Political Animal

May 2014 Archives

May 31, 2014 2:52 PM Republicans are getting left behind, and "independents" won't save them

The new Gallup numbers have been a hot topic of conversation over the last few days. Most of the discussion has focused on how the electorate is slowly but surely...

By David Atkins

May 31, 2014 2:12 PM Old School

A fascinating discussion on MSNBC's Up with Steve Kornacki today about the role age discrimination plays in American politics: Kornacki accurately notes the repugnant nature of Karl Rove's acidic attack...

By D.R. Tucker

May 31, 2014 12:00 PM Focus on the guns, not the drugs

Law enforcement has a difficult job. Police officers risk their lives and safety every day serving the public, and there are mountains of paperwork on top of that. So it's...

By David Atkins

May 31, 2014 9:00 AM What a party circling the drain looks like

The same is true of TV shows, consumer products and politics: when you have to rely on gimmicks to make your sale, you're on the path to failure. Despite a...

By David Atkins

May 31, 2014 5:27 AM If You Like Your Planet, You Can Keep Your Planet

By D.R. Tucker

May 30, 2014 9:06 PM Why They're the Redskins

I haven't paid a whole lot of attention to the debate over the nickname of Washington's National Football League franchise. I grew up as a New York Giants fan, and...

By Martin Longman

May 30, 2014 2:39 PM Science is Their Enemy

We all know that unlike, say, Rep. Rush Holt of New Jersey, Senator Marco Rubio, Governor Rick Scott, and Speaker John Boehner are not scientists. They don't claim to be...

By Martin Longman

May 30, 2014 1:18 PM Joni Ernst Doesn't Do Sensitivity

Iowa state Sen. Joni Ernst got some national notoriety by talking about castrating hogs, but the candidate for Tom Harkin's senate seat is taking heat now for an advertisement she...

By Martin Longman

May 30, 2014 11:45 AM Shinseki Steps Down

Secretary of Veterans' Affairs Eric Shinseki fought for his job until the end, but ultimately had to fall on his sword. Probably most fatal was his initial effort to portray...

By Martin Longman

May 30, 2014 10:48 AM Gov. Beshear Slams McConnell

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has a way of talking about the Affordable Care Act in a common sense manner that is hard to dispute. He's been unflinching in his defense...

By Martin Longman

May 30, 2014 9:25 AM Clinton Brings Benghazi Up in Order to Bury It For Good

It is interesting to watch how carefully orchestrated Hillary Clinton's book rollout is, with the effort as much about bolstering her image as it is about selling books. She has...

By Martin Longman

May 30, 2014 8:33 AM Daylight Video

That's kind of how I feel about filling in for Ed....

By Martin Longman

May 29, 2014 8:22 PM Don't Cry for Donald Sterling

Poor, poor Donald Sterling. He's having his beloved basketball team pried out of his hands and all he'll get for it is about four times more than anyone has ever...

By Martin Longman

May 29, 2014 4:26 PM We Need This Like a Hole in the Head

Oh, for Christ's sake: The conservative cable-news family is about to get a new member. On Thursday, Newsmax Media Inc. announced that it will kick off its new network next...

By Martin Longman

May 29, 2014 2:08 PM Mental Illness Alone Can't Explain Santa Barbara Massacre

I am willing to grant Rich Lowry that the primary cause of the Santa Barbara massacre was the mental illness of the perpetrator. But I think it's unsupportable to argue...

By Martin Longman

May 29, 2014 12:16 PM This is Not Leadership

This is Exhibit A on why this country is quickly being turned into an Idiocracy by the GOP: House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday that he’s “not qualified to debate...

By Martin Longman

May 29, 2014 11:00 AM Is That Horrible Man Speaking Again?

It's an enduring stain on the reputation and standing of our country that nothing that Dick Cheney did as vice-president has been deemed a crime worthy of prosecution. As Charles...

By Martin Longman

May 29, 2014 9:20 AM As Goes New York, So Goes the Nation

Alec MacGillis helpfully explains that: ...New York is one of only a handful [of states] in the country with “fusion” laws that allow a candidate to appear on the ballot...

By Martin Longman

May 29, 2014 8:51 AM Daylight Video

What are you listening to?...

By Martin Longman

May 28, 2014 4:29 PM That's Kind of Racist

While Jamelle Bouie marshals data to make the case that racial minorities have done better economically during Democratic presidencies than Republican ones, Kevin Williamson pouts that he has been misunderstood....

By Martin Longman

May 28, 2014 2:21 PM The Origins of the Modern GOP

Dartmouth Professor Randall Balmer argues convincingly that the origin of the religious right as a political force stemmed from opposition to school desegregation rather than opposition to the Roe v....

By Martin Longman

May 28, 2014 12:39 PM McConnell Should Be Removed "Root and Branch"

In Kentucky, the federal health care exchange created by the Affordable Care Act is called Kynect. Kynect is very popular, but ObamaCare is very unpopular. So it goes. Senate Minority...

By Martin Longman

May 28, 2014 11:51 AM You Fasten the Triggers for the Others to Fire

I am willing to take up a collection to pay for uniforms, helmets, and weaponry for Fred Hiatt and the rest of the people serving on the Washington Post's Editorial...

By Martin Longman

May 28, 2014 10:46 AM West Point Grads Grateful for President's Personal Narcissism

In his remarks today before the West Point graduating class, President Obama made the following observation: It is a particularly useful time for America to reflect on those who have...

By Martin Longman

May 28, 2014 9:53 AM Sen. Richard Burr Is No Friend of Veterans

If you are a sitting U.S. Senator you probably do not want to get letters that begin “On behalf of the membership of Vietnam Veterans of America, we write to...

By Martin Longman

May 28, 2014 8:12 AM South Bound

As noted in the Daylight Video, my mother has died--suddenly and peacefully--at her home in Georgia. I'm headed southwards today, and since I'm next of kin, Martin Longman will be...

By Ed Kilgore

May 28, 2014 7:22 AM Daylight Video

R.I.P. Joan Manning Fitzsimmons Alford, my sweet mother, who just left this world....

By Ed Kilgore

May 27, 2014 6:07 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Not planning on staying riveted to Texas runoff returns tonight. If Kinky Friedman wins and conducts a press conference, I might check in. Here are some remains of the day:...

By Ed Kilgore

May 27, 2014 5:35 PM Who Would Lose Less Disastrously to HRC?

Over the weekend FiveThirtyEight's Harry Enton did a bit of signature counter-intuitive analysis by supplying evidence that a stronger challenge to Hillary Clinton within the Democratic Party might well come...

By Ed Kilgore

May 27, 2014 5:17 PM Texas Toast

Turnout for today's primary runoff elections in Texas was already expected to be very poor, before bad weather in much of North Texas provided another reason not to go to...

By Ed Kilgore

May 27, 2014 4:31 PM If Liberals Really Were Hostile to Religion....

In the midst of a long and effective attack on the idea that "religious liberty" is endangered by secular liberalism, Peter Beinart makes this especially telling point: [I]f liberals really...

By Ed Kilgore

May 27, 2014 4:03 PM Manifesto!

One of today's chattering class preoccupations is a (naturally!) Politico story that says Senate Republicans are tussling behind the scenes over whether to issue some sort of manifesto modeled on...

By Ed Kilgore

May 27, 2014 1:50 PM Lunch Buffet

Spent a good chunk of the holiday binge-watching Orange is the New Black. It's strangely addictive. Here are some midday news/views treats: * Just the soothing voice we needed to...

By Ed Kilgore

May 27, 2014 1:04 PM The Hundred Million

When you read about Florida's governor's race, it often seems there are three candidates. There's incumbent governor and Republican nominee Rick (Very Scary) Scott. There's former governor and party-switcher Charlie...

By Ed Kilgore

May 27, 2014 12:43 PM Defining Moments for the Tea Party Movement and the GOP

In his latest New York Times column, Ross Douthat notes the civil war over the "GOP civil war" narrative of this election cycle, and argues the real proof of the...

By Ed Kilgore

May 27, 2014 12:14 PM Concerning PUAs and Their Twisted Legacy

Was alleged Isla Vista mass murderer Elliot Rodger "driven" to commit his monstrous crimes by the narcissistic and misogynist ideology of sexual grievance he so obviously embraced? I don't know....

By Ed Kilgore

May 27, 2014 11:16 AM Kingston Leaps Into GOP Lead With Right Fist Held High

It's still early in the GA GOP SEN runoff battle between "Republican Establishment" figures David Perdue (who finished first in the May 20 primary with 31% of the vote) and...

By Ed Kilgore

May 27, 2014 10:34 AM Administration "Not Listening" To Advice To "Not Do" College Ratings

There's been a lot of pushback from college administrators against the Obama administration's announced plan to develop a new set of ratings for colleges (linked to eligibility for some student...

