January 23, 2013

1. Was that the House Republicans declaring victory today after their debt limit punt? Yup, it was, as Jed Lewison notes. Well, maybe they can fool some GOP partisans.

2. An excellent Ed Kilgore post on the Obama Inaugural speech and the liberal argument for collective action as a means of securing individual freedom. (gs)

3. What’s next? Suzy Khimm has all the budget deadlines coming up over the next three months — and what would happen if Congress misses them.

4. Is government spending “out of control” during the Obama years? Only if “out of control” means “a lot less than when George W. Bush was president.” Kevin Drum has the chart.

5. Matt Yglesias makes a key budget point: why exactly should anyone favor a balanced federal budget?

6. Yes, the GOP plan to rig the electoral college really is outrageous and a direct assault on American democracy. Jamelle Bouie has the latest. I wonder, however: would voters care about it? I mean when it passed; presumably if it actually worked and a large Democratic win in the national vote yielded a rigged Republican electoral vote win, people would certainly care about that.

7. Ari Berman suggests that voting reform, which Barack Obama mentioned in his Inaugural speech, should be the top priority of the 113th Congress.

8. Ace Massachusetts observer David S. Bernstein (yeah, my brother) rubs his crystal ball and…recoils with horror at the sight of Scott Brown facing Martha Coakley in a gubernatorial campaign next year. He says no one wants that matchup, but surely national Democrats would be very happy if Brown chooses that race.

9. Paul Krugman on “brave, honest” Paul Ryan.

10. Speaking of which: Ryan attempts to justify his position on taxes and spending to Ezra Klein; he’s excellent at dropping budget jargon, but far less successful at, well, making a rational, fact-based argument.

11. Steve Benen has the key clip of Hillary Clinton’s trip to the Senate today.

12. Is Frank Lautenberg too old to run for re-election? Conor Friedersdorf makes the case.

13. Political scientist Kathleen McNamara on “Cameron’s European Gambit.”

14. And Nate Silver has a little fun with Barack Obama and the historical ranking of presidents.