Happy Birthday to Rikkert Faneyte, 43. Perhaps not much of a ballplayer, but a good story nonetheless.
Plenty of good stuff:
1. Greg Koger on the sudden turn against consensus in the Senate. Explanation? Partisanship, not ideology. Sounds right.
2. Excellent post about LBJ from Scott Lemieux. Although I haven't read the Caro book, what Lemieux says sounds right to me. Two comments. I wouldn't assume that bullying cabinet secretaries can always work. It may have been easier for LBJ in the particular circumstances of 1964, but I'm interested in whether that's really how he got his way with them -- and if so, the extent to which it had (as Neustadt would predict) unfortunate consequences down the road. The other comment is something I know nothing about: why didn't the Democrats pass stronger labor legislation during the high point of LBJ's presidency? Was that part of what Johnson gave up to get the other things through?
3. Carah Ong, a blogging political science grad student, does a little research into how exactly the whole Medal of Freedom thing works, or at least how it did during the Reagan Administration. Good fun.
4. Yes, this year doesn't appear to be anything like 1980. I suspect, by the way, that Reagan didn't do better because he wasn't a very good candidate, but it's not as if I'm going to get anyone to believe that. Nate Silver explores.
5. Max Read: "The New York Times Should Fire Tom Friedman and Let Paul Simon Write His Column Instead." Well, okay, but, we're stuck with songwriters, I'd rather they set up a rotation with, say, Bob Mould, Carrie Brownstein, Frank Portman, and...I don't know, wouldn't it be fun to have KRS-One in the rotation? Just think of the opportunities for denouncing him!