Political Animal

April 2014 Archives

April 30, 2014 6:14 PM Day's End and Night Watch

The day got away from me before I could write about 538's surveys on the definition of "the Midwest" and "the South." Believe it or not, these definitions have considerable...

By Ed Kilgore

April 30, 2014 5:30 PM Train Derails in Lynchburg

This is some scary breaking news, from the ABC affiliate in Lynchburg, VA. Lynchburg emergency officials have confirmed that a train has gone off the tracks in downtown Lynchburg. It...

By Ed Kilgore

April 30, 2014 5:25 PM Feelin' a Wave

As we have all observed, Nate Silver and other purveyors of "data journalism" have gotten a lot of flak early in this election cycle, some of it warranted, but much...

By Ed Kilgore

April 30, 2014 4:08 PM The Rand Paul Invasion of NC

Like a lot of political animals, when I saw PPP's survey yesterday showing NC GOP SEN candidate Thom Tillis "breaking open" the contest and roaring past the 40% threshold for...

By Ed Kilgore

April 30, 2014 3:13 PM After November

At the Daily Beast today, Mike Tomasky has a comprehensive look at what in politics would change if Republican do succeed in winning control of the Senate this November. Tomasky...

By Ed Kilgore

April 30, 2014 2:05 PM Lunch Buffet

Day half gone, and sadly, no response from Dave Weigel to my Twitter announcement of Badger music at PA. Here are some midday news/views treats: * No surprise here: Senate...

By Ed Kilgore

April 30, 2014 1:07 PM Perry "Next In Line?"

There's already been some Twitter-jokes about Dick Morris' touting of Rick Perry's 2016 prospects as the "kiss of death" for the Texas governor. But since Morris is just raising the...

By Ed Kilgore

April 30, 2014 11:38 AM Judicial Straw in the Wind

EPA and environmental activists won an important victory in the Supreme Court yesterday, when the Court upheld by a 6-2 margin the agency's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule as a legitimate...

By Ed Kilgore

April 30, 2014 11:20 AM Another Day, Another Poll

After the Grand Clong (defined by legendary advance man Jerry Bruno as the feeling of "a million pounds of [excrement] rushing to your heart") experienced by many Democrats yesterday with...

By Ed Kilgore

April 30, 2014 10:07 AM When the Worm Turns

Whether or not the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee's unprecedented investment in data-and-volunteer-driven GOTV this year works out (and it may be hard to tell if it has, given the terrible...

By Ed Kilgore

April 30, 2014 9:43 AM The Economy Sneezes

Bad news out of the Commerce Department today, per WaPo's Ylan Mui: The U.S. economy stalled during the first three months of the year, according to government data released Wednesday...

By Ed Kilgore

April 30, 2014 8:30 AM Daylight Video

Probably time for a change of pace from the blues-heavy musical menu here (but don't worry, the Blues will be back). Here's an obscure proggish treat from my early adulthood:...

By Ed Kilgore

April 29, 2014 6:43 PM Day's End and Night Watch

While working on a TPMCafe column, had reason to get angry all over again for the radical restriction of exit polling in 2012. Makes analysis difficult and potentially expensive. Here...

By Ed Kilgore

April 29, 2014 5:53 PM Outlawing Despair

Plenty of jurisdictions over the years have sought to restrict the time, place and manner for begging--or if you will, panhandling--in accordance with First Amendment standards. But the Gret Stet...

By Ed Kilgore

April 29, 2014 5:25 PM Un-American Pilgrims! Oh, Wait....

The latest litigation over state same-sex marriage bans is interesting because it has been brought by an entire Christian denomination, the United Church of Christ. The UCC is challenging North...

By Ed Kilgore

April 29, 2014 4:40 PM Obamacare Without Obama

It's been evident for a good while that the abstraction called "Obamacare" was a lot less popular than its actual components. That has, of course, been a problem for Republicans...

By Ed Kilgore

April 29, 2014 3:55 PM Minimum Wage on the Ballot

There's been a lot of discussion, some of it here, about the minimum wage as a potential "wedge issue" for 2014. But most of the talk has been about its...

By Ed Kilgore

April 29, 2014 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

You will note below a link to a post by Adele Stan, a fine veteran progressive reporter who did some weekend blogging here at PA a while back. Addie's now...

By Ed Kilgore

April 29, 2014 1:39 PM Palin the Crusader

Perhaps it's inappropriate to read a whole lot into the brouhaha surrounding Sarah Palin's cruel tribute to waterboarding as "how we baptize terrorists." But certainly a fair number of conservative...

By Ed Kilgore

April 29, 2014 1:22 PM Small Swings And Big Narratives

Buried in Alec MacGillis' take on Sasha Issenberg's important analysis of the Democratic midterm strategy is this observation, which is stunning once you remember how the 2010 elections were perceived...

By Ed Kilgore

April 29, 2014 12:20 PM Partisanship and Perceptions of the Economy

In the classic political-science take on election forecasting, objective (or in some cases, subjective) assessments of the economy are a big and sometimes definitive factor. When it comes to subjective...

By Ed Kilgore

April 29, 2014 11:15 AM Public Opinion and Likelihood To Vote

The latest ABC/WaPo poll is pretty much a wall-to-wall bummer for Democrats, showing the president's job approval rating dropping to 41%, the generic congressional ballot tied (this measure appears to...

By Ed Kilgore

April 29, 2014 10:39 AM Kerry and the "A Word"

There are two ways you can look at the current flap over John Kerry's off-the-record warning that in the absence of a two-state solution with Palestinians, Israel is in danger...

By Ed Kilgore

April 29, 2014 9:56 AM The Anti-Common Core Trip

If you are surprised by the intensity of conservative opposition to the Common Core Standards initiative--which, after all, is in no small part the product of collaboration between the business...

By Ed Kilgore

April 29, 2014 8:53 AM Daylight Video

We'll stick with the blues today. Here's Koko Taylor with "Queen Bee."...

By Ed Kilgore

April 28, 2014 6:02 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Sorry for a brief typo-fest this morning (and thanks to Blue Girl for cleaning up). I was very groggy, and will try to crash early tonight to bank sleep for...

By Ed Kilgore

April 28, 2014 5:20 PM The Banality of Yesterday's Evil

As you may recall, the Clinton Library executed a major data dump recently, and as you may have noticed, a lot of the talk was about the famous "vast right-wing...

By Ed Kilgore

April 28, 2014 5:08 PM The Wealth Gap Gets Wider

A major new study on the racial/ethnic "wealth gap" has a rather pointed title: Beyond Broke. Since it updates what happened during and after the financial and housing meltdowns and...

By Ed Kilgore

April 28, 2014 4:43 PM Bad New Jobs

Everyone sort of knows that the new jobs being created in the economic "recovery" aren't for the most part high-paying gigs. But the extent to which wages are deteriorating via...

By Ed Kilgore

April 28, 2014 3:07 PM Michelle Nunn's Hoopaganza

I don't know if it reflects some sort of intense public interest in the Atlanta Hawks' playoff bid, but the Senate campaign of Michelle Nunn (note: I've known Michelle for...

By Ed Kilgore

April 28, 2014 2:06 PM Lunch Buffet

Soon it will be May, and actual voters will be voting. Love it. Here are some midday news/views treats. * At the American Conservative, Rod Drefer amps up Mollie Hemingway's...

By Ed Kilgore

April 28, 2014 1:34 PM Rand Paul, Friend of Israel

If there is indeed going to be a Republican Establishment/Neocon campaign to marginalize Rand Paul for his foreign policy views, it's going to have to be a lot more nimble...

By Ed Kilgore

April 28, 2014 1:07 PM And Don't Forget Alinsky!

At the end of a TPM roundup on the embarrassed backtracking of Republicans who originally expressed solidarity with Cliven Bundy, Dylan Scott produces this revealing quote from a Hot Air...

By Ed Kilgore

April 28, 2014 11:30 AM The Two Electorates In North Carolina

If you've internalized the "two electorates" analysis so convincingly presented in Sasha Issenberg's important new piece at TNR, or if I've made any impression on you in many months of...

By Ed Kilgore

April 28, 2014 11:02 AM Issenberg on the The Two Electorates and the Democratic Challenge For the Midterms

Regular readers of this blog won't be surprised to learn that Sasha Issenberg's take on the midterm challenge for Democrats at TNR strikes me as the best single piece on...

By Ed Kilgore

April 28, 2014 10:15 AM Palin Crosses a Line

It predictably offended me--or perhaps just annoyed and exasperated me--that the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee said this to the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association over the weekend:...

By Ed Kilgore

April 28, 2014 8:30 AM Daylight Video

Let's start the week with some rollicking music: Roosevelt Sykes performs "Gulport Boogie."...

