* Wisconsin GOP recall efforts fall short: Yes, there’s still a major battle underway in Wisconsin, and as the deadline came and went yesterday, GOP organizers failed to produce signatures triggering recall elections against two Wisconsin Dem state senators they had been targeting.
As of now, officials are reviewing signatures to force recall elections against five GOP senators and three Democrats. Dems need to net three wins to take back the senate.
Within days, we should have a full and clear picture of the shape of the recall elections. Then the fun really begins.
* Boehner threatens not to raise debt ceiling: The Speaker, in a new interview, ups the stakes yet again: “There’s a chance it could not happen.”
This is yet another sign that Republicans seem to be proceeding from the assumption that the White House and Dems were never serious about holding firm behind a "clean” vote on raising the debt ceiling. The result: The “compromise” position will be a deal on a debt ceiling hike, in which Dems make concessions in exchange for something that everyone has already agreed has to happen in order to avert national catastrophe.
* Rising gas prices putting Obama at risk: Some striking findings released by the Post: Obama’s approval rating is at only 39 percent among those who see rising gas prices as a “serious financial hardship.” And 60 percent of independents who say they’re struggling at the pump say they definitely won’t support Obama for reelection.
* Boehner’s take on high gas prices: Folks are claiming that the news in this ABC interview with Boehner is that he’s saying he’s open to nixing subsidies for oil companies. But it seems pretty clear that his main focus remains seizing on the rising gas prices to push for more oil and gas exploration.
* Americans care about jobs, not the deficit:As Eugene Robinson notes, all you can do is keep pointing it out and hope someone is listening.
* GOP faces major disadvantages against Obama in 2012:Good stuff from Dan Balz on how Haley Barbour’s decision not to run for president reflects a sense that Republicans face immense built-in disadvantages in 2012, some of which (the birther obsession) are of their own making.
* No, there hasn’t been a huge expansion of Big Government under Obama: The zombie lie debunked with charts and graphs.
* Counterintuitive poll of the day: Although Dems have spent weeks attacking the GOP Medicare plan, USA Today/Gallup finds that the public is evenly divided between the approaches offered by Paul Ryan and President Obama, and the GOP is more trusted than Dems on the budget and the economy.
And yet, at the same time, the poll finds that two thirds are afraid the GOP plan will cut Medicare and Social Security too much.
* The trouble with independent voters: Michael Kazin goes there: What if a bloc of voters with deeply incoherent views are poised to decided the fate of the American welfare state?
* Media yawns at Mitt Romney’s “peacetime” gaffe: Apparently it’s not newsworthy that a top-tier candidate for the GOP nomination for president used the term “peacetime” to describe a moment when America is embroiled in multiple wars.
* Wikileaks and Guantanamo: Glenn Greenwald has a useful rundown on the signficance of the latest disclosures.
* The Trump conundrum, ctd.: It’s great that CNN has conclusively debunked the birther nonsense yet again, but really, what’s the point of fact-checking someone who has adopted a deliberate strategy of trafficking in lies in order to attract media attention, with no concern about whether it’s positive or negative?
* And Trump comes out against Ryan plan: Looking forward to all the stories about this Trump claim:
— Said Republicans had made a mistake by embracing a budget proposal crafted by Wisconsin GOP Rep. Paul Ryan that included deep cuts in Medicare. “The seniors are afraid. The plan Paul Ryan put forth has made the Democrats so happy,” Trump said.
What else is happening?