Grover Norquist Goes to Burning Man

It’s a hell-hot Friday afternoon, and conservative anti-tax activist Grover Norquist and I are walking down a dusty footpath at Burning Man, the annual New Age festival held in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. As we stroll past rows of parked RVs on Gold Street, we pass a large tent that advertises “Free Taint Washes." A man approaches us from inside, carrying a jug of water with a misting attachment.

“Would you like a spray?” the man asks.

“Not today,” Norquist says.

The man smiles. “Well, would you like a taint wash?”


The de Blasios Did Their Goofy Family Dance Again

It's been a while since we've seen "the Smackdown," a synchronized dance the de Blasios busted out more than a couple times while Bill was running for mayor last year. For the uninitiated: The Smackdown is an unusual routine that involves hand-waving, hand-licking, pavement-slapping, and leaping high into the air. While the dance's origins are unclear, the sheer goofiness of it is something that some people might be tempted to leave behind on the campaign trail. Not the de Blasios! As events such as the Mermaid Parade have taught us, these people are deeply committed to family fun, so we weren't too surprised to see Bill, Chirlane, Chiara, and Dante bring back the Smackdown at Monday's West Indian Day Parade.

There is video. »

Rick Perry Says He Didn’t Mean to Tweet About How His Political Enemy Is ‘the Most Drunk Democrat in Texas’

While most Americans were out enjoying the long weekend, Rick Perry, or some person with access to Rick Perry's personal Twitter account, was stewing over his recent felony indictment. Perry's two abuse-of-power charges are the result of a showdown with Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmburg, a Democrat who was caught driving drunk last year. After Lehmburg's arrest, Perry threatened to slash her office's budget unless she gave her up job. Lehmburg refused to resign, so Perry withheld the money — and that's why we now have a glasses-free mug shot of the Texas governor. It's also why we now have the especially dumb beer ad parody that Perry tweeted in the middle of Sunday night.

"I don't always drive drunk at 3X the legal blood limit..." »


Ted Cruz Just Lost the Bronx

If Ted Cruz had any supporters in the Bronx, he has certainly lost them now. During a Saturday speech at something called the Americans for Prosperity's Defending the American Dream Summit, Cruz used a dig at the borough to criticize New York Senator Chuck Schumer's position on immigration reform. "Now, I understand that Manhattan is very concerned with their security with the Bronx, but it's a little bit different on 2,000 miles of the Rio Grande," said the Texas tea partier, whose knowledge of the area is probably entirely based on a single late-night viewing of Fort Apache, the Bronx.

"Grow up." »

Eternally Outraged Congressman Not Trying to Be ‘Trivial,’ But Doesn’t Think Obama’s Tan Suit Was Appropriate

President Obama’s ugly beige suit has quickly gone from stupid joke — “The president stands squarely behind the decision he made yesterday to wear his summer suit,” the White House press secretary said today — to stupid faux controversy thanks to who else but Long Island Republican Representative Peter King. “There’s no way, I don’t think, any of us can excuse what the president did yesterday. I mean, you have the world watching,” said King on right-wing internet TV today.


The Race To Make Hillary Clinton More Liberal Is On

The 2016 Democratic presidential campaign is beginning to take shape. It’s a highly unusual campaign. Hillary Clinton commands the massive party loyalty of an incumbent, except she’s not an incumbent, so it is possible for another Democrat to challenge her without the campaign necessarily signalling the all-out, you-have-failed opposition of a Gene McCarthy in 1968, Ted Kennedy in 1980, Pat Buchanan in 1992, and so on. The campaign, instead, is likely to center on organized liberals using a candidacy to pressure Clinton not to move too far toward the center.


Some Southern Members of Congress Apparently Haven’t Gotten Over the Civil War

Lieutenant Alonzo Cushing will be awarded a Medal of Honor today for his heroism at the Battle of Gettysburg. Why did it take so long? Well, there are several reasons, most of them prosaic. (Initially, the rules did not allow posthumous awards, and Cushing was killed in the battle; there was bureaucratic inertia.) There’s also the fact that the white South still hasn’t come to grips with the Civil War:


Obama’s Climate Deal Doesn’t Need the Senate

The Obama administration’s Climate Action Plan is designed to enable the United States to negotiate an international agreement. But wait, treaties have to be ratified by the Senate — with 67 votes, no less — and you couldn’t find 67 Senators to ratify a climate treaty even if it imposed zero burden on America and required all the other countries to deliver tons of gold tribute for us to build a gigantic statue of Ronald Reagan.

It turns out the anti-climate-change community has already thought of this. Coral Davenport has a good report on how the Obama administration, in conjunction with leaders of other countries, plans to craft an accord that does not require Senate confirmation. Cue the Drudge freakout:


The Dreamers Have Destroyed the Republican Immigration Strategy

After the 2012 election, Marco Rubio tried to craft himself as the leader of a pro-immigration-reform Republican Party. That effort has capsized, pulling Rubio’s standing with conservatives down along with it. Now Rubio is refashioning himself as the leader of a restrictionist Republican Party. The new Rubio can be seen talking tough with conservative publications like the Washington Examiner and Breitbart, and wooing right-wing audiences in South Carolina. The newest iteration of Rubio is the opposite of the figure he and party leaders envisioned last year. The transformation ought to terrify them.


Video of the day

Charlie Rangel Opens Debate With Fake Phone Call

Congressman Joe Garcia Picks Ear, Eats It on Live TV

Sarah Palin Thinks Chelsea’s Baby May Make Hillary ‘Open Her Eyes’ About Abortion


In The Mag

Back on the Trail

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

Reading List

Wonkblog Jan. 21, 2013

The Case for Deficit Optimism

For all the sound and fury, Washington’s actually making real progress on debt.

By Ezra Klein
Salon Jan. 15, 2012

The NRA's Democratic Helpers

Harry Reid and other pro-gun Democrats leave Obama in need of unlikely allies.

By Steve Kornacki

From the Archives

New York Magazine / Nov. 5, 2010

Boehner's Army

After November's glitch, Boehner, McConnell and Congress strike familiar poses.

By John Heilemann
New York Magazine / Jan. 25, 2009

With Friends Like These

Obama drew progressive ire from day one.

By John Heilemann
New York Magazine / Nov. 30, 2008

Hiding In Plain Sight

How one undocumented family lives in our sanctuary city.

By Jeff Coplon