1. Harry Reid has filed a cloture petition on the Chuck Hagel defense secretary nomination. Rachel Weiner asks whether that means that Republicans are filibustering; she leaves it open, but has Senate scholars Greg Koger and Sarah Binder saying so, as well as the CRS definition. Yes, it’s a filibuster.
2. Voting law expert Rick Hasen doesn’t expect much to come of the presidential commission on voting unveiled in the State of the Union speech, although he finds the inclusion of Ben Ginsberg a positive sign.
3. See also Ari Berman, who is less enthusiastic about what Ginsberg signals (as am I).
4. Why the minimum wage push makes sense for Barack Obama and is good policy, from James Downie.
5. Lots of reviews of Marco Rubio’s speech; Andrew Sullivan’s was perhaps the most brutal.
6. While Jonathan Chait is unimpressed with Rubio’s science — and logic.
7. And Mike Konczal corrects the record on the history of the housing bubble.
8. What does the conservatives’ “Buckley Rule” really mean? Ed Kilgore has some interesting thoughts about it.
9. Political scientist Dave Hopkins: “Electing the most extreme candidate any given constituency can bear also creates a *big* problem for the national party brand!”
10. The new, “liberated” Barack Obama — E.J. Dionne on what the president really wants.
11. Will the Senate finally confirm a nominee to head up Medicare and Medicaid? Sarah Kliff on why there’s some optimism for a change.
12. And Conor Friedersdorf argues that liberals are accepting “war on terror” assumptions that they would oppose if Barack Obama wasn’t president. An interesting argument. I’d say a broader question is whether the liberal embrace of strong presidents, which lasted from about March 1933 through 1965, is back — with the 2016 election perhaps being a key to that question.