Matt O'Brien at The Atlantic on why Janet Yellen, if confirmed as Fed Chair, would be the most powerful woman in history. "I know that sounds a little hyperbolic," O'Brien concedes, but "the Fed Chair is maybe the third-most important job in the world right now, and being powerful in a globalized world matters more than in a non-globalized one. Queens could only dream that their edicts moved the world economy as much as a dramatic FOMC announcement does today." The Fed's interest rates, which Yellen will set, don't just affect America's economy — they "set the course" for the world's economy. He notes, "you can make a strong case that Europe's slow march towards federalism — or financial ruin! — has made [German chancellor Angela Merkel] more significant. But Merkel only holds the economic fate of Europe in her hands. Yellen will hold the economic fate of, well, the whole world in hers." Matt Yglesias, the economics writer at Slate, responds: "You’re really [daring] Merkel to invade Poland aren’t you."
John Cassidy at The New Yorker on why it matters that Yellen's a woman. "On a trivial, but not entirely inconsequential, level, Yellen’s extra X chromosome will ensure that she receives more public attention than your average gray-haired, male central banker would," Cassidy writes. "By dint of her intelligence, her technical expertise, her judgement, her creativity, her work ethic, and her willingness to coöperate with people rather than elbow them aside, she has risen to the top of the one of the most demanding professions there is. That, surely, makes her a role model for all women." Especially considering the fact that there are so few women in senior economics jobs. Cassidy then gets personal: "As the father of two young daughters myself, I join with [Brookings Institution economist Justin] Wolfers in saluting her for providing them, and other girls, with an example to emulate." Jenna Johnson, a Washington Post reporter covering politics and education, tweets, "A woman finally leads the Federal Reserve, blazing a trail for the next generation."
Alex Seitz-Wald at the National Journal on the similarity between Ted Cruz and Mitt Romney. Sen. Ted Cruz, architect of the government shutdown, has commissioned his own poll that shows the public doesn't disapprove of the GOP as much as the Gallup poll indicates. Seitz-Wald writes, "Maybe Cruz is right, and maybe Republicans are 'winning,' and maybe his pollster is better than everyone else's. Maybe." But if not, Cruz looks a lot like Romney did before the 2012 election: "Romney was reportedly so convinced that he was going to win that he didn't even bother writing a concession speech. The national public opinion data was pretty clearly showing the opposite, but some on the right stuck to the echo chamber, where the polls were unskewed and the vibes were good, leading to ... an on-screen meltdown from Karl Rove when Romney lost Ohio." Sadly, "unlike the election, if Cruz is wrong and breaching the debt ceiling is as catastrophic as most economists are predicting, this time the whole country loses." Judd Legum, editor of the liberal ThinkProgress, tweets, "Guys, Ted Cruz commissioned his own poll and it shows everything is going awesome for the GOP #unskew #defundgallup."
Nolan McCarty, Keith T. Poole, and Howard Rosenthal at Bloomberg View on why gerrymandering didn't cause the shutdown. McCarty, Poole, and Rosenthal, a trio of politics professors at Princeton, University of Georgia, and NYU, write, "the accepted view that politically based redistricting led to our state of intransigence isn’t just incorrect; it’s silly." The real reason is that the Republican shift to the right has won elections. "Consider, for example, the rise of the mastermind of the shutdown, Sen. Ted Cruz. The Texas Republican won his seat, as does every member of the Senate, in a statewide race, without any benefit from gerrymandering." Further, "Congress also has a handful of representatives from one-district states such as Vermont and Wyoming that can’t be subject to gerrymandering. Yet they are just as partisan as their colleagues from gerrymandered districts in other states." Brendan Nyhan, a government professor at Dartmouth and contributor to the Columbia Journalism Review, calls the post a "must-read."
Greg Sargent at The Washington Post on the GOP's latest strategy on the debt ceiling. "John Boehner will not actually allow default in the end. Multiple reports this morning tell us that the House GOP is set to roll out yet another strategy," Sargent writes. "They appear ready to support a 'clean' six week debt limit hike, while keeping the government shut down and using that as their leverage to keep up the fight against Obamacare." So now the GOP plans to keep the shutdown going for as long as possible, "deferring default for the time being — then vulnerable Dems will ultimately cave and give up…something." What that something should be, Republicans won't say. Adam Serwer, a news reporter at MSNBC, tweets, "This post from @ThePlumLineGS makes me wonder how much of the shutdown is about humbling Obama." And our own Philip Bump explains how the deal taking shape to lift the debt ceiling may end up prolonging the shutdown.