July 16

* In a sign Democrats are hardening their line against Republican demands that any solution to the border crisis include changing the law to make it easier to send kids back to Central America faster, Nancy Pelosi, who had previously expressed openness to such a change, now says she’ll oppose it:

“I do think the bill that was introduced is exactly the wrong way to go,” she said. “Is the only immigration bill we’re going to have one that hurts children?”

With Republicans insisting on changes to the law as a condition for funding, it’s unclear exactly what comes next — Senate Democrats may push forward with a measure that would only supply the funding Obama has asked for. We’ll know more tomorrow. — gs

* Today Republicans in the Senate successfully filibustered a Democratic bill to essentially reverse the Hobby Lobby decision; look for this to figure prominently in the Senate races.

* As the Hill reports, there’s a fight brewing between the White House and Darrell Issa over whether the director of the White House’s political office will have to testify before Issa’s committee. This neatly captures what’s going on here:

Issa has not produced evidence of a specific instance of the White House violating the law and has pointed to abuses in the office that occurred under the Bush Administration to justify the subpoena.

There may be politics going on at the White House, and Issa is going to get to the bottom of it.

* Steve Benen makes a key point about the GOP demand for the National Guard to be sent to the border, noting that Republicans and Democrats are talking past each other when it comes to the basic policy problems here:

Some of this seems to be the result of GOP confusion about the nature of the story itself. Many Republicans seem to believe this is a border-security crisis, which the National Guard can help address directly.

But that’s not consistent with the facts on the ground. In many instances, unaccompanied children are simply turning themselves in once they find border patrol agents. That’s not a border-security crisis; that’s largely the opposite.

* The Brookings Institution’s Henry Aaron has a very good back-to-basics primer answering all your questions about the deficit.

* Ed Kilgore takes a look at the argument between Rand Paul and Rick Perry over what kind of foreign policy the GOP should have:

GOP divisions on foreign policy are very likely to sharpen as we move into the 2016 cycle, partially for competitive reasons but also because the candidates will be forced to project their own vision of America’s role in the world and not simply play off Obama’s record. And while Paul and Perry have staked out early and sharply divergent turf (as has to a lesser extent Marco Rubio, another neocon favorite), it’s possible other candidates will find intermediary positions — viz. Ted Cruz’s claim that he stands “halfway between” John McCain and Rand Paul on foreign policy.

It will be quite the contrast from the 2012 cycle, in which the entire field lined up in support of traditional conservative positions favoring higher defense spending and aggressive confrontation with Iran, Russia and China, with the lonely exception of Rand’s father Ron.

And as Ed points out, Rand Paul is a much, much shrewder politician than his father was.

* Danny Vinik takes Paul Ryan at his word that he cares about poverty. But as Vinik explains, it’s too bad the things he wants to do would actually be a disaster for the poor.

* The Progressive Change Campaign Committee announces it has raised $1 million for candidates from the “Elizabeth Warren wing” of the Democratic Party, and the success of such candidates will become fodder in a broader argument over how or whether the Democratic Party should move in a more economically progressive direction. — gs

* An initiative to divide California into six separate states may have gathered enough signatures to get on the ballot. Philip Bump explains, with copious charts and tables, just what that abomination would look like.

* Over at the American Prospect, I explained why the IRS scandalette perfectly encapsulates today’s congressional Republicanism.

* And a couple of young Republican operatives in Michigan thought they’d go all James Bond on a fundraiser for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Marc Schauer and record it with a camera hidden in a pair of glasses. But if you do that, you might want to keep track of the disk on which the video is stored.

What else?