By Ed Kilgore

May 27, 2014 8:30 AM Daylight Video

On this day in 1941 the German battleship Bismarck was sunk by the British Royal Navy. Here's Johnny Horton performing "Sink the Bismarck" on Dick Clark's Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show...

By Ed Kilgore

May 26, 2014 2:42 PM Day's End and Night Watch

We'll be back to full-service blogging tomorrow. Here are some remains of the day: * Obama expected to make major "reframing" speech on foreign policy Wednesday in West Point commencement...

By Ed Kilgore

May 26, 2014 2:38 PM "That's All They Do Is Compromise"

I have some surprising news for those of you who think the problem with American democracy is that the spirit of compromise has died; that the fanatics of the Left...

By Ed Kilgore

May 26, 2014 12:53 PM Texas Metaphor

In an election cycle wherein the so-called Republican Establishment is battling to subdue so-called Tea Party challengers by outflanking them to the right or at least matching their ideological ferocity,...

By Ed Kilgore

May 26, 2014 11:38 AM The Coming Explosion on Power Plants Regs

A week from today, the Obama administration is unveiling its long-awaited regulations on carbon emissions from existing power plants. At TNR, Jonathan Cohn has an excellent primer on the subject--why...

By Ed Kilgore

May 26, 2014 9:25 AM Not a Real Good Day For the European Project

Depending on which countries you focus on, this weekend's European Parliament elections represented either a general setback for the traditional pro-EU parties of the center, or a scary upsurge of...

By Ed Kilgore

May 26, 2014 8:30 AM Daylight Video

It's Memorial Day, when we remember those who have fallen in war. Here's the Vienna Philharmonic with the Lacrimosa from Verdi's Requiem....

By Ed Kilgore

May 25, 2014 11:17 PM I Am Optimistic About the Senate Races

We had an old friend over for dinner tonight. He's a regular reader of the blog and he likes to pick my brain about politics whenever we get together. It's...

By Martin Longman

May 25, 2014 3:24 PM Midday Roundup

Ezra Klein says you should blame the Chinese for the high price of ground beef. Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina had his hind quarters handed to him by the...

By Martin Longman

May 25, 2014 12:46 PM Some Dude Wrote a Manifesto

I have mixed feelings about how to discuss mass killers who leave manifestos explaining their behavior. In a way, I wish we could all collectively ignore their writings and never...

By Martin Longman

May 25, 2014 10:50 AM Don't Call It ObamaCare

It's depressing that so many red state citizens tell pollsters that they oppose ObamaCare even as they report liking their state's health exchanges. I suppose, however, that this is an...

By Martin Longman

May 25, 2014 9:31 AM The NSA Is Not On Your Side

Quinn Norton has written an interesting article on how insecure our online communications are and why we seem culturally incapable of doing anything about it. Part of his explanation is...

By Martin Longman

May 25, 2014 8:14 AM Daylight Video

This was not about what Ronald Reagan thought it was about....

By Martin Longman

May 24, 2014 4:19 PM VA Scandal Bolsters Case for Socialized Medicine

As Tim Noah points out at MSNBC, people wait at least as long, and probably longer, to get a doctor's appointment in the private sector than they do at the...

By Martin Longman

May 24, 2014 1:00 PM Lunch Buffet

The U.S. Men's National Soccer Team is still adjusting to the fact that Head Coach Juergen Klinsmann cut Landon Donovan from the World Cup roster. The man who went on...

By Martin Longman

May 24, 2014 10:59 AM This Is Not a Binary Argument

Elias Isquith is correct that the fundamental distinction between Glenn Greenwald and his critics is based on how each, respectively, views the current state of the American government. Those that...

By Martin Longman

May 24, 2014 8:51 AM Veterans' Health Care is Still the Best Available

It was difficult for me to watch my brother Phil testify before Bernie Sanders' Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee last week because he talked about the death of his wife, Robin,...

By Martin Longman

May 24, 2014 8:42 AM Daylight Video

On this Memorial Day weekend, let's remember that sweet songs don't last too long on broken radios....

By Martin Longman

May 23, 2014 5:21 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

We'll be on our Major Federal Holiday Ultra-Lite Blogging schedule Monday. If there's big news, though, I'll cover it. Here are some remains of the day. * Illuminating Isaac Chotiner...

By Ed Kilgore

May 23, 2014 4:17 PM No, Cutting Off Unemployment Insurance Doesn't Make Those Bums Go To Work

It's now been close to five months since Congress failed to extend long-term unemployment insurance thanks to Republican opposition. I'm sure you remember some of the arguments made about why...

By Ed Kilgore

May 23, 2014 3:35 PM UKIP Ravages the Three Big Parties in Local Elections

Yesterday British voters went to the polls to vote for local government "council" candidates, and also to cast ballots for the European Parliament. We won't know the European results until...

By Ed Kilgore

May 23, 2014 3:14 PM The Great California Old Boom a Mirage?

What looked to be a looming apocalyptic battle between environmentalists and oil company allies lost steam this week, as reported by the San Jose Mercury's Josh Richman: The fierce debate...

By Ed Kilgore

May 23, 2014 2:03 PM Lunch Buffet

Dragging myself towards the weekend, during which I plan to do as little as possible. Here are some midday news/views couch potato snacks: * Michael Kinsley and Glenn Greenwald slug...

By Ed Kilgore

May 23, 2014 1:22 PM Coping With Polarization When You Just Want Good Policy

So let's say you're not a Political Animal, but instead a wonk or a philanthropist interested in good public policy wherever it comes from. How do you cope with this...

By Ed Kilgore

May 23, 2014 12:29 PM The Abandonment Meme in the Mississippi Senate Race

Josh Marshall helps connect the dots today in what was really going on in the effort--now the subject of criminal conspiracy charges against three people other than the original suspect,...

By Ed Kilgore

May 23, 2014 12:06 PM Countering the Minimum Wage With More Help For "Lucky Duckies"

One of the key contributors and promoters of the "reform conservative" cause (and the new "manifesto" Room to Grow), Ramesh Ponnuru, has a Bloomberg View column making the fairly obvious...

By Ed Kilgore

May 23, 2014 10:43 AM Jindal Repudiates His Communist Past

The shamelessness of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is not a topic I have arbitrarily chosen to emphasize at this blog. It's just that the man provides so many fresh outrages...

By Ed Kilgore

May 23, 2014 10:16 AM Expect VA News This Afternoon

One feature of the VA scandal that seems most fortuitous is its precise timing. As NBC's First Read notes, after reporting a call by Kentucky Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes...

By Ed Kilgore

May 23, 2014 9:43 AM What the VA Scandal Is Not About

While the media furor over revelations of potentially death-dealing delays in eligibility determinations and care scheduling at the Veterans Administration is leading to all sorts of promiscuous talk by conservatives...

By Ed Kilgore

May 23, 2014 8:54 AM Daylight Video

On this day 80 years ago, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were killed by police near Sailes, Louisiana. Here's Merle Haggard performing "The Legend of Bonnie and Clyde."...

By Ed Kilgore

May 22, 2014 5:26 PM Day's End and Night Watch

During a lunchtime walk, counted 27 fishing boats within sight on the Monterey Bay. The salmon season must be gaining momentum. Here are some remains of the day: * Ta-Nehisi...

By Ed Kilgore

May 22, 2014 4:45 PM Could a Funny Thing Happen to Scott Walker On the Way to 2016?

Since Scott Walker's already survived a recall campaign, the CW is that he has little to fear from a re-election bid in a national midterm cycle where a lot of...

By Ed Kilgore

May 22, 2014 4:22 PM Magnolia Melee

There will be eight states holding primaries on June 3, the largest number of the year. But there are only two holding one of the competitive GOP Senate primaries that...

By Ed Kilgore

May 22, 2014 2:30 PM Reformish Conservatives Watch Their Backs

As a news-cycle blogger, I'm going to have to wait until the Memorial Day Weekend to give any serious attention to the new 121-page "policy manifesto" released today by conservative...

By Ed Kilgore

May 22, 2014 1:43 PM Lunch Buffet

A crazy busy week for me totally aside from this Blogging thing. Friday can't get here fast enough. Here are some Thursday midday chunks of newsy goodness: * Excellent National...

By Ed Kilgore

May 22, 2014 1:07 PM Weekend Blogging Update

Last Saturday and Sunday we held what I called a "Weekend Blogger Party" to give four writers thinking about joining the rotation the opportunity to write a couple of posts...

By Ed Kilgore

May 22, 2014 12:29 PM The Benghazi! Script

At the Plum Line, Paul Waldman offers as good a script as any I've seen for how the latest House Benghazi! "investigation" will go down: 1) The first day of...

