Political Animal

March 2014 Archives

March 31, 2014 5:48 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Could've really used one of those federal holidays today, but that ain't happening til Memorial Day. Here are some remains of this non-holiday: * New WaPo/ABC poll shows support for...

By Ed Kilgore

March 31, 2014 5:12 PM And In Other News....

Secretary of State John Kerry ran across a UN report over the weekend, and made a statement: The release of a United Nations report detailing the pervasive effects of climate...

By Ed Kilgore

March 31, 2014 4:59 PM The Next Ryan Budget

We may be waiting for months or years on a consensus GOP Obamacare Alternative, but the wait for the next Ryan Budget should end tomorrow. It will be a "blueprint"...

By Ed Kilgore

March 31, 2014 4:27 PM Cohn Vs. Roy on Health Policy: Why Didn't Somebody Tell Me?

Week before last I linked to a piece by Paul Waldman at the Plum Line on how to improve the Sunday Shows, which I was all for even though I...

By Ed Kilgore

March 31, 2014 3:40 PM Waiting For the Obamacare Alternative

The really exciting Obamacare news today doesn't involve the enrollment figures, oh no. It's this, via Roll Call's Daniel Newhauser: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., reiterated on Friday that...

By Ed Kilgore

March 31, 2014 2:06 PM Lunch Buffet

My wheeze is back after a brief respite, but I'm not virtually infectious. Here are some midday news/views lozenges: * Healthcare.gov crashed for several hours this morning, but this time,...

By Ed Kilgore

March 31, 2014 1:48 PM Sheldon Adelson and Phantom Anti-Semitism

WaPo's Jennifer Rubin didn't come right out and call ABC's Matthew Dowd an anti-Semite for his derisive comments about GOP presidential hopefuls going to Vegas to "kiss the ring of...

By Ed Kilgore

March 31, 2014 12:50 PM "Unskewing" Obamacare Enrollment

As the period for initial enrollment in the Affordable Care Act's new individual insurance offerings comes to an end, the loudest noise in the air is of conservatives objecting to...

By Ed Kilgore

March 31, 2014 11:56 AM How To Get Marginal Voters to the Polls

Thanks to a lot of insistent writing by a lot of writers (perhaps including yours truly), with assists from President Obama and from the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, the CW...

By Ed Kilgore

March 31, 2014 10:48 AM Was the "Sheldon Primary" A Big Joke?

Given the tight security on Sheldon Adelson's home turf at the Venetian ("Who let you in here?" Adelson barked at Politico's Kenneth Vogel before having him tossed out on his...

By Ed Kilgore

March 31, 2014 10:19 AM Early Jebbie-Mania

The big political buzz over the weekend--reinforced by the related story of the "Sheldon Primary" going on in Las Vegas--involved reports that an effort to "draft" (a technical term meaning...

By Ed Kilgore

March 31, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

Let's start the week with some Chicago blues: Otis Rush with "So Many Roads."...

By Ed Kilgore

March 30, 2014 8:06 PM Oh, God, I Am a Coffee Snob

I am kind of a coffee snob. I mean, I can't drink Folgers or Maxwell House. On the other hand, I think it's kind of ridiculous how much some people...

By Martin Longman

March 30, 2014 2:34 PM Serious Question About Voter Suppression

Here's a question. Is the current situation in which the Republicans are systematically trying to limit how many people can vote (and the Democrats are trying to make it easier...

By Martin Longman

March 30, 2014 11:17 AM Is Netanyahu in Control?

The last time I allowed myself to feel any sense of optimism about a peaceful resolution of the Israel/Palestine conflict was during the Camp David talks in 2000. Being pessimistic...

By Martin Longman

March 30, 2014 9:14 AM Rhetoric Won't Patch the GOP Up

Over at the National Review Kevin Williamson has penned a column we are all familiar with. It's a rallying cry for conservatives to get over their differences and rally behind...

By Martin Longman

March 30, 2014 8:37 AM Daylight Video

Here's something to wake you up....

By Martin Longman

March 29, 2014 7:40 PM Give All Your Money to Jeb

Every rich Republican in the country seems eager to throw millions of dollars at Jeb Bush. In a way, I understand. Jeb is more like his father than his idiot...

By Martin Longman

March 29, 2014 3:36 PM Greg Gutfield Writes Books?

I'm still trying to come to terms with the fact that Greg Gutfield wrote a book and people actually reviewed it. The title pretty much says it all: Not Cool:...

By Martin Longman

March 29, 2014 11:45 AM Boehner Acts Like Czar, Everyone Shrugs

There are few things that go on in Congress that are less sexy than the annual ritual of jettisoning the “sustainable growth rate” of Medicare, and I have struggled to...

By Martin Longman

March 29, 2014 9:30 AM An Actually Weak President

When Dick Cheney appeared at American University on March 28th, students protested outside Bender Arena, including the student government's comptroller, who stated that he had voted against allowing Cheney to...

By Martin Longman

March 29, 2014 8:40 AM Daylight Video

I spent the last week listening to Springsteen's Wrecking Ball album on a loop. There are worse fates....

By Martin Longman

March 28, 2014 5:49 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

Glad to drag my sick and tired posterior to the end of this week! Hope yours has been better. For R&R, we have basketball! Here are some remains of the...

By Ed Kilgore

March 28, 2014 5:12 PM I Want My Torture!

If you looked up the word "incorrigible" in the dictionary, you might well see a photo of Joe Biden's predecessor as Vice President of the United States. Here's fresh evidence...

By Ed Kilgore

March 28, 2014 4:54 PM Greasing the Skids for Medicaid Expansion

Those of you who have been following the saga of state resistance to the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion probably know there are two basic bend-the-rules exceptions the administration has...

By Ed Kilgore

March 28, 2014 3:02 PM War On Early Voting Rages On

Remember the bipartisan "lines commission" set up by the president after the 2012 elections? Remember its recommendation for "increased use of early voting, whether in person or by mail?" Well,...

By Ed Kilgore

March 28, 2014 1:54 PM Lunch Buffet

Seems like every other person I know has gotten sick this week. Maybe if the weather improves we can all transition to Spring Fever. Here are some midday prescriptions for...

By Ed Kilgore

March 28, 2014 1:16 PM March Madness in Kentucky Politics

I know this is a nasty, substance-free ad from a wingnut who's attacking his opponent for failing to blow up the federal government and the global economy, but still, you...

By Ed Kilgore

March 28, 2014 12:20 PM Fifth Circuit Seems to Find No "Burden" as "Undue"

A three-judge panel of the conservative Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld Texas' new anti-abortion law, a classic of the genre insofar as it uses late-term abortion restrictions to...

By Ed Kilgore

March 28, 2014 11:26 AM Boehner Annexes House Floor

Yesterday Martin Longman discussed the low comedy of the House GOP leadership's ploy of adopting an unpaid-for "doc fix" measure via a sudden voice vote in a sparsely populated House...

By Ed Kilgore

March 28, 2014 11:06 AM Hand That Feeds Bites Back At "House of Cards"

As a long-time critic of the film subsidy scams that have swept many states in the last few years, I truly enjoyed this news from Maryland via the Baltimore Sun's...

By Ed Kilgore

March 28, 2014 9:30 AM The Corporate Takeover of Marijuana

Today's WaMo/New America Foundation event on how to (and how not to) implement cannabis legalization will be broadcast on CSPAN2 at 9:30 EDT. Or: you can watch streaming video of...

By Ed Kilgore

March 28, 2014 9:25 AM Let Us Have Our Own Laws

The extent to which the "religious liberty" movement on the Right reflects a broad-based determination to carve out a separate society where cultural conservatives simply don't have to obey the...

By Ed Kilgore

March 28, 2014 8:53 AM Daylight Video

W.C. Handy died on this day in 1958. Here's Jim Hession performing Handy's "Yellow Dog Blues."...

By Ed Kilgore

March 27, 2014 5:35 PM Day End and Night Watch

I've been trying to follow the "Sheldon Primary" in Las Vegas via Twitter, but wouldn't you know it? Neither Adelson nor the candidates are tweeting or talking to tweeting reporters!...

By Ed Kilgore

March 27, 2014 5:10 PM The Pot Panel Approacheth

One more reminder that tomorrow morning from 9:30 - 11:00 at the New American Foundation (1899 L Street NW Suite 400), WaMo will be co-hosting with NAF a special panel...

By Ed Kilgore

March 27, 2014 5:03 PM Can America "Win" While Americans Lose?

The economic truism that has taken the greatest pounding in recent years is that "a rising tide lifts all boats." Many Americans are rightly skeptical that macroeconomic growth will translate...

By Ed Kilgore

March 27, 2014 3:35 PM When It Comes to Midterm Voting, the Kids Are Not All Right

If you don't believe my constant assertions that "midterm falloff" is a problem that preceded the Obama Era but emerged as a bigger problem for Democrats when young and minority...

By Ed Kilgore

March 27, 2014 2:28 PM Boehner and Cantor Ram Home Unpaid-For Doc-Fix

Rep. John Dingell has been serving Michigan in the House of Representatives since 1955, but he says he has never seen anything more comical in all those years than the...

