You know, I really don't want to keep bashing Matt Bai, but sometimes...well, what are you going to do, anyway? The latest -- and the thing that I recommend you don't read -- is from the Week in Review section this past Sunday. Somehow, it seems, Jimmy Carter was undone in part by Skylab falling to earth, while Ronald Reagan would have, Bai tells us, convinced people he could have stopped it. No mention at all of the actual space disaster that happened on Reagan's watch. The thing is, the Challenger disaster happened while things were going well for Reagan, and therefore it wasn't perceived as a problem for him. Had hit happened in 1982, when Reagan's popularity mysteriously disappeared just around the time unemployment started on its way to 10%, or 1987, when Iran-Contra sunk Reagan's approval ratings again...but Bai seems to have forgotten that Reagan was just as vulnerable as any president to bad times and to the consequences of poor decisions. Actually, that's not even the worst of it, but I should move on and get to the things that are very much worth reading.
1. Start with the economy...Paul Krugman and Edmund Andrews on the origins of the housing bubble and the recession; Brad DeLong continues to make the case for bigger deficits now, and Matt Yglesias rounds up some data on the mediocre government response to date.
2. Take downs. Want to know about Glenn Beck? Read Dave Weigel's interview with Beck biographer Alexander Zaitchik. Torture apologist Marc Theissen is an easy target, but as long as he's visible someone has to rip him to shreds, and Adam Serwer is more than up to the task. Like that sentence? Repeat, substituting Andy McCarthy and Conor Friedersdorf.
3. Fallows on the nominations logjam in the Senate.
4. Sinhababu on the virtues of nomination contests. Also, see above, on Jonah Goldberg. But Neil -- don't we always refer to him as "the Annoying One"?
5. Valenti on Palin.
6. If there's Malek news, you know Tim Noah is on the case.
7. Dickinson brings the contrainism on MMS.
8. Always TNC.
9. And a little snark with your links, courtesy of (who else?) Jonathan Chait.