3. Yes, sequestration is still on, and yes, real citizens are paying the price. Jared Bernstein has plenty of links to sequestration suffering stories.
4. The real point to that, from Ezra Klein: “stop celebrating our falling deficits.”
5. Granted, not everyone is doing that. Good catch from Steve Dennis: Rand Paul is using a talking point on deficits that totally ignores that the deficit is now far lower than it was in 2009. Takeaway? For all their deficit scare talk, most Republicans don’t actually care about the federal budget deficit at all.
6. Meanwhile, Ryan Cooper fights back against those who believe that it’s always 1979.
7. Would the Fed be acting differently if it wasn’t supposed to care about unemployment? That’s what Amy Klobuchar asked Ben Bernanke; Matt Yglesias wasn’t impressed with the answer.
8. Do read Ed Kilgore on what Ted Cruz means when he says he doesn’t trust Republicans. I’d take it farther: The real problem for tea party conservatives is that they don’t actually disagree with mainstream conservative Republicans on substantive policy issues, so they’re forced to constantly manufacture mostly symbolic distinctions in order to keep their anti-establishment credibility.
9. Kevin Drum says what needs to be said about the news that Paul Ryan is writing a new book. Perfect.
10. New member of Congress from Arizona Krysten Sinema, profiled by Ann Friedman.
11. Yes: as Conor Friedersdorf points out, leaks are going to happen, and presidential obsession with them is just self-defeating.
12. Can Republicans sustain the argument that they really support closing loopholes in background checks despite their vote against background checks on the gun bill — votes they’re being bashed for? Sen. Dean Heller (R-N.V.) is the latest to try that ploy; Sahil Kapur reports.
13. Presidential scholar Andrew Rudalevige on special prosecutors.
14. And Joe Biden gets a bit over-enthusiastic about the Jews; Jonathan Chait was listening.