By Ed Kilgore

April 27, 2014 6:41 PM Warren & Springsteen Speak the Same Language

It's a slow news day, so I thought I'd put a little Elizabeth Warren to music: "I'm worried the power in the financial services industry. I'm worried about the fact...

By Martin Longman

April 27, 2014 1:22 PM Palin's Cosmic Torment of John McCain

I have a theory that Sarah Palin has the intent to humiliate John McCain as often as possible. Maybe it's because McCain wouldn't let her give her own concession speech....

By Martin Longman

April 27, 2014 11:02 AM Andrew McCarthy is Clueless About Crack

I wish the National Review's Andrew McCarthy would stop to consider the implications of his own words. As he acknowledges, under The Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, possession of 5...

By Martin Longman

April 27, 2014 7:57 AM Orwellian Piece By Ian Morris

Ian Morris, a professor of Classics at Stanford, argues in the Washington Post that, in the long run, wars make us safer and richer. Perhaps it is just too difficult...

By Martin Longman

April 27, 2014 7:36 AM Daylight Video

Peter Gabriel's "Waiting for the Big One" performed on German music television show ROCKPALAST on September 15th 1978....

By Martin Longman

April 26, 2014 3:01 PM Donald Sterling Should Sell the Clippers

So, it seems pretty strange to want to be the owner of a NBA team- in a league in which roughly 80% of the players are black- if you don't...

By Martin Longman

April 26, 2014 12:23 PM What Passes for Sanity in Oklahoma

Sometimes things leap off the page and smack you in the face. That's what happened to me while I was reading about the Republican primary in Oklahoma to replace retiring...

By Martin Longman

April 26, 2014 11:12 AM How Wayne LaPierre Increases Gun Sales

The National Rifle Association is holding their annual conference in Indianapolis this year, and Wayne LaPierre is sounding more unhinged than ever. He sounds almost as paranoid as our quail-hunting...

By Martin Longman

April 26, 2014 9:09 AM Drew Turiano is Making Sense

The Yellowstone County Republican Party wouldn't let him speak at their Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner, and the Montana Tea Party disavows any association with him, but congressional candidate Drew Turiano may...

By Martin Longman

April 26, 2014 8:29 AM Daylight Video

Dave Mason is still kicking. You might know him from Steve Winwood's band, Traffic....

By Martin Longman

April 25, 2014 6:29 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

Friday Fatigue setting in pretty strongly right now. Good thing I'm too old to hit the town tonight. Round here, though, "Late Night" means 8:00 PM; 9:00's "After Hours" and...

By Ed Kilgore

April 25, 2014 5:26 PM Damning Christie With Faint Praise

The estimable and data-savvy conservative political analyst Sean Trende of RealClearPolitics enjoys myth-busting, like most of us who have to write regularly about the CW. So it's no surprise he's...

By Ed Kilgore

April 25, 2014 4:54 PM Ain't No eMeg in '16

At this point in the 2010 California gubernatorial cycle, Meg Whitman was in the process of bludgeoning primary opponent State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner with a barrage of attack ads,...

By Ed Kilgore

April 25, 2014 3:55 PM The Shopworn "So's Your Old Man" Response to Racist Outbursts

At Daily Beast, Mike Tomasky has some fun mocking conservative claims that racist outbursts in their ranks always represent a "coincidence" that have nothing to do with their values or...

By Ed Kilgore

April 25, 2014 3:12 PM Hey, Look! I'm As Mean As Any of You!

It's hardly news when a southern Republican opposes the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion, or seeks a position to the right of primary opponents. But Greg Sargent's right: there's something...

By Ed Kilgore

April 25, 2014 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Been doing some Deep Dives today, so I'm looking for lighter post-lunch fare. Here are some midday fruits de mer: * Bloomberg group sending "hundreds" of gun regulation advocates to...

By Ed Kilgore

April 25, 2014 1:25 PM Godly Egalitarianism

Yesterday Brookings released a major new report, co-authored by E.J. Dionne, Bill Galston, Korin Davis and Ross Tilchin, entitled: "Faith in Equality: Economic Justice and the Future of Religious Progressives."...

By Ed Kilgore

April 25, 2014 12:07 PM Big Tent Libertarianism

The New York Times' Nick Confessore has a fascinating piece today about Rand Paul's efforts to build a fundraising base among wealthy donors with more-or-less libertarian views. Some of his...

By Ed Kilgore

April 25, 2014 11:03 AM Economy Punishing Russia For Its Sins

It's pretty close to a CW in this country that Russia's going to get away with murder in Ukraine. Gabbers differ as to whether this crime is attributable to objective...

By Ed Kilgore

April 25, 2014 10:39 AM Cliven Bundy and the Posse Comitatus Movement

Speaking of Cliven Bundy and Reconstruction...Rachel Maddow offered a fascinating segment last night showing the connections between Bundy's resistance to federal authority and the Posse Comitatus Movement, rooted in Reconstruction-era...

By Ed Kilgore

April 25, 2014 10:13 AM Bundyism With Media Training

A lot of progressive commentators, myself included, were fascinated yesterday by radio talker Dana Loesch's argument that Cliven Bundy's comments about "the Negro" reflected the reality that he's a plain-spoken...

By Ed Kilgore

April 25, 2014 8:53 AM Daylight Video

For no particular reason, let's listen to some Buddy Guy. Here he is with "First Time I Met the Blues."...

By Ed Kilgore

April 24, 2014 5:57 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Today served up more political-analysis discussion items than I've seen in a while, which whets my appetite for the upcoming primaries. Here are some remains of the day: * WaPo's...

By Ed Kilgore

April 24, 2014 5:35 PM Co-opting Rand Paul Into the Veepship

Last night at Ten Miles Square, we published a Bloomberg column by conservative writer Ramesh Ponnuru that made an intriguing suggestion: Rand Paul might turn out to be the rare...

By Ed Kilgore

April 24, 2014 5:12 PM "Populist" Issues Are Persuasive

As a follow-on to my last dyspeptic post disputing the idea that "anger" is the key to good Democratic midterm, and also to a post yesterday on how well issues...

By Ed Kilgore

April 24, 2014 4:31 PM Anger Management in '14

Regular readers know that I'm skeptical of election forecasts that rely excessively on assessments of voter "enthusiasm." To put it simply, any "enthusiasm" beyond that necessary to convince a voter...

By Ed Kilgore

April 24, 2014 3:14 PM Campaign '14: Writing Tomorrow's Spin Today

At TNR today, Brian Beutler spells out the flip side of the monomania with which some of us have been writing about the structural advantages Republicans should enjoy in this...

By Ed Kilgore

April 24, 2014 2:13 PM Lunch Buffet

Aside from my Twitter dialogue over Nate Cohn's piece on southern white voters, I also did a conference call with an old friend, so I'm a bit behind the curve....

By Ed Kilgore

April 24, 2014 1:43 PM Digging In With Cliven Bundy

For the most part, conservatives have dealt with cowboy libertarian folk hero Cliven Bundy's racist outburst yesterday ignoring it or (in the case of pols) "hating the sin" while figuring...

By Ed Kilgore

April 24, 2014 12:56 PM Once More, With Feeling: A Vote's a Vote

If you happen to follow me on Twitter (@ed_kilgore), you may have noticed I've gotten into an elaborate discussion with Nate Cohn and others over Nate's piece today at The...

By Ed Kilgore

April 24, 2014 12:20 PM Mitch Hearts Rand

I get it that the innovation in TIME's latest edition of its "100 Most Influential People" feature is getting celebrities to write about celebrities. But still, there's something especially disingenuous...

By Ed Kilgore

April 24, 2014 11:23 AM Southern Polarization by Race and Party: Not a Simple Picture

At The Upshot, Nate Cohn provides some empirical data for a reality most of us already understood: the Deep South's partisan polarization is to an significant extent correlated with race,...

By Ed Kilgore

April 24, 2014 9:33 AM Racist Liberal Media Invent More White Racism

Wouldn't you figure it would be Adam Nagourney of the New York Times who would ruin the splendid living theater of patriotism being acted out in Nevada by quoting everybody's...

By Ed Kilgore

April 24, 2014 8:39 AM Daylight Video

The Easter Rising began in Ireland on this day in 1916. Here are the Wolfe Tones performing "Foggy Dew."...

By Ed Kilgore

April 23, 2014 5:53 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Had about decided the $199 Chromebook I've been using since November was biting the dust when sound suddenly shut down, but it was just teasing me. Thing is, I wouldn't...

By Ed Kilgore

April 23, 2014 4:58 PM Unraising Cain

About three-and-a-half years ago, Herman Cain leaped into the lead in polling for the Republican nomination for President of the United States. Yes, his boomlet soon ended, but via the...

