OK, I understand Conor Friedersdorf's point that talk radio listeners aren't inherently bigots and loons; read his whole argument. But still...I think he doesn't hold them responsible enough for, you know, listening in the first place. That's a choice, and I think it's a choice that matters, even if it's also true that the same people can, in a different context, make better choices. As one of his readers said today about Levin/Rush/Hannity: "It is more entertaining for them to pretend that the Left is not motivated by a desire to make the country better, but a desire to destroy it and enslave much of the population, so that's what they say." It seems to me that if you're entertained by that kind of fantasy, well, it's not something to be proud of. (Does Olbermann promote an equivalent fantasy? I don't watch enough to know).
On to the good stuff:
1. Alan Abromowitz and Norman Ornstein debunk myths (5) about midterms.
2. Matthew Dickinson explains MMS. Essential.
3. Happy 75, Social Security! Kevin Drum explains the trust fund, and CBPP debunks myths (10).
4. Tyler Cowen takes on free parking (speaking of which: never play with goofy rules where landing on Free Parking gets you fines, or anything like that. Monopoly advice: stick to the original rules, and play quickly). Cowen leaves Matt Yglesias free to campaign against government-enforced barber cartels -- and if you think it sounds silly, you're wrong. Part two here, and especially part three here. Great series, and I hope he keeps going.
5. Jamelle Bouie joins the fight against judicial elections.
6. Ezra Klein's takedown of Matt Bai is considerably more epic and way more fun than mine. Also, on health care cost control.
7. Newt bashing? You wanted Newt bashing? I'll give you Newt bashing: here and here. Also, here.