1. Could the economy finally be moving toward a somewhat better recovery? Annie Lowery has the case for a bit of optimism.

2. Matt Yglesias argues for much more immigration. Sounds good to me.

3. The echoes of Jim Crow in the current GOP war on voting, from Risa L. Goluboff and Dahlia Lithwick.

4. After more than 24 hours, a clarification on abortion from Herman Cain, who is back to being (really this time) pro-life, I think. A commenter at my site had a fun theory about this: Cain may not understand the relationship between “government involvement” and “passing and enforcing laws.”

5. I don’t agree at all with Nate Silver’s view that Cain is a viable candidate for the nomination, but I do think his argument that Mitt Romney made a significant strategic error by taking on Rick Perry this week is very interesting.

6. Speaking of Romney, Andrew Sullivan argues that “Romney = Cheney’s return.”

7. A nice argument about the weakness of the GOP field, from Alex Massie.

8. Matt Duss explains neocon Fred Kagan and Iraq withdrawal: “Signing the agreement was a great success. Actually following it is a failure. Got it.”

9. Glenn Greenwald, with a good assessment of that withdrawal.

10. Similarly, Spencer Ackerman on why the U.S. involvement in Iraq is still ongoing.

11. Conor Friedersdorf has a nice post about Republicans and Obamacare, arguing that it’s actually pretty foolish of them to try to run on the issue.

12. Tax reform is overrated; Jared Bernstein explains.

13. Jamelle Bouie understands that business isn’t good training for politics. Exactly right.

14. David Roberts deflates another phony scandal; as he reports, this government loan story is going to get covered because Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio can be name-checked, and who doesn’t want a Leo story, true or not?

15. A depressing story about the trend in vaccination rates, from Sarah Kliff.

16. And I usually don’t link to things I haven’t read/watched, but a panel about superheroes and ideas of service and citizenship moderated by Alyssa Rosenberg and featuring (among others) Ta-Nehisi Coates? I don’t know about your weekend, by I’m going to make time during mine to check that out.