Some things I enjoyed from this week:
1. First things first: if this doesn’t leave you crying with laughter, I’m not sure we can be friends. A children’s song featuring an inspired performance by Brian Johnson of AC/DC.
2. Seth Masket, John Sides, Brendan Nyhan, and friends have a new academic article out with more evidence that the ACA vote hurt Democrats in the 2010 election. Condensed discussion on Seth’s blog and on John’s blog. As I’ve written about in the past, I think it’s important to remember that, although no individual Member wants to lose, sometimes trading seats for policies is definitely in the best interest of a party.
3. Adam Serwer on AG Holder’s explanation of when the U.S. government can kill you. I actually care a lot more about the issue of indefinite detention than I do about targeted assassination of U.S. citizens abroad, but that’s kinda like saying I care a lot more about my kids than my nieces and nephews. Ugh. “Trust us.” Never.
5. What I would give to be 14 years old in the age of advanced sports metrics. I could read and think about this stuff all day. And I might as well plug the blog of an old Yale friend of mine, Ben Morris’ Skeptical Sports, which I think is some of the best independent work going in the genre.
6. Jamelle Bouie has been tearing it up on his new blog over at The American Prospect. Fellow libertarians should give him a try, he’s a smart liberal who brings a libertarian sensibility to a lot of issues. In that sense, I really liked this piece, because it reminded everyone that technology changes culture, culture is prior to the state, and that’s both good and right.
7. Ezra Klein and Seth Masket make a similar point: Romney is not some underfed bird with a clipped wing, so everyone in the MSM stop pretending he is. In related thinking, read Jon Bernstein’s post predicting this fall.
8. I have not read Matt Yglesias’ new book yet, but I will soon. I don’t always agree with Matt, but I’m more or less of the mind that he’s the best blogger in the world; I am just constantly amazed at the quantity of super-high-quality writing that he gets done every single day. I can only assume that it’s just as good or better when he has time to sit down and really think about it.
9. I decided (rightly or wrongly at the time) months ago that Romney had this thing wrapped up. So I just can’t get all jazzed about Super Tuesday or the upcoming states. But I did like Nate Silver’s assessment of Santorum’s chances if Gingrich drops out.
10. Here’s my two cents on the Kevin Drum-inspired debate over what the best Star Wars movie is: I like Episode IV the best. I just can’t find a single (more than minor) flaw with it. There’s just nothing that bothers me about it. And that’s not true of any of the other films. My problem with the consensus pick (Empire Strikes Back) is two-fold: first, too much psuedo-humor. I just don’t like the hyperdrive breakdown storyline. Second, I think the whole Hoth/Wampa sequence is weak. (In fact, I’m with Bernstein (and against Masket) on the merits of the Jabba sequence in ROTJ: this was always the single-best 15 minutes of the Star Wars saga for me. It’s certainly the one I wore out our VCR tape re-watching over and over again in when I was 6.) And, of course, Drum’s attempt to minimize the Ewoks is absurd.