–D.C. dysfunction seems to be the theme of the day. Bayh says it’s why he’s retiring. Former Clinton chief of staff and Center for American Progress president John Podesta, citing GOP obstructionism, says the political environment “sucks.” Tea Party angst over big government run amok lands on the front page of the New York Times. A Wall Street Journal headline trumpets: “Senate Woes Flag Wider Disease.” The efficacy of Washington today can certainly be debated — Norman Ornstein recently argued the 111th Congress has been the most productive in decades — but there is at least a widespread perception that something is broken inside the beltway.
–On a related note, the White House is launching a coast-to-coast defense of the stimulus on its first anniversary. Democrats are well aware that many Americans don’t think the Recovery Act worked, and they also know their stewardship of the economy will be a central issue in November. Greg Sargent says Dems will seek to draw attention to Republican requests for stimulus funds despite opposition to the bill.
–More on the Bayh retirement: Liberals might be glad to be rid of the centrist Hoosier, but Nate Silver points out he is fairly valuable to the party when the politics of his home state are taken into account. And that’s to say nothing of the desperate scramble for a replacement or uphill battle of an election he’s left in Democratic laps.
–Iowa Rep. Braley told the Sioux City Journal health reform’s “biggest problem” is that Obama doesn’t strike fear into the hearts of his opponents.
–Secretary of State Clinton, keeping up the pressure on Iran during her Mideast trip Tuesday, warned of a regional nuclear arms race. She also referred to the nation as “the largest supporter of terrorism in the world today.”
–And Hank Paulson talks up financial reform.
What did I miss?