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.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg View's editorial board or Bloomberg LP, its owners and investors.

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