* Now that the Associated Press has debunked the “stand down order” tale on Benghazi, Lucia Graves has a comprehensive look back at all the Republicans who pushed it, including those of the more “serious” variety:
Asking whether these new military testimonies (which largely just confirm what’s been found previously) will change these Republicans’ rhetoric feels something akin to asking what it takes to end a conspiracy theory. A better conspiracy, perhaps?
A better conspiracy? Sure, why not? That will do just fine, thank you.
* Jonathan Bernstein with a sharp piece explaining that even if it’s possible Obama did break the law, the real problem with Boehner’s lawsuit is that it enhances the power of the judiciary at the expense of the elected branches.
* Aaron Blake outlines the real reason for the lawsuit: Politically it’s a far, far easier way of scratching the GOP base’s impeachment itch, as impeachment itself would be a full blown disaster. Of course, sometimes scratching an itch can only increase the desire for further scratching.
The White House says this year’s budget deficit will drop to $583 billion, the lowest level of President Barack Obama’s tenure…The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects an even lower deficit of $492 billion for the budget year ending Sept. 30.
As Ryan Cooper joked, in an apparent reference to this being hailed as good news, even as we’re doing nothing to ameliorate a sluggish recovery and mass unemployment: “Epic failure.”
You’re going to hear Republicans complain, if they haven’t started already, about the fact that roughly half ($1.8 billion) of this amount would be directed not to the manly Bureau of Throwing Brown People Back to the Coyotes but to the Department of Health and Human Services. This will, I would imagine, emerge as a central GOP talking point over the next few days, because HHS is one of those bleeding heart, girly-man agencies.
Yup. As noted here earlier, Boehner is in a tough spot: One question is whether Dems will give Republicans concessions that allow them to argue they forced Obama to get tough on the border in exchange for the money.
* Also see Danny Vinik on the depth of GOP policy abdication that’s on display here.
* Joe Sonka brings us Mitch McConnell’s latest quote, on why women’s issues may not play against him: “I could be wrong, but most of the barriers have been lowered.” Sonka also notes McConnell’s suggestion that Elizabeth Warren’s student loan proposal partakes of the mentality that is destroying the country with debt.
This is exactly the terrain on which the Grimes camp hopes this campaign is fought.
* Ari Berman with some deep reporting into the ongoing legal challenge to North Carolina’s new voting restrictions, the historical echoes it is stirring up, and why this could decide the fate of voting rights nationally.
* Joan McCarter looks at new Brookings Institution data and asks: Could Koch brothers spending actually be increasing Obamacare enrollment?
The Kochs have been spending on what are basically a bunch of public service announcements letting people know they might be able to get subsidized health insurance. Good deal! All those millions might not have been wasted after all.
* Darrell Issa’s “subpoena binge,” in one chart.
* The Tweet of the day, courtesy (natch) of Morning Joe, is Beltway perfection:
President Obama fires back at House Speaker John Boehner over lawsuit. Did he take the right tone?
Surely the optimum way to get Republicans to cooperate with Obama is to refrain from trying to extract a political price for it when they don’t.