Political Animal

August 2014 Archives

August 31, 2014 8:13 PM Keep an Eye on Kansas

Not to pat myself on the back, but I did bring this up first. It seems that there may be a better chance of Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas losing...

By Martin Longman

August 31, 2014 2:16 PM Et Tu NYTimes? More False Equivalence and Green Lanternism Directed at Obama

I don't know how many of you share my fury at this sort of thing, but the lead editorial in today's New York Times epitomizes the tendency of the press...

By Paul Glastris

August 31, 2014 1:34 PM How the Megadonors of the Right Think

Let's be clear about who the political enemy is in this country: Three years ago, Home Depot co-founder Kenneth Langone helped lead an unsuccessful effort by a group of GOP...

By Martin Longman

August 31, 2014 11:14 AM Is This How Patriotism Works?

I voted against George W. Bush in both 2000 and 2004, and I spent most of his presidency actively working against his administration with every tool at my disposal, but...

By Martin Longman

August 31, 2014 9:44 AM Eating our Vegetables

The New York Times' Editorial Board has rather suddenly found the boldness to call torture "torture" and is now calling on the government to release the "bad" photos from the...

By Martin Longman

August 31, 2014 8:56 AM Daylight Video

Sticking with the coal mines....

By Martin Longman

August 30, 2014 6:06 PM Molly Powell, You Blew Me Away

There is really no way for me to do justice to this Molly Powell piece in favor of catcalls at the National Review Online, at least, not in the allotted...

By Martin Longman

August 30, 2014 3:52 PM With Allies Like These, Who Needs Enemies?

I think lightning should strike him or something. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has warned that the West will be the next target of the jihadists sweeping through Syria and...

By Martin Longman

August 30, 2014 1:16 PM Some People Never Learn

It's surprisingly easy to compose a list of the 25 stupidest things Bush administration officials said about the invasion of Iraq, and no such list can be remotely comprehensive. For...

By Martin Longman

August 30, 2014 10:16 AM McConnell/Paul Marriage is On the Rocks

The news that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's campaign manager, Jesse Benton, has resigned gives us an opportunity to revisit the relationship between the two Kentucky senators. To say that...

By Martin Longman

August 30, 2014 8:40 AM Not in Praise of John Boehner

I'm willing to stipulate that Speaker John Boehner has to try to preside over an insane asylum better known as the House Republican Caucus, but I still had to wonder...

By Martin Longman

August 30, 2014 7:58 AM Daylight Video

As long as we're going to honor organized labor this weekend, let's have some music about workers. Hopefully, none of you are too exhausted from your workweek to enjoy the...

By Martin Longman

August 29, 2014 6:11 PM Day's End and Holiday Watch

I'm being amused by signs that a tweet I did comparing Sarah Palin unfavorably to Ben Carson is stimulating some Palinite shots at Carson. Who'd a thunk it? Here are...

By Ed Kilgore

August 29, 2014 5:35 PM When the Happy Talk Stops

I read the The Iowa Republican website pretty often since you just can't get too much Iowa political news, and I'm familiar enough with the site and its writers to...

By Ed Kilgore

August 29, 2014 4:51 PM The Less Than Gripping Case For Mitt '16

Well, it's a Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend. Perhaps that's why Reihan Salam wrote, and Slate published, a "Why Not Romney '16?" piece. Though the subtitle proclaims "I'm not...

By Ed Kilgore

August 29, 2014 4:13 PM Stop Dividing Us, Nazis!

When I read in a couple of places that Dr. Ben Carson is adamant about comparing the contemporary United States to Nazi Germany, I figured he was following the familiar...

By Ed Kilgore

August 29, 2014 2:09 PM Lunch Buffet

After staying up late watching college football last night (Ole Miss/Boise State and Rutgers/Wazzu, not the astounding dumpster fire in Columbia that was on the SEC Network), I kinda hoped...

By Ed Kilgore

August 29, 2014 1:33 PM Vote For An Influence!

In a sort of catch-up piece on possible lefty challengers to Hillary Clinton in 2016, Jonathan Chait captures the peculiar nature of the implicit message any such challenger would have...

By Ed Kilgore

August 29, 2014 11:49 AM Wall Street Has Mastered the Elite Student Recruitment Process

In the September/October 2014 issue of the Washington Monthly Amy Binder explores the reasons that so many graduates from our most elite colleges and universities are pursuing careers on Wall...

By Martin Longman

August 29, 2014 11:27 AM Public Higher Education: Another Casualty of the Great Recession

Over last weekend we published a Ten Miles Square piece by Janet Napolitano, the former Arizona governor and Secretary of Homeland Security who is now president of the University of...

By Ed Kilgore

August 29, 2014 11:08 AM Fears About Gear

No matter what happens with respect to the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, the Officer Friendly image of police officers there and everywhere has taken a bit of a...

By Ed Kilgore

August 29, 2014 10:07 AM Delaying the New DACA

The big buzzy political story this morning, from the L.A. Times and from Greg Sargent, is that there's a big rethink going on in the White House about the timing...

By Ed Kilgore

August 29, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

Woke up smelling the sea today, and thinking about sea shanties. Here's Paddy & The Rats performing "Drunken Sailor" before what looks like a very happily drunken crowd....

By Ed Kilgore

August 28, 2014 6:34 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Well, did it again with the late afternoon plunges beyond politics. Hope you appreciate it as much as news-cycle reporting. Here are some remains of the day: * Jon Ralston...

By Ed Kilgore

August 28, 2014 5:30 PM Denying White Privilege

Charles Blow of the New York Times does us all a service by pointing out the peculiar ability of some people (well, Bill O'Reilly, but he's hardly atypical) to acknowledge...

By Ed Kilgore

August 28, 2014 4:20 PM Keystone to Medicaid Expansion Momentum? Probably Not.

So one of the larger holdout states for Medicaid expansion, Pennsylvania, has reached agreement with HHS to expand eligibility for 300,000 low-income citizens (potentially double that number eventually), in exchange...

By Ed Kilgore

August 28, 2014 3:50 PM When a Little Outrage Becomes a Big Deal

Probably most people who have been driving for a while have a DMV or parking enforcement horror story they can tell. I have several from DC, one of them revolving...

By Ed Kilgore

August 28, 2014 2:12 PM Lunch Buffet

As the comment thread at Daylight Video reflected, rock music aficianados have always had mixed feelings about Iggy Pop and his amazingly extended career. But for me, he'll always be...

By Ed Kilgore

August 28, 2014 1:40 PM College Ratings and the Tyrant Obama

In the new issue of the Washington Monthly, Laura Colarusso and Jon Marcus make a very important point about the politics of the Obama administration's proposed college ratings system: the...

By Ed Kilgore

August 28, 2014 12:26 PM Barack the Barbarian Returns From the Links

As anticipatory hysteria among Republicans grows concerning likely executive action by the president on immigration policy, it's interesting to see how rapidly the image of Obama as a checked-out golfer...

By Ed Kilgore

August 28, 2014 11:42 AM MittMania Finally Breaks Out in Iowa

Today's strangest news involves a new USAT/Suffolk poll of likely 2016 Iowa Caucus-goers that listed Mitt Romney as a candidate right along with everybody else. Mitt got 35%, and nobody...

By Ed Kilgore

August 28, 2014 10:08 AM Those "Libertarian Kids" Already At the GOP Punchbowl

Leave it to the intrepid Alan Abramowitz to identify the one underlying claim of the "libertarian moment" hypothesis that hasn't already been demolished--and then take a baseball bat to it....

By Ed Kilgore

August 28, 2014 9:39 AM 30 Days Til the Apocalypse?

Buried in a Tumulty/Costa overview of the politics of executive action on immigration policy is this intriguing nugget: The White House also is feeling pressure from Hispanic groups and other...

By Ed Kilgore

August 28, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

For absolutely no reason other than awakening in a surly mood, let's have some Iggy Pop music, beginning with "Raw Power."...

By Ed Kilgore

August 27, 2014 6:23 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Not happy to realize accessing SEC Network via Comcast in California involves big upgrade package. Ain't happening in our household. Shouldn't be expensive to watch hours of Paul Finebaum and...

By Ed Kilgore

August 27, 2014 5:39 PM Empowering Captain Ahab To Shut Down the Federal Government

Maybe it's just a coincidence, but yesterday, as part of his 180 degree turn on the topic, Sen. Marco Rubio was said to be "hinting" that Republicans might just, oh,...

By Ed Kilgore

August 27, 2014 5:21 PM Look Out Cleveland!

There's always a sick temptation among political writers to experience a bit of schadenfreude at really big political disasters. Last night I was among those chuckling with a distinct lack...

By Ed Kilgore

August 27, 2014 4:13 PM 2020 Vision

As most progressives agonize over the fruits of the 2010 GOP landslide and its impact on the future via redistricting and a constricted Democratic bench, TNR's Brian Beutler is looking...

By Ed Kilgore

August 27, 2014 2:55 PM Getting Down To the Lick-Log

If you wonder why I spend so much time (as compared, at least, to other bloggers) shooting down the more asinine "wave" and "enthusiasm gap" theories about this and other...

