* Jonathan Bernstein on why you should ignore all those purporting to tell us what the public thinks of the “scandals,” because they don’t tell us anything meaningful in a long term sense.
* Interesting read from Dylan Byers on longtime reporter Walter Pincus’ quarrel with the media over what he believes is an overheated reaction to the Justice Department gathering of reporter phone records.
* The text of the letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and fellow gun control advocate Mark Glaze:
“You will have to kill me and my family before you get my guns. Anyone wants to come to my house will get shot in the face. The right to bear arms is my constitutional God given right and I will exercise that right till the day I die.”
* National Journal: “Gun deaths since Newtown now surpass number of Americans killed in Iraq.” (Caveat: Slate, which crowdsourced to collect the data, warns that it is “necessarily incomplete.”)
* Republicans will make a big deal out of the fact that Cook Political Report has moved the Massachusetts Senate race to “Toss Up.” But if you read the actual Cook analysis (sub. only), you find it still tilts pretty strongly towards Dem Ed Markey:
Given what we know about all the polling in the race, Markey’s lead is probably between six and nine points.
Also: Cook notes that outside groups have yet to spend money on behalf of GOPer Gabriel Gomez, which is a key tell (as it would be if that changed).
* Also: Gomez still won’t clarify his stance on the Blunt Amendment, the measure that would allow an employer not to cover contraception if he/she deems it morally objectionable, which was a major issue in 2012 — including in the last Massachusetts Senate race.
* As E.J. Dionne points out in a good column, the problem isn’t Michele Bachmann; it’s the GOP and conservative political/media ecosystem that allowed her to flourish, and that will stay with us.
* The annual report of the Social Security and Medicare trustees is due out tomorrow, which will fire up a debate over the future of entitlements. Maybe that will drown out the volume of scandalpalooza a bit…
* David Atkins on why Ted Cruz is not only a demagogue, but a dangerous one.
* Takedown of the day: A “lazy, beta male MSNBC producer” makes short work of Erick Erickson.
* Mitt Romney plans to campaign for 2014 GOP Congressional candidates. As someone on Twitter snarked: “do the candidates know?”
* And the Tweet of the day, courtesy of GOP Rep. Jeff Duncan:
I NEVER want to udder the words “Speaker Pelosi” nor give President Obama any power in the House!