It might take a long time for reality to sink in. “Biden: No, Obama and I haven’t given up on the assault-weapons ban.”

File photo (Matt Rourke/Associated Press) File photo (Matt Rourke/Associated Press)

Short on real problems, are they? “Congress Holds Asteroid Hearings, Because There Are No Other Problems.”

The long slide downward may have only just begun. “Barack Obama’s job approval rating has tumbled since shortly after his re-election, as the public’s economic expectations for the coming year have soured. . . .Obama’s job approval measure has fallen eight points since December, from 55% to 47%. His rating is comparable to George W. Bush’s (45%) at the same point early in his second term and is much lower than Bill Clinton’s 60% rating in February 1997.”

The short story on President Obama’s day in Israel: “Briefly, he abandoned his previous position on settlements, now calling them unhelpful rather than illegitimate and urging the PLO to go back to the table without a settlement freeze as a precondition. He used tough language on Iran but was vague about Syria. He was very sympathetic and supportive of Israel, but placed most of the burden on the Israelis to make peace — despite Palestinian rejection of previous Israeli peace offers and the unstable situation in the Arab world.”

In the long run Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is likely to win on this. Taking on talk show opposition to immigration reform he shoots back: “I’ve got a news flash for those who want to call people names on amnesty: What we have now is de facto amnesty. . . . Here’s another news flash: We haven’t been too competitive in the last two national elections. And I’m not asking for an abrogation of law. I’m not asking for something that’s not conservative.”

But then again, Big Labor may short circuit reform just like in 2007. “An immigration reform bill hasn’t even been unveiled, but key Republican lawmakers are already singling out unions as the reason why a deal could fail. The GOP offensive taps into long-simmering disagreement between the business community and unions over how to handle visas for low-skilled workers, which was one key reason why comprehensive immigration reform failed in 2007, the last time the issue was debated seriously in Washington.” And one of the senators to do it was the junior senator from Illinois.

Long overdue. “Mitt Romney’s campaign manager and the Republican National Committee’s research director are launching a new outside group that hopes to be the GOP’s answer to the Democratic opposition research group American Bridge, Politico has learned. The group, America Rising — which will also include RNC spokesman Tim Miller — will include a limited liability company as well as a super PAC. The LLC will aim to combine research and tracking on Democratic candidates, as well as communications and digital ads, taking on campaigns and other outside groups as clients.”