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TPMDC Morning Roundup

Karzai Finishing U.S. Trip
Afghan President Hamid Karzai is wrapping up his visit to the United States. The Associated Press reports: "Karzai leaves Washington on Friday. Before heading back to Kabul he is expected to visit Fort Campbell, Ky., home of the 101st Airborne Division, which is going to Afghanistan over the next several weeks, according to U.S. and Afghan officials. Thursday's events in Washington cap a series of meetings aimed at ending months of sniping and frustration over management of the war and fraud surrounding Karzai's re-election last year."

Few Clues To Kagan's Views In Solicitor General Work
The Washington Post reports that Elena Kagan's performance as solicitor general does not necessarily tell the public about her own views -- but it does tell us something. "It's a mistake to assume that every argument an SG makes on behalf of the government reflects her personal legal philosophy," said Lincoln Caplan, author of a book about the post, The Tenth Justice. "But you can definitely get a feeling from the briefs she submits and the arguments she makes in the Supreme Court for the legal approach she takes and her style of legal reasoning."

Liberal Dems Unhappy With Relaxed-Style Campaign Mode
The Hill reports that liberal House Democrats are unhappy with Speaker Nancy Pelosi's decision to not pursue big legislative items in the run-up to this year's elections. "I think it's counterproductive to walk the rest of the session slow," said Rep. Raúl Grijalva. "I think we need to be seen doing things in the House, being as active as we were all this session. Because the consequences are we'll start looking like the Senate, where we're just sitting around."

Seniority Getting Little Respect
Roll Call reports that the seniority system is in decline among House Democrats. Its next test will be the race to succeed Rep. Dave Obey (D-WI) and Rep. Charlie Rangel as head of the Appropriations and Ways and Means committees: "And the key to both races could lie in the quarter of the Caucus elected in the past four years. Those lawmakers have little invested in the seniority system."

With Obama, Regulations Are Back in Fashion
The New York Times reports: "In a burst of rule-making, federal agencies have toughened or proposed new standards to protect Americans from tainted eggs, safeguard construction workers from crane accidents, prevent injuries from baby walkers and even protect polar bears from extinction. Over the last year, the Obama administration has pressed forward on hundreds of new mandates, while also stepping up enforcement of rules by increasing the ranks of inspectors and imposing higher fines for violations."