Jonathan Chait: Clinton Is Non-Crazy America's Choice

On April 12, NY Mag's Jonathan Chait wrote:
The argument for Clinton in 2016 is that she is the candidate of the only major American political party not run by lunatics. There is only one choice for voters who want a president who accepts climate science and rejects voodoo economics, and whose domestic platform would not engineer the largest upward redistribution of resources in American history. Even if the relatively sober Jeb Bush wins the nomination, he will have to accommodate himself to his party's barking-mad consensus. She is non-crazy America’s choice by default.

Rand Paul Starts Campaign By Squabbling With Reporters

Rand Paul's quixotic presidential campaign launched this week, but the dominant narrative was not his association with conspiracy theorists, or his amorphous positions on issues, but rather his apparent inability to tolerate interviews with reporters. The creatively coiffed, self-certified opthamologist capped off a week of "Randsplaining" by walking out of an interview with The Guardian

Watch this space for the launch of IsItaRug.com, a site devoted to Rand Paul's tonsorial novelty.

In-Depth: 

Andrew Sullivan: A Victory For What?

Describing Kevin McCarthy's (R-CA) attempts at describing for Fox News what Republicans will do with their new majority as "so pathetic even the Fox News crowd could barely hide their dismay," conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan observes that "after this relentlessly negative and vacuous campaign ... it’s hard to detect an issue or platform around which the GOP constructed a victory."

Says Sullivan:

... [W]hat this represents is a backlash against a change that is coming anyway – a vote by the older generation against the America that the younger generation seems to represent and want. Or a rising up of white America against the browns and blacks. This is too crude, of course. But it captures something important about this moment of vacuous retrenchment.

In-Depth: 

McConnell Reveals Shutdown Plans at Secret Billionaire Conference

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was caught on tape by The Nation explaining to a secret conference of billionaires organized by the Koch brothers that he plans to use the appropriations process to prevent action by the executive branch. If the GOP wins the Senate this year, McConnell promises to attach riders to appropriations bills limiting how the funds can be spent, in an attempt to curtail the actions of government departments and agencies.

In-Depth: 

In GOP States That Opted Out of ACA and Medicaid Expansion, Thousands Left Without Insurance

TalkingPointsMemo.com (TPM) highlights Harvard sociologist Theda Skocpol's analysis of the effect of state adoption of the Affordable Care Act on the number of people insured.

States that chose not to set up their own insurance exchanges or opted out of Medicaid expansion "are putting all their lower income residents at risk ... not just by refusing to expand Medicaid but also, in many cases, by failing to help people get subsidized private coverage through the exchange."

Affordable Care Act

Talking Points Memo digs into the semantics of What Really Happens To People Whose Insurance Is 'Canceled' Because Of Obamacare, and finds that "Almost all of them are going to receive the same or much better coverage, and many of them are going to receive financial help to purchase it."

Politico reports on the carefully planned campaign by Republicans to sabotage the Affordable Care Act at every step.

GOP Extremists Threaten Economy and Nation

James Fallows spells out as clearly as I've seen anywhere how the current dysfunction in Washington is the result of a fight within the Republican party over whether compromise itself is legitimate.

David Frum predicts that a government shutdown will hurt the GOP because (1) Obama will not destroy the Affordable Care Act, (2) Rejoicing in some Republican quarters at the prospect of a shutdown will make it impossible to blame Democrats in Congress or the administration, and (3) Because of items (1) and (2), Frum predicts Republicans will be forced to retreat, and the attendant de-motivation of extremists will reduce chances of electoral gains in 2014.

Andrew Sullivan: "Meep, Meep !@#$%^&*()!"

Andrew Sullivan, who has consistently avoided the mindless Obama-bashing lately prevalent in the press on the left and the right, has this to say, today:

Obama has managed to insist on his red line on Syria’s chemical weapons, forcing the world to grapple with a new breach of international law, while also avoiding being dragged into Syria’s civil war. But he has also strengthened the impression that he will risk a great deal to stop the advance of WMDs (which presumably includes Iran’s nukes). After all, his announcement of an intent to strike Assad was a real risk to him and to the US. Now, there’s a chance that he can use that basic understanding of his Syria policy – and existing agreement on chemical weapons – to forge a potential grand bargain with Iran’s regime. If that is the eventual end-game, it would be historic.

Read the whole post here.

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