Political Animal

June 2014 Archives

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

I'm about to leave ATL with a swollen and aching jaw and a bunch of new prescriptions. I hope modern medicine--not to mention the commercial airline industry--comes through for me...

By Ed Kilgore

June 30, 2014 5:10 PM This Decision's For You, RTLers!

Many observers noted the cautionary language in Justice Alito's majority opinion in the Hobby Lobby decision about its limited scope as a partial curb on the flood of litigation the...

By Ed Kilgore

June 30, 2014 4:54 PM Robed Curmudgeon

With all the attention focused on the U.S. Supreme Court's end-of-term decisions, it's a good time to think more broadly about SCOTUS as an institution, and as a collection of...

By Ed Kilgore

June 30, 2014 3:50 PM The U.S. Welfare State's Troublesome Intermediaries

One of the first and best reactions to today's Hobby Lobby decision is from TNR's Jonathan Cohn, who reminds us that this whole issue is yet another complication arising from...

By Ed Kilgore

June 30, 2014 2:47 PM HRC in 2008 and 2016

TNR's Noam Scheiber, who now and then leads cheers for a Elizabeth Warren challenge to Hillary Clinton in 2016, asks and partially answers today why HRC isn't encountering the kind...

By Ed Kilgore

June 30, 2014 1:27 PM Lunch Buffet

Blogging from I-85 heading towards ATL. Still re-adjusting to the daily afternoon thunderstorm; in central Cali, sound of thunder usually means earthquake. Here are some dry, solid midday news/views treats:...

By Ed Kilgore

June 30, 2014 12:17 PM No Resolution Yet in Mississippi

After a news-free weekend, I googled "Chris McDaniel" this morning half-expecting to find that he had thrown in the towel in the MS GOP SEN runoff, perhaps in exchange for...

By Ed Kilgore

June 30, 2014 11:52 AM Floodgates Open on Corporate "Religious Liberty"

And in another 5-4 decision, and another in which Samuel Alito wrote the minority opinion, SCOTUS ruled in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby that "closely-held" for-profit corporations do indeed have "religious...

By Ed Kilgore

June 30, 2014 11:16 AM A Real If Limited Blow to Labor

So in another of those 5-4 decisions that are becoming the gravamen of the Roberts Court, a conservative majority (with Justice Alito writing the opinion) in Harris v. Qiuinn held...

By Ed Kilgore

June 30, 2014 9:34 AM Bobby & the Theocrats

If you are not aware that Bobby Jindal's 2016 presidential campaign will likely be built on a foundation of hard-core Christian Right backing, you should read McKay Coppins' article on...

By Ed Kilgore

June 30, 2014 8:35 AM Big Day at SCOTUS

It's the last day for announcement of Supreme Court decisions this term, and it's Tension City for a lot of people. Beginning at about 10:00 AM, the Court is expected...

By Ed Kilgore

June 30, 2014 8:20 AM Daylight Video

I've got an abscessed tooth, and am rediscovering the sad fact that I have a high tolerance for painkillers and a low tolerance for pain. As I head from an...

By Ed Kilgore

June 29, 2014 3:00 PM Big business loves desperate, overqualified, underpaid workers

Earlier this week CNBC named Georgia its top state for doing business. Its reason? A lot of well-educated but underpaid workers with no bargaining rights: The Georgia workforce is tops...

By David Atkins

June 29, 2014 1:30 PM Who's Better, Who's Best

Not to gainsay the importance of the conflict in Iraq, but it would have been nice to see Bob Schieffer ask Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) about another matter with international...

By D.R. Tucker

June 29, 2014 11:45 AM Climate impacts cannot be ignored in broader environmental impact assessments

This is a largely overlooked but very consequential ruling: Citing agencies’ neglect to consider climate change impacts, a federal court ruling today rejected federal agencies’ approval of Arch Coal’s plans...

By David Atkins

June 29, 2014 11:37 AM What's Deformed Can't Be Reformed

Ten years ago, then-Boston Phoenix columnist Dan Kennedy profiled ultraconservative pundit Mark Steyn in a piece labeling him "the most toxic right-wing pundit you’ve never heard of." Kennedy noted that...

By D.R. Tucker

June 29, 2014 8:45 AM Compassion for the poor isn't a prerequisite for liberal economics

Much and more has already been written about Nick Hanauer's brilliant and blistering piece in Politico Magazine about the ever-shrinking half life of social and political stability in a time...

By David Atkins

June 29, 2014 5:53 AM In The Zone II

Who gained from the US Supreme Court's ruling in McCullen v. Coakley? As the Boston Globe notes, the answer is: absolute wingnuts. For the first time in seven years, the...

By D.R. Tucker

June 28, 2014 3:26 PM This Is What A Climate Hawk Looks Like

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) at the 2014 Citizens Climate Lobby conference, Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C., June 24, 2014. For those who aren't ready for Hillary, perhaps there should be...

By D.R. Tucker

June 28, 2014 2:54 PM (What Did I Do to Be So) Black and Blue

I hope MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry apologizes for the unintentionally hilarious segment on her program today regarding the prospects of the GOP wooing African-American voters in the wake of Senator Thad...

By D.R. Tucker

June 28, 2014 2:42 PM The Senate comity brigade was wrong

I wrote a few days ago about how the Supreme Court's decision to bar recess appointments made with less than a 10-day break in Senate proceedings increases the importance of...

By David Atkins

June 28, 2014 12:00 PM Imagine the Iraq crisis--but with a GOP president at war with Iran

As Iraq spirals deeper into a sectarian crisis between an ineffectual Shi'ite government and radical Sunni militants, the importance of a grudging working relationship between the United States and Iran...

By David Atkins

June 28, 2014 8:45 AM For whom are Boehner's crocodile tears intended?

The politics of immigration are mostly clear at this point. Republicans have become abjectly terrified of their own base, particularly after Eric Cantor's defeat. Democrats are furious at the lack...

By David Atkins

June 28, 2014 7:43 AM In the Zone

I guess we should be thankful for a relatively civil conversation about abortion rights in the wake of the bizarre US Supreme Court decision in McCullen v. Coakley. This comes...

By D.R. Tucker

June 28, 2014 5:46 AM Straight Talk

By D.R. Tucker

June 27, 2014 5:17 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

After a day of blogging and sporadic attendance at a church conference, am headed to one of those new, cool restaurants that have made Atlanta an unlikely culinary destination. I'll...

By Ed Kilgore

June 27, 2014 4:58 PM Turnout Game-Changer?

It's too early to know how serious they are, or what they know about the administration's plans, but congressional Democrats issued a warning today that Republicans have until the end...

By Ed Kilgore

June 27, 2014 4:45 PM Typecasting

For those familiar with previous Pew political typologies, the 2014 edition features some notable changes. For one thing, the percentages identified for each group--in the past broken down into "the...

By Ed Kilgore

June 27, 2014 3:25 PM Old Times

It seems Mississippi's not the only place where it can be said "The past isn't dead; it's not even past," per this dispatch from the Billings (MT) Gazette: Former Vice...

By Ed Kilgore

June 27, 2014 2:24 PM Guilt By Association

Sorry if you're tired of me writing about Mississippi, folks; frankly, I've been tired of reading and writing about the issues of Mississippi conservatives for decades now. But since these...

By Ed Kilgore

June 27, 2014 1:48 PM Lunch Buffet

Just discovered a first-class falafel sandwich in a downtown Atlanta food court. Who knew? Here are some midday news/views snack, with a side of tahini: * One of the Mississippi...

By Ed Kilgore

June 27, 2014 12:37 PM Struggling To Get Onto the Ladder

With all the entirely appropriate concern we're hearing these days about the increasingly difficult path to higher education for children of middle-class families, it's important to remember that the financial...

By Ed Kilgore

June 27, 2014 11:33 AM The "Conspiracy" in Mississippi

Three days after his upset defeat in the MS GOP SEN runoff, Chris McDaniel is still keeping his counsel on what he might or might not do to challenge the...

By Ed Kilgore

June 27, 2014 10:22 AM Worse Than "Self-Deportation"

My friend Greg Sargent of WaPo, a long-suffering champion of comprehensive immigration reform who has never ceased to hang onto the possibility House Republicans might (as they could have at...

By Ed Kilgore

June 27, 2014 10:00 AM Another Tale From the Old/New South

I don't quite know what to think of Jim Rutenberg's long, semi-sympathetic profile of Mark Sanford for the New York Times Magazine. But it's gripping in a strange sort of...

By Ed Kilgore

June 27, 2014 9:10 AM Yeah, We're Color-Blind Down South

Here's some unsurprising but depressing news from the Montgomery Advertiser's Mary Troyan: Congress does not need to update the Voting Rights Act by restoring special federal oversight of elections in...

By Ed Kilgore

June 27, 2014 6:00 AM Daylight Video

Was having a discussion last night of the concept of astral traveling, which triggered memories of this song from Yes:...

By Ed Kilgore

June 26, 2014 6:07 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Sorry for the somewhat erratic (if on-quota) blogging schedule today. A social lunch where it would not have been appropriate to haul out the laptop arrived at 3:45 PM. I'll...

