From TPM, a special section on Health Care Before the Court. SCOTUS 101: A Wonkblog guide to health care oral arguments (and more), and an interview with Don Berwick, former administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The constitutional challenge to the Affordable Health Care Act is rhetorically powerful but analytically so weak that it dissolves on inspection. Forget interstate commerce: It's the "necessary and proper" clause that's the key to Obamacare's future. Is there a weak link in the government's case for Obamacare? The survival of Obamacare may come down to wheat, pot, guns — and a nagging question about broccoli. Jack Balkin on the small chance the Supreme Court will overturn the health care act. Damon Root on the 4 best legal arguments against ObamaCare. Forget precedent, ignore Scalia’s musings — the health care argument before the Supreme Court is all about optics, politics, and public opinion. Andrew Koppelman on bad news for Paul Clement. Jonathan Chait on what the health-care fight is really about. Jonathan Cohn on an educated guess about how the Justices will vote on Obamacare.
From the latest issue of Logos, Stephen Eric Bronner (Rutgers): Modernism, Surrealism, and the Political Imaginary; antithesis incarnate: Ian Williams on Christopher Hitchens; and a review of Hitch-22 and Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens. From Social Evolution Forum, Elinor Ostrom on enhancing the evolution of institutions for collective action. From The Stone, Benjamin Y. Fong on Freud’s radical talking; and a gathering of recent philosophy-related links. The QWERTY Effect: How typing may shape the meaning of words. Nate Silver on how models based on “fundamentals” have failed at predicting presidential elections. From TNR, writers explain what they think Obama should focus on for the next four years if he wins in November — a symposium. A review of The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption by Clay A. Johnson (and more). Megan Garber on how TED makes ideas smaller. TED tired: Philip Bump on how the high-minded, high-priced symposium is an exercise in branding. TED and Meta TED: On-scene musings from the Wonderdome.
From Interlingvistikaj Kajeroj, Ken Miner (Kansas): The Impossibility of an Esperanto Linguistics. From Diversities, a special issue on language and superdiversities. Why do languages die? The very existence of a modern nation-state, and the ideology it encompasses, is antithetical to linguistic diversity. A review of Linguistic Justice for Europe and for the World by Philippe van Parijs. The new science of the birth and death of words: Have physicists discovered the evolutionary laws of language in Google's library? Language and its discontents: A review of From Elvish to Klingon: Exploring Invented Languages. Victor Ginsburgh on Lawrence Summers and the uselessness of learning foreign languages. From Intelligent Life, which is the best language to learn? French, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, or Latin? (Maybe Esperanto, or Gaelic?) For a world in economic crisis, could Spanish be a lifeline? David Bellos demolishes the Great Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax — New Yorkers have more words for coffee than Eskimos do for snow.