgore

January 15, 2014 11:57 AM Next Steps on Net Neutrality

Yesterday's decision by a three-judge panel of the D.C. Court of Appeals invalidating the FCC's "net neutrality" rules for broadband providers leaves the FCC several avenues for policing discriminatory activity:...

By Ed Kilgore

January 15, 2014 10:16 AM Laying Down Markers

So the House is expected to act on a $1.1 trillion omnibus appropriations bill today, and it seems leaders of both parties in Congress have decided to low-key the whole...

By Ed Kilgore

January 15, 2014 9:47 AM The Scandal He Deserves?

I'm clearly not the only observer who immediately thinks of Richard Nixon when I'm listening to Chris Christie. Here's George Packer at the New Yorker: Character is destiny, and politicians...

By Ed Kilgore

January 15, 2014 8:59 AM Daylight Video

On this day in 1919, German revolutionary leaders Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg were murdered by right-wing militia members as the Sparticist uprising was brutally suppressed. Here's the punk band...

By Ed Kilgore

January 14, 2014 6:02 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Just realized I'll be able to do a series of 50th anniversary commemorations of the 1964 presidential contest--you know, the one today's conservatives want to re-run with a different result....

By Ed Kilgore

January 14, 2014 5:30 PM Post-Evangelical Nashville

Since it's near day's end, and I like to explore the cultural underpinnings of politics whenever possible, I want to draw your attention to a fascinating essay by Carrie Allen...

By Ed Kilgore

January 14, 2014 4:40 PM Forget About the Obamacare "Death Spiral" For a While

Looking at the same official enrollment numbers that Jonathan Cohn used earlier today to discuss the broad range of issues about Obamacare implementation, Ezra Klein is willing to make a...

By Ed Kilgore

January 14, 2014 4:18 PM Big Blow To Net Neutrality

In breaking news, a D.C. Court of Appeals panel ruled 2-1 that the FCC's rules aimed at ensuring "net neutralilty" by broadband providers exceeded its powers because it has failed...

By Ed Kilgore

January 14, 2014 3:23 PM Another Senate Candidate Who Makes Todd Akin Look Like a RINO

If you want to know why Democrats have a good chance of hanging onto control of the Senate in November despite a poor landscape and a very likely turnout disadvantage,...

By Ed Kilgore

January 14, 2014 1:43 PM Lunch Buffet

Ugh, my supposedly final dental procedure was a failure, so it's a new temporary bridge, another soft-food regimen, and another trip to the dentist in 10 days or so. I...

By Ed Kilgore

January 14, 2014 12:59 PM Iowa '16: Keeping HRC Engaged

So now that Brian Schweitzer's gone to Iowa and created the theoretical possibility of a Democratic challenge to Hillary Clinton in 2016, CNN's Peter Hamby follows with a full-scale survey...

By Ed Kilgore

January 14, 2014 11:51 AM Watch Out For the Riders

With the leaden step of a done deal, Congress is moving towards approval of an omnibus appropriations bill that would implement last month's budget deal and fund the federal government...

By Ed Kilgore

January 14, 2014 11:29 AM Drifting Towards Another Middle East War?

As the White House sharpens its criticism of congressional efforts to short-circuit negotiations with Iran via a new sanctions regime, progressives are slowly waking up and smelling the campfire coffee...

By Ed Kilgore

January 14, 2014 10:11 AM The Post-Christie Scenario

As the Christie saga rolls on, there's been a lot of speculation about how BridgeGate affects his presidential aspirations for 2016. The general consensus is that while it's far too...

By Ed Kilgore

January 14, 2014 9:59 AM No Big Surprises In Early Obamacare Numbers

If you want to make sense of the now-more-clearly-documented early enrollment stage of the Affordable Care Act, check out Jonathan Cohn's summary at TNR before you get too distracted by...

By Ed Kilgore

January 14, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

On this day in 1970, Diana Ross and the Supremes performed their final concert, in Las Vegas. Here they are back in 1964, performing their first hit, "Where Did Our...

By Ed Kilgore

January 13, 2014 5:39 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Believe it or not, I'm off to yet another dental procedure, hopefully the last for a good long while. Yes, it's the Permanent Bridge, that alternative to the "partials" of...