By Ed Kilgore

June 26, 2014 5:21 PM Life Just One Long Series of Distractions From Benghazi!

Well, you had to know it would happen. TPM's Catherine Thompson has the story: It was only a matter of time before a Fox News panelist suggested the FIFA World...

By Ed Kilgore

June 26, 2014 2:50 PM Economic Inequality Happens

So Marco Rubio has essayed another rhetorical effort to prove himself a "reform conservative," allegedly offering fresh new solutions for hard-pressed poor and middle-class families struggling in this economy. I...

By Ed Kilgore

June 26, 2014 2:36 PM Immigration Reform Still Really Dead

So it's official, per WaPo's David Nakamura and Ed O'Keefe (I'm guessing Greg Sargent may be too depressed about it to comment right away): immigration reform legislation ain't happening until...

By Ed Kilgore

June 26, 2014 2:15 PM The Battle for Freedom

Just over four years ago, The Democratic Strategist (a site where I'm managing editor) and the think tank Demos cosponsored an online forum entitled "Progressive Politics and the Meaning of...

By Ed Kilgore

June 26, 2014 2:00 PM Lunch Buffet

Blogging from a downtown Atlanta hotel lobby at present, and realizing I no longer know any of the restaurants in the area. Here are some fresh midday news/views treats you...

By Ed Kilgore

June 26, 2014 1:15 PM Governing Matters in NC

There's an understandable tendency when looking at all the southern Senate general election polls to put a big thumb on the scales in favor of the GOP candidates, for reasons...

By Ed Kilgore

June 26, 2014 12:53 PM The Ex-Im Shuffle

You may have heard that one tangible bit of fallout from the defeat of Eric Cantor is that House GOP support for the Export-Import Bank--a big business mainstay that has...

By Ed Kilgore

June 26, 2014 11:35 AM So Long to Recess Appointments

In a predictable decision, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that Obama appointments to the National Labor Relations Board and the directorship of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau made when...

By Ed Kilgore

June 26, 2014 10:18 AM Just Say "IRS" and Shriek and Point

This has been apparent for a while, but it's clearer every day that the "IRS scandal" has little or nothing to do with the agency's supposed discrimination against conservative groups...

By Ed Kilgore

June 26, 2014 9:36 AM McDaniel Goes Over the Brink

A lot of us spent a good part of yesterday wondering what the basis might be of some Chris McDaniel challenge to the results in Mississippi on Tuesday night. Would...

By Ed Kilgore

June 26, 2014 8:12 AM Daylight Video

It's Clash co-founder Mick Jones' 59th birthday. Here's the band performing one of his early compositions, "I'm So Bored With the USA."...

By Ed Kilgore

June 25, 2014 4:18 PM Day's End and Night Watch

So as advertised, I'm off to the airport. But here are some remains of the day: * National Review's John Fund, who's really on a tear about Mississippi, points a...

By Ed Kilgore

June 25, 2014 3:53 PM The GDP Dive

I nearly missed this what with my focus on primaries, but a second revision of first quarter GDP for 2014 showed a really startling contraction of 2.9%. That's the first...

By Ed Kilgore

June 25, 2014 3:32 PM What People Are Missing About the Conservative Rage in Mississippi

Before we turn the page from the Mississippi GOP Seante runoff--or at least await further developments--there's a point about the rage being expressed by McDaniel supporters that I'm not sure...

By Ed Kilgore

June 25, 2014 3:16 PM Public School Choice As a Means of Integrating Schools

Discussions of charter schools and other forms of "public school choice" often create more heat than light. Both defenders of "traditional' public schools and advocates of private school vouchers tend...

By Ed Kilgore

June 25, 2014 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

It was a late one for me last night, and this morning was spent partially in Probate Court, and I have to pick up my wife and some friends at...

By Ed Kilgore

June 25, 2014 12:58 PM Reversal of Fortune in Fundraising

In a column for The Hill, Markos Moulitsas pens some characteristic thunder and lightning about the GOP's reliance on Koch Brothers lucre in this and other election cycles, but also...

By Ed Kilgore

June 25, 2014 12:32 PM A Little Help from the Enemy

There's no news yet about how, exactly, Chris McDaniel intends to challenge his 6,000 vote loss in Mississippi yesterday. His stated determination last night to "ensure that the Republican primary...

By Ed Kilgore

June 25, 2014 12:08 PM And in Other Election News....

While the Mississippi upset led all the news accounts of yesterday's primaries, some other contests bear mentioning. First up, Cochran was not the senior Member of Congress who appeared to...

By Ed Kilgore

June 25, 2014 10:27 AM A Little Friendly Advice

As I mentioned last week, I penned an "open letter" of advice to the so-called Reform Conservatives (or as Ryan Cooper memorably called them in a Washington Monthly profile, the...

By Ed Kilgore

June 25, 2014 9:21 AM Sui Generis

Aside from the obvious bad aroma of Republicans arguing about whether black folks should be allowed to vote in their primaries, the question does arise: does Cochran's victory set any...

By Ed Kilgore

June 25, 2014 9:01 AM Crashing the White Primary

Right before the votes started rolling in last night, elements of Team McDaniel started complaining of "illegal Dem votes to steal the election." As it became obvious that turnout in...

By Ed Kilgore

June 25, 2014 8:17 AM Daylight Video

In honor of last night's contest and today's controversies, here's Ry Cooder and Terry Evans performing "Down in Mississippi."...

By Ed Kilgore

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

I'm wrapping up a bit early due to election-watching responsibilities. We'll obviously have full results and analysis of the primaries first thing tomorrow. Here are some remains of the day:...

By Ed Kilgore

June 24, 2014 3:58 PM Anecdotal Evidence on Crossover Voting in Mississippi

After looking around for a while, I finally found one news source that's focused on the existence or non-existence of African-American voters materializing to support Thad Cochran in today's Mississippi...

By Ed Kilgore

June 24, 2014 3:28 PM The Illusion of Disillusionment on Obama and Iraq

After perusing two new polls showing Obama's approval ratings on handling Iraq taking a dive, Paul Waldman of the Plum Line suggests the president is "damned if he does, damned...

By Ed Kilgore

June 24, 2014 2:56 PM From Chief of Staff To Media Valhalla

On one level, Adam Kuhn, chief of staff to Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH), has just experienced a live-changing and career-ending calamity. On the other hand, he is now well positioned...

By Ed Kilgore

June 24, 2014 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

You'd think political reporters would be closely watching heavily African-American precincts in MS to see if there's any sign of "crossover" vote for Cochran. But no inkling of info on...

By Ed Kilgore

June 24, 2014 1:07 PM Colleges Late to the Table on Common Core

The state-based but federally-encouraged Common Core K-12 education standards have obtained belated national media coverage of late, mainly because of a strong conservative (and somewhat less visible and intense progressive)...

By Ed Kilgore

June 24, 2014 12:31 PM An Agenda For: Forever

You'll probably hear a lot about Jeffrey Toobin's long New Yorker profile of Ted Cruz, as well you should. Toobin helps explain Cruz's deep roots in the Federalist Society and...

By Ed Kilgore

June 24, 2014 10:54 AM A Low Sanity Threshold

Being back in Georgia always reminds me of the very different norms governing politics in Deep Red country. Yesterday I mentioned that in Georgia's 11th district GOP runoff, Barry Loudermilk...

By Ed Kilgore

June 24, 2014 9:59 AM Real Voter Fraud

If you want to see some actual voter fraud, perhaps you should forget about Mississippi and look at a documented case in Wisconsin, via this report from Bruce Vielmetti of...

By Ed Kilgore

June 24, 2014 9:31 AM About Those "Election Observers" In Mississippi

It's been easy over the last few days to imagine ugly scenes at Mississippi polling places today, as Tea Party groups--some from out of state--threatened to dispatch "election observers" to...

By Ed Kilgore

June 24, 2014 8:30 AM Daylight Video

Jeff Beck was born on this day 70 years ago. Here he is performing a song you commuters may appreciate: "Freeway Jam."...

By Ed Kilgore

June 23, 2014 5:30 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Tomorrow will be a long day for me given both a busy schedule of family chores and tomorrow night's primary watch. Let's hope there's some actual news to talk about...

By Ed Kilgore

June 23, 2014 4:54 PM More Gleanings From a Roundtable on Progressives and the White Working Class

On Friday I posted some brief excerpts from submissions to a roundtable discussion on progressives and the white working class published at The Democratic Strategist in conjunction with articles by...

By Ed Kilgore

June 23, 2014 4:31 PM Last Call For Charlie Rangel

Thad Cochran isn't the only long-time congressional incumbent at risk of forced retirement tomorrow. 22-term House incumbent Charles Rangel (D-NY) beat Cochran to Washington by two years, and is similarly...

By Ed Kilgore

June 23, 2014 3:44 PM Where Tactical Voting Means Staying Home

Josh Marshall answers a question that's probably occurred to many progressives watching Thad Cochran try to save his congressional career on the power of Democratic crossover votes: how do Democratic...

By Ed Kilgore

June 23, 2014 3:02 PM Iraq Policy in a GOP Congressional Primary

The mostly indirect (in the sense that all of them are attacking Barack Obama) war of words between neocons and "non-interventionists" in the Republican Party over Iraq policy that's playing...

