The Washington Post

Happy Hour Roundup

* Obama will announce tonight that he’s bringing home 10,000 troops this year and another 23,000 by September 2012 — which would bring home his whole “surge” in a year and a half.

What to watch: Whether Obama effectively makes a persuasive case for continuing the war at the levels he wants to maintain.

* Rising antiwar sentiment means the 2012 candidates and other Republicans will have to tread very carefully indeed in the wake of Obama’s drawdown announcement.

* Senator Carl Levin says Obama’s drawdown would be too slow, and it’ll be interesting to see how much maneuvering room other Dems give Obama on the issue.

* Is it really gonna happen? The only remaining discussions over the New York marriage equality bill are focused on resolving the terms of conservative surrender.

* A vote could happen as early as tonight, and the leader of New York state senate Dems says a deal is within reach.

* A really important point from E.J. Dionne: In addition to ceding the spending argument, Dems are also essentially ceding the larger and potentially more consequential argument over inequality , which is missing from the discussion even though it’s intimately connected to our fiscal health.

* The Congressional Budget Office found today that the debt will explode without steep cuts or tax hikes, but for some reason the “cuts” part is getting all the attention today.

* Republican Fed chairman Ben Bernanke:

“In light of the weakness of the recovery, i t would be best not to have sudden and sharp fiscal consolidation in the near term,” he said. “I don’t think that sharp, immediate cuts in the deficit would create more jobs.”

* Steve Benen, on the Bernanke warning: “Of course, GOP lawmakers will ignore all of this, perhaps because they want the economy to get worse.”

* Jonathan Bernstein suggests that when voters say they care about the deficit, they really mean they care about the economy. Click through to see how that exacerbates the Beltway Deficit Feedback Loop and makes the whole mess even sadder.

* Another national poll finds disapproval of Obama on the economy at a new high.

* David Dayen says the Dem pivot back to jobs is underway, and he’s optimistic that Dems are showing new signs of fight, even if they may end up being mainly rhetorical.

* I highly recommend Adam Serwer’s concept of an Obama administration “hack deficit.”

* Coinage of the day, from Jason Linkins: “The Isolationism Panic Feedback Loop,” i.e. the intense backlash that’s greeted those in both parties who dare to suggest that perhaps there are limits on what American power can accomplish abroad.

* And as I suspected, it turns out that Newt Gingrich’s advisers quit en masse because they couldn’t quite wrap their minds around his “big ideas.”

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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