1. Ed Kilgore is absolutely right that Republican fiscal policy is, as always, completely unrelated to the business cycle – but I’m not sure I agree that the typical GOP formula he correctly identifies as including lower taxes and higher defense spending should really be classified as “austerity.”

2. Not so dysfunctional after all! Kate Sheppard looks at four nice provisions in the Senate-passed Defense Authorization bill. Also: maybe it makes a difference to have women in the Senate.

Sen. Marco Rubio Sen. Marco Rubio (Steve Pope/Getty Images)

3. Marco Rubio’s plan to help the middle class: Say the words “middle class.” Often. Really often. Dave Weigel reports.

4. While Brad DeLong is brutal towards Rubio – and the Republicans who are getting exactly the policy emptiness what they want.

5. Americans are buying more efficient cars, what do you know? Emissions are down. Brad Plumer reports, with a nice chart.

6. Really nice analysis from Paul Waldman about Karl Rove, Dick Morris, and Fox News.

7. Looking back on the GOP opposition to the disabilities treaty — nice post from Dan Drezner.

8. Also see Erik Voeten on whether human rights treaties are actually useful. His conclusion: Sometimes, in some circumstances.

9. Oh, those wacky state legislatures. Tim Murphy explains.

10. You know, it’s not really that surprising, Eric Loomis notes, that Republicans keep losing the votes of the people they keep maligning.

11. While Democrats actually elect a diverse set of politicians and then brag about it, as Ed O’Keefe reports.

12. “Not many people know this but ‘The Simpson-Bowles Plan’ is magic.” A great, and much-needed, Alex Pareene takedown.

13. And should Newt Gingrich be on Parks and Rec? Really? Alyssa Rosenberg makes the case.