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ThePlumLIneGS whorunsgov plumline
Posted at 08:53 AM ET, 05/12/2011

The Morning Plum

* John McCain schools conservatives on Bin Laden and torture: The must-read of the morning will cause some grinding of teeth on the right: John McCain has an important Op ed in today’s Post setting the record straight on how the killing of Bin Laden didn’t vindicate torture in any way.

Key nugget: Note that McCain quotes CIA director Leon Panetta explaining that torture was not responsible for getting the name of the key Al Qaeda courier.

* Mitt Romney’s health care speech set to get a rough reception: With Romney set to deliver a big speech today resetting his health reform record, check out this absolutely brutal Wall Street Journal editorial for a taste of what he’s in for from conservatives.

Crucially, the editorial sternly notes that the only thing conservatives want to hear today “is how he explains his health-care principles of five years ago.” That’s a reminder that the only thing Romney can to to fix his problem is flatly repudiate his use of the individual mandate in Romneycare.

* Romney not expected to talk about his major liability: More reaction from the right: Conservative blogger Allapundit notes that all indications are that he won’t even mention the mandate in his speech.

What this means: The speech designed to deal with Romney’s most glaring political liability may not even mention his most glaring political liability.

* Dems mock Romney in advance of speech: Meanwhile, the DNC is out with a preemptive strike: A mock power-point presentation that runs through Romney’s support for the mandate over the years.

* Liberals won’t let Romney forget about Romneycare: Typefying the reaction from the left, the liberal group ProtectYourCare.org will run online ads today linking back to this handy guide to the policy details of Romneycare that Romney will not be talking about today.

* Romney was “incredibly excited” about the mandate: Romney’s top adviser on Romneycare recalls Mitt’s excitement about the mandate back before he could have known that it would come to be regarded as sheer tyranny once Obama employed it.

* Obama urges Democrats to show flexibility in debt ceiling negotiations: In his meeting with Senate Dems last night, Obama urged them not to draw any lines in the sand as they seek to negotiate with Republicans who have drawn a line in the sand.

This would appear to mean that he is not taking the advice of liberals to draw a hard line against Medicare cuts.

* Can the President get GOP Senators to make concessions on taxes? Relatedly, Obama is set to meet with Republican Senators today to talk deficit reduction, and the question is whether he can get any of them to break with GOP orthodoxy on tax hikes and new revenues.

* Business groups to Congress: Raise the debt ceiling! Dozens of business groups have signed a letter to Congress demanding a debt ceiling hike, warning that not doing so could be catastrophic to the recovery. The groups didn’t call for immediate spending cuts to be part of any deal.

Expect Dems to use this to try to drive a wedge between the GOP’s leading business supporters and the Tea Partyers who want the GOP to hold a gun to the head of the debt ceiling — and our economy — in order to win ever deeper spending cuts.

* Obama to speak about Arab world: Don’t miss this interesting curtain raiser on Obama’s upcoming speech about the Arab world, which will try to use Bin Laden’s death as a jumping off point to spell out a unified theory of the Mideast uprising and other matters. The speech’s message: “Bin Laden is the past; what’s happening in the region is the future.”

* Will Medicare debate cost GOP a House seat? As Dems have been hoping, the suddenly-close special House election in New York’s 26th district is being treated by the national press as a referendum on whether GOP overreach on Medicare will leave Republican incumbents vulnerable in 2012.

* Gabriel Giffords update: She may actually return to Congress.

* And the White House ignores lectures about Obama’s mention of Bin Laden: The White House brushes off the media tsk-tsking about Obama’s mention of Bin Laden on the stump.

This story is so absurd that not even conservative opinion leaders have bothered trying to make an issue of it.

What else is happening?

By  |  08:53 AM ET, 05/12/2011

 
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