I've been extremely negligent...haven't done one of these for ages. So some of this may be old, but I'll try to only include items I think are still worth reading.
But first, what's not worth reading. Today's item is the Lowry/Ponnuru National Review cover story, "An Exceptional Debate: The Obama Administration’s Assault on American Identity." The frustrating thing about it is that there are actually some worthwhile points in it; you could see a sensible conservatism emerging from some of the things that these gentlemen believe about America. Alas, as an essay, it's a mess, and not worth reading. Instead, turn to Damon Linker's fine take-down. One thing to add: Lowry & Ponnuru are wrong about Tocqueville, who not only devoted a large portion of his study of Democracy in America to the evils of slavery and the treatment of American Indians, but also was far more ambivalent about the rest of what he saw than they realize. Oh well; on to the good stuff.
1. On health care, start with Jonathan Cohn's reaction to MA Senate, still very much worth reading. And then go to Ezra Klein's interview with Lamar Alexander.
2. On national security and terrorism: I've been known to criticize Glenn Greenwald, but this is a must-read. Sullivan is always excellent on that topic, including this one. And don't skip Fred Kaplan on the defense budget.
3. Good stuff on the general topic of democracy, and the more specific topic of Senate procedure. Start with this Clay Risen essay defending the American version of democracy against the German version. Then go to Brendon Nyhan on the filibuster.
4. Love any takedown of discredited pollster Frank Luntz; this is a good one. And while I'm in a mean-spirited mood, this was fun. As was this.
5. Media: Marc Ambinder pulls back the curtain a bit. Brad DeLong shows that the curtain needs to be pulled back a lot further. And the best thing you're going to read about the O'Keefe flap is from talented reporter and hack brother David S. Bernstein.
6. Oh, they also have to actually run the government. Joe Davidson on Obama and personnel; Andrew Rudalevige on the budget process; and the NYT, on the budget numbers.
7. Pointless -- you should read everything they write, but at any rate TNC, and Friedersdorf.
8. And baseball fans, here's one for you.