Political Animal


January 25, 2012 5:00 PM Wednesday’s Mini-Report

By Steve Benen

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Bernanke looks ahead: “The Federal Reserve said on Wednesday that it was likely to raise interest rates at the end of 2014, but not until then, adding another 18 months to the expected duration of its most basic and longest-running response to the financial crisis.”

* We should all await her return to public service: “In an extremely moving moment on the House floor, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) submitted her resignation to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) Wednesday morning after making the announcement in a video Sunday.”

* Quite an anniversary: “Egyptians gathered in Tahrir Square, the crucible of their revolution, on Wednesday in a mixture of celebration and agitation to mark the first anniversary of the protests that forced out Hosni Mubarak, the former president.”

* Indiana disappoints once again: “Indiana’s Republican-controlled House of Representatives has cleared the way for Indiana to become the first right-to-work state in the traditionally union-heavy Rust Belt.”

* Rights should never be subjected to a popularity contest: “Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey said Tuesday that he would veto a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, and he challenged the State Legislature instead to put the issue on the ballot for voters to decide.”

* With House Republicans claiming, with increasing frequency, that they passed 27 jobs bills last year, it’s worth keeping in mind just how thin and inconsequential those bills really are.

* If extremely wealthy people like Bill Gates want to see taxes go up for the rich, does the GOP consider it an example Americans waging class warfare against themselves?

* Mitt Romney seems to think voters should feel sorry for the poor banks. If he changed his campaign slogan to “Candidate of the 1%,” it would at least be accurate.

* Over-the-top rhetoric: “Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) launched into an aggressive condemnation of President Barack Obama’s stance on abortion this week, calling him the ‘enemy of life.’”

* It’s disconcerting the frequency with which the hosts of “Fox & Friends” calls for tax increases on those who make the least amount of money.

* Paul Krugman understands very well what’s wrong with PolitiFact.

* Get to know Joseph Maturo, the Republican mayor of East Haven, Conn.: “The mayor of a working-class city in Connecticut roiled by allegations of police discrimination against Hispanics is facing scathing criticism from officials for saying he “might have tacos” as a way to do something for the community.”

So, is that it? Just about. I believe Paul Glastris, the Monthly’s Editor in Chief, will be along shortly with an announcement, and I’ll have a sign-off post in about a half-hour. Other than that, you can consider this an open thread.

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.


Post a comment
  • Laurie on January 25, 2012 5:07 PM:

    Going to miss your column here, Steve, but will be watching you on Rachel's show. Best wishes!

  • Frederic Gooding on January 25, 2012 5:09 PM:

    It's been a great thing to read your column.

  • Frank on January 25, 2012 5:09 PM:

    You will be missed. Good luck at the next!

  • FlipYrWhig on January 25, 2012 5:11 PM:

    Come back, Shane!

  • Ryan Cooper on January 25, 2012 5:14 PM:

    Gonna miss you here Steve. You should note, by the way, that Politifact changed their rating on the jobs claim to "mostly true."

  • Hilde on January 25, 2012 5:14 PM:

    Thank you for all of your illuminating political commentary. You will be missed! We look forward to seeing you more on MSNBC. Rachel Maddow is very lucky to have you.

  • Anonymous on January 25, 2012 5:15 PM:

    FlipYrWhig... I recognize that line!

    Good luck, Steve. I'll look for you on Rachel and watch for your blog posts. Thanks for everything.

  • davidp on January 25, 2012 5:15 PM:

    Best of luck at your next gig, Steve.

  • howie on January 25, 2012 5:17 PM:

    Glastris is about to announce that Herman Cain will be taking over the blog here....

  • Mike Stagg on January 25, 2012 5:21 PM:

    Thanks for the great run, Steve! Looking forward to your work on Rachel Maddow!

  • Anonymous on January 25, 2012 5:22 PM:


    Thanks so much for your great work. And best of luck at your new gig.

  • slappy magoo on January 25, 2012 5:23 PM:

    Laurence Fishburne?
    David Ogden Stiers/Mike Farrell/Harry Morgan?
    Sarah Chalke?
    Dick York?
    Woody Harrelson?
    Mike Nelson?
    Bill Murray?
    Sandy Duncan?
    Jon Stewart?
    Conan O'Brien?
    Jimmy Fallon?
    Jay Leno (please God no)?
    Who will replace you?

  • gelfling545 on January 25, 2012 5:23 PM:

    This has been my "go to" blog when I needed sensible and reasoned relief from the assortment of nonsense pouring out from many sites . I shall miss it.

  • zeitgeist on January 25, 2012 5:24 PM:

    you have to stick around and personally hand-off the black suitcase with the launch codes for the Political Animal blog with Glastris there to turn the second key, huh?

  • Etruscan on January 25, 2012 5:24 PM:

    Good luck, Steve. I feel as if I've come to know you in the years I've been reading you--usually many times daily. Your acutely observed, well reasoned, and succinctly delivered posts have been a great source of information and enlightenment to me, and many. I'll miss seeing your work here, but look forward to following you as best I can, as a non-cable guy, over at MSNBC. All best!

  • Sasha on January 25, 2012 5:29 PM:

    "* If extremely wealthy people like Bill Gates want to see taxes go up for the rich, does the GOP consider it an example Americans waging class warfare against themselves?"

    No. That makes him a hypocrite like Elizabeth Warren.

  • threegoal on January 25, 2012 5:33 PM:

    So long and thanks for all the fish. (Wait - shouldn't you be saying that?)

    Seriously, you've been a must-read from the day you got here, and you set a high bar for your successor. To me your big gift has been reasonableness, and I know you will continue to be that way wherever you go. I have already bookmarked your new home. This site is also on my toolbar, and there's only so much room. New guy: you need to earn a continued presence on the toolbar!

  • Sam on January 25, 2012 5:36 PM:

    I think you were the best blogger on the web. Cogent, biting, well sourced, fact based, and passionate. Good luck at MSNBC.

  • Julie on January 25, 2012 5:38 PM:

    Ah, I won't miss you, Steve. I'll just read your new blog.

    I feel sorry for the folks at Washington Monthly, though - they have the bricks-and-mortar Steve to miss.

    I am looking forward to adding Ed Kilgore to my list of go-to bloggers!

  • MJ on January 25, 2012 5:40 PM:

    Although we've never met in person, I feel like I'm bidding farewell to a good friend. Best of luck, Steve! Thanks again for your diligent efforts to shine some light into the darkness.

  • Dorothy on January 25, 2012 5:45 PM:

    Boy, I'm sure going to miss you at Washington Monthly! I've been following you since the Carpetbagger days. Good Luck at MSNBC!