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ThePlumLIneGS whorunsgov plumline
Posted at 08:52 AM ET, 06/21/2011

The Morning Plum

* Opinion-makers turning on Obama over Libya: My pick for read of the morning: Yale professor Bruce Ackerman’s piece explaining that Obama’s decision not to seek Congressional authorization for the Libya operation is eroding a key check on arbitrary presidential power and setting a precedent for future presidents to wage war at their convenience.

What’s particularly irksome about this is that Obama, a student of history and a law lecturer, has surely thought through the broader ramifications of his decision. Indeed, we know he has, because he eloquently made the case against such executive overreach when another president inhabited the White House.

Meanwhile, Eugene Robinson has a harsh column hammering Obama’s Libya decision for an “uncommon disregard for both language and logic,” and says Congress must “call him on it.”

* Obama should seek Congressional authorization for Libya war: Another important story from Charlie Savage and Thom Shanker: Since handing control to NATO, the U.S. has struck Libyan forces at least 60 times — making it harder to argue that we’re not embroiled in “hostilities.”

* John Boehner under pressure over Libya: The Speaker is facing pressure from freshman Republicans to take real action against Obama’s unauthorized Libya operation — a position, interestingly, also supported by liberal Democrats. The question remains whether Congress will actually force this confrontation to a head by holding a vote to restrict funding. Otherwise, business as usual will continue.

* McKinsey study unmasked: As Paul Krugman notes, we have now learned that the study was basically a poll — which is not a good way to predict how companies will make big decisions about whether to drop health coverage. Yes, yes, yes, but how long until the next person cites it as proof of the Affordable Care Act’s shortcomings?

* Right wing’s Obama-hostile-to-Israel line continues to implode: Conservatives engaged in the deliberate distortion of Obama’s Israel stance have been confidently predicting that it would lead Jewish donors to desert Obama en masse. Not so much: Last night a bunch of them met with Obama and walked away very reassured by what they heard.

* Obama should come out for gay marriage already: Alex Pareene makes the case, and I continue to think this quote from White House press secretary Jay Carney is important in illustrating the untenability of Obama’s current stance:

“He’s very clear about the fact that his position is evolving.”

* Deficit reduction talks hit crunch time: It all comes down to this: Democrats are refusing to budge on Medicare benefits cuts, and Republicans won’t allow any tax hikes. And even if those differences ar ebridged — a major challenge in itself — the eventual compromise then has to be sold to a divided Congress.

* Where’s the compromise? Medicare aside, if Dems agree to deep spending cuts and Republicans don’t give any ground on taxes, how on earth does that constitute a compromise?

* Are Republicans open to revenue increases? Even if tax hikes are off the table, House Republicans are signaling openness to new revenues, while Senate Republicans are working overtime to ensure that new revenues removed from the deficit talks.

The mere fact that there’s even a question over whether new revenues will be in the deficit-reduction mix is a sign of just how far to the right the debate has drifted.

* Jon Huntsman enters presidential race: His kickoff speech is this morning, and the question is whether he’ll be able to outdo Mitt Romney in the quest to obscure his previous record of moderation and reasonableness in order to make himself acceptable to GOP primary voters.

* Huntsman candidacy a “marketing miracle”: Beth Reinhard on Huntsman’s planned path to the GOP nomination and on how the mere fact that Huntsman is now considered a formidable presidential candidate is a marketing feat in its own right

* Where are the jobs, Governor Walker? Fun read from Dana Milbank on how Walker’s business-friendly union busting and spending cuts have created more bumper sticker slogans than jobs in Wisconsin.

* When “shared sacrifice” isn’t actually shared: Interesting piece by Michael Powell on the latest front in the labor wars — New Jersey — and how it’s showing that calls for “shared sacrifice” are generally shared only by those at the lower end of the income scale.

* And Weinergate drags on ... and on ... and on: Now that Anthony Weiner is set to officially resign today, Weinergate is over, right? Right? Right?

What else is happening?

By  |  08:52 AM ET, 06/21/2011

 
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