By Ed Kilgore

January 13, 2014 5:08 PM Best of a Bad Lot

So this morning I observed that the kind of "defenses" conservatives are offering for Chris Christie couldn't make him feel very cozy. And now I'd say the same for his...

By Ed Kilgore

January 13, 2014 4:27 PM Just Start Shooting

Hey, all you pundits who think "both sides" are equally to blame for the poisonous state of political discourse. Read this report from Raw Story's Travis Gettys and ask yourself...

By Ed Kilgore

January 13, 2014 4:01 PM The Warren and de Blasio Populist "Wings"

TNR's Noam Scheiber, who is bidding fair to become the chronicler of a left-wing "populist" revolt against "centrist" Democratic politics, has a column today that sharply differentiates Elizabeth Warren's style...

By Ed Kilgore

January 13, 2014 2:51 PM Local Journalism Matters

One very clear thing emerging from the BridgeGate brouhaha is that the whole thing might never have been detected if not for careful reporting by the Bergen Record, the kind...

By Ed Kilgore

January 13, 2014 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Spent nine hours at Poppy International Airport in Houston Saturday, but finally got home Sunday morning in plenty of time for church and a pretty impressive performance by the waves...

By Ed Kilgore

January 13, 2014 1:07 PM The Clinton "Hit List"

Well, Politico Magazine--supposedly an outlet for deeper dives into political issues than the regular site offers--is having itself quite the day. There's the aforementioned Mitch McConnell piece, a short and...

By Ed Kilgore

January 13, 2014 11:52 AM Putting on the Bipartisan Mask

It's really become hard for pundits to maintain the "both sides are equally to blame" position on partisan and ideological polarization these days. But it's a lot easier than the...

By Ed Kilgore

January 13, 2014 11:27 AM The Real GOP Anti-Poverty Agenda

Greg Sargent sums up the absurdity of the GOP claim to be interested in a new anti-poverty push in one stunning sentence: The GOP poverty agenda right now includes opposing...

By Ed Kilgore

January 13, 2014 11:06 AM Defining "Welfare"

At Wonkblog yesterday, Mike Konczal makes a point that shouldn't be lost in the brief debate over poverty policy we had last week in connectoin with the 50th anniversary of...

By Ed Kilgore

January 13, 2014 9:50 AM No One Was Audited at Bridgegate

You know the worst sign for Chris Christie about Bridgegate? The line most of his conservative defenders (and not all conservatives are defending him) are taking isn't really about the...

By Ed Kilgore

January 13, 2014 8:58 AM Daylight Video

Good to be home. Here's The Wallflowers with "Back To California."...

By Ed Kilgore

January 12, 2014 8:34 PM Fact-Free Zone

When I talked about the Truthification of Public Discourse I had people like John Podhoretz in mind. Facts simply don't matter for these folks. The worst thing about the IRS...

By Martin Longman

January 12, 2014 5:03 PM What's in the Water Down There?

Let's go back to Texas for some more fun: In an excerpt of the book published at Huffington Post, the pastor of Dallas, Texas’ 11,000-member First Baptist Church, [Robert] Jeffress...

By Martin Longman

January 12, 2014 12:46 PM Birds of a Feather Stick Together

When I saw that Karl Rove had said that Chris Christie's handling of the bridge-closing scandal would give "him some street cred with some tea party Republicans" and essentially proved...

By Martin Longman

January 12, 2014 11:24 AM Adgendas and Ideoligies

I think we may have found someone to replace Sarah Palin. On Monday, she made an appearance at a Fort Worth, Texas forum for candidates running to serve on the...

By Martin Longman

January 12, 2014 10:02 AM What Now for the GOP?

In 2008, I couldn't imagine anyone other than John McCain winning the Republican nomination. The alternatives were too pathetic. In 2012, I felt even more strongly that no one other...

By Martin Longman

January 12, 2014 8:03 AM Odds & Ends

More New Jersey mayors discuss Christie's bullying. The Affordable Care Act does not provide taxpayer-funded abortions. Chewbacca took some nice photos on the set of the original Star Wars movie....

By Martin Longman

January 11, 2014 7:03 PM Will Bibi Change His Stripes?

