* National money is now pouring into the special House election in New York’s 26th district, with the Rove-founded Crossroads group going up with a major ad buy and the DCCC responding with a buy of its own.

It’s a sign that both sides view the suddenly-close race as a must-win referendum on GOP vulnerability in 2012.

* Relatedly, E.J. Dionne on how NY 26 is a warning sign to Republicans about their vulnerability on the Medicare issue.

* It’s official: Republican Senators will ask David Petraeus and Leon Panetta at their confirmation hearings whether turture led to Bin Laden’s death and whether we should now reinstate it.

Upshot: The popular Petraeus may have a high-profile chance to restate his opposition to torture just after the Obama administration killed the world’s most wanted man. ICYMI: Why this could be a very good thing indeed.

* In his big health care speech, Mitt Romney is likely to unveil a reform proposal that looks nothing like the successful one he passed as Governor of Massachusetts.

* Here’s a crazy idea, courtesy of Senator Kent Conrad: What if we were to reduce the deficit with an even split of spending cuts and tax hikes?

* John Kerry says Bin Laden’s death should prompt a rethinking of Obama’s Afghaninstan strategy. More high-profile Dems to follow?

* Eric Cantor insists Wall Street is more worried about reining in government spending than about raising the debt ceiling.

* Is the media getting snookered by GOP claims that their base is leaving them no choice but to draw an ultra hard line on spending?

* Great stuff from Rachel Maddow and Steve Benen on the absurdity of the GOP-heavy Sunday shows lineups right after the Obama administration successfully tracked down and killed Osama Bin Laden.

* Timothy Egan on how having a former community organizer as commander in chief worked out pretty well, after all.

* And from the department of self promotion: I was honored to see that The Week magazine named me as a finalist in their blogger-of-the-year contest, alongside a handful of bloggers I respect enormously.

What else is happening?