May 1, 2013

1. Brian Beutler explains what Barack Obama meant by “permission structure” — it’s all about finding ways for the Republican House to allow things to pass — things which sane Republicans actually want to pass — without Republican fingerprints on them.

2. In other words, things such as the “Boehner Rule” that the Senate has to act first — which is why I say that the more we know about House Republicans, the better John Boehner looks.

3. Paul Waldman looks to “Life of Brian” to help explain House Republicans, but inexplicably misses the part how much they have to hate liberals to get into the GOP People’s Front (Answer? A lot).

4. Mark Murray tries to remind everyone complaining that Barack Obama can’t magically get whatever he wants that political context — in this case, divided government — matters. Absolutely right.

5. Bloomberg View asks: Is Obama appalled by his own anti-terrorism policies?

6. A new CBO report, released by House Democrats on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, says “implementing principal reduction programs for underwater mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could save U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars by avoiding unnecessary defaults, help homeowners avoid foreclosures and remain in their homes, and stimulate some additional growth across the economy.” Why Greg’s earlier item about Mel Watt is important.

7. On health care, an important new study finds that Medicaid access does not help health outcomes, at least not in the short (two-year) term, but it does make a big difference financially. Annie Lowrey reports.

8. While on immigration, voters are…not paying attention, at least yet. Sean Sullivan has the numbers.

9. Are New York Times columnists Paul Krugman and David Brooks feuding? Dylan Byers reports denials, all around.

10. Wondering what Benghazi as a scandal is really about? Digby says: 2016, and Hillary Clinton. Plausible!

11. Sean Trende begins a look at the 2014 midterms.

12. Would Republicans really want to steer the economy with blinders on? Dylan Matthews says yes.

13. And Matt Yglesias looks at a 401(k) world and is, basically, appalled.