Ariel Sharon died today, and Ben Birnbaum is unnaturally optimistic that Benjamin Netanyahu will agree to a peace agreement. Over the coming weeks, Netanyahu will likely find himself in the...

By Martin Longman

January 11, 2014 2:35 PM Christie's Allies Abandon Him

With news that the incoming speaker of the New Jersey Assembly, Vincent Prieto, will renew the Transportation Committee's subpoena power, there is no hope of the BridgeGate controversy going away....

By Martin Longman

January 11, 2014 1:21 PM The TPP May Be DOA

Over at Ten Miles Square, Ari Rabin-Havt discusses Max Baucus's last act as a U.S. Senator before taking over his post as Ambassador to China. Baucus will try to push...

By Martin Longman

January 11, 2014 11:48 AM The Truthification of Political Discourse

In recent years, we've seen the emergence of journalistic outlets that try to arbitrate the truthfulness of political statements. Perhaps the best established is the Tampa Bay Times' Politifact. They...

By Martin Longman

January 11, 2014 8:23 AM Christie Showed His Stripes as U.S. Attorney

The dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy of 2007 has been largely forgotten, but it was a very big deal at the time. It resulted in the resignations of the Attorney...

By Martin Longman

January 10, 2014 5:26 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

Just time for a couple more gut-busting meals here in NOLA. It's gonna be major diet time back in California next week. But today's foggy weather is just like home....

By Ed Kilgore

January 10, 2014 4:36 PM The Partisanship That Dares Not Say Its Name

As a follow-on to the earlier post about Alan Abramowitz' deconstruction of the new Gallup numbers on the (false) self-identification of a record number of voters as independents, there's another...

By Ed Kilgore

January 10, 2014 3:49 PM Luncheon Meat

As an especially interested observer in the U.S. Senate race in my home state of Georgia, with its crowded and festive wingnut-a-thon GOP primary, I've long figured the "Establishment" favorite,...

By Ed Kilgore

January 10, 2014 3:02 PM Abramowitz on the "Record Number of Independents"

Since this is a very familiar subject for him, I am unsurprised that Emory's Alan Abramowitz is the first to offer a cautionary column about that Gallup survey showing a...

By Ed Kilgore

January 10, 2014 1:13 PM Lunch Buffet

Selecting an actual "lunch" here in New Orleans in the middle of a work day is easy if you want a good meal but hard if you fear you'll regret...

By Ed Kilgore

January 10, 2014 12:49 PM More Evidence of the Demobilizing Impact of High Housing Costs

Those of you who read Tim Noah's important article in the November/December 2013 issue of the Washington Monthly will recall his argument that the gap between high housing costs and...

By Ed Kilgore

January 10, 2014 12:17 PM Beyond Polarization to Warfare

At WaPo's Monkey Cage subsite today, there's an important piece by University of Texas political scientist Sean Theriault that gets to a distinction in political attitudes that some of us...

By Ed Kilgore

January 10, 2014 11:44 AM Abortion and Christian Zionism

Because I don't really want to write five posts today about Chris Christie, I did a broader than usual search for morning topics today, and struck some interesting gold (via...

By Ed Kilgore

January 10, 2014 10:13 AM Christie-Mania

Last time I checked, the aggregator I used most had sixteen separate Chris Christie stories commanding buzz. Truth is, I wrote most of what little I've concluded about the Christie...

By Ed Kilgore

January 10, 2014 9:42 AM How Patient Are Millennials About the Economy?

In his weekly column for National Journal, Ron Brownstein notes that the Millennial Generation, 90 million strong, is now the nation's largest. But the question he poses is whether the...

By Ed Kilgore

January 10, 2014 8:53 AM December Jobs Report: Glass Empty or Overflowing

After two straight 200,000-plus months, expectations going into this morning's BLS December Jobs Report were along the same lines, some even higher. It came in at 74,000 net new jobs....

By Ed Kilgore

January 10, 2014 8:26 AM Daylight Video

As I wake up near Canal Street, here's Jelly Roll Morton performing "New Orleans Blues."...

By Ed Kilgore

January 09, 2014 5:39 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Leaving Baton Rouge for NOLA this afternoon, before heading back to Cali on Saturday. So one more work day of luxuriating in a 7:00 AM wakeup call. Here are some...

