* GOP Senator Tom Coburn, an undisputed “fiscal hawk,” becomes the latest to call on House and Senate conservatives to cut out the nonsense when it comes to threatening a crisis to force the defunding of Obamacare. This is key:
“The worst thing is being dishonest with your base about what you can accomplish, ginning everybody up and then creating disappointment,” Coburn said. “It’s a terribly dangerous and not successful strategy.”
As I noted this morning, it’s amazing to see GOP leaders who fed the base’s repeal fantasies for literally years suddenly worrying about the fervor with which Tea Party lawmakers remain committed to destroying Obamacare. In addition to Coburn, the threat of a government shutdown/debt ceiling confrontation over Obamacare has now been called out by GOP lawmakers such as Tom Cole, Roy Blunt, Richard Burr, John McCain, and Richard Shelby.
* Good catch by Roll Call: Paul Ryan apparently gave away some new details on the House GOP’s timetable for dealing with immigration reform…
“Tentatively, in October, we’re going to vote on a border security bill, an interior enforcement bill, a bill for legal immigration,” the Wisconsin Republican and Budget Committee chairman told constituents at a district town hall event Friday, according to a report by the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.
Ryan also reportedly said negotiations were underway for the chamber to vote on legislation that would provide undocumented immigrants with “probationary” visas while they waited a minimum of 15 years to attain citizenship.
This is most likely a reference to the emerging House gang of seven plan, which would grant probation at the outset to undocumented immigrants, contingent on E-Verify being operational after five years. The question is whether John Boehner — or even just Ryan, which would be significant — will show leadership and ask Republicans to take it seriously.
* Jonathan Cohn on more evidence, this time out of Maryland, that Obamacare’s trains are not wrecking at all, and that they’re running quite well — particularly in states where officials are trying to make it work for their own constituents.
* An excellent Ron Brownstein piece on what the racial divide in our politics means for the GOP, for its doubling-down on white voters, and for the prospects of breaking our ongoing stalemate. Also see Ed Kilgore on why something has to give sooner or later.
* Some kind of NSA surveillance reform is probably inevitable, but unfortunately I think Kevin Drum’s low expectations for what that reform is likely to look like are probably about right.
* By the way, the public seems to want reform. Jon Walker on new Pew polling that shows a majority thinks limits on NSA data collection are insufficient; notably, concerns that anti-terror policies trample civil liberties are held by big majorities of young voters, a key Obama/Dem constituency.
* A lot 2016 presidential race chatter is safely ignored, but Scott Conroy and Caitlin Huey-Burns do a nice job identifying something with real potential consequences: “The GOP’s female candidate problem.”
* Stephen Stromberg has a nice corrective to Texas GOP bluster on the Supreme court and the Voting Rights Act: No, SCOTUS did not tell Eric Holder and the Justice Department not to “mess with Texas.” Not at all.
Out of 7 million ballots cast in the state in 2012, there were 121 allegations of voter fraud, a rate of .00174 percent. Republicans aren’t even claiming the measure will reduce fraud — only that it will provide reassurance to those who worry about it. It “would make nearly three-fourths of the population more comfortable and more confident when they go to the polls,” House Speaker Thom Tillis explained to NBC News.
* Bloomberg on how the labor market tells a more positive story about the economy than the one you’ve been hearing.
* And your sorely needed Friday happy hour comic relief: Senators Dick Durbin and Tom Harkin will hold an event with DREAMers in Steve King’s district, and have extended an open invitation to the Congressman to join them.