Five Best Friday Columns

Nate Cohn on Beltway wealth, Ed Kilgore on Rand Paul's filibuster, Matt Buchanan on Facebook's new look, Bill Clinton on the Defense of Marriage Act, and Jennifer Glass on Yahoo's telecommuting ban.

This article is from the archive of our partner .

Nate Cohn at The New Republic on the wealth of Washington, D.C. For the past few years, a certain image of Washington, D.C. has achieved the status of gospel — that certain residents of the capital city, flush with taxpayer dollars, have been largely insulated from the economic recession. "The region's wealth really is at the expense of the rest of the country, since it's fueled by tax revenue and deficit spending," writes Nate Cohn, who investigates the moral dimension of reducing federal spending — and thus the amount of money flowing into the Beltway — and the myth that Washington's corridors are gilded in gold. "Washington's wealth isn't quite as the press has painted it. But one could argue, if so inclined, that the region is still too rich."

Ed Kilgore at the Washington Monthly on Rand Paul's filibuster Upon ending a 13-hour-long filibuster against the confirmation of C.I.A. chief John Brennan, Rand Paul became something of a folk hero among those wishing for a more forthright form of politics. Ed Kilgore, however, was not persuaded. "It confirmed my membership in the ranks of those who think filibusters of every sort should be banned," he writes, distinguishing between the content of Rand Paul's speech — which addressed the constitutionality of the Obama administration's drone strike program — and its fusty form, which is often used to block progressive legislation. "No one doubts the practice is a figment of Senate rules that could be abolished instantly with no violation of its original purpose in the scheme of the Founders."

Matt Buchanan at The New Yorker on Facebook's new look What so different about Facebook's newest redesign? For one, writes Matt Buchanan, it addresses the reality that we're constantly barraged by more and more information about other people's lives, with no way to keep up with the bits of information we truly care about. "The problem that Facebook has is that ... the service doesn’t want users to 'miss stuff,'" Buchanan notes. "But most 'stuff' is noise—games we don’t want to play, songs we don’t want our friends to know we are listening to, ads and sponsored posts." He's not sure if it'll work, though: "Facebook is either missing or ignoring the opportunity to address a more essential problem: Facebook fatigue."

Bill Clinton in The Washington Post on the Defense of Marriage Act Former President Bill Clinton wants to atone for for signing, in 1996, the Defense of Marriage Act, which prevents the federal government from legally recognizing gay couples. (And which may soon be deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.) "Although that was only 17 years ago, it was a very different time. In no state in the union was same-sex marriage recognized, much less available as a legal right," Clinton writes. Despite writing — and apparently believing — that DOMA did not constitute discrimination, Clinton now thinks otherwise: "I know now that, even worse than providing an excuse for discrimination, the law is itself discriminatory. It should be overturned."

Jennifer Glass in The New York Times on Yahoo's telecommuting ban It's yet to be seen whether Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's decision to ban work-at-home arrangements will be profitable for the Internet company. For Jennifer Glass, however, the question is primarily cultural. That is, will togetherness actually transform Yahoo into the next big thing, which it used to be? "A work force culture based on long hours at the office with little regard for family or community does not inevitably lead to strong productivity or innovation," Glass argues, who's no fan of Mayer. "Companies like Yahoo will not ... recreate the dynamism of their founding moment by trying to return to a perpetual organizational adolescence. The 37-year-old Ms. Mayer, new mother, may have yet to learn that."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.