By Martin Longman

March 27, 2014 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Well, the DayQuil's holding up fairly well, so I hope to finish the day with minimal lapses. Here are some midday news/views items, without a dose cup. * Slight upward...

By Ed Kilgore

March 27, 2014 1:24 PM Marco and Bobby Ready to Rumble?

At Politico today, Alexander Burns and Maggie Halberman offer the ultimate insiders' account of the 2016 "invisible primary" among Republicans, based almost entirely on their and their sources' assessment of...

By Ed Kilgore

March 27, 2014 12:14 PM More on the Rand Paul Mainstreaming Project

WaPo's Robert Costa has a big puffy article today recounting Rand Paul's efforts to expand his political and fundraising base beyond his father's. According to his account, it's all going...

By Ed Kilgore

March 27, 2014 11:21 AM The Krugman-Silver Sparring Match

Since I admire both New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and FiveThirtyEight proprietor Nate Silver (with whom I worked at the pre-Times version of the site), I'm not real jazzed...

By Ed Kilgore

March 27, 2014 10:58 AM The Unionized College Football Player

At a time when there's rarely good news on the union organizing front, the regional NLRB decision allowing Northwestern football players to seek union representation as employees of the university...

By Ed Kilgore

March 27, 2014 9:43 AM The Naked Flip-Flop

As you might have heard, Rep. Cory Gardner has generated great excitement in Beltway GOP circles by his decision to jump into the Colorado U.S. Senate race against Mark Udall....

By Ed Kilgore

March 27, 2014 8:44 AM Daylight Video

Woke up in a coughing fit, and though I'm reasonably sure my ailment is not tuberculosis, figured I'd start the day with Van Morrison's "T.B. Sheets," since there are a...

By Ed Kilgore

March 26, 2014 5:53 PM Day's End and Night Watch

I seem to be coming down with some flu/cold thing as the day wears on. I won't bail on you tomorrow unless I'm incoherent, but please forgive a late start...

By Ed Kilgore

March 26, 2014 5:12 PM Charlotte Hustle

As it happens, I finally got around to watching American Hustle this last weekend when Redbox picked it up. Since I remember Abscam pretty distinctly (a friend of mine who...

By Ed Kilgore

March 26, 2014 4:36 PM Abolishing the Electoral College By Small Steps

Do you hate the electoral college? Many people do, because of what happened in 2000, or because it leads presidential campaigns (and maybe even presidents) to ignore non-battleground states, or...

By Ed Kilgore

March 26, 2014 3:37 PM Spring Out of Your Office For a Pot Panel

In contrast to what's happening in parts of New England, the weather is warming up in the DC area after what everyone profoundly hopes is the final snow storm of...

By Ed Kilgore

March 26, 2014 3:01 PM Duke, Kentucky, Whatever

As I mentioned earlier, Mitch McConnell's campaign committed the mother of all unforced errors yesterday with a campaign video that improbably included a clip of Duke basketball players celebrating a...

By Ed Kilgore

March 26, 2014 2:09 PM Lunch Buffet

Another day with blessed rain here on the Central Coast (or if that "6 Californias" initiative passes, Southwest Silicon Valley). Sorry for those of you in the Northeast getting a...

By Ed Kilgore

March 26, 2014 1:43 PM More Fun With Georgia Republicans

National political writers are coming around to sharing my obsession with Georgia's Senate race, which is truly getting interesting. MSNBC's Benjy Sarlin has the best overall analysis of the Republican...

By Ed Kilgore

March 26, 2014 12:41 PM The Dueling Videos of Iowa

Two videos (actually three, with one involving an ad from Mitch McConnell which featured brief footage of Duke winning an NCAA basketball championship, which I'll write about later) roiled the...

By Ed Kilgore

March 26, 2014 11:27 AM "6 Californias" Initiative Could Make 2014 Ballot

California has a tradition of rich eccentrics managing to get strange ballot initiatives certified. According to the San Francisco Chronicle's Carla Marinucci, one of the strangest ever, an initiative to...

By Ed Kilgore

March 26, 2014 10:45 AM Obamacare's Cloud of Unknowing

As we listen to howls of outrage from conservatives over the Obama administration's decision to provide some wiggle room over the March 31 enrollment deadline for the federal insurance exchanges,...

By Ed Kilgore

March 26, 2014 9:58 AM Yesterday's Biggest Obamacare Arguments

There are many reasons the oral arguments over the Hobby Lobby case got vastly more attention yesterday than the simultaneous hearing of a claim that Obamacare subsidies could only be...

By Ed Kilgore

March 26, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

Here's some classic morning music from Joe Bonamassa, "Driving Towards Daylight."...

By Ed Kilgore

March 25, 2014 6:11 PM Day's End and Night Watch

If you were as rich as Charles and David Koch, would you spend a lot of money trying to get even richer? I wouldn't, but then I guess I just...

By Ed Kilgore

March 25, 2014 5:17 PM Sharpening Our Impressions of FDR

As you may have noticed from the highlighter box at the top of the page here at WaMo, we've published a web-exclusive review by Alexander Heffner of three recent books...

By Ed Kilgore

March 25, 2014 5:03 PM The Day of the I-Word Approacheth

The Prospect's Steve Erickson reminds us all of a salient political fact that we will soon be facing: particularly if Republicans do well this November and capture the Senate, the...

By Ed Kilgore

March 25, 2014 4:01 PM College of the Confederacy

If there's an American city that could use a break from identification with its role in the Civil War, it's probably Charleston, SC. It has a lot going for it--notably...

By Ed Kilgore

March 25, 2014 2:53 PM Is Nate Silver Biting the Hoof That Feeds?

After a rocky rollout of the new FiveThirtyEight site, producing considerable criticism of specific posts and of the general claims being made for "data journalism," Nate Silver's getting a new...

By Ed Kilgore

March 25, 2014 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

On days when big things are underway at the Supreme Court, I always search for buzzwords or insights from my long-ago legal education, but usually fail. Probably forgot most of...

By Ed Kilgore

March 25, 2014 12:23 PM Work and Its Rewards

I noticed an interesting disconnect in a new Battleground survey (jointly conducted by the Republican Tarrance Group and the Democratic Lake Research Partners) out today. There was a battery of...

By Ed Kilgore

March 25, 2014 11:49 AM Hobby Lobby Case: Stakes Could Be Bigger Than Obamacare

As we prepare to glean impressions from the Supreme Court's oral arguments in the cases involving two for-profit corporations claiming a "religious liberty" exemption from the contraception coverage mandate of...

By Ed Kilgore

March 25, 2014 11:26 AM The Sheldon Primary

No, Big Bang Theory fans, this post is not about the politics of your favorite Caltech physicist. It's about that equally strange character who burst onto the presidential scene in...

By Ed Kilgore

March 25, 2014 10:16 AM Rand Paul, Child of the Revolution

After writing about Rand Paul's self-directed gag order with respect to questions about his old man, I became fascinated with his more general dilemma of having to transcend the Crazy...

By Ed Kilgore

March 25, 2014 9:47 AM The Crumbling of Common Core Begins

Watching opposition to the state-developed, business-supported Common Core Standards for K-12 schools steadily increase has sort of been like watching an earthquake shake a mountain: it could produce a calamity...

By Ed Kilgore

March 25, 2014 8:44 AM Daylight Video

For no particular reason, here's Memphis blues legend Rosco Gordon with the Red Tops performing "Bop It!" in 1956....

By Ed Kilgore

March 24, 2014 6:07 PM Day's End and Night Watch

So both my Georgia Bulldog basketball teams were eliminated from post-season play over the weekend. But the Georgia women's swimming and diving team did win a national championship over the...

By Ed Kilgore

March 24, 2014 5:41 PM The Mess That is Rand Paul's Foreign Policy Platform

Those paying attention to Sen. Rand Paul's efforts to lay the groundwork for a 2016 presidential candidacy are probably aware that he has been gradually and somewhat stealthily distancing himself...

By Ed Kilgore

March 24, 2014 5:29 PM Will D.C. Circuit Strike Down Obamacare Subsidies?

With all the attention on the Hobby Lobby case before SCOTUS tomorrow, let's don't forget a three-judge panel of the D.C. Court of Appeals will also hear an appeal tomorrow...

By Ed Kilgore

March 24, 2014 4:58 PM Preventing the Corporate Takeover of Legalized Cannabis: An Event

If you've read the new issue of the Washington Monthly, or followed our brief summaries of articles here at PA, you know we've tried to look beyond the current rising...

By Ed Kilgore

March 24, 2014 3:34 PM How Can Scott Brown Be "Undecided" on Medicaid Expansion?

Greg Sargent wonders today how long Scott Brown can go without taking a position on New Hampshire's proposed Medicaid expaqnsion, which happens to be a very hot issue in that...

By Ed Kilgore

March 24, 2014 2:18 PM Lunch Buffet

Sorry for the late lunch, but I had a rare mid-morning meeting. I confess it involved eating pancakes while sitting in the sun, but it was a meeting nonetheless. Here...

