* The top story tonight: the House passed an omnibus spending bill to fund the government through fiscal year 2014. At the Times, Jonathan Weisman glosses it as a defeat for the Tea Party:
The conservative political action committee Club For Growth denounced it and said a vote for it would hurt any lawmaker’s conservative scorecard. Heritage Action, the political arm of the Heritage Foundation, castigated it as a profligate budget buster that is returning Washington to its free-spending ways…The response in the Republican-led House was a collective shrug, with 166 Republicans voting for it and 64 opposing it.
And sure, whether Heritage et al have commissar-ed themselves into irrelevance is an open question. But let’s not forget conservatives got much of what they wanted — this is an extremely miserly budget.
The bipartisan report laid out more than a dozen findings regarding the assaults on a diplomatic compound and a CIA annex in the city. It said the State Department failed to increase security at its mission despite warnings, and blamed intelligence agencies for not sharing information about the existence of the CIA outpost with the U.S. military.
This is the problem with trying to run a superpower with global hegemonic aspirations on the cheap.
* Jonathan Bernstein takes on a perennial task: “Straight” journalists who refuse to call Republican filibustering by its name. I cordially dislike descriptive grammarians, but in this case passive voice can be a great sin in political reporting. Just say who did what, folks, it ain’t that hard.
* According to native speaker Fernando Espuelas, that AP report about the Spanish-language Obamacare website being written in “Spanglish” was grossly mistaken. That one always struck me as a bit fishy — I know thousands of programmers are expensive, but surely the administration could afford a couple measly translators? ¡Vuelve a la clase de Español!
* Jonathan Chait slices up Conn Carroll on government and innovation. Honestly, you’d think conservatives had learned this one by now — hello, ARPANET?
* Kevin Drum says it’s time to fix the housing finance market. I agree, though I wonder if it’s not the opportunity to rethink the traditional American commitment to heavily subsidizing homeownership. I’m not a fan of that idea.
* Nice piece by Ali Gharib on a hidden poison pill in the new Iran sanctions bill that could dynamite future negotiations even if things go perfectly well. Andrew Sullivan strikes the right note — what are Democrats thinking undermining their president like this?
* Martin Wolf uses the upcoming 100th anniversary of World War I to meditate about elite mediocrity and failure. Is it so wrong for powerful people to become less so when they screw up and cause world-historical catastrophes? The bureaucrats who run the Eurozone are particularly horrifying. Lest we forget, youth unemployment in Spain is now about 58 percent.
* I can’t really improve on the headline for this one: Dozens of U.S. nuclear missile officers caught up in drug and cheating scandals. What could possibly go wrong with that?