I’ll start with Mark Schmidt’s argument about taxes and “the rich.” After correctly pointing out that the nature of marginal taxes is that raising taxes on, say, people making over $250,000 means that those making just a bit over that pay almost no new tax (because if you’re making $275K then only you’re only paying the higher rate on the last $25K of income…and don’t forget too that no one with a $275K income is actually paying taxes on every dollar of that thanks to exemptions and deductions), Schmidt goes on to discuss exactly why liberals (should) support progressive taxation. Hint: it’s not about punishing the rich. Read, as they say, the whole thing.

Okay, more good stuff.

1. Spencer Ackerman’s brutal review of Mitt Romney’s foreign policy speech. Ezra Klein points out that the real threat to defense spending is from deficit mania which in turn is actually about revenues, and asks if Romney is “willing to say we should raise taxes?”

2. Absolutely brilliant: Stan Collender’s testimony to the House Energy and Commerce Committee earlier this week.

3. Dave Weigel: the birthers are, well, still at it.

4. Matt Yglesias has a great question for conservatives: why isn’t the actual and continuing shrinkage of government producing an economic boom?

5. Important update from Sarah Kliff on ACA implementation in the states.

6. I probably have some (professional political science type) quibbles around the edges about what “counts” as the Democratic Party, but I still highly recommend a terrific David Atkins post about Occupy Wall Street. Key quotes: “The only people who run the risk of negatively co-opting the movement are the InfoWars/Alex Jones/Ron Paul types.” And: [T]here are many Democratic activists at Occupy movement locations…because many of the people most agitated against corporate control of the country were already volunteering to help Dems and Dem issues in the first place.”

7. A really good piece from Glen Johnson on Scott Brown vs. Elizabeth Warren gives the context of yesterday’s dust-up. And the full story of Scott Brown, posing nude, and the hard-knock life, from (my brother the reporter) David S. Bernstein.

8. Paul Waldman thinks about The Risks of Lockstep Voting by Members of Congress.

9. Paul Krugman takes on Alan Greenspan on Europe.

10. And Dahlia Lithwick on The Steve and Nino Show.