* Oh, well. Several “centrist” Democratic Senators are getting all skittish about the coming debate with the GOP over tax hikes for the rich, and are urging fellow Dems to pull back from the brink.
* Steve Benen on how Dems would be insane to give Republicans political cover for the deeply unpopular entitlement cuts they want.
* Relatedly, Ezra Klein aptly characterizes the emerging “deal” on the debt ceiling hike as one in which “Democrats back spending cuts and Republicans don’t destroy the economy.” Good deal!
* A provocative take from Jon Walker on how the Beltway elite’s fetishizing of bipartisanship is really about avoiding accountability.
* It’s not just Susan Collins: It turns out a bunch of other Senate Republicans supported ending Big Oil subsidies, too.
* This will be so helpfu! No matter how much Mitt Romney blusters about “Obamacare,” a side by side comparison of his health reform language with that of Obama shows that he saw the issue in strikingly similar terms.
*A roundup of still more brutal criticism of Romney’s speech from the right.
* Could Senator Herb Kohl’s retirement really set up an epic battle between Russ Feingold and Paul Ryan? Neither man is ruling it out.
* But national Dems seem to be hinting that they are hoping Feingold won’t run, a reflection of his outsider-y, arm’s length relationship with the Dem establishment.
* Good stuff from Massimo Calabresi on how the killing of Bin Laden could help Obama weather the coming debate over Iran, which is going to be a big test for Obama and could impact 2012.
* Still more outside cash pours into the nationally-watched special House election in New York’s 26th, this time from the left, a measure of how high the stakes have become for both sides.
* Are Dems at risk of squandering their decades-long political advantage on Medicare and Social Security?
* History lesson of the day: Steve Kornacki on how the GOP became the party of deficits.
* Looks like Mike Huckabee isn’t running, and the 2012 GOP field continues to refuse to develop.
* And the snark of the day, from Adam Serwer, on right wing criticism of the decision to treat Bin Laden’s body in accordance with Islamic requirements:
How can we be sure Obama is serious about fighting terrorism if he’s not willing to place the tarred severed heads of terrorists on pikes outside the White House? Clearly al Qaeda will take advantage of this obvious gesture of weakness.
What else is happening?