My two cents about filibuster reform:
To understand how essential this is, how it should have been done long ago, you have to start with Richard Nixon and the appointment of William Rehnquist to the Supreme Court. When Nixon had a chance to appoint a Supreme Court justice, his initial choice was an unrepentant Southern racist named Clement Haynsworth. The Democrats justifiably would not have this and the Senate rejected him. Next was a equally bad Southern Racist, Harold Carswell. He too was rejected by the Senate. Following these rejections, Nixon wised up slightly and decided to appoint a non-Southern racist, an Arizona resident with a history of active voter suppression activities directed toward minorities- William Rehnquist. By that time, the Senate, fatigued by the previous two battles, gave in and let Nixon have his way.
The Republicans learned a lot from this incident. What they learned was that a long term strategy of belligerently promoting hard right wing judicial candidates when they had the White House, coupled with the use of every stonewalling tactic they could think of to prevent Democratic Presidents from picking judges, could gradually turn the entire Federal court system to the right, so they could win political battles there that they could never win through elections and the legislature.
This malicious scheme has been going on since the sixties, and we see the results today: The choosing of a corrupt, utterly incompetent President who wrecked the economy, the military and our standing around the world, a series of decisions basically turning the government over to whoever has the most money, and a whole range of lower court rulings inevitably favoring the rich and corporations. The consequence of the Democrats' failure to stand up to this sort of thing is a nonfunctional government leading a barely functioning economy, in which the crimes of the rich are ignored.
Now is the time for Obama to appoint judges and other officials who are real Democrats, real Liberals, to be followed by eight more years of the same under Hillary. This can begin to turn the country back to working on behalf of people who are not part of a miniscule oligarchy. The "nuclear option" was a step in the right direction, but only if Obama uses it to begin to eliminate the Republican taint that has infected practically all levels of the Federal judiciary.