By Ed Kilgore

May 22, 2014 12:13 PM Mitt Goes Back to Iowa

There is no stronger temptation in politics than to spot a triumphal parade and put oneself at the head of it. Yesterday we learned that Mitt Romney's inner circle was...

By Ed Kilgore

May 22, 2014 11:30 AM Why "Repealing Obamacare" Is So Important a Mantra to Conservatives

During the runup to the May 20 primaries, my Georgia-residing mother-in-law helpfully sent me several batches of fliers for candidates--invariably Republican candidates, since competitive Democratic primaries in her exurban Atlanta...

By Ed Kilgore

May 22, 2014 10:58 AM Swimming Against the Polarizing Tide

E.J. Dionne in his latest column nicely depicts the sort of asymmetrical political warfare that is playing out in red states like Kentucky, where Democrats must refuse total identification with...

By Ed Kilgore

May 22, 2014 10:22 AM From VA to Obamacare to Medicare

At the moment most Republicans are looking at the VA scandal that broke out in Phoenix as a sheer political bonanza without any long-term significance: a federal agency responsible for...

By Ed Kilgore

May 22, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

Let's start the day with some Canned Heat, performing Rollin' and Tumblin' at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967....

By Ed Kilgore

May 21, 2014 5:32 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Oddly, this blogging day went by with lightning speed. Hope it's a trend. Here are some remains of the day: * Breaking news: Pelosi appoints Elijah Cummings, Tammy Duckworth, Linda...

By Ed Kilgore

May 21, 2014 4:45 PM Southern Pedestrians Beware

Sometimes a study comes out that tells you something you instinctively already know. That's how I felt about a Wonkblog report from Emily Badger today that included a list of...

By Ed Kilgore

May 21, 2014 4:20 PM "Killer Gaffes" And Unexpected Victims

Slate's Dave Weigel makes an interesting observation today after looking at the latest PPP poll on the Senate race in Iowa: Do you remember Iowa Rep. Bruce Braley's killer gaffe?...

By Ed Kilgore

May 21, 2014 3:11 PM Wonder Where All These Injured Vets Came From?

In a valuable account of the various things Republicans have done to reduce veterans funding before suddenly become the Vet's best friend in order attack the Obama administration for problems...

By Ed Kilgore

May 21, 2014 1:56 PM Lunch Buffet

Now that we're through the first big multi-primary day, time to get ready for June 3. Come to think of it, time for me to send in my mail ballot....

By Ed Kilgore

May 21, 2014 1:28 PM Did You Know Last Night Was a Mittiganza?

I've seen a lot of post-election spin in my day, but this may take the cake (from BuzzFeed's McKay Coppins): For the small orbit of friends, loyalists, and former aides...

By Ed Kilgore

May 21, 2014 12:41 PM Just Send a Staffer For that Voter ID

Gotta love this AP report from Arkansas' primary yesterday: Spokesman Christian Olson told The Associated Press that Asa Hutchinson forgot his ID when he attempted to vote at the polls...

By Ed Kilgore

May 21, 2014 12:26 PM Thunder Down Ballot

In one more observation about the Georgia primary, some interesting things happened in GOP U.S. House races. One of the most common Twitter-memes early last night was that no matter...

By Ed Kilgore

May 21, 2014 11:09 AM It's Still Anthony Kennedy's World

Those of us focused on primaries yesterday--including contests in Oregon and Pennsylvania--may have given insufficient attention to the fact that federal judges in those two states added them to the...

By Ed Kilgore

May 21, 2014 10:39 AM Georgia Senate: The Power of Money and Geography

Going into last night's primaries, the biggest mystery for chattering classers was whether Jack Kingston or Karen Handel would make a runoff with David Perdue in the GOP GA SEN...

By Ed Kilgore

May 21, 2014 9:43 AM Meeting Expectations

Every once in a while you get a multi-contest election night where absolutely nothing happens that wasn't predictable. Unless I'm missing something, that's pretty much what happened in last night's...

By Ed Kilgore

May 21, 2014 8:53 AM Daylight Video

Watching the returns from Georgia last night made me a bit homesick for my old haunts and brought back some memories. Here's one of them: the Atlanta Rhythm Section performing...

By Ed Kilgore

May 20, 2014 5:53 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Have a very busy evening ahead with a church meeting to run and a TPMCafe column to write, and primary-watching all along. I just love me some election nights. Here...

By Ed Kilgore

May 20, 2014 5:26 PM Primary Watch

So if you're interested in watching the primary returns today, here are some notes. First up, poll closing times (EDT): 6:00 Eastern Kentucky, including Louisville and Lexington 7:00 Western Kentucky,...

By Ed Kilgore

May 20, 2014 4:24 PM Getting Retirees To "Look Down On" the Disabled

If you recall the video involving Republican Senate nominee Thom Tillis that made news right before the NC primary, the self-styled conservative revolutionary told GOP activists they needed to drive...

By Ed Kilgore

May 20, 2014 4:08 PM Rappin' Georgia Primary

As a token of respect for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which I've been reading since, well, I could read, and whose coverage of Georgia politics I still rely on, here's this...

By Ed Kilgore

May 20, 2014 3:36 PM Blogger in the Mississippi Mud

For obvious reasons, I'm attentive when a political blogger makes big campaign news, so I've been trying to follow the bizarre saga of "Constitutional Clayton," a right-wing novice blogger in...

By Ed Kilgore

May 20, 2014 2:23 PM Lunch Buffet

A lot going on today, Animals. Sorry for the late lunch. Here are some midday snacky-snackies: * Reid hints at possible future use of "nuclear option" to reduce Senate debate...

By Ed Kilgore

May 20, 2014 1:16 PM Lewis Deep-Sixes the Boggs Nomination

There was some non-primary, non-Michelle Nunn news out of Georgia yesterday of national significance: U.S. Rep. John Lewis came out strongly against the nomination of state judge Michael Boggs for...

By Ed Kilgore

May 20, 2014 12:52 PM Kingston vs. Handel: They Have Some History

It's generally assumed, nationally as well as down in Georgia, that one of the major sources of drama on this Primary Day is whether Jack Kingston or Karen Handel makes...

By Ed Kilgore

May 20, 2014 12:01 PM HUD As a Stepping Stone

It's probably a sign of the high expectations which have long been associated with Julian Castro that reaction to reports he is about to be nominated as HUD Secretary in...

By Ed Kilgore

May 20, 2014 10:52 AM Who's Really Dodging Obamacare?

A surprisingly big media preoccupation over the last 24 hours or so has been to accuse Georgia Senate candidate Michelle Nunn (disclosure: she's a friend from way back) of being...

By Ed Kilgore

May 20, 2014 9:32 AM To the Polls

Today is 2014's first big multi-state primary day. Republicans will hold at least somewhat competitive Senate primaries in Georgia, Kentucky and Oregon; a gubernatorial primary in Idaho; and House primaries...

By Ed Kilgore

May 20, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

Some mornings nothing other than Richard Thompson will do. Here he is performing "Calvary Cross" on one of those amazing albums with his then-wife Linda Thompson....

By Ed Kilgore

May 19, 2014 6:29 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Just discovered that the new FiveThirtyEight site has an excellent archive with all the stuff I wrote for them back in 2009-10. Very hard to find during the New York...

By Ed Kilgore

May 19, 2014 5:48 PM The 90s Versus the 00s

Peter Beinart puts his finger on a key fact about the possibility of a Hillary Clinton versus Jeb Bush presidential contest in 2012 that makes it a delight for Democrats....

By Ed Kilgore

May 19, 2014 5:17 PM Where Do You Stand on an IUD Ban?

Greg Sargent does yeoman service today examining the extremist positions of some "Republican Establishment" Senate candidates. Turns out Terri Lynn Land of MI, Thom Tillis of NC, Cory Gardner of...

By Ed Kilgore

May 19, 2014 4:51 PM Self-Answered Question of the Week

Just have to love this question posed by the Daily Caller's Matt Lewis in a column for The Week, mentioning the Heritage Foundation's new journalistic venture: [F]or this to work,...

By Ed Kilgore

May 19, 2014 4:18 PM Remember: Primary Day Already Over For Many Voters

As we go into any primary or general election day, it's important to remember that significant numbers of voters have already cast ballots by in-person or by-mail early voting (no...

By Ed Kilgore

May 19, 2014 3:09 PM Mr. Hammer-and-Sickle Back With Some Ripe Homophobia

Earlier today I featured a bizarre video by Brian Slowinski, a long-shot candidate in the Republican competition to succeed everybody's favorite wingnut, Paul Broun. I didn't realize until today that...

