August 29, 2013

1. Big late-breaking news on Syria: the British Parliament has voted against taking military action. Gosh, it’s as if they’ve had some unpleasant experience working with the United States on an armed adventure in that part of the world. Very interesting to see what Barack Obama’s next step will be.

2. Kevin Drum is thinking of George W. Bush, too.

3. While liberal tending-towards-hawk Jonathan Chait is finding the case for military action increasingly spotty.

4. Michael Cohen makes “The liberal case for President Obama to strike the Syrian regime.”

5. Andrew Bacevich has three questions for Obama before starting anything in Syria.

6. One from Charli Carpenter, on the two conversations intersecting in the Syria debate. Very helpful and clarifying.

7. The Post’s big story about the “black budget” for U.S. intelligence. A blockbuster, from Barton Gellman and Greg Miller.

8. On immigration: Brian Beutler on why it’s not the calendar that’s blocking immigration reform in the House.

9. In my immigration item yesterday, I didn’t include the farm bill as a part of the House GOP agenda this fall; Ed O’Keefe reports that House Republicans are still unable to come up with a plan to get it through that chamber.

10. Yes, that National Journal story on Obamacare premiums got it wrong. Jonathan Cohn covers the issue more thoroughly, I’d say, than I did.

11. More good news about Affordable Care Act cost controls, reported by Jenny Gold. Remember: most of the long-term budget problem is really just a health care cost problem. If the latter is solved, the former goes away.

12. Katha Pollitt: Operation Rescue vs. Dr. Ann Neuhaus, Hero Provider.

13. Is the Virginia governor’s race over? Two polls out have Democrat Terry McAuliffe maintaining a pretty solid lead. I still don’t understand why an independent didn’t jump into this one.

14. And, hey, I’ve been so busy talking about the “new nullification” of blocking confirmation of executive branch nominees that I didn’t realize the “old nullification” is actually back. Scott Lemieux reports on a case of it in Missouri.