* Good read from Amy Gardner on how the ongoing national assault on public employees is having a seriously negative impact on them on a human level, and why that matters.
* Chris Cillizza on how the public opinion landscape may be shifting in ways that make it more likely that Obama and Dems can win with a tax-the-rich message.
* Nancy Pelosi roadtests the new Dem campaign message, describing Medicare as a “pillar of stability for our seniors” that’s now being “undermined by Republicans” to finance “tax breaks for millionaires.”
* Tax Day newsflash: Don’t miss Jonathan Cohn on how the United States is a low-tax country, and what that means for today’s debate. Complete with empirical evidence!
* The White House reacted to the Standard and Poor’s negative outlook by calling for bipartisan unity. Dave Weigel asks why the White House didn’t use it to renew the push for high end tax hikes:
That’s their response? The GOP uses the S&P announcement to demand concessions on the debt ceiling and the White House uses it to beg politicians to come together?
* DADT Dead-Ender Watch! Rick Santorum becomes the forth GOP 2012 hopeful to vow to reinstate don’t ask don’t tell.
* And as Steve Benen notes, supporting the reinstatement of DADT is rapidly becoming a litmus test issue in the 2012 GOP primary:
So, where’s Romney on this? Huntsman? Bachmann? Trump?
Good question. Let’s ask them.
* Wisconsin Dems may be on the verge of filing recall signatures against two more GOP state senators, which would bring the total to five.
* Is it possible to have a “serious” conversation about our fiscal situation without talking about doing away with things like ethanol subsidies?
Also interesting in the above link: The 2012 GOP contenders, who are ostensibly campaiging in favor of fiscal discipline, continue supporting the subsidies.
* Josh Green makes the case with wordclouds that Fox dumped Beck because he stopped parroting Fox’s chosen anti-Obama and anti-Dem messages, and started trafficking in the wrong ones.
* For all the complaints about how out of line Obama’s speech was, it turns out that Ryan’s Medicare budget said some pretty rough stuff about Obama’s vision, too.
* And happy 9th blogiversary to Atrios, who was one of the first bloggers who got it all going way back when.
What else is happening?