By Ed Kilgore

April 23, 2014 4:31 PM Medicaid Expansion and the "Socialized Medicine" Underground

I noted in a post earlier today that in conservative Texas, where li'l chirrens are taught to hate liberalism from infancy, PPP finds that a solid 49/35 plurality thinks the...

By Ed Kilgore

April 23, 2014 3:41 PM Show Me Some Posturing

Readers of WaPo today may have run across this wild-sounding report by Reid Wilson from the Show-Me State: A Missouri state House committee will hold hearings Wednesday into three proposed...

By Ed Kilgore

April 23, 2014 2:29 PM Richly Earned Awards

Political writing is often an unrewarding line of work, in more ways than one. So I'm very pleased today to report that two people I consider friends have been recognized...

By Ed Kilgore

April 23, 2014 2:11 PM Lunch Buffet

Had dinner last night with church friends who are living in a retirement community. I could get used to the ambiance there, plus the not-working thing. Too bad. Here are...

By Ed Kilgore

April 23, 2014 1:10 PM Medicaid Expansion: Deal Too Good To Refuse Getting Better

Observers who are puzzled by the large number of states who have rejected the Affordable Care Act's optional (thanks to SCOTUS) Medicaid expansion often note it offers state governments an...

By Ed Kilgore

April 23, 2014 12:16 PM Lindsey Graham: Exception or Rule?

For those of us who tend to dismiss Republican Establishment (and MSM) talk about the ephemeral nature of the Tea Party and the coming apotheosis of "pragmatism" in the GOP,...

By Ed Kilgore

April 23, 2014 11:06 AM The New "Wedge Issues"

If you want a good illustration of why Democrats are pushing "economic fairness" issues like the minimum wage, pay equity, and even (in some states) Medicaid expansion, give a gander...

By Ed Kilgore

April 23, 2014 10:46 AM Public Opinion on Affirmative Action: All About the Framing

You can and possibly should spend a lot of time thinking through the broader judicial, political, institutional, and perhaps even psychological implications of yesterday's Supreme Court decision involving a voter-approved...

By Ed Kilgore

April 23, 2014 9:52 AM The Slow Motion Riot Against Common Core

So in this week's column over at TPMCafe, I took a closer look at the abrupt abandonment of Common Core K-12 education standards by Republicans, who probably played a bigger...

By Ed Kilgore

April 23, 2014 8:53 AM Daylight Video

For no reason at all, here's some Garry Moore, with "Still Got the Blues."...

By Ed Kilgore

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

Have to say, I was a bit embarrassed on the first Earth Day when my high school's big celebrity speaker was Hal Holbrook, who was starring in some sort of...

By Ed Kilgore

April 22, 2014 5:30 PM Aereo Case Too Close To Call

If you've been waiting all day for news on the Supreme Court's oral arguments in the case of ABC v. Aereo, here's a report from the Wall Street Journal's Brent...

By Ed Kilgore

April 22, 2014 5:12 PM Southern Comfort for Democratic Senators?

Speaking of Mary Landrieu: in yet another first-day offering from The Upshot, number-crunching analyst Nate Cohn suggests that the left-for-dead reputation in Washington of Landrieu and fellow southern Democrats Mark...

By Ed Kilgore

April 22, 2014 4:51 PM Landrieu Running On the "Jindal Gap"

Going into this election cycle, it was generally assumed that state-level Democrats in states that had rejected the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion might well run on the stupidly obstinate...

By Ed Kilgore

April 22, 2014 3:28 PM Another Lesson in Paying Attention to Median Rather Than Average Income Data

Another inaugural offering from the New York Times' new Upshot subsite today offers a new analysis of income data for the United States, Canada and European countries, and shows what...

By Ed Kilgore

April 22, 2014 2:03 PM Lunch Buffet

Hope the weather's half as nice where you are this Earth Day as it is outside my window. Here are some sun-soaked midday treats: * Airwaves clogged with ads in...

By Ed Kilgore

April 22, 2014 1:16 PM You, Too, Can Host a National Political Convention!

Perhaps the declining importance of national political conventions is a factor, and it probably didn't help when Congress banned use of taxpayer funds to support convention operations last month. But...

By Ed Kilgore

April 22, 2014 11:58 AM Scorching the Earth on Medicaid Expansion

State laws governing accession to or rejection of the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion vary in terms of who makes the decision; in some cases, it's the governor, in some...

By Ed Kilgore

April 22, 2014 11:20 AM Latest From SCOTUS on Race-Based Affirmative Action

In the long and torturous line of judicial precedents governing affirmative action, it's not clear whether today's 6-2 SCOTUS decision in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action will be...

By Ed Kilgore

April 22, 2014 10:48 AM The Unswingers

So the New York Times' 538-ish substitute subsite "The Upshot" debuts today with two items (so far) of special interest to political animals. The first is a Senate race predictions...

By Ed Kilgore

April 22, 2014 10:04 AM Thoughts on Earth Day

It's become common on Earth Day in recent years to observe that the environmental movement has a much tougher argument to make now than in the past, and faces more...

By Ed Kilgore

April 22, 2014 8:53 AM Daylight Video

It's Earth Day 2014. Here's a song from back in the early days of Earth Day: Traffic with "When the Eagle Flies."...

By Ed Kilgore

April 21, 2014 6:39 PM Days End and Night Watch

Today's news cycle was so barren that I almost resorted to writing about David Brooks questioning Obama's "manhood," which would be a new low in shooting fish in a barrel....

By Ed Kilgore

April 21, 2014 4:58 PM Abolish the Sixth Amendment!

Taegan Goddard's Political Wire noted a new Republican Governors Association ad being run in South Carolina against Democratic candidate Vincent Sheheen under the headline: "Most Negative Political Ad Ever?" and...

By Ed Kilgore

April 21, 2014 4:01 PM End Times For Broadcast?

If you're only interested in court decisions that affect you personally, you might want to watch tomorrow's SCOTUS oral arguments in the case of American Broadcasting Companies v. Aereo, which...

By Ed Kilgore

April 21, 2014 3:28 PM New Republican Robopollster

As regular poll-watchers know, the sheer volume of surveys churned out by a particular polling firm can have an impact on polling averages, and even more so on subjective impressions...

By Ed Kilgore

April 21, 2014 2:15 PM Lunch Buffet

Happy Easter Monday for those inclined to treat yesterday's Christian feast as the beginning of a season. Here are some midday news/views treats: * Gotta say, when you feel compelled...

By Ed Kilgore

April 21, 2014 1:45 PM More Conservative Than Thou

As we begin to enter the heart of the 2014 primary cycle, I hope that last-ditch defenders of "both parties have surrendered to their extremes" false-equivalence perspectives notice a rather...

By Ed Kilgore

April 21, 2014 1:01 PM The GOP's Foreign Policy "Civil War"

I've argued on more than one occasion that while many of the intra-GOP factional fights described as representing a "civil war" are actually sub-ideological skirmishes over strategy, tactics and rhetoric,...

By Ed Kilgore

April 21, 2014 11:47 AM Remedial Education On Birth Control

You'd really think that an institution with as rich an intellectual history and educational capacity as the Roman Catholic Church could find ways to keep its national spokespeople from saying...

By Ed Kilgore

April 21, 2014 11:10 AM ObamaCore

If you've missed the growing backlash against the Common Core Standards education initiative, rapidly becoming a signature issue for "true conservatives" (though many opponents of Clinton-Bush-Obama-era "education reform" on the...

By Ed Kilgore

April 21, 2014 9:34 AM Democrats' Midterm Challenge

People who regularly read this blog may not learn much new from Dan Balz' big preview on the Democrats' 2014 strategy at WaPo yesterday, but it is a good summary...

By Ed Kilgore

April 21, 2014 8:30 AM Daylight Video

To kick off the week, here's Brownie McGhee performing "Good Morning Blues" on Australian television....

By Ed Kilgore

April 20, 2014 7:11 PM Identity politics and its discontents: when social justice movements abandon the politics of redistribution

Richard Kim has written a incisive and provocative piece in the current issue of The Nation about the current state of the LGBT rights movement. He says, "If the recent...

By Kathleen Geier

April 20, 2014 3:05 PM Mad Men ratings are down. I have a "bad fan" theory as to why.

Last Sunday, Man Men began its seventh and penultimate season. As always, the season premiere revealed a few surprises, but perhaps the biggest surprise of all this year turned out...

By Kathleen Geier

April 20, 2014 12:52 PM Must-read of the day: Tom Frank on why we don't want a plutocracy -- even a liberal, "benevolent" one

Yesterday, when I wrote about a White House gathering of young billionaire philanthropists, I did so with a healthy dose of snark. However, I didn't make an argument about the...

By Kathleen Geier

April 20, 2014 10:48 AM Yet another reason to hate the Supreme Court: a recent ruling makes it easier for payday lenders to prey upon the poor

The Supreme Court doesn't like poor people very much. Recent rulings by the Court have had a profoundly harmful impact on the health, lives, and livelihoods of poor folks. The...

