January 30, 2013

1. Jamelle Bouie with an important piece, arguing that the right to vote should be in the Constitution.

2. Barack Obama will be in Minnesota on Monday, keeping the gun issue in the headlines. Philip Rucker has the details.

3. Here come the health insurance exchanges — but will they actually be user-friendly? Sarah Kliff reports on how difficult the task of buying insurance turns out to be, and how the Massachusetts experience can help point the way to improvements. Note: For those who interact with them, the exchanges will be the visible side of “Obamacare” and probably will determine whether it is popular or not.

4. That aside, the Affordable Care Act is going to be particularly important for one group of Americans: working parents. Judy Solomon has details, and charts.

5. A Chuck Hagel whip count reported by Josh Rogin indicates that the defense secretary nominee is in pretty good shape but still doesn’t have 60 solid votes. It’s not absolutely clear he’ll need 60, but he’ll be in much safer territory if five Republicans support him.

6. The economics of immigration, from Jared Bernstein.

7. Steve Benen: the sequester is coming.

8. Matt Yglesias: “Why not just replace the sequester with . . . not doing the sequester?

9. Okay, I called this one: the GOP scheme to rig the electoral college is fizzling out rapidly (well, I didn’t predict that this would be rapid, just that it would happen). The last serious possibility at this point, Emma Roller reports, is Pennsylvania.

10. “The Divergent Fates of Sarah Palin and Shirley Sherrod,” by Ryan Cooper.

11. Is “liberal” back? Not the politics — the word. Alan Brinkley makes the case.

12. And Larry Bartels, one of the smartest political scientists out there, presents a lecture about elections, policy, and mandates.