By Ed Kilgore

June 23, 2014 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

I'm blogging from Georgia this week, from various locations (right now a fast food restaurant), and with some personal and family chores mixed in, but I'll try to keep the...

By Ed Kilgore

June 23, 2014 12:29 PM Tea Folk With a Lot at Stake

In a contest with so much local "flavor"--to use a neutral word for phenomena that include a lot of ghosts from Mississippi's past--the battle between Thad Cochran and Chris McDaniel...

By Ed Kilgore

June 23, 2014 11:54 AM Democracy Alliance and the Koch Network

There is no power on earth that can prevent a new piece by Politico's Kenneth Vogel on the "secret" deliberations of the liberal donor network Democracy Alliance from being used...

By Ed Kilgore

June 23, 2014 11:35 AM About HRC as "the Democrats' Romney"

Most Republicans and some Democrats now appear to be policing every utterance by Hillary Clinton to see if it adds to the growing media narrative that she's too rich and...

By Ed Kilgore

June 23, 2014 10:39 AM Old-School Politics in Iowa

Thanks to that state's atavistic rules governing party nominations, Republican delegates from Iowa's 3d congressional district met over the weekend and awarded a November ballot spot to David Young, a...

By Ed Kilgore

June 23, 2014 9:43 AM Mississippi Mystery

Tomorrow primaries will be held in Colorado, Maryland, New York, Oklahoma and Utah, and we'll be talking about some of these contests later. But the marquee even is in Mississippi's...

By Ed Kilgore

June 23, 2014 8:30 AM Daylight Video

For no particular reason, other than it's officially summer and summer makes me crave slide guitar music, here's Sonny Landreth performing "Zydeco Shuffle."...

By Ed Kilgore

June 22, 2014 3:28 PM The First Transgender President

When you make a list of all the ways President Obama has been helpful to transgender people, it begins to look kind of impressive: President Barack Obama, who established his...

By Martin Longman

June 22, 2014 1:06 PM Zombie Neoconservatives

There seems to be a lively competition going to see who can write the best smackdown of the neoconservatives who have reemerged on our teevees to discuss the foreign policy...

By Martin Longman

June 22, 2014 9:57 AM World Cup: Rumble in the Jungle

I feel sorry for the U.S. Mens Soccer Team. They not only have to play Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the two best footballers in the world, but they have to...

By Martin Longman

June 22, 2014 8:22 AM What Next for Martin O'Malley

Maryland voters will go to the polls next Tuesday to select their nominees for November's gubernatorial election. All the action is on the Democratic side, as Maryland has only elected...

By Martin Longman

June 22, 2014 7:26 AM Daylight Video

Good morning. What's on your mind?...

By Martin Longman

June 21, 2014 5:32 PM What is George Will Talking About?

Maybe I am just tired from driving to and from the airport, but I had to read George Will's column three times before I thought that I maybe kind of...

By Martin Longman

June 21, 2014 1:01 PM Lunch Buffet

Bloomberg has a fascinating article on how Kurdish oil is causing controversy and strained relations between Baghdad and Turkey. Maliki's government is losing more than territory. They're losing oil refineries,...

By Martin Longman

June 21, 2014 11:15 AM Pointless Anti-Establishmentarianism

Any anti-Establishment movement worth its salt seeks to become the Establishment. In the 1960's, countercultural forces wanted to end Jim Crow, fight for women's "liberation," and keep our country out...

By Martin Longman

June 21, 2014 9:29 AM Rick Santorum is Not a Populist

Back in 2012, when Rick Santorum was riding high and winning primaries and caucuses in his competition with Mitt Romney, Simon van Zuylen-Wood became concerned about the coverage of Santorum's...

By Martin Longman

June 21, 2014 8:49 AM Daylight Video

I wonder if John Prine really got fired once for being scared of bees....

By Martin Longman

June 20, 2014 5:17 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

As noted earlier, I'm on the road to Georgia tomorrow, and will resume blogging on EDT for a while. Here are some remains of the day: * WaPo's Jenna Portnoy...

By Ed Kilgore

June 20, 2014 5:01 PM HRC's Single-Mindedness

I mentioned yesterday that Peter Beinart had penned a very long essay on HRC's personality as it affected her performance as a politician and potentially as a president. It's main...

By Ed Kilgore

June 20, 2014 4:22 PM Some Gleanings From a Roundtable on Progressives and the White Working Class

As I've noted a couple of times here, and as you may have seen on the website, The Democratic Strategist (a site with which I am affiliated) put together a...

By Ed Kilgore

June 20, 2014 4:04 PM Sick of Meddling in Iraq? Vote Against Big Government!

It's been a while since I've written about one of the weekly meanderings from Peggy Noonan with which the Wall Street Journal chooses to afflict us each Friday. But today...

By Ed Kilgore

June 20, 2014 3:46 PM Another Denomination Embraces Marriage Equality

The ranks of Protestant religious denominations accepting marriage equality (along with ordination of LGBT clergy, and more obviously, acceptance of members without regard to sexual orientation) just got an important...

By Ed Kilgore

June 20, 2014 1:51 PM Lunch Buffet

Just finished an "open letter" piece for TNR recommending that "Reform Conservatives" take a long look at both the successes and the failures (political and substantive) of the New Democrat...

By Ed Kilgore

June 20, 2014 1:10 PM Conservatism Comes to Mississippi

One of the many fascinating things about the MS GOP SEN runoff is the extraordinary inversion of the state's political heritage created by the conceit that Thad Cochran is its...

By Ed Kilgore

June 20, 2014 12:02 PM Paul Lunges for the Reagan Mantle

Yesterday I wrote skeptically about Ross Douthat's "spitballing" scenario whereby the two parties could undergo a role reversal on foreign policy in 2016 with "interventionist" Hillary Clinton pushing GOPers towards...

By Ed Kilgore

June 20, 2014 11:27 AM An Anti-Incumbent Substructure For Upsets

At FiveThirtyEight, the veteran election analyst David Wasserman essays a comprehensive, okay-now-we-can-forget-about-it take on why Eric Cantor lost his primary on June 10. He offers seven factors, several of which...

By Ed Kilgore

June 20, 2014 10:34 AM One More Adjective For Walker?

TNR's Alec MacGillis is a very interested reader of the findings of prosecutors in a "John Doe" investigation of Scott Walker and his associates, which were released by a federal...

By Ed Kilgore

June 20, 2014 9:52 AM Getting Mighty Race-y in Mississippi

With Tuesday's MS GOP SEN runoff fast approaching, the Cochran and McDaniels campaigns are really letting it all hang out. Team Thad is now appealing openly to Democratic voters who...

By Ed Kilgore

June 20, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

Brian Wilson was born on this day in 1942. Here's the Beach Boys performing "God Only Knows" in 1966. UPDATE: Well, Brian did uncontrovertibly write the song, but I'll try...

By Ed Kilgore

June 19, 2014 5:48 PM Day's End and Night Watch

If you get bored tonight, check out the roundtable discussion on progressives and the white working class that's up at The Democratic Strategist site, as a spinoff from the Stan...

By Ed Kilgore

June 19, 2014 5:20 PM Role Reversal on Foreign Policy?

Watching the Iraq Hawks strut their stuff on TV this week, Ross Douthat has a counter-intuitive suggestion about how foreign policy issues might play out in 2016. He mention the...

By Ed Kilgore

June 19, 2014 4:36 PM Unsealing Walker's Problem

It was very good news for Scott Walker last month when a federal judge halted a "John Doe" investigation into allegations that Walker and his staff illegally coordinated fundraising activities...

By Ed Kilgore

June 19, 2014 2:23 PM Knocking on the Door of the Christian GOP Fortress

As you probably recall, Eric Cantor is currently the only non-Christian Republican member of Congress. With his impending exit, this tiny shred of religious diversity could go with him unless...

By Ed Kilgore

June 19, 2014 1:50 PM Lunch Buffet

I'm actually going out to lunch today with a church group, so there will be a brief blogging hiatus from about 2:45-4:00 EDT. Good thing I'm ahead of schedule, despite...

By Ed Kilgore

June 19, 2014 1:22 PM You Want Intense Politics? Try Dog Poop Politics!

You may have heard a news item earlier this week in which the mayor of San Marino, CA (an upscale "planned community" in Los Angeles County) resigned after a resident's...

By Ed Kilgore

June 19, 2014 12:50 PM Schweitzer Talks His Way Out of the 2016 Field

I've never been bullish on the presidential viability of former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, even in the off-chance that Hillary Clinton decides against a 2016 run. His basic problem is...

By Ed Kilgore

June 19, 2014 11:49 AM Often Wrong; Never in Doubt

John McCain bugs my esteemed predecessor Brother Steve Benen in the way that Bobby Jindal bugs me: a public figure whose regular production of baloney seems to have eluded the...

By Ed Kilgore

June 19, 2014 10:57 AM How To Deal With a Heckler

I mentioned this briefly at Day's End yesterday, but if you haven't seen how Hillary Clinton dealt with the "RNC Squirrel" yesterday, it's worth a look: Pity the poor RNC...

