Annan’s Syria deal will worsen; Supreme Court ‘Obamacare’ hearings: What’s conservative? [AM Briefing]

Aaron David Miller says the Syria deal Kofi Annan brokered will only make the crisis worse, not better. (New York Times)

“Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg likes the Indian Health Care Improvement Act and other ingredients of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare.” Why, she asked toward the end of three days of hearings, shouldn’t the court keep the good stuff in Obamacare and just dump the unconstitutional bits?” writes AEI’s Jonah Goldberg. (National Review)

The myth of the disappearing middle class: “President Obama, many Democrats and editorial page writers have been working to convince the nation that it is wracked by inequality, a disappearing middle class and a lack of opportunity. The charge of growing inequality is partly correct, mostly because those at the top of the income distribution have pulled away from the rest of us. But the other charges are wrong or misleading,” writes Brookings’ Ron Haskins. (Washington Post)

“Many people do not realize that those who provide home care are not guaranteed the same right to a 40-hour week under the Fair Labor Standards Act as most other workers. Since 1974, home-care aides have been subject to the “companionship exemption,” which deemed “companions to the elderly and infirm” to be much like teenage babysitters: casual laborers who did not need to earn a living wage to support a family,” write Dean Baker and Steven L. Dawson. (Washington Post)

Progressive Policy Institute’s Jim Arkedis and Lindsay Mark Lewis: Suppress the Vote! (New York Times)

AEI’s Jim Pethokoukis: “Nearly three years after the Great Recession officially ended, the jobless rate is still above 8 percent — the longest stretch of such high unemployment since the Great Depression. Add back in all the discouraged job seekers and the part-timers who wished they had full-time gigs, and the unemployment rate is just shy of 15 percent.” (New York Post)

“Gov. Cuomo is getting his back slapped this week for a budget deal well-done. But on one topic — the state-run MTA — the governor deserves an “incomplete,” at best. In key ways, the budget deal actually makes the MTA’s woes worse,” writes Manhattan Institute’s Nicole Gelinas. (New York Post)

Politico’s Arena asks: Is the GOP too quiet on gay marriage? Brookings’s Darrell West answers.

Room for Debate asks: Would Brazil benefit from U.S.-style affirmative action to counter its history of slavery? What are the challenges of implementing such programs? (New York Times)

U.S. wants to avoid ban on Afghan night missions. (U.S. News & World Report)

Allen McDuffee writes about politics and policy and covered think tanks for The Washington Post from 2011 to 2013. He blogs and hosts a podcast at governmentality.net and is currently working on a book about the influence of think tanks in Washington.

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