By Ed Kilgore

March 24, 2014 1:16 PM Kill 'Em All and Let God Sort Them Out

There's quite a buzz this morning over research published by CBS subsequent to a long ongoing 60 Minutes investigation of the My Lai massacre of 1968 indicating that the White...

By Ed Kilgore

March 24, 2014 12:31 PM Hobby Lobby and "Abortifiacients:" Distinction Without a Difference?

As Court-watchers prepare for tomorrow's Supreme Court oral arguments in Sebelius vs. Hobby Lobby Stores, one point of contention in the debate surrounding the case is the employer's claim that...

By Ed Kilgore

March 24, 2014 11:27 AM The Pre-Obama Garden of Eden

If there is any magic formula for the relative strength of contemporary conservative ideology, it's in the Right's ability simultaneously to embrace a radical vision of what America could become...

By Ed Kilgore

March 24, 2014 10:39 AM Against the Meritocratic Theory of Inequality

In his latest New York Times column, Paul Krugman declares Thomas Picketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century "the most important economics book of the year — and maybe of the...

By Ed Kilgore

March 24, 2014 10:13 AM Predictions and Probabilities

Yesterday here at PA Kathleen Geier noted that Nate Silver was moving from a brutal rollout week for his new ESPN-affiliated FiveThirtyEight site to some more familiar ground: election forecasting....

By Ed Kilgore

March 24, 2014 8:53 AM Daylight Video

On this day in 1969, over 30,000 "young people" showed up at the Orange Bowl for a "Teenage Rally For Decency" at the Orange Bowl in response to a Doors...

By Ed Kilgore

March 23, 2014 5:29 PM Four policies that would provide relief for the long-term unemployed -- and they're all far more practical than you may think

One problem with the Brookings paper about the long-term unemployed that I wrote about yesterday is that while the authors say that helping the long-term unemployed find jobs will require...

By Kathleen Geier

March 23, 2014 1:20 PM Bill de Blasio: how's he doin'? Progressives weigh in

Ed Koch, the late long-time mayor of New York City, used to delight in buttonholing New Yorkers and barking at them, "How am I doin'?" (He was a man of...

By Kathleen Geier

March 23, 2014 12:19 PM Nate Silver's latest forecast shows the GOP regaining Senate control. Forecast for his FiveThirtyEight venture remains cloudy.

Nate Silver's new venture, FiveThirtyEight, has opened to some of the harshest reviews since Moose Murders. Okay, that's clearly a huge exaggeration, but thus far, the critics have been less...

By Kathleen Geier

March 23, 2014 9:09 AM Morning music: Bruce Springsteen covers Lorde's "Royals"

Like everyone else from New Jersey, I love Bruce Springsteen. Springsteen fandom was made mandatory for all New Jersey residents through a state constitutional amendment that was passed sometime in...

By Kathleen Geier

March 22, 2014 8:23 PM A new report finds that the plight of the long-term unemployed is bleak -- and likely to remain so

This past week saw the release of a new report by the Brookings Institution about the long-term unemployed. It was authored by economist Alan Krueger and two of his Princeton...

By Kathleen Geier

March 22, 2014 5:46 PM Men who get paid to write about politics for a living yet don't understand the birth control provision of the ACA, part the infinite

Over at RH Reality Check, Emily Crockett has a nice piece on the Obamacare birth control benefit. It grew out of a Twitter exchange she had with Timothy B. Lee,...

By Kathleen Geier

March 22, 2014 3:44 PM The real "culture of pathology" is neoliberal discourse about poverty

When Ta-Nehisi Coates is at his best, he's on fire. And his response to Jonathan Chait's warmed over 90s neoliberalism about African-Americans' alleged "culture of pathology" is Coates at the...

By Kathleen Geier

March 22, 2014 11:57 AM A new study finds that ex-bankers impose the culture of overwork on new colleagues. It's time to put an end to employers' growing demands for excess overtime -- with a European-style cap on work hours.

The financial sector is often at the heart of much of the dysfunction and rotten excess in the American economy. For example, there is mounting evidence that economic inequality is...

By Kathleen Geier

March 22, 2014 8:58 AM Morning music: Happy 84th birthday, Stephen Sondheim!

The grand old man of the Broadway musical, composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, was born 84 years ago today. His catalog ranks as one of the towering achievements in the...

By Kathleen Geier

March 21, 2014 5:26 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

Tis indeed the day of the Baptist Bears! Hard to believe mighty Duke fell to a mostly unknown school from Macon, Georgia. I'll be watching the better-known canine entry from...

By Ed Kilgore

March 21, 2014 4:58 PM Sunday Shows: From Sow's Ear To, Well, Something Better

I hardly ever watch the major TV network Sunday Shows, and am prone to mock them. So I don't have much to say about how to how to make them...

By Ed Kilgore

March 21, 2014 4:36 PM Taiwan's Student Protests: Generational Or Partisan?

I've been a little slow to notice the large student protests in Taipei that have led to a four-day occupation of the legislative chamber and all sorts of tensions within...

By Ed Kilgore

March 21, 2014 3:55 PM Ron Who?

I noted the other day that Ron Paul had taken a very public and very provocative (especially to Republicans) position on the Russia-Ukraine confrontation that seemed to be at odds...

By Ed Kilgore

March 21, 2014 3:10 PM Representative Wingnuts

Slate's Dave Weigel had a post this morning mocking HuffPost for drawing inordinate attention to a Republican "fringe candidate" in a heavily Democratic U.S. House district in Illinois named Susanne...

By Ed Kilgore

March 21, 2014 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Baylor up big over Nebraska, Mercer in tight battle with Duke. Day of the Baptist Bears? * Ukraine signs elements of trade deal with EU in soft-power riposte to Russia....

By Ed Kilgore

March 21, 2014 1:07 PM Kos and Third Way's "Big Tent" Tussle

Like a lot of intraparty political disputes, the protest filed by Third Way senior veeps Matt Bennett and Jim Kessler at Politico Magazine against Markos Moulitsas' alleged effort to "fold...

By Ed Kilgore

March 21, 2014 12:10 PM Franklin Graham's Weakness Towards Putin

Here's another example of the perils of print journalism and its dangerous time-lag between submission of copy and publication, from Religion News Service's Kevin Eckstrom: Evangelist Franklin Graham is praising...

By Ed Kilgore

March 21, 2014 11:15 AM Crazy Versus Money

I hope readers don't think I'm devoting too much space to the race for Saxby Chambliss' seat in the U.S. Senate. But it's catnip to me, confirming my theory that...

By Ed Kilgore

March 21, 2014 10:13 AM Obama Talks Midterm Falloff

As someone with a missionary commitment to getting people to understand this issue, it was obviously gratifying to hear the President of the United States talk about the "midterm falloff"...

By Ed Kilgore

March 21, 2014 9:48 AM Conservative Book Bonanaza Over?

This morning's Fun Friday read for progressives is McKay Coppins' Buzzfeed piece on the sudden recent decline in the once-lucrative conservative book publishing industry. It wasn't that long ago that...

By Ed Kilgore

March 21, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

49 years ago today, 3200 civil rights activists began the Selma-to-Montgomery march. Here's a song I've always associated with the March, even though it was recorded a bit later: Curtis...

By Ed Kilgore

March 20, 2014 6:16 PM Day's End and Night Watch

After struggling with the Baumann review of the Marsden book, I don't have much left in the tank. So I'll hold over any reaction to the Politico Magazine essay by...

By Ed Kilgore

March 20, 2014 5:53 PM Consensus Lost

It's commonplace for popular accounts of recent American history to treat the last six decades as being characterized by the devolution of a bland postwar conformist society into chaos in...

By Ed Kilgore

March 20, 2014 4:59 PM White Magic

I admit I've sneaked a few peeks today at March Madness, particularly the end of the Dayton-Ohio State game (I'm a sucker for David-versus-Goliath in-state upsets). So I definitely noticed...

By Ed Kilgore

March 20, 2014 3:50 PM Will D.C. Politics Ever Change?

It's now been about 16 years since I lived in the District of Columbia (not counting many weeknights later on when I stayed there on sublets or at a B&B)....

By Ed Kilgore

March 20, 2014 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Congrats to my Georgia Bulldogs for surviving a butterfingered ball-handling performance to beat Vermont in the NIT. Now you can get back to your watching of the frantic first day...

By Ed Kilgore

March 20, 2014 1:27 PM Plane Hype

Since we're talking about teevee "news coverage" today, it's worth noting for the record that embattled CNN is following the Malaysian airliner mystery as though it were The Rapture. And...

By Ed Kilgore

March 20, 2014 12:55 PM Meet Face Week

I'm sure all of you are excited to learn, via Politico's Dylan Byers, that in the exciting Sunday Show viewer competition, the once-ascendant NBC Meet the Press dropped into a...

By Ed Kilgore

March 20, 2014 11:57 AM Is the Tea Party Dead--Or Winning?

For hardly the first time, but with greater conviction than ever, there's a big media meme this week that the apparent weakness of right-wing primary challengers to Republican senators means...