By Ed Kilgore

June 19, 2014 10:28 AM Yellen's Steady Course

I don't pretend to be someone who can interpret the delphic statements released by the Federal Reserve Board following its Open Market Committee meetings. It is clear they are painstakingly...

By Ed Kilgore

June 19, 2014 9:25 AM More of the Orange Man

House Republicans are having them some leadership elections today, with Kevin McCarthy considered sure to overcome Raul Labrador for the defenestrated Eric Cantor's Majority Leader position, while three members (Steve...

By Ed Kilgore

June 19, 2014 8:43 AM Daylight Video

It's Juneteenth, a day commemorating emancipation from slavery. Here's the Harlem Gospel Singers performing "Go Down Moses."...

By Ed Kilgore

June 18, 2014 6:05 PM Day's End and Night Watch

In case anyone's wondering why I haven't written about the new WSJ/NBC poll that has Obama-haters so excited, I'm awaiting the inevitable rejoinder from ABC/WaPo and then maybe we can...

By Ed Kilgore

June 18, 2014 5:26 PM The Answer's Always "More Conservative!"

So after Jack Kingston made it into the runoff and then sprinted into an early lead in the GA GOP SEN finals on the basis of remaking himself from a...

By Ed Kilgore

June 18, 2014 4:22 PM The Cheneys Are Back

If you didn't know better, you'd almost suspect the Dick 'n' Liz Cheney op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today blasting the president's Iraq policies was some sort of payoff...

By Ed Kilgore

June 18, 2014 3:26 PM Jindal Completes 180-Degree Turn on Common Core

You have to say this for Bobby Jindal. When he decides to flip-flop, he doesn't screw around with transitional steps or rationalizations. He just flat stares into the cameras and...

By Ed Kilgore

June 18, 2014 1:56 PM Lunch Buffet

Record number of squid boats out on the Monterey Bay last night. Beautiful sight, unless you're a squid. Here are some calimari-infused midday news/views treats: * 2013 American Time Use...

By Ed Kilgore

June 18, 2014 1:28 PM Straightening Out the (c)(4) Mess Definitively

After one false start based on conservative shrieking about tax-exempt eligibility rules for labor unions, the IRS is now indicating it will promulgate more comprehensive rules for 501(c)(4) "social welfare"...

By Ed Kilgore

June 18, 2014 12:58 PM Hail to the Politicos!

So Dan Snyder's efforts to thumb his nose at the growing and overwhelming sentiment that the nickname of his NFL sports franchise needs to be buried as an obvious racial...

By Ed Kilgore

June 18, 2014 12:08 PM The Tenuous Future of Journalistic Cross-Subsidies

The specter that has been haunting journalism in recent decades is the poor profitability of news-gathering and quality analysis, and the increasing ability and willingness of media companies to drop...

By Ed Kilgore

June 18, 2014 11:39 AM The Despised and Abandoned

Speaking of resurgent conservative hostility to "the welfare," Tom Edsall has an important brief article out today reminding us that the non-working, unmarried poor have been massively undercut by recent...

By Ed Kilgore

June 18, 2014 10:43 AM Hating Thy Neighbor in Mississippi

If, as appears a better-than-even bet, Chris McDaniel defeats Thad Cochran in the MS GOP SEN runoff next Tuesday, we will rightly hear a lot about ideology trumping self-interest, as...

By Ed Kilgore

June 18, 2014 9:43 AM Right Going With What It's Got

I suppose it's inevitable that as an electoral cycle intensifies, political actors tend to lose sight of whatever long-range perspective they brought into it, and just hunker down for the...

By Ed Kilgore

June 18, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

For no particular reason, other than that I've never featured him, here's Leon Russell performing "Alacatrez" at some point in the early-to-mid 70s....

By Ed Kilgore

June 17, 2014 5:53 PM Day's End and Night Watch

News really slowed to a crawl this afternoon, but GOPers still didn't take opportunity to congratulate the president for taking the Benghazi! ringleader into custody. They must've been on one...

By Ed Kilgore

June 17, 2014 5:03 PM Paul Ryan Gives the Clown Car Controls a Wide Berth

As Kevin McCarthy cruises towards occupying Eric Cantor's leadership chair, inquiring minds want to know why the most famous GOP House Member of them all, Paul Ryan, isn't big-footing his...

By Ed Kilgore

June 17, 2014 4:25 PM Here Come the Stereotypes in Mississippi

Connoisseurs of Old South political shenanigans are having a field day with the MS GOP SEN primary. Before primary day, of course, you had the whole bizarre saga of a...

By Ed Kilgore

June 17, 2014 3:35 PM The Lerner Email "Scandal"

Republicans are freaking out with delight over the the IRS' inability to produce emails sent by Lois Lerner prior to an alleged computer crash in 2011. There's smoke! Let's spend...

By Ed Kilgore

June 17, 2014 1:52 PM Lunch Buffet

Put myself to sleep last night reading The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party. Didn't take long, but it's actually a fascinating read. Here are some non-Whiggy midday...

By Ed Kilgore

June 17, 2014 1:01 PM You're Irrelevant!

As you may have heard by now, there was a panel on Benghazi! at Heritage yesterday featuring aggressive Islamophobes Frank Gaffney and Bridgette Gabriel. During the Q&A segment a Muslim...

By Ed Kilgore

June 17, 2014 12:44 PM The Tangible Value of Being Mentioned

Mark Liebovich has an amusing profile of Rick Perry at the New York Times Magazine that captures pretty succinctly why someone who was humiliated in his initial foray into presidential...

By Ed Kilgore

June 17, 2014 11:42 AM Administration Submits Some New Testimony on Benghazi!

Now this is an interesting turn of events that will likely create cognitive dissonance among the Benghazi! inquisitors: U.S. Special Operations forces captured one of the suspected ringleaders of the...

By Ed Kilgore

June 17, 2014 11:25 AM Limits of Partisan Realignment in the South

A big part of the reason that U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton entered the 2014 cycle as a prohibitive Beltway favorite to knock off Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor was the logic...

By Ed Kilgore

June 17, 2014 10:52 AM The New Politics of the White Working Class, Part II

While Stan Greenberg emphasized regional differences among white working class voters in his article in the new issue of the Washington Monthly, Ruy Teixeira and John Halpin of the Center...

By Ed Kilgore

June 17, 2014 10:08 AM Returning to the Scene of the Crime

The mess in Iraq right now, along with the remarkably limited options for any constructive U.S. action to avoid humanitarian and political disaster, and the hostility of American public opinion...

By Ed Kilgore

June 17, 2014 8:30 AM Daylight Video

On this day in 1972, the Rolling Stones album Exile on Main Street began a four-week run at the top of the U.S. charts. Here's my favorite cut from that...

By Ed Kilgore

June 16, 2014 6:10 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Some serious moonlighting on the immediate horizon, so I'll get out the chain to my desktop. Here are some remains of the day: * Sen. David Vitter, running for LA...

By Ed Kilgore

June 16, 2014 5:15 PM Cochran Begins To Unload on McDaniel

As Josh Marshall points out, this isn't (at this point) a TV ad, just a web ad. Still, it's a sign that Thad Cochran's campaign is ignoring Republican fears that...

By Ed Kilgore

June 16, 2014 4:36 PM It's Why They're Called "Upsets"

In the wake of Eric Cantor Week, there is predictably a lot of criticism and self-criticism for the news media's failure to anticipate or even imagine the upset. That's perfectly...

By Ed Kilgore

June 16, 2014 3:32 PM The Children's Exodus

So the exodus of unaccompanied minors cross the U.S.-Mexico border (mainly in the less-secure Rio Grande Valley area) has gotten bad enough the Vice President Joe Biden added a Guatemalan...

By Ed Kilgore

June 16, 2014 2:51 PM Iowa GOPers Tweak Platform--To Make It Crazier

Last week I wrote about the draft Iowa Republican platform being considered by a state convention that was supposedly a paragon of sensible pragmatism as compared to its most immediate...

By Ed Kilgore

June 16, 2014 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Finished season two of Orange Is the New Black last night. Fun, but time to spend more time reading. Here are some midday brain food bites: * Obama administration promulgates...

By Ed Kilgore

June 16, 2014 1:32 PM It's Stupid!

I nearly fell off my chair when I saw this headline pop up on Ye Olde Aggregator: "Political Animal Declares, 'Another Clinton In the White House Is Nuts!'" OMG. Did...

By Ed Kilgore

June 16, 2014 12:50 PM The Underwhelming Scott Walker

Other than transferring planes at its airport, I've never been to Milwaukee, and haven't read all that much (other than Hunter Thompson's famously dyspeptic account of his stay at what...

By Ed Kilgore

June 16, 2014 11:35 AM "Come-Heres" and "Been-Heres"

At the New York Times Ashley Parker and Jonathan Martin had an interesting piece over the weekend about the "nationalizing" effect of suburban transplants in the Sunbelt, who played a...

By Ed Kilgore

June 16, 2014 10:40 AM The New Politics of the White Working Class, Part I

The "white working class" as a demographic category and as an electoral battleground may seem kind of anachronistic to some readers. After all, the WWC, beset by both technological and...

