August 28, 2013

1. The quote of the day? Bill Clinton: “A great Democracy does not make it harder to vote than to buy an assault weapon.”

2. The National Security Network on intervention in Syria. Worthwhile.

3. While Erik Voeten rounds up what political scientists have been saying about Syria.

4. Jonathan Chait with a nice piece about racism and conservatives who think it (and its effects) disappeared years ago.

5. “War, the Tea Party, and 23 Other Things Pundits Say MLK Would Have Supported.” By Asawin Suebsaeng.

6. But how about a little optimism: Brad Plumer has 10 ways (with charts!) the U.S. has improved in the 50 years since the March on Washington.

7. Brutal: Ta-Nehisi Coates on George Will and the Moynahan Report.

8. Speaking of brutal: Rick Hasen spanks down Jonathan Tobin on the myth of voter fraud by impersonation. As Hasen points out, it basically doesn’t happen, at least not in numbers large enough to matter to anyone — and that means that Voter ID is a solution for a non-problem (or, to put it more bluntly, Voter ID is about making it hard to vote, not making it hard to cheat).

9. More about the IRS scandal and Tea Party organizational revival, from Steve Benin. I think the key here in this item, and Alex’s earlier today, is that it’s about organizational revival, not changing anyone’s attitudes.

10. Ezra Klein makes the case for why we should be worried about the debt limit. I’m not as worried as he is; I don’t think anyone in leadership wants a breach, which means that there’s a good chance it won’t happen. I agree, however, that the odds of something going wrong are far better than zero.

11. On the question of Barack Obama’s strategy in the debt limit and government funding fights, I think Brian Beutler gets it right. The key here, contra the critics, is that Obama does have the leverage to deny outrageous Republican demands, but not enough to achieve anything like total victory.

12. Sarah Kliff interviews one of the Republican Members of Congress who will refuse to use the health insurance he’s entitled to under the Affordable Care Act.

13. And Timothy B. Lee explains what happened to the New York Times when it went dark from an attack.

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