By Ed Kilgore

August 27, 2014 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Seems my humorous little post the other day suggesting and soliciting names of people who should be banned from Meet the Press panels drew the attention of some of our...

By Ed Kilgore

August 27, 2014 1:19 PM Accessing OJT

For my money, the economic problem this country has always been slowest to address or even much talk about is how to get people onto a sustainable career ladder. U.S....

By Ed Kilgore

August 27, 2014 12:15 PM "You Really Have No Idea, Do You?"

One of the things I do to limit my time and preserve my sanity is to strictly ration any exposure to political talk on TV. That includes the Daily Show...

By Ed Kilgore

August 27, 2014 11:11 AM Marco Rubio, Leader of the Pack

It really is amazing the extent to which partisan and ideological predispositions can affect how one interprets the same data. I look at Marco Rubio's behavior on the immigration issue...

By Ed Kilgore

August 27, 2014 10:28 AM Pssst! We're Having 36 Gubernatorial Elections in November!

In trying to figure out something to write a TPMCafe column about in the wee hours of the night, it finally occurred to me that I'd written and/or read dozens,...

By Ed Kilgore

August 27, 2014 9:43 AM Long Night's Journey Into a Yawn

I'm sure a lot of things happened in last night's primaries in Florida, Oklahoma and Arizona that I either missed or don't completely understand. But in general, it was probably...

By Ed Kilgore

August 27, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

Let's have some J.B. Lenoir music today. Here he is performing "The Whale Has Swallowed Me." Another musician who died way too young....

By Ed Kilgore

August 26, 2014 6:22 PM Day's End and Night Watch

I'll be working late tonight watching the primary results from Arizona, Florida and Oklahoma. So maybe it's time for a quick nap now. Here are some remains of the day:...

By Ed Kilgore

August 26, 2014 5:08 PM Never Say Never

Like, well, everybody in pretty much the whole wide world of politics, I counted state representative and AZ-01 congressional candidate Adam Kwasman down and out last month after he became...

By Ed Kilgore

August 26, 2014 3:46 PM Rubio Seizes Other Horn of His Dilemma With Both Hands

I'm not easily shocked by Republican pols cutting wild capers for the benefit of the almighty Conservative Base. And Lord knows I was arguing the GOP had a cold nativist...

By Ed Kilgore

August 26, 2014 2:54 PM Perry Lawyers Up

The story is from Maggie Haberman, but the best Tweet is from her Politico colleague Alexander Burns: Rick Perry legal team: biggest full employment program since Keystone XL? http://t.co/Ep4WLIhVPb http://t.co/EpkBEtJv2H...

By Ed Kilgore

August 26, 2014 2:15 PM Lunch Buffet

Martin Longman are dividing up the College Guide and Rankings stories to write about, but I gotta tell you, it's all pretty fascinating, particularly in view of the impending national...

By Ed Kilgore

August 26, 2014 1:27 PM Ryan's New Reading List Not Comforting

Like Jonathan Chait, I suspect Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged got kicked off Paul Ryan's list of favorite books for less than honest reasons: The volume that Ryan once handed out...

By Ed Kilgore

August 26, 2014 1:09 PM Making Elite Colleges More Affordable

There's never been much specific attention paid in WaMo's College Rankings to elite--and particularly private elite--colleges. After all, they're the darlings of the whole world, and their all-important prestige is...

By Ed Kilgore

August 26, 2014 11:44 AM Ripon's New Republican Representative

Well, TNR's Alec MacGillis has pretty much won the Big Metaphor contest for the year, unless someone really dazzles between now and January 1. In a piece I'm kicking myself...

By Ed Kilgore

August 26, 2014 10:12 AM No Presumption of Innocence For Michael Brown

It's not clear how effective the instinctive effort to put Michael Brown posthumously on trial for being an African-American teenager who was "no angel" will turn out to be. It...

By Ed Kilgore

August 26, 2014 9:11 AM "The Whole World's Watching"

Sorry if I wind up spending too much time in the wayback machine today, but I just realized the most infamous Democratic Convention since 1924 began on this day in...

By Ed Kilgore

August 26, 2014 8:06 AM Daylight Video

On this day in 1950, Bob and Richard Cowsill were born. They were part of the unlikeliest hit of 1969, their "family band's" strangely wholesome rendition of "Hair." Like some...

By Ed Kilgore

August 25, 2014 6:34 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Well, feeling much better so far today. Thanks for the expressions of sympathy for my chronic issues. PA didn't miss too many beats, though. Here are some remains of the...

By Ed Kilgore

August 25, 2014 5:53 PM Libertarians Not Really "Libertarians"

Wow, the "libertarian moment" is shrinking mighty fast. First, half the national commentariat challenged one of the two ideas channeled by Robert Draper: that Republicans are open to "libertarianism" via...

By Ed Kilgore

August 25, 2014 5:03 PM Glastris on the New College Rankings

So if you haven't made it through any of the College Rankings material today, you bad boy or girl, here's a quick snack version, from an interview of Paul Glastris...

By Ed Kilgore

August 25, 2014 4:32 PM By the Tip of His Pitchfork

Man, I had about eliminated from my consciousness the possibility that the Conservative From Hell, Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN), might slither into Congress for another term. But sure enough, per...

By Ed Kilgore

August 25, 2014 2:42 PM Who Should Be Banned as Panelists For the New "Meet?"

So the "vision" NBC president Deborah Turness has (according to an interview with the New York Times' Bill Carter) for the new, Chuck-Todd-moderated Meet the Press could just as easily...

By Ed Kilgore

August 25, 2014 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

Partly to avoid distracting you from the rich new issue of WaMo out today, and partly because it's unclear whether I'm past the galloping never-get-overs, we went light on blogging...

By Ed Kilgore

August 25, 2014 12:44 PM Arms Race on the Streets

To read a lot of the post-Ferguson discussion about the "militarization of the police," you'd think the whole phenomenon was the product of the Pentagon or the Department of Homeland...

By Ed Kilgore

August 25, 2014 9:58 AM College Rankings That Aren't Ridiculous - Washington Monthly's 2014 College Guide, now online

Today the Washington Monthly releases its annual College Guide and Rankings. This is our answer to U.S News & World Report, which relies on crude and easily manipulated measures of...

By Paul Glastris

August 25, 2014 9:49 AM Blockheads

As someone who's been actively hostile to the conservative pet policy rock of block grants for a good couple of decades now, these words from Kevin Drum (following a discussion...

By Ed Kilgore

August 25, 2014 8:30 AM Daylight Video

Since it's College Guide release day and all, here's Steely Dan performing "My Old School."...

By Ed Kilgore

August 24, 2014 2:48 PM Hang 'Em High

Hey, I thought National Review editor Rich Lowry was pro-life. National Review Editor Rich Lowry said at a recent immigration forum in Washington, D.C., that some Republicans who champion the...

By D.R. Tucker

August 24, 2014 12:06 PM Credibility Not Needed

Back in June, when former Bush Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson urged fellow Republicans to support efforts to reduce carbon emissions, I remarked to a friend that it's not enough for...

By D.R. Tucker

August 24, 2014 12:00 PM So extreme they won't even use a Democratic POTUS as cover to cut Social Security

Many progressives have been thanking our lucky stars for years now that conservatives have failed time and again to make a "Grand Bargain" with the President to enact brutal cuts...

By David Atkins

August 24, 2014 11:45 AM "Shoot, Shoot!"

At least they're honest: At one point tonight, Michael Brown protesters chanted "hands up, don't shoot!" Darren Wilson supporters responded: "Shoot! Shoot! Shoot!"— Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) August 24, 2014 There is...

By David Atkins

August 24, 2014 8:45 AM Regulations. They do a planet and a country good.

Those regulations that conservatives are always accusing of hurting America? They're removing 3 million tons of toxins every year: Actions taken by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Air...

By David Atkins

August 24, 2014 4:29 AM The Powell Doctrine

Was Justice Lewis Powell as good as he was evil? In all the retrospectives about the 40th anniversary of Watergate and the end of the Nixon administration, there seemed to...

By D.R. Tucker

August 24, 2014 4:13 AM Daylight Video

Earlier this week, Politico reported: Actor Leonardo DiCaprio is lending his voice and support to a new short film, bringing attention to climate change and calling for federal action over...

By D.R. Tucker

August 23, 2014 5:14 PM New Hobby Lobby fix puts Republicans in a bind

In response to the Hobby Lobby case, the White House has implemented a fix to allow institutions and corporations who object even to a funding bypass on contraception coverage for...

By David Atkins

August 23, 2014 4:54 PM Fade to Brown

Earlier, we mentioned Martha Coakley's political comeback after losing a January 2010 special US Senate election to Scott Brown. The winner of that notorious election, who lost his seat to...

By D.R. Tucker

August 23, 2014 11:45 AM No, it's not a crisis. Yes, the President can take a vacation

The mini-brouhaha over the President's vacation and golf schedule among conservative media over the last few days has been remarkable for its pettiness even by Washington standards. After the awful...

