It is downright ludicrous to say that a Nobel Prize-winning economist is somehow not qualified to get a job running economic policy for the government. Until Sen. Richard Shelby realizes this, Obama and the White House should point it out.
If Republicans continue their tantrum once the Senate passes the reconciliation bill, it's going to be a lot easier for Democrats to convince independents that they, the Democrats, are the adults in the room.
There are two yardsticks for success. The first is to actually get something done, and get something passed; the other, to position the Democrats politically for the midterms, whether a bill gets passed or not.
I have little sympathy for Baucus at this point, when he complains that his adversaries have had time to put out a report attacking his bill. Because there is one reason that they've had all that time.