Reading Week

December 3, 2011

Some stuff I enjoyed reading from this week:

1. I consider myself a very pragmatic libertarian. But some things cannot be compromised. Like the rule of law and habeas corpus. So do me a favor and read Conor Friedersdorf’s coverage before, then during, and finally after the Senate debate on indefinite detention of U.S. citizens. Also on this, Glenn Greenwald slaps the Obama administration. As I’ve said in the past, I will not vote for candidates¬† who support this crap. Obama. Romney. Forget it. And I don’t buy the argument that there are more important issues on which to base your vote.

2. Seth Masket reviews Herman Cain’s foreign policy acumen. Here’s a more serious post from him on Newt’s chances.

3. Tom Pepinksy sits through jury duty selection and ponders issues of compliance.

4. John Bernstein reminds everyone that Herman Cain wasn’t done in because poor staff provided him with bad spin. He also makes a good point about Barney Frank that also has wider applications for thinking about what elected officials hold what jobs.

5. Brendan Nyhan on how journalists should approach candidate claims.

6.¬†Suzy Khimm has a nice visual on the decline of congressional hearings. She ties it to a decrease in oversight, which is certainly a factor, but it’s related to a much wider set of institutional changes in the House and Senate, none of which are great news.

7. Scott Page is running a free online class on thinking with models.

8. I still think Nate Silver is wrong to be so poll-driven in his assessment of the GOP primary, but this is a nice point about why the world might be different now, although I see other, more directly plausible implications of it than primary elections.

9. Erik Voten on Google search as a predictor of political behavior, with links to some interesting reserach.

10. Pretty much everyone has already linked to this excellent Jonathan Chait article on how liberals think about liberal presidents.

11. Newt Gingrich is not as bad as you think on civil liberties. He’s worse. And here’s a Elias Isquith column on Gingrich. And Bernstein again, pointing out how Newt tends to strip-mine his political relationships.

12. I continue to believe that Mitt is a huge buy at 50% on Intrade. Huge. But if this becomes a real race, then the South will play a bigger role, I think, than has currently been discussed, and thinking like this might have some merit. Might.

13. Donald Trump will be hosting a debate. A presidential debate. WTF I’ve found the live-tweeting aspect of the 2012 GOP primaries to be one of the best media breakthroughs of my lifetime, both on the serious side and the humor side. But a Trump-moderated debate might actually crash Twitter. I can’t wait.

13. It’s nonsense, but do read Tom Edsall’s NYT piece on Obama abandoning the white working class. Just so you are fully back-filled for the various commentary, which you might want to start here.

14. The National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru endorses Romney. Ramesh is not one of my favorite conservatives, but I think this is the modal argument you are going to be hearing from smart, sane conservatives who want to win.

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