Our daily look at stories and topics that are lighting up the Internets:
Malaise on the Right
Political pundits just don't seem happy about anything these days. OK, griping is their job. But newly minted "libertarian independent" Andrew Sullivan is downright bummed, suggesting that perhaps conservatives should act a little bit more, um, conservatively. Oh, and kick out the wackos. Like right-wing radio ranter Michael Savage, perhaps? The United Kingdom did. Joe Gandelman at the Moderate Voice figures getting banned from the U.K. will only help Savage's ratings, though. Conservative Michelle Malkin calls the California GOP a "basket case," adding, "Grass-roots activists have watched state GOP chairman Ron Nehring drive the party into the ground—and spend their money doing it." At RedState, Moe Lane spits at Barney Frank and his Big Tent. Perhaps it's time for a GOP rebranding party. But, asks Lincoln Mitchell, is image really the only problem? Helpfully, Ed Kilgore at the Democratic Strategist offers a reality check for Republican "reformers": "It is a good thing that some Republicans, though hardly all, have come to the conclusion that their party's problems are real, and that simply shrieking at Barack Obama and congressional Democrats while policing each other for any signs of heterodoxy isn't a very effective strategy for making an electoral comeback." Hmm. Did someone mention Arlen Specter? Rep. Joe Sestak, a now-fellow Democrat and fellow ex-military guy from Pennsylvania, disses the GOP traitor, going so far as to tell TPM's Brian Beutler that Specter is a wuss. And Steven Benen wonders who, exactly, would invite Sarah Palin to join a panel of "experts." Now kids, play nice.
The Safe Pick?
Before Obama picks the next Supreme Court justice, he's got other jobs to fill, like consumer safety chief. Don't know where Thomas Jefferson Street blogger Mary Kate Cary stands on that one yet. But on the Supreme Court thing? You betcha. Psst! Hendrik Hertzberg has a name for you—Al Gore—if you don't get hung up on one little thing: "A law degree is probably a helpful credential, all other things being equal, for a trial judge or an appeals-court judge. But it is far from essential in a Justice of the Supreme Court." Oh?
Follow the Money
And then there's the economy, of course. Megan McArdle tries to look out beyond the bubble at good things that came from previous busts. Matthew Yglesias at ThinkProgress makes the case for corporate tax reform, something Ezra Klein worries could backfire. Ryan Avent sees signs of hope in the East Coast economy. The West? Maybe. Midwest? Not so much.