June 12, 2013

1. Very interesting breaking news this afternoon: the deputy director of the CIA is resigning, to be replaced by White House deputy counsel Avril Haines, legal adviser to the National Security Counsel.

2. Immigration: here comes an amendment from Marco Rubio to deny federal benefits those currently undocumented people the bill is supposedly helping, according to David Drucker. Vindictive.

3. And Brian Beutler has Chuck Schumer on the record saying No to the John Cornyn amendment hardening the border security triggers, which in the view of advocates is little more than a stealth effort to kill reform.

4. Barack Obama continues to put far more women on the federal bench than any other president — he’s currently at 42% of confirmed nominees, as Todd Ruger details.

5. Obama travels to Boston to get out the vote for Ed Markey; David S. Bernstein was there.

6. Michael McAuliff and Sabrina Siddiqui on a curious group: Republicans who are just fine with NSA surveillance but terrified of background checks on guns because it would mean a too-intrusive government.

7. While Mark Blumenthal and Ariel Edwards-Levy have a nice deep look into the polling on the NSA and civil liberties issues.

8. From Adam Serwer: “The House is set to vote on a defense bill this week that could give service members a license to harass and discriminate against their colleagues.” So much for rebranding, I guess.

9. The Guardian has issued a statement responding to Peter King’s comments about Glenn Greenwald. 

10. Spencer Ackerman: “No one who calls for the prosecution of journalists for doing our jobs can ever be called an advocate of freedom.”

11. An interesting point from Ed Kilgore: do Republicans still think that they (and for that matter Democrats) can pass laws that permanently change the balance of the parties because of the long-term effects of Taft-Hartley, way back in the 1940s? Plausible.

12. “Darrell Issa Wins the Chutzpah Award for June.” Great one from Kevin Drum.

13. Harold Pollack on deinstitutionalization.

14. Nice story by Jennifer Haberkorn on when the Affordable Care Act moves from a political football to ordinary health care.

15. I absolutely agree with Matt Yglesias that the real problem with campaign finance is all the time that politicians spend raising money.

16. Early voting was up a bit in 2012; voting maven Michael McDonald has the details and what they mean.

17. And can Frank Luntz save Washington’s football team? Or their name, at least. Alex Pareene on the hokum merchant taking a shot at football.