TPMDC Morning Roundup

NYT: Exceptions To Iraq Deadlines Are Proposed
The New York Times reports that the American and Iraqi governments will begin negotiating possible exceptions to the June 30 deadline for withdrawing U.S. combat troops from cities, focusing on Mosul in the North and some parts of Baghdad. Iraqi officials have agreed to classify U.S. bases in the Baghdad area as technically outside the city limits, thus holding to the letter of the agreements.

Obama’s Day Ahead
President Obama is speaking at 9 a.m. ET, to the National Academy of Sciences annual meeting. At 2 p.m. ET, he will welcome the University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball team. And at 5 p.m. ET, he will attend a reception with foreign economic, finance and environmental ministers.Biden’s Day Ahead
Vice President Biden is traveling to Chicago today. At 11:15 a.m. ET, he will visit Serious Materials Chicago, to promote the Recovery Act. At 12:45 p.m. ET, he will speak at the 2009 Richard J. Daley Urban Forum.

Trib: Obama Puts Gun Control On Back Burner
The Chicago Tribune points out that the Obama administration has been quiet on a particular liberal issue: gun control, with Obama having said that re-authorization of the assault-weapons ban is not politically viable. “There is going to come a time that President Obama will — and should — speak to the issue of gun violence,” said Ronald Holt of Chicago. “When he does, I hope he comes back home to do it.”

Clinton: U.S. Will Never Sell Out Lebanon
Hillary Clinton visited Lebanon yesterday, several weeks before a contentious election that could potentially see the defeat of the incumbent government, telling a news conference: “I want to assure any Lebanese citizen that the United States will never make any deal with Syria that sells out Lebanon and the Lebanese people. You have been through too much and it is only right that you are given a chance to make your own decisions.”

WaPo: Small Businesses Brace For Tax Battle
The Washington Post reports that the business lobby is preparing for a serious battle over tax rates that affect small businesses, many of whom put down their profits and earnings as regular wages and are thus vulnerable to a tax hitting the top-earners. “They’re desperate for revenue,” said R. Bruce Josten, chief lobbyist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, speaking of the Obama administration. “And therein lies the concern of the broader business community.”

WSJ: New Mexico GOP Hopes To Leverage Dem Scandals For Comeback
The Wall Street Journal reports that New Mexico Republicans are hoping for a comeback in this Democratic-dominated state, thanks to ethics scandals that have hit the ruling party. “Now Republicans are pointing to the scandals to bolster their argument that it is dangerous for one party to control all the levers of power,” the Journal says. “That is the same line the national GOP is taking as it girds for midterm elections next year with the Democratic Party in control of the White House and Congress.”

Reid In Book: Obama Said “I Have A Gift” For Speaking
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) tells an interesting story in the upcoming paperback version of his book, The Good Fight, about an occasion when he complimented then-Senator Barack Obama on a speech against George W. Bush’s war policies. Reid writes: “‘That speech was phenomenal, Barack,’ I told him. And I will never forget his response. Without the barest hint of braggadocio or conceit, and with what I would describe as deep humility, he said quietly: ‘I have a gift, Harry.'”