Opening Act: #fail

Jonathan Weisman’s piece on the great GOP fail last night is the one you need to read. National Journal has more pathos and color, so read that one too.

In the wake of the disaster, Roy Blunt writes that it would be nice to extend those tax rates for income under $250,000. This was obviously written before the debacle, but it represents a continuing shrug.

Noam Scheiber profiles Maya MacGuineas, deathless paladin of the deficit scolds.

During the House Republicans’ experiment with refusing to raise the debt ceiling last year, MacGuineas issued a press release stating that “[t]hreatening to blow up the nation’s credit rating and potentially the economy should not be seen as a legitimate negotiating strategy.” She then added: “At the same time, failing to use this debt ceiling ‘hammer’ to force serious fiscal reforms would be a dangerous lost opportunity.” It was a bit like condemning hostage-taking in the strongest terms, then warning that failing to use hostages to, say, secure a Palestinian state would be downright irresponsible.

Tim Murphy investigates the survivalism industry.

David Greenberg pages back through actual history to debunk the silly idea that Robert Bork was the first Supreme Court nominee to be rejected for ideological or political reasons.

And Pitchfork is out with its 50 best albums of 2012. Despite being old and uncool, I own or have listened to 32 of them.