Happy Birthday to Paul Weller, 54. I'm not really a fan of the rest of his career. But I certainly am a fan of The Jam. If I thought that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was something to care about, I'd be outraged that they're not in. If The Clash is Hank Aaron, The Jam is Frank Robinson ...probably not quite as good or quite as important, but are you absolutely sure? (Analogy is for quality only, not career shape or type, obviously).
I seem to be sort of music-obsessed this week, birthday-wise; hope everyone doesn't mind to much. On to the good stuff:
1. Yesterday I linked to and discussed Sean Trende's article on Barack Obama and Appalachia; today I'll have to link to Ed Kilgore's very nice post on Trende. Gets it exactly right.
2. Conor Friedersdorf vets "The Vetting." As I've said, I think there's essentially zero chance that any of this stuff could have any effect on the 2012 election. And no question that the particular methods used by the folks he monitors are useless for anything, and certainly the best way to tell what Barack Obama is going to do in a second term is to study his public actions during his political career and, even more importantly, the Democratic party. But is it entirely useless to understand our presidents better? I guess my position is no, it isn't. My usual rule of thumb is that personality explanations for presidential actions should only be considered when other explanations (party, skills, political context) don't seem to help, but that doesn't mean that personality never matters.
3. Redistricting at the state legislative level seems to have been particularly rough on women, reports Sara Libby.
4. And I have to say that I really enjoyed the Tom Nawrocki's list of Top Ten Rock Hits With a Trombone Solo.