1. Today’s must-read: Gabriel Arana talks about his experience with the “ex-gay.” (Link fixed)
2. Really good, balanced advice from Walter Shapiro about the pitfalls of covering Veepstakes.
3. Joshua Tucker argues that Mitt Romney will win the support of Santorum voters in the general election. Agreed, about rank-and-file voters – but the real question is whether organized conservative groups will make Romney pay a price for it.
4. Does an “empathy gap” doom Romney? John Sides looks at the findings by political scientists and concludes: No, it’s not apt to make much difference. Note: these kinds of perceived character traits are likely to be much more important in congressional elections, if they reach the point that voters notice them. Key thing about presidential elections: saturation coverage means that even casual voters know lots of stuff about the candidates, and so any particular piece of information is less likely to matter.
5. “If there's one thing the Mitt Romney team excels at, it's manipulating campaign finance rules.” Veteran Romney-watcher (and my brother) David S. Bernstein explains the latest innovation.
6. Digby, on Paul Ryan’s definition of “rich,” or lack thereof.
7. Scott Lemieux on the Supreme Court, health care reform, and “judicial activism.”
8. Andrew Sprung has been pushing the fact that health care reform does in fact have a catastrophic coverage option, despite what you (and the Justices) might have heard during oral arguments. Good point, and good to see he’s having some success.
9. Right-wing obsession with race – a good post from Conor Friedersdorf.
10. Yeah, the Obama campaign’s Buffett Rule Calculator is a nice touch.
11. But for the policy details, let Ezra Klein explain why “Everything You Know About the Buffett Rule is Wrong.”
12. Will Democrats embrace a call for a higher minimum wage? James K. Galbraith argues that it’s a more important substantive step than the Buffett Rule. Usually polls well, too, although I haven’t seen anything recent.
13. Good item on marriage equality and the Democratic platform, by Steve Kornacki.
14. And Alyssa Rosenberg on the most challenged books of 2011.