By David Atkins

August 23, 2014 8:45 AM Dear Dinesh D'Souza: Radical Islamic fundamentalists are politically conservative

Disgraced conservative media paragon Dinesh D'Souza stepped in it this week by comparing Ferguson protesters to ISIS, under the bizarre theory that each group is "overreacting" to a perceived grievance....

By David Atkins

August 23, 2014 6:18 AM We Will Never, Ever, Ever Have A Conversation About Race In America

You may recall the May 2004 controversy over Bill Cosby's so-called "Pound Cake speech," also referred to in some quarters as the "Ghettosburg Address," in which Cosby attacked what he...

By D.R. Tucker

August 23, 2014 4:58 AM Pretty Hate Machine

As Brother Benen noted yesterday on the Maddow Blog, a new Boston Globe poll shows Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley maintaining a lead in the state's gubernatorial race. Coakley, who...

By D.R. Tucker

August 23, 2014 4:49 AM Daylight Video

On August 23, 2008, Madonna's Sticky & Sweet Tour commenced in Cardiff, Wales. The tour featured a video segment entitled "Get Stupid," in which Madonna condemned the role hyper-consumerism played...

By D.R. Tucker

August 22, 2014 5:12 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

Man, I think I'm going to try to sleep for 15 hours tonight. If that's not in the cards, I should finish the Perlstein book assuming I'm not too sick....

By Ed Kilgore

August 22, 2014 4:45 PM Medicaid Expansion Is Good For You

At the New Yorker Sam Wang took a fresh look at gubernatorial polling in competitive states and noticed something: Republicans who accepted the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion are doing...

By Ed Kilgore

August 22, 2014 3:13 PM The Need For a Little Self-Vetting

I know it happens all the time, but still, it never ceases to amaze me when candidates with big disqualifying issues in their backgrounds think nobody will find out about...

By Ed Kilgore

August 22, 2014 1:57 PM Lunch Buffet

I'm really struggling today, sports fans, after a largely sleepless flu-ridden night. I should be over this by Monday, but forgive me my shortcomings today. Here are some midday news/views...

By Ed Kilgore

August 22, 2014 1:16 PM Job opening for an editor/reporter at the Washington Monthly

The Washington Monthly is seeking applicants for an editor/reporter position that will be available soon. This is the same job that launched the careers of many great journalists, including James...

By Paul Glastris

August 22, 2014 1:15 PM Setback For Backpack Vouchers in North Carolina

I wasn't aware that North Carolina had created a program providing public money for private K-12 schools with zero accountability, but it's obviously not surprising given the state's current management....

By Ed Kilgore

August 22, 2014 11:49 AM Get Serious About a Return of the Mittster

So in an evasive action when asked about his own plans for 2016, Paul Ryan finally brimmed over with admiration for his 2012 running-mate and said he would "drive his...

By Ed Kilgore

August 22, 2014 10:25 AM Could Refugees Steal the Elections?

No, so far as I am aware, no one has asked the question posed in the headline to this post. But it may just be a matter of time. After...

By Ed Kilgore

August 22, 2014 9:32 AM Rand Paul Returns to Steve King's Table

So the great Man of Principle, Sen. Rand Paul, who is forever proclaiming himself pro-immigration, has now made it clear he supports House legislation shutting down the DACA program. You...

By Ed Kilgore

August 22, 2014 8:30 AM Daylight Video

Let's have us some Friday blues. Here's Robert Junior Lockwood (a.k.a. Robert Lockwood, Jr.) performing "Take a Little Walk With Me" in New Orleans in 1984....

By Ed Kilgore

August 21, 2014 5:57 PM Day's End and Night Watch

One week until beginning of the College Football season. Just sayin.' Here are some remains of the day: * Rick Perry says it's just "common sense" that ISIS terrorists are...

By Ed Kilgore

August 21, 2014 4:59 PM Are Issue Positions Irrelevant to Character?

Running for major--and sometimes minor--offices in a competitive environment generally involves a combination of messages about one's values and policy commitments on the one hand, and about one's "character" and...

By Ed Kilgore

August 21, 2014 3:26 PM Middle East "Status Quo" Is Dead

More depressing Middle East truth from Gershom Gorenberg at the Prospect today: Netanyahu's conflict management style had a good run, at least for the domestic audience. It also had a...

By Ed Kilgore

August 21, 2014 3:00 PM Why Schmooze?

I suppose it's a sign of progress that instead of expecting Barack Obama to personally solve all the world's problems, the punditocracy is now more prone to complain that he's...

By Ed Kilgore

August 21, 2014 2:12 PM Lunch Buffet

As I've been hinting all week, I've been struggling with a non-serious but occasionally debilitating health condition, and was until this morning scheduled to have an unrelated but blogging-incompatible non-emergency...

By Ed Kilgore

August 21, 2014 1:32 PM Paul Ryan Sends a Big, Big Message

At a time when the closest thing to an argument between Republicans is between traditional Wall Street conservatives still obsessed with reducing top rates on the wealth-engorged very rich, and...

By Ed Kilgore

August 21, 2014 12:04 PM Job Security For Pollsters & Consultants

So have you been wondering whether the pounding Republican pollster John McLaughlin has received this year for really, really inaccurate polling affected his ability to land clients? Wonder no more:...

By Ed Kilgore

August 21, 2014 11:15 AM Reformicon Progress Report

Anyone interested in the whole "reform conservative" conversation needs to read Byron York's update on the "reformicons" in the latest issue of Foreign Affairs. Despite giving controversial topics like foreign...

By Ed Kilgore

August 21, 2014 10:30 AM The New Credential for 2016

We've heard the argument before with respect to Chris Christie and Scott Walker that the abuse-of-power investigations they've faced could actually help them as presidential candidates, so long as they...

By Ed Kilgore

August 21, 2014 9:49 AM The Effort To Drag SCOTUS Back Into Obamacare

If you were wondering about the status of the lawsuits challenging the availability of premium tax credits to those securing health insurance on Obamacare's federal purchasing exchanges, there's a fine...

By Ed Kilgore

August 21, 2014 8:30 AM Daylight Video

Today would have been Joe Strummer's 62d birthday. Hard to believe he's been gone for twelve years. I'm going to feature some of The Clash's less famous but noteworthy performances....

By Ed Kilgore

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

Back on central coast of California, where high temperatures will range from 68 to 71 in next five days. Ah. Here are some remains of the day: * Paul Ryan...

By Ed Kilgore

August 20, 2014 5:29 PM Rand Paul Not So Hip

The undermining of the suggestions made (less by the author than by those he interviews) in Robert Draper's "Libertarian Moment" piece for the New York Times Magazine struck new earth...

By Ed Kilgore

August 20, 2014 4:26 PM Here Comes SCOTUS on Same-Sex Marriage!

Well, any doubt that the Supreme Court is ready to bigfoot its way into the very successful legal battle for marriage equality went away today (per Alan Rappeport of the...

By Ed Kilgore

August 20, 2014 4:13 PM Exceptional American Conservatives

At the end of a long and interesting diagnosis of the problems facing his Republican Party, David Frum writes this excellent summation: The United States desperately needs a party of...

By Ed Kilgore

August 20, 2014 3:13 PM Ribbon Cutting

There's an interesting flare-up in the Georgia governor's race that casts light on a disgusting phenomenon that's especially though not exclusively common in the South. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Greg Bluestein...

By Ed Kilgore

August 20, 2014 2:09 PM Lunch Buffet

Having some medical issues this week that could disrupt regular blogging, but I'll try to minimize it as much as possible. Here are some midday news/views treats from the hospital...

By Ed Kilgore

August 20, 2014 12:46 PM More Government Shutdowns!

Mitch McConnell is, according to TPM's Sahil Kapur, going around Kentucky promising the heavy use of appropriations riders to impose the GOP's will on the president if Republicans win control...

By Ed Kilgore

August 20, 2014 11:34 AM Prosecutors Giveth and Prosecutors Taketh Away

It's almost as though we are conducting a national seminar in the role of prosecutors in the criminal justice system, isn't it? I mean, seriously, the two dominant domestic news...

By Ed Kilgore

August 20, 2014 10:10 AM State of the Cycle

Since the Alaska primary offered the last competitive Senate contest of the cycle aside from Louisiana's November 4 "jungle primary," I figured it was as good a time as any...

By Ed Kilgore

August 20, 2014 9:43 AM Hanabusa Throws in the Towel

Since Hawaii and Alaska politics are a pretty remote afterthought to most continental American observers, we might as well follow up the primary from the 49th state with a big...

By Ed Kilgore

August 20, 2014 9:29 AM North To Alaska

Alaska held its 2014 primary yesterday. Alas, alackaday, Joe Miller did not get the chance to blow another Senate general election candidacy. But he did significantly outperform expectations, winning 32%...

By Ed Kilgore

August 20, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

Sneaky Pete Kleinow, pedal steel guitar wizard, was born on this day 80 years ago, and died in 2007. Here he is with the Flying Burrito Brothers performing their immortal...