By Ed Kilgore

January 09, 2014 4:31 PM Marriage and Poverty

Ten times out of ten, when a conservative starts talking about the causes of and remedies for poverty, the word "marriage" comes up within about two minutes max. And usually...

By Ed Kilgore

January 09, 2014 2:45 PM Beyond the Blue Dog Model

Yesterday WaPo's Greg Sargent wrote a much-earned tribute to KY Gov. Steve Beshear, who not only successfully implemented state exchange administration and a Medicaid expansion as part of his responsibilities...

By Ed Kilgore

January 09, 2014 2:15 PM Brave-O

I'd be remiss if I didn't take note of the election of former Atlanta Braves pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine (along with slugger Frank Thomas) to baseball's Hall of...

By Ed Kilgore

January 09, 2014 1:31 PM Lunch Buffet

Chris Christie's press availability has finally ended, I think. He clearly decided the "take all questions" approach would help his credibility, and/or encourage Republicans to sympathize with him as the...

By Ed Kilgore

January 09, 2014 11:54 AM Christie's Not-So-Sweeping Thursday Morning Massacre

So Chris Christie got through his initial "Bridgegate" presser still protesting his innocence and ignorance, but apologizing, and most significantly, firing his deputy chief of staff for "lying to me"...

By Ed Kilgore

January 09, 2014 11:36 AM Rubio Messing With Success

Ever since Marco Rubio delivered his Big Poverty Speech at AEI yesterday, I've been looking for a serious analysis of his two Big Ideas--well, actually, just one of them, because...

By Ed Kilgore

January 09, 2014 10:40 AM Role Model For Christie

Assuming Chris Christie's national ambitions do take a big hit from "Bridgegate," he can look a bit to the west for a role model in the redemptive power of unquenchable...

By Ed Kilgore

January 09, 2014 10:22 AM Be Careful Who You Step On: You Might Turn Into Nixon

Chris Christie has a press availability scheduled for 11:00 AM EST, and we'll see what he can add to his response to the Fort Lee scandal beyond yesterday's denial that...

By Ed Kilgore

January 09, 2014 9:23 AM Apples to Apples

If the last post discusses the outdated assumptions underlying official poverty measurements, it's equally important to recognize what they do and don't measure, and choose points of comparison that make...

By Ed Kilgore

January 09, 2014 8:17 AM Here's What Po' Folks Need!

In all the discussions about poverty this week, gabbers generally assume they know what poverty is. But that assumption is based on an official Federal Poverty Line that didn't exactly...

By Ed Kilgore

January 09, 2014 8:03 AM Daylight Video

This is the 35th anniversary of the Concert For UNICEF in New York, keying off the International Year of the Child. Musically, it didn't match its predecessor, the 1971 Concert...

By Ed Kilgore

January 08, 2014 5:48 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Hope you all had a better day than Chris Christie. Here are some final items in the hopper: * Already talk of indictments in connection with Fort Lee scandal in...

By Ed Kilgore

January 08, 2014 5:17 PM Edu-Fest

We've got a bumper crop for education wonks today at PA. First, there's Daniel Luzer's fascinating article from the January/February issue of the Washington Monthly about the no-frills online post-secondary...

By Ed Kilgore

January 08, 2014 4:35 PM Saving the Poor From Health Insurance

As we wait to figure out if Marco Rubio's big new poverty proposal amounts to a hill of beans, it's useful to recall that this whole GOP discussion of poverty...

By Ed Kilgore

January 08, 2014 4:22 PM Rubio: Something Old, Something (Maybe) New

Well, I have to admit, I didn't expect Marco Rubio's Big Speech on poverty policy today at AEI to be interesting at all. And maybe we'll find out when the...

By Ed Kilgore

January 08, 2014 2:47 PM Tough Love and Tough Hate

Before lunch I essayed some thoughts about fault lines among progressives about anti-poverty strategy. While I've often expressed deep skepticism about the seriousness and depth of conservative discussions on poverty-fighting,...

By Ed Kilgore

January 08, 2014 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Not sure my health can survive too much more time in Louisiana with its wonderful food. And I haven't even made it to Nawlins yet! Being a "food populist," you...

By Ed Kilgore

January 08, 2014 1:16 PM Poverty, Distribution of Income, and Redistribution

All this week's ruminations across the commentariat in connection with the 50th anniversary of LBJ's launching of the "War on Poverty" have been useful if not always illuminating. One issue...

