Happy Birthday to Tricia Helfer, 38. I'm almost done now with my second time through BSG, and I'm still totally impressed with her apparently underrated performance(s). My latest theory about the show is that it's not particularly well written (the dialogue, that is), but that it's hard to notice because the actors all go such wonderful jobs.
OK, good stuff:
1. Matt Glassman on the question of reform and political science.
2. New research by Jayme Neiman, reported by Seth Masket, says that legislators are more likely to answer constituent mail that appears professional. I agree with Seth: in my experience, it was the crazy ones that stood out. But that's why we have actual research.
3. Jonathan Chait is correct that Rick Santorum's success in the primaries had nothing to do with who he was, but Sarah Posner's farewell to Rick Santorum focuses on what he actually did bring to this cycle: a focus on reproductive issues.
4. The state of the Massachusetts Senate race, or at least what the polls are telling us, from Mark Blumenthal.
5. Budget and ACA: debunking the latest GOP talking point about "double counting." Lots of good posts; I'll go with Paul Van de Water's clear explanation, and Kevin Drum's more fun story.