November 21, 2013

On the historic day that the Senate changed the rules and instituted simply majority cloture for nominations, of course I’m going to begin with that:

1. Starting with the political scientists who study the Senate. Sarah Binder has some key questions and answers about what happened today and the future of the Senate.

2. Greg Koger talks to Dylan Matthews about how reform was accomplished and what happens now in the Senate.

3. Could the way that Democrats imposed reform make it relatively more difficult to do the same on legislative filibusters? Joshua Huder looks at the details.

4. Yet more about the demise of the nominations filibuster: Nine reasons that today’s reform is a big deal, from Ezra Klein.

5. While Brian Beutler urges Barack Obama and the Democrats to be aggressive with their new ability to act by majority rule.

6. Why did it happen? Kevin Drum notes a major reason: self-defeating Republican rejection of compromise. Very sensible.

7. I suggest a possibility: Republican potential deal-makers were fed up with being scapegoated by Ted Cruz and the other radicals.

8. One thing for sure: Republicans were “begging for a return nuclear response.” That’s Norm Ornstein, talking to Sahil Kapur.

9. Or, as James Downie puts it: “No one forced them to turn filibusters from a rarity to an oft-used tool for nullification and unprecedented obstruction. They have only themselves to blame.”

10. HuffPollster looks at the polling on filibusters. Short version? Ignore those polls! Very few people actually care about Senate procedure.

11. Enrollment in health insurance through the (functional!) California exchange is continuing, with another 20,000 signups since the last update. State totals reach 80,000, compared to the goal of 1 million or more throughout the signup season.

12. Sarah Kliff has what you need to know about cancellations, the individual market for insurance and how many people will be better off.

13. Of course, you can always forget about systematic knowledge and, as Ed Kilgore notes, just play Anecdotageddon.

14. And I really did enjoy Jonathan Chait’s analysis of. .. House GOP football acumen.