By Kathleen Geier

April 19, 2014 9:57 PM Morning music, Patti Smith, "Easter"

Here is the magnificent Patti Smith song, "Easter." Isabelle, Frederick, and Vitalie were Rimbaud's brother and sisters, by the way. She was raised Catholic and there are many traces of...

By Kathleen Geier

April 19, 2014 5:02 PM Step aside, Hillary shoe truthers! Here come the Hillary grandbaby truthers!

Earlier this week, Chelsea Clinton revealed that she was pregnant. Before that announcement, in the current issue of The Washington Monthly, Haley Sweetland Edwards had speculated about how such an...

By Kathleen Geier

April 19, 2014 3:52 PM An idea whose time has come: jail time for wage theft

Catherine Rampell's new economics and business blog at the Washington Post, Rampage, is excellent (and boy was the New York Times stupid to let her get away). Take, for instance,...

By Kathleen Geier

April 19, 2014 12:21 PM Did someone say patrimonial capitalism? The White House hosts a meeting of teenage billionaire "philanthropists"

Thomas Piketty, call your office! Today's New York Times -- in the Fashion and Style section, but of course! -- reports on a White House meeting of "100 young philanthropists...

By Kathleen Geier

April 19, 2014 10:19 AM Morning music, The Cosmopolitans, "(How to Keep Your) Husband Happy"

There's no doubt about it: with the Democrats' decision to run on women's issues and the gender pay gap this election is making Republicans very, very nervous. So far, they've...

By Kathleen Geier

April 18, 2014 4:30 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

As indicated, I'm wrapping up early today in observance of Good Friday. * As we speak, ambitious reporters and oppo researchers are probably pouring over the major document dump executed...

By Ed Kilgore

April 18, 2014 4:08 PM Another Cycle That Breaks the Mold?

Speaking of "Goldwaterism"...Ross Douthat published a column yesterday expressing the fear that the "unprecedented unsettleness" of the early 2016 Republican "invisible primary" might produce a "nearly unprecedented, not-since-Goldwater outcome" in...

By Ed Kilgore

April 18, 2014 2:54 PM "The Spirit of Goldwaterism"

For all the hagiography directed at Ronald Reagan, I've always thought the real idol for the newly radicalized conservative movement of the Obama Era was Barry Goldwater, the original "constitutional...

By Ed Kilgore

April 18, 2014 2:06 PM Lunch Buffet

Today is Good Friday, a solemn holiday for many of us. So I will curtail blogging a bit this afternoon. Here are some midday and week-ending news/views items: * At...

By Ed Kilgore

April 18, 2014 1:31 PM 1896 and 1908

At Ten Miles Square today, Seth Masket notes that an important turning point in the direction of modern politics occurred in the presidential election of 1908, when Democratic candidate William...

By Ed Kilgore

April 18, 2014 12:51 PM Is "Nana Factor" Big For HRC?

Per TPM's Tom Kludt, on MNBC's Morning Joe today, New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin thinks Chelsea Clinton's pregnancy could be a "game-changer," in a positive way, for her...

By Ed Kilgore

April 18, 2014 12:10 PM Blaming the "Losers"

In an earlier post on conservative attitudes about race, I suggested that the real core of conservative antipathy towards those people might well be a more general disdain--rooted in self-righteousness...

By Ed Kilgore

April 18, 2014 11:20 AM The Downside of Being an Executive Outsider Candidate

In these days of great ideological peril for Republican candidates who cannot demonstrate an impeccable record of "true conservatism," a fast track out of ideological hell is the "executive outsider"...

By Ed Kilgore

April 18, 2014 10:28 AM Victims of the Electoral College

Perhaps in part due to conservative freak-outs like the one exhibited by Dick Morris, progressives are developing a new interest in the National Popular Vote Initiative, an interstate compact aimed...

By Ed Kilgore

April 18, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

For no particular reason, here's T-Bone Walker performing "Don't Throw Your Love On Me So Strong."...

By Ed Kilgore

April 17, 2014 6:20 PM Day's End and Night Watch

My mother-in-law is sending me a big batch of political fliers from Georgia, so I expect to have some more fodder for Crazy Cracker posts directly. Here are some remains...

By Ed Kilgore

April 17, 2014 5:32 PM The Koch For President Boom!

Since I posted earlier today about poll numbers being relatively reliable indicators of upcoming political events, I'm glad a poll has come along to display how important it is to...

By Ed Kilgore

April 17, 2014 4:45 PM Ukraine Back From the Brink?

It hardly represents anything like a settlement of grievances, but the agreement reached in Geneva today by representatives of the U.S., the E.U., Ukraine and Russia appears to have at...

By Ed Kilgore

April 17, 2014 4:11 PM Final Obamacare Open Enrollment Numbers Comparable to Romneycare

As you may recall, there was a grace period for additional signups after the March 31 deadline for open enrollment in the Obamacare exchanges, so the final numbers have just...

By Ed Kilgore

April 17, 2014 3:23 PM The Conspiracy To Bypass the Electoral College

When I wrote earlier today about the heads-we-win, tails-you-lose tendency of conservatives to alternate between claims of large natural popular majorities and anti-democratic schemes to "constitutionalize" policies so that popular...

By Ed Kilgore

April 17, 2014 2:21 PM Lunch Buffet

Sorry, got a little tied up in trying to remember my Con Law classes from many long years ago in writing the last post. I don't have a staff of...

By Ed Kilgore

April 17, 2014 1:51 PM The Constitutional Excuse For Subverting Democracy

To anyone puzzled or confused about the preferred Tea Party self-identification buzzword "constitutional conservative," George Will has done a fine job in his latest column spelling it all out, by...

By Ed Kilgore

April 17, 2014 12:52 PM Jack Kingston and The Welfare

Having discussed the Romney-Ryan campaign's 2012 "Obama's gutting welfare reform" ad a good bit lately, I should mention that the idea that welfare bums are loafing around when there are...

By Ed Kilgore

April 17, 2014 12:15 PM Racism Is a Matter of Legitimate Debate, Not a Slur

I suppose I should feel flattered that the imperious Wall Street Journal writer James Taranto devoted the bulk of his column yesterday to various drive-by criticisms of my TPMCare piece...

By Ed Kilgore

April 17, 2014 10:43 AM Looking At All the Evidence In Predicting Elections

In looking at specific upcoming election contests, it's logical to consider all sorts of contextualizing factors: party registration, prior election results and trends, turnout patterns, primary challenges, fundraising, economic conditions...

By Ed Kilgore

April 17, 2014 10:08 AM Surprise: Fighting Health Coverage Works!

The most-discussed if least unexpected news of the morning is additional evidence that states which cooperated with the Affordable Care Act by setting up their own purchasing exchanges and taking...

By Ed Kilgore

April 17, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

I don't think one day was enough to do justice to the "acid rock" legacy. So here's Jimi Hendrix again, with "Burning of the Midnight Lamp."...

By Ed Kilgore

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

My Wednesday morning energy surge subsided, or maybe it was just sucked out of me by reading a day's worth of dog-bites-man stories. By the time some interesting stuff (see...

By Ed Kilgore

April 16, 2014 5:49 PM Give 'Em What They Want

The Atlantic's Molly Ball did a piece over the weekend assessing the relative performances of Rand Paul and Ted Cruz at a big Tea Party event in New Hampshire, and...

By Ed Kilgore

April 16, 2014 4:58 PM The Obama-Biden Job Training Initiative

I was probably one of the few general-purpose gabbers in the country who got excited during the 2014 State of the Union Address when the president announced he'd asked Joe...

By Ed Kilgore

April 16, 2014 4:22 PM Abortion and Evolutionary Biology

Tom Edsall focuses today on the much-observed differences between the trajectory of public opinion on two religion-inflected hot-button cultural issues of recent years, same-sex marriage and abortion. The trend lines...

By Ed Kilgore

April 16, 2014 2:06 PM Lunch Buffet

I'm feeling better than I have in weeks, and awoke all rarin' to blog--but couldn't seem to force the political gods to generate much real news. Here's what I have...

By Ed Kilgore

April 16, 2014 1:43 PM The Candidate's Best Friend: Cash On Hand

We'll soon be getting into the meat of the 2014 primary season, with North Carolina, Indiana and Ohio voting on May 6; Nebraska and West Virginia on May 13; and...

By Ed Kilgore

April 16, 2014 1:09 PM The Awful Specter of a New Health Care Cost Spiral

If you want to remain anxious about something related to health care policy over the next few months, you'd be advised to focus not on the familiar Obamacare statistics of...