By Ed Kilgore

June 16, 2014 9:34 AM Temporary Limits on Latino Political Clout

At The Upshot today, Nate Cohn has one of those pieces you might want to archive for future reference: a systematic analysis of the factors that diminish Latino clout in...

By Ed Kilgore

June 16, 2014 8:26 AM Daylight Video

On this day in 1966, The Beatles performed "Paperback Writer" and "Rain" on Top of the Pops. Here's the former:...

By Ed Kilgore

June 15, 2014 8:24 PM A Taxing Effort

Bloomberg View observes that contrary to popular belief, it may not be impossible to get Republicans to embrace the idea of putting a price on carbon: Smartly framed, a carbon...

By D.R. Tucker

June 15, 2014 6:28 PM Cantor at the Crossroads?

Well, soon-to-be-former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, you're right. There are problems within the Republican Party. The question is, what are you going to do about those problems? Your words...

By D.R. Tucker

June 15, 2014 1:16 PM He's Not That Reasonable

So there was conservative marriage-equality supporter Ted Olson, doing his usual avuncular shtick on the CBS program Face the Nation this morning, discussing his new book on the Proposition 8...

By D.R. Tucker

June 15, 2014 12:29 PM Rick Scott and the religious right decide to play God

Conservatives hate the notion of mankind "playing God." They constantly warn of the dangers of playing in the divine domain, and talk about the arrogance of man presuming to control...

By David Atkins

June 15, 2014 11:45 AM It's not the motive. It's the gun.

Every time there's another mass or campus shooting people always want to know why the killer did it. What was the motive? What could lead to such evil? More often...

By David Atkins

June 15, 2014 8:45 AM The brutal neoconservative legacy in Iraq

When we take stock of American policy in Iraq and its effects over the last decade, reasonable and humane people tend to focus on the devastating toll in blood, treasure...

By David Atkins

June 15, 2014 7:10 AM School Daze

It's embarrassing to see the New York Times join the "How dare anyone object to a controversial commencement speaker!" club: Commencement speakers made news this year mostly by their absence....

By D.R. Tucker

June 14, 2014 7:19 PM Man on Fire

Although the decision on the Keystone XL pipeline remains the elephant in the room, President Obama deserves praise for his strong remarks about climate change denial this afternoon at the...

By D.R. Tucker

June 14, 2014 5:00 PM Teach Your Children Well

I'm sure George Will is cooking up a Verizon-bashing column right now in response to the company's new commercial about science and sexism: The commercial--part of the company's "Inspire Her...

By D.R. Tucker

June 14, 2014 3:00 PM Speak no evil on the right

As the tide continues to turn against conservatives on a number of issues including marriage equality, it is interesting to watch how Republican politicians wade against the rush of public...

By David Atkins

June 14, 2014 12:01 PM Romney III

As if there wasn't enough evidence of the intellectual exhaustion of the GOP, now we have the bizarre spectacle of Republicans pushing for a third Mitt Romney presidential campaign in...

By D.R. Tucker

June 14, 2014 11:45 AM When even Lloyd Blankfein says you need to do something about income inequality....

When you list the names of wealthy allies in the cause of reducing income inequality, Warren Buffett and George Soros tend to come to mind. Not high on the list...

By David Atkins

June 14, 2014 8:45 AM Corporate education "reformers" doing battle with teachers after Vergara decision

A little-noticed but important legal battle recently wrapped up in California this week. A loose collection of millionaires and billionaires including David Welch, Eli Broad, Charles Schwab and the Fischer...

By David Atkins

June 14, 2014 4:03 AM Will He Stay or Will He Go?

Last night on Beat the Press, the weekly media-review program on Boston's PBS affiliate, WGBH, host Emily Rooney discussed George Will's recent deranged suggestion that being a rape victim accords...

By D.R. Tucker

June 13, 2014 6:16 PM Just how long are those wait times at the VA really?

You probably saw headlines earlier this week like this one from CNN “Audit: More than 120,000 veterans waiting or never got care” Sounds pretty bad, and so does the lede...

By Phillip Longman

June 13, 2014 5:48 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

Looks like I'll be heading back to Georgia for a bit on the first day of summer. This weekend might be a good time to soak up some wind and...

By Ed Kilgore

June 13, 2014 5:17 PM The Rich-Fat-Cat Minority Outreach Message

As part of his well-wrought series of articles on the Georgia Senate race, the Guardian's Paul Lewis talks with the minority outreach staffer the RNC has sent to Georgia in...

By Ed Kilgore

June 13, 2014 4:58 PM Consolation Prize

Aside from voting on a wacky state platform, Iowa Republicans tomorrow will be filling out their ticket for positions that either aren't primary-eligible (Lieutenant Governor) or where no GOPers chose...

By Ed Kilgore

June 13, 2014 3:18 PM Sad Thad

I mentioned this at Lunch Buffet, but you really ought to watch yourself as six-term U.S. Senator Thad Cochran--on Fox News, no less--admits he didn't know about Eric Cantor's defeat...

By Ed Kilgore

June 13, 2014 2:19 PM Go To Church and Save Mammon

In our continuing effort to understand the rather complex world-view of VA-07 Republican nominee and economist Dave Brat, here's an excerpt from a Gabriel/Perez-Pena New York Times profile of Brat...

By Ed Kilgore

June 13, 2014 2:03 PM Lunch Buffet

Every Friday the 13th I'm grateful for not being particularly superstitious, knock on wood. Here are some midday spoonfuls of Lucky Charms: * Thad Cochran goes on Fox News and...

By Ed Kilgore

June 13, 2014 1:29 PM The Arbitration Shield For Corporate Misbehavior

Today's economic landscape is full of examples of the folly of conservative ideological claims that corporate misbehavior towards consumers, workers, shareholders and even communities are all the result of arms-length...

By Ed Kilgore

June 13, 2014 12:34 PM Alternative Memories of the Bush Administration

Before we leave Defeat of Eric Cantor week, there's an important aspect of conservative grievances with the Republican Establishment that makes all the talk of immigration reform or the Ryan-Murray...

By Ed Kilgore

June 13, 2014 11:09 AM No, Spouses of Senate Candidates Don't Get To Do Piggy Facebook Posts

Aside from the extremist positions she staked out to win the IA GOP SEN primary on June 3, there's always been a feeling that Joni Ernst might not have the...

By Ed Kilgore

June 13, 2014 10:35 AM Getting Reacquainted With Iraq

Other writers can do as they choose, but I'm not about to pretend that I've been paying close attention to developments in Iraq since U.S. combat operations there ceased. So...

By Ed Kilgore

June 13, 2014 9:48 AM Replacing Cantor Inside Out

As Philip Klein of the Washington Examiner argues today, it's a act of provocation for House GOP leaders to clear the field for Kevin McCarthy to ascend to Eric Cantor's...

By Ed Kilgore

June 13, 2014 8:30 AM Daylight Video

It's Friday the 13th. Watch out for ladders, black cats and mirrors. Here's Melvin & the Blue Notes (featuring, of course, Teddy Pendergrass) performing "Bad Luck" in 1975....

By Ed Kilgore

June 12, 2014 5:26 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Nap or World Cup? I'll let my subconscious decide. Here are some remains of the day: * New EPI study shows average CEO compensation in 2013 up 21% from 2010....

By Ed Kilgore

June 12, 2014 5:01 PM Louisiana Joins the Southern Gulf Coast Antichoice Alliance

In the least surprising news of the day, Lousiana Governor Bobby Jindal visited his state between jaunts to the various watering holes of constitutional conservatism long enough to sign a...

By Ed Kilgore

June 12, 2014 4:06 PM Pas D'Ennemis A Droite

There's a very simple explanation for how people like Chris McDaniel and Dan Brat (and before them Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock and Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell and Ken...

By Ed Kilgore

June 12, 2014 3:23 PM Who Should Head the VA?

The White House no doubt thought it was making a shrewd move when it reached out to Delos M. Cosgrove in its search for a new head of the VA....

By Phillip Longman

June 12, 2014 3:18 PM The Blue-Eyed Soul of Iowa Republicans

State party platforms are typically ignored as reflecting the views of the small bands of ideologues who tend to get themselves elected to state conventions and platform committees. But in...

By Ed Kilgore

June 12, 2014 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Really wish Dave Brat would have favored us with a short, punchy manifesto succinctly explaining his religious, economic and political views before running for Congress. Dude has a vast number...

By Ed Kilgore

June 12, 2014 1:25 PM The Post-Cantor Reform Conservatives

One of the sub-themes occasionally emerging from the ocean of words about Eric Cantor's defeat, and one I've stressed myself, is its implications for the "reform conservative" community of policy...

By Ed Kilgore

June 12, 2014 12:07 PM The Catholic Calvinist Libertarian

It seems that I was a bit too flip in summarizing David Brat's world view yesterday as something of a Christian Objectivist operating from a Protestant perspective. As Julie Ingersoll...

By Ed Kilgore

June 12, 2014 11:42 AM The Minimum Wage Fights of 1996 and 2014

It's reasonably well-established by now that both congressional (and in some cases, state-level) Democrats and the White House are fully committed to making a minimum wage increase a signature issue...

