August 8, 2013

1. Can the Middle East peace talks actually accomplish something this time? Matthew Duss looks at what it will take to have a chance for peace.

2. No, Barack Obama “doesn’t hate working class whites.” Francis Wilkinson with a takedown of an idea that just doesn’t fly.

3. Lydia DePillis looks at the possibility that weed is the next marriage equality – that is, whether the polls are changing for good.

4. But what will PolitiFact say? Jonathan Chait notices that Rand Paul is upset about the (now nonexistent) $1 trillion deficits. “For Rand (and Ron) Paul, the dread specter of fiscal collapse and hyperinflation is more of a generalized fact of life than something that depends on particular ‘numbers.’”

5. A useful exploration of “libertarian populism” from Conn Carroll.

6. Noah Smith evaluates recent conservative economic theories. He doesn’t find them all completely wanting. Just mostly.

7. Health care: do you understand the basics of health insurance? As Sarah Kliff reports, most of us don’t – which complicates Affordable Care Act implementation.

8. No, Obamacare isn’t responsible for a surge in part-time work. Evan Soltas has the numbers and the takedown.

9. Brad DeLong agrees, arguing that a small effect in that direction will be a real cost of the ACA, but in the future, not now. An additional point: while obviously working fewer hours matters, one of the big deals to this point of full-time jobs has been eligibility for health care; under Obamacare, that’s much less of a big deal.

10. My evaluation of Chris Christie as a presidential candidate: he’s far more viable than Rudy Giuliani was, but the challenges are serious for him.

11. Good points in response from Ed Kilgore, who compares Christie to Mitt Romney in 2012 – but with tougher competition.

12. A must-read: Julia Ioffe on Obama, Putin, and Snowden…and on a cable news blowhard.

13. The minimal polarizing effects of the partisan press, from Kevin Arceneaux.

14. And get this. The Republican plan after openly plotting to shut down the government for months – after openly discussing exactly which ransom they should be asking once they take the government hostage – is really this: To try to convince everyone that Barack Obama is to blame for any actual shutdown.

Outside of the true believers, this one isn’t going to work.