By Ed Kilgore

April 16, 2014 11:42 AM "Personhood" As a Campaign Issue

At Plum Line this morning, Greg Sargent compiles a handy list of Republican Senate candidates who have either endorsed "personhood" initiatives endowing zygotes with full constitutional rights, or have rejected...

By Ed Kilgore

April 16, 2014 10:37 AM Is Sebelius a Glutton For Punishment?

You have to get to the eighth graph in Jeremy Peters' New York Times piece on Kathleen Sebelius today to find out that talk about the outgoing Secretary of Health...

By Ed Kilgore

April 16, 2014 10:03 AM Real and Phony Wars

Every time you turn around these days, you hear of ferocious battles over fundamental principles between Republicans and/or within the conservative movement. Separating real from limited, or strategic/tactical, or even...

By Ed Kilgore

April 16, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

On this day in 1943, a Swiss chemist accidentally discovers the hallucinogenic properties of LSD. So we'll feature some trippy music today, beginning with Jimi Hendrix' "In 1983...A Merman I...

By Ed Kilgore

April 15, 2014 5:26 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Still blogging from Highway 101. You don't want to know. Here are some remains of the day: * Government forces clash with armed separatists in Eastern Ukraine. * Legislation is...

By Ed Kilgore

April 15, 2014 5:08 PM Tax Complexity: Cui Bono?

A year ago Daniel Luzer posted a Ten Miles Square item noting that tax-preparation outfits are the most obvious beneficiaries of a complex tax code, and the folks who probably...

By Ed Kilgore

April 15, 2014 4:57 PM Mitt Returns to the Campaign Trail

If it was going to happen at all, Idaho's intense U.S. House primary makes sense as a venue for Mitt Romney's return to the campaign trail. Yes, he's predictably backing...

By Ed Kilgore

April 15, 2014 4:22 PM Jindal Throws Common Core to the Wolves

I've been reporting now and then on the growing hostility to Common Core K-12 education standards among (though not uniquely among) conservatives, even as the states frantically race to implement...

By Ed Kilgore

April 15, 2014 2:03 PM Lunch Buffet

I'm going through some logistical craziness today that would be amusing if it was happening to someone else, so pardon the occasional typo from squinting at a computer screen in...

By Ed Kilgore

April 15, 2014 12:11 PM Crushing Rand Paul Kindly

I predicted last week that the appearance of a 2009 video in which Rand Paul basically accused Dick Cheney of launching the Iraq War to fatten Halliburton's profits would represent...

By Ed Kilgore

April 15, 2014 11:41 AM Learning to Live With the Civil Rights Act, 50 Years Later

Freshman U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) has mainly drawn attention as a Tea Party ultra who somehow managed to draw a Tea Party ultra ultra 2014 primary opponent with rather...

By Ed Kilgore

April 15, 2014 10:44 AM The Phony Civil War Within the Antichoice Movement

To hear the rhetoric surrounding some intramural fights within the antichoice movement, there is a deep division of "principle" between those who favor uncompromising early-term abortion bans or who refuse...

By Ed Kilgore

April 15, 2014 10:02 AM Deficit Still Stubbornly Declining

If this is a painful Tax Day for you, then at least you have the satisfaction of knowing that the revenues to which you contribute are offsetting spending a bit...

By Ed Kilgore

April 15, 2014 9:43 AM Tax Day and Patriotism

I suppose if you've already received a tax refund or know you'll be receiving one, Tax Day isn't a particularly unpleasant day, and if you've already filed your federal and...

By Ed Kilgore

April 15, 2014 8:53 AM Daylight Video

On this day 120 years ago, Bessie Smith was born in Chattanooga. Here she is with "Backwater Blues."...

By Ed Kilgore

April 14, 2014 6:43 PM Day's End and Night Watch

We'll be back to less distracted blogging tomorrow, and perhaps the political news will pick up. In the mean time, for those planning to celebrate, Happy Passover! Here are some...

By Ed Kilgore

April 14, 2014 6:20 PM No, the U.S. Cannot Just Wash Its Hands of the Middle East

My general rule is that I don't form any firm opinions of Middle Eastern developments without reading Gershom Gorenberg's take on it. So amidst the hand-wringing and shrugs accompanying the...

By Ed Kilgore

April 14, 2014 5:30 PM Are the Taxes Too Damn High?

Gallup has updated its longstanding research on basic American attitudes about taxes, and word up to the Tea Party: 54% of respondents say they consider their taxes fair. That's actually...

By Ed Kilgore

April 14, 2014 3:28 PM Equal Rights For Women and the GOP: I Wouldn't Go There, Sister!

As part of its largely symbolic pushback to the Democratic campaign on pay equity, the House GOP is pushing female spox out there to claim the water's just fine for...

By Ed Kilgore

April 14, 2014 2:32 PM More Good News On Obamacare That Conservatives Will Ignore

The Congressional Budget Office has updated its projections of the ten-year federal costs associated with the insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act, and the numbers show an even...

By Ed Kilgore

April 14, 2014 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Thanks to Martin Longman for enabling me to spend some time with family visitors late last week. My guests are departing tonight, so I might curtail blogging a bit early...

By Ed Kilgore

April 14, 2014 1:38 PM Abandoning Government's Civil Society Catalyst

It says a lot about the habitual radicalism of Paul Ryan budgeting that I didn't even realize--and wasn't at all surprised to learn--Ryan proposed killing off the AmeriCorps national service...

By Ed Kilgore

April 14, 2014 12:53 PM The Supply-Side Strategy For Banning Abortion Is Working

It's been obvious for a while to anyone really paying attention that the antichoice movement has made a major shift towards a strategy of restricting abortion by waging war on...

By Ed Kilgore

April 14, 2014 12:26 PM The Real Republican "Civil War" Is Over Foreign Policy

As a regular objector to the idea that factional skirmishing in the GOP amounts to a "civil war," I've tried to make it clear there's an exception: Rand Paul's views...

By Ed Kilgore

April 14, 2014 11:01 AM How Do You Repeal Obamacare Without "Fixing" It?

A favorite rant among our little wingnut friends is that evil Establishment RINOs are trying to "fix" Obamacare instead of repealing it, destroying it, and salting the earth in which...

By Ed Kilgore

April 14, 2014 9:52 AM Huck on Obama's "Christian Convictions"

I don't know if Mike Huckabee has decided he lost the GOP presidential nomination in 2008 because he was too genial, or if he's just obsessed with getting "earned media,"...

By Ed Kilgore

April 14, 2014 8:17 AM Daylight Video

102 years ago today, the Titanic hit an iceberg. Here's Leadbelly's song about the disaster, and especially Jack Johnson's reaction. UPDATE: I first heard this song performed by Michelle Shocked...

By Ed Kilgore

April 13, 2014 4:03 PM About That Ubiquitous Atwater Rosetta Stone Confession

I don't know if everyone is talking about race because Congress is deadlocked and, well, we have to talk about something more than Ukraine and the missing jet airplane, but...

By Martin Longman

April 13, 2014 12:24 PM Lost in Their Truther Jungle

After reading about Josh Marshall's journey into the Truther's Jungle, I don't think it's overly optimistic to see ObamaCare as analagous to "skewed" polls and the collective right as analogous...

By Martin Longman

April 13, 2014 10:50 AM Comedy Keeps Us Going

Joel Warner and Peter McGraw went to Palestine to find out what kind of jokes they tell. They found some good ones: Later, we got to know stand-up comic Adi...

By Martin Longman

April 13, 2014 8:04 AM Blame-Shifting on Climate Change

I think that there is less outright denial that climate change is occurring globally than there is here in the United States, but it is still true that no one...

By Martin Longman

April 13, 2014 7:31 AM Daylight Video

Watch a video of the The Modern Lovers' "Government Center."...

By Martin Longman

April 12, 2014 6:28 PM NRA Endorses McConnell, Who Still Won't Answer Questions About Guns

Despite the fact that he won't tell anyone whether or not he even owns a gun, the National Rifle Association has just endorsed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in his...

By Martin Longman

April 12, 2014 1:54 PM Grading John Paul Stevens' Work

As the gun nuts will surely point out, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens doesn't know how to distinguish automatic from semi-automatic firearms. I've never understood why this distinction...

By Martin Longman

April 12, 2014 12:50 PM Former Enhanced Interrogator is Haunted

Eric Fair was an Arabic linguist in the U.S. Army from 1995 to 2000 and then, in 2004, he worked as a contract interrogator in Iraq. He remains haunted by...

By Martin Longman

April 12, 2014 11:08 AM Burwell's Confirmation Will Be a Boring Circus

I anticipated the Wall Street Journal's response to the nomination of Sylvia Burwell to head the Department of Health & Human Services when I sarcastically remarked that Senate Republicans would...

By Martin Longman

April 12, 2014 8:57 AM Another Example of Mass Cowardice

As I understand it, the United States ratified a treaty that obligates it to issue visas to anyone who is appointed to serve as an ambassador to the United Nations....