By Ed Kilgore

August 19, 2014 6:16 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Heading back West with a vast layover at SFO before they twist the rubber bands for the final hop. So it goes. Here are some remains of the day: *...

By Ed Kilgore

August 19, 2014 4:36 PM Bitter Laugh of the Day

Get a load of this (via Politico's Jonthan Topaz): Ferguson Mayor James Knowles on Tuesday stood by his comments about racial tensions in his city, saying that none of the...

By Ed Kilgore

August 19, 2014 4:07 PM Race to the Bottom in Hollywood

Well, I guess it was inevitable. California, the legendary home of the film industry, has fished into the national and international competition to bribe said industry to located productions where...

By Ed Kilgore

August 19, 2014 3:37 PM "Meddlers" in the Far North

I guess the legacy of Todd Akin really is haunting this cycle for Republicans. Aside from the fact that no blatant yahoo (with the possible exception of Joni Ernst) has...

By Ed Kilgore

August 19, 2014 2:45 PM Rand Paul's Trick

Mike Gerson pulls off a nice two-cushion shot in a WaPo column on GOP minority outreach. First off, he spanks reformicons for their big-emphasis on middle-class voters, arguably at the...

By Ed Kilgore

August 19, 2014 1:48 PM Lunch Buffet

Having lunch at the legendary Palmer's deli before heading to KC for the flight back home. Here are some midday news/views snacks from the specials board: * WaPo breakdown on...

By Ed Kilgore

August 19, 2014 12:07 PM Having It Both Ways on Same-Sex Marriage

At the Prospect today, Paul Waldman notes that rank-and-file Republicans along with elected officials are drifting towards the "leave it up to the states" position on same-sex marriage: It wasn't...

By Ed Kilgore

August 19, 2014 11:00 AM On the Other Hand....

If there's a good argument the indictment of Rick Perry will help him and perhaps even more other Republicans nationally, there's also a good argument Perry's actual legal peril in...

By Ed Kilgore

August 19, 2014 10:24 AM Lind on Lehmberg and Perry

When Michael Lind talks about Texas, you should probably pay attention. But in his piece at Salon about the indictment of Rick Perry for allegedly abusing his power by trying...

By Ed Kilgore

August 19, 2014 9:38 AM Steak Fry Politics

I mentioned briefly yesterday that Tom Harkin managed to get (and announced yesterday) Bill and Hillary Clinton for his 37th and last annual Steak Fry, long the preeminent Democratic event...

By Ed Kilgore

August 19, 2014 9:16 AM No Green Lantern For Ferguson, Either

There's a palpable sense of disappointment, particularly among Democrats, about the president's remarks yesterday on the Ferguson nightmare. It was what you might call aggressively low-key. He addressed Ferguson only...

By Ed Kilgore

August 19, 2014 8:21 AM Daylight Video

It's Ginger Baker's 75th birthday. Here's Blind Faith performing his song "Do What You Like" at Hyde Park in 1969....

By Ed Kilgore

August 18, 2014 5:03 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Guess I should mention that I attended the Iowa State Fair on Saturday and saw the Butter Field of Dreams, among other attractions. But for a variety of reasons (including...

By Ed Kilgore

August 18, 2014 4:25 PM Why War?

Paul Kruman stepped a bit beyond economics in his latest column to ask a perennially relevant question: with all the evidence that war is usually folly for wealthy modern societies,...

By Ed Kilgore

August 18, 2014 3:59 PM Jeffords and the GOP's March to the Right

Former Sen. James Jeffords has died at the age of 80, and obituaries are frequently on that wild moment in 2001 when the Vermont moderate walked across the aisle and...

By Ed Kilgore

August 18, 2014 3:28 PM Federalist Spin

In arguing against the idea that the Founders were Constitutional Conservatives who spent most of their time worry about protecting property rights from democratic majorities, Jonathan Chait looks closely at...

By Ed Kilgore

August 18, 2014 3:11 PM The Next Crisis In Ferguson

If and when the street confrontations and selective leak of information (especially derogatory material about Michael Brown, who is no longer in a position to defend himself) in and around...

By Ed Kilgore

August 18, 2014 2:42 PM Lunch Buffet

Sorry for the late lunch, but I had a meeting with some friends that went a bit long. Here are some midday news/views snacks, direct from a Caribou Cafe in...

By Ed Kilgore

August 18, 2014 12:29 PM Rand Paul's War Paint

At the Daily Beast, Olivia Nuzzi extensively covers Rand Paul's efforts to rebrand his foreign policy views as remote from "isolationism" or even "non-interventionism." She convincingly thinks he'll land on...

By Ed Kilgore

August 18, 2014 11:42 AM The Future of Entrepreneurship

There have been a lot of tendentious arguments made for the struggles of American entrepreneurs in very recent years, most of them associated with claims about tax and regulatory burdens...

By Ed Kilgore

August 18, 2014 11:08 AM The Ferguson Disaster Continues

Probably like a lot of you, I watched a fair amount of coverage from and about Ferguson yesterday, and felt some progress was being made--until the evening came and things...

By Ed Kilgore

August 18, 2014 9:52 AM Smoke and Fire in Austin

When I first heard of the indictments of Rick Perry issued by an Austin grand jury on Friday, I wasn't really impressed. Threatening to send a governor to the hoosegow...

By Ed Kilgore

August 18, 2014 8:35 AM Daylight Video

Just seems right this morning to feature Son Seals performing "Before the Bullets Fly."...

By Ed Kilgore

August 17, 2014 7:03 PM Evening Odds & Ends

Prof. Don Taylor of Duke thinks the purely amateur nature of college sports is now dead, due to a ruling by a U.S. District Judge. Scott Lemieux has always been...

By Martin Longman

August 17, 2014 4:27 PM That's Not Right

It's hard to say if it was more offensive to put up a billboard of Martin Luther King Jr. hugging Usama bin-Laden on the anniversary of King's birthday than it...

By Martin Longman

August 17, 2014 2:05 PM The Democratic Side is Just as Boring

Speculation about the Democratic nominating contest for 2016 is equally boring. Yes, it would be kind of interesting if Russ Feingold came out of retirement to vie for the nomination,...

By Martin Longman

August 17, 2014 11:24 AM Why Presidential Horserace Pieces are Boring

Especially in relatively slow news cycles, it is very tempting to write articles about the shape of the 2016 presidential field, as Al Hunt has just done for Bloomberg News....

By Martin Longman

August 17, 2014 10:23 AM Existing While Black

In the Washington Post, Manuel Roig-Franzia, DeNeen Brown and Wesley Lowery have a nice overview of the problems in Ferguson, Missouri that takes into account the perspectives of the black...

By Martin Longman

August 17, 2014 5:00 AM Daylight Video

Good morning. Here's the Felice Brothers performing Frankie's Gun. They'll be playing at the Dutchess County Fair on August 22nd (free admission) in Rhinebeck, New York. What kind of music...

By Martin Longman

August 16, 2014 1:00 PM Midday Odds & Ends

Barry Yeoman examines voter disenfranchisement and suppression in the Tarheel State for The American Prospect. Crooks & Liars has the transcript of an interview with a woman who had an...

By Martin Longman

August 16, 2014 10:45 AM Not the Way to Calm Things in Ferguson

Late last night my Twitter feed lit up with reports of looting in Ferguson, Missouri. This was immediately followed by reports of citizens stepping up to protect businesses against looters....

By Martin Longman

August 16, 2014 9:55 AM Standards Do Change

Damon Linker thinks it's basically self-evident that every parent would be horrified to learn that one of their children works in the pornography industry, and that seems intuitively true. It's...

By Martin Longman

August 16, 2014 8:57 AM On Rick Perry's Indictments

There are a lot of rumors and false information swirling around the twin-indictment of Texas Governor Rick Perry on charges of abuse of power and coercion. Olivia Nuzzi does a...

By Martin Longman

August 16, 2014 5:00 AM Daylight Video

On this date in 1962, the Beatles fired their drummer Pete Best and hired Ringo Starr. The way Best was let go was pretty shabby, but I think we're all...

By Martin Longman

August 15, 2014 5:35 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

I'm at the airport with a delayed flight and a possible missed connection in my immediate future. So it's time to wrap up and put on the track shoes. Here...

By Ed Kilgore

August 15, 2014 4:54 PM Gridlock and SCOTUS

National Journal's Ron Brownstein has always had a knack for boiling down complicated issues to their essentials. He does so again today in a column that argues a perpetual tendency...

By Ed Kilgore

August 15, 2014 3:26 PM Hammer Meets Nail

I had somehow missed the claim made earlier this week by an anti-choice advocate that Robin Williams' suicide was caused by legalized abortion. Amanda Marcotte has the bizarre story at...

By Ed Kilgore

August 15, 2014 3:12 PM The Local Political Kaboom

Anyone who's ever been involved in a low-profile, low-budget local political contest might well be chilled by Alexander Burns' piece at Politico today about the shocking experience of becoming the...

