Morning Must Reads: A Different Beast

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Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

–Some initial reactions to the Kerry-Lieberman energy and climate bill here and here. Brad Johnson has a useful side-by-side comparison with the House bill. Our colleague Bryan Walsh looks at the big picture.

–The politics are a different beast from health care or financial reform. As Jay notes, midterms and the fast-approaching August recess skew the debate, but the biggest obstacle (the Republican caucus aside) may be the multitude of parochial complications. Balancing the interests of coal country, rust belt manufacturers, Midwestern farmers and Gulf states traumatized by a catastrophic oil spill is no small task. One small example: The bill would give adjoining coastal states potential veto power over their neighbor’s offshore drilling, which is bound to spark conflict between states like Virginia and Maryland. Even if you consider Lindsey Graham a lock (which is far from reality), there are still a million different ways a Democratic coalition could fall apart.

Tom Goldstein highlights three underplayed stories about Elena Kagan: 1) A letter she wrote in 2005 protesting legislation that would restrict Guantanamo detainees’ access to federal courts; 2) Republican confirmation martyr Miguel Estrada’s support; and 3) her record on the 2nd amendment.

Charlie Savage writes about her relationship with Thurgood Marshall.

Joshua Green explains liberal angst and echoes of Souter.

–Kagan’s on the Hill again today.

–A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll suggests the GOP is rebuilding a strong voter base for November. From the Journal‘s write-up:

Republicans have reassembled their coalition by reconnecting with independents, seniors, blue-collar voters, suburban women and small town and rural voters—all of whom had moved away from the party in the 2006 elections, in which Republicans lost control of the House.

It also found majority backing — including 46% “strong” support — for Arizona’s immigration law. Chris Cillizza notes an uptick in concern over the issue in general.

–Wall Street White Knight and governor-in-waiting Andrew Cuomo has launched an investigation into eight banks for allegedly misleading rating agencies. Felix Salmon writes it looks like theatrics.

–Dayo Olopade profiles Obama midterm pointman Patrick Gaspard.

–Between Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner, there’s been $86 million of self-funding in California’s GOP gubernatorial primary so far.

–And the “lumberjack athlete” credential for Congress is born.

What did I miss?