Opening Act: Eye on 2018

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks to members of the audience after delivering his State of the State and budget proposals at The City College of New York on February 6, 2013 in New York City.

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Blake Butler writes in Vice about the life of a Tenderloin social worker.

The RNC is crowing about a Quinnipiac poll that shows Sen. Bob Menendez’s approval rating falling into the 30s. Fellas, he’s not up for re-election until 2018, halfway through President Rubio’s first term.

Kevin Williamson surveys and survives Chicago:

When the towers came down, Chicago’s organized crime got a good deal less organized, and a number of decapitation operations run by the Chicago police and federal authorities had the perverse effect of making things worse: Where there once were a small number of gangs operating in a relatively stable fashion under the leadership of veteran criminals, today there are hundreds of gangs and thousands of gang factions. Chicago police estimate that there are at least 250 factions of the Gangster Disciples alone, with as many as 30,000 members among them. Vast swathes of Chicago are nominally under the black-and-blue Disciples flag, but in reality there is at least as much violence between those Disciples factions as between the Disciples and rivals. Some are one- and two-block operations, many with young teens in charge. The Barksdales and Hoovers may not have been Machiavellian in their subtlety, but they were far-seeing visionaries compared with the kids who came streaming out of the projects in their wake.

Sen. Richard Shelby (who was a Democrat, years ago) will back Chuck Hagel, which makes you wonder whether the weeklong filibuster is paying off in any way.

Matt Taylor asks whether Andrew Cuomo can govern New York while thinking about the presidency. But that’s the paradox of the Democrats’$2 2016: Whatever adorable “moves” Cuomo makes would be thwarted by a Hillary campaign. (No current non-Hillary has any appeal to the black voters who powered Obama through the Southern primaries and stopped Hillary.)

And heads blog.