* Dem Senator Mark Pryor plans to spend a “substantial” amount of cash rebutting Mike Bloomberg’s ads hitting him for voting against expanded background checks. Wait, I thought there was no political downside to “pro gun” votes in red states?

* Jonathan Bernstein makes the key point about Michele Bachmann: The problem is that relatively sane Republicans, for self-interested reasons, don’t call out the crazies in their caucus and grant them far more influence than they deserve.

* As Dana Milbank notes, Bachmann peddled her sanctimonious, phony grievances about the liberal media all the way until the end.

* Atrios with a note to conservatives: No, liberals aren’t really bent out of shape or outraged by Bachmann’s nonsense, and yes, we really are laughing at her.

* Matthew Yglesias on the financial incentives for Bachmann and other Republicans to leave public office and join the conservative entertainment complex.

* Excellent Digby post on the limits of the GOP strategy to run against Obamacare in 2014: How did voting against Obamacare work out for all those Blue Dog Dems who are now in private life?

* Jennifer Rubin rightly notes that the demand among some Republicans for immigration to be made more conservative just doesn’t have any specificity, and points out that mainstream Republicans just have to decide whether they’re getting on board.

* Matt Miller on a surprisingly simple and clever plan to make public financing of elections a central issue in 2016, with the help of a few dozen patriotic billionaires.

* California Democrats move forward with a package of gun reforms, another reminder that with Congress unwilling to act, much of the battle will continue to be fought out on the state level.

* CNN reports that the Justice Department claims to have proof that Fox News was indeed notified of the subpoena for reporter James Rosen’s phone records.

* NBC news has a quick and useful timeline of the major events in the Massachusetts Senate race, in case you need to get caught up.

* And Steve Benen on an Oklahoma state GOPer who wonders: “What happened to the Republican Party that I joined?”

Greg Sargent writes The Plum Line blog, a reported opinion blog with a liberal slant -- what you might call “opinionated reporting” from the left.
Continue reading