Wall Street’s major indexes soared after U.S. home prices saw their best annual rise in seven years, and consumer confidence got another boost. But even before today’s stock-market gains, President Obama is in rare company when it comes to Wall Street returns.
…. I don’t think a strong stock market is necessarily proof of a robust economy. On the contrary, I care far more about unemployment, median wages, and economic growth than Wall Street returns. But the right shouldn’t try to have it both ways – if a bear market in 2009 is, in the minds of conservatives, clear proof that Obama’s agenda is misguided and dangerous, then by the same reasoning, should we interpret soaring Wall Street indexes as proof of Obama’s genius?
Ed Kilgore: ….. we’re having to come to grips with the fact that about half the states appear unlikely to participate fully in the Medicaid expansion provided for in the Affordable Care Act …. that leaves quite a few (including most of the South) just flat out refusing to do anything for people with incomes under the federal poverty line. And that creates a very large “coverage gap … I’d suggest the “wingnut hole.”
ThinkProgress: How Obamacare Is Encouraging Employers To Cut Wasteful Spending And Promote Workers’ Health
In an effort to cut wasteful U.S. medical spending, certain employers will be scaling back expensive health plans available to their employees and encouraging workers to pursue more preventative and ongoing primary care. The move is being prompted by Obamacare provisions that encourage a more cost-sensitive and efficient approach to Americans’ health care than the status quo.
Bloomberg: The unofficial slogan for Massachusetts Democrats as they work toward a special U.S. Senate election next month is “Remember 2010.”
That was the year that political newcomer Scott Brown won the seat held for 46 years by the late Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy and became the first Republican to prevail in a Massachusetts Senate race since 1972.
…. To demonstrate the party isn’t resting on its 3-to-1 voter registration edge over Republicans, Democratic leaders are lining up behind nominee Representative Ed Markey, 66, including first lady Michelle Obama, who is set to host a fundraiser for him today in Boston. The president, who has a 67 percent approval rating in the state according to a recent poll by Suffolk University, endorsed him yesterday.
But Dotster found this: First Lady Michelle Obama won’t be joining the president back home. She is scheduled to be in New York for Democratic National Committee fundraisers, including a gala for the lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities that features Jason Collins, the first openly gay active NBA player.” (Chicago Tribune) – so, not sure which is right. Both??
Steve Benen: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who’s made quite a name for herself over the course of four terms in Congress, made a surprise announcement overnight: she won’t seek re-election…..
…. In recent elections, the right-wing Minnesotan eked out narrow victories — she very nearly lost last November — and recent polling suggested Bachmann would struggle to keep her seat in 2014. Quitting will save her the trouble of losing.
…. Bachmann will be missed, but mostly by the nation’s comedy writers.
You might possibly have spotted – and you might not – a shiny new blog roll link in the sidebar on the right. It’s still a work in progress, but I just thought it might be handier to have a dedicated page of links to sites we love, rather than having them half way down the page in the sidebar.
Any way, just wanted to ask you all if you have any suggestions for links I should add to the list? Non-Firebagger sites, needless to say, and whatever other newsie places you think are worth including.
Meanwhile, ginormous thanks to UT, LL and LovelyPlains for their splendiferous posts today.
Ezra Klein (Washington Post): I had some issues with David Brooks’s column Friday on the two parties’ sequester positions …. A transcript of our conversation follows.
Ezra Klein: In the column, you said that the Obama administration doesn’t have a plan to replace the sequester. I feel like I’ve had to spend a substantial portion of my life reading their various budgets and plans to replace the sequester, and my sense is that you’ve had to do this, too. So, what am I missing?
David Brooks: First, the column was a bit of an over-the-top lampooning column about dance moves. I probably went a bit too far when saying the president didn’t have a response to the sequester save to raise taxes on the rich. In the cool light of day, I can say that’s over the top. There’s chained CPI and $400 billion in health proposals. So I should say I was unfair. I’m going to attach a note to the column, if it’s not up already.