March 5, 2013

1. The new Paul Ryan budget is coming soon. Jonathan Cohn looks at what specific cuts — and specific fights — to expect, including the possibility of cuts that hit current or near-future retirees.

2. Meanwhile, a spending bill still needs to pass to keep the government operating after March. Today’s update from Brian Beutler, who continues to do be best reporting around on this issue. My only question he doesn’t answer there: if Democratic leaders in the House were neutral, which way would rank-and-file Democrats vote? My guess is that a “no” vote is the easier one for almost all of them to defend.

3. The House vote on the CR has been moved up to tomorrow, as Ed O’Keefe and Paul Kane report.

4. Oh, and the sequestration fight is getting silly, as Sarah Kliff reports.

5. Ramesh Ponnuru asks an important question: “Do Conservatives Actually Want to Win Elections?

6. Jonathan Chait is on a roll this week; today he reminded us of some of Michael Boskin’s least successful economic forecasts. (Link fixed.)

7. Why the press conference question that produced the “Vulcan Mind Meld” was an awful question, from Seth Masket.

8. The case for John Boehner, from Noam Scheiber. I strongly agree.

9. Although Boehner is about to take some heat from disgraced former Republican Member of the House Bob Ney, as George E. Condon Jr. reports.

10. Good reminder from Ed Kilgore about the basic math of Congress.

11. Really, Mitch McConnell? Complaining that Barack Obama is too focused on elections? Steve Benen can hardly believe it.

10. Scott Lemiuex on “Fear and the New Deal.”

11. Jared Bernstein on kids, poverty, the safety net, and what more is needed.

12. Erik Voeten: “Don’t Drink and Negotiate.”

13. Liberals who are good on TV? Kevin Drum is looking for them.

14. And the TSA has apparently decided that Wiffle Ball isn’t actually all that dangerous.