Crucially, it looks as if the bill is focusing on closing the private seller loophole — with exceptions — and not just on improving the database within the current framework.

* How bad would the sequester cuts be? House Dems release a report gaming out the specific impact they will have on government, which would be dramatically cut, slowing growth. Be. Very. Afraid.

* Obama assures House Dems he’s ready for a major public fight if Republicans keep insisting on averting the sequester only through cuts, an effort to put the GOP on notice that they face another fiasco if they keep this up.

* Digby blisters Senate Democrats for being willing to offer cuts up front in the coming talks to avert the sequester, and reminds them that overall, Dems have already conceded far more in cuts than Republicans have in revenues.

* John Brennan had his confirmation hearings today, and one notable moment came when, asked if waterboarding is torture, he replied that he believes it is reprehensible, but that he is not a lawyer. Marcy Wheeler replies:

In other words, this man, who can’t (or refuses to) say whether waterboarding is torture because he is not a lawyer, is entrusted every Tuesday to make far more difficult legal decisions, both on the subjective feasible and imminent questions, but also on specific international laws.

The “feasible” and “imminent” questions relate to the Justice Department white paper spelling out the view that targeting American citizens suspected of being members of Al Qaeda is legal if the threat of violent attack is “imminent” and capture is not “feasible.”

Also see Steve Benen, who marvels at the notion that the GOP’s “savior” of the moment would be someone who’s “anti-contraception, anti-science,  anti-VAWA, and anti-Social Security.”

What else?