* There may be no more urgent political task for Democrats than finding a way to motivate their base to get to the polls in November, to offset the traditional “midterm drop-off” problem. Alex Seitz-Wald argues that this imperative is at the heart of all the attention they’re paying to the Koch brothers:
The Koch attacks have two audiences. For the base, they’re an effort to convey the importance of this election, so hopefully fewer voters will stay home. To everyone else, they help draw a contrast by communicating what Republicans stand for in an emotionally salient way.
* Charlie Cook warns Republicans that a big win in November could blind them to their long term problems. “If the GOP were a commercial enterprise,” he says, “it would be one with an unsustainable business model over the long haul.”
* CNN reports that all over the country, Democrats are using the issue of equal pay for women to make progress against their Republican opponents. Note this, from a GOP consultant:
“I have advised clients when you are asked your position on this, your response needs to be, ‘Duh, of course men and women should be paid the same for equal work!”
Strange how many candidates and lawmakers don’t get this.
* Wisconsin governor and potential presidential candidate Scott Walker signed a bill restricting early voting in his state to weekdays before 7 pm, lest any sneaky voters be allowed to cast ballots when it’s convenient.
* Speaking of which, the headline of the day, from David Weigel: “Cursed With Nation’s Second-Highest Turnout Rate, Wisconsin Restricts Early Voting.”
* Brian Beutler takes a look at the case that could do infinitely more damage to the Affordable Care Act than Hobby Lobby. If it were to succeed, millions of people in Republican-run states would lose their health insurance subsidies.
* Kevin Drum makes an important point about the question of repealing the ACA: the earliest possible date it could happen is January 2017, upon the inauguration of a Republican president. By then, according to CBO estimates, 36 million Americans will have gotten insurance through the program, 24 million in private plans and 12 million in Medicaid:
Anything is possible. But when you talk about the chances of repealing Obamacare, you should be talking about 2017. And if you’re talking about 2017, then the number that matters isn’t 6 million, it’s 36 million. That’s a mighty big nut to crack.
* Steve Benen notes that the stories of Obamacare winners are beginning to get told. “I have to thank Obamacare for saving my life,” says one young woman.
* Francis Wilkinson eviscerates the report exonerating Chris Christie in Bridgegate, prepared by the attorney Christie hired to investigate.
* In a totally unrelated story, the man Christie appointed to head the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has resigned. So it’s all good now.
* The state of Michigan may not be willing to recognize the 300 same-sex marriages that were performed there in a brief window when such unions were legal, but the United States government will.
* And finally, my American Prospect colleague Abby Rapoport explains how George Takei, aka Mr. Sulu, used a mixture of humor and seriousness to become the King of Social Media.