* A nice piece by Francis Wilkinson on the conservative closed information feedback loop and how it is ensuring that fewer and fewer conservatives are worth listening to.
* A chilling Ryan Lizza scoop: The Justice Department fought to keep its monitoring of Fox reporter James Rosen’s email secret, because it saw a need to monitor them for an extended period.
* The Justice Department confirms that Eric Holder signed off on the Rosen search warrant.
* Jed Lewison is good on Fox News’ efforts to spin the Rosen warrant as proof of Obama administration intimidation of Fox News, and on what’s really wrong with the administration’s handling of the Rosen case.
* The counter-argument from Jack Shafer: “What war on the press?”
* Nice catch by Steve Benen: Pew polling strongly suggests Republican voters overwhelmingly support expanded background checks, but were very susceptible to distortions from conservative lawmakers and media about what was actually in Manchin-Toomey.
* Good, quick Digby post on the larger political and ideological goal of Elizabeth Warren’s new student loan proposal, and why this is another indication that she’s going to be a formidable senator.
* Brian Beutler on an interesting dynamic about the positive Obamacare news out of California: Success in that state will make states that deliberately hamper implementation look that much more incompetent and craven.
* Paul Krugman adds:
The whole political calculus was supposed to be that Republicans in red states could point to the horrors of Obamacare and ride them to political victory. Instead, it looks as if we’re going to see blue-state residents reaping the benefits of a functional health care system, while red-state residents are denied many of those benefits, for what looks like no better reason than mean-spirited spite — because what’s going on is, indeed, mean-spirited spite.
Predictions that Obamacare will be a big political issue are probably right — but not in the way gleeful conservatives imagined.
* Matthew Yglesias predicts that even as the press inflates every story of problematic Obamacare implementation beyond recognition, what will actually be happening is that the law will work out just fine, and people are going to love it.
* Don’t miss Dave Weigel’s quick investigation revealing what Max Baucus’s infamous Obamacare “train wreck” quote actually said. Startling media incompetence, not to mention credulousness in the face of GOP spin, on display here.
* David Firestone on how Obama’s national security speech forced Republicans into an outdated, simplistic posture rooted in fantasy visions of an increasingly powerful global enemy that the GOP will now struggle to keep alive at all costs.
* As Ed Kilgore notes, if GOP Rep. Tom Cotton is really the next big thing signaling what to expect from the GOP of the future, as conservatives suggest, then we’d better resign ourselves to years of partisan conflict, discord, and acrimony.
* What if Republicans don’t need to rebrand at all, and can win again even if they are completely out of step with the public on many major issues? Paul Waldman digs into history to make the case.
* And, courtesy of Wonkblog: “The 31 charts that will destroy your faith in humanity.” Just to get your holiday weekend started on the right note.