Virginia's already-grim mayoral 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 10-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.
"I said, ‘Wow! That’s amazing! All these people gonna be eatin’ me. Oh that’s so hot! A hot dog with mustard and relish! That’s better than Anthony Weiner!' "— Jimmy McMillan, the mayoral candidate running on The Rent is Too Damn High ticket, on his endorsement by Papaya King, which has named a hot dog after him and offered use of its St. Marks Place store as an unofficial campaign headquarters.
Sexual harasser and former Brooklyn Democratic Party head Vito Lopez vowed on Friday to remain in the New York State Assembly until the June 20 end of the current legislative session, despite Governor Andrew Cuomo and Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver's urging him resign over his long history of icky behavior. (Silver was planning on introducing a resolution to expel him.) But Lopez has now told the New York Post that he intends to step down at the beginning of next week. "Everything will end Monday," declared the soon-to-be former assemblyman, citing "the sake" of his family, close friends, and his health as reasons for leaving.
Even though Mayor Bloomberg thinks the city might find itself without a mayor come January 1 thanks to potential voting-machine snafus, he promised this morning that he will not stay on for a fourth term regardless. "I will not be mayor, no matter what happens," Bloomberg said. (Unless that's what you guys want?)
Providing his first response to news reports that a cell-phone video shows him smoking crack, Toronto mayor Rob Ford told reporters assembled outside his home this morning, "Absolutely not true. I don't — it's ridiculous." Ford added, "Another Toronto Star ..." before trailing off and getting into his car. Later, outside his office, Ford continued to try to frame the scandal as merely some kind of Toronto Star conspiracy, even though Gawker has also seen the tape, and also says it shows Ford smoking crack.
As the investigative phase of the Obama presidency commences in earnest, Republicans are promising that their overriding goal is to proceed cautiously and let the facts speak for themselves. “We have stuff here that’s real, so you don’t need the distraction of politics to give people an excuse to say we’re being silly,” a House Republican leadership aide involved in the investigations tells Politico. “Everyone is keenly aware of the overreach risk.” Likewise, Charles Boustany Jr., who is helping lead the IRS investigation on the House Ways and Means Committee, tells the New York Times, “I’m being very cautious not to overplay my hand.”
Many Americans awoke this morning to discover that (a) the mayor of Toronto is a guy named Rob Ford, and (b) Rob Ford smokes crack. Gawker reported last night that a cell-phone video clearly showing Ford lighting up a crack pipe — which was supposedly filmed within the last six months, while he was mayor — was being shopped around for six figures. Gawker's John Cook saw the video in person with his own two eyes, as did two reporters from the Toronto Star. Ford's lawyer calls the video "false and defamatory" and asks, hilariously, “How can you indicate what the person is actually doing or smoking?”
If you didn't know anything at all about Rob Ford, the revelation that he smoked crack on video might come as an absolute shock. Marion Barry aside, this is not something that mayors do. But if you were familiar with Ford, you might not even be that surprised. For the uninitiated, here are the twenty most important things to know about Rob Ford.
House Republicans have been meeting to figure out their next strategy on the debt ceiling. The last time, if you recall, President Obama insisted he would not pay a ransom in order to get the House Republicans to do something they agreed had to be done to avert financial catastrophe. They managed to save face by lifting the debt ceiling and attaching a requirement that the Senate pass a formal budget rather than just continue previous budgets. At the time, Republicans hailed this as a great victory, which would force Senate Democrats to negotiate a budget on favorable terms for the GOP.
But Republicans have since figured out that regular order is actually really bad for them, forcing them to openly advocate unpopular policy priorities on taxes and spending, and have been trying desperately to stall to prevent the very thing they once demanded. Now as they contemplate the next debt-ceiling hike, nobody in the party is even pretending that they won anything by making Senate Democrats draw up a formal budget. (“They say they will not simply roll over again, as they did in January,” reports the Washington Post.)
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