* Mitch McConnell responded to Kathleen Sebelius’ resignation by saying, “Secretary Sebelius may be gone, but the problems with this law and the impact it’s having on our constituents aren’t. Obamacare has to go too.”
Yet in his home state of Kentucky, the ranks of the uninsured have been cut by 40 percent, and as Joan McCarter points out, as of now 400,000 Kentuckians have signed up for health insurance under the law. There’s no indication what McConnell would say to those people.
* One little-noticed effect of all the money Americans for Prosperity is pouring into Senate races: As Nicholas Confessore reports, it’s forcing Democratic candidates to burn through their money nearly as fast as they can raise it in order to defend themselves.
* Bloomberg News is reporting, based on anonymous sources, that “the U.S. National Security Agency knew for at least two years about a flaw in the way that many websites send sensitive information, now dubbed the Heartbleed bug, and regularly used it to gather critical intelligence.”
If true, they knew millions of Americans’ email, bank information, and credit cards were vulnerable to hacking, but didn’t tell us because they wanted to hack into those systems themselves. Lovely.
* A wave of tolerance may be sweeping over the GOP! First Jeb Bush said that people immigrating to the U.S. illegally could be an “act of love.” Today, Rand Paul says that while Bush’s comments weren’t perhaps “artful,” there’s actually something to them:
“I would say that people who seek the American dream are not bad people, but that doesn’t mean you can invite the whole world to come.”
Not bad people? Doesn’t he know about the gang-banger drug mule terror babies? What is this party coming to? Looks like Tom Tancredo may need to run for president again.
* Another poll, this one by WMUR and the University of New Hampshire, shows Jeanne Shaheen leading Scott Brown, this time by 6 points. But get this: “Only 17% of likely voters say they have definitely decided who to support, 13% are leaning towards someone, and 70% are still trying to decide.”
* Danny Vinik has an epic takedown of the Ryan budget’s fuzzy math. Turns out slashing benefits for poor people is only the beginning.
I read lots of lefties who write about health care, and they’ve generally been willing to acknowledge Obamacare’s problems….But unless I’m reading the wrong conservatives, you simply see nothing of this sort on the right. Their coverage of Obamacare is simply an endless search for increasingly strained ways to deny that anything even slightly positive has happened. The Obama administration is lying about its numbers. If they’re not lying, the figures are meaningless anyway until they’ve been unskewed. Premiums are skyrocketing. People are being tossed off their plans and thrown in the street. The budget projections are a joke. Cancer patients are dying for lack of doctors to see them. Hours are being cut back and part-time workers are being fired. Fewer people have coverage now than before Obamacare started up.
The corollary to this is that conservatives will turn on a Republican president, but only after he leaves office. Now they’ll say George W. Bush was irresponsible on the deficit. But almost none uttered a peep at the time.
* The ACA still has a long way to go before it’s widely popular, but one strange result pops out of the latest Gallup poll on the topic.: There’s been a 21 point drop among Republicans who think the law will eventually make their own health care situation worse. Perhaps they’re noticing the disaster they were told to expect didn’t materialize?
* Eric Schnurer takes to U.S. News to respond to my piece yesterday on the differences between Barack Obama and LBJ: “What we had 50 years ago, and lack today, is policy clarity of a different sort. What we have made up in descriptive clarity we have lost in prescriptive clarity: We largely know how public policy could make a difference. We lack consensus on whether we want it to do so.”
* McClatchey uncovers more details about that still-classified report on CIA torture. Meanwhile, I argue that we shouldn’t let the stories of bureaucratic infighting make us forget that the hands of those in the White House were every bit as bloody as the guys who held down the prisoners for their waterboarding.
* And the chart of the day: Speaker John Boehner won’t allow a vote on an unemployment insurance extension unless the White House meets GOP demands for – well, he won’t say. Steve Benen puts the Speaker’s odd position in visual form, to great comic effect.