By Ed Kilgore

March 20, 2014 11:33 AM Scoring Cheap Points

It should be obvious to anyone paying attention that the Obama administration and its European allies are playing a cat-and-mouse game with Vladimir Putin that involves both the public and...

By Ed Kilgore

March 20, 2014 11:03 AM Robert Strauss RIP

Bob Strauss, one-time DNC chairman, former US Trade Representative and the first US Ambassador to a post-communist Soviet Union, died at the age of 95 yesterday. Strauss was probably lucky...

By Ed Kilgore

March 20, 2014 10:02 AM Boehner Finds His Excuse on UI

To no one's real surprise, House Speaker John Boehner has now rejected the bipartisan bill extending unemployment insurance benefits that is very likely to pass the Senate next week. But...

By Ed Kilgore

March 20, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

Here's the great blues guitarist Hubert Sumlin with a slow-waking-up tune: "Sometimes I'm Right."...

By Ed Kilgore

March 19, 2014 5:53 PM Day's End and Night Watch

So I tweeted my fairly elaborate post about the history of Christian Right Nazi analogies, and immediately got back a tweet reading: "Eugenics? A PROGRESSIVE crusade EMBRACED BY HITLER. Hello?"...

By Ed Kilgore

March 19, 2014 5:17 PM Fed Keeps Options Open

So the Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve Board met and made it clear that it was going to keep its options open even if previously established "triggers" for...

By Ed Kilgore

March 19, 2014 5:02 PM Scientific Care Package

Now whatever you think of Secretary of State John Kerry's handling of diplomacy towards Russia or the Israelis and Palestians, you have to acknowledge this initiative is pretty cool: The...

By Ed Kilgore

March 19, 2014 4:45 PM Those Liberal Christian Nazi-Lovers

Of all the people in American public discourse who are occasionally tempted to descend to the use of Nazi analogies, the most frequent violators are probably antichoicers who just can't...

By Ed Kilgore

March 19, 2014 3:12 PM The Mark Penn Primary

I doubt that MoJo's David Corn really thinks Hillary Clinton will tempt the furies by bringing the wildly unpopular pollster (and her erstwhile "strategist" in 2008) Mark Penn into a...

By Ed Kilgore

March 19, 2014 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Kinda annoyed that my Georgia Bulldogs' NIT game against Vermont tonight is only being televised by ESPNU, which my (and probably your) cable provider doesn't pick up. GameCast will have...

By Ed Kilgore

March 19, 2014 1:22 PM Bellicosity As An End in Itself

Sometimes I think Bill Kristol's function in American politics is to confirm liberal stereotypes of conservative pathologies. His latest Weekly Standard piece, deploring America's "war-weariness" and calling for a New...

By Ed Kilgore

March 19, 2014 12:43 PM "The Sky Is Falling," Says Anonymous Chicken

I'm sure many of you saw a certain headline from The Hill today: "O-Care premiums to skyrocket." At first I thought the source was The Drudge Report. If you actually...

By Ed Kilgore

March 19, 2014 11:54 AM The Politicized Faithful

In a further meditation at Religion Dispatches on the disproportionate media attention given to conservative Christian political agitation (which she begins by absolving yours truly of blame for failing to...

By Ed Kilgore

March 19, 2014 10:52 AM More Stuff Made Up About Obamacare

It's been obvious from the beginning that a big part of the GOP strategy for demonizing Obamacare has been to convince existing beneficiaries of federal health programs that ACA coverage...

By Ed Kilgore

March 19, 2014 10:00 AM Illinois Test Cases

I'm not very familiar with the sometimes byzantine politics of Illinois. But it sure looks like primary voters there yesterday set up a reasonably straightforward couple of tests for November...

By Ed Kilgore

March 19, 2014 8:44 AM Daylight Video

On this day in 1957, Elvis Presley made a down payment on the property known as Graceland. Here's Paul Simon's great song mythically commemorating the place, performed in Central Park....

By Ed Kilgore

March 18, 2014 5:30 PM Day's End and Night Watch

If Russia's annexation of Crimea is a world-historical disaster exposing the West to unparalleled danger from a revived Russian Empire laughing at Obama as a weakling, why is the stock...

By Ed Kilgore

March 18, 2014 4:45 PM What Was That Middle Part Again?

There must have been some interesting water-cooler talk at the RNC when it became time for its much-ballyhooed 2013 Growth and Opportunity Project (better known as the "rebranding" project) to...

By Ed Kilgore

March 18, 2014 4:15 PM Your Tax Dollars At Work On Paul Broun's Rhetoric

Just when it looked like the Senate campaign of Rep. Paul Broun, Jr., was taking flight, he's invited some bad press, per this report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's political team:...

By Ed Kilgore

March 18, 2014 3:41 PM Comparative Dissent

The TPMCafe column I mentioned this morning went up earlier than I anticipated. I won't recapitulate the discussion of Adolph Reed's essay calling for a revival of non-electoral progressivism as...

By Ed Kilgore

March 18, 2014 2:46 PM Bobby Jindal, Unwelcome Interloper

So in the big picture, who's a bigger threat to the charter public school movement? New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has pledged to reduce public subsidies for charters...

By Ed Kilgore

March 18, 2014 2:05 PM Lunch Buffet

It's a really herky-jerky news day, with nothing much going on this morning but then all hell breaking loose right now. Here are some midday news/views items, with the top...

By Ed Kilgore

March 18, 2014 1:07 PM The Dick Morris Award for Pre-Election Hype

I know I have zero influence over the rhetoric deployed by Reince Priebus, but still, I'd like to start a backlash against this particular formulation by the RNC chairman: The...

By Ed Kilgore

March 18, 2014 12:20 PM Bo Callaway, Winthrop Rockefeller, and the Path Not Taken By Southern Republicans

Over the weekend Howard "Bo" Callaway, former Secretary of the Army, former chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, and the 1966 Republican nominee for governor of Georgia, passed away at...

By Ed Kilgore

March 18, 2014 11:21 AM Unregenerated Paulism Strikes Again!

Last week MoJo's David Corn drew attention to the rather large flip-flop being executed by the junior senator from Kentucky with respect to America's relationship with Russia: Earlier this week,...

By Ed Kilgore

March 18, 2014 11:01 AM Politics is a Means To an End

So in the context of a column I've written for TPM Cafe (which will appear tomorrow), I finally came to grips with Adolph Reed's much-discussed piece for Harper's (unfortunately behind...

By Ed Kilgore

March 18, 2014 10:13 AM Resisting Cold War Imagery

As Russia moves towards a quick absorption of the Crimean Peninsula, and trades individual sanctions measures with the U.S. and E.U., American pundits and Republican pols (including, today, the 2012...

By Ed Kilgore

March 18, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

Wells and Fargo began operating on this day in 1852. Guess we could do musical tribute to banks, but I'd rather features some western music. Here's the Sons of the...

By Ed Kilgore

March 17, 2014 6:07 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Pretty grim Walking Dead last night, eh? They did get it right that pecans and peaches grow in that part of Georgia, though. Here are some remains of the day:...

By Ed Kilgore

March 17, 2014 5:05 PM Faithful Gun Violence Opponents

Well, talk about being hoisted on my own petard. My friend Sarah Posner wrote a post at Religion Dispatches reporting somewhat skeptically the complaints of liberal Christians--including yours truly--who complained...

By Ed Kilgore

March 17, 2014 4:40 PM The Consultants' Money-Go-Round

If you are a big believer in inertia as a factor in American politics, or are just exceptionally cynical, you will enjoy Kenneth Vogel's Politico piece today on how the...

By Ed Kilgore

March 17, 2014 4:10 PM The New 538

Most readers probably have at least a passing familiarity with one of the two previous incarnations (the first self-published, the second under the aegis of the New York Times) of...

By Ed Kilgore

March 17, 2014 2:09 PM Lunch Buffet

I'm going through my annual debate with myself as to whether I will join some March Madness pool, and thus give myself an excuse for caring about what happens when...

By Ed Kilgore

March 17, 2014 1:44 PM Saving the Moral Fiber of the Irish

It's hard to find anything to add to Timothy Egan's St. Patrick's Day meditation on the common ground between the British authorities who refused to intervene to stop the horrible...

By Ed Kilgore

March 17, 2014 1:13 PM Will Conservative Evangelicals Try To Kill the Pill?

If, like me, you are fascinated with the process by which conservative evangelical Protestants joined traditionalist Catholics in condemning abortion and questioning contraception, Amelia Thomson-Deveaux has an absolute must-read at...

By Ed Kilgore

March 17, 2014 12:21 PM The "When All Else Fails" 2016 Candidate

It's been easy to dismiss Joe Scarborough's self-generated talk of a 2016 presidential candidacy as, well, self-generated and buzz-motivated. But The Atlantic's Molly Ball gives the idea a serious look,...

By Ed Kilgore

March 17, 2014 11:36 AM Fearing the Inflation Phantom

The Federal Reserve Board's policy-setting Open Market Committee meets this week with Janet Yellen at the helm for the first time, and there's considerable speculation about the extent to which...

