Five Best Monday Columns

Quin Hillyer on the emergence of Bobby Jindal for 2016, Walter Dellinger on contraception as a test for equality, Hanna Rosin on what it means to say "I'm busy," Marc Champion on the Ukrainian military, Isaac Chotiner on the weak philosophical argument against Obamacare. 

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Quin Hillyer at the National Review on the emergence of Bobby Jindal for 2016. “National Republican activists certainly have noticed that Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal has stepped up his activity lately. Gone are some of his lamer, more forced jokes and his occasionally poor pacing, both of which marred an otherwise decent speech two years ago in Mobile,” Hillyer writes. “But he needs a “signature issue” that people can identify with him. Jindal will eagerly talk your ear off about a host of issues — health care, education, energy, to start. For Jindal, the key question is, “How do we get back to robust growth?””

Walter Dellinger at The Washington Post on contraception as a test for equality. “By 21st-century standards, the oral arguments in the 1965 case Griswold v. Connecticut suggest that most of the justices were either uninformed about contraceptive methods or uncomfortable discussing them,” Dellinger writes. “The cases being heard on Tuesday also implicate equality of access to effective methods of family planning. An understanding of the importance of access to the full range of contraception options should lead the court to reject claims of religious entitlement that so greatly burden the interests of others.”

Hanna Rosin at Slate on what it means to say, “I’m busy.” “The art of busyness is to convey genuine alarm at the pace of your life and a helpless resignation, as if someone else is setting the clock, and yet simultaneously make it clear that you are completely on top of your game. These are not exactly humble brags. They are more like fretful brags, and they are increasingly becoming the idiom of our age,” Rosin writes. “To be deep in the overwhelm requires not just doing too many things in one 24-hour period but doing so many different kinds of things that they all blend into each other and a day has no sense of distinct phases. Researchers call it “contaminated time,” and apparently women are more susceptible to it than men.”

Marc Champion at Bloomberg View on the Ukrainian military. “Colonel Yuli Mamchur, the commander of the Ukrainian military base at Belbek in Crimea is someone whom we should admire. Mamchur ordered his men not to shoot anyone when the assault finally came. Instead, Mamchur had his men line up in front of the approaching troops and sing the Ukrainian national anthem. Then he had them turn their backs on the Russian troops, who broke through the gates behind armored vehicles, as if they were fighting a war,” Champion writes. “I don’t know whether Putin will deploy his troops into Eastern Ukraine, but he wants Ukrainians to believe that he is ready to do so.”

Isaac Chotiner at the New Republic on the weak philosophical argument against Obamacare. “Apparently feeling that good objections to Obamacare and a higher minimum wage come from philosophy as well as economics, N. Gregory Mankiw has attempted, unsuccessfully, to write a piece that combines both,” Chotinier writes, including the excerpt: “You are a doctor with four dying patients. One needs a new liver, one needs a new heart, and two need a new kidney. A perfectly healthy patient walks into your office for his annual checkup. Are you still willing to pursue the utilitarian course of action?” “What's so interesting about this excerpt is the way that it views the pre-Obamacare status quo. We already had a healthcare system that made all kinds of trade-offs. Our system of government and economy have been "disruptive" for a very long time.”

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