March 20, 2013
Marine Lance Cpl. James Blake Miller, 20, in Fallujah, Iraq, in Nov., 2004. (Luis Sinco/Associated Press)
Marine Lance Cpl. James Blake Miller in Fallujah, Iraq, in Nov., 2004. (Luis Sinco/Associated Press)

1. New legislation in Oregon, pushed by Secretary of State Kate Brown, would make voter registration opt-out rather than opt-in. Excellent idea! The effects of limited registration and voting turnout tend to be overstated, but nevertheless there’s no good reason at all that voter registration isn’t automatic in the U.S.

2. Michael Cohen on why it’s important for people to be acknowledging that the U.S. lost in Iraq.

3. Dan Drezner argues that Iraq will affect U.S. foreign policy for years.

4. What about Republican members of Congress who opposed the Iraq War? Jennifer Bendery and Sabrina Siddiqui check in on them.

5. An early assessment of Rand Paul as a presidential candidate, from Nate Silver.

6. Good point by Ed Kilgore: as long as GOP primaries are almost always contests about who can be the most conservative, they’re not going to reform anything meaningful.

7. “A national party is made up of thousands of people with their own agendas and ideas.” Paul Waldman on why Republicans are stuck with religious conservatives.

8. It might help Republicans if they stopped trying to keep people from voting. Good Jonathan Capehart item.

9. Although Jonathan Chait thinks that social conservatives won’t get what they want from Republicans.

10. Brad Plumer: how to cut gasoline use in half.

11. Kevin Drum dives into that terrific Swanson/Blumenthal poll on waste in government spending.

12. And want to know what members of Congress tweet about? Political scientist Heather Evans has the details.