1. Here’s something that matters: Reid Wilson collects evidence that states may be moving off a wave of harsh (and perhaps counterproductive) asset tests for receiving some government benefits. By the way, I hope people are reading Wilson and Niraj Chokshi at GovBeat — essential, important, and well-reported.
2. Related story by Louis Jacobson goes over the top candidate elections and ballot measures up in 2013.
4. But Adrianna McIntyre discusses why fail-safes built into the law should prevent too bad a meltdown, albeit not without costs.
6. Kevin Drum, however, isn’t so sure that rollout problems are related to design, and at any rate argues that the structure of the program was driven by political necessity, not ideology.
7. It’s not just Wendy Davis: 2014 may be an excellent year for women in gubernatorial contests. Emily Schultheis reports.
8. About those Iraq/ACA comparisons: I’m not a fan of the liberal talking point that the comparisons are out-of-bounds, but Ana Marie Cox gets beyond that and makes some very good points.
9. Is a whole new generation of Tail Gunner Teds on its way to the Senate? Dave Weigel on three candidates with real chances to win who think Ted Cruz’s shutdown is a terrific model.
10. Meanwhile, the best estimates suggest the Democrats really could take back the House in 2014 if they can maintain their current polling lead. Nicholas Goedert looks at the models for the Monkey Cage. Maybe so, but maintaining that lead is a lot easier said than done; there are good structural reasons why the president’s party struggles in midterms.
11. What’s up with Southern Baptists and conservative politics? Ed Kilgore with an update and useful analysis.
12. The next steps on Iran sanctions, from Rachel Cohen.
13. How contraception in the ACA isn’t enough; the policy of actually implementing coverage, from Amelia Thomson-Deveaux
14. My take on public opinion and policy change: be careful about comparisons between marijuana and marriage equality.