July 30

* The ultimate experiment in GOP governance: Zachary Goldfarb has a long, instructive look at how Governor Sam Brownback tried to turn Kansas into a red-state nirvana, and instead created disaster.

* Paul Ryan may have just destroyed his presidential hopes for 2016:

“I see this as sort of a ridiculous gambit by the president and his political team to try and change the narrative, raise money, and turn out their base for an upcoming election that they feel is not going to go their way… [The Republicans’ differences with the White House do] not rise to the high crime and misdemeanor level.”

He’s not just saying that the impeachment talk is being started by Democrats. By using the “high crime or misdemeanor” language, he’s actually saying Barack Obama shouldn’t be impeached. That this is newsworthy really tells you something.

* Jonathan Capehart tries to square this new position of Ryan’s with things he has said before, and finds it difficult if not impossible.

* Republicans have united around the idea that talk of impeaching President Obama was invented by the White House. Dave Weigel documents just what kind of gyrations they’re going through to claim this.

* But Democrats obviously think this is a political winner for them, and they aren’t going to let it go. DCCC chair Steve Israel, on whether Dems will run on impeachment: “You bet!

* Yep, Ted Cruz is really whipping House Republicans to vote against the House GOP leadership border bill, and its prospects for passage tomorrow are uncertain. Which means both Cruz and Nancy Pelosi are whipping against John Boehner’s solution, such as it is, to the crisis. — gs

* The House just voted to authorize the lawsuit against Obama. And so, if Republicans can’t pass the border solution tomorrow, at least they’ll be able to go home for recess having accomplished something. — gs

* Brian Beutler has another must-read taking apart the arguments of conservatives playing along with Halbig, explaining how their dishonesty is about laying the groundwork for the battle to destroy Obamacare subsidies if they win in court:

A ruling for the challengers would immediately tee up a crucial debate over what to do next. And that debate must unfold in an intellectually honest fashion. “Should we fix a simple but consequential error?” rather than, “Should Democrats (not to mention voters) live with the unintended consequences of the scheme they devised?” Conservatives obviously have no interest in debating the former proposition. That’s part of the reason they’re holding so tightly to the fabricated notion that Democrats did this on purpose. Or at least to the idea that such an interpretation is plausible. Among other things, the point of suggesting that this is what the law’s authors intended is to rig the post-Halbig debate, so that Republicans don’t suffer any consequences for sitting on their hands as beneficiaries suffer over something so easily fixed.

This was a lawsuit conservatives brought while other conservatives cheered. If it succeeds on the insane fiction that it was what Democrats intended, then they celebrate their victory while every Democrat decries it, there won’t be any doubt whose fault it was.

* Jonathan Chait explains how the Halbig case has turned conservatives into post-modernists for whom there is no truth. Though I believe credit for the “Moops” analogy should go to Simon Maloy.

* Dylan Scott has a detailed look at the timeline leading up to the legislative maneuverings that gave rise to the Halbig challenge, with more evidence that the whole lawsuit is nonsense.

* The chart of the day, courtesy of Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth, shows how the situation on lack of health insurance in Kentucky has been utterly transformed by the Affordable Care Act. Yet Mitch McConnell still thinks Obamacare was a “disaster.”

* Sam Stein reports that tomorrow President Obama will sign an executive order providing new workplace protections for people employed at federal contractors, and the executive actions continue.

* Ed Kilgore on Obama’s coming executive action on deportations, and why GOP-aligned constituencies who support reform should get behind Obama acting alone, since it’s the only reform game in town:

Republicans — even those who support comprehensive reform — can thank themselves for creating this dynamic. By engaging in overkill — or indulging those who engage in overkill — in burying the Senate-passed bill and taking no real steps towards an alternative, they’ve left many Republican and non-partisan constituencies high and dry for the foreseeable future. Moreover, it takes no deep thinking to understand that if Obama “goes big” on a legalization initiative, it will reduce the pressure for a legislative solution. So the old bus is on blocks with the engine removed, while a new bus is about to leave the station. It wouldn’t be surprising if there’s suddenly a long line for tickets.

The idea that Obama could actually make the immigration situation demonstrably better through executive action is probably the GOP’s worst outcome of all.

* And the National Journal has a fascinating story of how a Dem House Majority PAC ad got pulled off the air by a Minnesota TV station owned by a major GOP donor.

It’s very rare for ads to be denied airtime because the station determines that they’re deceptive. And of course, HMP will get more people to be aware of the ad because of the controversy than they would have if it just stayed on the air.

What else?