July 9

* The most common response you hear from Republicans when asked why they won’t pass immigration reform is that they don’t trust President Obama to enforce the law. Jennifer Rubin reports on a poll from a GOP firm showing that even Republican voters don’t believe this argument:

86% of Republicans believe Congress should take action to fix the immigration system. 79% of Independents agree. The GOP excuse for not acting – the president won’t enforce the law – is not fooling anyone. Some 72% reject that argument, including 2 out of 3 Republicans and 69% of Independents. The idea of waiting for reform is also a loser with 80% of voters wanting Congress to act this year, with nearly half calling it “very important” they act this year. Some 77% of Republicans say it is important that Congress act, while 53% say it is very important.

Maybe the target audience GOP leaders are speaking to are the one third of Republicans who do buy this silly argument.

* Steve Benen looks at why Colorado Senate candidate Cory Gardner’s broader immigration record will seriously complicate his ability to present himself as moderate among a constituency that could help swing statewide races there:

When the DREAM Act came up, Gardner opposed it. When the Senate approved a popular, bipartisan immigration reform package, Gardner opposed that, too. When House Republican leaders released a list of immigration “principles” the chamber would consider as an alternative to the Senate bill, Gardner opposed that, too.

This race is going to be close, but there are a number of issues like this where Gardner is regularly on the defensive.

* Lindsey Graham warns his GOP colleagues that they should support the President’s request for funds to address the current crisis of children crossing the border, or they’ll take the blame for not being willing to solve the problem. Imagine that!

* Meanwhile, John Boehner is privately urging Republicans to support the funding, so it’ll be interesting to see which Republicans hold out against it, and what their excuse will be for opposing funding for the expedited removals they say they want (other than just chanting “Obummer,” of course). — gs

* Rebecca Leber explains what’s in the president’s request for funding, and gets at the nuances of why immigration advocates like some parts, but worry about what others mean for the fate of the kids.

* NBC News reports on a new poll showing that 54 percent of Americans say they’ve heard enough from Sarah Palin. I am not one of them — I am eager to hear what else she has to say about everything.

* Drew Altman says that while the Affordable Care Act may not be stunningly popular, the political danger to it is receding, and adds a key point on what that could mean for the future:

Several indicators suggest that the political waters may be calming for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This doesn’t guarantee that the law will achieve its goals and be judged a success. It means that the law stands a better chance of being implemented free of constant political turmoil–and will have a better shot at success.

* Iowa GOP Senate candidate is now walking back her floating of impeachment, saying among other things, “I obviously don’t believe the president is a dictator.” Well sure, obviously. But new video of Ernst in June has emerged, in which she says that if John Boehner has the goods on that dictator/non-dictator to justify impeachment, “he should proceed with that.” But also, “I’m not encouraging it or discouraging it.”

That clears things up.

* Depending on what her actual position is, Ernst may be disappointed: Boehner says there isn’t going to be any impeachment.

* In other Senate action, Ed Kilgore, who’s been ahead of the curve on this, brings us the latest evidence that Arkansas GOP Rep. Tom Cotton is not shaping up as the dream candidate Beltway Republicans anticipated, another sign even the toughest Senate races for Dems just aren’t predictable. — gs

* A nice piece by Michael Cohen on “Obama’s understated foreign policy gains.” — gs

* Brian Beutler has a good post explaining the cynicism of Fox News’ effort to downplay good economic news, and why that’s a perfectly rational move, if you think about it the right way.

* Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain have the latest revelation on NSA spying, this time about some specific individual they’re keeping under surveillance for no apparent reason other than them being suspiciously Muslim.

* Ohio senator Rob Portman came out for marriage equality after discovering his own son was gay. You might argue that it would have been nice if he understood that his moral calculation should apply to people who aren’t his relatives. Still, now that he’s publicly mulling a run for president, Jonathan Capehart explains why we’d all benefit if the the GOP had more politicians like Portman.

* And finally, over at the American Prospect I note that in talking about the Hobby Lobby case, we all seem to have forgotten that health insurance isn’t a favor your boss does for you out of the kindness of his heart, it’s compensation for your labor.

What else?