June 18, 2013

1. Big news on those three D.C. Circuit Court nominees today: John McCain said that he thinks they deserve confirmation votes, telling Sahil Kapur, “Elections have consequences.” There’s still plenty of time for him to walk that back on one or even two of the nominees, based on real or imagined “extraordinary circumstances,” but it’s a pretty good sign that there won’t be enough Republicans who want to blockade all three seats to defeat them all by filibuster. Remember: This isn’t just about the fate of the filibuster, as important as that is; key portions of the Democratic agenda, especially climate, will likely wind up before the D.C. Circuit.

2. The Senate immigration bill would reduce the deficit, the CBO announces. As with the Affordable Care Act, don’t expect all the deficit hawks to care. Via Linden.

3. Kevin Drum has a skeptical but fair view of what Greg and I have been saying about immigration and the House: “It certainly sounds logical, but let’s face it: logic is not a strong suit of the contemporary House Republican caucus.”

4. Meanwhile, Louie Gohmert and other radical Republican members of the House talk about spiking any immigration bill, even if it’s written for them.

5. Which leaves me to ask, again: Is there any way to get to 218 in the House other than with mostly Democratic votes?

6. Ezra Klein, meanwhile, has a nice explanation of the “Hastert Rule” and agrees that John Boehner and House Republicans probably don’t know yet what they’ll wind up doing.

7. And Jonathan Chait looks at the electoral and policy stakes of immigration. Worth adding: What matters for passage isn’t the actual electoral effects; it’s the perceived electoral effects. Also — the effects for parties as a whole may not be the same as the effects on individual House Republicans, who are probably the key actors here.

8. Before the full IRS transcripts came out this afternoon, Steve Benen had a nice item on how Darrell Issa plays the game of “oversight.”

9. See also Sam Stein on Issa’s selective use of transcripts.

10. Could the outcome of the Iranian elections be a deal on nuclear weapons? Or is the better question: Was the outcome of the elections the first move in a compromise? Good reporting from Carla Anne Robbins.

11. Recall elections as a partisan weapon, from Seth Masket.

12. No, don’t worry that a court win on marriage equality will spark a public opinion backlash — new political science research hints that a backlash is unlikely.

13. SNAP enrollment isn’t out of control, contrary to Republican complaints — it’s just the recession. Jared Bernstein explains.

14. Ed Kilgore has a nice catch: Expect Republicans to tout immigration reform, at least if it is fully or partially successful, to deflect charges of Senate obstruction and the possible need for filibuster reform.

15. Is Rick Perry going to inflict himself on the Republican primaries in 2016? Abby Rapoport looks at how he’s positioning for a second, and perhaps less extremely embarrassing, run for the White House.

16. Josh Barro’s take: “Bobby Jindal has completely lost touch with reality.

17. Seth D. Michaels, on that Jindal op-ed: “just a for instance: encouraging the idea that Obama let people at Benghazi die on purpose is going to alienate non-crazy people.” Yes, I think it just might do that.

18. And Chris Hayes on Father’s Day and feminism.

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