July 8, 2013

The Senate this evening unanimously confirmed Gregory Phillips to a vacancy on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals that only came open at the end of April — Phillips was nominated in January, since the previous judge had announced his intention to take senior status in advance. Hey, that’s how it’s supposed to work! And you can expect Republicans to (quite rightly) cite this one when Democrats complain about GOP obstruction. If only every nomination was resolved this quickly…

1. No, the delays announced last week don’t mean that the Affordable Care Act is collapsing. Ezra Klein explains.

2. Steve Benen nails it: “GOP officials could make the federal health care system better and more to their liking, but they see no value in that. They’d rather sabotage it, regardless of the real-world consequences.”

3. Meanwhile, more answers to Obamacare questions, from Sarah Kliff.

4. While Jonathan Cohn thinks about the employer/insurance link and other policy issues.

5. Also, Paul Waldman’s look at anti-Obamacare ads running now — and what we can expect them to say in the future.

6. Oh, I really like Kevin Drum’s description of House Republican radicals trying to figure out what they’ll demand for their next round of blackmail: “They sound like a bunch of eight-year-olds who think they’ve come up with an oh-so-clever way to trap dad into raising their allowance or something.” This is what comes from being committed in principle to blackmail, regardless of the situation or context.

7. I’m fairly happy with the direction Senate reform seems to be headed.

8. But Ed Kilgore just wants to do away with the filibuster.

9. “[S]triking down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act is the latest example of the party of Lincoln transforming into the party of Calhoun.” Scott Lemieux won’t let Shelby County go, and with good reason.

10. A good reminder that liberals gave quite a bit to get a bipartisan Senate immigration bill: Alex Altman reports on liberal backlash against the newly militarized border under that legislation.

11. Get ready for the new GOP spin: Obamacare implementation killed immigration reform. Brian Beutler reports. My guess is that this one is even less likely to convince neutral Latino opinion leaders than the old “Obama wanted reform to fail” spin.

12. Dan Drezner on Egypt.

13. Rick Perry announced today he won’t run for (yet another) term as governor of Texas; Dave Weigel reports on the man most likely to replace him. The real question at this point: Will there be a crazy Tea Party primary?

14. And why it matters to elect African Americans and people from other traditionally underrepresented groups, from David Broockman