Lunch Buffet

Won’t bug you with details, but some positive things are happening here in the critical care unit, in fits and starts.

Here are some midday news and views items for your snacking pleasure:

* The ever-ready Ezra Klein has nine reasons the invocation of the “nuclear option” in the Senate is a really big deal.

* Paul Krugman reminds us that holding down health care costs–a task in which the Affordable Care Act is central–is the only real “entitlement reform” we’re seeing.

* Obama plays it cool in discussions with state insurance regulators, reflecting the administration’s ambivalent feelings about its own “fix” on existing individual insurance policies.

* TNR’s Marc Tracy explains how the New York Times is trying to replace Nate Silver.

* At The Nation, Richard Kim recapitulates the many ways in which insufficient federal power has undermined the Affordable Care Act.

And in non-political news:

* National Book Award winners announced; George Packer wins for non-fiction.

As we break for lunch, here’s Ella Fitzgerald performing her version of the Weill/Brecht composition, “Mack the Knife.”

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.