Opening Act: January? Seriously?

Maker's Mark barrel

Maker’s Mark promotional photo

Today’s kick-off post is brought to you by Delta, who delayed one flight from Dallas just long enough to miss the connecting flight from Atlanta to D.C. “Delta! When you’re hankerin’ to sleep in the ergonomic hug of an airport chair.”

The trials (figure of speech!) of Bob Menendez are now consistent NYT A1 fodder. My theory that Menendez can wriggle out of his donor scandal simply because it’s less interesting than his unproven sex scandal is being sorely tested.

In a January e-mail exchange with Customs and Border Protection in the Department of Homeland Security, Mr. Menendez’s staff did not mention Dr. Melgen or his company, Boarder Support Services, by name.

But the aide asked if the United States government was planning to donate additional port security equipment to the Dominican Republic. The aide explained that if such a donation occurred, the Dominican government, perhaps under pressure from criminal elements there, might intentionally limit the use of the equipment so that drugs or other contraband could still flow through the country’s ports on the way to the United States.

In January! After he’d just dodged the shrapnel from the last scandal!

Ben Jacobs and John Dickerson ponder the Rove question. Is he bold? Did he enable Steve King by accident? Did he boldly enable Steve King, by accident?

Clare Malone polishes off the best story from last week, analyzing the art of George W. Bush from a tender critical perspective.

If we didn’t have the Sunday shows, how would we ever hear Lindsey Graham threatening to block nominees until he gets answers on Benghazi?

And Sonny Bunch tries his damndest to explain basic economics to Maker’s Mark. I agree with him, but feel like Maker’s Mark can get away with this as rise of better brown stuff has relegated it, increasingly, to mixer status.