LIGHTNING ROUND: QUID PRO QUO.

  • The big news is that the final budget resolution being hashed out in Congress will include an October 15 deadline for passing health care reform, after which budget reconciliation rules will be used. Ezra hears whispers that the same ultimatum will not be used for climate change regulation, however.
  • It's obviously too early to be seriously examining next year's Senate races, but it's pretty striking that Arlen Specter is down 21 points against Pat Toomey in a new Rasmussen poll of Pennsylvania Republicans. But given this is Rasmussen, I'd like to see what other pollsters have to say.
  • I was going to write something snarky about Newt Gingrich being the appointed "voice of opposition" appearing before a House hearing on climate change with Al Gore and Mark Warner, but compared to founts of wisdom like Reps. Michele Bachmann, John Shimkus and Joe Barton, Newt practically looks well-informed. Then there's Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), who prefers an attempted character assassination of Gore instead.
  • The Minnesota state supreme court has settled on a schedule for Norm Coleman's appeal of Al Franken's court victory, the hearing set for June 1. Meanwhile, the DSCC is keeping the pressure on, putting out a "Coleman Obstruction Timeline" that explains why Minnesota still doesn't have a second Senator nearly seven months after Election Day.
  • Remainders: Scott Murphy prevails in NY-20; Harry Reid thinks "Judge Bybee has a good professional reputation in Nevada;" Nate Silver games out splitting Texas into five separate states; Laura Rozen has a brief item on National Security Adviser James Jones' potential problems reorganizing the NSC; and Yglesias asks, "since when have conservatives opposed banana republics?"

--Mori Dinauer

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