Opening Act: The Finale

Two quick programming notes. One: Like most of Slate’s staff, I am spending the bulk of today traveling home from a company retreat. This blog will be mostly inactive, unless readers want me to risk my life by trying to post while driving. (If only I knew how to install a quick poll in this space.)

Two: It’s 2013 A.D. and I’m no longer convinced that early-morning roundup posts are a good use of time. So this will be the last one—again, barring some massive pressure campaign, letters from readers piling up like letters to Santa in Miracle on 34th Street. Roundup posts are a decent way of inhaling the news if the writer’s going to be absent for much of a day, though, so here we go.


D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray says he’ll “look into” whether sequestration cuts enabled the Navy Yard shootings, somehow.

A Pew poll gives every side of the health care fight some grist—Obamacare’s still mostly unpopular! Repealing it is still mostly unpopular!

The Wall Street Journal delivers its umpteenth “House Republicans, please learn to work together” piece, though it’s weakened at the end.

Some Republicans think they are sure to hold the House in 2014 no matter what happens because of gerrymandering, but even those levees won’t hold if there’s a wave of revulsion against the GOP. Marginal seats still matter for controlling Congress. The kamikazes could end up ensuring the return of all-Democratic rule.


Maybe the use of the word “levees” was an accident; to me it evokes the fall of George W. Bush’s popularity in 2006, and the ease with which Democrats took back the House even in the last gasps of the Aughts prosperity.

Time magazine still thinks American readers want to read about frivolous things.

The Today show has a wonderful we’ll-get-through-this human interest story about a blind man led from the carnage of Navy Yard.

And Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, now solidly trailing in his race for governor, is spending Constitution Day with radio host/author/hurler of insults like “her thighness” and “Hillary Rotten Clinton” Mark Levin.