May 6

* Bloomberg’s John Tozzi has a good roundup of young people signing up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Though the numbers vary from state to state, even in states like West Virginia that had lower rates of young people among the newly insured, the insurance companies say it’s about what they expected, and the makeup of the risk pool shouldn’t push up premiums. That could bode well for the law.

* On Monday, Gallup released new numbers showing the ranks of the uninsured dropping significantly. Jonathan Cohn looked around at conservative news outlets and found that they were largely silent on this positive development. Weird.

* House Republicans announce they’ll set up that new Benghazi select committee with seven Republicans and five Democrats. Earlier today Dems said they will insist on an even split, so it still remains to be seen whether they’ll boycott the new probe. — gs

* Salon’s Joan Walsh on why Democrats ought to boycott the new Benghazi committee. Which seems like a reasonable thing for them to do. If it’s an absurd farce, as they no doubt believe it will be, why lend it credibility?

* Meanwhile, Brian Beutler argues that a boycott would be the right move politically, citing none other than Mitch McConnell’s insights about the downsides of bipartisanship to explain why. Anything bipartisan has the taint of legitimacy, which is why McConnell advised his party to oppose Barack Obama on literally everything and deny him any bipartisan accomplishments.

* Jane Mayer has an apt comparison of the GOP approach to Benghazi with how Dems reacted to the 1983 Marine barracks bombing in Beirut, in which desperately needed security measures were never implemented, and 241 Americans were killed as a result. In response, President Reagan said, “Anyone who’s ever had their kitchen done over knows that it never gets done as soon as you wish it would.”

As Kramer says, “Imagine how Congressman Issa and Fox News would react to a similar explanation from President Obama today.”

* Reuters boils down Benghazi:

Republican political officials say Benghazi is a subject of intense interest for the party’s conservative base of support, who are likely voters in November.

* The Dem-allied Senate Majority PAC launches a new ad hitting Terri Land, the GOP Senate candidate in Michigan, over her abortion stance. It’s a reminder that Dems will use Personhood and women’s health issues to attack Republicans in multiple Senate races. — gs

* Alec MacGillis looks at the fate of the poor hedge fund managers suffering under the tyranny of a socialist president, and finds they’re actually doing just fine:

The top 25 managers took home a total of $21.15 billion, the highest combined total since 2010 and 50 percent more than in 2012. Not shabby for a down year.

And some of the ones complaining loudest about the Kenyan Muslim Marxist are among those pulling down high-nine-figure incomes.

* Ed Kilgore takes a look at the video of North Carolina Senate candidate Thom Tillis Greg highlighted earlier today:

It’s become common for Republicans to encourage those who benefit from Social Security and Medicare to view people on Medicaid or food stamps (or even receiving Obamacare subsidies) as diverting resources away from their own virtuous selves. But what Tillis is talking about is pitting people with disabilities against those who can’t find work or sufficient wages to live on — getting the former, in fact, to look down on the latter. That’s a new one, to me at least.

As Ed says, this video does indeed make Tillis look like a nasty piece of work. This might be a good thing to remember the next time a Republican tells you they’re deeply concerned about the plight of the poor.

* An important point from Peter Beinart, who argues that America’s manhood (my word, not his) is not actually on the line in Ukraine, and that assumptions to the contrary are having a corrosive effect on our policy thinking:

Since the dawn of the Cold War, American policymakers and commentators have repeatedly insisted that the U.S. defend allies in one part of the world to show allies in others that America’s promises enjoy “credibility.” And again and again, the result has been to silence discussion of whether the country in question actually merits the expenditure of American money and the spilling of American blood.

Read the whole thing.

* Lydia DePillis looks at two new studies showing that immigrants don’t actually depress wages or take jobs from the native born, and in fact may have just the opposite effect. But it’s still good politics, apparently, to say “they took er jerbs!” so people will keep saying it.

* And all this Benghazi talk, where the “crime” the administration supposedly committed is that they engaged in spin for a couple of days to make themselves look better, got me thinking about the run-up to the war in Iraq. Now there was a campaign of deception and fear-mongering, with truly disastrous results. Let’s not let it pass out of our memories.