By Ed Kilgore

March 17, 2014 10:48 AM "Consensus" GOP Health Plan: Call Out the Truth Squads

So over the weekend WaPo's official congressional Republican-watcher, Robert Costa, reported that House GOP leaders were working towards a consensus "Obamacare alternative" proposal they could hold up to voters and...

By Ed Kilgore

March 17, 2014 9:50 AM Magical Thinking Run Amok

Now that the Crimean "referendum," such as it was, has produced its preordained outcome, and probably even the most intense Ukrainian nationalists have given up hope of ever recovering that...

By Ed Kilgore

March 17, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

For St. Patrick's Day, here's the High Kings with "Wild Rover."...

By Ed Kilgore

March 16, 2014 7:34 PM When Good Journalism Leads to Better Policy

The May/June 2013 issue of the Washington Monthly featured an article by John Carlos Frey on the frequency with which U.S. Border Patrol agents were using their weapons, including several...

By Martin Longman

March 16, 2014 2:45 PM Odds & Ends

Leave it to the Daily Mail to run with some really reprehensible speculation about one of the pilots of the missing Malaysian Airlines plane. The New York Times has a...

By Martin Longman

March 16, 2014 10:05 AM Hamid Karzai Says America Can Go

This is just fine with me: In his final address to Afghanistan’s parliament Saturday, President Hamid Karzai said U.S. soldiers can leave at the end of the year because his...

By Martin Longman

March 16, 2014 8:22 AM Is It Time For a Second Cold War?

As Crimea holds an election reminiscent of Saddam Hussein's phony plebiscites, Julia Ioffe predicts that it is all a precursor for a Russian invasion of Ukraine proper, and an annexation...

By Martin Longman

March 15, 2014 7:06 PM Things That Make Me Uncomfortable

There are certain ledes that you just don't want to see in your news feed. SIMFEROPOL, CRIMEA — No one has any idea what President Vladimir Putin will do after...

By Martin Longman

March 15, 2014 3:21 PM Putin's Dangerous Game

I wish I had a better grasp of what is really going on in the mind of Vladimir Putin, because things could really get nasty in a hurry and he's...

By Martin Longman

March 15, 2014 10:22 AM What's Really Offensive About Paul Ryan's Remarks

I'm of three minds about the controversy surrounding Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) recent comments about the work ethic of men living in our inner cities. Taken in isolation, the comments...

By Martin Longman

March 15, 2014 9:06 AM What Can We Learn from the Progressive Era?

Prof. Jackson Lears has an excellent review of Doris Kearns Goodwin's new book in The New Republic. The book, The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden...

By Martin Longman

March 14, 2014 6:20 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

Lord only knows what will be happening in the Crimea and the rest of Ukraine when I return to blogging on Monday. Let's hope it's relatively peaceful, though that hasn't...

By Ed Kilgore

March 14, 2014 5:07 PM The "Screaming Siren" for 2014 Is Not Obamacare

So David Plouffe has been quoted by TPM's Sahil Kapur as saying that the results in FL-13 are a "screaming siren" warning for Democrats that something equally bad could happen...

By Ed Kilgore

March 14, 2014 4:54 PM New Student Employment/Debt Standards a Second Bite At the Apple

There's been a fair amount of buzz today over new proposed federal regulations governing the eligibility for student loan programs of colleges that tend to produce a lot of debt...

By Ed Kilgore

March 14, 2014 3:32 PM GOP Establishment Cracks the Whip!

It's been amusing to watch Republican figures in Washington pivot shamelessly from talking down the significance of the FL-13 special election and disrespecting their candidate and his campaign, to declaring...

By Ed Kilgore

March 14, 2014 2:47 PM Franchisees Should Unionize to Raise Wages

Unlike the man in Woody Allen's Annie Hall who famously forgot his mantra, the Republican Party drones on about small businesses being the engine of growth with no hint that...

By Martin Longman

March 14, 2014 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Arranged to watch SEC basketball with a friend tonight, but there ain't no SEC basketball on the tube where we live (time to fire up the computer for ESPN3). My...

By Ed Kilgore

March 14, 2014 1:42 PM Anti-Anti-Putinism

You'd think given the creeping post-Iraq, post-Afghanistan "realism" that has influenced most U.S. foreign policy discussions this side of the hardcore let's-have-another-war neocons, those pushing back against a militant posture...

By Ed Kilgore

March 14, 2014 1:05 PM Recession Is a State of Mind, and of Life

If Josh Barro's first New York Times column is an example of what the new subsite "The Upshot" is going to produce, it's going to be pretty valuable in, as...

By Ed Kilgore

March 14, 2014 11:36 AM "Populist" on the Margins

When I saw the headline of Ross Douthat's latest New York Times column ("Resurrecting Republican Populism") I was interested to see how far from conservative orthodoxy Ross would stray, as...

By Ed Kilgore

March 14, 2014 10:34 AM Obama's Deportation Conundrum

The headline (as supplied by the New York Times for a Michael Shear report) is quotidian enough: "Obama, Citing a Concern for Families, Orders a Review of Deportations." Who could...

By Ed Kilgore

March 14, 2014 9:58 AM No Pass On UI

What with a crisis potentially boiling over in Ukraine this very weekend, and Congress taking a week off, and with a thousand other distractions, it would be easy for the...

By Ed Kilgore

March 14, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

For absolutely no reason, other than that it seemed like a good Friday tune, here's Chicago piano virtuoso Otis Spann performing "Blues Don't Like Nobody" in 1966....

By Ed Kilgore

March 13, 2014 5:41 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Okay, I peeked: eighth-seeded Seton Hall upsets top-seated Villanova in Big East tournament. Here are some remainders of today's items, including one breaking piece of news: * Senate reaches bipartisan...

By Ed Kilgore

March 13, 2014 5:17 PM Falwell's Gay Admirer

As you may know by now, a pretty big brouhaha has broken out over the announcement that Ezra Klein's new journalistic enterprise (informally known as "Project X") had hired Brandon...

By Ed Kilgore

March 13, 2014 4:59 PM U.S. & Ukraine: Don't Make Promises You Can't Keep

After reading the latest grim headlines from the Russia-Ukraine border today (Russia is apparently massing troops there, and show no signs of accepting western demands that it cancel this weekend's...

By Ed Kilgore

March 13, 2014 3:30 PM Tyrant Loots Businesses on Behalf of Lazy 60-Hour-a-Week Managers

The heart of the progressive argument about income inequality is that for decades now (with a brief hiatus in the 90s) low-to-moderate income workers have been slowly losing ground to...

By Ed Kilgore

March 13, 2014 3:03 PM Another Curb on the Inner-City Bums of Wisconsin

Interestingly enough, even as Paul Ryan battles controversy for his remarks about the disinclination to work of men living in inner cities, his buddies back home in the Wisconsin legislature...

By Ed Kilgore

March 13, 2014 1:48 PM Lunch Buffet

The temptations of mid-afternoon NCAA basketball loom large today and tomorrow (especially here in Cali, where the three-hour time zone difference is an advantage), but I'll try to resist. Here...

By Ed Kilgore

March 13, 2014 1:24 PM Biology and Politics

If, like me, you try to expose yourself at least once a day to a "deep read" relevant to contemporary news, I recommend Chris Mooney's review in the March/April/May issue...

By Ed Kilgore

March 13, 2014 12:20 PM George Wallace, Constitutional Conservative

I was googling around for some samples of George Wallace's rhetoric on affirmative action to make a point about racial evasions in connection with the last post about Paul Ryan...

By Ed Kilgore

March 13, 2014 11:36 AM Those Lazy Inner-City White Folks

Unlike Rick Perry, Paul Ryan is a master of subtlety in his double-talk on the future of the New Deal/Great Society legacy under Republican governance. Conservative activists may understand that...

By Ed Kilgore

March 13, 2014 11:06 AM When the Red Meat Gets Really Bloody

When I wrote about Rick Perry's very well-received speech at CPAC representing the underlying radicalism that has become commonplace at conservative gatherings, I did so in part because we've all...

By Ed Kilgore

March 13, 2014 10:13 AM The FL-13 Spin Continues

We're into Day Two of the FL-13 spin wars, and the analysis isn't getting much better (with the exception of Sean Trende's "much ado about nothing" take, and a "curb...

By Ed Kilgore

March 13, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

On this day 49 years ago, Eric Clapton left the Yardbirds over musical differences with the band. Here they are performing "Louise" in their Clapton era, in July 1964. )....

By Ed Kilgore

March 12, 2014 5:21 PM Day's End and Night Watch

I'm looking forward to some upcoming Wednesday mornings when we'll have primary results to analyze instead of turnout-pattern-dominated special elections. Here are some remains of the day: * Arizona Gov....

By Ed Kilgore

March 12, 2014 4:54 PM Not Your Parents' White Working Class

Tom Edsall weighs in at the New York Times today with some new perspectives on the hardy perennial issue of the estrangement of non-college educated white voters (a.k.a. the "white...

By Ed Kilgore

March 12, 2014 4:31 PM House Finally Moving on Immigration: In the Wrong Direction

The good news for WaPo's Greg Sargent is that House Republicans are actually moving immigration legislation, something for which he has been fervently longing for years now. The bad news...