By Ed Kilgore

August 15, 2014 2:40 PM Descent Into Madness

Brian Beutler's characterization of the latest turn of events in Ferguson, Missouri pretty much says it all: Five days after a police officer fired multiple rounds at and killed 18-year-old...

By Ed Kilgore

August 15, 2014 2:06 PM Lunch Buffet

I may curtail blogging a bit early today in order to catch a flight. I'll try to make up for it with some up-close political tidbits next week from my...

By Ed Kilgore

August 15, 2014 1:21 PM The "Erstwhile Segregationist" Miller

I really don't want to spend the day talking about Zell Miller, but TPM has posted a Daniel Strauss piece about Zell's endorsement of Michelle Nunn with an unfortunate headline:...

By Ed Kilgore

August 15, 2014 12:28 PM Crossing Lines

The day after the Michigan primary, I briefly noted in passing Rep. Justin Amash's break from convention in blasting his defeated primary opponent during his victory press conference. Like a...

By Ed Kilgore

August 15, 2014 11:05 AM Maliki's Departure Good News/Bad News for Obama

While many of us were focused on Ferguson, Missouri yesterday, a dramatic event was unfolding in Baghdad, as embattled Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki stepped aside peacefully and accepted--even endorsed--his...

By Ed Kilgore

August 15, 2014 10:46 AM Political Demography of the South

While we're on the subject of Georgia politics, it's probably a good time for a quick refresher course on why that state is becoming more hospitable once again to statewide...

By Ed Kilgore

August 15, 2014 9:58 AM Zell's a-Poppin' Again

Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather: Former governor and U.S. senator Zell Miller on Thursday endorsed Democrat Michelle Nunn in the U.S. Senate race, citing her...

By Ed Kilgore

August 15, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

45 years ago today, a certain musical festival began in upstate New York. I remember hearing about it on the radio at my summer job as a school janitor and...

By Ed Kilgore

August 14, 2014 5:59 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Feel like I'm missing something today. Let's see, it's Thursday. Wait, is there a primary? Oh, yeah, that was just Tennessee. Here are some remains of the day: * Executive...

By Ed Kilgore

August 14, 2014 5:12 PM Windows Closing

Anyone inclined to give me flak for suggesting the 2016 presidential nominating contest is already underway should redirect their ire towards my friend Jonathan Bernstein. He thinks it's pretty much...

By Ed Kilgore

August 14, 2014 4:35 PM It's the Boys, Not Just the Toys

With Rand Paul's call for "demilitarization of the police" (a longtime preoccupation of libertarian writers, as Paul unsurprisingly noted), we're about to see a welcome bipartisan effort to look into...

By Ed Kilgore

August 14, 2014 2:54 PM The Law and Politics of a DACA Expansion

I mentioned briefly yesterday that WaPo's Greg Sargent had executed a deep dive into the legal issues surrounding DACA and a potential DACA expansion. You should read the whole thing...

By Ed Kilgore

August 14, 2014 2:06 PM Lunch Buffet

I'll be in Iowa from Saturday til Tuesday, mainly to attend the State Fair and visit friends, but you never know what politicians you'll bump into there. Here are some...

By Ed Kilgore

August 14, 2014 1:07 PM HRC's Mission of Mercy

Back in August 1998, as a D.C. grand jury took testimony in the Lewinsky case, President Bill Clinton took a brief trip to Martha's Vineyard, the legendary summer vacation spot...

By Ed Kilgore

August 14, 2014 12:47 PM Can a Conservative Health Plan Build on Obamacare?

Conservative health wonk Avik Roy is a persistent dude with a political problem. Practically from the moment the Affordable Care Act was enacted, Roy understood that its insurance purchasing exchanges,...

By Ed Kilgore

August 14, 2014 12:00 PM "Color-Blind" or Blinded by Race?

As events continue to unfold in Ferguson, some very telling reactions are emerging. One of particular importance (via Kyle Mantyla of Right Wing Watch) is from the uninhibited Rep. Steve...

By Ed Kilgore

August 14, 2014 11:45 AM The Avoidable Ferguson Disaster

As people elsewhere absorb the nightmarish photos of military clashes in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, and accounts of reporters and camera teams being assaulted by the supposed forces of...

By Ed Kilgore

August 14, 2014 11:03 AM The Very Different "Libertarianism" of the Christian Right

One Twitter-spondent yesterday told me my argument that what's being called the "libertarian" streak in the GOP may owe more to the Christian Right than to actual Libertarianism was "breaking...

By Ed Kilgore

August 14, 2014 10:07 AM Can We Have Bipartisan Agreement To Stop Complaining About Presidential Vacations?

I'm with Paul Waldman on this one: There are a lot of stupid ways people attack presidents from the other party, but there can't be that many as stupid as...

By Ed Kilgore

August 14, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

I happened to run across this wonderful live performance by the legendary American Punk pioneers Television of "Marquee Moon" at the Old Waldorf in San Francisco in 1978. It's a...

By Ed Kilgore

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

Haven't had anything to say about the death of Lauren Bacall until now, but she was one skillful and classy actor. It's always interesting to be reminded of great celebrities...

By Ed Kilgore

August 13, 2014 5:08 PM False Equivalency in Iowa

Regular readers know how highly I esteem Slate's Dave Weigel as a reporter and as a political analyst (not to mention as a prolific Twitter-Master!). I quote from and link...

By Ed Kilgore

August 13, 2014 3:50 PM HRC's Vulnerability Redux

Let's just say for the sake of argument that Hillary Clinton deliberately placed herself "to the right" of the President's foreign policy in the famous Atlantic interview (I obviously don't...

By Ed Kilgore

August 13, 2014 3:05 PM Tag-Teaming the "Libertarian Moment"

Let's hope Robert Draper (a genuinely fine writer) has enjoyed the buzz over his "Libertarian Moment" article in the New York Times Magazine. The substance of the piece is not...

By Ed Kilgore

August 13, 2014 1:47 PM Lunch Buffet

This morning sure did race along. That's usually a sign the afternoon (particularly in August) will be news-free, but we'll see. Here are some tasty midday news/views bites: * Uh-Oh:...

By Ed Kilgore

August 13, 2014 12:44 PM Perry Crushing 'Em in Iowa

Rick Perry's "comeback" is, in his own eyes at least, gaining tremendous momentum in Iowa. Jennifer Jacobs of the Des Moines Register followed him around the Iowa State Fair yesterday,...

By Ed Kilgore

August 13, 2014 12:10 PM "Don't Shoot!"

At some point I may have something useful to say about the police slaying of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. But for now, I'd just observe that the tactic being...

By Ed Kilgore

August 13, 2014 11:58 AM Overtime in Hawaii

Seems an update is appropriate for Hawaii's Democratic Senate primary, which was supposed to have definitely occurred on August 9. As you may recall, two precincts in the Puna district...

By Ed Kilgore

August 13, 2014 11:06 AM No Upset Tuesday

Yesterday's primaries in Connecticut, Minnesota and Wisconsin were big news where they happened (to the extent there's ever Big News this time of year), but the results were too predictable...

By Ed Kilgore

August 13, 2014 10:24 AM Cold Water For Libertarian Dreams

So I had an opportunity to publish a column-length exposition of my argument that the closest thing to a "libertarian moment" we are likely to see in the GOP involves...

By Ed Kilgore

August 13, 2014 9:43 AM The Self-Licking August Ice Cream Cone

So now that Hillary Clinton has been forced, as I expected, to make a conciliatory gesture towards the president in the wake of sorta kinda dissing his foreign policy in...

By Ed Kilgore

August 13, 2014 8:33 AM Daylight Video

Construction of the Berlin Wall began 55 years ago today. The wall and the city it divided became highly symbolic of a lot of political and cultural issues beyond its...

By Ed Kilgore

August 12, 2014 6:32 PM Day's End and Night Watch

While juggling deadlines today, I didn't get around to previewing today's nationally-low-profile primaries in CT, MN, and WI, beyond linking to DKE's fine coverage. But DKE's live-blogging thread is already...

By Ed Kilgore

August 12, 2014 5:03 PM Oops!

This is a news item from Geoff Pender of the Jackson Clarion-Ledger that really requires no further commentary: As Chris McDaniel's team continues to scour voting records to add to...

By Ed Kilgore

August 12, 2014 4:54 PM What Digby Said

I can't believe I missed Heather Digby Parton's piece at Salon yesterday that shares and certainly improves on my emerging theory of the Big Dynamics of conservative ideology, including the...

By Ed Kilgore

August 12, 2014 3:35 PM Calling Tehran

At TMS today, there's a long and fascinating piece by career Republican foreign policy hand Lawrence Wilkerson, who caps an extensive and highly negative account of the neocon takeover of...

By Ed Kilgore

August 12, 2014 2:29 PM BuzzFeed Trades Up

Those of you who follow the political media beat will be interested to learn that BuzzFeed has hired Adam Serwer as a national editor assigned to "stories that matter to...

By Ed Kilgore

August 12, 2014 2:03 PM Lunch Buffet

At Daylight Video today, which featured Buck Owens' song "Waitin' in Your Welfare Line," commenter JPeckJr suggested Owens must have influenced Ronald Reagan's social safety net policies. I'm sure he...