By Ed Kilgore

January 08, 2014 11:10 AM Why Christie's "Fort Lee Scandal" Matters

Some of you may have been following the simmering controversy over the closure of lanes on the New Jersey end of the George Washington Bridge in September that caused epic...

By Ed Kilgore

January 08, 2014 10:46 AM The Elephant in the Room on Health Care Costs

There is a vibrant and sometimes angry debate well underway both in the popular political media and in Wonkland about the connection between the implementation of the Affordable Care Act...

By Ed Kilgore

January 08, 2014 9:58 AM Moral Judgments and the Safety Net

In the context of predicting what Republicans will ultimately do about extended unemployment insurance specifically, and efforts to help Americans in need generally, Tom Edsall has an interesting if unsatisfying...

By Ed Kilgore

January 08, 2014 9:07 AM Show Some Empathy For Those Bums!

Clearly, some Republican message-meisters are cringing at the impression some of their folks have left that they think the beneficiaries of extended unemployment insurance are freeloaders who ought to get...

By Ed Kilgore

January 08, 2014 8:10 AM Daylight Video

Since I'm in Louisiana today, I must acknowledge that it's the 199th anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans, which had no actual bearing on the outcome of the War...

By Ed Kilgore

January 07, 2014 5:57 PM Day's End and Night Watch

A long day with plenty to blog about, for the first time in a while. Keep it up, O ye generators of political news. Here are some remains of the...

By Ed Kilgore

January 07, 2014 5:02 PM Boehner Raises the Price of UI Extension to the Skies

I noted earlier today the Mitch McConnell seemed to be switching from a budget offset demand to "kill Obamacare" as the price for supporting a three-month UI extension. Well, now...

By Ed Kilgore

January 07, 2014 4:04 PM The South and the Cult of Phony Victimhood

Moving along from ignored and often mocked victims of internet harassment to phony victims who try to turn the tables on those they would like to oppress, Jelani Cobb has...

By Ed Kilgore

January 07, 2014 3:00 PM Policing Internet Threats Against Women

I try not to over-use the term "must-read," and also don't often draw attention to very long pieces, but I strongly encourage everyone to read the very long (and harrowing)...

By Ed Kilgore

January 07, 2014 1:38 PM Lunch Buffet

In his delightful book on Louisiana politics and culture, The Earl of Louisiana, A.J. Liebling suggested a po' boy sandwich outside of New Orleans was nothing like the original. He...

By Ed Kilgore

January 07, 2014 12:53 PM The Conservative Anti-Poverty Agenda: Heating Up Kemp's Stale Ideas

At WaPo today, Philip Rucker and Robert Costa (bravo to the Post for hiring a genuinely fine conservative reporter) have a roundup of Republican "ideas"--or at least rhetoric--for fighting poverty....

By Ed Kilgore

January 07, 2014 12:15 PM Helping the Poor by Denying Contraception Coverage

Under considerable indirect pressure from the Vatican and more direct pressure from emboldened Catholic liberals, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops seem to have found a formula for continuing their...

By Ed Kilgore

January 07, 2014 11:44 AM UI Extension Moves Ahead in Senate

By the narrowest of margins (60-37), the Senate headed off a Republican filibuster and proceeded to consideration of legislation extending unemployment insurance for another three months without budget offsets. It's...

By Ed Kilgore

January 07, 2014 10:36 AM GOP Squirming on UI

I don't know what will happen this morning in the Senate on the Reed-Heller UI extension bill, but the Senate is obviously only one hurdle the legislation must overcome. So...

By Ed Kilgore

January 07, 2014 9:43 AM Down Ballot

In preparation for the 2014 election year, I've been writing weekly columns for TPMCafe summarizing what we know--or ought to know--about the lay of the land. This week's installment focuses...

By Ed Kilgore

January 07, 2014 9:11 AM In From the Cold

So enough Senators made it back to Washington last night (others had trouble with delayed flights attributable to the arctic weather) to confirm Janet Yellen as Federal Reserve Board chairman...

