The top story tonight: Liberals are taking the fight to the GOP on unemployment benefits. It’d be nice to see this not used as a weapon, and just passed into law, but better than nothing.
- Dan Amira imagines how current outlets would cover the birth of Jesus. Salon and Wonkblog are my favorites.
- Great piece from Peter Beinart about pro-war Senate Dems and the absence of the antiwar left. In their defense, I’ll note that the left has a lot on its plate. But also, have these people already forgotten what happened to Hillary Clinton in 2008? If there is war with Iran, they can kiss their presidential ambitions goodbye.
- Healthcare.gov is getting record traffic as people who have put things off try to get coverage at the last minute. A good sign overall, I’d say.
- Excellent set of charts defining our economic age from the Economic Policy Institute. That’s a good addendum to my post on inequality from earlier today.
- Merry Christmas, folks! To celebrate, remember how the FBI once deemed “It’s a Wonderful Life” communist propaganda. Reminds me of Bing Crosby and the Church Committee.
- Nice point from Julian Sanchez about perhaps the most striking fact about the ongoing NSA story: Despite an almost unimaginable quantity of surveillance, the agency has been unable to provide even a single unambiguous instance of these programs preventing a terrorist attack.
- This county clerk’s office in Utah shut down rather than provide gay-marriage licenses. Quite a clear example of the reactionary mindset, one that would break the system rather than see it admit out-groups.
- Fascinating and baffling piece about the political and military wrangling surrounding the recent assassination in North Korea. First cracks in the regime? I have no idea.
- Ed Kilgore chronicles the decline of brittle right-wing Christianist politics. I’m quite interested of late in more liberal and moderate views on religious practice. Very nice piece.
- Interesting engineering article about why the AK-47 was such a success.
It’s been a real pleasure writing here at the Plum Line these last couple months, and I’d like to thank everyone for reading and commenting. I hope everyone has a great holiday!