By Ed Kilgore

May 19, 2014 2:11 PM Lunch Buffet

Sorry for the brief lapse in posting, but I had a WaMo conference call to attend to. I hope those of you who read PA this weekend enjoyed the four...

By Ed Kilgore

May 19, 2014 12:29 PM Mitch's Loyal Establishment Troops

Tomorrow is likely to be a good day for Mitch McConnell. He will almost certainly crush challenger Matt Bevin in his own Kentucky primary, and will then likely get some...

By Ed Kilgore

May 19, 2014 11:29 AM Senate Overtime

Over the weekend The Upshot's Nate Cohn looked at the possibility of the 2014 Senate campaign calendar going into overtime. It's well known that Louisiana's top-two "jungle" primary in which...

By Ed Kilgore

May 19, 2014 10:36 AM Strange Tales From Mississippi

The strangest story of the 2014 election cycle could be developing in Mississippi, where (to telescope some developments) a right-wing blogger very invested in Chris McDaniel's primary challenge to Thad...

By Ed Kilgore

May 19, 2014 9:33 AM Getting Revved Up For May 20

Tomorrow's a pretty big primary day, particularly in my home state of Georgia. For the most part, I've shirked downballot campaigns in the Peach State, other than to note a...

By Ed Kilgore

May 19, 2014 8:44 AM Daylight Video

Let's start the week with some blues harmonica. Here's Junior Wells performing "Messin' With the Kid" at the Woodlands Blues Fest in 1993....

By Ed Kilgore

May 18, 2014 8:22 PM It's the Foreign Policy, Stupid

Dan Balz talks about a potential presidential run by Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont in today's Washington Post. Some people believe Sanders has little to lose in such a campaign....

By Martin Longman

May 18, 2014 3:48 PM Women, Money and Power

In yesterday’s staff memo by New York Times publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr., he wrote that in last week’s firing of Abramson “compensation played no part whatsoever in my decision...

By Lisa Solod

May 18, 2014 11:29 AM Self Destruction, We're Headed For Self Destruction

Way back in 1980's when people were convinced that the biggest peril facing the United States other than communism was urban violence there was something of a cottage industry surrounding...

By Chad Stanton

May 18, 2014 10:37 AM The Omen

David Koch's ill-fated 1980 bid for the vice presidency has been covered by Jane Mayer and Rachel Maddow, among others, but Nicholas Confessore's analysis of Koch's run in today's New...

By D.R. Tucker

May 18, 2014 9:33 AM The biggest coming economic showdown you haven't heard of

Close followers of the climate change battle have been watching carefully for one major event that might serve as a bigger catalyst than any other to mobilize legislative action. But...

By David Atkins

May 18, 2014 8:42 AM What if They Held a March and Nobody Came?

Those of us who can actually remember the Vietnam War well remember the slogan: What if they gave a war and nobody came? It was used to protest the most...

By Lisa Solod

May 18, 2014 8:03 AM Daylight Video

Let's start off the day with the Velvet Underground's legendary tribute to this time of the week, "Sunday Morning."...

By Ed Kilgore

May 17, 2014 1:48 PM Saturday Roundup

Thanks to our guest bloggers for a very good first day. They'll all be back tomorrow. Here are a few items of interest if you're in the reading mood: *...

By Ed Kilgore

May 17, 2014 11:44 AM We're Here Too

Bob Moser at The American Prospect recently wrote about the continued befuddlement of otherwise clear-eyed liberals in relation to the American South. He cites Obama's three electoral wins in southern...

By Chad Stanton

May 17, 2014 10:31 AM The Comforting Feeling of Rolling Heads

Since the firing of Health and Human Services Director Katherine Sebelius you no longer hear as much about repealing the Affordable Care Act (although certain candidates, most recently Scott Brown,...

By Lisa Solod

May 17, 2014 9:43 AM Game of Billionaires

Income inequality is the hot topic of conversation in left-leaning circles right now, and for good reason. The American Dream seems increasingly out of reach, wages are stagnant, and the...

By David Atkins

May 17, 2014 8:53 AM The Love That Hate Produced

The Boston Globe's report on the tenth anniversary of the commencement of marriage equality in Massachusetts doesn't bring a smile to my face. In fact, my memories of May 17,...

By D.R. Tucker

May 17, 2014 8:42 AM Weekend Blogger Party!

As you probably know, one of our esteemed regular Weekend Bloggers, Kathleen Geier, decided to focus on her rapidly increasing writing opportunities. Instead of just bringing in whoever knocked on...

By Ed Kilgore

May 17, 2014 8:11 AM Daylight Video

A tribute to the arrival of the weekend, from The Vapors, circa 1980....

By Ed Kilgore

May 16, 2014 6:20 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

Since I'll be doing some uncompensated work this weekend (helping our "trial" weekend bloggers go through their traces), I'm going to knock off one post below the usual quota. Here...

By Ed Kilgore

May 16, 2014 5:42 PM Politicians You, Well, Kinda Hate

At the Prospect today, Paul Waldman asks political junkies a hardy perennial question that is especially pertinent in these days of polarization: what it is about particular politicians that inspires...

By Ed Kilgore

May 16, 2014 4:43 PM True Science

So in the back-and-forth over his recent comments about climate change, Sen. Marco Rubio threw out a strange challenge on the Hannity show: "All these people always wag their finger...

By Ed Kilgore

May 16, 2014 3:45 PM Rigging the Game From Both Ends

Regular readers know that Iowa politics--especially Iowa Republican politics--fascinates me because of the complexity of its rules and the rich diversity of the state's ideological factions. This comes in handy...

By Ed Kilgore

May 16, 2014 2:08 PM Lunch Buffet

We're going to hold a bit of an "audition" for four PA Weekend Blogging aspirants tomorrow and Sunday. They'll each do a post both days. Should be fun; please tune...

By Ed Kilgore

May 16, 2014 1:33 PM When Do Electoral "Waves" Appear?

Something that's been bugging me for a while is that a lot of the discussion about the 2014 elections has revolved about whether and to what extent this might be...

By Ed Kilgore

May 16, 2014 12:53 PM Tom Cotton Ain't All That

I spent a good while on the phone yesterday (you know, in all my spare time) talking to a national reporter who was writing a story on the Arkansas Senate...

By Ed Kilgore

May 16, 2014 11:59 AM Times Should Have Called Around

I'm not following the Jill Abramson controversy as closely as a lot of people are, perhaps because I've never spent a moment burning incense at the altar of the New...

By Ed Kilgore

May 16, 2014 11:27 AM Everyone Running to the Starboard Side in Georgia

As the likely scene for the main election-night drama in next Tuesday's batch of Republican primaries, the GOP Senate race in my home state of Georgia is now drawing abundant...

By Ed Kilgore

May 16, 2014 10:17 AM Big Change in India

It's been predicted for quite some time, but still: the concession by India's traditional governing party, Congress, to what looks to be an overwhelming defeat in national elections is a...

By Ed Kilgore

May 16, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

I'm declaring it Funk Metal Friday. Here's one of my favorite Atlanta acts, Mother's Finest, performing their version of "C'mon a My House."...

By Ed Kilgore

May 15, 2014 6:01 PM Day's End and Night Watch

We'll have some news tomorrow about our progress towards identifying a replacement or replacements for Kathleen Geier as a Weekend Blogger. I think you'll like our next step. Here are...

By Ed Kilgore

May 15, 2014 5:17 PM Letting Obama Pay for Conservative Health Policy Pet Rocks

We generally are aware that a handful of Republican-run states are still toying with accepting Obamacare's expanded Medicaid services, mostly via negotiations with HHS over ways to use the federal...

By Ed Kilgore

May 15, 2014 4:40 PM Viral Gimmicks and Media Coverage

Meant to note earlier this week a John Sides post at the Monkey Cage questioning whether Joni Ernst's famous hog-castrating ad is really the source of her recent momentum in...

By Ed Kilgore

May 15, 2014 3:55 PM No Break in the War on Voting

In case you were wondering if Rand Paul's three-day revolt against the War on Voting his party is waging was either stimulating or might reflect a moment of glasnost on...

By Ed Kilgore

May 15, 2014 3:12 PM The Changeable Future of the Senior Vote

Since every Political Animal ought to be interested in learning more about the voting proclivities of seniors--either because you understand they are over-represented in midterms elections, or because their share...

By Ed Kilgore

May 15, 2014 2:09 PM Lunch Buffet

Just when it looked like the abundance of political news was on a general upswing, along came today, with mostly warmed-over yelling about "news" that's no longer new. But from...

By Ed Kilgore

May 15, 2014 1:43 PM The Cain Train of '16

Every presidential cycle, Al Franken's 1999 comic account of an imaginary presidential campaign, Why Not Me?, gets a little less funny in its absurdities, and not just because Franken is...

