Got behind again, so I'm dumping lots of stuff here, as usual. I don't really have a don't read...I'll agree with everyone that Maureen Dowd on Sunday wasn't at her best, but that's not much value added. There was also a very weak NYT story and other coverage that you didn't need to read last week on the Dodd/Dorgan retirements (see for an explanation here and here), but again, if you didn't read it then, it's too late now, and vice versa (or something like that -- you know what I'm trying to say. Sorry, but on to the good bits:
1. I haven't blogged about the Christmas bomber, but I have read lots of good items. I'll start with two long but interesting pieces from political scientist Matthew Dickinson, who is expert in the presidency and bureaucracy. I'm a huge fan of this sort of thing, from TPM: that's a good use of web-based journalism. Here's Kevin Drum, reassessing what went wrong. And you shouldn't miss this terrific piece by Robert Mackey. Don't know if he's right or not, but it's a great story.
2. No columnist is more fun to read than Michael Kinsley, still at the top of his game.
3. No real need to the fancy furrin word, and I don't quite agree with everything he has to say here, but Julian Sanchez is well worth reading (part one, part two). What I'll add is that you're rarely wrong if you bet on the candidate with the most resentment to capture the GOP presidential nomination. Just think about the guy who captured that trophy three times.
4. Again, not sure I agree completely, but Chris Bowers shows how to do a predictions piece. He's right that the Tea Party crowd as such is going to be a minor footnote in history, not a major force. On the other hand, people still talk about Ross Perot as if he was Very Important, so we may be stuck hearing about Tea Party types for a long time, regardless.
5. I'll end with a couple of fun hit pieces: Chait on Tony Coelho, and Sullivan on the Sage of Wasilla.