July 24, 2013

1. Paul Krugman makes the point that can’t be missed: Republicans are threatening to crash the economy in a debt ceiling crisis, and why?

[T]he cause for which the GOP is willing to go to the brink, breaking all political norms, threatening the US and world economies with incalculable damage, is the cause of preventing people with preexisting conditions and/or low incomes from getting health insurance. Apparently, the prospect that their fellow citizens might receive this help is so horrifying that nothing else matters.

2. Steve Benen looks to a Paul Ryan quote to underline something central: no matter how many times spending gets cut, for House Republicans it’s always time to begin cutting spending.

3. Liberals, on the other hand, have a new emerging cause: expanding Social Security. Alex Seitz-Wald reports on what could be a major issue in 2014 and 2016.

4. And here’s the Progressive Change Campaign Committee’s petition for expanding Social Security.

5. On immigration: Rachel Weiner on the “Republicans’ Steve King problem.” The only way this goes away is if the issue goes away — and that means passing a bill that actually takes immigration off the agenda. Which is why some of us aren’t sure that House Republicans won’t eventually do just that.

6. It’s going to have to include citizenship to get that job done. Elise Foley has the results of a poll that makes that point, again.

7. Don’t miss E.J. Dionne on the president’s economic speech today.

8. Jonathan Chait on the speech: “It’s Not My Fault Republicans Are Crazy.”

9. News you may have missed today about an important topic: the second of Obama’s three nominees for open DC Circuit seats had her Judiciary Committee hearing. During which Republicans revived the silly argument it’s somehow “court-packing” for Obama to nominate people for existing judicial vacancies. Jennifer Bendery reports.

10. Lots of liberal commentators coming out against Larry Summers for the Fed; here’s Kevin Drum making the argument.

11. Rick Hasen about the North Carolina legislation to make voting harder, and how it could backfire.

12. Very good point from Conor Friedersdorf on how movement conservatives are strongly against treating African Americans as a group…but only sometimes.

13. And one of mine. Rush Limbaugh and other conservatives think Obamacare will turn Americans into government wards and assure Democrats permanent majorities, but elections and public opinion don’t actually work that way.