By Ed Kilgore

May 15, 2014 12:50 PM Meandering 'Manders, a GOP Specialty

At Wonkblog today, Christopher Ingraham has a nice, succinct discussion of congressional gerrymandering and its role in reducing Democratic representation in the House. Here's the crucial point: Gerrymandering is at...

By Ed Kilgore

May 15, 2014 11:47 AM A Brush With Fiscal Sanity Repudiated

Yesterday I discussed the brouhaha about to break out over GA GOP SEN front-runner David Perdue's horrific failure to make it clear in an ed-board interview that his interest in...

By Ed Kilgore

May 15, 2014 11:26 AM The Ghost of George Wallace

When I was thinking about George Wallace last night in connection with the anniversary of his shooting in Maryland 42 years ago, it occurred to me that more casual observers...

By Ed Kilgore

May 15, 2014 10:13 AM Another Manana Moment for Immigration Reform

Nothing the least bit surprising about this news from The Hill's Alexander Bolton, but it's part of the perpetual game played by congressional Republicans to promise action on immigration reform...

By Ed Kilgore

May 15, 2014 8:53 AM Daylight Video

On this day in 1972, George Wallace was shot while campaigning in Laurel, Maryland. Maybe it's less than charitable to remember him this way, but as the Drive-By Truckers say...

By Ed Kilgore

May 14, 2014 5:26 PM Day's End and Night Watch

I have a class to teach tonight at church, so I'm happy to be finishing up the 12 posts a bit earlier than is usual. Could even grab a power...

By Ed Kilgore

May 14, 2014 5:00 PM The Medicaid "Woodwork Effect"

There was an interesting item from Jason Millman published at Wonkblog yesterday about the so-called "woodwork effect" that is boosting Medicaid enrollments among people who already qualified for services before...

By Ed Kilgore

May 14, 2014 4:30 PM Progressive Crackers and African-Americans

Josh Marshall has an interesting meditation up at TPM about Bill Clinton's reputation as the "first African-American president," and what that connotes in terms of the racial or non-racial nature...

By Ed Kilgore

May 14, 2014 3:37 PM Michael Boggs and Red State Blue Slips

As you may have heard, Senate Democrats--now including Majority Leader Harry Reid--are bailing on the president's nominee for a district court position in Georgia, Michael Boggs, a state judge who...

By Ed Kilgore

May 14, 2014 1:52 PM Lunch Buffet

A personal note of thanks to Jon Bruning for conceding the very close Nebraska GOP gubernatorial primary before all the votes were in, enabling me to reach closure on my...

By Ed Kilgore

May 14, 2014 12:55 PM Did David Perdue Step on the Anti-Tax Third Rail?

Observers of the GA GOP SEN race have been wondering if front-runner David Perdue would make it all the way to Primary Day humming his cheerful "Outsider Businessman" tune and...

By Ed Kilgore

May 14, 2014 12:10 PM The Bigger Political Problem Behind GOP's Hostility to Minimum Wage Increases

Like me, Slate's Jamelle Bouie has a question for the Republicans who oppose an increase in the minimum wage: If raising the minimum wage destroys jobs and prevents employment, then...

By Ed Kilgore

May 14, 2014 11:33 AM The Usurpers' Last Few Days

Lord-a-mercy, you get distracted by primary elections and what-not, and it's easy to miss the really big news (per Raw Story's Travis Gettys): Self-styled revolutionary patriots plan to converge on...

By Ed Kilgore

May 14, 2014 10:49 AM Post-Booker Newark

The election last night that I didn't cover in my GOP-centric take focused on WV and NE was, of course, in Newark, where councilman Ras Baraka (son of poet Amiri...

By Ed Kilgore

May 14, 2014 10:02 AM A Shout-Out to the Late Night Election Junkies

I don't often link to them, because their material is diffuse, and sometimes they just point to other sources, but after last night I just want to give a big...

By Ed Kilgore

May 14, 2014 9:47 AM Another Shaky Election Day for the Republican Establishment

Once again, if this is The Year of the Republican Establishment, voters and candidates alike don't seem to have all gotten their scripts. In West Virginia's one competitive federal or...

By Ed Kilgore

May 14, 2014 8:30 AM Daylight Video

Let's have some more blues/rock guitar. Here's Walter Trout performing "Goin' Down" in Portland in 2010....

By Ed Kilgore

May 13, 2014 5:59 PM Day's End and Night Watch

It's not good for my blood pressure to think too much about Karl Rove. Surely he will beat me to retirement. Here are some remains of the day: * A...

By Ed Kilgore

May 13, 2014 5:24 PM On Account of It Works

The MSM will presumably soon forget about Karl Rove's incredible statement insinuating that Hillary Clinton might be suffering from some brain injury that would diminish her capacity to serve as...

By Ed Kilgore

May 13, 2014 5:06 PM The Forgotten Poorest of the Poor

One of the most maddening things about contemporary conservative attacks on the "undeserving" poor--you know, the people Thom Tillis wants even the disabled to "look down on" and that Jack...

By Ed Kilgore

May 13, 2014 4:33 PM The Narrative Takes a Pass on Nebraska

I've been wondering how quickly those who are promoting the "Year of the Republican Establishment" would drop Nebraska Treasurer Shane Osborn if, as appears likely, he lost the Senate primary...

By Ed Kilgore

May 13, 2014 3:32 PM Russia as the New Fascist Threat

One of the most powerful books I've read in years is Timothy Snyder's Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, an authoritative account (and analysis) of the horrific toil of human...

By Ed Kilgore

May 13, 2014 1:51 PM Lunch Buffet

It's a Tuesday in May, which means primaries, this time in WV and NE. I'll have results first thing tomorrow. Here are some midday news/views bites: * Another SC county...

By Ed Kilgore

May 13, 2014 1:14 PM Is the Soul of a Political Party In Its Platform?

At FiveThirtyEight over the weekend, Nate Silver conducted an analysis that was in equal measures interesting but potentially very misleading: a search for patterns of partisan polarization via a word...

By Ed Kilgore

May 13, 2014 12:11 PM Paul Walks Back His Disavowal of Voter ID Laws

Well, that was quick. Barely three days after his comments suggesting that Republicans need to get off the voter suppression kick if they ever wanted to appeal to minority voters,...

By Ed Kilgore

May 13, 2014 11:47 AM Bush Family Saga

Maybe Politico's Maggie Haberman is right, and the decision as to whether Jeb Bush runs for president in 2016 is a gripping family saga in which the "voices that count...

By Ed Kilgore

May 13, 2014 11:21 AM Reality Re-Check on the IRS "Scandal"

Since conservatives are showing every sign of bringing the "IRS Scandal" back as part of their narrative of a lawless Obama administration persecuting its enemies, let's remind ourselves what the...

By Ed Kilgore

May 13, 2014 9:16 AM Jindal Checks the Falwell Box

I don't know how I missed the fact that Bobby Jindal was doing the commencement address at Liberty University on Saturday. Perhaps the Lord wanted me to have a peaceful...

By Ed Kilgore

May 13, 2014 8:00 AM Daylight Video

For no good reason other than a serendipitous mood, here's the Tedeschi Trucks Band performing "Same Old Blues" just a few weeks ago in Paris....

By Ed Kilgore

May 12, 2014 6:20 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Yeah, I thought last night's Mad Men was creepy, too. Here are some remains of the day: * Good summary at Vox by Nilay Patel of huge media issues facing...

By Ed Kilgore

May 12, 2014 5:39 PM Chamber "Ultimatum" on Immigration Reform: Do As We Say, Not As We Do

So expect some big noise tomorrow about a fiery comment made by U.S. Chamber of Commerce Tom Dohohue, described in the headline of the Politico piece (topped by a photo...

By Ed Kilgore

May 12, 2014 5:17 PM Moderation and the Minimum Wage

I have mixed feelings about Ross Douthat's column suggesting that would-be Republican "moderates" can't claim a coherent economic message just by saying the usual conservative stuff and then endorsing the...

By Ed Kilgore

May 12, 2014 4:27 PM "Republican Establishment" Not Exactly Romping in Nebraska

After the North Carolina Senate primary ended last week, the prefab narrative of Republican Establishment Destroys the Tea Party depended on state treasurer Shane Osborn vanquishing Ben Sasse in Nebraska...

By Ed Kilgore

May 12, 2014 3:25 PM Getting the Talking Points Straight When You Run for the Senate

One of the hottest properties in Campaign '14 is Iowa state senator Joni Ernst, the hog-castrating, heat-packing endorsement magnet battling it out with self-funding energy executive Mark Jacobs for the...

