Hey, I have a column today over at Salon. It's framed by the question of whether Hillary Clinton would have been better than Barack Obama in the White House, and mostly I conclude: not much difference. It's really a survey of the various ways in which presidents are and aren't constrained by various things in the political system, so head over if that interests you.
Meanwhile, the good stuff:
1. I've linked to Sarah Binder on "single-minded seekers of re-nomination" already, but it's important enough that I'll include it here, too.
2. David Leonhardt's last column was excellent. Also, a depressing update on state budgets from Erica Williams, and Ezra Klein on the winners and losers on the debt limit deal. And I know, you're sick of it already, but it's not going away, so save a copy of this Dylan Matthews summary of research on the debt limit.
3. Barry Pump on pork; Brendan Nyhan on Reagan and Bush; Seth Masket on invented crises. That last one gives me an excuse to recite Nelson Polsby's definition of a crisis: when everyone agrees that something has to be done.
4. Liberals and Obama: Ed Kilgore explains from one angle, Ta-Nehisi Coates from another. You all know that the Times should be begging TNC to make it permanent, right?
5. Five books from Matthew Yglesias. Also, Yglesias on health care and budgeting.
6. Steven Rubio on the trade deadline and twitter -- well, really, just on getting the news these days.
7. This is certainly correct about Monopoly; it's a great game, but it helps a lot to play by the actual rules. Two other tips. We round all transactions to the nearest $5 once there are houses on the board...probably could do it from the beginning. And, in a related tip, we try to keep the pace of the game as fast as possible (ideally, keep the dice always in motion). I'm not sure how to transition from that to this, but there were long-haired freaky people at the White House (here and here).