Happy Birthday to Dave Righetti, 54. That's the pitching coach of the World Series Champion (and two-time champion) San Francisco Giants. I don't know of any similar story: he's been retained as the pitching coach under three different managers. Who knows with coaches, but he certainly seems to be first-rate. Also a terrible Giants FA signing, long ago.
A little good stuff:
1. Great question from Tim Fernholz: "Why isn't anyone...asking about Lael Brainard for Treasury Secretary?" This blog has been woefully behind on this story; Wesleyan boosterism (Brainard is not only Wesleyan '83 but also CSS '83) should be a major Plain Blog running theme...I think the eldest daughter's plans to go elsewhere had me off my Wes boosterism of late, but I should get back to it. There's also the case on the merits, and Fernholz does a good job with it.
2. I suspect that few will be freed by the (relatively) non-election atmosphere for the next year or so more than Ross Douthat. He's taken up a campaign against the payroll tax; here's the latest installment. I'm not sure I agree, but I think he's generally stronger on policy than on electoral politics, and that's doubly true with the constraints that being a NYT conservative place on him.
3. Harold Pollack interviews Paul Starr on the ACA. Must-read for anyone interested in health care reform.
4. Wonkbloggers Suzy Khimm, Ezra Klein, Dylan Matthews, and Brad Plumer have compiled the Biggest Fiscal Cliff FAQ Ever. Helpful, obviously.
5. And Alyssa Rosenberg asks why TV hasn't mastered the political procedural. Good item, but oddly missing any consideration of Yes, Minister.