February 11

* The House of Representatives shocked the world and ended up passing a measure effectively raising the debt limit just moments ago. Seriously, it wasn’t hard to predict that this would happen. It has been obvious that the debt limit didn’t give Republicans real leverage since, oh, the last time Republicans caved on it, and the time before that.

It’ll be interesting to see how commentators who claim to hate Washington dysfunction treat the really decisive factor in putting an end to this nonsense – the fact that Dems belately recognized that the only responsible thing to do was to steadfastly refused to negotiate.

* Read Jed Lewison on why this is an important outcome: Dems took a principled stand that wasn’t easy, and Republicans have now openly admitted the debt limit no longer gives them leverage.

* The Senate Conservatives Fund is calling for Boehner to lose his job, and Ted Cruz is threatening to filibuster the debt limit increase…zzzzzzzzzzzz. I’m awake, I’m awake! Wait, did someone hear a bit of grumbling from the far right?

* Ed O’Keefe has a good breakdown of the House vote. Many of the 28 House Republicans who voted Yes were from the coasts. Meanwhile, in a striking show of Dem unity, only two Dems voted No.

* Also noteworthy: Paul Ryan voted No. But he’s a Very Serious wonky sort!

* Danny Vinik argues, rightly I think, that John Boehner deserves real credit for getting through this mostly unscathed, though he had some help from GOP rage at Obama:

Conservative groups are reacting angrily today, but most members in the House are resigned to defeat, many opting to blame President Obama instead. That’s quite an accomplishment for Boehner. Can you imagine that happening in 2011? Or even last October if the government shutdown hadn’t happened?

* Boehner asks fellow House Republicans:

“You’re not even going to clap for me for getting this monkey off of our backs?”

Hmmm. It’s almost as if the Speaker of the House played no role in keeping alive the debt limit farce in the House for as long as possible.

* Politico’s Jake Sherman captures the big picture:

The vote marks the latest example of Boehner relying on Democrats to pass legislation that wide swaths of his party don’t support. He also tapped Democrats to reopen the federal government, approve Hurricane Sandy relief funds and avert the fiscal cliff. Boehner’s allies argue he helped ease Congress into a clean debt limit increase without the typical intra-party conflicts that spook financial markets.

* David Firestone imagines how things would be if Boehner allowed more things with majority support in the House to get a vote:

Immigration reform would be law now. Millions more people would be employed, because they would not have been laid off as a result of the sequester. Medical and science research would be accelerating instead of slowing. Roads and bridges and trains and schools would be under construction, instead of falling apart.

But that’s just a liberal fantasy. If Mr. Boehner actually operated that way, his members would have booted him from the speakership long ago.

* Adam Serwer on a new push from Attorney General Eric Holder to enfranchise ex-felons, and why this sort of reform is an area where you really could see an outbreak of bipartisanship.

* Steve Benen notes that Holder has been fairly active on a number of progressive fronts of late.

* The Latino media is ripping into House Republicans for delaying on immigration reform, another reminder that blaming “distrust” of Obama (the supposed reason for the delay) is unlikely to wash among Latinos.

* And Ed Kilgore on the explosive new revelations about Hillary Clinton that, it turns out, aren’t all that new at all.

What else?