April 4, 2013

To begin with: No, it’s not even remotely okay for Barack Obama to say that California Attorney General Kamala Harris “also happens to be, by far, the best-looking attorney general.” He needs to apologize and work on making good on it — and no, a jovial “Michelle says I screwed up” won’t do it.

1. You may think you’ve been reading a lot about judicial nominations, but it’s still underappreciated: Getting judges confirmed is probably more important than any piece of legislation when it comes to the success of Barack Obama’s second term, and GOP obstruction continues to be extreme and unprecedented. Erika Eichelberger has some terrific charts and stats on just how bad it is.

2. Speaking of which: More bipartisan support is coming in from the legal community for Obama’s D.C. Circuit pick, Sri Srinivasan, before his Judiciary Committee hearing next week.

3. Bill Nelson joins the stampede on marriage equality, as Alex Leary reports.

4. AFSCME, on a day to remember the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., posts an excellent video reminding everyone that King was in Memphis to support a sanitation workers’ strike — and what King really fought for during his life.

5. Not an Affordable Care Act story, but important for health-care reform anyway: Walgreens moves further into medical care. Julie Appleby reports. If health-care costs are going to be controlled, it’s probably going to take a lot of things, and this is promising — if it can work without endangering health-care outcomes.

6. Oh, and: Yes, sequestration cut Medicare. Sarah Kliff explains.

7. Which means it’s the latest for the “yes, sequestration hurts” file: ThinkProgress checks out what local news knows.

8. Stay up to date on fringe conspiracy theories (and the Republican politicians who move them from the fringe to the mainstream): Tim Murphy on “common core” paranoia.

9. Adam Serwer has some fun with Ken Cuccinelli and “crimes against nature.”

10. A good Sean Trende analysis of the electoral implications of 2012: He argues that no, there’s no reason to think Republicans can’t win national elections now.

11. Although Ed Kilgore is correct, it doesn’t mean Republicans are in good shape.

12. Has the Obama administration supported or undermined the EPA? Some criticisms, reported by Kate Sheppard.

13. And the House of Representatives is up to … not much. Sarah Binder explains.