* A good David Nakamura report detailing how conservatives are finding that one roadblock after another they’ve placed in the path of immigration reform has failed to stop it from marching forward. That’s the real story unfolding behind all the right’s scandal-euphoria.
* Dems plan to begin moving immigration reform before the full Senate the week of June 10th; this is moving quickly, and House Republicans may be confronted with the need to act by early summer.
* Mitch McConnell says Obama’s plan to appoint nominees to D.C. Circuit Court vacancies is an effort to “stack the court.” A nice rejoinder from Jonathan Bernstein:
Obama’s response should be: Damn right! The Democrats won the presidential election and have a solid majority in the Senate; of course they are going to “stack” the courts with their nominees. That’s exactly how the system is designed to work.
It’s that niggling victory in the elections thing that McConnell really objects to, of course.
* About Obamacare’s lack of popularity: A CNN poll finds that 43 percent favor the law, while 54 percent oppose it. Bad, right? Well, 16 percent oppose it because it doesn’t go far enough. Kevin Drum describes the poll accurately:
According to a recent poll, 59 percent of Americans support Obamacare, while 35 percent oppose it. Among supporters, 43 percent support the law as is, while 16 percent think it doesn’t go far enough.
Right. Not so bad, after all. Yet this basic breakdown is almost never tried for in the polling.
* Also: As Digby notes, that poll suggests that on health care, at least, America is a center-left country.
* Ben Smith obtains Nancy Pelosi’s plan to sell the Affordable Care Act. Key prediction:
“A significant majority of people in the new Marketplaces will pay the same or less than they do for their coverage right now.”
Sure, there will be problems. But every implementation glitch will be inflated by the law’s opponents into proof that the law is a catastrophic failure, and some folks who know better will pretend to forget that major reforms have historically faced implementation bumps.
* Andrew Rosenthal on the contrasting approaches governors Jan Brewer and Rick Perry have adopted towards the Medicaid expansion, and how it has posed conservative governors with a choice: Do the responsible thing, or buck the national Tea Party.
* House Republicans finally find an individual mandate they can support, provided it’s imposed on undocumented immigrants awaiting citizenship.
* Republicans spent much of today hammering a Public Policy Polling survey showing Mitch McConnell with bad numbers. Rachel Weiner gets the balance right: McConnell probably isn’t that vulnerable, but this just isn’t a push poll.
* Meanwhile, an adviser to McConnell’s possible opponent, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, tells ABC News that a decision on the race will be coming “in the not-too-distant future.”
* Interesting Senator Rob Portman is quietly trying to broker a deal by which the GOP would drop its opposition to Richard Cordray as head of the consumer protection bureau.
Two key points: First, Republicans oppose the agency itself, not Cordray. And some of them (such as Portman) are looking for a way of easing GOP obstructionism just enough to prevent Dems from changing Senate rules.
* A primer on taxing the rich, from Paul Krugman, in chart form: Share of income to the very top has soared even as tax rates on the highest incomes have fallen sharply. And:
This has nothing to do with envy, or a desire to punish the rich, or anything other than a recognition of tradeoffs: if we choose to raise less revenue from the rich than we can without hurting the economy, we will be forced either to raise more taxes from or provide fewer valuable services to everyone else.
* And what should we call the lack-of-coverage gap that will claim as victims the millions who will fall between Obamacare exchange subsidies and Medicaid, thanks to GOP state legislators who refuse the Medicaid expansion?
Ed Kilgore suggests “the wingnut hole.”