November 15, 2013

* HuffPo reports that the White House will make a major push for an extension of unemployment benefits, along with Congressional Dems who will push for the same in budget talks — which is encouraging for those who want the economy to be the top priority for Dems in upcoming fiscal fights.

* Bill Scher with a pithy post laying out the wonky substantive case against the silly Obamacare-Katrina comparisons.

* Jamelle Bouie also does a nice job on the Obamacare-Katrina comparison. A taste:

Failing to build a website that can reliably provide health-care coverage to consumers — a noble goal hindered by flawed implementation — is categorically different than a non-response to a natural disaster that claimed thousands of lives.

* Jonathan Chait tallies up all the other previous crises that were deemed Katrina-like fiascos for Obama, and concludes:

If every one of Obama’s Katrinas were an actual Katrina, America as we know it would long since have ceased to exist and we’d be living in a watery post-apocalyptic hellscape.

Only a few months ago, high profile pundits confidently suggested Obama’s “weakness” after the Syria mess would badly hobble his chances in the government shutdown and debt limit fight.

* Kevin Drum on the silly pundit obsession with Obama’s sky-is-falling health law presser yesterday. Seriously. What matters is whether the policy works over time. This is nuts.

* Meanwhile, Ed Kilgore makes short work of the “Obama and Dems in epic free fall” narrative. I repeat: This is nuts.

* Jonathan Bernstein on why predictions of doom here and disaster there just aren’t in line with how public opinion actually works.

* Jonathan Cohn has a good take on today’s House passage of the GOP bill to fix Obamacare by gutting it, and why it shows Dems are basically standing behind the law, for now, anyway.

* Andrew Rosenthal on the total lack of any coherent policy rationale that could be motivating the 39 Dems that did vote for the fake GOP fix.

* Here’s a list of those 39 Dems.

* Steve Benen is right: The campaign to deliberately dissuade young people from signing on to Obamacare explicitly to make the law fail is an under-covered story.

* Joe Conason is understandably puzzled: “Suddenly, everyone in Washington is intensely concerned about Americans losing their health coverage.”

* Benjy Sarlin has a good deconstruction of Mitt Romney’s supposed embrace of immigration reform, which got some attention today, but as Sarlin shows, there’s just not much there there, which will startle those who closely followed Romney’s policy positions in 2012.

* And this is just the right note on which to end a deeply dispiriting week: Jonathan Capehart valiantly wrestles with Sarah Palin’s effort to justify her comparison of future debt with slavery.

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.