Morning Must Reads: Spillover

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White House

President Barack Obama talks with U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad Allen and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, aboard Marine One as they fly along the coastline from Venice to New Orleans, La., May 2, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

–The Obama administration is now taking an “all hands on deck” approach to the gulf oil spill. The president visited the Louisiana coastline yesterday and started canceling this week’s scheduled appearances. The slick is currently the size of Puerto Rico and growing at an estimated rate of 5,000 barrels a day.

–BP is on the hook for cleanup costs and its execs are reportedly meeting DHS Secretary Napolitano in D.C. today. They’re denying responsibility for the accident.

–Tim Pawlenty has inked a book deal for the obligatory pre-presidential run memoir.

–He’s in Washington today for a Chamber of Commerce governors summit on jobs.

–A month-long U.N. conference on the Non-Proliferation Treaty kicks off today in New York. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s theatrics will likely dominate headlines. Our colleague Massimo Calabresi explains what’s really at stake.

–Lawmakers have been citing increasing crime along the border, especially alleged spillover from Mexico’s drug violence, in their push for upping border security. The statistics — and Arizona law enforcement outfits — don’t follow this narrative.

–If Charlie Crist’s last two weeks were dominated by questions of whether he’d run as an independent, his next six months could be dominated by questions of which party he’d caucus with if elected. Answers like this won’t do much to quiet the queries.

–He feels liberated nonetheless.

–John Baer has a great account of the weekend’s debate between “Snarlin” Arlen Specter and green Joe Sestak. Steve Poizner and Meg Whitman clashed in California too. They’re shaping up to be two of the nastiest primaries of the cycle.

–Democratic infighting has boosted Republican Charles Djou in Hawaii’s upcoming three-way special election. A Honolulu Advertiser poll has him up 8 and 14 points on his two Democratic opponents respectively.

–With the political mood just right, Senate liberals have a slight chance this week to get some extra-beefy provisions into the Dodd financial reform bill. Kaufman and Brown’s SAFE amendment would slice up the biggest banks, and Sanders is looking to cap credit card interest rates and get in a Fed transparency measure. It will also be interesting to see what gets stripped from the bill and when. The resolution fund and Lincoln’s measure to totally separate derivatives trading from banks are widely regarded as low-hanging fruit for Republican “concessions.” (Many Democrats and the administration aren’t really wild about either one.)

–The Times ed board urges rating agency reform. One of the wrinkles if the government were to step in and take a larger role: Those agencies rate foreign debt, and there would be sticky foreign policy implications for the U.S. government to have a hand in it.

–And Sewell Chan looks at Obama’s three Fed nominees.

What did I miss?