TPMDC Morning Roundup

Liberal Group Launches Pro-Sotomayor Ad
A new group called the Coalition for Constitutional Values, a joint venture of the the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, Alliance for Justice and People for the American Way, is going up on the air today with this new six-figure ad buy on national network news and cable news to promote Sonia Sotomayor:

The ad uses on-screen text to go into Sotomayor’s background and rise from humble roots, while using audio of President Obama from a few weeks ago, discussing what he would seek in a Justice: “Someone who understands that justice isn’t about some abstract legal theory — it is also about how our laws affect the daily realities of peoples’ lives.”

Obama’s Day Ahead
President Obama will be touring the solar photovoltaic array at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, accompanied by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, at 2 p.m. ET. He will deliver remarks on the progress made in the first 100 days of the stimulus act, at 2:40 p.m. ET. He will depart from Vegas for Los Angeles at 3:30 p.m. ET, and will attend a DNC fundraiser at 10:05 p.m. ET at the Beverly Hills Hilton.Biden’s Day Ahead
Vice President Biden and his wife Jill are spending the day in Colorado Springs, Colorado. At 12 p.m. ET, Biden will deliver the commencement speech at the United States Air Force Academy 2009 graduation. At 12:30 p.m. ET, Jill Biden will visit with active duty military spouses and veterans and family support personnel at Fort Carson.

Army Chief: U.S. Troops Could Be In Iraq After 2012
Gen. George Casey, Army chief of staff, told reporters yesterday that American troops could be in Iraq after 2012, despite a signed agreement that American forces would leave after that point. Casey described what he called “the reality scenario,” which is that “we’re going to have 10 Army and Marine units deployed for a decade in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Steele: GOP Has To Be Careful On Sotomayor
RNC Chairman Michael Steele told CNN that the party will have to be careful in how it criticizes Sonia Sotomayor. “You don’t want to be perceived as a bully,” Steele said. Though he did add: “We do have some reservations and concerns about her views on the second amendment, her views on abortion, her views on property rights.”

Obama Brings In Big Money For Reid
President Obama headlined a big fundraiser last night in Las Vegas for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, hosting 200 people at $4,200 per couple. “Thank you for being here tonight. Make sure that Harry Reid continues to be our majority leader,” said Obama. “As long as I’m president, I want him to be my majority leader.”

WaPo: VAT Getting Fresh Look In Washington
The Washington Post reports that policymakers are increasingly looking at the concept of a national value-added tax. “I think a VAT and a high-end income tax have got to be on the table,” said Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND). On the other hand, White House OMB spokesman Kenneth Baer said the concept is “unlikely to be in the mix” to pay for health care, and that it “is popular with academics but highly controversial with policymakers.”