Last week sources said the Clintons wouldn't endorse Anthony Weiner if he runs for mayor for fear that Americans would suddenly remember that the president had a sex scandal of his own in the late nineties. (Was it a sexy AIM chat or something? We're a bit foggy.) Apparently Weiner and supportive wife/Hillary aide Huma Abedin aren't the only issue; The Clintons aren't interested in choosing between Bill de Blasio, Hillary's 2000 Senate campaign manager, Christine Quinn, potentially the city's first female/openly gay mayor, and Bill Thompson, who would be the city's second black mayor. Hillary Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill tells Politico, “Secretary Clinton knows all of the candidates, she has worked with many of them, and is close with many of them, so won’t be weighing in one way or the other.”
The Obama presidency has been a golden era for right-wing kookery. Many aspects of this kookery, like gold fetishism or threats to default on the national debt, are simply too esoteric to filter into the general public and haven’t hurt the party’s image. Where Republicans have suffered damage is when their kook beliefs wander into the terrain of social issues, which hinge less on specialized knowledge, and the nuttiness is apparent to all. They keep throwing away winnable elections in this manner, and they may be about to do it again in Virginia.
The most interesting part of this Washington Post op-ed on guns by Jeffrey Nugent ("Ted Nugent’s older brother") is not the case it makes for expanding background checks. Everyone with the capacity for common sense thinks expanding background checks is a good idea, including, apparently, Jeffrey Nugent. The most interesting part of Jeffrey Nugent's op-ed is this line, right at the beginning:
Jeffrey Nugent is the former president and chief executive of Revlon.
We know they're brothers, but were they separated at birth or something?
It's unknown what Justin Timberlake is showing President Obama in this photo from a White House musical performance last month, which was released today on the White House Flickr page. But some are suggesting that it was Timberlake's high score in Candy Crush.
According to three journalists who separately viewed a clear and well-lit cell-phone video, Toronto mayor Rob Ford smokes crack. Many see this as kind of a problem. Crack is not only illegal, but it also tends to distract one from one's obligations and responsibilities — like, say, running a city of 2.6 million people. But there are some people who just aren't interested in whether Ford, the mayor of Canada's largest city, smokes crack with Somali crack dealers in his spare time. They want everyone to leave Rob Ford alone.
The prosecution of government employees who share information with journalists by the Justice Department under Barack Obama is not new — in fact, the administration has gone after more people than any in history (combined!) — but now people are paying attention. The DOJ's seizure of Associated Press phone records highlighted just how little patience the government has for those who leak national security information, and now the Washington Post has yet another glaring example: In the case against Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, a government adviser accused of leaking a classified report on North Korea, the government went all out on a Fox News reporter for doing his job.
The wackiest Republicans have been ready to impeach Obama from day one; the slightly more thoughtful members of the party are taking a wait-and-see approach. They are considering impeachment, but they aren't quite there. They are perhaps waiting for evidence that somebody in the Obama administration, at any level, broke any law at all. Then it's full go!
George F. Will, speaking on This Week, defended his claim that the Internal Revenue Service mess is kinda like Watergate:
in the sense it's the use of the Federal machinery to punish enemies of the administration. ... I brought Watergate into this because abuse of the IRS was Second 1, Article 2, of the Articles of Impeachment of Richard Nixon.
On Fox News Sunday, Paul Ryan listed the key points investigators need to clear up in the IRS scandal: “Who knew? When did they know? Why did they do this? How high up in government did it go?” Answers to those questions are already trickling out, with The Wall Street Journal reporting that the chief White House lawyer, Kathryn Ruemmler, was informed last month that the investigation into the targeting of mostly conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status would probably conclude the IRS acted inappropriately. Yet, the White House insists that President Obama only learned about the controversy when it was made public on May 10, sparking more debate about when the president should have been informed, and what action his administration should have taken.
Virginia's already-grim gubernatorial race got a new injection of right-wing craziness to complement Ken Cuccinelli's, as minister and lawyer E.W. Jackson won the nomination for lieutenant governor Saturday after a ten-hour voting process at the state Republican convention. Jackson, who has not held political office before (but unsuccessfully ran for Senate in 2012) beat out more experienced candidates by appealing "as a grass-roots crusader for the Constitution and social conservatism," the Washington Post reported. "I might even be more extreme than Ken," Jackson said recently. The paper says the comment was meant "facetiously," but now that Jackson's the candidate it's been easy to find examples of him being bombastic. Five of the most dramatic follow.
Since Hillary Clinton's dozens of less-than-Shermanesque statements on her potential 2016 presidential run have already been cataloged and analyzed in every way imaginable, the Washington Post has moved on to her former campaign staffers. Following interviews with "nearly two dozen veterans" of Clinton's last campaign, the paper determined that four top advisers — Howard Wolfson, Neera Tanden, Mark Penn, and Patti Solis Doyle — have moved on and have no intention of working for Clinton again. That means that if Clinton is running, she'll have to find a way to forge ahead without her notoriously dysfunctional (and ultimately losing) 2008 team.
Deep behind a tangle of denial and rebranding initiatives, a GOP resuscitation plan emerges.By Frank Rich
When Mark Sanford decided to run for office again, he asked his ex-wife, Jenny, for her blessing. Whether he has her vote is another matter.By Jason Zengerle
Jon Favreau’s most enduring riffs.
Wonkblog Jan. 21, 2013
For all the sound and fury, Washington’s actually making real progress on debt.By Ezra Klein
Mother Jones Jan. 15, 2013
Our debt dysfunction began with the Constitution, funded Manifest Destiny, and makes the trillion dollar coin look tame.By Tim Murphy
Salon Jan. 15, 2012
Harry Reid and other pro-gun Democrats leave Obama in need of unlikely allies.By Steve Kornacki
New York Magazine / Nov. 5, 2010
After November's glitch, Boehner, McConnell and Congress strike familiar poses.By John Heilemann
New York Magazine / Jan. 25, 2009
Obama drew progressive ire from day one.By John Heilemann
New York Magazine / Nov. 30, 2008
How one undocumented family lives in our sanctuary city.By Jeff Coplon