By Ed Kilgore

June 12, 2014 10:30 AM Hope You Enjoyed the Recovery, Folks!

While most of us tend to think of the U.S. economy as still slowly recovering from the Great Recession, a growing number of economists fear the recovery we've already had...

By Ed Kilgore

June 12, 2014 9:32 AM Still Even Worse Than It Looks

There's one influential political observer who is absolutely sure how to read the implications of Eric Cantor's loss on Tuesday, and who--like me--considers it the continuation of a trend rather...

By Ed Kilgore

June 12, 2014 8:44 AM Daylight Video

Jazz great Chick Corea was born on this day in 1941. Here he is with Return to Forever performing "Medieval Overture" in 1976....

By Ed Kilgore

June 11, 2014 6:43 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Hope you've enjoyed Eric Cantor Day here at PA. It was pretty hard to write about it less. Here are some remains of the day: * The Nation's Ari Berman...

By Ed Kilgore

June 11, 2014 6:11 PM The Iraqi Collapse

For most Americans, there's a sort of numbing familarity to any bad news from Iraq, combined--now that U.S. forces are no longer at the center of that country's violence--a strong...

By Ed Kilgore

June 11, 2014 5:21 PM Don't Pin the Tail on the Donkey

I mentioned at Lunch Buffet that WaPo's Scott Clement did a quick-and-dirty analysis of the turnout patterns in VA-07 and threw large buckets of cold water on the self-serving rationalization...

By Ed Kilgore

June 11, 2014 4:45 PM New Frontiers in Christian Objectivism

Naturally today the whole hep political world is interested in learning about David Brat, the Randolph-Macon College economics department chairman who knocked off Eric Cantor yesterday. The most illuminating thing...

By Ed Kilgore

June 11, 2014 3:09 PM Further Down-Ballot

Lost in the glare of the VA-07 GOP primary last night were other contests, aside from Lindsey Graham's easy renomination in SC, which got attention as a counterpoint to Eric...

By Ed Kilgore

June 11, 2014 1:55 PM Lunch Buffet

If you don't have anything hearty on hand for lunch, check out the new issue of Washington Monthly. The whole enchilada, including many pieces we haven't yet featured here at...

By Ed Kilgore

June 11, 2014 1:24 PM Congressional Republicans: Nobody Here But Us Christians

Among the many shocking things about Eric Cantor's defeat yesterday, the one that shocked me most is the realization that he is currently the only publicly-identified non-Christian Republican in Congress....

By Ed Kilgore

June 11, 2014 12:35 PM Michael Smerconish: Blast From Past or Wave of Future?

As regular readers know, I pretty much eschew political gabfests in either their television or radio formats. Entire generations of media "personalities" come and go without my noticing them. So...

By Ed Kilgore

June 11, 2014 11:32 AM Meanwhile, Back in the House

If you are interested in how Eric Cantor's defenestration last night affects the House GOP leadership structure, WaPo's Robert Costa has a report from the middle of last night, where...

By Ed Kilgore

June 11, 2014 10:55 AM Meanwhile, Down in South Cackalacky

Even as the shocking news of Eric Cantor's defeat reverberated around the political world last night, returns from South Carolina quickly showed Sen. Lindsey Graham, a far more likely target...

By Ed Kilgore

June 11, 2014 9:58 AM Shocker!

Going into every election night, there are always one or two contests you think might possibly turn out entirely against expectations, even if you don't have the evidence (or the...

By Ed Kilgore

June 11, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

On this day 505 years ago, Henry VIII married for the first time. Here's Rick Wakeman performing his composition about Henry's first wife, Catherine of Aragon....

By Ed Kilgore

June 10, 2014 6:11 PM Day's End and Night Watch

I'll keep an eye on the primary results tonight, but while I'm at it I'll read for a third time Paul Glatris' and Haley Sweetland Edwards' cover story from the...

By Ed Kilgore

June 10, 2014 5:44 PM 20,000 to 1

So the controversy over Virginia State Senator Phillip Puckett's resignation earlier this week, which flipped control of the chamber right in the middle of a complex struggle over Terry McAuliffe's...

By Ed Kilgore

June 10, 2014 5:17 PM Two Cheers For Bipartisanship on VA Waiting Lists

Amazingly, the House unanimously passed legislation today to deal with the waiting list problem for veterans trying to access the VA health system. The bill was apparently modeled on the...

By Ed Kilgore

June 10, 2014 4:44 PM Bannock Street Meets Peachtree Street

There's been a lot written this year about the Georgia Senate race, and about the DSCC's "Bannock Street Project" aimed at mitigating the "midterm falloff" problem among the young and...

By Ed Kilgore

June 10, 2014 3:11 PM Protect Yourselves

If you're on Twitter, you probably saw an outburst of righteous indignation over a WaPo column by two academics (one associated with AEI) that bore this provocative headline: "One way...

By Ed Kilgore

June 10, 2014 2:15 PM Lunch Buffet

Lotta heavy blogging freight this morning. Hope I can just find some poll this afternoon. In the meantime, if you haven't read the cover story from the new issue of...

By Ed Kilgore

June 10, 2014 1:33 PM Nikki Haley Keeps Her Head Down

Until I read McKay Coppins' highly sympathetic story about the political condition of SC Gov. Nikki Haley, it hadn't occurred to me to reflect on the fact that she's running...

By Ed Kilgore

June 10, 2014 12:10 PM Violence and the Right to Revolution

At TNR, Brian Beutler addresses the emotionally fraught subject of whether there's something about contemporary American conservatism that encourages the kind of right-wing violence we saw in Las Vegas last...

By Ed Kilgore

June 10, 2014 10:55 AM 1994 and the Congressional Brain Drain

In the sweeping account of congressional self-lobotomization penned by Paul Glastris and Haley Sweetland Edwards in the new issue of the Washington Monthly, the 1994 elections and their aftermath play...

By Ed Kilgore

June 10, 2014 10:08 AM In the Shadow of June 3

As I have to keep reminding myself, five states are holding primaries today (Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina and Virginia). But barring some upsets (the most cataclysmic would be...

By Ed Kilgore

June 10, 2014 8:43 AM How Republicans Made Congress Stupid--Cover Story of the Latest Washington Monthly

Why did Congress not see the health exchange disaster coming? Why was it caught unawares by the extent of the NSA's surveillance programs? Why are senior House committee chairmen in...

By Paul Glastris

June 10, 2014 8:13 AM Daylight Video

Chester Burnett was born on this day 104 years ago. He was better known as Howlin' Wolf. Here he is performing "How Many More Years."...

By Ed Kilgore

June 09, 2014 6:07 PM Day's End and Night Watch

So Iowa governor Terry Branstad says he'll be neutral in the district convention--stuffed with his friends--that will choose the GOP nominee for a swing House district. Do you believe that?...

By Ed Kilgore

June 09, 2014 5:35 PM Move Left to the Center

At the Prospect, Paul Starr has a fine brief summary of the Democratic Party biggest problems (which he calls "curses") which should be familiar to readers of this blog: Democrats...

By Ed Kilgore

June 09, 2014 5:11 PM All Those Nameless Democrats Have "Quit" on Obama

Before you rush to the comment thread to ask me why I'm "taking seriously" anything written by Ron Fournier, let me hasten to say I'm citing his latest column as...

By Ed Kilgore

June 09, 2014 3:46 PM Return of the "Death Panels"

Sometimes a reasonable and even compelling idea that is slain by slander and demagoguery cannot be perpetually suppressed. That's the case with the idea of encouraging health care providers to...

By Ed Kilgore

June 09, 2014 2:44 PM The One Constant in the latest TIME Saga: Layoffs

So Time-Warner has finally spun off TIME, Inc., proprietor of 90 magazines and 45 websites, which will go its own way with $1.3 billion in debt. The new/old print-heavy journalistic...

By Ed Kilgore

June 09, 2014 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

As Virginia primary approaches tomorrow, I'm reminded I used to live right smack in the middle of what is now Eric Cantor's district. I've been represented, so to speak, by...

By Ed Kilgore

June 09, 2014 1:10 PM The Graham Formula

As someone who has written very often of the rightward trend in the GOP, and mocked efforts to claim that the semi-mythical Republican Establishment is crushing extremism in the party...

By Ed Kilgore

June 09, 2014 12:14 PM "Outright Bribery" in the Old Dominion

The top political story in Virginia today is not the possibility of a cycle-defining upset of Eric Cantor in the 7th congressional district primary, but instead the continuing war over...

By Ed Kilgore

June 09, 2014 10:59 AM Stuttering On Election Night

At the end of a Jim Galloway post for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on the voter registration drive under way in Georgia (jointly sponsored by the Michelle Nunn and Jason Carter...

By Ed Kilgore

June 09, 2014 10:39 AM Cantor Running Scared

In the latest round of Republican excuses for inaction on immigration reform, there's a new culprit: Eric Cantor's actually struggling in his re-election primary. Here's how Juan Williams puts it...

By Ed Kilgore

June 09, 2014 9:49 AM The Anti-Climate Change Coalition

If you're prone to economic determinism in understanding political phenomena, you might be given pause by Paul Krugman today, who has concluded there's something else going on other than greed...

