* Which party would really “gut” welfare reform? Ed Kilgore makes a good case that the GOP, ironically enough, would actually undermine the law, which is far more than just a work requirement and was supported by make-work-pay provisions Republicans would likely unravel.
* The networks won’t air the first night of the conventions, including Ann Romney’s speech, angering Romney advisers. I’d like more coverage. But this could matter: Her presence is key to softening Romney’s image amid the gender gap.
* Good catch by Jed Lewison: Paul Ryan says he’s comfortable with Romney’s abortion position on the rape exception because it’s a step in the right direction. Toward what, exactly?
* Andrew Rosenthal, on Ryan’s efforts to run from Todd Akin:
Mr. Ryan acts as though Mr. Akin is an outlier when, on the merits — setting aside the biological mysticism — there’s not much daylight between them.
* As it turns out, that can be empirically verified. Via Taegan Goddard, Bloomberg finds that the National Right to Life Committee has given Ryan a 100 percent voting record. Even better than Akin himself!
* Politifact, on the claim that Ryan and Akin co-sponsored a bill limiting federal funding for abortions to victims of “forcible rape”: True.
* This doesn’t happen every day, but Wolf Blitzer did a good job schooling a top Romney official over the campaign’s nonstop dissembling over Obama and welfare.
Is there a single major news organization that hasn’t sided against the Romney campaign on this one?
* A great nugget from a Hill piece on the possibility of imminent Fed action on the economy:
The Fed is likely to be accused of playing politics if it takes action before November, as the slow economy is considered to be the biggest obstacle for President Obama’s reelection bid.
No doubt. But if that were to happen, which party actually would be the one guilty of playing politics?
* Jonathan Capehart on a striking number in the new NBC/WSJ poll: Romney garnered support from zero percent of African Americans.
* CNN poll of polls: Obama leads by four, 47-43. In 2008, heading into the GOP convention, Obama led by five.
* A new poll out of Wisconsin shows the race tightening in the state post-Ryan, with Obama leading 49-46. Key caveat: The two point shift in Romney’s direction is within the margin of error.
* And behold Scott Brown’s latest: “I don’t need Professor Warren talking, or speaking, or commenting on my votes.”
As Mike McAuliff notes, that sounds a bit like shut up, already.