Opening Act: Seven Islands

CENTENNIAL, CO - JULY 23: Accused movie theater shooter James Holmes makes his first court appearance at the Arapahoe County on July 23, 2012 in Centennial, Colorado. According to police, Holmes killed 12 people and injured 58 others during a shooting rampage at an opening night screening of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ July 20, in Aurora, Colorado. (Photo by RJ Sangosti-Pool/Getty Images)
Photo by RJ Sangosti-Pool/Getty Images

Reid Cherlin asks a Democratic staffer about the NRA’s power, and the resulting quote actually earns its anonymity.

We do absolutely anything they ask and we NEVER cross them—which includes asking permission to cosponsor any bills endorsed by the Humane Society (the answer is usually no) and complying with their demand to oppose the DISCLOSE Act, neither of which have anything to do with guns.

Timothy Murphy reads the blog posts of a Ron Paul-endorsed candidate in Texas, and finds him really, seriously keen to believe conspiracies.

Greg Sargent grills the businessman who appeared in Mitt Romney’s “I’m gonna pretend I misunderstood Obama” ad.

A key fact (already widely-circulated) in a WSJ editorial turns out to be bunk.

The AP writes about Sen. Orrin Hatch’s post-primary zeal for tax reform. Sounds like a “now he’s free to ignore the Tea Party” story, but he’s being slippery yet.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney agrees with Hatch that there should be a one-year extension on all of the Bush-era tax cuts, then comprehensive tax reform. President Barack Obama wants to let those tax cuts expire for Americans making more than $250,000 a year, and then do reform.

Hatch would have great say in where the discussion ends – with a new tax code, a collapse of talks or something in-between. He has willing negotiating partners in both parties, beginning with his Democratic counterpart atop the Finance Committee hierarchy, Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, and including some of the most agile dealmakers in Congress.

And real talk from Rush Limbaugh.