The big electoral news today is the special election in Arizona to replace Gabrielle Giffords. Polls close at 10 PM Eastern Time. For what to watch, see this summary from Scott Bland. Remember, every House seat is important, regardless of what this election says about larger issues or whatever. Democrat Ron Barber is probably thought to be a very slim favorite over Tea Party Republican Jesse Kelly.
Moving to the good stuff:
1. Jonathan Cohn blasts attempts by Team Romney to back up its economic claims.
2. Meanwhile, Michael McAuliff schools Romney on exactly who pays for cops, teachers, and firefighters – and what Romney’s budget proposals would do.
3. And Kevin Drum suspects that when Romney lies he’s is only following the incentives that are out there. Depressing.
4. Important: Matt Yglesias keeps pounding the drum for why liberals should care about monetary policy. He’s still correct about this, and it’s still not happening.
5. Or, as Neil Sinhababu puts it: “Job Creation Is the Fed’s Job.” He gets it.
6. Sarah Kliff reports on the big effort to answer a key health care reform goal: making shopping for health insurance easy, or at least a lot easier.
7. And more good news about costs and the Affordable Care Act: The new estimate is that it’s going to buy broader and better coverage for…about .01% more than would have been spent anyway. Jeffrey Young looks into it.
8. Good point from Stan Collender: The “fiscal cliff” isn’t really much of a cliff, after all, and need not be all that scary, at least not in terms of immediate effects.
9. An update on the Florida purge of voters, in which Governor Rick Scott doesn’t even have the full support of his own party. From Josh Israel.
10. I’ve been saying that the Democrats made a mistake back in 2009 by failing to ensure automatic long-term stabilizers for state and local governments, but Ezra Klein points out that in the past – when Republicans held the White House – state and local government employment grew during recessions. Doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be automatic ways of handling it, but it does make it a little more understandable why Democrats make advance planning on it a priority.
11. Ronald Reagan, the legend and the reality, from Jonathan Chait.
12. Good rejoinder from Conor Friedersdorf to Ross Douthat’s latest on marriage.
13. Greg Koger sounds cranky when he thinks about what’s going on in the Senate.
14. And Scott Lemieux knocks down the idea of the “bully pulpit” one more time.