By Ed Kilgore

August 12, 2014 1:04 PM The Medicaid Expansion Promise

At WaPo's Wonkblog today, Jason Millman cites a prominent study to knock down one of the first and most abiding Republican arguments in states that have rejected the Affordable Care...

By Ed Kilgore

August 12, 2014 12:33 PM From Dubious Journalism To a HRC Flip-Flop

Ah, you could almost see this coming (via CNN's Jim Acosta): Only days after offering a stinging rebuke of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy, Hillary Clinton plans to attend a...

By Ed Kilgore

August 12, 2014 11:41 AM Liberating Martyrs

Some who have read about Ted Cruz's latest stock speech, featuring seven recent "conservative victories" that point the way forward to the Movement's glorious future, may have been puzzled by...

By Ed Kilgore

August 12, 2014 10:53 AM First Step For GOP African-American Outreach: Tell the Truth

In an article for the New York Times on the frequent futility of Republican outreach efforts towards African-Americans, University of Connecticut professor Jelani Cobb offers GOPers some very good advice...

By Ed Kilgore

August 12, 2014 9:43 AM Selective Libertarianism

As you can imagine, David Frum is not real jazzed about the idea that America is experiencing what Robert Draper called "the libertarian moment." But constructive GOP scold that he...

By Ed Kilgore

August 12, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

Buck Owens, pioneer of the Bakersfield Sound, was born 85 years ago today. Here he is in 1966 performing a song with one of the best country music choruses ever:...

By Ed Kilgore

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

Gotta say, I'm enjoying Joe Jackson's birthday. I can't match commenter C U N D Gulag's wonderful anecdotes about hanging out with Joe back in the day (see the Daylight...

By Ed Kilgore

August 11, 2014 5:39 PM Bond Memories

At TMS today, Kelly Kleiman has a wonderful story about a dinner with civil rights legend Julian Bond, which she uses to re-educate us about the huge impact on African-American...

By Ed Kilgore

August 11, 2014 4:54 PM City Boundaries and Political Generalizations

My esteemed friend Jonathan Cohn has a piece today at TNR that makes the useful if well-known point that the constitutional set-up of the United States Senate discriminates against full...

By Ed Kilgore

August 11, 2014 4:07 PM Going All Cheney on Iraq

At the Plum Line today, Greg Sargent uses Iowa Senate candidate Joni Ernst to make an important point about potential Republican overreach on the situation in Iraq: In an interview...

By Ed Kilgore

August 11, 2014 3:23 PM "The Enthusiasm Gap was Taken to the Woodshed"

Regular readers might guess this excerpt from a Chris Cillizza post is sweet music to my ears: "The straight-forward conclusion is that this enthusiasm gap will play out at the...

By Ed Kilgore

August 11, 2014 2:03 PM Lunch Buffet

I managed to get through a couple of hundred pages of Perlstein's The Invisible Bridge over the weekend, and it brought back a lot of strange memories: of the details...

By Ed Kilgore

August 11, 2014 1:34 PM "Democrat" and "Republican" As Racial Code Words in the Deep South

The political polarization of the Deep South on racial and partisan lines that Jason Zengerle discusses in his TNR piece provocatively subtited, "This is how the civil rights movement ends,"...

By Ed Kilgore

August 11, 2014 12:01 PM HRC & "DDSS"

It's now beginning to harden into CW that Hillary Clinton is itching to "distance herself" from Barack Obama's foreign policy--you know, the one she was in charge of directing until...

By Ed Kilgore

August 11, 2014 11:25 AM Two, Three, Many Straw Polls?

Sticking with the emerging GOP circus in Iowa for a minute, the FAMiLY Leadership Summit in Ames was a reminder that according to precedent we'd normally be anticipating the First...

By Ed Kilgore

August 11, 2014 10:45 AM Jindal Goes Feral

Putative 2016 Republican presidential candidates were thick on the ground in Iowa this weekend, as the State Fair began just outside Des Moines and the annual FAMiLy Leadership Summit (a...

By Ed Kilgore

August 11, 2014 9:25 AM Wild Weekend in Hawaii

Well, it could have been a lot worse for Hawaii over the weekend. Hurricane Iselle weakened to a tropic storm before hitting the islands, and weakened still more after landfall;...

By Ed Kilgore

August 11, 2014 8:42 AM Daylight Video

It's Joe Jackson's 60th birthday. Here he is performing "I'm the Man" in 1979....

By Ed Kilgore

August 10, 2014 3:09 PM Living History

Two thumbs up to Bob Schieffer for his tremendous interview on Face the Nation today with Bob Woodward and Carl Benstein, marking the 40th anniversary of the end of the...

By D.R. Tucker

August 10, 2014 1:26 PM Speak Softly, and Carry A Big Stick

Considering the intellectual degeneration of the right over the years, I don't quite understand why Think Progress runs the "Three Things Conservatives Wrote This Week [In Crayon] That Everyone Should...

By D.R. Tucker

August 10, 2014 11:55 AM Candy Crush Saga

Why do the Sunday news shows feature so much John McCain? He's on those shows so freakin' much, it's driving me insane! All that he ever talks about is fighting...

By D.R. Tucker

August 10, 2014 10:56 AM Beyond the Pale

Those of us who remember the affirmative action wars of the 1990s aren't surprised when some right-winger suggests that Democrats are anti-white: such rhetoric was commonplace among vehement opponents of...

By D.R. Tucker

August 10, 2014 5:41 AM Everything Changes, Part II

The Boston Globe notes that despite its obvious economic and moral merits, there are certain individuals who haven't--yet?--embraced the idea of putting a price on carbon through a revenue-neutral carbon...

By D.R. Tucker

August 10, 2014 5:17 AM Daylight Video

Today is a secular holiday for right-wingers: it's the 30th anniversary of the release of the John Milius propaganda film Red Dawn. I saw the film in 2007 and thought...

By D.R. Tucker

August 09, 2014 8:10 PM Mad World

When will the madness of gun violence stop? Oh, I forgot. The answer is never. Not in this country. A 60-year-old Orthodox rabbi from Brooklyn, N.Y., on his way to...

By D.R. Tucker

August 09, 2014 2:48 PM Night in America

Here's a good way to measure someone's IQ: ask them if they think Rick Perlstein is really a plagiarist. The idiot right is waging a no-holds-barred campaign to smear Perlstein,...

By D.R. Tucker

August 09, 2014 1:12 PM "Just When I Thought I Was Out...They Pull Me Back In!"

We shouldn't have been there in 2003. We shouldn't be there in 2014. Daniel Larison nails it: Obama has justified the decision to attack ISIS partly as a defense of...

By D.R. Tucker

August 09, 2014 5:53 AM Everything Changes

The most anticipated book of the fall is undoubtedly Naomi Klein's This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, in part because Klein apparently calls out certain environmental organizations for playing...

By D.R. Tucker

August 09, 2014 4:51 AM No Man Can Serve Two Masters

Over at Republican Party headquarters, they're desperately trying to figure out how they can get both racists and the victims of racism to vote Republican. Good luck with that one....

By D.R. Tucker

August 09, 2014 4:15 AM Daylight Video

40 years ago today, the 37th President of the United States, Richard Milhous Nixon, left office in disgrace. A former friend of mine once declared Nixon "the last liberal," citing...

By D.R. Tucker

August 08, 2014 5:59 PM Day's End and Weekend Watch

I feel I haven't adequately addressed the gravity of a renewal of overt (I'm sure the covert stuff has never stopped) U.S. military activity in Iraq today. So I've offered...

By Ed Kilgore

August 08, 2014 5:30 PM No, Dems Didn't Invent the Impeachment Issue

Anyone inclined to buy the idea that Democrats cynically invented the "impeachment issue" in order to fire up their base and raise money should give a gander to this reminder...

By Ed Kilgore

August 08, 2014 4:52 PM Fred Barnes Goes In Circles

I don't normally pay much if any attention to the predictable stylings of the Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes. Yes, I'm old enough to remember when Fred was capable of shrewd...

By Ed Kilgore

August 08, 2014 3:14 PM S&P Agrees: Inequality Not Natural or Healthy

Perhaps the best thing about Monica Potts' latest (and maybe first; I'm not sure exactly when she left the Prospect) column for The Daily Beast is the headline: "The Big,...

By Ed Kilgore

August 08, 2014 2:06 PM Lunch Buffet

I'm already excited about reading more of Perlstein's The Invisible Bridge (I started last night) after finishing work today. Now I also have the added incentive of the long-waited Bill...

By Ed Kilgore

August 08, 2014 1:39 PM A Fine Aloha This Saturday

As you probably know, Hawaii is currently being battered by Tropical Storm (formerly a Cat 4 hurricane) Iselle right now. As the Weather Channel reports, there's extensive wind damage and...

By Ed Kilgore

August 08, 2014 12:42 PM A Tough Week For Sen. Pearl Jam

I haven't commented yet on Robert Draper's much-discussed New York Times Magazine piece entitled "Has the 'Libertarian Moment' Finally Arrived?" That's partly because my instinctive hostility to libertarianism (possibly due...

