* Today in anti-Obamacare certainty: Brian Beutler patiently walks some of the law’s most resolute foes through all the empirical evidence showing that not only has it not collapsed; it may well be on track to succeed.
* Today HHS announced three million have enrolled in private plans through Obamacare. Jonathan Cohn has a typically balanced explanation of what this does and doesn’t mean, noting this crucial point: even if enrollment numbers are not yet where proponents want, the rate of enrollment is where experts predicted.
* Josh Green crunches the numbers and finds enrollment may be catching up to previously stated targets, though there are still plenty of caveats. Also noteworthy: if the Massachusetts experience is a guide, we may see another surge before the March 31st open enrollment deadline.
* Andrew Sullivan flags a new study that bolsters what we’ve all known for so long: GOP opposition to Obamacare has never really been about the policy; it’s always been all about you know who.
* A new poll finds that a majority of Kentuckians, including most Republicans, supports the Medicaid expansion. Reminder: even if Dems don’t embrace Obamacare in the red states, the Medicaid expansion is taking on a life of its own.
* So Republicans like John Boehner have been saying that a “clean” debt limit hike can’t pass the House. Jonathan Chait reaches deep into the mists of history and comes up with this reminder:
A clean debt-ceiling bill can’t pass the House, you say? Then how come a clean debt-ceiling bill passed the House three months ago by a vote of 285–144? And how come, nine months before that, a clean debt-ceiling increase passed the House by the same margin?
Despite this, you’re going to see reporters press Dems again and again: Why, oh why, won’t you negotiate with Republicans over the debt limit?
* David Nakamura has the latest intelligence indicating House Republicans may embrace some form of legalization for the 11 million, and offers this on the White House view of things:
White House aides and Democratic allies said that Obama is mindful of the challenge Boehner faces in coalescing his caucus around an immigration plan, and that he is unlikely to harshly criticize House Republicans or make unilateral demands. Instead, the president is expected to highlight the economic benefits of immigration reform, tying it to his broader goal of boosting the middle class and framing the debate in a light that might appeal to Capitol Hill conservatives.
I would only add, again, that Dems and advocates are privately eying a compromise that could work if Republicans are willing to embrace legalization and take steps to unclog existing channels to citizenship, which could get us close to comprehensive reform.
* Note this move from the League of Conservation Voters: It is demanding that a Democratic lawmaker return the group’s contribution in the wake of his opposition to new EPA rules limiting emissions from coal fired plans, a sign enviros plan to get tougher on conserva-Dems from coal states.
* Creative juxtaposition of the day, from Irin Carmon: Let’s compare and contrast Obama’s Wednesday speech on violence against women with Mike Huckabee’s “Uncle Sugar” adventure.
* Keep an eye on the Georgia Senate race: The New York Times has a helpful look at how the state’s shifting demographics mean a Dem victory is not out of the question. If Dems can win there or in Kentucky — both difficult but possible — the road to a GOP majority gets a lot steeper.
* James Fallows with a useful rundown of all the latest must reads on the Iran sanctions bill.
* A much needed corrective from Alec MacGillis: While the Obama administration policy on Syria is looking like it’s in shambles, let’s not overlook the role cynical GOP game-playing has played in bringing us to this point.
* And today in hilariously leading polling questions, Benghazi edition: Steve Benen flags a true Fox News gem.