To understand how very unlikely it is that Obama’s long sought-after deal is going to magically turn around his numbers, we must visit one of the most robust but amazingly underappreciated findings in American political science: independents are not independent.

Ruy Texiera, “Obama’s Unhealthy Obsession With Independents”

Obama’s ability to defy the economic fundamentals is one of the most significant facts of the current landscape. It doesn’t command a lot of attention because Obama’s approval ratings aren’t all that great. But considering the state of the economy they are actually unbelievably great — sort of like a baseball player who hits 20 home runs a year while playing in a stadium with a 450 foot deep fence.

Jonathan Chait, “Obama’s Mysteriously High Approval Ratings”