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The Progressive Fix

Final Obamacare Open Enrollment Numbers, Polls Versus Approval Ratings, and the Anti-democratic Sentiments of “Constitutional Conservatism”

A cats-and-dogs sort of day for political news, mostly “behind the headlines.”

1. Final figures for first “open enrollment” period for Obamacare exchanges: over 8 million signed up; 28% (comparable to Massachusetts plan) under age of 34.

2. Ukraine reportedly offering autonomy for Eastern region if Russian troops evacuate.

3. Harry Enton argues Senate polls better indicator for final outcome than presidential approval ratings.

4. George Will loud-and-proud about anti-democratic sentiments of “constitutional conservatives.”


Health Care Cost Spiral Worries Return, Mitt Romney Back in Idaho, and the Real and Phony GOP “Civil Wars”

A quiet day so far with some occasional political goodies “behind the headlines.”

1. Very good and somewhat alarming Sarah Kliff backgrounder on possible resumption of health care cost spiral.

2. House GOP delays in developing consensus Obamacare alternative becoming almost comical.

3. Mitt Romney reappears on campaign trail in LDS-heavy Idaho House district.

4. Yours truly offers a primer on the often phony but occasionally real battlegrounds of  intra-Republican “civil wars.”


Pay Equity Day, UI Extension Clears Senate, Salam Proclaims Neoconservatism

A reasonably quiet day with plenty “behind the headlines.”

1. Democrats from Obama to Senate initiate big Pay Equity for Women push.

2. Senate passes UI extension 59-31, with six Republican votes, but bill is DOA in the House.

3. Influential conservative writer Riehan Salam takes up the battered banner of Neoconservatism.

4. Jonathan Chait pens controversial piece calling for moratorium on labeling conservatives “racist.”


Uninsured Ranks Continue To Fall, Ryan Budget Due to Pass House, Rand Paul’s Halliburton Hypothesis

Not a newsy day, but an interesting one “behind the headlines.”

1. Gallup shows percentage of Americans without health insurance dropping for fourth straight month (and lowest rate since 2008).

2. House GOP leadership indicates it has stamped out conservative opposition to passage of latest Ryan Budget.

3. 2009 video surfaces of Rand Paul accusing Cheney of maneuvering U.S. into Iraq War to benefit Halliburton.

4. Jonathan Chait warns liberals that accusations of conservative racism could be self-fulfilling prophecy.

 


No Surprises in Jobs Report, Adelson Makes More Money, Ryan Scraps Medicare Cap

As we drift towards the weekend, here’s what is in and “behind the headlines.”

1. March jobs report comes in about as expected: 192k net new jobs, unemployment unchanged at 6.7%.

2. Casino magnate and Super-PAC donor Sheldon Adelson’s fortune has increased by an estimated $2.1 billion in since last weekend’s “Sheldon Primary” wherein GOP presidential hopefuls courted his wallet.

3. Useful summary from Paul Waldman of campaign finance systems around the world.

4. Omission of Medicare spending cap in latest Ryan Budget makes it less fiscally sound but more politically palatable.

 

 


Next Step for SCOTUS, the Charles Koch Pity Party, and Another Benghazi! Hearing

As attention again focuses on a shooting at Ft. Hood, here is what’s “behind the headlines.”

1. Debate over SCOTUS’ McCutcheon decision continues to rage; Jeffrey Toobin makes convincing case next step will be elimination of contribution limits entirely.

2. Charles Koch avails himself of WSJ opinion page for cri de coeur about his and his company’s alleged persecution by “collectivists.”

3. Medicaid expansion in trouble in Pennsylvania, one of those GOP-governed blue states where it was thought to be inevitable.

4. Another day, another Benghazi! hearing.


Another Blow to Campaign Finance Regulation, Bowser Beats Gray, and Demythologizing “Base Enthusiasm”

A very newsy political news morning, with more “behind the headlines.”

1. Supreme Court conservatives on 5/4 vote strike down aggregate limits on contributions to candidates and party committees. Another blow to campaign finance regulation.

2. Muriel Bowser beats incumbent mayor Vincent Gray in D.C. Democratic mayoral primary.

3. Second-day spin war over Obamacare exchange enrollment numbers misses bigger picture of alternative routes to ACA-enabled health insurance.

4. Yours truly disrespects the value of “base enthusiasm” in generating voter turnout.

 


Obamacare Hits Enrollment Target, Trading a Spy For Peace Talks, and a New “Pragmatic Progressive” Site

An actual news-rich day!  But there’s more “behind the headlines.”

1. Obamacare sign-ups thought to hit 7 million mark on yesterday’s official enrollment deadline.

2. Senate Intelligence Committee report shows long pattern of illegal interrogations–and deception about them–at CIA “black sites.”

3. Potential release of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollack apparently “prize” Netanyahu wants to agree to continue peace talks.

4. PPI senior fellow Anne Kim and former Third Wayer Rob Keast launch new site, Republic 3.0, aimed at publishing material on “practical solutions to make government and the economy work better.”


Mandel Speaks at All Things Connected Washington Post event

Michael Mandel, chief economic strategist at the Progressive Policy Institute, described the Internet of Things as the “extension of the Internet to the physical world. He told the audience at Washington Post Live’s All Things Connected forum, “The Internet has transformed digital industries, while the Internet of Things will transform physical industries.”