John King, USA

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March 8th, 2011
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Be in the know: Today's JKUSA Political Bullet Points

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.

Good day. The reports from Libya today are troubling: Rumors of Gadhafi trying to negotiate his departure appear to be just that – rumors, and pro-regime forces are using their superior firepower to challenge anti-government forces in both eastern and western Libya. Proponents of US and NATO military intervention of some sorts are using the Gadhafi offensive to support their argument for a muscular response. But caution remains the administration watchword. Libya aside, Washington is full of rhetorical volleys about spending and energy costs. It’s predictable stuff, but in most cases not terribly productive or constructive. As Erick notes in his first point below, there are indications it might be necessary to have another short-term spending deal to keep the government running. But many House conservatives don’t like that idea, so it’s worth watching to see how deep the discontent runs. John begins by highlighting one of the adult conversations happening over the big spending and deficit challenges. Agree or not, their other points are central to current debates – and worth reading. Enjoy the day. – John King

RedState.Com Editor Erick-Woods Erickson:

– Conservatives appear set for another disappointment, as do liberals. The House and Senate will most likely hammer out another two to four week deal on the budget.

– What happens if the budget deal meets the debt ceiling? Do conservatives and liberals cave or do they finally force the fight they've all been wanting? Expect a fight.

– Democrats are going to start talking about murdering Big Bird. The millions of dollars of revenue generated by Sesame Street and other PBS kids products, plus the stream of membership dues should be enough to keep the Corporation for Public Broadcasting afloat. There's no murder. It's time to let the bird fly the coop.

Senior Political Columnist for John Avlon:

– The Gang of 6 Swells: The Washington Post has a great story today about efforts of Senators Warner and Chambliss to develop a bipartisan plan on the deficit and the debt. I'm hearing that their off-site meetings have swelled to over 30 members of the senate, trying to pragmatically pick-up where the Deficit Commission left off as the CR is debated in the halls of Congress.

– The No-Fly Debate Heats Up: What’s the next step in Libya? Senator Kerry announced his support for a US enforced no-fly zone, while administration leaders cautioned that this would mean the mechanisms of war deployed in yet another nation. A multilateral enforced No Fly Zone, destroying some of Gadhafi’s air-strips to stop the strafing of civilians, could be a practical resolution.

– Iowa is open for political business: The opening “Faith and Freedom” 2012 cattle call was last night. The best-known national prospective candidates – Romney, Huckabee and Palin did not attend. Instead, it was folks like Newt, Pawlenty, Santorum, and obscurities like Buddy Roemer and Herman Cain. The August straw poll will be the first major marker, but the race for president begins now – I’m headed to Iowa myself to see what’s happening on the ground.

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Filed under: Bullet Points