By Ed Kilgore

March 12, 2014 4:13 PM Family Traditions

I was wading through yet another article (this one from David Freedlander at the Daily Beast) on the Republican presidential preferences of our Wall Street overlords, when I noticed this...

By Ed Kilgore

March 12, 2014 2:15 PM Lunch Buffet

Sorry for the late lunch, but I kinda got down in the weeds of looking at old exit polls, and that's a time-magnet of a high order. Here are some...

By Ed Kilgore

March 12, 2014 1:48 PM Midterm Falloff By the Numbers

One thing that the FL-13 special election results should encourage everyone to do is to get very serious about the phenomenon I write about metronomically here: the "midterm falloff problem"...

By Ed Kilgore

March 12, 2014 12:19 PM Frying Pan Meets Fire in Iowa GOP

Earlier this week we noted that the embattled Paulite chairman of the Iowa Republican Party, A.J. Spiker, resigned his post, and promptly went to work for Rand Paul's leadership PAC....

By Ed Kilgore

March 12, 2014 11:35 AM Paul Glastris on the Shortcomings of the Wonkosphere

In the Editor's Note for the March/April/May issue of the Washington Monthly, Paul Glastris discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the "wonkosphere," as well as a bit of the history...

By Martin Longman

March 12, 2014 11:24 AM All the Wall Street Money

There's another one of those "who will be Wall Street's champion in 2016" articles up at Bloomberg today, this one by Max Albelson, and one thing's very clear: with Christie...

By Ed Kilgore

March 12, 2014 10:20 AM Tale of Two Polls

If you think the discussion over what happened in FL-13 yesterday is murky, it's a subset of the bigger spin wars underway, with plenty of material at hand for both...

By Ed Kilgore

March 12, 2014 9:43 AM Not a Game Changer

Alert news consumers may be noticing that conservative writers, having prepared themselves to blame their candidate David Jolly for blowing a special congressional campaign in Florida yesterday, are now beginning...

By Ed Kilgore

March 12, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

Was idly looking at the cable company's thin menu of free On Demand movies last night, and what did I see? Frank Zappa's 200 Motels, which I actually saw in...

By Ed Kilgore

March 11, 2014 5:39 PM Day's End and Night Watch

When "dentist appointment this afternoon" popped up on my phone, I nearly freaked. But it's just a cleaning. Here are some remains of the day: * Last poll (from PPP)...

By Ed Kilgore

March 11, 2014 5:11 PM When Silence Isn't Golden, Talk!

Last night's "talk-a-thon" in the Senate on climate change was notable not for anything in particular said, but for the fact that it occurred at all. Congressional Democrats have often...

By Ed Kilgore

March 11, 2014 4:10 PM Can Anything Short of Breaking Up the Big Banks Restrain Them?

The headline is the implicit question raised by John Winslow in a passionately argued post at Ten Miles Square today. His quite explicit answer is "No!" His witness for the...

By Ed Kilgore

March 11, 2014 3:32 PM McCain and That "Bogus Poll"

On Fox Business today, John McCain dismissed a PPP survey showing him with very low (actually, the lowest in the Senate) job approval numbers as "bogus," reports The Hill's Peter...

By Ed Kilgore

March 11, 2014 2:04 PM Lunch Buffet

Afraid with my schedule I didn't stay up to watch the Senate Dem "talkathon" on climate change last night, but I'll try to get in a post about it this...

By Ed Kilgore

March 11, 2014 1:40 PM Huck On the Cusp of Candidacy Again

TNR's Nora Caplan-Bricker snagged a one-on-one interview with Mike Huckabee at a Starbucks in Manhattan, and the fact that this wasn't too hard is a pretty good sign that Huck...

By Ed Kilgore

March 11, 2014 12:55 PM Celluloid Paranoia at CPAC

As I noted last week, a lot of the real fun at CPAC events comes from small sessions that don't get much media attention but reflect the conservative zeitgest infallibly....

By Ed Kilgore

March 11, 2014 12:26 PM Grammy Hill

In the substantial literature on a prospective Hillary Clinton presidential candidacy in 2016, it seems our own Haley Sweetland Edwards has become the first to focus on a new dimension...

By Ed Kilgore

March 11, 2014 11:27 AM Why Republicans Can't Get Serious on Policy

If you ask a conservative for examples of concrete Republican policy proposals that transcend mere demagoguery or empty opposition to Obama administration proposals, you'll probably hear about Dave Camp's tax...

By Ed Kilgore

March 11, 2014 9:55 AM Do Conservatives Think They Are Winning?

The topic in the headline has always fascinating me since a lot of conservatives so frequently alternate between the most arrogant triumphalism and the most self-pitying defeatism and paranoia. If...

By Ed Kilgore

March 11, 2014 9:32 AM Get Ready For Some Over-interpretation!

There's a special election today in the 13th congressional district of Florida to replace the late Republican congressman Bill Young. Based on partisan tracking of absentee ballot request (absentees may...

By Ed Kilgore

March 11, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

Paul McCartney was knighted on this day in 1997. So let's do a few of his tunes. Here is he performing a fine song from Rubber Soul, "I'm Looking Through...

By Ed Kilgore

March 10, 2014 5:52 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Nothing like a boffo poll for Paul Broun to end the day in hope and fear for this Georgia Cracker. If I had the time and money, I'd go home...

By Ed Kilgore

March 10, 2014 5:12 PM Broun Surge?

Via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Greg Bluestein, we hear of a PPP survey conducted for Better Georgia, a liberal group, that shows Paul Broun, Jr., opening up a big lead in...

By Ed Kilgore

March 10, 2014 4:15 PM Can Money Save Rick Scott?

At TPM Daniel Strauss reports there is widespread unease among Florida Republicans reading a batch of recent statewide and regional polls showing that Gov. Rick Scott's comeback against Charlie Crist...

By Ed Kilgore

March 10, 2014 3:37 PM Differences of Principle vs. Differences on Strategy and Tactics

One of the most difficult but essential analytical tasks in dealing with intra-party disputes is to distinguish genuine differences of opinion over principles and differences over strategy and tactics. The...

By Ed Kilgore

March 10, 2014 3:08 PM Sleeper Responds to Wieseltier

No one is particularly surprised by conservative accusations that Barack Obama (in the domestic context treated as a sneering, law-breaking tyrant) exhibits in foreign relations a persistent "weakness" that somehow...

By Ed Kilgore

March 10, 2014 2:05 PM Lunch Buffet

Instead of watching basketball as I promised, I spent most of my weekend spare time reading Tiziano Terzani's "Goodnight, Mr. Lenin," a travelogue of the end of the Soviet Union....

By Ed Kilgore

March 10, 2014 1:34 PM The Iowa GOP Party Reshuffle

In one of those "local" developments with national political import that it's easy to miss, Iowa Republican State Party Chairman A.J. Spiker resigned his position last last week, in the...

By Ed Kilgore

March 10, 2014 1:07 PM Rubio's "Totalitarians"

Prominent in the revived Republican War Party I wrote about this morning is, of course, Sen. Marco Rubio, who is apparently seeking to re-establish the conservative street cred he lost...

By Ed Kilgore

March 10, 2014 12:25 PM The GOP 50 Years Ago This Month

At a listserv on which I am a member, someone asked about the identity of the early front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination in 1964. It was a reminder that...

By Ed Kilgore

March 10, 2014 10:40 AM Return of the War Party

Whatever else it has done, the Ukraine crisis has served as a major tonic for American conservative foreign policy hawks, who have recently been losing ground not only with the...

By Ed Kilgore

March 10, 2014 9:58 AM CPAC: Out With a Bang and a Sneer

So before it's forgotten, let's note that the annual clambake known as CPAC ended with a predictable bang (a fairly comfortable win in the presidential straw poll for Rand Paul,...

By Ed Kilgore

March 10, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

To get the week started with an appropriately bluesy mood, here's Charley Patton with "Down the Dirt Road Blues."...

By Ed Kilgore

March 09, 2014 8:56 PM Hot off the presses: my review the Piketty book on economic inequality in Washington Monthly magazine

Before I go, I wanted to be sure to alert you to my review of Thomas Piketty's important new book about economic inequality, Capital in the Twenty-First Century. The book...

By Kathleen Geier

March 09, 2014 4:01 PM A new study strongly suggests there's something else Robert Bork was wrong about: antitrust law

Robert Bork was the target of much well-deserved animus during his lifetime. His reactionary judicial views made him anathema to liberals, who saw to it that his nomination to the...

By Kathleen Geier

March 09, 2014 1:48 PM Two new books debunk the myths behind the Kitty Genovese case -- and raise disturbing questions about the power of media narratives

2014 marks the 50-year anniversary of one of the most infamous murders in New York City history: that of Kitty Genovese. Genovese was a young woman from Queens, New York...

By Kathleen Geier

March 09, 2014 11:40 AM The 2014 midterm elections: is it time for the Democrats to hit the panic button yet?

