July 23

* Liberal media bias alert: Today the New York Times had not one but two investigative blockbusters aimed at Democratic politicians. One tells the story of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office hindering corruption investigations. The other contains some very bad news for Montana Senator John Walsh:

An examination of the final paper required for Mr. Walsh’s master’s degree from the United States Army War College indicates the senator appropriated at least a quarter of his thesis on American Middle East policy from other authors’ works, with no attribution.

Mr. Walsh completed the paper, what the War College calls a “strategy research project,” to earn his degree in 2007, when he was 46. The sources of the material he presents as his own include academic papers, policy journal essays and books that are almost all available online.

Well, if he was only 46, that still counts as a youthful indiscretion.

* Republicans have “working group” to address the border crisis, and as Steve Benen tells us, the head of the group, Rep. Kay Granger, doesn’t seem to have a very good handle on what’s happening down there. “Every day that we delay,” Granger said, “thousands more come across the border.”

Actually, no. That’s incorrect. “In the first 14 days of July, Customs and Border Protection officials apprehended an average of 150 unaccompanied children per day in the Rio Grande Valley – a figure that has plunged from about 355 per day in June,”we learned yesterday.

Presumably, if an elected member of Congress is tasked to lead a “working group” on the border crisis, he or she would not only have access to detailed information, but would also know that claims such as “every day … thousands more come across the border” isn’t true.

Reminds me of the guy on Twitter who responded to my post this morning by telling me that “millions of Americans are moving from blue California to red Texas every year.” Millions!

* Robert Schlesinger on how immigration isn’t the only issue on which there are significant splits within the GOP; infrastructure and the Ex-Im Bank have created deep, consequential divides, too.

* Zachary Goldbarb looks at the question of whether has a creative post documenting that, yes, Barack Obama’s policies have done something to reduce income inequality, albeit not as much as we might like.

* Alison Lundergan Grimes hits Mitch McConnell over his opposition to a new Democratic bill that would end the deducting of expenses companies incur while moving jobs overseas, which could open up a new frontier in the Kentucky race’s battle over jobs and the economy.

* McConnell says that because of Obamacare, “devastating tax hikes” are soon to hit “middle-class Kentuckians.” Politifact says, nope, not so much. We won’t be hearing this claim from Mitch again!

* If Scott Walker is going to run for president, save the GOP, and become the next Ronald Reagan, he’s going to have to win re-election first. According to a new poll from Marquette University Law School (which does well-regarded surveys), he and his opponent Mary Burke are in a dead heat. And that’s among likely voters.

* Yesterday, David Perdue became the GOP’s nominee for Senate in Georgia. Today, Molly Redden looks at his record on gender and discrimination at Dollar General, the company he led. You’ll be shocked to learn that she finds things weren’t particularly inviting for women there.

* Brian Beutler comes up with a pretty apt way of showing that the claims about Obamacare in Halbig are complete BS: Just ask Scott Brown.

* Nicholas Bagley with a good takedown of the premise of Halbig: That proponents are merely reading the law “as written.” They actually aren’t.

* A note on today’s poll finding huge numbers of Republicans don’t think Obamacare has helped anyone in the U.S. Jed Lewison has a suggestion: Maybe it’s because so many of them live in red states that haven’t expanded Medicaid?

* Meanwhile, Kevin Drum rightly despairs at the fact that far too many non-Republicans are also unaware Obamacare is helping people — or unwilling to believe it, anyway. — gs

* Ed Kilgore has some fun with the idea that Republicans might support a “fix” to the ACA if SCOTUS ended up overturning a big chunk of the law based on vague legislative language:

Most Republicans would greet the human catastrophe of an upholding of the D.C. Circuit panel’s ruling in Halbig by firing their Open Carry guns in the air and snake-dancing to the nearest public square for a hoedown with speechifying. Anyone who thinks otherwise must assume conservatives have been playing an incredibly elaborate practical joke for the last four years.

Sounds about right. — gs

* Charles Ornstein has some good reporting showing that activity on the Obamacare website actually continued well past open enrollment ended, which could bode well for the law.

* Ryan Cooper says there’s a lesson from the MH17 disaster for Americans considering sending arms to Syrian rebels: You never know what they might do with them.

* Over at the American Prospect I offered some thoughts on sorting through the situation in Gaza when there are so many awful people advocating on both sides.

* And James Downie takes a look at the most despicable op-ed you’ll read about Gaza, from a writer who wants to convince you that every last Palestinian civilian — every man, woman, and child — is a legitimate military target.