The Washington Post

Happy Hour Roundup

* House Republicans unveil another proposal to temporarily fund the government with $6 billion in cuts, and oddly enough, Senate Democrats are far quicker to embrace the proposal than conservative groups are, a sign of how far to the right the budget debate has shifted.

* The total spent on the ad wars in Wisconsin has now topped $3 million, another sign that the state is ground zero in a continuing national war that both sides are now invested in for the foreseeable future.

* Scott Walker has done Obama an enormous favor by solving one of his most pressing reelection problems.

* Another state-level anti-union push? Michigan lawmakers are pushing a bill that would give the governor power to declare a species of “financial martial law.”

* White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer boils down Obama’s delicate balancing act on the economy: “The role of any president is to be optimistic about the future and realistic about the present.”

* Why is it so hard for commentators to grasp the idea that voters care far more about jobs and unemployment than they do about cutting government for its own sake?

* Scott Shane does a nice job debunking some of the attacks on the Council on American-Islamic Relations that rang out at Pete King’s hearings.

* Adam Serwer deftly skewers the conservatives who are smearing Keith Ellison for crying at yesterday’s show trial, which they feel compelled to do because Ellison’s emotional display was a “compelling rebuke to the entire premise of the hearings.”

* David Axelrod keeps having fun with poor old Mitt Romney, this time claiming that Romneycare was a “template” for Obamacare.

* It is not “splitting hairs” to expect bold truth tellers like Chris Christie to tell the truth.

* Consistency watch: Sarah Palin, recently seen dismissing requests she tone down rhetoric to avoid violence as “blood libel,” is now claiming that the rhetoric of “union thugs” may lead to violence.

* Millions sob hot tears as Blue Dog Dems who lost in 2010 shutter their campaign committees, a sign that they’ve given up on reentering politics.

* Michele Bachmann 2012! She plans to make multiple stops this weekend in New Hampshire, her husband and kids in tow.

* And a quick note to readers: Some time this weekend, this site and other Post blogs will be relaunched with a redesign and a revamped comments section that, I hope, you’ll find more user friendly. It will allow you far greater flexibility in selecting the commenters you want to read and screening out ones you want to skip over. I hope you’ll take the time to familiarize yourselves with the new format.

As a result of the transition, there may be a period some time tomorrow where comments will be temporarily disabled. I ask for your patience as we try to implement the changes. Feel free to email me with any problems you’re having, and I’ll do my best to stay in touch with you all.

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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