* Jennifer Rubin reports on a remarkable conference call in which conservative think tankers tore into the Heritage Foundation for its study supposedly showing immigration reform will sock the taxpayers with a multi-trillion-dollar bill.
The mobilization among Republicans and conservatives against Heritage’s study again underscores how badly many major GOP-aligned figures want reform to happen.
* Dylan Matthews has the epic wonky takedown of the Heritage study.
* Photo montage of the day: Mother Jones on how that gun that just killed a two year old is marketed to kids.
* Ed O’Keefe scoops:
At least two Republican senators who recently voted against a bipartisan proposal to expand the national gun background check system have approached Democrats in recent days about possibly restarting debate on the issue, according to two senior Senate aides familiar with the talks.
One of these may be Johnny Isakson. To be clear, succeeding on Manchin-Toomey remains a real long shot. But this sort of stuff will encourage gun reform forces to remain engaged, which is critical.
* Gabrielle Giffords’ group raised $1 million in national donations in the wake of Manchin-Toomey’s defeat. The question is whether this energy can be sustained.
* Tom Hamburger details the serious long term challenges, particularly demographic ones, that face the gun lobby, despite all the triumphalism reining in “gun rights” circles about the Manchin-Toomey defeat.
* Ed Kilgore on the lurid extremism of the NRA’s new president, and the real meaning of his vow to fight American “tyranny.”
* Steve Benen marvels at the GOP’s new debt ceiling strategy, which seems to be rooted in little more than a reflexive desire for hostage taking for the sake of hostage taking.
* National Journal details everything that’s at stake in tomorrow’s South Carolina special election in one useful graphic.
* Taegan Goddard flags the best one-quote rebuttal to Green Lanternism ever, courtesy of Dan Rather:
“All of these things we’ve said about what the president could do, should do, might have, could have, but the central thing to keep in mind is his opponents — you talk about taking them out to dinner, making nice with them — these people, politically, want to cut his heart out and throw his liver to the dogs.”
* And some very smart hires by MSNBC, which has now picked up Adam Serwer, Suzy Khimm, and Benjy Sarlin. Congrats all around.