Tomorrow we’ll have Supreme Court oral arguments over the challenge to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which aren’t expected to go well for the good guys. SCOTUSBlog’s Lyle Denniston provides a preview.

Here are today’s seeds and stems:

* Hagel confirmed as SecDef by 58-41 vote. Hilarious Ezra Klein tweet: “Man, the party Friends of Hamas is going to throw Chuck Hagel to celebrate his confirmation will be EPIC.”

* At TAP, Paul Waldman offers useful meditation on the fecklessness of most Inside-the-Beltway scheming.

* Good news: 75 Republicans sign onto amicus brief asking Supreme Court to make same-sex marriage constitutionally protected. Bad news: most of them are former office-holders.

* At Ten Miles Square, Keith Humphreys discusses contrast between frequent wittiness of UK parliamentary debates and the “dour, bitter miasma” suffusing Congress.

* At College Guide, Daniel Luzer discusses the White House announcement of a new “open access” policy for all taxpayer-funded research.

And in non-political news:

* Kulturkampf: Morrissey bags Kimmel appearance after learning Duck Dynasty cast also on show.

To close the day, here again is Lightnin’ Hopkins performing “That Woman Named Mary” in the 1970 documentary “The Blues According to Lightnin’ Hopkins.” Just an amazing video.

YouTube video


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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.