Easy choice this time for something not to read: it's Mark Penn's op-ed about Cleggmania. And, no, it wasn't worth reading even before Cleggmania fizzled out faster than Joementum. I bring it up not for the snark, which Jonathan Chait has already handled, but for Chait's other comment, which is that "the Democratic Party dodged a bullet by not nominating or electing a presidential candidate whose chief political adviser is Mark Penn." To which I'll respond: it's absolutely a good idea, when choosing between candidates in a primary election, to take into account who they surround themselves with. In most cases, that's going to be a far better indicator of how they'll govern than, oh, which candidate supports an individual mandate on health insurance. At any rate, score: Chait 2, Penn 0.
On to the good stuff.
1. The budget process is definitely something I pay a lot of attention to, and so I'm glad that the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities now has a group blog. To start off, here's James Homey, explaining budget basics.
2. Speaking of budget: it's good to see conservatives who favor reality-based tax policy. See Kevin Williamson in National Review, Bruce Bartlett, and Ross Douthat endorsing that sort of thing.
3. On immigration, I recommend Matt Yglesias. Megan McCardle is worth reading on Arizona.
4. John Sides passes along new research on maverickiness.
5. Have you been following the wacky VA AG? Dahlia Lithwick has. Also, Steve Benen on Palin. Also, Kevin Drum on Palin.
6. Big Thoughts about bloggers, and about newsweeklies, from the always-smart and apparently recently-birthdayed Ezra Klein. James Fallows thinks about newsweeklies, too.
7. TNC: This one. And this one. And this one. And really -- I didn't link to his entire Confederate History Month series, but you do owe it to yourself to read 'em all.
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