August 30, 2013
Secretary of State John F. Kerry makes the case against Syria. (Jason Reed/Reuters)
Secretary of State John F. Kerry makes the case against Syria. (Jason Reed/Reuters)

1. Since we’re entering Labor Day weekend, let’s begin with … labor. Seth D. Michaels on “the wage crisis.” 

2. Max Fisher: “9 questions about Syria you were too embarrassed to ask.”

3. Kevin Drum is brutal about how President Obama has “botched” Syria.

4. The case against military action, from James Joyner.

5. Another case against military action, from Matt Duss.

6. By the way, blame Congress, and not the president, for the failure of Congress to act on Syria. Scott Lemieux is good on this.

7. Did advocates of comprehensive immigration reform win August because no one talked about immigration in August? Russell Berman reports. Sounds about right to me. But will it be enough?

8. It was always going to be Larry Summers, Ezra Klein explains.

9. Excellent point by Matt Yglesias on Summers and why Fed independence is overrated. I worry about inflation more than he does (generation effects!), but yeah, it’s quite reasonable for a president to put someone sympathetic to the administration’s general approach into that position.

10. Although what if it isn’t Summers after all? Ed Kilgore on how that might justify the last few months of speculation and fighting. I agree. But only if it isn’t Summers.

11. Jamelle Bouie on why Republicans really insist on spending money on drug tests for welfare recipients.

12. How many ways can Republicans obstruct the Affordable Care Act? We’re really never seen anything like this. Never. Sarah Kliff, with the latest attempts to prevent people from getting health insurance.

13. Brian Beutler remains an optimist on the chances of avoiding a government shutdown or a debt limit breach. 

14. Taking the pessimist side is Jonathan Chait. I think Chait underappreciates that John Boehner really doesn’t want to go off of any cliffs and has a history of finding ways to avoid it; I think Beutler underappreciates the risks of a disaster despite that.

15. The humanitarian case for open borders, from Paul Crider. A strong case.

16. It’s one poll, and all that, but still I’ll call this interesting: could West Virginia Senate be more competitive than the easy Republican pickup everyone has been expecting?

17. Always read Tom Mann and Norm Ornstein on Congress.

18. And don’t miss Marin Cogan on the Congressional art competition.