Sorry for the slow blogging today around here. Part of that is that I have a new column over at TNR talking about the State of the Union speech, in which I say more or less what Ezra Klein said in Wonkbook this morning. And today's Plum Line post was about economic confidence and the 2012 election. But after you get to those, more good stuff:
1. Speaking of the SOTU, Matt Glassman has a nice essay up about the importance of the ceremonial aspects of the address. Well worth reading. I've been lucky enough to have attended one Joint Session presidential address, and I agree with Glassman: rituals of democracy are important.
2. And Politico has an incredibly cool word-graph of SOTU history. Fun.
2. Noah Smith reviews the GOP's version of economic history.
3. Gaffes, from Brendan Nyhan. No, he didn't commit a gaffe. He's explaining about them.
4. Oh, how about some Newt-bashing for a change. Ta-Nehisi Coates on Newt and race; Sarah Posner on Newt and religion; Ginger Gibson on Newt and the press; and an interview with Newt's old department chair on Newt as an academic. Common theme: Newt's a fraud! Ah, but you knew that, didn't you?
5. David Dayen has a smart piece in which he points out that a big part of why people are using SNAP (food stamps) is because of...what Newt and the Republicans did when he was Speaker.
6. Smart, too: Andrew Sprung on Obama's foreign policy.
7. Mark Schmidt is absolutely right that liberals would be foolish to focus on a Constitutional amendment to "fix" Citizens United. Of course, regular readers will know that I'm for lots of money in elections -- I'm for partial public financing plus disclosure, or floors, not ceilings. But either way, the Constitutional amendment path isn't going to do anyone any good.
8. Sarah Kliff has a highly useful update on ACA implementation.
9. What Americans get wrong about taxes, from David Leonhardt.
10. What political big shots make on the lecture circuit. Hey, bookers: I'm way cheaper!
11. And an awesome "It Gets Better," but also a sad day: the demise of Lookout Records. This ain't no Mecca, indeed.