By Ed Kilgore

August 08, 2014 11:17 AM Do Something! No, Don't Do Something!

The only thing funnier than those who (despite widespread mockery) continue to support the Green Lantern Theory of Presidential Leadership is the phenomenon of the same people freaking out when...

By Ed Kilgore

August 08, 2014 10:22 AM Obama Proceeds Cautiously

It's significant that the president spent a good part of his remarks on authorizing airstrikes against ISIS militants threatening Kurdistan and carrying out pograms, focused on promises not to generally...

By Ed Kilgore

August 08, 2014 9:43 AM Some Sane News From Tennessee

So Tennessee held its primary yesterday, and the best and (to me) most surprising outcome was that a partisan effort financed by Americans For Prosperity and the state's right-wing Lieutenant...

By Ed Kilgore

August 08, 2014 8:53 AM Daylight Video

It's the 40th anniversary of Richard Nixon's resignation. There's not really any available music about this huge event, which like anyone around then I remember graphically. But Elton John's "Postcards...

By Ed Kilgore

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

Hooray! My copy of Perlstein's The Invisible Bridge finally arrived today! Just in time for an LOB (Lay On Butt) Saturday! At 810 pages, though, I'd better get started before...

By Ed Kilgore

August 07, 2014 5:10 PM Trump Gilds the Lily

Even by The Donald's standards, this one's a howler (per TPM's Tom Kludt): Donald Trump thinks that Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) was a Rhodes Scholar. Donald Trump is wrong. The...

By Ed Kilgore

August 07, 2014 4:53 PM Walsh Does the Right Thing

Here's some breaking news from the Billings (MT) Gazette's Charles Johnson: Sen. John Walsh said Thursday he is pulling out of the Senate race because his campaign was distracted by...

By Ed Kilgore

August 07, 2014 4:45 PM Republican "Theories of Change"

The Prospect's Paul Waldman asks an interesting question today that I'm not sure I've heard anyone else pose: with Republicans mostly in agreement on policy issues and basic ideology, and...

By Ed Kilgore

August 07, 2014 3:10 PM Everything's Obama's Fault!

Well, I've found at least one person who unambiguously subscribes to the ragged "bipartisan anti-incumbent wave" theory for 2014 (per TPM's Daniel Strauss): Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) had a...

By Ed Kilgore

August 07, 2014 2:06 PM Lunch Buffet

After the heavy lifting on Rick Perry and Elizabeth Warren, I have aching fingers. But I'll get over it. Here are some lighter midday news/views snacks: * At Politico, Nicholas...

By Ed Kilgore

August 07, 2014 1:37 PM The Case For an Elizabeth Warren Challenge to HRC

Today WaMo has a web exclusive from the veteran writer David Paul Kuhn making the best, and certainly the most thorough, case I've yet seen for why Elizabeth Warren might,...

By Ed Kilgore

August 07, 2014 12:39 PM "Show Me" Some Puppy Mills!

I have to admit that when I mentioned Missouri voters' narrow approval of a "right-to-farm" constitutional amendment yesterday, I had only the vaguest idea of what it was about, beyond...

By Ed Kilgore

August 07, 2014 12:20 PM Whirr! Beep! Welcome to AOL!

Here's an interesting if mean-spirited item from Matt Yglesias at Vox: AOL — publishers of the Huffington Post, Engadget, TechCrunch, and others — announced its second quarter earnings this week,...

By Ed Kilgore

August 07, 2014 11:54 AM The "New" Rick Perry

This morning in coping with a slow news day I read with interest and with some amusement a long, long, re-assessment of Rick Perry at The Atlantic by veteran reporter...

By Ed Kilgore

August 07, 2014 10:21 AM Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Not too infrequently, I get into arguments with fellow pro-choicers about the sincerity of those who profess moral or religious objections to abortion. It's really all about sex or all...

By Ed Kilgore

August 07, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

Had a hankering for blues guitar, so here's Jimmie Vaughan performing "Sweet Soul Vibe" with the Tilt-a-Whirl Band on Austin City Limits in 1998....

By Ed Kilgore

August 06, 2014 6:11 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Livelier day than I expected when I woke up wondering how I'd make a Pat Roberts primary victory sound interesting. Here are some remains of the day: * TNR's Brian...

By Ed Kilgore

August 06, 2014 5:08 PM The Huck Straddle on Impeachment

So you've got Republicans who want to sue the president, and Republicans who want to impeach him. I suspect the triumphant "third way" was just articulated by Mike Huckabee on...

By Ed Kilgore

August 06, 2014 4:54 PM The Midwestern Problem for Democrats

I corresponded earlier today with Andrew Levison about my post on his TNR piece arguing the white working class problem of the Democratic Party extended beyond the South, and he...

By Ed Kilgore

August 06, 2014 4:15 PM Lamar! Better Be Careful

I didn't see Harry Enten's FiveThirtyEight piece from yesterday comparing Pat Roberts to Lamar Alexander in terms of likelihood to be upset in a GOP primary--until today. Now we know...

By Ed Kilgore

August 06, 2014 3:32 PM Why DACA Isn't An Unconstitutional "Power Grab"

Now that congressional Republicans have virtually forced the president into taking some sort of executive action to deal with the refugee crisis and set some sort of standards for deportations...

By Ed Kilgore

August 06, 2014 2:06 PM Lunch Buffet

One of the perils of being a news-cycle blogger is that you occasionally write something that crystallizes years of your thinking and observations on an important topic, and it disappears...

By Ed Kilgore

August 06, 2014 1:18 PM McDaniel Going Nowhere Fast

I gave my take yesterday on Chris McDaniel's strange and toxic demand that he be rewarded the GOP Senate nomination in Mississippi because African-American Democrats voted for his opponent. But...

By Ed Kilgore

August 06, 2014 12:08 PM Democrats' White Working Class Problem Not Just a "Southern Thing"

There are few political topics more perennial among progressives than the direction of non-college educated white voters, a.k.a. the "white working class." This historic centerpiece of the New Deal Coalition...

By Ed Kilgore

August 06, 2014 11:08 AM Battles and Wars in the GOP

I did a sort of internal summary column for TPMCafe last night evaluating the 2014 GOP Senate primary cycle and suggesting that the string of "Establishment" victories over Tea Partyish...

By Ed Kilgore

August 06, 2014 10:22 AM Other Primary Fun

While the Roberts/Wolf race got most of the national attention, there were a bunch of other contests yesterday in Kansas and in three other states. In the Sunflower State itself,...

By Ed Kilgore

August 06, 2014 9:34 AM Roberts Survives

So in what was generally billed the last big 2014 Tea Party primary challenge to the Republican Establishment, at least in Senate contests, Pat Roberts dispatched Milton Wolf by a...

By Ed Kilgore

August 06, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

It's the 69th anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima. Here's Wishful Thinking with their song "Hiroshima" in 1970. (WARNING: Some of the images of the wounded may be disturbing,...

By Ed Kilgore

August 05, 2014 5:57 PM Day's End and Night Watch

I'll be watching primary returns tonight, and writing a TPMCafe column (probably on Bloody Kansas), and will report whatever seems interesting tomorrow. As always, Daily Kos Elections has a fine...

By Ed Kilgore

August 05, 2014 5:35 PM A Montana Storm Not Likely To Be "Weathered"

According to Politico's Raju and Hohmann, Sen. John Walsh (D-MT) is engaged in "internal deliberations with his political team" about whether he should resign from the ticket before an August...

By Ed Kilgore

August 05, 2014 5:15 PM War on Judicial Independence in Tennessee

Tennessee's system of appointing and retaining appellate judges aims at (or so says the brochure of the state bar association touting it) "keeping the influence of politics and money out...

By Ed Kilgore

August 05, 2014 4:04 PM Rand Paul Is Outta There!

It really is a fine day for making fun of Sen. Rand Paul, it seems. As National Journal's Shane Goldmacher reports, Paul was sitting next to Rep. Steve King at...

By Ed Kilgore

August 05, 2014 3:41 PM Joe Miller Versus a Conspiracy So Immense

Buried at the end of a Molly Ball piece expressing her disdain for the obstinacy of "noisy, quixotic, delusional" Tea Party candidates was this brief reference to 2010 GOP Senate...

By Ed Kilgore

August 05, 2014 2:05 PM Lunch Buffet

This week's primary schedule is unusual: there are four tonight (KS, MI, MO, WA ), one (TN) on Thursday, and one (HI) on Saturday. The Hawaii primary involves some rare...

By Ed Kilgore

August 05, 2014 1:42 PM Perlstein, Shirley, and the Plagiarism Smear

We are currently being treated to a particularly egregious example of "false equivalency" reporting in the credibility being offered to Craig Shirley's claim that Rick Perlstein "plagiarized" his own work...

By Ed Kilgore

August 05, 2014 11:58 AM Unconstitutionalizing Obama

At the Daily Caller, Mickey Kaus offers a take on Obama's use of executive powers on immigration that reveals more about the president's critics than about the president: [I]t’s alarming...

