Morning Must Reads

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–Charlie Rangel, embroiled in an ethics investigation, temporarily relinquished the powerful Ways and Means chairmanship this morning. As far as replacements go, Democrats have pretty slim pickings on the committee. Pete Stark or Sandy Levin may take the baton for now.

–President Obama will announce “the way forward” on health care today. The word “reconciliation” is absent from the White House guidance, and I think he’ll try to avoid wading too deep into procedural muck, but his intentions are clear enough: “He will restate his preference for a comprehensive bill… The President will urge Congress to move swiftly toward votes on this legislation.” Translation: Continue as planned.

Mark McKinnon has a good take on Perry’s win in Texas last night. As a kicker, he notes the strongest candidates eying a presidential run in 2012 are moderates from the Midwest and Northeast; they could use a Southern conservative on the ticket.

–My colleague Alex Altman reads Mitt Romney’s proto-presidential platform tome, “No Apology: The Case for American Greatness,” so you don’t have to. Romney, as his background would suggest, is not biting on flavor-of-the-moment populism. He’s betting his business bona fides will play better than anti-Wall Street outrage by the time 2012 rolls around.

–Bill Halter, who is running a primary challenge from Blanche Lincoln’s left, has quickly aligned labor allies and liberal groups and is now flush with cash.

–Paterson hot water reaches a rolling boil.

–Blago’s ethics lecture got plenty of laughs.

–Noam Scheiber pens a Rahm Emanuel cover piece for the New Republic, the latest in a deluge of ink devoted to the chief of staff. It includes some meta elements — reporting on what may have been at work behind a recent Dana Milbank column that many interpreted as a defense campaign independent of White House will. Here’s the catch:

No one seemed to believe Emanuel had engineered [it] … Nonetheless, almost all these people believed the Milbank piece was a problem for Emanuel, because less-informed outsiders would assume he was behind it, prompting a cascade of chatter about White House infighting.

What did I miss?

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