1. “Why Are Conservatives Trying to Destroy the Voting Rights Act?” An important question from Ari Berman.

2. Fun one from Jonathan Chait taking apart the strange emerging GOP sequester talking points.

3. The logic of where we are on the sequester, from Andrew Sprung.

4. And the actual history of sequestration from 2011, by Steve Benen.

5. Why do presidents have so much influence in foreign affairs? As Scott Lemieux explains, it’s mostly because Congress lets them have it — because members of Congress like it that way. An important topic, and one that’s hard to fix.

6. Key reminder from Abby Rapoport: Don’t blame the mentally ill for gun violence.

7. Two big-think pieces on Republicans are worth your attention today. First, Ezra Klein sees the re-assertion of the (very conservative) establishment.

8. While Jonathan Cohn assesses signs of possible GOP compromise on the budget and health care.

9. While Andrew Sullivan thinks that the core of the problem for Republicans remains Bush-Cheney.

10. A profile of the late Aaron Swartz, by Justin Peters.

11. Matt Yglesias gives a quickie rave review for David Leonhardt’s Here’s the Deal. It’s new and I haven’t read it yet, but I’m a big fan of Leonhardt. Recommended.

12. An explanation of why President Obama has issued far fewer signing statements than George W. Bush, from Kevin Evans.

13. “Liberal arts majors didn’t kill the economy.” Matthew O’Brien explains.