Neither fish nor fowl. “Speeches from the president aren’t going to change their minds. But that’s not what Obama’s campaign is about. On one level, it’s about influencing votes in the Senate, not the House. And on another, it’s about making sure that if this fall’s budget battles do result in a government shutdown or, even worse, a financial crisis over the debt ceiling, the president and his party don’t get blamed. Obama may look and sound as if he’s on the offensive, but his strategy has an awful lot of defense in it too.”

U.S. Capitol (J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)

Looks like we bought a pig in a poke. “Insurance premiums for some consumers in Maryland will go up by as much as 25 percent once ObamaCare takes full effect next year.”

A KGB leopard doesn’t change his spots. “The International Olympic Committee announced Friday that Russian officials told the committee that anti-LGBT legislation recently passed in Russia ‘will not affect those attending or taking part in the Games.’ . . .The Human Rights Campaign quickly dismissed the statement, however, with president Chad Griffin saying, ‘Mere verbal assurances from the Russian government that foreigners will be exempt from their repressive laws are not enough. The IOC must obtain ironclad written assurance from President Putin.’ Going even further, Griffin added, ‘But more importantly, they should be advocating for the safety of all LGBT people in Russia, not simply those visiting for the Olympics. Rescinding this heinous law must be our collective goal.’ ” Well said.

The anti-immigrant crowd is as stubborn as a mule, but the loudest voices simply have their facts wrong. “A new poll indicates that Hispanic immigrants, just like the many immigrants before them, are assimilating in pretty quick order. More Hispanics get their news from English language sources than from Spanish ones, and the gap is growing as time goes by.”

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) has been an eager beaver when it comes to thrashing right-wing isolationists. “I thought it was absolutely disgraceful that so many Republicans voted to defund the NSA program which has done so much to protect our county. This is an isolationist streak that’s in our party that goes totally against the party of Eisenhower and Reagan and Bush.” Good for him.

Did President Obama let the cat out of the bag when it comes to Obamacare? “[M]e just making more speeches explaining it in and of itself won’t do it. The test of this is going to be, is it working. And if it works, it will be pretty darn popular.” IF?

Voters are starting to realize they’ve been thrown to the wolves. “Earlier this year, Contra Costa County won the right to run a health care call center, where workers will answer questions to help implement the president’s Affordable Care Act. Area politicians called the 200-plus jobs it would bring to the region an economic coup. Now, with two months to go before the Concord operation opens to serve the public, information has surfaced that about half the jobs are part-time, with no health benefits — a stinging disappointment to workers and local politicians who believed the positions would be full-time.”

Conservative critics of Eric Holder may be barking up the wrong tree in complaining about his use of Section 3 of the Voting Rights Act to sue Texas. Hans von Spakovsky has it right: “This may be an ideologically driven lawsuit, and Holder may not have the evidence that convinces a court that Texas violated Section 3. But it does show that contrary to the claims of critics of the Shelby County decision, DOJ still has powerful tools under the Voting Rights Act to go after specific jurisdictions that discriminate, rather than using the outdated coverage of Section 5 that no longer reflected modern America.”