Sort of a Newt-centric roundup this time. Newt-tastic. Newt-errific. Newt-ational. The guy may be a snake-oil selling fraud, but he sure does inspire some nice turns of phrase and sharp analysis, from every side of the political spectrum.
There's some other good stuff, too.
1. I still haven't contributed to the nerd fight, which has quieted down again now...don't miss the contribution from Hans Noel.
2. Ezra Klein, not a participant in the GOP War on Budgeting, understands that "a larger welfare state can mean a lower deficit."
3. Useful. Matt Yglesias on ACA and prevention.
4. No, Republicans are not supporting tax hikes, or ready to sign on to a compromise with tax hikes. Kevin Drum explains.
5. Don't be fooled by how it starts...John Sides isn't just knocking down the myth of independents (again), he has a different point this time -- that "it’s not very instructive to consider how a candidate is performing among any particular group of voters."
6. Fun piece by Henry Farrell: "Annals of Interesting Peer Review Decisions."
7. I agree with Nate Silver: as much as I'd like the fall of Prince Herman to show what happens when an implausible candidate takes a temporary polling lead, and as much as I think his other weaknesses doomed him, as it turned out the various scandals overwhelmed everything, and would have for any candidate. Assuming, that is, that the various accusations were at least more-or-less true. There still was a vetting story (could Cain have survived a statewide general election campaign and several years in office without all of that leaking out?), but not as much of a party story.
8. Which gets us to Newt. Ready? Eric Loomis on Newt and history. Mark Schmidt on Newt and flip-flops. Don't miss David S. Bernstein on Newt and the conservative marketplace. Pema Levy on Newt and the libertarians. Yuval Levin on Newt, Romney, and where that leaves conservatives. And Conor Friedersdorf with a long, wonderful takedown of Newt's radicalism (and generally, Friedersdorf has been a Newt-obsessive lately and it's all worth reading.
9. Alyssa Rosenberg talks about how TV characters talk about (or don't talk about) politics.
10. I think Minnie Minoso is a deserving HOFer based on only his major league performance. Christina Kahrl has the full argument for why his American League stat line underrates his case. Maybe next time for Minoso.