Happy Birthday to Manny Ramirez, 42.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a weekend full of good stuff:

1. Justin Wolfers makes a good point about economic data and the challenges for election forecasters. The problem is that averaging over a longer period isn’t ideal if voters only react to short-term economic trends. There’s also the problem that revised data often aren't available until after the election. So it’s a real problem, and one that probably doesn't have a very good solution.

2. Peter Schuck asks: Why does the government fail so often? Worth reading, though not everyone may accept his definition of “fail.”

3. Mark Blumenthal and Ariel Edwards-Levy have more on the questions about polling I wrote about yesterday.

4. Andrew Sprung on Obama and Ike.

5. Bruce Bartlett: “Before Shinseki is canned he should do all the unpopular stuff that needs to be done at the VA as a favor to his replacement.” Nice.

6. Mallory Ortberg brings us Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Objectivism.

7. Wonkblog’s Christopher Ingraham charts ceremonial first pitches.

8. And Chris Cillizza passes along a gadget that tells you what your last name says about your politics.

To contact the author on this story:
Jonathan Bernstein at jbernstein62@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor on this story:
Max Berley at mberley@bloomberg.net