1) Really interesting essay by Slate’s culture critic Stephen Metcalfe on how our culture of aggrandizing evil contributes to mass murders.
2) Very nice post from Ezra on our problems with campaign finance. I am going to excerpt some great bits from Lawrence Lessig:
According to Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig, only 0.26 percent of Americans give more than $200 to congressional campaigns. Only 0.05 percent give the maximum amount to any congressional candidate. Only 0.01 percent — 1 percent of 1 percent — give more than $10,000 in an election cycle. And in the current presidential election, 0.000063 percent of Americans — fewer than 200 of the country’s 310 million residents — have contributed 80 percent of all super-PAC donations.
“This, senators, is corruption,” Lessig said Tuesday, in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. “Not ‘corruption’ in the criminal sense. I am not talking about bribery or quid pro quo influence peddling. It is instead ‘corruption’ in a sense that our Framers would certainly and easily have recognized: They architected a government that in this branch at least was to be, as Federalist 52 puts it, ‘dependent upon the People alone.’ You have evolved a government that is not dependent upon the People alone, but that is also dependent upon the Funders. That different and conflicting dependence is a corruption of our Framers’ design, now made radically worse by the errors of Citizens United.”
3) Nice post from Chait
about the role of race in the resonance of Obama’s “you didn’t build that” fake gaffe.
4) Nice post from Glenn Greenwald
on how ludicrous it is to try and ban Chik-Fil-A from a city due to the political beliefs of its corporate executives:
If you support what Emanuel is doing here, then you should be equally supportive of a Mayor in Texas or a Governor in Idaho who blocks businesses from opening if they are run by those who support same-sex marriage — or who oppose American wars, or who support reproductive rights, or who favor single-payer health care, or which donates to LGBT groups and Planned Parenthood, on the ground that such views are offensive to Christian or conservative residents. You can’t cheer when political officials punish the expression of views you dislike and then expect to be taken seriously when you wrap yourself in the banner of free speech in order to protest state punishment of views you like and share. Free speech rights means that government officials are barred from creating lists of approved and disapproved political ideas and then using the power of the state to enforce those preferences.
5) Nice post at the Monkey Cage
looking at the decline of gun ownership.
6) Noam Scheiber
makes the case that (2nd amendment aside, obviously) we really would be better off banning all guns.
7) Fascinating profile of every liberals favorite apostate conservative, David Frum