By Ed Kilgore

January 07, 2014 8:44 AM Daylight Video

Shoot, let's do a second day of Louisiana music. Here's Swamp Blues artist Tabby Thomas, who as it happens died just last week, performing "On Thin Ice."...

By Ed Kilgore

January 06, 2014 5:40 PM Day's End and Night Watch

I must be feeling tentative this afternoon; otherwise why did I do three straight posts headlined with a question? I ask you, why? (I did recover before the last post,...

By Ed Kilgore

January 06, 2014 5:10 PM This Doesn't Mean "War"

At the risk of becoming a crank about this, I must again today object to the term "civil war" for the internecine conflict within the Republican Party. I laid out...

By Ed Kilgore

January 06, 2014 4:54 PM Second Death for UI Extension?

Attentive readers may wonder why I haven't written anything today about the pending Senate vote on an unemployment insurance extension. For one thing, it's not clear whether the threshold procedural...

By Ed Kilgore

January 06, 2014 4:09 PM Communist Mole in Nebraska?

In a token of the kind of loose curricular control public schools used to have back in those wonderful days before the Supreme Court ruined everything by taking prayer out...

By Ed Kilgore

January 06, 2014 3:20 PM Will ACA Make Medicaid a Middle Class Entitlement?

I've spent a fair amount of time fretting over the impact of the Affordable Care Act on Medicaid, particularly if Republican-controlled states succeed in convincing the Obama administration to do...

By Ed Kilgore

January 06, 2014 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Being in CST was a bit of a snooze-treat for me today, but political news is but slowly emerging from the holiday deep-freeze. Here are some midday test-kitchen items: *...

By Ed Kilgore

January 06, 2014 12:46 PM A Predictable Halt To Same-Sex Marriage in Utah

You may have heard or read by now that the U.S. Supreme Court put a "stay" on a district court judge's decision striking down Utah's same-sex marriage ban. As SCOTUSblog's...

By Ed Kilgore

January 06, 2014 11:44 AM Obamacare as a Bloody Shirt

If the relative success or failure of the Affordable Care Act is the biggest variable affecting national (and to a large extent, state) politics in 2014, then the second biggest...

By Ed Kilgore

January 06, 2014 11:10 AM RNC To Pause For Anti-Choice Rally

Here's a little news item for those of you who have bought the periodic line that the Republican Party has learned its lesson about "social issues," and will avoid them...

By Ed Kilgore

January 06, 2014 10:44 AM Poor Little Rich Boys

If you read Matea Gold's long piece at WaPo today about the vast, byzantine web of organizations--many just dummies or decoys or the purest kind of money launderers--set up by...

By Ed Kilgore

January 06, 2014 9:16 AM One Less Challenge

So as Washington begins slowly to return to normal activity this week, there is a quick, cheap shot of pure political news: Liz Cheney's dropping her not-very-impressive Senate campaign. The...

By Ed Kilgore

January 06, 2014 8:44 AM Daylight Video

I'm in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the first part of this week, a city dominated by Huey Long's State Capitol Building, where he was assassinated in 1935. Here's Huey with Ina...

By Ed Kilgore

January 05, 2014 8:05 PM For Downton Abbey fans: a tribute to everyone's favorite dowager countess

Tonight kicks off season four of Downton Abbey, which I am eagerly anticipating. I enjoyed season one so much I could have eaten it with a spoon, but I felt...

By Kathleen Geier

January 05, 2014 6:12 PM Ulcer drugs are the new coat hangers: how Texas's draconian new abortion law encourages women to take dangerous risks with their health

On Friday, Ed briefly mentioned a new report about abortion restrictions in the states. I'd like to follow up on that. The report was issued by the Guttmacher Institute, and...

By Kathleen Geier

January 05, 2014 2:12 PM Fun fact of the day: between 1979 and 2007, economic inequality rose more quickly including taxes and transfers than excluding them

The best op-ed I've read today is this one, which appeared in the Newark Star Ledger. It's by economist Jared Bernstein, responding to mendacious claims about economic inequality in a...

By Kathleen Geier

January 05, 2014 12:02 PM Slashing unemployment benefits carries huge costs to the economy. Here's one economist's shocking estimate.

Congress's decision to cut off long-term unemployment benefits wasn't just punitive and nasty, it was also fiscally irresponsible. Harvard economist Lawrence Katz says that the decision, which slashed the benefits...