By Ed Kilgore

May 12, 2014 1:50 PM Lunch Buffet

Had to repost one item this morning about ten times as the ChromeBook kept hiccuping, so it's back to the iMac for the rest of the day. Here are some...

By Ed Kilgore

May 12, 2014 1:18 PM Embryos, Zygotes And Babies

It's been obvious for a good while now that the wide use of ultrasound technology has been an important tool for antichoicers in their campaigns to outlaw late-term abortions. People...

By Ed Kilgore

May 12, 2014 11:54 AM The Backlash to Rand Paul's Disavowal of Voter ID Laws

Like (I hope) a lot of progressive writers, I applauded Sen. Rand Paul's statement on Friday that having discussed the issue with a group of African-American ministers, he though the...

By Ed Kilgore

May 12, 2014 11:18 AM The Obamacare Lull

WaPo's Greg Sargent looks at a report from The Hill about a sudden lapse in congressional Republican agitation about the Affordable Care Act, and considers polls showing that interest in...

By Ed Kilgore

May 12, 2014 9:38 AM Cost of the Medicaid Expansion Rejection in Lives As Well as Dollars

The more research that is done on the human toll of denying people health insurance, the easier it is to place a price in lives as well as dollars of...

By Ed Kilgore

May 12, 2014 8:53 AM Daylight Video

On this day in 1963, Bob Dylan was told at the last minute by CBS executives that he could not perform "Talking John Birch Paranoid Blues" on the Ed Sullivan...

By Ed Kilgore

May 12, 2014 12:14 AM The Generic Ballot Poll is Useless for Senate Elections

Chris Cillizza makes some good points about the differences between House and Senate races and why the generic ballot poll isn't a very reliable barometer for predicting how the Senate...

By Martin Longman

May 11, 2014 2:31 PM Total Lack of Focus for Benghazi Committee

If the ostensible casus belli for creating a House Select Committee to investigate the attacks of September 11, 2012 in Benghazi, Libya is the belated disclosure of a White House...

By Martin Longman

May 11, 2014 11:19 AM Cantor Booed In Own District

Eric Cantor was booed in his home district this morning as party activists rejected his choice to lead Virginia’s 7th Congressional District Republican Committee in favor of a Tea Partier....

By Martin Longman

May 11, 2014 9:55 AM Michael Sam Breaks the Gay Barrier in the NFL

Michael Sam was the co-Defensive Player of the Year of the Southeastern Conference of the NCAA. He played defensive end for the University of Missouri. Despite that, he lacked the...

By Martin Longman

May 10, 2014 4:42 PM Begging for Transportation Dollars

What happened right after 1993 that caused Congress to never raise the gasoline tax again? Lawmakers in both parties have been reluctant to raise the 18.4-cent-a-gallon federal gasoline and 24.4-cent...

By Martin Longman

May 10, 2014 1:08 PM Fewer Debates Won't Save the GOP From Itself

Jonathan Martin reports in the New York Times that the RNC has moved aggressively to reduce the number of debates Republican candidates for president will have to endure. The Republican...

By Martin Longman

May 10, 2014 10:56 AM Michelle Obama Delivers Saturday Morning Remarks

I normally do not pay much attention to the president's Saturday morning weekly address to the nation because it usually consists of the president exhorting the Republicans to do something...

By Martin Longman

May 10, 2014 8:36 AM The Origin of Benghazi Fever

The day after the September 11, 2012 attacks on our compounds in Benghazi!, I was very irritated. I was very angry with the mob that stormed our consulate and killed...

By Martin Longman

May 10, 2014 7:58 AM Daylight Video

This video is worth watching just for the retro 1960's fashion show. Wooly Bully....

By Martin Longman

May 09, 2014 6:16 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

Hope everyone reading, whether mother or child or both, has a blessed Mother's Day Sunday. If you can't be with your mother, think of her, and maybe think of how...

By Ed Kilgore

May 09, 2014 5:12 PM Some Advice For Rand Paul

So as part of his rap encouraging Republicans to "expand the party" by talking to alienated constituencies and explaining what they actually think (a risky venture, particularly coming from him),...

By Ed Kilgore

May 09, 2014 5:00 PM Looks Like the Benghazi! Panel Will Be All-Republican

You never know for sure if public statements by pols are definitive or just bargaining ploys. But at the moment, it looks like House Democrats have rejected participating in the...

By Ed Kilgore

May 09, 2014 3:46 PM The Confessing Church of the Christian Right

Another day, another Louie Gohmert outrage, and another use of Nazi analogies by a Christian Right pol. Nothing to see here, right? Well, there is one thing I'd like to...

By Ed Kilgore

May 09, 2014 3:09 PM Limited Samples and the Presidential "Metronome"

While I await some help from political science friends in evaluating Harry Enten's argument at FiveThirtyEight that varying presidential and midterm electorates aren't that big a deal in explaining recent...

By Ed Kilgore

May 09, 2014 2:05 PM Lunch Buffet

A lively week coming to a close. I'm really happy to be able to stop complaining of slow news. Here are some midday gleanings from the harvest: * Koch Brothers'...

By Ed Kilgore

May 09, 2014 1:29 PM When Establishment Republicans Mix It Up

The big political narrative this week, which I've been fighting right tolerably often, is that the Great Big Grown Up Pragmatic Republican Establishment is in the process of crushing the...

By Ed Kilgore

May 09, 2014 11:56 AM Asymmetrical Warfare Over the Courts

Deep in a TNR article by Simon Lazarus and Tom Donnelly on the relative likelihood of an Obama Supreme Court appointment before he leaves office is an important insight about...

By Ed Kilgore

May 09, 2014 10:58 AM Stab in the Back From Mitt Romney

I suspect we'll soon hear some qualifications and back-filling on what exactly he meant (he actually tied himself in knots on the subject on the 2012 campaign trail) but at...

By Ed Kilgore

May 09, 2014 10:45 AM The Voter Fraud Mouse That Roared

As we all know, the tide of voter ID and other measures to restrict the franchise is typically justified by its conservative proponents as necessary to combat a vast threat...

By Ed Kilgore

May 09, 2014 10:22 AM Do They Work Hard For the Money?

As a lot of us are doing, Paul Krugman looks at a new report on the 25 wealthiest hedge fund managers and sees a morality tale to counter the morality...

By Ed Kilgore

May 09, 2014 8:53 AM Daylight Video

Today's the 44th anniversary of the largest protest rally against the Vietnam War, in Washington, Here, a year earlier, is Country Joe McDonald with his "Vietnam Song" at Woodstock. There's...

By Ed Kilgore

May 08, 2014 6:56 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Just ran across a Harry Enten piece at 538 aiming at debunking the "midterm falloff" argument I write so much about, so I'll likely be grappling with it tomorrow. Here...

By Ed Kilgore

May 08, 2014 5:17 PM The Secret Fear of Benghazi!

Maybe my epiphany earlier today about Benghazi! (My God! They really are going for impeachment, aren't they?) is wrong. Or maybe I'm wrong that going there would be as large--or...

By Ed Kilgore

May 08, 2014 3:32 PM Letting the Impeachment Genie Out of the Bottle--Carefully!

If you read two posts by Slate's Dave Weigel this week about the establishment of the Select Committee on Benghazi!, the potential significance of this move and how it's being...

By Ed Kilgore

May 08, 2014 3:04 PM Back to the 90s Sho Nuff!

Check out this tweet about Baylor University President Ken Starr's House testimony to a U.S. House hearing on union rights for college athletes (h/t Get the Picture). Baylor Pres. Starr...

By Ed Kilgore

May 08, 2014 2:27 PM Kansas Envy

So the Republican-controlled Missouri legislature overturned Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of a tax cut measure that GOPers justified as necessary to keep up--or more accurately keep down--with Kansas, where the...

By Ed Kilgore

May 08, 2014 2:12 PM Lunch Buffet

According to weather.com, "over 180 incidents of severe weather" reported in U.S. yesterday. But there's no such thing as climate change. Here are some less-severe midday news items, most bigger,...

By Ed Kilgore

May 08, 2014 1:15 PM Placating the Base With Show Trials

Sometimes WaPo columnist Dana Milbank gets too carried away with regarding politics as just another form of entertainment. But he's right on point as treating the elevation of Trey Gowdy...

By Ed Kilgore

May 08, 2014 12:57 PM Fighting Words

So you think U.S. pundit-o-whirl political talk shows get nasty? Check out this visual from Jordanian TV: According to WaPo's Nicki Demarco, the set-wrecking (sort of a pundit version of...

By Ed Kilgore

May 08, 2014 11:44 AM Heritage To Rescue Objective Journalism

At Bloomberg Businessweek, Joshua Green chooses to play this story straight: [The] Heritage [Foundation] has a new plan to exert its influence and, its leaders hope, win converts to the...

