* Speaking of that interview, Danny Vinik marvels at Cruz’s technique for continuing to assert that Obamacare is destroying the economy: He resolutely pretends the facts that show he’s full of it simply don’t exist.
* Dan Drezner has an overview of recent developments revealing that all of the 2016 GOP hopefuls have thrown their lot in with neocon, hawkish, anti-Iran-deal-at-all-costs wing of the party. With the one exception of Rand Paul. For now, anyway.
* Nate Cohn has hit on a way to sort the 2016 GOP presidential candidates into categories that will help us understand what does and doesn’t matter in the twists and turns to come. Bottom line: It’s highly unlikely that anyone will prevent either Jeb Bush or Scott Walker from being nominated.
* The debate over religious freedom has a lot of conservatives lamenting “government coercion.” Ryan Cooper does a nice job unpacking the many problems with their overall argument, and exposing its real, and unintended, implications in the context of the battle over gay rights.
* NBC’s First Read crew looks at some interesting new polling that shows that Democrats have an overwhelming advantage in party ID among Latinos, even though a lot of Latinos self-identify as conservative. Conclusion:
There are PLENTY of conservative Latinos. They’re just not willing to identify themselves as Republicans…Bottom line: This is a brand problem for Republicans. This is why so many Republicans believe that the minute you get immigration out of the way, the GOP might be able to win over more Latinos. The problem: Immigration isn’t going away.
It is really hard to fathom the political thinking of Republican leaders on immigration.
* Jonathan Bernstein has a good takedown of an idea making the rounds: A campaign by GOP state legislators and friendly lobbyists for a Constitutional convention to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment. And he asks: When will we hear from the folks who carry the Constitution around in their pockets on this?
* Ron Brownstein explains how the surprising lefty challenge to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel showcases the seriousness of skyrocketing inequality even in cities that are rebounding economically, and the challenges that poses for urban Democratic rule.
* Elizabeth Warren, who represents the state where the attack occurred, comes out against the death penalty for the bomber.
* And behold the Chafee-mentum!!!!! Lincoln Chafee announced today he may run for president. His angle:
Chafee, a Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat former governor and senator of Rhode Island, is looking to position himself as a primary alternative to Clinton, the race’s overwhelming frontrunner. In a phone conversation, Chafee cast himself as a staunch environmentalist who wants to protect civil liberties, avoid foreign entanglements and focus on growing the middle class.
It is likely too late for a real Democratic primary, unfortunately. This tweet from Boston Globe writer James Pindell aptly sums up what this will probably be about:
If @LincolnChafee stays willing to hit @HillaryClinton on any topic under sun, he is gonna be a media fav