* More signs emerged today that the Obama administration may not announce its new deferral of deportations until after the elections:
The White House refused Friday to commit to executive actions on immigration by the end of summer, stirring speculation that President Obama might be planning to delay some of the more controversial steps until after the November elections.
“I just don’t have any additional information to share with you about what that time frame is,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.
Earlier this year, Obama told reporters he expected recommendations “before the end of summer” and, after receiving them, planned to adopt them “without further delay.”
But asked Thursday whether the timeline for executive actions could be pushed back, the president pointedly did not repeat that pledge.
If they do delay it beyond November 4, it’ll be tough to justify on anything other than political grounds.
* If the new policy does come before the election, it will complicate the races of some Dems running in conservative states. But Benjy Sarlin has a good piece explaining how Colorado is one state where the issue will probably work to Democrats’ advantage.
* A new poll commissioned by the League of Conservation Voters shows Jeanne Shaheen leading Scott Brown by 6 points. That’s a Dem poll, but the HuffPo average shows Shaheen up by 6 points, too. So maybe that other recent poll showing the race nearly tied, which got a ton of media coverage, is just a bit off?
* Alison Lundergan Grimes is out with a new Web video that tries to demonstrate that the secret Mitch McConnell recording at a Koch enclave is generating a lot of media coverage in Kentucky. Will Grimes put this in a paid ad?
* The good news this week was that Pennsylvania is now the ninth state with a GOP governor to accept the Medicaid expansion. Adrianna McIntyre offers a good overview of how exactly the state’s “private option” will work.
* Steve Benen says there’s a pattern developing:
Here we have a Republican governor, down in the polls, looking to improve his standing with voters. What does he do? Corbett runs towards the Affordable Care Act, not away from it…Indeed, this is arguably part of an important emerging pattern. In May, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, a fierce ACA critic,announced his willingness to work with the Obama administration on Medicaid expansion in his state, becoming the latest GOP governor to stop denying reality and arithmetic. This week, Republicans in Wyoming signaled their intention to do the same thing. It’s only a matter of time before the die-hard red states that refuse to consider the policy dwindles to only a handful.
After the Supreme Court ruled that states could turn down the expansion, some argued that the free money to insure their citizens would be too attractive for even die-hard Republican governors to ignore. They were partly right, but…
* The bad news is that there are still 23 states that haven’t accepted the expansion, and Sarah Kliff has the charts and the numbers showing what this really means. In Texas alone, over a million people who could be covered by the program are uninsured, thanks to Rick Perry.
* Brian Beutler makes the case that authorities ought to release the full, awful video of that Arizona gun range employee getting shot by the 9-year-old girl, to force the real debate on guns in America that the NRA works so hard to avoid.
* Get ready for the new, kinder, gentler Paul Ryan! In an interview with Steve Inskeep, Ryan concedes that there may be problems with his infamous “makers and takers” worldview:
“In my opinion it was sort of a callous generalization. This man, a Democrat from the Democratic tent at the county 4-H fair, said, ‘So who are the takers? The veteran who comes back from war who gets health care? Or the senior who paid her taxes all these years and is on Medicare?’ And what I realized was it was disparaging people where I really didn’t mean to do that.”
You could look at this as a repudiation of Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” comment. You could also look at it as a repudiation of just about everything Paul Ryan has stood for over his entire career, from the budgets slashing the safety net to his old habit of making everyone in his office read “Atlas Shrugged.”
* At the American Prospect, I asked whether Elizabeth Warren turns out to be just an ordinary politician.
When it comes to the Middle East, in other words, Obama is neither a dove nor a hawk. He’s a fierce minimalist. George W. Bush defined the War on Terror so broadly that in anti-terrorism’s name he spent vast quantities of blood and treasure fighting people who had no capacity or desire to attack the United States. Hillary Clinton and John McCain may not use the “War on Terror” framework anymore, but they’re still more willing to sell arms, dispatch troops, and drop bombs to achieve goals that aren’t directly connected to preventing another 9/11.
By contrast, Obama’s strategy — whether you like it or not — is more clearly defined. Hundreds of thousands can die in Syria; the Taliban can menace and destabilize Afghanistan; Iran can move closer to getting a bomb. No matter. With rare exceptions, Obama only unsheathes his sword against people he thinks might kill American civilians.
A lot of people have trouble wrapping their heads around this, because sometimes it involves standing on the sidelines, and sometimes it involves aggressive military action. You’re supposed to either be a hawk or a dove all the time, no matter what the circumstances.
* And get this: One prominent Republican actually complimented President Obama for being “commendably cautious” on taking military action against ISIS. Reports of pigs flying over the Capitol could not be confirmed.