By Kathleen Geier

January 05, 2014 9:14 AM Pat Buchanan on drugs

Pat Buchanan manages to inject his cranky xenophobia into practically every social and political issue in existence, so it's not surprising he would do so in the area of drug...

By Kathleen Geier

January 05, 2014 8:48 AM Morning music: Lorde

Lorde, the teen singing sensation from New Zealand, was one of the great music discoveries of last year. Her compelling music consists of her husky, beautifully pitched vocals; a brilliantly...

By Kathleen Geier

January 04, 2014 4:59 PM Jesse Myerson throws down: five ideas that (may?) represent the left wing of the possible

Can I tell you how much I love this Rolling Stone piece by Jesse Myerson? It's called "Five Economic Reforms Millennials Should Be Fighting For." Myerson's reforms are the following:...

By Kathleen Geier

January 04, 2014 3:59 PM Melissa Harris-Perry apologizes to the Romney family

Earlier this week, Melissa Harris-Perry made thoughtless and hurtful remarks about Mitt Romney's adopted African-American grandson. Today, she apologized for her comments. Unlike most of the faux-pologies made by media...

By Kathleen Geier

January 04, 2014 11:20 AM New York's Mayor de Blasio says he will rid the city of its inhumane horse carriages -- and the wanker whinefest begins!

This week, New York City's new mayor, Bill de Blasio, announced that his administration would outlaw the city's carriage horses. "We are going to get rid of horse carriages, period,"...

By Kathleen Geier

January 04, 2014 8:13 AM Phil Everly, R.I.P.

Phil Everly of the pioneering rock group the Everly Brothers died yesterday. He was 74 and had been suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The Everly Brothers are among the...

By Kathleen Geier

January 03, 2014 6:02 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

Was about to knock off half an hour ago, but saw the piece about the new Guttmacher Institute report referenced in an email, and had a pang of conscience. For...

By Ed Kilgore

January 03, 2014 5:38 PM Anti-Choice-a-Palooza

Just saw this news from Wonkblog's Sarah Kliff: [The] Guttmacher Institute...[found] that states passed 205 abortion restrictions between 2011 and 2013, more than the 189 laws passed between 2001 and...

By Ed Kilgore

January 03, 2014 5:30 PM Browbeating From Big Beef

I first encountered the power of the beef lobby back in 1980, when I was left in the Georgia governor's federal-state relations office to fend for myself while my colleagues...

By Ed Kilgore

January 03, 2014 4:18 PM Snakes Alive: Florida Passing New York in Population

I know this is the sort of reaction that shows my age, but Lord-a-mighty, the news that Florida will this very year pass New York in population is a shocker....

By Ed Kilgore

January 03, 2014 3:58 PM Does America Need Royals?

Gotta admit that when I first encountered Michael Auslin's piece in Politico Magazine suggesting--to all appearances, seriously--that America needs a monarchy to create some symbol of national unity, I didn't...

By Ed Kilgore

January 03, 2014 2:06 PM Lunch Buffet

Guess it's time to catch up on today's political news and views after Ryan and I spent so much time and space on deep dives into bigger topics. Here's what...

By Ed Kilgore

January 03, 2014 1:40 PM Clintonism and Populism

Since it appears the punditocracy has decreed that a "struggle for the soul of the Democratic Party" between "populists" and "centrists" will be one of the Big Stories of 2014,...

By Ed Kilgore

January 03, 2014 12:16 PM The Reformish Conservative Holding Pattern

No place to land yet, lads! National Affairs, the hefty matte-finish ideas magazine of the right, has a couple bracingly reformist articles in its new issue. The first, by Michael...

By Ryan Cooper

January 03, 2014 11:29 AM The ER Talking Point

Attentive readers are probably aware of a new Oregon-based study indicating that getting access to health insurance via Medicaid increased rather than decreased use of emergency room services. At Ten...

By Ed Kilgore

January 03, 2014 10:28 AM Thank You, Thank You, Thank You

So having rattled the cup loudly and frequently last month, I want to report to PA readers the results of our 2013 fundraising drive: 497 donations for a total of...