By Martin Longman

April 12, 2014 6:02 AM Daylight Video

It's hard to believe that Jerry Garcia has been dead for almost 19 years. I remember when a world without him was unimaginable. As virtually always the case with Jerry,...

By Martin Longman

April 11, 2014 6:56 PM Evening Roundup

Michael Lazin is annoyed that four presidents gathered in Austin to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and none of them ruined the ceremony by...

By Martin Longman

April 11, 2014 3:06 PM The Principles Behind the Mozilla Controversy

Conor Friederdorf's latest column is frustrating because he makes several good points, but all in the service of what is really a stupid framing of the argument. He begins by...

By Martin Longman

April 11, 2014 11:55 AM U.S. Reputation Improves Abroad

Global approval of American leadership spiked immediately after President Obama replaced President Bush and then began a slow and steady drop throughout the remainder of Obama's first term. However, the...

By Martin Longman

April 11, 2014 10:36 AM Senate Intel Committee's Findings on Torture Leak

Given the recent acrimony between the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and given the obvious conflict of interest the CIA has in being...

By Martin Longman

April 11, 2014 7:07 AM How to Assess ObamaCare's Role in the Midterms

Since Easter is almost upon us, I guess it is a good time to talk about the wisdom of putting all your eggs in one basket or, alternatively, the wisdom...

By Martin Longman

April 11, 2014 6:56 AM Daylight Video

Watch Bill Cosby introduce Steely Dan:...

By Martin Longman

April 10, 2014 8:14 PM Sebelius is Out, Burwell is In

Assuming she can survive what is likely to be a confirmation hearing circus, OMB Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell will soon replace Kathleen Sebelius as the Secretary of Health & Human...

By Martin Longman

April 10, 2014 4:35 PM The Iraq War and Torture Were Not Political Positions

I want you to notice something. Take a look at Charles C.W. Cooke's argument against boycotting Dropbox because it has put Condoleeza Rice on their Board of Directors: Apparently, Rice...

By Martin Longman

April 10, 2014 2:41 PM Jennifer Rubin's Selective Memory

I wonder if it occurs to Jennifer Rubin that in the aftermath of 9/11, conservatives told Bill Maher to shut up and cost him his job. Does she remember the...

By Martin Longman

April 10, 2014 1:23 PM Lunch Buffet

CBS announces that Stephen Colbert will replace David Letterman. I wonder if he will remain in character. Claire Sestanovich finds the Jonathan Chait/Ta-Nehisi Coates back and forth to be intellectually...

By Martin Longman

April 10, 2014 9:00 AM How Whites React to Browning of America

Citing a study by Northwestern University psychologists Maureen Craig and Jennifer Richeson, Jamelle Bouie frets that white Americans will react to their future minority status with ever-more conservative leanings and...

By Martin Longman

April 10, 2014 7:06 AM Jim DeMint's History Lesson

There's a certain splendor to Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint's retelling of the history of the Civil War. It's almost as if DeMint and Sarah Palin are both graduates of...

By Martin Longman

April 10, 2014 6:32 AM Daylight Video

Gary Numan's real name was Gary Webb. His father was a bus driver for British Airways who bought him a Gibson Les Paul guitar when he was 15 years old....

By Martin Longman

April 09, 2014 5:34 PM Day's End and Night Watch

I'm going to be taking two vacation days tomorrow and Friday to spend some time with visiting family members. So Martin Longman will be at the PA controls on through...

By Ed Kilgore

April 09, 2014 5:11 PM The Specialists' Cartel in Action

There's big and alarming news out today in a new federal government report on the pricing of medical services to Medicare. Wonkblog has the essentials: Today, the government released a...

By Ed Kilgore

April 09, 2014 4:27 PM Neal Boortz and Lancelot

Amanda Marcotte draws attention today to a couple of characteristically obnoxious tweets from former long-time right-wing radio talk host Neal Boortz--now a "commentator"--about the Democratic "pay equity" offensive. Boortz suggests...

By Ed Kilgore

April 09, 2014 3:26 PM Jim DeMint, Constitutional Revisionist

RightWingWatch's Brian Tashman runs across an interview with Jim DeMint in which the Heritage Foundation president and avatar of "constitutional conservatism" utters gibberish about slavery, and charitably suggests he is...

By Ed Kilgore

April 09, 2014 3:02 PM Really Reaching on IRS "Bias"

If you want to see how far conservative media are reaching to keep the "IRS Scandal" alive, check out this report from the Washington Times' Stephen Dinan: Even as the...

By Ed Kilgore

April 09, 2014 1:52 PM Lunch Buffet

Don't know whether it's the antibiotics or the cough syrup, but I feel remarkably better today, at least so far. Thanks to my friend John for suggesting I should seek...

By Ed Kilgore

April 09, 2014 1:28 PM Homophobia, Racism and Subjective Intent

The Mike Huckabee speech in Iowa that provided the jumping-off point for Paul Waldman's argument about the limited power of the Christian Right is interesting in its own right. It...

By Ed Kilgore

April 09, 2014 12:41 PM Holier Than Whom?

I don't often disagree with Paul Waldman, whose work I cite regularly. But sitting in at Plum Line today, he makes an argument about Republican politics and the Christian Right...

By Ed Kilgore

April 09, 2014 11:58 AM "Almost Awesome In Its Evilness"

At Ten Miles Square today, there's a post by Harold Pollack featuring excerpts from an interview he did with the renowned health care policy expert from MIT, Jon Gruber. Like...

By Ed Kilgore

April 09, 2014 11:09 AM If God & Founders Solved It All, Why Bother With Democracy?

There's an interesting op-ed up at WaPo today from Michigan State political scientist Matt Grossman arguing that conservatives are only "obstructionists" insofar as "most policies under debate are liberal," not...

By Ed Kilgore

April 09, 2014 9:43 AM Racism Is As Racism Does

My new column at TPMCafe offers a more considered take of the issues raised by Jonathan Chait in his long discussion of racial politics at New York magazine on Monday....

By Ed Kilgore

April 09, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

75 years ago today, Marian Anderson performed at the Lincoln Memorial after being banned by the Daughters of the American Revolution from use of its Constitution Hall. Here's a speech...

By Ed Kilgore

April 08, 2014 6:29 PM Day's End and Night Watch

So I'm at the doctor's office, and since bronchitis is "going around" in these parts, I have just been given an antibiotic and some serious cough syrup. Yum. Here are...

By Ed Kilgore

April 08, 2014 5:53 PM Somewhat Wingnutty?

It's safe to say most of the small tribe of political junkies looking at the latest survey (from Harper Polling) of likely voters in the June 3 Mississippi GOP Senate...

By Ed Kilgore

April 08, 2014 5:30 PM Race Is Not An Intellectual Exercise

I offered a preliminary take yesterday on Jonathan Chait's vast New York piece on racial politics, and will probably take another run at the topic at TPMCafe tomorrow. But for...

By Ed Kilgore

April 08, 2014 4:22 PM Conservatives and Employer Liberty

I haven't had much to say about the Brendan Eich controversy, other than to link to my colleague Martin Longman's piece exploding the idea that somehow the First Amendment should...

By Ed Kilgore

April 08, 2014 3:18 PM The "Bizarre Obsession" of Pay Equity

There are a number of ways Republicans might have responded to this week's Democratic offensive on pay equity for women. They could, of course, go along with the modest steps...

By Ed Kilgore

April 08, 2014 2:00 PM Lunch Buffet

Allergies or viruses? Only the next few docs I see will know for sure why I keep coughing and sniffling. Here are some hypo-allergenic news/views treats: * Aggrieved husband of...

By Ed Kilgore

April 08, 2014 1:41 PM Pseudo-Populist "Narratives"

Speaking of Jack Kingston, whose ad campaign has fatuously featured an old station wagon he owns as a token of his hardscrabble conservative values (his net worth as of 2012...

By Ed Kilgore

April 08, 2014 12:39 PM Common Core: "Obamacare For Education"

In some offline talk about the political implications of Jeb Bush's staunch support of Common Core Standards for K-12 education, I've heard that a majority of people have no idea...

By Ed Kilgore

April 08, 2014 10:55 AM Cruz, Paul and the Tea Zeitgeist

At Salon yesterday, Digby took notice of a speech by Ted Cruz at that veritable Stonehenge of the Christian Right, Liberty University, and suggested that if Cruz and Rand Paul...

By Ed Kilgore

April 08, 2014 10:12 AM No UI Emergency For GOP

All you really need to know about the attitude of most (though not all) congressional Republicans about the long-term unemployed is that they will likely stall an "emergency" UI extension...