By Ed Kilgore

June 09, 2014 8:30 AM Daylight Video

Okay, up and at 'em: On this day in 1990, the album Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em began 21 weeks as number one on the U.S. pop charts, mainly thanks...

By Ed Kilgore

June 08, 2014 10:48 PM The Right's Turn Away from Representative Government

Of all the unhealthy developments in this country, I think the following is the most depressing: As partisan divisions solidify, the [Democratic] party’s electoral chances increasingly depend on turning out...

By Martin Longman

June 08, 2014 3:15 PM Four Pinocchios for Glenn Kessler

In his Fact-Checker column that appears in today's print edition of the Washington Post, which he actually wrote on June 2, Glenn Kessler gives three Pinocchios to Barack Obama for...

By Paul Glastris

June 08, 2014 12:00 PM How VA Outsourcing Hurts Veterans

On Thursday, Sen. Bernie Sanders, chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, announced that he had reached a compromise with John McCain and other Senate Republicans on how to fix...

By Phillip Longman

June 08, 2014 11:56 AM The President is an Elitist Theme

It has always struck me as inherently unconvincing to argue that President Obama is an elitist, considering that he grew up as a mixed-race kid raised largely by his grandparents...

By Martin Longman

June 08, 2014 8:41 AM "Hamas" is not a Magic Word

It really doesn't matter whether it is Bibi Netanyahu or opposition leader Isaac Herzog who is referring to Hamas as a "terrorist organization." No one listens to them anymore. The...

By Martin Longman

June 08, 2014 8:23 AM Daylight Video

The Tom Tom Club predates the explosion of House music and raves, but the Talking Heads side project was ahead of their time....

By Martin Longman

June 07, 2014 1:59 PM Michelle Obama for Senate?

Keith Koffler speculates about a Senate run for First Lady Michelle Obama: Speculation about a possible political future for Michelle Obama has naturally centered on the White House. But that’s...

By Martin Longman

June 07, 2014 12:59 PM Letting the CIA Declassify a Report on the CIA

It's really kind of incredible that the CIA is in charge of declassifying a Senate Intelligence Committee report that condemns the CIA for torturing people and then lying about it....

By Martin Longman

June 07, 2014 9:49 AM Not Standing With Scott Walker

It's often noted that the Democrats do better than the Republicans with younger voters who are more liberal-minded about things like gay marriage and race, and more environmentally conscious than...

By Martin Longman

June 07, 2014 8:07 AM Daylight Video

What are you listening to?...

By Martin Longman

June 06, 2014 5:59 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

Ah, how blue the Monterey Bay is today! I regret my mother didn't make one more trip out here; she did love California, and so does her eldest son. Here...

By Ed Kilgore

June 06, 2014 5:11 PM Polls Are Worth Watching, But Carefully

At The Upshot today, Nate Cohn and Josh Katz fire another round in the what-feels-ancient battle between political observers who pay significant attention to polls and other ongoing calculations of...

By Ed Kilgore

June 06, 2014 4:31 PM What We Just Don't Know About Bergdahl

At the Plum Line today, Greg Sargent conducts a careful accounting of the emerging and very conflicting evidence about Bowe Bergdahl's conduct before and after his capture in Afghanistan; the...

By Ed Kilgore

June 06, 2014 3:55 PM Was There A Struggle For the Soul of the Democratic Party on June 3?

With all the attention Republicans have been receiving--including here at PA--for their primaries this cycle, Democrats probably deserve a little equal time. At the Prospect today, Progressive Change Campaign Committee...

By Ed Kilgore

June 06, 2014 2:09 PM Lunch Buffet

Trying to decide whether to binge-watch the just-released second season of Orange Is the New Black at the risk of confirming Matt Continetti's cultural stereotypes of us decadent liberals. Here...

By Ed Kilgore

June 06, 2014 1:24 PM What Does It Mean to "Fix" Obamacare?

It's well known that many Democratic candidates for federal office this year, especially in red states, have adopted the line that they want to "fix" rather than "repeal" Obamacare. But...

By Ed Kilgore

June 06, 2014 12:47 PM "Help, Do Something" Cried the Campaign to the "Independent" PAC

The most hilarious incident so far in the very young runoff election in Mississippi was reported yesterday by National Journal's Shane Goldmacher: The message from Sal Russo, the chief strategist...

By Ed Kilgore

June 06, 2014 12:20 PM The Unexpected Electability Argument in Mississippi

So as its initial volley in the three-week runoff campaign for the Mississippi Republican Senate nomination, the Club for Growth released a statement focusing not on Thad Cochran but on...

By Ed Kilgore

June 06, 2014 11:30 AM Mad Man

I don't talk much at this site about the Obama Derangement Syndrome, for the simple reason that it has long become so familiar a phenomenon on the Right that it's...

By Ed Kilgore

June 06, 2014 10:40 AM No Job Growth in Public Sector

As the May Jobs Report has its brief moment in the sun today, it's worth remembering that all this steady job growth of the last four months has occurred entirely...

By Ed Kilgore

June 06, 2014 9:29 AM May Jobs Report: Plodding Along Steadily

The May Jobs Report is out today, and it was about as close to consensus expectations as you can get (217,000 net new jobs, as compared to estimates of 215,000),...

By Ed Kilgore

June 06, 2014 8:45 AM Daylight Video

It's the seventieth anniversary of D-Day. Here's Paul Anka with "Many Men."...

By Ed Kilgore

June 05, 2014 6:07 PM Day's End and Night Watch

En route back to Cali on Monday, I picked up an airport copy of Mark Leibovich's This Town, which I forgot to read earlier. It's a fine send-up of many...

By Ed Kilgore

June 05, 2014 5:44 PM Still Counting in California

As our friends at Daily Kos Elections remind us this afternoon, they're still counting votes (absentee and provisional ballots) here in California, and there are four statewide or congressional contests...

By Ed Kilgore

June 05, 2014 5:11 PM The Money To Play the Long Game

Sometimes asking a question is nearly as important as answering it. That was my reaction to a Sarah Posner column at Religious Dispatches with the title: "Sheldon Adelson's Long Game."...

By Ed Kilgore

June 05, 2014 4:18 PM State Obstruction Underway on EPA Regs

Read this and tell me if this isn't a very familiar tune (via Politico's Andrew Restuccia): In at least eight states, lawmakers have approved symbolic anti-EPA resolutions based on a...

By Ed Kilgore

June 05, 2014 3:55 PM Do Conservatives Have an Advantage in GOP Runoffs in the South?

The CW holds that Chris McDaniel enters the June 24 runoff contest against Sen. Thad Cochran with a decided advantage. True to the spirit of FiveThirtyEight, Harry Enten chose to...

By Ed Kilgore

June 05, 2014 3:15 PM The Architect of the VA's Quality Transformation Under Clinton Speaks Out

The New England Journal of Medicine is out this morning with a notable article on VA health care co-authored by Dr. Kenneth W. Kizer. As undersecretary for health during the...

By Phillip Longman

June 05, 2014 2:06 PM Lunch Buffet

Slight delay in blogging as I engaged in a pretty widespread Twitter debate over my post on Schweitzer and the disconnect between lefty opinion-leader and Democratic "base" attitudes. Head over...

By Ed Kilgore

June 05, 2014 1:34 PM Government Versus Private Insurance

At the Plum Line today, Paul Waldman makes the obvious but oft-forgotten point that while conservatives shriek about the Affordable Care Act as some sort of monstrous expansion of government...

By Ed Kilgore

June 05, 2014 12:35 PM Democratic Challenges to HRC: Show Me Some Vulnerability

For some reason, TIME magazine is currently featuring a story on the presidential aspirations of former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer. We went through a similar buzz at the end of...

By Ed Kilgore

June 05, 2014 11:24 AM Sprawling Metropolis

Shortly after spending a week in the Atlanta Metropolitan Area, I read with a complete lack of surprise a report at The Atlantic's CityLab subsite confirming that Atlanta is and...

By Ed Kilgore

June 05, 2014 10:09 AM Childers Lite

It's not clear to me at this point if the people advising Thad Cochran are telling reporters what they actually plan to do to save the six-term Senate incumbent's career,...

By Ed Kilgore

June 05, 2014 9:00 AM VA Care: Still the Best Care Anywhere? Part II

On Tuesday, I offered some background information that called into question the now almost universal assumption that there is a “systemic” problem at VA hospitals with excessive wait times. Yes,...

By Phillip Longman

June 05, 2014 8:53 AM Daylight Video

On this day in 1956, Elvis Presley took a big leap towards superstardom with a performance of "Hound Dog" on the Milton Berle Show....

By Ed Kilgore

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

Proud of the headline I came up with for my post-primary update at the Progressive Policy Institute site: "Thad Lands With a Thud." Here are some remains of the day:...

By Ed Kilgore

June 04, 2014 5:42 PM Sore Losers

It's easy to forget after an election sweeps by that for every excited winner with a boozy crowd of celebrants greeting the returns with joy, there are multiple losers, some...

