June 17

* Mitch McConnell has a response to the capture of suspected Benghazi attacker Ahmed Abu Khatallah:

“First I congratulate those who were involved in capturing this guy. I think that’s a significant step. He needs to be interrogated extensively. And I hope that will occur,” McConnell said. “There has been a tendency in this administration, as you know, to treat this like a law enforcement matter. Read them their rights. Get them a lawyer. I hope they’re not doing that.”

Translation: Torture the guy! ICYMI: Where are the civil-liberties-minded Republicans on this?

* Remember when conservatives thought every single thing the administration did was meant to distract the public from Benghazi? Well now some think capturing Khatallah was meant to distract from everything else. And also, it was timed for political purposes.

* In response, the always restrained Harry Reid says the Republican reaction is “shocking,” “disgusting,” and “pathetic.”

* Brian Beutler watched the reaction on Fox, and was disappointed at the limited imagination on display when it came to the theories concocted on the Benghazi suspect:

After an hour of watching this all unfold, I was ultimately struck by the banality of the conjecture. After all, Barack Obama will be president for the entirety of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Who’s to say the two of them aren’t allowing all of the Benghazi ringleaders to walk free on purpose, so they can tee up a series of faux-heroic operations to capture all of them, each timed to bolster her candidacy at pivotal moments?

He figured it out!

* Obama is moving ahead with an executive order forbidding federal contractors from discriminating against gay and lesbian employees. As Sam Stein and Jennifer Bendery report, the response from Republicans has been dead silence, but social conservative groups are putting Republicans on notice: they will be expected to say something about this, like it or not. Did you really think these groups are going to let them put the culture wars aside?

* That time Mitch McConnell said “It’s not my job” to bring jobs to Kentucky? Alison Lundergan Grimes is out with a new web video quoting Kentucky workers talking about that and about the minimum wage, a sign her campaign will not let either of those go anytime soon.

* In North Carolina, Thomas Mills writes that education, and Thom Tillis’ deep education cuts as state House speaker, could be the key to Kay Hagan holding on to her Senate seat, and notes national political reporters don’t understand enough about how the issue plays there to appreciate its importance.

* Elise Foley reports on a new study looking at what happened to “Dreamers” after President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy took effect:

The survey found that after receiving their deferrals, nearly 60 percent of those undocumented immigrants — often referred to as Dreamers — were hired for new jobs, and 45 percent reported increased earnings. About 57 percent of those polled had obtained a driver’s license, something undocumented immigrants are unable to do in many states. The report also found that 49 percent of those polled had opened their first bank account.

Now, if only someone could pin Republicans down on the point that when they call for Obama to “enforce immigration law,” what they’re really demanding is the deportation of the DREAMers. — gs

* There may be an effort afoot in the Senate to force President Obama to get congressional permission before launching any new military action in Iraq, a sign Dems really are not too keen on engaging in Iraq again.

* But some Democrats want to re-engage: Steny Hoyer says the administration should be considering air strikes.

* Ruy Teixeira and John Halpin with a very good piece arguing that the way for Dems to make inroads with the white working class is to focus on the creation of an economy that works for everyone.

* Also be sure to read Ed Kilgore’s response: “there is a nascent majority coalition for a progressive agenda that mainly lacks a compelling meta-message of middle-class aspiration threatened not by ‘big government’ but by government serving the interests of economic elites.”

* And finally, over at the American Prospect, I have some thoughts on why Democrats are strangely unified at this point in history.