What to Read Before You Unwonk Tonight

  • The big story of the day was the surprise evacuation of Zuccotti Park early this morning, prompted because the “health and safety conditions became intolerable,” according to Mayor Bloomberg. Although the situation seems dire, with journalists being arrested, protesters injured by aggressive police officers, and the vibrant camp being dismantled, nobody should interpret this as a sign that the Occupy movement is disintegrating. The New Yorker’s Amy Davidson put it best: “Zuccotti Park, despite its utopian aspirations, wasn’t the promised land, a particular piece of ground that had to be won. It wasn’t even technically on Wall Street. It could, in some sense, have been anywhere, or everywhere; perhaps that will be the backward effect of this eviction. In that way, and in others one can only glimpse, the quiet in Zuccotti this morning felt like a lull, not an ending.”
  • In other Occupy news, Pawnee might be the next town to rail against Wall Street, and NBC should fear a potential “Occupy Greendale” from Community’s small but loyal fan base if they cancel the show.
  • The last time the Supreme Court overturned a key piece of presidential legislation was in Schechter v. United States in 1935. The Supreme Court ruled that the National Industrial Recovery Act—an important component of the New Deal—was unconstitutional because it represented an illegal use of congressional power under the commerce clause. The Affordable Care Act has the potential to fall victim to the same interpretation of the Constitution. Scott Lemieux explains all the variables in the upcoming case.
  • Rick Perry released his plan to “Uproot and Overhaul” Washington D.C. today. There is lots of cutting and slashing and reducing. There are many proposals that could be labeled “worst idea ever,” but his plan to make Congress part-time and more like many state legislatures is particularly repugnant. No one wants a nationwide Albany
  • To continue my refusal to treat the Newt Gingrich surge seriously, here is a slideshow from the Daily Intel of the former speaker looking at people condescendingly. In Newt Gingrich’s eyes, reporters are in equal standing with Ronald Reagan and Mother Teresa in how they are perceived by the former “Man of the Year,” “Contract with America” mastermind, and alternate historical fiction novelist. John McWhorter at TNR also punctured holes in Gingrich’s role as the eloquent brain of the GOP primary. If you take away his vocabulary, Gingrich is more Perry than Pericles.
  • As for the other candidates, if they want to either capture back the eye of the media or step into the spotlight for the first time, they need to make their debate and press answers more coverage-friendly. All the poller coasters are for naught though, for Romney is still likely to win the nomination, even though he will have a tough battle in the early states, according to Election Poll High Priest Nate Silver.
  • And, if the fact that Newt Gingrich is rising in the polls didn’t already clue you in, this general election is probably going to be the most boring and apathetic ever. Get excited.