Here’s the latest from . . . the presidential election. Yes, they’re still counting votes. A few big notes today: Barack Obama’s lead is now up to 3.4 percentage points, with Romney down to 47.4 percent of the overall vote (and as Greg has noted, that rounds down to the magic 47 percent). Obama’s vote lead now rounds up to 4.4 million votes.
On to the good stuff:
1. “Dinner Won’t Do It.” Presidency scholar Andrew Rudalevige argues that presidential efforts to build friendships with members of Congress have at best a marginal effect on passing legislation.
2. Great Jamelle Bouie post: “How not to appeal to Asian Americans.”
3. Several people were wondering whether Republicans could “shut down” the Senate to retaliate for a majority-only filibuster reform. My answer? They could — but they won’t.
4. Rep. Sander Levin makes the case for continuing extended unemployment benefits as part of the fiscal cliff solution in an interview with Suzy Khimm. Remember: it’s not all about the tax cuts and the sequester.
5. Shouldn’t Republicans at some point actually state their position on the fiscal cliff? That is, what they want to happen? Good question from Paul Waldman.
6. Meanwhile, Republican opposition to the Independent Payment Advisory Board as part of their opposition to increased Medicare spending continues to be massively incoherent, as Steve Benen points out.
7. Could the Affordable Care Act be headed back to the Supreme Court? Sarah Kliff explains the latest possibilities.
8. Spencer Ackerman reports from the Pentagon: “A human will always decide when a robot kills you.” Reassured?
9. No more Intrade? U.S. accounts are being closed out, Igor Bobic reports. It’ll be missed during the next invisible primary period; the betting markets are hardly perfect, but they often do a good job of distilling the conventional wisdom.
10. Speaking of which: good Marc Ambinder summary of the lay of the land for Hillary Clinton 2016.
11. But would Clinton clear the field? Steve Kornacki puts her potential run in perspective.
12. On the other side: is Jeb Bush acting like a presidential candidate? Robert Costa is watching.
13. Bruce Bartlett on his exile from the GOP.
14. And Matt Yglesias looks back on the deal to extend the Bush-era tax cuts in 2010 and argues it was a big Obama win.