By Ed Kilgore

April 08, 2014 9:43 AM Equal Pay Day

Since 1996, April 8 has been commemorated by the National Committee on Pay Equity as "Equal Pay Day," an event aimed at dramatizing the continuing gap between incomes earned by...

By Ed Kilgore

April 08, 2014 8:53 AM Daylight Video

On this day twenty years ago, Kurt Cobain was found dead from suicide. Here's Juliana Hatfield's tribute song, "Nirvana."...

By Ed Kilgore

April 07, 2014 6:43 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Looks like I will finally drag myself to the doctor and figure out why I have the Galloping Never-Get-Overs. But it shouldn't interfere with blogging. Here are some remains of...

By Ed Kilgore

April 07, 2014 6:29 PM It's Home For Me, But....

Atlanta, Georgia, will always be home for me, but I have never really understood why the whole hep world wants to move there. The weather's bad (broiling in summer, surprisingly...

By Ed Kilgore

April 07, 2014 5:49 PM Education Writers Give Tribute to WaMo

We're pleased to announce that the Washington Monthly has been awarded the 2013 first prize in the small newsroom/data journalism category by the Education Writers Association for our College Rankings...

By Ed Kilgore

April 07, 2014 5:17 PM Noah and "Biblicism"

In discussing the furor over the new movie Noah at Religion Dispatches, Wofford College's David Mathewson makes an important distinction between "biblical interpretation" and the conservative Christian ideology of Biblicism,...

By Ed Kilgore

April 07, 2014 4:10 PM The Vetting of Rand Paul Begins

At Lunch Buffet I mentioned in passing David Corn's discovery of a 2009 Rand Paul video attacking Dick Cheney. Having now watched the video, I'm pretty much willing to write...

By Ed Kilgore

April 07, 2014 2:35 PM Conservatives, Race, and "Winners" and "Losers"

I've only read Jonathan Chait's long, tangled piece on racial politics in the Obama era once, so perhaps it has a precise message I have not yet divined. But it...

By Ed Kilgore

April 07, 2014 2:03 PM Lunch Buffet

Sorry for the slow blogging pace this morning, but I've become ensnared in Jonathan Chait's vast piece on race and politics (which I'll post about shortly), which requires more than...

By Ed Kilgore

April 07, 2014 12:41 PM Inflation and Class Politics

Anybody with a passing familiarity with U.S. political history is aware of the one brief moment monetary policy became a huge national preoccupation: the presidential election of 1896, when Democrats...

By Ed Kilgore

April 07, 2014 12:08 PM Obamacare Data: Watch For the Conservative Fallback Position

Speaking of issues on which evidence succumbs to ideology, the drip-drip-drip of data showing that the Affordable Care Act is beginning to meet its objectives continues with a fourth straight...

By Ed Kilgore

April 07, 2014 11:24 AM Party, Ideology and Evidence

Ezra Klein's first big piece for his new venture (heretofore known as Project X) at Vox is on a topic that quite naturally worries the former Wonkblogger: the limits of...

By Ed Kilgore

April 07, 2014 10:22 AM Jeb's Dual Dynastic Problem

At the top of this morning's political news is another thumb-sucker (this one from the New York Times' Peter Baker) about a potential Jeb Bush presidential campaign. Perhaps it's because...

By Ed Kilgore

April 07, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

For no particular reason, here's Sister Rosetta Tharpe with "Didn't It Rain?"...

By Ed Kilgore

April 06, 2014 8:44 PM FiveThirtyEight analysis: movies that pass the "Bechdel test" for female-friendlly content are more likely to turn a profit

You've probably heard of the Bechdel test. It's a criterion to evaluate how female-friendly a movie is that was created by the cartoonist and memoirist Alison Bechdel. To pass the...

By Kathleen Geier

April 06, 2014 4:32 PM Why Game of Thrones is the TV show of our time; or, how narrative unpredictability reflects economic insecurity

Game of Thrones returns to the air tonight, and not a moment too soon. I've written before about the greatness of the series, and now that I've caught up with...

By Kathleen Geier

April 06, 2014 11:56 AM The New York Mets' Daniel Murphy takes paternity leave, gets savaged for it

On Monday last week, Daniel Murphy, the New York Mets' second baseman, skipped the team's opening day game because his wife was expecting a child. He was back on the...

By Kathleen Geier

April 06, 2014 11:47 AM 460,000 people with college degrees are working in minimum wage jobs

One common refrain we hear from a lot of conservatives, and some centrists, too, is that the reason many Americans aren't getting ahead in this economy is that they're "unskilled"...

By Kathleen Geier

April 06, 2014 8:55 AM Morning music: Kacey Musgraves and the decline of the working class

Last week on its Room for Debate page, the New York Times hosted a discussion called "Was Marx Right?" One of the participants was Doug Henwood. He notes that in...

By Kathleen Geier

April 05, 2014 4:47 PM Piketty-mania: progressives are going gaga about a sobering new book about economic inequality. Why is that?

Capital in the 21st Century, the new book about inequality by French economist Thomas Piketty, is generating excitement among progressives like few books I have ever seen in my...

By Kathleen Geier

April 05, 2014 2:49 PM Wall Street's sweetheart subsidies promote inequality. Why we need tougher financial reform.

The financialization of our economy is one of the most important causes of soaring economic inequality. What's particularly troubling is that enormous gains have accrued to Wall Street and the...

By Kathleen Geier

April 05, 2014 9:58 AM The gender wage gap: not only is it real, it seriously underestimates gender-based economic inequality suffered by women

White House economist Betsy Stevenson sat down with MSNBC's Irin Carmon earlier this week for a really fascinating interview (H/T: the excellent blog Family Inequality ). I strongly suggest reading...

By Kathleen Geier

April 05, 2014 9:02 AM Morning music: Nirvana

Today is the 20th anniversary of the death of Kurt Cobain. For many people, myself included, the news of Cobain's death was one of those indelible "where were you when?"...

By Kathleen Geier

April 04, 2014 5:48 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

Having gone a good hour without a coughing fit, I'm ready for the weekend. Here are some remains of the day: * Big profile of Maine DEM SEN candidate Shenna...

By Ed Kilgore

April 04, 2014 5:17 PM The Continuing Cory Gardner Flip-Flop Watch

As I noted last week, Rep. Cory Gardner followed up on his decision to run for the U.S. Senate in Colorado with an expedient effort to disassociate himself from the...

By Ed Kilgore

April 04, 2014 4:49 PM McCutcheon As New Obstacle to Gender Equity in Politics

Last year at a guest post here at PA, Anne Kim observed that for all the progress women are making towards equality as elected officials and candidates for office, they...

By Ed Kilgore

April 04, 2014 4:27 PM Punching a Ticket For the Presidential

One of the more obscure but abiding aspects of the "invisible primary" for president is that staff as well as candidates position themselves well in advance: not just by which...

By Ed Kilgore

April 04, 2014 3:16 PM Like the Honey Badger, Sheldon Adelson Does What He Wants

So do you think Sheldon Adelson is concerned about all the bad publicity and mockery he received last weekend for presiding over the "Sheldon Primary," a parade in Las Vegas...

By Ed Kilgore

April 04, 2014 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Trying to develop some enthusiasm for the men's Final Four, but may just watch temporarily available premium cable this weekend. Here are some untelevised midday news/views items: * Rep. Jim...

By Ed Kilgore

April 04, 2014 1:19 PM Vladimir Putin, Defender of the Faith

If Pat Buchanan has any social utility in his declining years, it's his willingness to come right out and say what some conservatives only hint at, or perhaps haven't even...

By Ed Kilgore

April 04, 2014 12:14 PM Hispanic Mid-Term Falloff

While I've written a lot about the "mid-term falloff" problem among Democratic-leaning demographic groups, I probably haven't given enough emphasis to the varying falloff rates of different groups. African-Americans tend...

By Ed Kilgore

April 04, 2014 11:35 AM Spin and Objective Reality

While he chose a uniquely infelicitous label for the habit he endorsed ("In Defense of the Bed-Wetting Liberal"), TNR's Noam Scheiber makes a good and essential point about the relative...

By Ed Kilgore

April 04, 2014 10:59 AM Hunting For Luxury

Yesterday I mentioned the gaffe committed by Georgia U.S. Senate candidate (and Republican frontrunner according to three recent polls) David Perdue, captured on video, dissing rival Karen Handel for not...

By Ed Kilgore

April 04, 2014 9:32 AM March Jobs Report: No Surpises

The March jobs report out this morning was about as close to what was expected as you can get without cooking the books: 192,000 net new jobs (the consensus expectation...

By Ed Kilgore

April 04, 2014 8:53 AM Daylight Video

101 years ago today, Muddy Waters was born. Here he is with "I Can't Be Satisfied."...

By Ed Kilgore

April 03, 2014 6:02 PM Day's End and Night Watch

One of those days when somebody abruptly cut off the news mid-afternoon. Here are some sparse remains of the day: * Seems both Ft. Hood shooters bought their weapons at...

