November 1, 2013

* An important big picture piece from Ed Kilgore on the need for Dems to respond to the latest GOP obstructionism on nominees with a serious look at  filibuster reform and real democratic accountability, even if, paradoxically, it alarms the Beltway types who protest “gridlock” the most.

* Also see Brian Beutler on how, and where, Harry Reid should draw the line: If Republicans use filibustering to “usurp established presidential powers,” as they are doing now, Reid must threaten to go nuclear on executive and judicial branch nominations.

* More movement: GOP Rep. Fred Upton comes out for immigration reform, and says there are a lot of hidden votes for it in the House GOP caucus. It’s unclear what he means by reform, but it is important to determine how many Republicans actually want to vote on something.

* Dem Rep. Luis Gutierrez, who had previously hoped for comprehensive immigration reform, allows that the only way the House GOP will vote on reform is in pieces, but as he notes, there is a way to get from there to comprehensive reform, which remains critical to understanding the way forward.

* The New York Times has an illuminating look at three people who are “losing” coverage, one who will pay more, another who is getting a “pretty good deal,” and a third who isn’t sure. As always, we’ll just have to wait and see what it all means.

* Eugene Robinson nails it on the problem plagued Obamacare rollout:

The word “debacle” does fit the rollout. But the policy itself is sound, and eventually all the noise will fade. The first weeks of Obamacare will be forgotten. The first months will become a footnote. The first years are what will matter.

Have I mentioned that in the long run, all that matters is whether the policy works?

* Sean Sullivan and Aaron Blake catch something important in the new Kaiser poll: Far more Americans paid attention to the government shutdown than  to the health law’s rollout problems. The Tea Party crisis actually may have set back the goal of staging that crisis, i.e., undermining Obamacare.

* The Hill reports:

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said Friday that a Republican-backed plan to force more high-level officials and staffers to obtain their insurance through ObamaCare would add nearly $1 billion to the deficit.

This sort of thing barely causes a ripple anymore.

* The Human Rights Campaign releases an interesting new report documenting that Republican lawmakers have historically not paid a political price for voting against anti-gay workplace discrimination. The vote on ENDA is set for Monday, and really, this should be a no-brainer, especially for self-described moderate or centrist Republican Senators.

* Dana Milbank on the likely Ken Cuccinelli loss and what it really means for the Tea Party’s place within the GOP:

The tea party has been in steep decline from its 2010 peak, but it retains power where it matters: in the ability to force the nomination of far-right candidates and to defeat Republican officeholders who aren’t sufficiently extreme. The primary process is the sole source of power for the tea party, but it has become a stranglehold.

* Reality check of the day, from Steve Benen, on that new Pew poll showing that climate denialism is rampant among Tea Party Republicans:

Overcoming such opposition is going to be tricky, but the climate crisis doesn’t much care either way whether people believe in it or not.

* Jonathan Capehart points out: Veterans (on whose behalf Republicans were very outraged during the GOP government shutdown) are getting directly harmed by food stamp cuts.

* And the chart of the day, via Alex Seitz-Wald and based on NBC/WSJ polling, neatly captures the GOP in one image, with an emphasis on the Tea Party ethos that no compromise is acceptable, ever.

What else?

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