February 22, 2013

1. Ezra Klein’s interviews are the best thing going: today, David Brooks attempts to keep up, and mostly doesn’t. Brutal.

2. Also, Brooks is wrong about the biggest source of U.S. economic problems. Derek Thompson explains.

3. Really, a bad day for Brooks. He’s also wrong about Obama and means-testing Medicare, as Jonathan Cohn points out.

4. Yes, Barack Obama has more than earned his deficit-hawk credentials, Jamelle Bouie points out.

5. Meanwhile, Stan Collender looks at the White House plans for air traffic control and concludes that Obama is ready to play hardball on the sequester.

6. Evidence that the Affordable Care Act may be helping keep costs down: large rate increases in the individual market were constant in 2009, rare now. Sarah Kliff has the story.

7. Buckley v. Valeo may be in big trouble at the Supreme Court: That’s what Scott Lemieux concludes.

8. Great Ed Kilgore riff on Peggy Noonan and why Walmart shoppers might be less than fully happy.

9. “Ted Cruz’s McCarthyism and the Christian Right.” Sarah Posner looks at the background of Cruz’s accusations about the Harvard Law School faculty.

10. A smart post by Joe Weisenthal about what’s right about the U.S. (including some things that the U.S. government does very well by world standards).

11. Xenophobia in Switzerland. New research.

12. And Steve Benen hits his 10-year blogging birthday. Congratulations! He continues to be excellent, day-in, day-out, keeping a pace that’s basically superhuman while still finding fresh insights. One of the handful who taught the rest of us how to do it.