* More than 50,000 people have signed a petition today vowing to withhold help for Obama in 2012 if he agrees to any cuts in Medicare or Medicaid, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee’s Adam Green tells me.

While such stuff may be more a sign of the passions of the moment than anything else, it’s clear that not drawing a firm line against cuts could further tax relations with the base, and 2012 is right around the corner.

* John Boehner issues a toughly worded statement preempting Obama’s expected call tomorrow for tax hikes on the rich, denouncing the idea as “unacceptable and a non-starter.”

One wonders if the President will express similar sentiments about the Paul Ryan proposals.

* Atrios suggests some simple messaging for Dems: “Republicans want to destroy Medicare and we don’t.”

* My bet is that Eric Cantor is right to predict that the $39 billion in spending cuts will pass with strong GOP support, and that predictions of massive defections among House conservatives who wanted more cuts just won’t come to pass.

* Governor Scott Walker says he just may have to lay off public workers if the courts don’t hurry up and give him his way on collective bargaining.

* Another one: Now Wisconsin GOP state senator Randy Hopper is also facing a very credible Dem challenger in a recall election.

* Mitt Romney appears to have privately expressed some sensible doubts about entitlement reform that would be a non-starter in a GOP primary, leading his spokesman to quickly retract them.

* An important story by Dan Eggen on Dem plans for an outside money infrastructure that will raise and spend $200 million or more in 2012, a sign Dems are determined to level the playing field after getting shellacked in 2010.

* It’s good to see Senator Mark Begich calling on Dems to treat the budget as a moral document, one with great issues at stake.

* Counterintuitive take of the day: A close look at the actual composition of the $38 billion in cuts suggests the White House may not have gotten rolled, after all.

* Encouraging: Conservative blogger Jennifer Rubin is convinced that Obama won’t cave to the right on deficits tomorrow.

* What the right really fears most about socialized medicine: That people would like it.

* CNN finds that a majority of Republicans don’t think slavery is the main reason southern states seceded from the Union.

* Which prompts Adam Serwer to wonder how long it will be until newly-minted birther Donald Trump embraces Lost Cause denialism.

* And the reality check of the day: Mark Blumenthal on why those polls allegedly showing Trump is a presidential frontrunner aren’t really telling you anything at all.Take note, assignment editors.

What else is happening?