By Ed Kilgore

April 03, 2014 5:26 PM The Sunny Side of the Wingnut LARPer of FL-3

Knowing very nearly nothing about the world of Live Action Role Playing (LARP), I have given the story of Florida Republican congressional candidate Jake Rush a wide berth, figuring Dave...

By Ed Kilgore

April 03, 2014 4:24 PM Yes, Journalism Is Still A Shrinking Profession

Just in case any of you have been misled by the new ventures being started by Nate Silver and Ezra Klein or by the associated job churn into thinking that...

By Ed Kilgore

April 03, 2014 3:49 PM Ryan Quietly Scraps Per Capita Cap on Medicare Spending

Wanna see an unusually strong demonstration of the fading political power of Austerian Fiscal Panic? As TPM's Sahil Kapur reports, the new (and last!) Paul Ryan Budget quietly drops a...

By Ed Kilgore

April 03, 2014 3:03 PM Medicaid Expansion In Gubernatorial Races

There's an informative article up at National Journal by Karyn Bruggeman explaining why Republicans haven't made savage opposition to the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion the kind of national meta-issue...

By Ed Kilgore

April 03, 2014 2:09 PM Lunch Buffet

Seems just yesterday that midwest was battling snowstorms. Now tornado sirens are going off in St. Louis. But there's no global climate change, of course. Here are some less turbulent...

By Ed Kilgore

April 03, 2014 1:24 PM Upsetting the Washington Career Ladder

Speaking of appropriate snarkiness, Michelle Cottle takes a good whack today at George Washington University's new master's degree program in international lobbying. As a former Senate and think-tank staffer, my...

By Ed Kilgore

April 03, 2014 1:09 PM No Need To Send In the Clowns

Most progressives have long since tuned out the Benghazi! circus, but it's a matter of civic obligation to tune back in now and then to see if it has any...

By Ed Kilgore

April 03, 2014 12:29 PM Constitutionalizing Privilege

There have been a lot of varying assessments about the short-term and long-term impact of yesterday's McCutcheon v. FEC decision on the campaign finance system. Maybe it will shift some...

By Ed Kilgore

April 03, 2014 11:27 AM "There's a High School Graduate in This Race"

Well, I figured it was a matter of time until the True Conservatives of the Republican Party in my home state of Georgia found a way to put up some...

By Ed Kilgore

April 03, 2014 10:04 AM More From the Poor Little Rich Boys

I'm beginning to think the Wall Street Journal's editorial page should be renamed the "Floating Pity Party for Plutocracy." Today Charles Koch avails himself of this not-very-public utility to whine...

By Ed Kilgore

April 03, 2014 8:35 AM Daylight Video

On this day ninety-seven years ago, Woodrow Wilson asked Congress for a Declaration of War against Germany. Here are Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris performing "1917."...

By Ed Kilgore

April 02, 2014 5:34 PM Day's End and Night Watch

A beautiful day here on the Central Coast which I am enjoying between coughs and sneezes. Could be a lot worse. Here are some remains of the day: * Washington...

By Ed Kilgore

April 02, 2014 5:11 PM End of Mideast Peace Talks?

Wondering if the news from the Middle East was a bad as it sounded, I read John Judis' assessment at TNR and got depressed: As I read the news today,...

By Ed Kilgore

April 02, 2014 4:40 PM Obamacare Miracle of March 31?

I don't have the technical wherewithal to know if the Obamacare exchange enrollment "surge" that delighted liberals with a number north of 7 million is the sort of administration achievement...

By Ed Kilgore

April 02, 2014 3:36 PM Tweet of the Year

After perusing a Media Matters post on the scant interest CNN has shown in the IPCC's alarming report on climate change, Princeton Election Consortium wizard Sam Wang offered this comment...

By Ed Kilgore

April 02, 2014 3:23 PM Another Data Point For Greater Nationalization of Election Administration

WaPo put up a fascinating timeline from last night which shows the bizarre series of events, non-events, announcements, and non-announcements from the incredibly slow count of yesterday's D.C. party primaries....

By Ed Kilgore

April 02, 2014 2:11 PM Lunch Buffet

Sorry for getting a little bit behind schedule, but spent a lot of time looking for new stuff in the BobbyCare proposal that turned out not to be there. Here...

By Ed Kilgore

April 02, 2014 1:48 PM Jindal's Generic Obamacare Alternative

If congressional Republicans need a fresh excuse to delay settling on an Obamacare "replacement" plan, Bobby Jindal's given them one by throwing another plan into the mix. But on further...

By Ed Kilgore

April 02, 2014 11:53 AM Campaign Finance Trajectory Clear

When I first heard about today's McCutcheon v. FEC decision by the Supreme Court (or at least five Justices of the Supreme Court), I thought of the same metaphor that...

By Ed Kilgore

April 02, 2014 11:06 AM Facebook Prophet Hurls Another Lighting Bolt

It's no longer surprising when Sarah Palin does the sort of thing she did yesterday: attacking Paul Ryan's latest budget proposal as big-spending RINO liberal guff because it doesn't instantly...

By Ed Kilgore

April 02, 2014 10:13 AM Curb Your Enthusiasm

So on Monday I wrote a meditation about the relative importance of message-driven "enthusiasm" and mechanical GOTV in dealing with the "midterm falloff" problem Democrats face this year. I've now...

By Ed Kilgore

April 02, 2014 9:34 AM Another One and Done In DC

So councilmember Muriel Bowser defeated Mayor Vincent Gray by a comfortable margin in D.C.'s Democratic Mayoral primary, after a low-turnout Election Day and a slow count. This makes two consecutive...

By Ed Kilgore

April 02, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

Here's some leftover April Fool music, by request: Bobby Blue Bland with "I Pity the Fool." Bobby's always a good idea....

By Ed Kilgore

April 01, 2014 5:57 PM Day's End and Night Watch

I think I'm an April Fool for failing to get enough sleep last night, since I'm in full relapse from this savage cold. In what would be the pathetic fallacy...

By Ed Kilgore

April 01, 2014 5:12 PM Tippiecanoe Without a President Tyler, Too

Assuming, of course, that this isn't the Gray Lady's idea of an April Fools' joke, the Times published a fascinating revisionist history of one of the antebellum period's great traumas:...

By Ed Kilgore

April 01, 2014 4:27 PM How Much "Repeal" Must "Replace" Involve?

If you're wondering why it's taking so long for congressional Republicans to unite behind an Obamacare Replacement plan when there are several of them out there, look no further than...

By Ed Kilgore

April 01, 2014 3:13 PM Joke and No Joke

The Guardian is keeping a running tab of the best media April Fool's pranks today. So far, they've got a Pet Membership announcement at MOMA, a finding of Robin Hood's...

By Ed Kilgore

April 01, 2014 2:32 PM Introducing Republic 3.0

As regular readers know, WaMo's Ten Miles Square is an outlet both for original web-only contributions and for cross-posts from a few sites we view as especially relevant to our...

By Ed Kilgore

April 01, 2014 2:05 PM Lunch Buffet

Have you played the fool yet, today? Weird as the news sometimes is, I'm trying to check potential stories twice. Here are some foolishness-vetted midday items: * Senate Intelligence Committee...

By Ed Kilgore

April 01, 2014 1:19 PM The Real Versus Mythical Power of Candidate Gaffes

In what should be a relatively non-controversial FiveThirtyEight post (if only because it makes no sweeping predictions), Nate Silver looks at Bruce Braley's "Iowa farmer" gaffe and weighs the likelihood...

By Ed Kilgore

April 01, 2014 12:28 PM The New Ryan Budget: Plus Ca Change

Well, there's not much new to note in Paul Ryan 3.0 Budget, other than its irrelevance in 2014 thanks in part to an earlier fiscal deal he cut with Senate...

By Ed Kilgore

April 01, 2014 10:40 AM Celebrating Bigotry in Uganda

If for some reason you need a buzzkill today, BuzzFeed has one in a report on a "five-hour celebration" in Kampala of Uganda's new Anti-Homosexuality Law, apparently a joint production...

By Ed Kilgore

April 01, 2014 9:52 AM No, It's Not Time To Take Stock on Obamacare

So the 2014 enrollment deadline for the private insurance purchasing exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act of 2010 sorta kinda ended last night (anyone claiming a need for...

By Ed Kilgore

April 01, 2014 9:11 AM D.C. Primary Day

It's been a good while since I've voted in the District of Columbia, but I get the sense the feeling of having to calculate the best of questionable choices hasn't...

By Ed Kilgore

April 01, 2014 8:26 AM Daylight Video

It's April 1, so here's the obvious talisman you can hum to yourself all day: The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again."...

By Ed Kilgore

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