Could the 2014 elections shaping up to be a bigger loss for Democrats than we thought? There's been speculation to that effect, but I'm not so sure. No one ever...

By Kathleen Geier

March 09, 2014 9:26 AM Morning music: the Vivian Girls are no more. Long live the Vivian Girls!

All great things must come to end, and last week saw the demise of one of the best bands of the past decade: the Vivian Girls. The Vivian Girls (their...

By Kathleen Geier

March 08, 2014 4:43 PM Mickey Kaus at CPAC, Ladies and Gentlemen!

Yes, you read that right. Mickey Kaus -- once one of those respected "even the liberal New Republic!"-type contrarian journalists, now reduced to blogging for one of America's sleaziest right-wing...

By Kathleen Geier

March 08, 2014 12:57 PM Economic Inequality: Why Isn't There More Outrage?

Justin Fox makes an excellent point (H/T Economist's View). Some of our one percenters have lately indulged in drama queen hysterics over the modest political pushback that's begun to develop...

By Kathleen Geier

March 08, 2014 11:38 AM South Carolina's anti-gay witch hunt: legislature cuts funds to colleges that teach books by LGBT authors

This story has not gotten anywhere near the attention it deserves, so I'm going to highlight it in this space. The South Carolina legislature has taken upon itself to yank...

By Kathleen Geier

March 08, 2014 9:09 AM Happy International Women's Day!

In honor of International Women's Day, I'm posting a video the song "Hot Topic" by Le Tigre, one of the former bands of the great Kathleen Hanna. Lyrics can be...

By Kathleen Geier

March 07, 2014 5:53 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

I'm planning some serious catch-up work on NCAA basketball tomorrow, a pursuit I'll probably abandon after the first round of March Madness. Got to pick your spots. Reader advisory: in...

By Ed Kilgore

March 07, 2014 5:15 PM Just Wait Til June

After a week featuring the first primary of the cycle and the annual CPAC barometer of sentiment on the Right, NBC's First Read made a very good point this morning...

By Ed Kilgore

March 07, 2014 4:54 PM The Persecutors

For some good, clean Friday afternoon fun, I recommend Amanda Marcotte's piece at Salon (originally published at AlterNet) on the rather odd sorts of people and phenomena that many religious...

By Ed Kilgore

March 07, 2014 4:21 PM Whither Republicans on Pot Legalization?

Media attention at the annual CPAC clambake is naturally focused on the plenary session headliners, in part because the whole show is generally regarded by the MSM as an "invisible...

By Ed Kilgore

March 07, 2014 3:43 PM The New Cruz

Between Abby Rapoport, John Fund, yours truly, and now (at TNR) Jason Zengerle, I'd say the election-night CW of Tuesday's primary in Texas being a debacle for the Tea Party...

By Ed Kilgore

March 07, 2014 2:14 PM Lunch Buffet

Happy Friday, or as it is sometimes known in both public and private schools during Lent: "Fish Stick Day!" Here are some midday breaded snacks: * An "Izzy" award for...

By Ed Kilgore

March 07, 2014 1:31 PM Millennial Paradoxes

There's a great big new survey-based study out from Pew on the Millennial Generation that reinforces a lot of what we've long heard about the youngest adult age cohort, and...

By Ed Kilgore

March 07, 2014 12:38 PM Schoolhouse Doors

If Rick Perry's CPAC speech gets the initial prize for rebel-yell inducing radicalism, the most audacious remarks belong to that perpetual master of religio-political nastiness, Ralph Reed. MoJo's Tim Murphy...

By Ed Kilgore

March 07, 2014 11:10 AM Rick Perry Wows 'Em at CPAC

So we hear the best-received speech of the whole CPAC conference so far was by the warhorse Rick Perry this morning, which had the crowd standing and hooting and cheering....

By Ed Kilgore

March 07, 2014 9:57 AM Jobs Thaw?

After the last two months of decidedly underwhelming jobs reports, the February edition released today by BLS was something of a pleasant surprise. The 175,000 net new jobs exceeded expectations...

By Ed Kilgore

March 07, 2014 9:15 AM America's "First Blogger" Charlie Peters Hands Over the Reins of his Tilting at Windmills Column

If you have been perusing the new issue of the Washington Monthly--and if you haven't you should because it's full of great reads, like this and this and this and...

By Paul Glastris

March 07, 2014 8:44 AM Daylight Video

I know I've featured their music before, but Lara Zarum's piece on Little Feat at Slate inspires me to do it again. Here they are performing "Fat Man in the...

By Ed Kilgore

March 06, 2014 5:35 PM Day's End and Night Watch

During a brief break this afternoon I did a radio interview where I was asked twelve complex questions about safety net politics. Didn't resort to anecdotes about school lunch bags...

By Ed Kilgore

March 06, 2014 4:49 PM Paul Ryan's Soul Food

Among the headliners at today's CPAC was Paul Ryan, everybody's favorite Objectivist-Thomist "reformer." It was a brief speech, mainly involving name-checks of a long list of fellow-conservative worthies (Tim Scott,...

By Ed Kilgore

March 06, 2014 4:26 PM Bernie '16

In interviews with The Nation and TIME, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (an independent caucusing with Democrats) made it know that he is considering a presidential run (probably as a Democrat,...

By Ed Kilgore

March 06, 2014 3:13 PM Shift in Immigration Politics?

It didn't get as much attention as it might have merited, but on Tuesday night Janet Murguia, the president of the Council of La Raza, one of the country's major...

By Ed Kilgore

March 06, 2014 2:42 PM Straight Talk: McCain America's Least Popular Senator

Sen. John McCain is one of the most familiar faces in American politics, and the beneficiary of many years of positive (sometimes adulatory) media coverage. So it's interesting to note...

By Ed Kilgore

March 06, 2014 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Georgia Lady Bulldogs survive first game in SEC tournament with 53-43 win over Vanderbilt, giving Andy Landers his 29th 20-win season in 35 years. Here are some midday news-views items...

By Ed Kilgore

March 06, 2014 1:22 PM Riding to the Sound of the Guns

Sounds like a pretty ho-hum morning at CPAC. First up, Ted Cruz repeated the electoral catechism of the conservative movement: nobody loses by moving right, ever! “There are a lot...

By Ed Kilgore

March 06, 2014 12:11 PM A Cool Reaction

It's an ancient truism of political science that a significant slice of Americans are "philosophically conservative but operationally liberal." This is often explained as a habit born of ignorance or...

By Ed Kilgore

March 06, 2014 11:06 AM Self-Isolation of White Evangelicals on LGBT Issues

Yesterday Greg Sargent drew attention to WaPo/ABC poll findings showing support for marriage equality continuing to increase, with Americans supporting it by a 59/34 margin, with half now viewing the...

By Ed Kilgore

March 06, 2014 10:40 AM Maybe Free Money Isn't a Bad Idea After All

Ryan Cooper begins his piece in the new Washington Monthly magazine with a straightforward pitch: How would you like to get $2,000 in free money today, fresh off the government...

By Martin Longman

March 06, 2014 10:18 AM Scary Times: CPAC '14 Begins

So the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) kicks off today in Washington--three days of right-wing fellowship, jockeying for attention, factional infighting and red meat consumption. As always, there will be...

By Ed Kilgore

March 06, 2014 8:57 AM

For no particular reason, here's the Rev. Gary Davis picking "Candyman."...

By Ed Kilgore

March 05, 2014 5:49 PM Day's End and Night Watch

My Georgia Bulldogs women's basketball team enters the SEC tournament tomorrow uncomfortably close to the NCAA bubble. They've been in 19 straight NCAA tournaments. Here are some final items of...

By Ed Kilgore

March 05, 2014 5:26 PM Bragging About Poor Investment Levels

At Wonkblog today, after reading some administration talking points bragging about how low non-defense discretionary spending levels have become, Zachary Goldfarb asks the White House a question many of us...

By Ed Kilgore

March 05, 2014 5:07 PM The Shifting and Blurring of Factional Lines in the GOP

I mean to write earlier about a mammoth piece by Henry Olsen in the March-April issue of the National Interest that seeks to make some predictions about the 2016 GOP...

By Ed Kilgore

March 05, 2014 4:33 PM Limits of the Republican Senate Wave

It's understandable that Republicans are bullish about their chances of regaining control of the Senate for the first time in eight years. They got incredibly lucky with the Senate landscape...

By Ed Kilgore

March 05, 2014 2:15 PM Lunch Buffet

I'll have a brief blogging hiatus at about 3:00 EST, when I go to get ashes placed on my forehead. But I don't plan to miss much. Here are some...

By Ed Kilgore

March 05, 2014 1:56 PM The Long Shadow of 1981

In a reasonably predictable setback for the Obama administration today, seven Democratic senators opposed the nomination of Debo Adegbile to head the Civil Rights Division of DOJ. With united Republican...

By Ed Kilgore

March 05, 2014 1:30 PM Arkansas Realignment: End-Game in 2014?

The headline of a NBC preview of the U.S. Senate race in Arkansas by Kasie Hunt and Ben Mayer asks the right question: "Can a Democrat Still Be Elected in...

