Happy Birthday to Alexis Denisof, 48. I suppose he’s not my favorite of the Whedon troupe, but he did OK up against the great Amy Acker in "Much Ado." Here’s something I didn’t know: he was once in a TV "Romeo and Juliet" with Geraldine Somerville (who later became Lily Potter) and Jenny Agutter (who, I also didn’t know, shows up in The Avengers).

I’m getting distracted again. On to the good stuff:

1. There is no Republican “next in line” rule; Jamelle Bouie explains.

2. Very good, from Erik Loomis: no, Richard Nixon was not a liberal. Don’t credit or blame him for what Congress did.

3. I like Jared Bernstein’s look back at the stimulus, but I wish he had said something state and local government budgets. In my view, the big missing piece in 2009 was passing some sort of long-term budget neutral automatic stabilizers for state and local governments, and I’d like to know what he thinks about that.

4. Rebecca Traister on Michael Dunn and race and gender history.

5. David Edelstein on the smaller army and “tying hands” strategies.

6. A very interesting post from Greg Sargent, who has been terrific on immigration, on the pressures -- or lack thereof -- from Republican-aligned groups on House Republicans. My theory about this? Anti-immigration sentiment is much less of a force than last time around, but anti-compromise feeling is much stronger.

7. And David Maraniss on John Dingell.