By Ed Kilgore

January 03, 2014 10:01 AM 2014 Election Analysis Not Off To Good Start

Maybe it's because I'm anticipating ten months of daily exposure to bad political journalism, but Fred Barnes' big table-setter for 2014 in the Weekly Standard seemed to jump right off...

By Ed Kilgore

January 03, 2014 8:44 AM Daylight Video

25 years ago today, Aretha Franklin became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Here she is performing "Think" on Venezuelan television in...

By Ed Kilgore

January 02, 2014 5:59 PM Day's End and Night Watch

I won't say I'm ecstatic about getting back to the normal blogging pace, but today has been OK, and I look forward to a genuinely strong news day before long....

By Ed Kilgore

January 02, 2014 5:33 PM The Biggest Product of the Invisible Primary

I belatedly discovered a December 23 piece at TAP by Walter Shapiro that offered a very useful primer on what us political animals should say when friends or relatives ask...

By Ed Kilgore

January 02, 2014 4:22 PM When Will Republicans Accept Obamacare?

WaPo's Greg Sargent goes through the useful if complex exercise of "envisioning" a future when Republicans have accepted the Affordable Care Act as a fait accompli rather than as the...

By Ed Kilgore

January 02, 2014 3:54 PM Pope Francis and Argentine Exceptionalism

I've already commented pretty clearly on why I think Pope Francis is a significant if not revolutionary pontiff. But I have to tout Andrew Sullivan's succinct takedown of the condescending...

By Ed Kilgore

January 02, 2014 2:40 PM Beyond Stop-and-Frisk

The election of Bill de Blasio as mayor of New York after a Democratic primary that focused significantly on opposition to NYPD's "stop and frisk" policies cast a big spotlight...

By Ed Kilgore

January 02, 2014 1:40 PM Lunch Buffet

My dentist's visit was (thankfully) uneventful; just managed to break off a piece of a temporary bridge on a piece of very temporary peanut fudge. I'll still have the chance...

By Ed Kilgore

January 02, 2014 1:05 PM Politics and the Skins Game

One of the things I like about Public Policy Polling is its habit of fairly regularly comparing political affiliations with positions on cultural controversies and tastes. Today's installment (from a...

By Ed Kilgore

January 02, 2014 12:24 PM Revived Left, Reassured Center?

Anyone who knows WaPo columnist E.J. Dionne can tell you he's an enormously decent man who dislikes unnecessary conflict. So it's entirely unsurprising that E.J. took it upon himself to...

By Ed Kilgore

January 02, 2014 10:25 AM Talkin' Obamacare in 2014

At TNR, the very wise Jonathan Cohn has a listicle of five "rules" for talking about Obamacare in 2014, now that it's more or less a reality. A couple of...

By Ed Kilgore

January 02, 2014 9:51 AM Where Is Obama Hiding the Death Panels?

It was a snarky throwaway comment from Wonkblog's Evan Soltas at the beginning of a long post on the first full day of Obamacare implementation, but an important point nonetheless:...

By Ed Kilgore

January 02, 2014 9:10 AM Getting Used to Stupidity

When I first saw the headline yesterday at ThinkProgress ("Chief Justice Warns Sequestration Cuts Already Threatening Public Safety"), I passed over the story without much of a second thought. Yes,...

By Ed Kilgore

January 02, 2014 8:44 AM Daylight Video

Since it's the 225th anniversary of my home state of Georgia's ratification of the Constitution, I was examining lists of Georgia-born musicians, and ran across this fine recording from Bumble...

By Ed Kilgore

January 01, 2014 4:04 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Not much political news today, as expected. But here's a news roundup, written after I watched my Georgia Bulldogs register a disappointing bowl loss, decided, like so many of their...

By Ed Kilgore

January 01, 2014 12:58 PM Reinforcing the Roller Coaster

Earlier this week I pointed out the structural issues that were likely to make the 2014 and 2016 election cycles a real roller coaster. But there are psychological factors, too,...

By Ed Kilgore

January 01, 2014 9:37 AM New Year's Resolutions

I don't tend to make personal New Year's Resolutions, but understand that many people find them useful. January 1, moreover, is as good a time as any for politically motivated...

By Ed Kilgore

January 01, 2014 8:41 AM Daylight Video

With "Happy New Year," here's Lightnin' Hopkins. Happy 2014!...

By Ed Kilgore

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