By Ed Kilgore

March 05, 2014 12:11 PM How Conservatives Soured on the EITC

At MSNBC today, Tim Noah makes an argument that progressives and MSM types need to listen to carefully if they are to understand the dynamics of the current debates over...

By Ed Kilgore

March 05, 2014 10:59 AM Bachmann Explains How To Be a Good Jew

As Charlie Pierce of Esquire says after gazing in awe at the latest stunt by U.S. Rep. Michele ("The Girl With the Faraway Eyes") Bachmann: "I am going to miss...

By Ed Kilgore

March 05, 2014 10:04 AM Pot Legalization: Now for the Hard Part

The overall thrust of the package of articles on cannabis legalization in the March/April/May issue of the Washington Monthly is "curb your enthusiasm and get to work!" That is certainly...

By Ed Kilgore

March 05, 2014 9:20 AM Don't Weep For the Texas Tea Party

The conventional reaction to yesterday's Texas Primary--outside Texas itself--was pretty much summed up by this headline from the New York Times: "Texas GOP Beats Back Challengers From Right." If you...

By Ed Kilgore

March 05, 2014 8:33 AM Daylight Video

For Ash Wednesday, here's a "Kyrie Eleison" performed at Taize....

By Ed Kilgore

March 04, 2014 6:25 PM Day's End and Night Watch

I hope those of you who are celebrating Mardi Gras tonight have plenty of safe fun and don't take any selfies that might incriminate you later. I'll be watching Texas...

By Ed Kilgore

March 04, 2014 5:44 PM Kinky's Last Stand?

Today Texas voters are headed to the polls for the midterm election's first big primary. You can read Sean Sullivan's list of "5 things to watch" tonight; I'd add three...

By Ed Kilgore

March 04, 2014 4:31 PM The Ineffable Sadness of Coal Country

As Chris Cillizza reports, the 2013 Gallup-Healthways ranking of states by their sense of "Well Being" is out, and the big news was that the oil-drenched Dakotas leaped into the...

By Ed Kilgore

March 04, 2014 2:15 PM An Idea Whose Time Has Not Come

Among those nominated for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize is a rather unlikely figure: Vladimir Putin. Seriously. Now getting nominated is not necessarily a big distinction, as Reuters reports: A...

By Ed Kilgore

March 04, 2014 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

I'm going out for an actual lunch with my wife and a church friend in a while, so I'm trying to get ahead of the blogging quota a bit, so...

By Ed Kilgore

March 04, 2014 1:28 PM Ryan's Cut-and-Paste Job on Poverty Programs

As you may have heard, Rep. Paul Ryan has released an authoritative-sounding critique of federal means-tested assistance programs for low-income folks prior to releasing his latest (FY 2015) budget proposal....

By Ed Kilgore

March 04, 2014 1:07 PM Nonprofits and Co-ops as Legalized Pot Alternatives

As noted earlier today, Mark Kleiman thinks federally regulated but state-run pot distributors could be the answer to a legalized cannabis system that eliminates federal-state conflicts in law enforcement, prevents...

By Ed Kilgore

March 04, 2014 11:53 AM Free Bob Corker!

In a virtuoso variation on the "poor little rich boy" and "persecuted Koch Brothers" memes, U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) has taken to the pages of that well-known tribune of...

By Ed Kilgore

March 04, 2014 11:17 AM A Federal-State Bargain on Cannabis

Like a lot of people who aren't pot smokers but don't view it as The Devil's Weed, either, I've watched the progress of the cannabis legalization cause with satisfaction, thinking...

By Ed Kilgore

March 04, 2014 9:48 AM Some Real Investor Uncertainty

As we await Western sanctions against and/or negotiations with Russians, it's important to note that the economic consequences of Russian brinkmanship over Ukraine are already taking a toll. Here's how...

By Ed Kilgore

March 04, 2014 8:21 AM Saving Marijuana Legalization From Disaster

The question is no longer if we should legalize marijuana. A solid majority of Americans now favors it, and more and more states are moving in that direction. The question...

By Paul Glastris

March 04, 2014 6:35 AM Daylight Video

Happy Mardi Gras, Carnival, Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day, whatever you want to call it. Here's Al Johnson with "Carnival Time" and "Mardi Gras Strut."...

By Ed Kilgore

March 03, 2014 6:13 PM Day's End and Night Watch

I know a lot of you have been battered yet again by Winter Storm Titan. Stay warm tonight. Here are some warmed-up remains of the day: * In interview with...

By Ed Kilgore

March 03, 2014 5:20 PM Texas Still Runs On Black Gold

Paul Krugman gave Phillip Longman's piece exploding the Texas Economic Miracle a shout-out today, and then added some thoughts of his own on the importance of petroleum to current Texas...

By Ed Kilgore

March 03, 2014 4:51 PM Putin's Crisis, Not Obama's

The best commentary I've read today on the Ukraine/Russia front is from Michael Cohen at The Guardian, who punctures various highly dubious perspectives (including the personal-struggle-of-wills-between-Obama-and-Putin meme and the inappropriate...

By Ed Kilgore

March 03, 2014 4:12 PM Against Bad Journalism on the Iowa Caucuses

Frontloading HQ's Josh Putnam has a fine post on dubious early Iowa 2016 stories that begins with a memorable analogy: The news stories about the 2016 Iowa Democratic caucuses are...

By Ed Kilgore

March 03, 2014 3:23 PM Food Deserts

I have no pretense whatsoever of being a "foodie" in the sense of having a deep knowledge of either gourmet cooking or nutrition. But having moved around an awful lot...

By Ed Kilgore

March 03, 2014 2:15 PM Lunch Buffet

Half-watched about a fourth of the Oscars last night (no Red Carpet, though), and thought Matthew McConaughey's shout out to God and his own potential self was the most strangely...

By Ed Kilgore

March 03, 2014 1:29 PM Texas Primary Dynamics

I'm probably going to have a column up tomorrow at TPM previewing tomorrow's first big primaries of the 2014 cycle, in Texas. But when it comes to the GOP side...

By Ed Kilgore

March 03, 2014 1:13 PM Orange Man Says He's Still in the Pink

Speaker John Boehner's future is the key to a lot of speculation in Washington about what will happen over the remainder of 2014. In particular, the idea that he's ready...

By Ed Kilgore

March 03, 2014 11:59 AM Ukraine and the Sudeten Analogy

One of the oldest dilemmas in the history of international relations is what to do about minority populations in countries bordering an avaricious Big Power neighbor purporting to be that...

By Ed Kilgore

March 03, 2014 10:48 AM No Win

Whatever happens in the latest confrontation over Russia's relationship with its former colony Ukraine, the one sure thing is this: Barack Obama will be blamed by critics domestic and international...

By Ed Kilgore

March 03, 2014 9:57 AM The Original Voodoo Economics

In the cover article for the new March/April/May issue of the Washington Monthly, Phillip Longman definitively debunks one of the most important propaganda memes of American politics: the "Texas Economic...

By Ed Kilgore

March 03, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

For obvious reasons, here's Iron Maiden with "Mother Russia."...

By Ed Kilgore

March 02, 2014 6:07 PM Arthur Brooks Mistakes Anger for Envy

Here is some information from a February 19-23, 2014 CBS News poll: Americans are still pessimistic about both the economy and the direction the country is headed in overall. Sixty-two...

By Martin Longman

March 02, 2014 2:45 PM Jerry Brown and Potheads

The man once dubbed "Governor Moonbeam" by Chicago columnist Mike Royko is concerned about California being overrun by potheads: "Well, we have medical marijuana, which gets very close to what...

By Martin Longman

March 02, 2014 12:32 PM Preoccupied With Ukraine

I'm having some trouble focusing on anything other than the turmoil in Ukraine, considering it has at least the potential to spin out of control and lead places we don't...

By Martin Longman

March 02, 2014 8:48 AM Douthat's Strange View of Marriage

Ross Douthat is a strange dude: IT now seems certain that before too many years elapse, the Supreme Court will be forced to acknowledge the logic of its own jurisprudence...

By Martin Longman

March 01, 2014 4:02 PM The Progressives' Image Problem

It's fascinating to read Nikita Stewart's write-up on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's hiring practices. On an informational level, the article is thorough and enlightening. Mayor de Blasio...

By Martin Longman

March 01, 2014 1:41 PM On Russia, Are We Not Pessimistic Enough?

Over at The New Republic, Julia Ioffe counsels that the best way to anticipate Russia's actions is to take the most pessimistic view possible. Apparently, that's what she learned from...

By Martin Longman

March 01, 2014 11:29 AM Mr. Kaiser Goes Out of Washington

Freshly-retired Washington Post honcho Robert Kaiser was a front-row witness to the Reagan Revolution and its consequences, and he did not particularly care for what he witnessed. His long Goodbye-Cruel-World...

By Martin Longman

March 01, 2014 9:46 AM What the Failure of HillaryCare Means for 2016

It may be ancient news, but discussing why the Clinton White House bungled health care reform is certainly not wholly irrelevant considering that Hillary Clinton is the strong favorite to...

By Martin Longman

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