It’s been a strange day of stops and starts, and of late-afternoon bloggy emotion, thanks to the provocations of Rich Lowry and Erick Erickson. Here are a few final items:

* Harry Reid has little margin for error in maintaining his “nuclear” threat over the filibuster, reports The Hill‘s Alexander Bolton.

* Katha Pollit updates readers on the horrific case of the Salvadorean woman being forced by her country’s government to carry a life-threatening pregnancy to term.

* Ezra Klein sums up the evidence and the arguments about the causes and effects of recent slowing in health care costs.

* At Ten Miles Square, Paul Stephens commemorates United Nations Peacekeepers Day, and explores reasons for their high (if largely unnoticed) casualty rates.

* At College Guide, Daniel Luzer cites Harvard’s sixty-person public relations staff as a case study in administrative bloat in higher education.

And in non-political news:

* “Fast Casual” food trend (food without service staff) taking a growing toll on food chain profits.

That’s it for today, sports-and-scandal fans. Let’s end the day with another Leonard Cohen performance, this one of “The Stranger Song” in 1967. He’s still astonishing audiences 46 years later.


Ed Kilgore

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.