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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker and Ed O’Keefe have the early take on Obama’s prospects for enacting his gun proposals. For the time-challenged, Slate’s Dave Weigel lists Obama’s executive orders on guns.
At The Atlantic Molly Ball considers the political ramifications of using — and not using — the term “gun control” and various alternatives.
Alex Roarty of the National Journal has acquired a GOP memo naming seven Democratic House members they are targeting for defeat in 2014. Roarty explains: “Reps. Ron Barber and Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona, John Barrow of Georgia, Jim Matheson of Utah, Mike McIntyre of North Carolina, Collin Peterson of Minnesota, and Nick Rahall of West Virginia. Each represents a district that has voted for the Republican nominee in the last three presidential elections…In all, 15 Democrats represent right-leaning districts, the memo says, compared with just four Republicans who represent left-leaning districts.”
Again at The Atlantic, Mohamed A. El-Erian, author of “When Markets Collide,” explains “How Game Theory Explains Washington’s Horrible Gridlock.”
In France, however, labor and business have somehow found a way to negotiate a ‘grand bargain.’ “The deal should help create new jobs while protecting workers, and should also help stabilize the government of President François Hollande, which has been struggling to reenergize the economy,..The most sweeping change will give businesses the ability to negotiate reduced working hours and wages during economic slowdowns, an idea borrowed from Germany, which used a similar system of shortened work hours to avoid massive layoffs in the aftermath of the financial crisis. In exchange, workers will get better unemployment insurance and health care coverage and a seat on the boards of large companies,” reports Vikas Bajaj in the New York Times.
A poll of 38 economists by The University of Chicago Booth School of Business’s Initiative on Global Markets finds just one of them thinks the “debt ceiling” is a good idea, reports National Journal’s Catherine Hollander. One of the other 37, UC’s Richard Thaler, puts it like so: “The debt ceiling is a dumb idea with no benefits and potentially catastrophic costs if ever used.”
At Rolling Stone, Steven Hsieh’s “Everything You Need to Know About Filibuster Reform” updates the struggle ahead between the Merkley-Udall-Harkin plan vs. the McCain-Levin plan. But the window for a united Democratic coalition is shrinking. As Josh Marshall notes at Talking Points Memo “… it happens next week or there’s not another chance until 2015.”
Also at TPM, Sahil Kapur has an insightful report on the filibuster reform endgame. Meanwhile, ‘talking filibuster’ advocates can sign the petition right here.
Although prospects for passage may be dim at the moment, the Public Option Deficit Reduction Act, “which would “would offer the choice of a publicly-run health insurance plan, an option that would save more than $100 billion over 10 years.” just introduced by Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s (D-Ill.), along with 44 other cosponsors, has merit for educating voters about the real causes of the deficit. It can also lay the groundwork for the bill’s enactment when Democrats reach a critical mass in congress. Molly Reilly reports on the bill at HuffPo. Peter Orzag explains the economic benefits of the reform in a video clip at the bottom of the story.
Far be it from moi to demonize a political adversary, but this headline has a certain je ne sais quoi.

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