* House GOP leaders quietly reach out to moderate Dems: Paul Kane has the rundown on how House Republicans are putting out feelers to moderate Dems to see if a budget deal containing around $30 billion in cuts is feasible. The move represents a recognition that the cut-cut-cut ideological fervor gripping Tea Party conservatives won’t permit them to agree to anything that has even the remotest chance of passing the Senate, so House Republicans will need Democrats to avert a shutdown.
Also: If the two sides can roughly agree on the level of cuts, the next hurdle would be to come to an agreement on the House GOP drive to defund social and regulatory programs favored by Dems.
* Schumer draws hard line on “riders”: Relatedly, with Harry Reid seeming to signal an openness to agreeing to some of the “riders” sought by House Republicans, Chuck Schumer immediatly takes the riders on Planned Parenthood and the EPA off the table.
* Obama to speak on energy today: Meanwhile, Obama will respond to anger over rising gas prices with a speech today outlining ways to cut our dependence on foreign oil, in effect putting more distance between himself and a Congress mired in budgetary bickering.
The move also seems intended to undercut a drive by Republicans to expand offshore drilling.
* The Dem strategy in shutdown fight: Dems are amplifying the claim that House GOP leaders are hostage to the Tea Party in order to lay the groundwork to pin the blame for the shutdown, should it happen, on GOP extremism. And Republicans are reportedly worried about this prospect.
* Wisconsin Republicans again contend judiciary doesn’t apply to them: Amazingly, after a judge yesterday slapped down Wisconsin GOPers for trying to implement the rollback of collective bargaining despite her earlier temporary restraining order, Republicans are again insisting that the judiciary can’t interfere with their plans. GOP state senate leader Jeff Fitzgeraldt:
“Her action today again flies in the face of the separation of powers between the three branches of government.”
Of course, that’s entirely backwards. Remember, these shenanigans will only convey a sense that Wisconsin Republicans have gone rogue and are flouting the law — exactly the sort of sentiment that fuels recall drives.
* Why won’t Wisconsin GOPers simply vote again on the proposal? David Dayen raises an important point: Wisconsin Republican who have been refubbed by the court have the option of simply voting again on the rollback of bargaining rights, yet they are declining to do that. Maybe it wouldn’t pass this time?
* National Dem money continues to pour into Wisconsin: In 24 hours, liberal groups have already raised $120,000 from around the country to keep airing that compelling new ad targeting GOP state senators for recall, a measure of the national Dem base’s continued depth of engagement in the recall battle.
* Marco Rubio: Let’s play Russian roulette with debt ceiling: Rubio has done a nice job thus far maintaining his Tea Party cred while still coming across as mainstream and reasonable, but today, in an Op ed that will drive a lot of attention, he says he won’t vote to raise the debt ceiling unless certain vaguely defined conditions are met (tax “reform,” entitlement “changes”). More on this later.
* Why Obama won’t shoehorn Libya into an “Obama doctrine”: White House advisers push back: They maintain that no matter how many times critics demand that Obama boil down his approach to foreign policy into a doctrine, Obama will continue to approach each international crisis on its own terms and won’t adopt a one-size-fits all approach.
* Libya history lesson of the day: Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler comes through with a detailed reminder of all the American government has done in recent years to rehabilitate Gaddafi.
* Will Obama arm the Libyan rebels? In an interview with CBS, he appears to be opening the door for the coaltion to do just that, claiming that rebel leaders have been “fully vetted” and “appear to be credible.”
* American Exceptionalism as a basis for foreign policy? Yes, Obama believes in American Exceptionalism, but Glenn Greenwald offers a counterintuitive take: Is America really exceptional, and should that be a basis for American behavior in the world?
* Introducing the Fox News concept of “pre-truth”: Fox exec Bill Sammon has justified pushing the Obama/socialist smear even though he found it “far fetched” by arguing that he later came to belive it was true. Maybe we should call it a “pre-truth”?
* And the wave of foreclosures continues, but no one cares: Good read: Michael Powell and Andrew Martin have a nicely-reported look at Washington’s utter failure to staunch the wave of foreclosures and decline in home prices. Well worth your time.
What else is happening?