* The Fed will raise interest rates eventually. When? Not soon, but at some point. These things are complicated. How will they decide? Based on numerous factors. It may or may not involve reading the entrails of a goat.

 * Ezra Klein’s Vox releases its first snazzy explainer video on the rationale behind the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act. Not bad, as explanations go.

* The American Prospect’s Harold Meyerson lays out eight proposals to raise workers’ wages.

* Dan Balz explores the challenges Democrats face in getting their voters to the polls in a midterm election. It ain’t gonna be easy.

* The NSA doesn’t even want anyone to know how much water it’s using at its data centers. Why not? Could it be because they’re experimenting with amphibious nanobots that will allow them to spy on us from within our very alimentary canals? That’s classified.

* Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham and a powerful evangelical leader himself, praises Vladimir Putin for his views on gay people. “Obviously, he may be wrong about many things,”Graham writes, “but he has taken a stand to protect his nation’s children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda.” Lovely.

* Catherine Rampell explains why you see all those Cialis ads on the news. It’s because old people watch a lot of TV. How much? About 50 hours a week.

* Ted Cruz requested the Justice Department appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS. Their answer? That’d be no. Was Ken Starr not available?

*  The Kentucky state senate has passed a bill allowing Rand Paul to simultaneously run for president and for re-election to his Senate seat. And America breathes a sigh of relief.

* If a court case decided in Kansas stands, Republican states could soon demand not just proof of identity before you can vote, but proof of citizenship as well.

* I’ll just quote the AP directly on this one: “Police armed with assault rifles descended on a Maine man’s home after members of a tree removal crew he’d told to clear off his property reported that he had a gun. Turns out the ‘gun’ the tree crew had seen on Michael Smith of Norridgewock was just a life-sized tattoo of a handgun on his stomach…He went outside shirtless and yelled at the workers to leave. When he’s not wearing a shirt, the tattoo looks like a gun tucked into his waistband.” It’s winter in Maine — what are you doing outside without a shirt on, young man?

* Finally, there’s a new Game of Thrones season 4 trailer. Just think how quickly we could end this Ukraine matter if Barack Obama had a few dragons. “They can live in my new world, or they can die in their old one.”

Paul Waldman is a contributor to The Plum Line blog, and a senior writer at The American Prospect.
Continue reading