June 18

* The AP reports that President Obama told congressional leaders that he doesn’t need congressional approval to take military action in Iraq, because the Authorization for the Use of Military Force that passed Congress in 2002 is still in force.

The legality here is not entirely clear, but one thing that’s worth noting: If lawmakers don’t like this, they can repeal it.

Update: In a statement, Harry Reid characterizes the meeting between Obama and Congressional leaders somewhat differently from the way Mitch McConnell described it in the AP story:

“We had an informative and productive meeting discussing the current situation in Iraq and several other topics. On Iraq, the President said he is not currently considering actions that would require Congressional approval but was very clear that he would consult with Congress if that changed.”

A senior Dem aide adds: “Whether intentionally or not, Senator McConnell’s comments mischaracterize the tone and the substance of the meeting. The President was very clear that he would keep Congress in the loop.”

* Meanwhile, Obama didn’t tell them what action, if any, he plans to take.

* Meanwhile, as Steve Benen details, neither Mitch McConnell nor John Boehner will say what they would do differently in Iraq, which once again underscores how the party has become “post policy.”

* Nia Malika-Henderson has a good piece detailing plans for women’s groups to put $3 million into efforts to reelect Senator Kay Hagan in North Carolina, and what that says about the importance of female voters this cycle.

* Mitch McConnell is showing Kentucky families he cares by introducing a bill allowing working women to take a home-office deduction for part of your home even if you also use the office for child care, while declaring he sees a “shared responsibility for the weak.” Looks more like image softening than anything else.

* Adam Serwer and Aliyah Frumin have a good piece detailing the problems with Republican calls to ship suspected Benghazi ringleader Ahmed Abu Khatalla to Guantanamo. Among them: We’ve convicted hundreds of terror suspects in civilian courts, and it isn’t even clear he’s eligible for Gitmo. Yeah, that’s a problem.

* Republicans are toying with a partial government shutdown to block Obama’s new EPA regulations, but now the White House is warning them that would be an extremely foolish idea. Reminder: In the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, 67 percent of Americans support the regulations.

* Relatedly, Ryan Cooper with an interesting dive into why GOP support for nuclear energy is basically a crock, because it inevitably will collide with their unwillingness to spend government money. — gs

* Smart catch by Michael Cook: A new polling memo designed to show Tom Cotton leading in the Arkansas Senate race shows he was polling statewide only one month after being elected to Congress. — gs

* In the tweet of the day, Atrios sums up the core problem with much “neutral” Beltway punditry:

I just tell it like it is, unlike some who have opinions. I just ANALYZE

* Paul Krugman’s big New York Review of Books piece on Tim Geithner’s book is live. Let’s just say he isn’t impressed.

* The United States Patent and Trademark Office has cancelled the trademark of the Washington Redskins on the grounds that it is disparaging to Native Americans (you can’t trademark offensive names). If the ruling is upheld in the inevitable lawsuit, anyone could make a product with “Redskins” on it, which would cost Dan Snyder, probably the second-most-hated team owner in American sports after Donald Sterling, a whole lot of money.

* If you want some background on where the name comes from and what it means, read this Michael Tomasky piece from 2011. Spoiler: the whole story is even more appalling than you think.

* And Senator Claire McCaskill raked Dr. Mehmet Oz over the coals in a hearing today for his hawking of miracle weight loss cures, a.k.a. snake oil.

What else?