By Ed Kilgore

August 05, 2014 11:24 AM The Ghost of Henry Clay

In other Rand Paul news: Having recently read a biography of Henry Clay, and currently slogging through a history of the Whigs, I am naturally fascinated by an argument going...

By Ed Kilgore

August 05, 2014 10:22 AM Rand Paul Completes His Flip-Flop on Aid To Israel

When Rand Paul started seeing the next president of the United States in the mirror, there was an obvious problem: his father's legacy--which he had loyally supported--of foreign affairs heterodoxy,...

By Ed Kilgore

August 05, 2014 9:47 AM McDaniel Demands a Senate Nomination

After six weeks of imprecations and threats, former GOP Senate candidate Chris McDaniel has formally made public his "findings" about the June 24 runoff, and is demanding not a new...

By Ed Kilgore

August 05, 2014 8:26 AM Daylight Video

Since the most notable primary today is probably in Kansas, where Sen. Pat Roberts is in some peril in a challenge from damaged wingnut Milton Wolf, and Gov. Sam Brownback...

By Ed Kilgore

August 04, 2014 5:33 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Tomorrow we'll have some primaries again! Just love it. Here are some remains of the day: * Oh brother: Rand Paul denies he ever proposed cutting off U.S. aid to...

By Ed Kilgore

August 04, 2014 5:08 PM Nathan Deal's Sudden Lurch Into Foreign Policy

So here's a rather strange and ostensibly bland headline for an op-ed in the Washington Times: "A Linkage for Leadership in Cybersecurity." The subhed is only a bit more meaningful:...

By Ed Kilgore

August 04, 2014 3:54 PM Better News From Alabama and Mississippi

Since I've talked today about some bad old habits dying slowly if at all in parts of the Deep South, let's mention some better developments, albeit ones that are aimed...

By Ed Kilgore

August 04, 2014 3:32 PM More Color-Blindness From Deep South Conservatives

Just after I wrote about the deep historical disreputability of an Alabama congressman's complaints about anyone doubting his color-blindness, along came another interesting example from next door Mississippi (via the...

By Ed Kilgore

August 04, 2014 3:02 PM The Color-Blind White Man's Party

You have to hand it to Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL). One of the drivers of the House GOP's lurch into nativism on immigration, Brooks very nicely crystalized the recent conservative...

By Ed Kilgore

August 04, 2014 2:06 PM Lunch Buffet

Back on the Monterey Peninsula, where the high temperatures this week are projected to be 67, 69, 69, 70 and 71. Heat wave. Here are some temperate midday news/views treats:...

By Ed Kilgore

August 04, 2014 1:15 PM Bibliolatry at the Heart of Constitutional Conservatism

There's a revealing passage in a report from Kevin Jenkins of the St. George (Utah) Spectrum on an appearance by Cliven Bundy at a gathering of "constitutional conservative" zealots under...

By Ed Kilgore

August 04, 2014 12:26 PM Onward Christian Caucus

It just occurred to me that Eric Cantor's abrupt resignation from the House means that the much-discussed hypothetical absence of a single non-Christian Republican Member of Congress is now a...

By Ed Kilgore

August 04, 2014 11:42 AM Ironic Immigration Bellwethers

If you don't view the rightward shift of the GOP on immigration-related issues as a pretty big deal symptomatic of the party's basic dynamics, consider the trajectory of two elected...

By Ed Kilgore

August 04, 2014 10:54 AM Cantor in the Land of the Lilliputians

Last week when Eric Cantor announced he would not after all serve out his current House term, his official explanation was that he wanted to give his successor (which he...

By Ed Kilgore

August 04, 2014 10:09 AM In the Middle of An August Friday Night

If you want to do something politically dangerous in Washington that you'd just as soon not draw widespread notice, doing it late on a Friday night before the August Congressional...

By Ed Kilgore

August 04, 2014 8:48 AM Daylight Video

On this day in 1979, a group of musicians (including the surviving members of Little Feat) performed a benefit concert in Los Angeles for the family of Lowell George, who...

By Ed Kilgore

August 03, 2014 4:31 PM Norquist at Burning Man

Okay, this is weird. Grover Norquist is going to Burning Man: There's no government that organizes this….That's what happens when nobody tells you what to do. You just figure it...

By Martin Longman

August 03, 2014 3:13 PM Lunch Buffet

I guess some people are freaking out about the patient in Atlanta who is being treated for the Ebola virus. They shouldn't be. United Nations schools in Gaza do not...

By Martin Longman

August 03, 2014 12:41 PM Stay Away, Billionaires

I don't care if it is the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, Michael Bloomberg, or Tom Steyer, I do not like it when billionaires spend hundreds of millions of dollars to...

By Martin Longman

August 03, 2014 10:13 AM Ross Douthat Misplays the Blame Game

I don't know what the president is planning to propose on immigration policy and neither does Ross Douthat. Mr. Douthat assumes that the president is going to propose a change...

By Martin Longman

August 03, 2014 9:04 AM Daylight Video

Here's one from Devo (stands for de-evolution):...

By Martin Longman

August 02, 2014 5:47 PM George Will is a Funny Man

George Will is consistently, if unintentionally, hilarious. In his worldview, Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren are wildly popular in Democratic circles simply because they are women, and Sherrod Brown labors...

By Martin Longman

August 02, 2014 1:56 PM That Suspension Didn't Do What It Was Supposed to Do

Professional sports leagues have extralegal rules that allow them to punish athletes who do things that reflect poorly on their sport. This seems acceptable to me, even though it often...

By Martin Longman

August 02, 2014 12:51 PM Understanding Gaza

Nathan Thrall's recounting of the events leading up to the current war in Gaza for the London Review of Books should be must-reading for anyone who wants to understand what...

By Martin Longman

August 02, 2014 11:26 AM Repeating Lies

The Hill gets credit for the stupidest piece on tap this morning. Judy Kurtz reports that there is a new book coming out that will reveal that Vice-President Joe Biden...

By Martin Longman

August 02, 2014 9:43 AM It's Not Easy to Hold the CIA Accountable

Shortly before he died in July 1988, former CIA officer David Atlee Phillips said that "My final take on the assassination [of JFK] is there was a conspiracy, likely including...

By Martin Longman

August 02, 2014 9:27 AM Daylight Video

Walking through your sunken dreams to get the seats with the best view seems appropriate right about now....

By Martin Longman

August 01, 2014 6:07 PM Day's End and Night Watch

Next week I'll be back in Cali, which means fewer 7:00 AM Daylight Videos but a more predictable schedule after that. Here are some remains of the day: * Dr....

By Ed Kilgore

August 01, 2014 5:15 PM Messing With DACA Will Not Go Over Well With Latinos

I would assume that Republicans are at least dimly aware that the anti-DACA provisions they are toying with to get conservatives on board a border refugee bill will come at...

By Ed Kilgore

August 01, 2014 3:44 PM The Primary Authority On Who Was Supposed to Qualify for Obamacare Subsidies

While no one seriously contends that the drafters of the Affordable Care Act intended to make premium tax subsidies only to those participating in state-run insurance exchanges, there's one authority...

By Ed Kilgore

August 01, 2014 2:39 PM Apres Moi Le Deluge

After indicating he would serve out his House term as a humble rank-and-file Member, Eric Cantor suddenly changed course, per this report from Politico's Jonathan Topaz: Rep. Eric Cantor says...

By Ed Kilgore

August 01, 2014 1:43 PM Lunch Buffet

Lotta chores to do today before flying back to California, so I'll probably stop a bit early and let you amuse yourselves for Happy Hour. Here are some intoxicating midday...

By Ed Kilgore

August 01, 2014 11:44 AM California's Exceptional Drought

I didn't need to read this report by Emily Atkin from ThinkProgress to understand the "exceptional" drought afflicting California: California’s drought has reached levels so high and widespread that it’s...

By Ed Kilgore

August 01, 2014 10:40 AM Poppy Dearest

If reports of a Mitt Romney Comeback weren't enough to make this a sort of medieval Lenten Friday of bad memories and dark forebodings, there's this report from Politico's David...

By Ed Kilgore

August 01, 2014 10:13 AM Cruz Control

Yes, the legislation involved was a symbolic "border bill" not expected to survive the Senate, and yes, the House leadership couldn't seem to find their butts with both hands. But...

By Ed Kilgore

August 01, 2014 8:49 AM Another Undramatic Jobs Report

The July jobs report can be spun in one of two ways. With a net increase in jobs of 209,000, this was the sixth straight month of job gains over...

By Ed Kilgore

August 01, 2014 8:25 AM Oh, No, Not Again!

As a long, rather difficult week comes to a close, you really don't want to get up early with a headache, check out the news aggregator, and see this headline:...

By Ed Kilgore

August 01, 2014 7:58 AM Daylight Video

World War I broke out on this day a century ago, as Russia and Germany declared war on each other. Here's one of the strange songs generated by that savage...

By Ed Kilgore

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