* President Obama announced today that he’s sending up to 300 troops to Iraq to act as advisers to the Iraqi military. I suppose it’s important to assist with coordination if we’re going to be supporting their effort against ISIS, but didn’t we spend eight years advising and training them?
* House Republicans have elected Kevin McCarthy as the new majority leader and Steve Scalise as the new majority whip, as expected. My favorite detail: “Before the vote, with ‘Eye of the Tiger’ playing in the staid Energy and Commerce committee hearing room, Scalise led his supporters in a procession toward another room where votes would be cast.”
Scalise premised his candidacy on the desire of conservatives to install a Republican from a red state within a leadership team dominated by members from states that President Obama carried in the last two presidential elections.
So now, in a House Republican caucus that may be more conservative than any other in history — after the great right wing rebellion that overthrew Eric Cantor — only one out of the top three leaders are “true” conservatives.
Federal prosecutors believe Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate, illegally coordinated fundraising with conservative groups as part of a nationwide “criminal scheme” to violate election laws, according to court documents unsealed Thursday.
Hey, it’s not like he shut down the George Washington Bridge or anything.
* Philip Bump has the chart of the day explaining exactly what prosecutors are alleging against Walker, which explains the players and the flow of money.
* A very interesting take from Brian Beutler on that Heritage event, the conservative response to criticism of treatment of the young Muslim woman, and what it all says about the conservative movement. — gs
* Asked to comment on Eric Cantor’s loss, Nancy Pelosi told a reporter:
“I was thinking about it on Sunday when I was praying for the Republicans in church, as I do at least every Sunday.”
That must generate some serious cognitive dissonance on Republicans’ part…
* According to a new Suffolk University poll, Scott Brown is trailing Jeanne Shaheen by 10 points in the New Hampshire Senate race. No signs yet of a broadening of the Senate map here, at least.
* This new ad from Planned Parenthood hitting Colorado GOP Senate candidate Cory Gardner is yet another sign that Democrats just aren’t going to let up on “Personhood,” here and elsewhere.
* Jonathan Cohn has a deep, informative dive into new survey data from Kaiser helping illustrate just how Obamacare is really affecting people. Most of the news is positive, but it’s a complicated story — major legislation is complicated!
* The catch of the day goes to Kevin Drum, who noticed an apt L.A. Times headline:
Obama says ask first, shoot later; Critics say it’s risky
Drum: “In the obligatory bland tones of a straight news piece, it perfectly captures both President Obama’s approach to military intervention as well as the approach of the war-is-always-the-answer faction of the Republican Party.”
* And finally, Dick Cheney got a tough interview on Fox News, of all places. Megan Kelly began by quoting from my rant about Cheney, and he responded, “Obviously, I disagree. I think we went into Iraq for some very good reasons.”
Kelly later said, “Time and time again, history has proven that you got it wrong as well in Iraq, sir.” This was, to repeat, on Fox News.