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Morning EDition: July 13, 2011

McConnell's cave looms over the political landscape today, as political leaders contemplate its depths and roar into it to test the strength of their

McConnell's cave looms over the political landscape today, as political leaders contemplate its depths and roar into it to test the strength of their echoes. There's other stuff out there, too, and it's all (except for the stuff I missed) in today's Morning EDition:


  • The president meets at 4pm with congressional leaders on the debt ceiling.
  • Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies before the House Financial Services Cmte.
  • The House votes on a balanced-budget amendment.
  • The House takes up a bill to let states skirt clean-water rules.


  • If Dems are on board, does Sen. GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have a way to sell his cave to conservatives?
  • Steny Hoyer tells Obama not to buy the McConnell cave.
  • McConnell is standing by his cave.
  • Why did McConnell cave? The money wants him to.
  • The Wall Street Journal EDITORIAL PAGE endorses McConnell's cave.
  • The New York Times editorial page endorses McConnell's cave.
  • Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) says he doesn't know whether McConnell's cave can pass the House.
  • But Boehner himself seems to like the cave.
  • Pres. Obama seems to like the cave (which he built for the GOP and into which he lowered them).
  • Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) seems to like the cave, endorsing both a debt-ceiling hike and new revenues.
  • Some House members don't like the cave, or anything outside the cave. Just unhappy, overall.
  • After McConnell's cave, Boehner insists he never had a deal with Obama.
  • Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) goes McConnell's cave one better, endorsing revenues.
  • Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) rejects McConnell's cave.
  • Newt Gingrich calls McConnell's cave a surrender.
  • And where in the cave is Grover Norquist?
  • Country first: Analysis says McConnell's cave is politics first.
  • Analysis: McConnell's cave sold out the basic economic principle driving the right wing.
  • Analysis: A growing number support the cave, but the polling doesn't even ask the question right.
  • Poll: Most Americans following the debate closely (and who do you think that is?) oppose McConnell's cave.


  • Sportsmen ticked at some GOP cuts; namely, ones that affect sportsmen.
  • House GOP Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) proposed making students start paying loan interest while still in school.
  • Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) argues that legalizing marijuana could raise billions in revenue.
  • Former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-WY) slams his own party for putting pettiness above patriotism.
  • VIDEO: AARP launches major new ad campaign in defense of entitlements.


  • Joblessness is more concentrated now, and higher in high-population states, diluting Senate representation of the jobless.
  • Members of the Fed eye additional economic stimulus.


  • Borrowers are being sold the same dicey mortgages that helped cause the crisis. (Why not? Banks can still securitize them the way they used to.)
  • The US Chamber of Commerce calls for more foreclosures and an end to help for struggling homeowners.


  • Yes, politics is exactly like high school.
  • Right down to the baseball cards, including one that Bush is signing...which invokes 9/11.
  • Poll: Barely one out of four voters approve of Gov. Rick Scott's (R-FL) job performance.


  • Exxon pipeline spill not topping Congress's to-do list.


  • NRC calls for comprehensive overhaul of US nuclear plants. Good luck with that.


  • Qaddafi is reportedly sending out trial balloons about a deal to step down.


  • Does CIA gain more by impersonating doctors than we lose by having people not trust doctors?


  • Mitt Romney refuses to sign pledge against gay marriage.
  • Romney even had the integrity (or centrist triangulationity) to attack the pledge.


  • Republican calls for anything "short of shooting" to stop illegal immigrants.



  • Anti-efficient-light-bulb measure garners majority House support, but not enough to pass.


  • All six Democrats fend off recall-primary challenges by Republican stalking horses.


  • The Democrat triumphs over a strong challenge by Republican who ran controversial ad.



  • Flashback: More of the right-wing theocracy Bachmann wants you to forget.


  • Murdoch is reportedly shopping around his UK newspaper division.
  • Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) calls for investigation of Murdoch's empire.
  • Murdoch drops his takeover bid.
  • CNN anchor and former Murdoch editor explained one method of phone hacking in his 2005 book.

(What I'm reading: Greg Sargent's Plum Line, Think Progress, Matt Yglesias, Talking Points MemoTPMDC, Taegan Goddard's Political Wire, the Washington Monthly, CNN's PoliticalTicker, the National Journal, Ezra Klein, Politico's Playbook and Huddle, Dave Weigel, Wonkette, Firedoglake, the NYT Caucus, Daily Kos, Crooks and Liars. What my iPod has me listening to: Jesus Christ by U2.)

Follow Senior Producer Jonathan Larsen (@jtlarsen) on Twitter