TPMDC Morning Roundup


GOP’s Big Medicare Gamble
The Hill reports: “Republicans on Capitol Hill may be in the process of learning a hard lesson: Meddling with Medicare, whatever the nation’s fiscal circumstances, just isn’t popular. They are feeling the heat now because of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) controversial plan to turn Medicare into a type of voucher system. Presented as a serious attempt to fix the program’s projected shortfalls, the proposal instead appears to have turned the political tide back toward the congressional Democrats, who were on the ropes after last November’s midterms.”

Obama’s Day Ahead
President Obama will depart from the White House at 8:45 a.m. ET, and depart from Andrews Air Force Base at 9 a.m. ET, arriving at 11 a.m. ET in Memphis, Tennessee. At 11:30 a.m. ET, he will meet with families impacted by the flooding, state and local officials, first responders and volunteers. At 1 p.m. ET, he will deliver the commencement address at Booker T. Washington High School, the winner of the 2011 Race to the Top Commencement Challenge. He will depart from Memphis at 3:25 p.m. ET, arriving at Andrews Air Force Base at 5:15 p.m. ET, and arriving back at the White House at 5:30 p.m. ET.Biden’s Day Ahead
Vice President Biden and his wife Dr. Jill Biden will travel in the morning to Chicago, Illinois. At 11:30 a.m. ET, they will attend the inauguration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the former White House Chief of STaff. Afterwards, the Bidens will return to Washington, D.C.

Gates: ‘Premature’ To Eye Faster Afghan Pullout
AFP reports: “US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has said accelerating troop withdrawals from Afghanistan because of Osama bin Laden’s death would be ‘premature.’ The US covert raid that killed Al-Qaeda’s chief has fueled calls to scale back the massive US presence in Afghanistan, just as President Barack Obama reviews plans to begin pulling out some of the 100,000 troops there in July. Gates, in an interview broadcast on the CBS news show ’60 Minutes,’ said it’s too early to consider speeding the pace of withdrawal.”

Gingrich Loyalists on K Street Begin Lining Up
Roll Call reports: “Newt Gingrich may face some obstacles in his bid for the GOP presidential nomination — such as defending his imperfect marital history — but it appears he will have no trouble rounding up support on K Street. The former Speaker, who has been out of elective office for a decade, has a huge network of former staffers and House colleagues who have already pledged their support as he launches his bid for the White House.”

Senator Kerry Has Tough Questions For Angry Pakistan
Reuters reports: “U.S. Senator John Kerry will push Pakistani leaders on Monday to explain how Osama bin Laden was able to hide in their country for years, without further inflaming Pakistani anger over the U.S. raid that killed the al Qaeda chief…Kerry arrived in Pakistan on Sunday from Afghanistan where he told reporters the United States wanted Pakistan to be a real ally in the fight against militancy.”