Please forgive the light blogging. I'm on a short vacation with my family. Our weekend itinerary includes hiking at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Like the rest of the National Park System, I gather, it will close if the government shuts down this weekend. I may not be covering the budget story for the next 72 hours, but I may end up dealing with one little part of it.
In the meantime, here are a few topical items worth reading:
Ezra Klein explains why Paul Ryan's budget doesn't have a realistic strategy for controlling health care costs. You know who does? The Democrats. In fact, they have a law. It's called the Affordable Care Act.
Mike Grunwald calls Ryan a coward.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has everything you ever wanted to know about the Ryan plan--including the stuff Ryan and his allies don't want you to know.
Monica Potts want to know how religious conservatives can support Republican budgets that would so devastate the poor.
Austin Frakt summarizes a debate over health care reform from two of my favorite experts.
Mother Jones presents "The Uterus Monologues."
The editors of The New Republic (of which I happen to be one) propose a set of principles for a liberal budget alternative: Public investment to bolster the economy for the long term, a roughly equal mix of tax increases and spending cuts, an aggressive but balanced approach to controlling health care costs, and an unabashed willingness to redistribute money down the income scale.