Every day we ask influential politicos to send us their top three bullet points that are driving the day's conversation inside and outside Washington.
It is a very busy news day. In Libya, Colonel Gadhafi is fighting back – in words and deeds. Our correspondents report the use of Libyan jets as part of the assaults on anti-government forces, and in his latest rambling speech, the Libyan leader warned thousands would die if the United States or NATO use military force. To that end, Defense Secretary Gates in stark and simple terms explained the US reluctance to impose a no fly-zone over Libya: Gates said the first step in any plan would be to wipe out Libya’s anti-aircraft batteries to minimize risks to US pilots. Translation: a US attack on Libya as part of imposing a no-fly zone. Such a move would reverberate around the region and the world, and Secretary Gates calmly made that point as he noted the Pentagon has the ability to do it. The question, he said, is whether it is the right thing to do.
On the domestic front, a significant day at FOX News: it suspended its contributor contracts with Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, and said those deals would be terminated May 1 unless either or both pledged NOT to seek the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. Makes sense because both the former House speaker and the former Pennsylvania senator are the most active among the handful of would-be candidates on the FOX payroll. But it does beg the question: Have Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee and John Bolton given any quiet word to their boss? Also, President Obama is looking to take ownership of the next round of spending negotiations. The Senate passed the short term plan to keep the government running for two more weeks. Within minutes, the president called for congressional leaders to enter into negotiations led by his top deputies, including Vice President Biden. The White House does not want a shutdown, and clearly hopes to recreate the model that led to the tax-cut compromise last year.
Erick and Jane help us out today, and focus – from different ends on the ideological spectrum – on a mix of domestic policy and political issues. Enjoy the day. – John King.
Firedoglake.com Blogger/Founder Jane Hamsher:
RedState.Com Editor Erick-Woods Erickson:
– House Republicans caved on riders to the continuing resolution.
– Chris Christie continues to say he won't run for President, but continues acting like a man running for President.
– Ken Salazar is going to be grilled by Republicans on energy prices. When George Bush was President, the Democrats demanded he release oil from the strategic petroleum reserve. Now? Crickets.