By Ed Kilgore

May 08, 2014 11:08 AM Establishment Republicans To Romp in Georgia?

I've done enough complaining about the lazy media spin on the North Carolina GOP primary as the "triumph of the Republican Establishment," and laid down my marker in protest of...

By Ed Kilgore

May 08, 2014 9:27 AM Debates as Pep Rallies

There's an interesting section in an AP story by Philip Elliot today wherein the RNC's preparations for the 2016 presidential cycle include restrictions on debates, which probably did get a...

By Ed Kilgore

May 08, 2014 8:53 AM Daylight Video

On this day in 1792, the Militia Act established the first national military conscription. Here are The Byrds with "Draft Morning," a special song for men of my sub-generation (Draft...

By Ed Kilgore

May 07, 2014 6:30 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Given all the "Triumph of the Republican Establishment" hype today, I'd say Karl Rove has fully recovered from his low point on the night of the 2012 presidential election. Makes...

By Ed Kilgore

May 07, 2014 5:52 PM Planet Huntsman

Chris Cillizza hears the preposterous and states the obvious today: Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman Jr. left the door wide open to another presidential bid in 2016 in an interview...

By Ed Kilgore

May 07, 2014 5:39 PM House GOPers Face to Face With Unfriendly Facts on Obamacare

Get a load of this report from the House today by The Hill's Elise Viebeck: Republicans struggled to land punches against ObamaCare in a hearing Wednesday, as responses from insurance...

By Ed Kilgore

May 07, 2014 4:36 PM Weekend Blogging Opportunity

As you may have read or heard, our regular co-Weekend-Blogger, Kathleen Geier, has moved on to other writing opportunities inconsistent with regular Saturday or Sunday duty, but as she said...

By Ed Kilgore

May 07, 2014 4:08 PM Resentment and Entitlement

My colleague Martin Longman has posted two items at Ten Miles Square today discussing the resentment of the less fortunate on which conservative political appeals so often depend--as richly illustrated...

By Ed Kilgore

May 07, 2014 2:03 PM Lunch Buffet

First big primary of the year last night had me watching returns online while eating BBQ, though not North Carolina-style BBQ. We work with what we've got. Here are some...

By Ed Kilgore

May 07, 2014 1:25 PM If A Scandal Figure Dishes And No One's Listening, Is She Actually Silent?

Yesterday afternoon Slate's Dave Weigel made an important point, and perhaps the only relevant point, about the blaring trumpets surrounding Monica Lewinsky's big upcoming Vanity Fair spread, for which the...

By Ed Kilgore

May 07, 2014 1:01 PM A Challenge to the News Media Over the Next Week

So the next cookie on the plate in the primaries of 2014 is Nebraska, where Republicans will hold a highly competitive contest to choose a successor to retiring Senator Mike...

By Ed Kilgore

May 07, 2014 11:44 AM Boycotting the Benghazi!-Fest

John Boehner has predictably rejected requests from House Democrats that any select committee set up to "investigate" Benghazi! be composed of an equal number of Democrats and Republicans. It would...

By Ed Kilgore

May 07, 2014 10:21 AM The "Tea Party Genie Back in the Bottle" Narrative, Coming to an MSM Outlet Near You

Well, Politico has emphatically declared the North Carolina primary results a "big night for the GOP Establishment." That's how Sean Sullivan and Robert Costa read it at WaPo, too, as...

By Ed Kilgore

May 07, 2014 9:34 AM North Carolina Primary Results

With the exception of one contest that's still hanging fire, it was a relatively early night of vote-watching from North Carolina (with some less nationally notable results from Ohio and...

By Ed Kilgore

May 07, 2014 8:53 AM Daylight Video

49 years ago today, a drowsy Keith Richards came up with (and fortunately, recorded) the main guitar riff for "Satisfaction" in a motel room in Clearwater, Florida. Here the Stones...

By Ed Kilgore

May 06, 2014 6:42 PM Day's End and Night Watch

I'll obviously have results and maybe a few other things to say early tomorrow about today's primaries, especially in North Carolina. It's one of those times of the year when...

By Ed Kilgore

May 06, 2014 6:02 PM Rich Guys' Self-Inflicted Wounds

For those of us determined to show that being rich is not necessarily a sign of enormous brainpower, much less moral quality, the follies of self-funded Richie Rich political candidates...

By Ed Kilgore

May 06, 2014 4:10 PM Mean Mike

An examination of the rather different tone associating Mike Huckabee's proto-candidacy for 2016 was inevitable, and it's been served up usefully by David Freedlander at The Daily Beast. In 2008,...

By Ed Kilgore

May 06, 2014 3:37 PM Hedge Funds Versus Kindergarten

The inequality issue is one in which economic and moral considerations can quickly become tangled. That's particularly true at a time when defenders of free-market economics are increasingly prone to...

By Ed Kilgore

May 06, 2014 3:11 PM Looking Down on the Poor With Thom Tillis

I have no idea if it will affect today's balloting in NC, but it's a fairly just byproduct of Republican Senate front-runner Thom Tillis' efforts to depict himself as a...

By Ed Kilgore

May 06, 2014 2:06 PM Lunch Buffet

Getting excited for the ritual Casting of the Votes happening in three states today. Here are some midday news/views treats to help GOTV: * Shocking news: survey of journalists shows...

By Ed Kilgore

May 06, 2014 1:34 PM Challenging the Republican Establishment Narrative

It's heartening that just as the MSM is gearing up for a month of "Republican Establishment Crushes Tea Party and Sets Table For Massive November Victory" talk, dissenting voices are...

By Ed Kilgore

May 06, 2014 12:35 PM Friends Don't Let Friends Run for President

Today's most decidedly peculiar article is one by The Hill's Alexander Burns reporting that Republican senators really hate the idea of Republican senators running for president in 2016. Fearful of...

By Ed Kilgore

May 06, 2014 11:49 AM The Abortion "Holocaust" Meme--It Will Never Go Away

I normally would not bother to comment on the latest viral outrage from that fine Tennessee legislator, Sen. Stacey Campfield. Having achieved national fame a while back for his legislation...

By Ed Kilgore

May 06, 2014 11:08 AM Get Prayer Out of the Churches and Back in the Public Square Where It Belongs!

Maybe it's something I retained from my early training as a Southern Baptist, way back when members of that denomination, believe it or not, hewed closely to Roger Williams' doctrine...

By Ed Kilgore

May 06, 2014 9:52 AM Judicial Demagoguery

Over thirty years ago (even before I saw This Is Spinal Tap), I happened to be sitting in a hotel room in Reno, Nevada, just before an election, and to...

By Ed Kilgore

May 06, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

Thirty years ago today, "Spinal Tap" performed at CBGB's in New York. Here's the trailer for the classic film. Because there's a fine line between clever and stupid....

By Ed Kilgore

May 05, 2014 6:29 PM Day's End and Night Watch

I was asked yesterday if I watched the White House Correspondents' Dinner over the weekend. I'm boycotting the event for at least another ten years or so. Here are some...

By Ed Kilgore

May 05, 2014 5:39 PM Profile in Courageous Flip-Flopping

It's no big mystery that when politicians change their positions on an important issue, some interpret it as a treacherous betrayal of principle while others view it as a wise...

By Ed Kilgore

May 05, 2014 5:08 PM Polling in the Shadows

Many close observers (yours truly included) of the red-hot GA GOP SEN contest have raised eyebrows at a couple of recent polls from Insider Advantage that showed underfunded former Secretary...

By Ed Kilgore

May 05, 2014 4:20 PM Winning a "Jobs" Election With No Jobs Plan

In his own meditation at TNR on today's new USAT/Pew survey, Danny Vinik observes something in plain sight that hasn't really been sufficiently discussed: Republicans are drifting towards victory in...

By Ed Kilgore

May 05, 2014 3:50 PM Fundamentalists Enter Election Projection Game

So you've got your Old School race status ratings from Cook Political Report and Roll Call's Stu Rothenberg. Then there's FiveThirtyEight, which made statistical prediction models famous, and is now...

By Ed Kilgore

May 05, 2014 2:05 PM Lunch Buffet

Up a bit late last night watching the eery halogen lights of the squid boats on Monterey Bay. Very Close-Encounterish. And I don't even eat calamari. Here are some non-aquatic...

By Ed Kilgore

May 05, 2014 1:24 PM Can't We Just All Get Along? Not in Metro Milwaukee

If you're one of those folks who think partisan polarization is mainly the product of political elites who are ignoring the reasonable, centrist views of the public and refusing to...

By Ed Kilgore

May 05, 2014 12:44 PM The Republican Establishment's May Flowers

With the advent of May we are about to experience three straight Tuesdays with primary elections: North Carolina, Indiana and Ohio tomorrow; Nebraska and West Virginia on May 13, and...

