Read Stuff, You Should: The Limitations of 'Star Wars'

Jonathan Bernstein is a Bloomberg View columnist. He taught political science at the University of Texas at San Antonio and DePauw University and wrote A Plain Blog About Politics.
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Happy Birthday to Jeff Bridges, 65.

Plenty of good stuff:

1. Norm Ornstein at National Journal writes about the Supreme Court and gerrymandering. Norm is anti-gerrymandering.  I’m not, for the most part -- but I agree with him that the court should leave it to the states. I’d vote against a voter initiative to set up a nonpartisan redistricting commission, and I’d support politicians who would get rid of initiatives altogether. But if a state chooses otherwise, that’s its choice.

2. Matthew Kroenig, Miriam Krieger and Hans Noel at the Monkey Cage report new research about the utility of nuclear weapons in foreign relations.

3. Good Sean Trende assessment of what the fundamentals are telling us about the 2016 presidential race. It’s early but, as he says, the most likely projection is of a close contest. At Real Clear Politics.

4. Political scientist Drew Linzer tweets: “Research backs @SeanTrende: It's too early to predict 2016 pres from fundamentals” and links to his paper on forecasting.

5. Richard Mayhew at Balloon Juice is correct about the Affordable Care Act: nothing significantly more liberal was available in 2009-2010.

6. National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar makes the case for Marco Rubio as the Republican frontrunner. Plausible, but I think cases can be made for several others, too. Very much worth reading, especially for those who have ruled out Rubio, but we still need more reporting.

7. And Seth Masket at Mischiefs of Faction joins the conversation on "Star Wars" and politics. He’s correct that movies can, despite what I said earlier, depict institutions, conflicting interests and other aspects of real politics. I maintain, however, that doing so is difficult in the short time span of a movie; even harder in science fiction when an entire world needs to be created, and almost impossible in "Star Wars" (even putting George Lucas’s limitations aside) because of the Good vs. Evil plot in the forefront.

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