Happy Hour Roundup

April 2

* Jonathan Cohn does us a service and brings us a flashback to all those who knew, just knew, that Obamacare was doomed, doomed, doomed.  Also see Jed Lewison, who takes on the same task, and turns up some real doozies.

* And Dylan Scott collects Fox News statements and finds that they widely portrayed the law as a disaster, and continue to do so despite what reality dictates. This is really starting to sound like gloating, but hey, accountability can be cruel.

* On the Supreme Court’s decision striking down aggregate limits on how much donors can give to political candidates, Ian Milhiser explains how SCOTUS essentially legalized money laundering by big political donors.

* This post from a few months ago is newly relevant in the wake of today’s decision. Back in October, the Sunlight Foundation looked at the 1,000 political donors most likely to benefit from removing the aggregate contribution limits. You’ll be shocked to learn that two-thirds of them are Republicans, and more come from finance than any other industry.

* Given that, it’s little surprise that Republican party chair Reince Priebus called the decision “a very big victory for the RNC.”

* A bipartisan deal to extend unemployment benefits narrowly overcame a Republican filibuster, enabling it to proceed to the next stage of debate. The bill is expected to pass the Senate tomorrow. And then on to the House, where it will probably die.

* MSNBC’s Irin Carmon has an interesting interview with White House economist Betsey Stevenson on what a women’s economic agenda should look like.

* An appeals court panel ruled that Florida’s 2012 purge of voters was illegal because it took place too close to election day, making it difficult for many voters to challenge the state’s decision to remove them from voter rolls. The suit had been brought by three voters whom the state falsely accused of not being U.S. citizens, then kicked them off the rolls.

* Ed Kilgore debunks the oft-cited “enthusiasm gap” as a factor in midterm elections.

There’s plenty of evidence that turnout can be more reliably affected by direct efforts to identify favorable concentrations of voters and simply get them to the polls, with or without a great deal of ‘messaging’ or for that matter enthusiasm (no one takes your temperature before you cast a ballot). Such get-out-the-vote (GOTV) efforts are the meat-and-potatoes of American politics, even if they invariably get little attention from horse-race pundits.

All signs are that Dems recognize that this is central to offsetting their serious disadvantages this fall. — gs

* A new poll finds Senator Kay Hagan narrowly trailing all comers, but it also has GOP establishment favorite Thom Tillis leading Tea Partyer Greg Brannon by 23-15, which would put Tillis well short of what he needs to avoid a runoff. A runoff would mean no GOP nominee until July, and Dems hope it could give the Tea Partyer a real shot at the nomination. — gs

* Last year, Walmart brought in $13 billion in revenue from food stamps. They are also most likely the company with more employees on food stamps than any other, as Slate explains. So they benefit from taxpayer assistance coming and going. Just as a point of reference, Walmart founder Sam Walton’s heirs occupy four of the top ten slots on the Forbes 400, with a combined net worth of $136 billion.

* And Tea Party congressional candidate Jake Rush really, really wishes that everyone would stop talking about the fact that he likes to participate in live-action role playing (LARP) games, and just focus on the issues. But if you dress up like a vampire as part of a group called the Covenant of the Poisoned Absinthe, it’s safe to say people are going to be more interested in that than in your tax plan.

What else?

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Greg Sargent | April 2