By Ed Kilgore

May 05, 2014 11:47 AM Bogus Priorities of an Imaginary Constituency

If you want to perpetually misunderstand past, present and future election cycles, then please take to heart this analysis from the Wall Street Journal's Peter Nicholas today: At a low...

By Ed Kilgore

May 05, 2014 11:03 AM Discredited Cassandras

In a web exclusive at Ten Miles Square today, Jim Sleeper pens a knowledgeable and very angry piece about certain writers and "thinkers" who weaken America by perpetually deploring its...

By Ed Kilgore

May 05, 2014 10:13 AM 2014 and the Exposure Factor

A lot of hay will be made this week of a new USAT/Pew survey that suggests Democrats are some many respects (especially presidential approval rating and the congressional generic ballot)...

By Ed Kilgore

May 05, 2014 8:30 AM Daylight Video

For Cinco de Mayo, here are Hermanos Zaiar with "La Adelita."...

By Ed Kilgore

May 05, 2014 12:13 AM Digby has won a major journalism prize for her blogging. It's about bloody time.

Heather Parton, aka the blogger many of us know and love as Digby, will on Tuesday be granted a prestigious honor. She'll be receiving the 2014 Hillman Prize for Opinion...

By Kathleen Geier

May 04, 2014 12:43 PM R.I.P., Gary Becker

Gary Becker, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, has died. He was 83. Becker was a giant within economics and his work had a profound impact not only within the field but...

By Kathleen Geier

May 04, 2014 8:04 AM Columnist: sports is "the most progressive force in America." Aside from the rapiness and economic exploitation, he's got a point!

I want what Timothy Egan is smoking. Clearly, he's been bogarting the good stuff. Egan recently wrote a column for the New York Times that, ludicrously enough, argues that professional...

By Kathleen Geier

May 04, 2014 6:39 AM Morning music: The Coathangers, "Drive"

The Coathangers are a wonderful all-female punk trio based in Atlanta. This song, "Drive," is from their new album, Suck My Shirt, which is excellent....

By Kathleen Geier

May 03, 2014 4:36 PM Hold on to your wallet: Doug Henwood on the Bitcoin scam

Doug Henwood's cover story for The Nation this week concerns the cyber-currency known as bitcoin. Bitcoin gets taken seriously by many people who should know better. Take, for instance, this...

By Kathleen Geier

May 03, 2014 2:17 PM Condaleeza Rice withdraws from Rutgers commencement speech in wake of protests

Condi Rice was invited to be the commencement speaker at Rutgers this year. But Associated Press is reporting that she has abruptly backed out due to protests by some students...

By Kathleen Geier

May 03, 2014 11:40 AM In America, being poor can be an expensive proposition

Today I came across this very interesting, albeit depressing, bit of data. It's an analysis by a travel site called Hopper that shows that it costs more to fly in...

By Kathleen Geier

May 03, 2014 9:42 AM Morning music: JoBoxers, "Just Got Lucky"

It's with a heavy heart that I approach this weekend's blogging stint here at Political Animal, because it will be my last. I'm leaving for happy reasons: I'm getting more...

By Kathleen Geier

May 02, 2014 5:59 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

Well, after a day of Black Sabbath music and a dash of Goat's Head Soup, I best get ready for a church-heavy weekend. Here are some remains of the day:...

By Ed Kilgore

May 02, 2014 5:26 PM Goat's Head Soup

If you've been following the controversy over legal challenges to Oklahoma's sanction for a Ten Commandments monument on the State Capital grounds, justified because it was built with private rather...

By Ed Kilgore

May 02, 2014 5:03 PM Clinton's Record on Inequality

During the lattter Bush years, it was pretty common to view its economic record as a paler version of Reagan's and Bush 41's with some growth shoehorned between recessions and...

By Ed Kilgore

May 02, 2014 3:50 PM The God That Failed

After looking at a Matt Yglesias chart showing that private employment has now recovered from the Great Recession while public employment continues to lag, Taegard Goddard makes this acute observation...

By Ed Kilgore

May 02, 2014 3:37 PM Comfy Old Sweater

In a nice contrast to the New York Times piece about Republican donors wanting to get the band back together for Jeb Bush, the Cook Political Report's Amy Walter (speaking...

By Ed Kilgore

May 02, 2014 1:48 PM Lunch Buffet

Sorry I somehow didn't initially displace link to Joan Baez's elegant rendition of "Joe Hill" this morning when I was announcing the rather different "Iron Man." I set up the...

By Ed Kilgore

May 02, 2014 1:16 PM Coals to Newcastle

This is one of those news items that will give Jon Stewart some fresh material: House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is announcing today that he intends for the House to...

By Ed Kilgore

May 02, 2014 12:25 PM The Quadropoly Remains

This bit of news from CNN's Mark Preston will not, I wager, draw remotely as much attention as a dozen other "invisible primary" items today and over the weekend: The...

By Ed Kilgore

May 02, 2014 11:56 AM The Agony of the Pioneers

It's often hard to empathize with people whose backgrounds and life experiences are so very different from one's own. So it is with the small but important cadre of wealthy...

By Ed Kilgore

May 02, 2014 10:57 AM How To Reverse the Reactionary Trend Among Old White Folks

So in reacting to Sasha Issenberg's much-discussed piece on the 2014 Democratic GOTV operation, Nate Cohn doesn't much think Democrats can do a whole hell of a lot about their...

By Ed Kilgore

May 02, 2014 9:20 AM April Jobs Report: Hard to Find Fault

So just a few days after 1st Quarter GDP numbers indicated a shockingly slow economy, the first real indicator from the second quarter came in like gangbusters. The April Jobs...

By Ed Kilgore

May 02, 2014 8:30 AM Daylight Video

On this day six years ago, the movie Iron Man was released. So let's go on a tangent and feature the song that was alluded to in the flick because...

By Ed Kilgore

May 01, 2014 6:11 PM Day's End and Night Watch

A highly mobile blogging day for me, as it happens; thank God for the cheap laptop and the personal hotspot. Here are some remains of the day: * World Health...

By Ed Kilgore

May 01, 2014 5:53 PM The Terrorism Surge After Benghazi! That Didn't Happen

While digging through the latest "smoking gun" claims of Republicans about an email from White House advisor Ben Rhodes suggesting the Benghazi protests were based on protests over the "Innocence...

By Ed Kilgore

May 01, 2014 4:33 PM Regional Identity Politics

As noted here yesterday, FiveThirtyEight did an audience survey from which they gleaned the perceptions of people who identify strongly with being "midwestern" or "southern" and then used the results...

By Ed Kilgore

May 01, 2014 3:25 PM Recent Washington Monthly Editors Walk Down the Red Carpet at the National Magazine Awards Dinner Tonight

One of the pleasures of editing the Washington Monthly is watching the young editors who train here go on to do great things in journalism. So I'm extremely proud that...

By Paul Glastris

May 01, 2014 2:38 PM Preserving May Day Redux

For reasons I'll mention afterwards in an Update, I'm going to repost an item I wrote two years ago today: May 1 became an international day to commemorate workers—and more...

By Ed Kilgore

May 01, 2014 2:03 PM Lunch Buffet

This oughtta be a holiday. But for a growing number of us, it's not even an eight-hour day. So much for the March of Progress. * TNR's Jonathan Cohn briskly...

By Ed Kilgore

May 01, 2014 1:19 PM Sunshine for HRC in Florida

Want to know why the new conservative inflammation over Benghazi! will never go away, at least until November of 2016? Consider the 2016 trial heat numbers in a new Quinnipiac...

By Ed Kilgore

May 01, 2014 12:32 PM The Baleful Consequences of Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Laws

If you want to see how a political fad can lead to devastating consequences, look no further than the "mandatory minimum sentencing" laws that spread like a plague in the...

By Ed Kilgore

May 01, 2014 11:44 AM Homeownership As a Bad Investment in a Dream

In doing some catch-up reading this morning, I noticed our former colleague Ryan Cooper going on quite an eloquent tear at his new perch at The Week. His target was...

By Ed Kilgore

May 01, 2014 11:09 AM Gun Rights as the Equalizer

The other day David Frum penned a column about the power of the gun lobby and its cultural roots that deserves a broader reading. After posing the question as to...

By Ed Kilgore

May 01, 2014 9:58 AM Your Hard Line Is My Compromise

In the course of discussing the politics of the minimum wage at TNR, Danny Vinik notes something interesting and important about Republican positioning: Consider the timing. By sheer coincidence, I'm...

By Ed Kilgore

May 01, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

It's International Workers' Day. Here's Florence Reece performing "Which Side Are You On?"...

By Ed Kilgore

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