By Ed Kilgore

June 04, 2014 5:12 PM Impeachment To Save Gitmo

So today Sen. Lindsey Graham warned the White House that any additional releases of Gitmo prisoners without express congressional authorization could lead to the introduction of Articles of Impeachment. Now...

By Ed Kilgore

June 04, 2014 4:22 PM Branstad's Choice

While Joni Ernst easily surpassed the 35% threshold necessary under Iowa's strange primary system to avoid a state GOP convention selection of the nominee, the candidates for the quite competitive...

By Ed Kilgore

June 04, 2014 3:31 PM Could Chris McDaniel Lose in November?

A wild card in the whole Mississippi Senate contest is the question of whether Chris McDaniel could actually lose a general election to conservative Democratic former House member Travis Childers...

By Ed Kilgore

June 04, 2014 1:47 PM Lunch Buffet

Super Tuesday wasn't so super for those of us dealing with a column deadline last night and having to figure out how many precincts were still out in Hinds County....

By Ed Kilgore

June 04, 2014 12:50 PM Good Money After Bad

As I noted earlier, the grand symbolic moment of the Mississippi GOP Senate primary occurred late last night, when Sen. Thad Cochran declined to address his "victory rally" even though...

By Ed Kilgore

June 04, 2014 12:08 PM "Stop, Thief!" Cried the Master Burglar

The capacity of those in the chattering classes to live in a house with no mirrors reached a new high, or low, with this development in the verbal war over...

By Ed Kilgore

June 04, 2014 10:52 AM Public Water Initiative Drowned

Since I wrote about it Monday as an example of local ballot initiatives that entirely obscure "bigger" contests, I should mention that Measure O, the Monterey Peninsula initiative aimed at...

By Ed Kilgore

June 04, 2014 10:16 AM Top Two Follies

It'll be days before we get final returns from yesterday's primaries in California. But what we do know is that turnout was terrible; the electorate was likely a lot more...

By Ed Kilgore

June 04, 2014 9:43 AM Cochran Stumbles, Ernst Cruises (For a Bruising?)

Yesterday's eight primaries didn't produce a lot of drama, but where it occurred it was pretty intense. As you may have heard by now, in Mississippi Chris McDaniel and Thad...

By Ed Kilgore

June 04, 2014 8:44 AM Daylight Video

On this day in 1976 occurred the Sex Pistols' poorly attended but highly influential performance at the Lesser Free Trade Hall in Manchester. Here they are performing "Anarchy in the...

By Ed Kilgore

June 03, 2014 6:07 PM Day's End and Night Watch

I'm going to bail a tad early today in anticipation of staying up half the night to watch primary returns, not least those from here in California. We'll have a...

By Ed Kilgore

June 03, 2014 5:17 PM Negotiating With Terrorists

As discussion of the Bergdahl exchange gets more and more out of control, it's nice to find someone knocking down one of the major misperceptions, as does Slate's Fred Kaplan...

By Ed Kilgore

June 03, 2014 4:20 PM Another Data Point Against False Equivalence

Via MoJo's Molly Redden and Dana Liebelson, here's a little taste of the conversation on a conference call held by Bishop E.W. Jackson on which the junior senator from Kentucky...

By Ed Kilgore

June 03, 2014 3:55 PM Keys to MS GOP SEN

For as much talk as we've all heard about the Mississippi Republican Senate primary today, there's been relatively little analysis of how, mechanically, one candidate or the other is going...

By Ed Kilgore

June 03, 2014 2:03 PM Lunch Buffet

In case you missed it earlier today, Phillip Longman is doing a series of posts pushing back against the "VA Health Care Has Been Discredited" meme. He's the best writer...

By Ed Kilgore

June 03, 2014 1:23 PM The Politics of Coal--and Other Mythic Government-Sensitive Industries

At TNR, Alec MacGillis has a useful analysis of the declining power of the coal industry in what we are used to calling Coal Country, in states ranging from Virginia...

By Ed Kilgore

June 03, 2014 11:42 AM VA Care: Still the Best Care Anywhere?

Last week, when I accepted an invitation to go on Hugh Hewitt’s nationally syndicated talk show, his first question to me was, “So how does it feel to be the...

By Phillip Longman

June 03, 2014 11:12 AM Mandate By Poll

In reporting on a finding in the latest ABC-WaPo survey, The Fix's Aaron Blake uses a very annoying term: mandate: Democrats in recent weeks weighed whether to abstain from involvement...

By Ed Kilgore

June 03, 2014 10:37 AM Top Two

When California's returns--which often come in very slowly--begin to be reported tomorrow, it will be important to understand the state's Top Two primary system, in which all candidates regardless of...

By Ed Kilgore

June 03, 2014 9:52 AM Seniority Versus Ideology and Rain

The marquee contest that the chattering classes will be jabbering about tonight--in part because the polls close in Mississippi at a relatively early 8:00 PM EDT--is the Mississippi GOP Senate...

By Ed Kilgore

June 03, 2014 8:44 AM Daylight Video

For those of you in the eight states holding primaries today, here's Sunnyland Slim with "Be Careful How You Vote."...

By Ed Kilgore

June 02, 2014 4:27 PM Day's End and Night Watch

So I'm at ATL after a delayed flight, a rebooking, and a near-catastrophic but temporary misplacing of my computer bag. God willing, I'll get home tonight, or more likely early...

By Ed Kilgore

June 02, 2014 4:03 PM From Benghazi! to Bergdahl!

Well, you can already hear conservative licks smacking over the way the retrieval of Sgt. Bowe Berghdahl is creating a fine media narrative: men needlessly lost their lives trying to...

By Ed Kilgore

June 02, 2014 3:50 PM Yes, Obama is Now an Environmental President

As indicated earlier, it's probably premature to attempt any deep assessment of the EPA climate change regulations that were released today. But Jonathan Chait's estimate of the Obama administration's intentions...

By Ed Kilgore

June 02, 2014 3:13 PM We Need a Reporters' Shield Law

The James Risen case in concerning and confusing. That the Supreme Court has refused to hear his case is frustrating. I don't understand Attorney General Eric Holder's position on the...

By Martin Longman

June 02, 2014 3:09 PM Your Message Here

According to The Hill's Mark Lillis, House Democrats are working on a snazzy slogan to package their collective messaging for Campaign '14, hearkening back to a similar and very successful...

By Ed Kilgore

June 02, 2014 1:19 PM The Climate Changes Regs: Is the Less Threatening Approach Less Threatening Enough?

So the EPA's new regulations of carbon emissions--focused on existing coal-powered utility plants--are now out. It will take at least a day for even the most knowledgeable observers to figure...

By Ed Kilgore

June 02, 2014 10:59 AM Lunch Buffet

Ed's traveling home today, so I'm going to help out a bit. For starters, here's a Lunch Buffet: Markos Kounalakis says "What we are witnessing" with President Obama's foreign policy...

By Martin Longman

June 02, 2014 10:52 AM Way Down Ballot

Some observers are calling tomorrow "Super Tuesday" (check out Daily Kos Elections' fine preview for all the details) since it's the day of the cycle with the most state primaries...

By Ed Kilgore

June 02, 2014 9:24 AM Waiting for The Bomb

I wrote about the political explosion about to happen back on May 26. D.R. Tucker called it a "war" in a post over the weekend. But today's the day when...

By Ed Kilgore

June 02, 2014 8:39 AM Et Tu, Herschel?

I've been ignoring politics since finding out about my mother's death last Tuesday, but here in Georgia you cannot completely evade the U.S. Senate race, and particularly the potentially vicious...

By Ed Kilgore

June 02, 2014 8:06 AM Daylight Video

Here's the congregational hymn we sang yesterday at my mother's memorial service at the First Presbyterian Church of Douglasville, GA: "It Is Well With My Soul."...

By Ed Kilgore

June 01, 2014 7:23 PM It's On

You can already hear the denialists screaming. And scheming. The Environmental Protection Agency will unveil a draft proposal on Monday to cut carbon pollution from the nation’s power plants 30...

By D.R. Tucker

June 01, 2014 3:00 PM The $6 trillion dollar mistake

A new study says the Iraq War has cost the United States $2 trillion. By the time all the veterans' bills are paid, it will likely cost us up to...

By David Atkins

June 01, 2014 2:02 PM The Short-Timers

"I'm afraid that's all we have time for," declared ABC This Week host George Stephanopoulos at the end of today's pitifully short segment on President Obama's efforts to cut carbon...

By D.R. Tucker

June 01, 2014 12:00 PM Extreme obstruction & secrecy make for dysfunctional government

Americans are rightly celebrating over the release of Bowe Bergdahl, the lone prisoner of war from the conflict in Afghanistan. Legally, though, it's a mess. Republicans are complaining that the...

By David Atkins

June 01, 2014 9:00 AM Slow wage growth continues to cripple the economy

A new report in the Wall Street Journal reconfirms what many of already know instinctively: the biggest problem with the economy is that wages just aren't growing fast enough to...

By David Atkins

June 01, 2014 6:32 AM (Dirty) Power Concedes Nothing Without a Demand

We'll never know why the New York Times didn't bother to credit Bill McKibben and 350.org for pioneering the strategy that led to a new era of climate progress in...

By D.R. Tucker

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