The Washington Post

Happy Hour Roundup

* The real death panels: Must-read from Brian Beutler on the plight of patients who will find themselves stranded mid-treatment if health reform is repealed.

* Dan Balz has a nice piece cutting to the core of the contradictions in the 2012 GOP hopefuls’ criticism of Obama on Libya. Cliff notes version: They want Gaddafi taken out but are simultaneously opposed to any prolonged engagement with a post-Gaddafi Libya.

* Turns out Newt Gingrich was far from the only Republican to perform an unsightly no-fly zone flip flop.

* Obama advisers will give members of Congress a classified briefing on Libya, and the key question will be whether it succeeds in quieting Congressional criticism of the mission.

* A very illuminating and realistic look inside the competing pressures and concerns that Harry Reid and John Boehner are each navigating as they grope through budget negotiations.

* Chump bait of the day: A leading Wisconsin business group tells its members that unions battling to repeal GOP senators because Scott Walker refused to raise taxes, which of course is nonsense.

* Not good for Dems: The “Claire Air” story leads the Cook Political Report to downgrade Claire McCaskill’s reelection rating to “toss up.”

* Counterintuitive poll of the day: Mitt Romney is leading the other 2012 GOP hopefuls among Tea Party sympathizers. Maybe Romney’s efforts to wriggle off the Romneycare/mandate hook are working?

* “There’s a strain in conservative punditry,” writes Dave Weigel, “that if the administration is not loudly condemning something, it’s not working against it. If it is not using the word `terrorism,’ it’s not pursuing a terrorist.” At bottom it’s all just so childish.

* History lesson of the day: Good read on the Triangle shirtwaist factory and how we’re unlearning its lessons exactly a century later.

* The Vatican has lost the argument over gay marriage.

* And GOP consultant Mike Murphy on why news of Michele Bachmann’s plans for a 2012 exploratory committee is good news for the media, but bad news for Republicans.

What else is happening?

Greg Sargent writes The Plum Line blog, a reported opinion blog with a liberal slant -- what you might call “opinionated reporting” from the left.

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