April 23, 2013

* Post-policy? No agenda? I have the goods on the House GOP — it turns out that of ten bills reserved for party priorities, nine of them are still empty.

* Great takedown of sloppy presidency analysis #1: Jonathan Chait is not impressed with the suggestion that everything would have gone swimmingly if only Barack Obama had put the names of swing Senators on charts.

* Great takedown of sloppy presidency analysis #2: Alex Massie with a nice historical survey of why every president can’t match the cliched version of 1965 Lyndon Johnson.

* Great takedown of sloppy presidency analysis #3: It seems the New York Times botched the opening anecdote in today’s front-page analysis, about Mark Begich, new Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, and a trip to Alaska. Olivier Knox has the full story.

* Jeremy Scahill has new and fascinating reporting on the drone wars.

Chris Hayes: “Truly have never encountered a pol who loves the sound of his own voice more than Ted Cruz, and that is really saying something.”

* Speaking of Ted Cruz, here’s his big-time “gotcha” fail, reported by Elise Foley. Necessary note: reading the full text of a bill is almost always a waste of time.

* Steve Benen has a good point on Rand Paul: It’s not actually clear he knows what he’s talking about on civil liberties.

* Nate Silver takes a stab at assessing the effects of the gun bill votes on the 2014 election cycle.

* The United States has already “solved” whatever short- and medium-term deficit problem it once had, as Neil Irwin notes — but will anyone notice?

* Sean Sullivan has the early outlook on the now-open Senate seat from Montana.

* A nice catch from Ezra Klein: Not only is the Affordable Care Act not really much like the Iraq War, but GOP attempts at analogies are getting lazier and lazier.

* And I love Abby Livingston’s continuing series on real House members who would represent fictional characters — this time, it’s characters in novels.