* Yes, the vote to defund the Libya operation failed, but for all the reasons Josh Rogin lists, it was still a serious rebuke to the White House’s insistence that it doesn’t need Congressional authorization.
* Big news out of Albany: State leaders have reached a deal on religious exemption language in the gay marriage bill.
* And Dean Skelos, the leader of state senate Republicans, says in a statement there will be a vote, though it’s unclear when: “This is a very difficult issue and it will be a vote of conscience for every member of the Senate.”
* Ominously, senator Andrew Lanza, a key undecided GOPer targeted by pro-marriage forces, has decided to vote No.
* The vote is set for tonight, and you can watch the live feed right here.
* Obama will now directly intervene in the imploding deficit talks, holding one on one meetings with leaders on both sides, and it’s now officially the President’s show.
* Paul Krugman, on the GOP’s pulling out of the deficit talks over tax hikes: “everyone who has preached bipartisanship, who has called for a meeting of minds on the subject, is either a fraud or a chump.”
* The Rove-founded Crossroads GPS will spend $20 million in undisclosed money in the next two months hammering Obama on the economy. But hey, Dems have Soros! And union thugs! And...Acorn!
* In fairness, Dems also have Priorities USA, which will also spend undisclosed sums, and note spokesman Bill Burton’s response to Crossroads: “Washington Republicans are demonstrating an unwavering commitment to stopping any real progress on the economy.”
It seems the charge that the GOP is deliberately sabotaging the economy is becoming the official message, at least of outside allies.
* Mike Tomasky says Dems must relentlessly press the economic sabotage case, to knock down the idea that both parties are equally to blame.
* Atrios is right to say that Republicans aren’t refusing to negotiate; they’re just negotiating well.
* Takedown of the day: Joe Klein on T-Paw’s chest-thumping “America needs to win” talk about Obama’s Afghan drawdown.
* Dem Rep. Jerrold Nadler says Obama is becoming an “absolute monarch” on Libya and war powers, a mark of just how high frustration is running on the left over Obama’s conduct.
* As Jon Cohn notes, the book is now closed on the McKinsey mess.
* But Republicans continue citing the study anyway.
What else is happening?
UPDATE: New York Conservative Party chairman Mike Long, one of the leading obstacles to progress on gay marriage, says the bill has the votes to pass.