(Christopher Morris—VII for TIME)
–Rebels on Libya’s front line:
“I am here to defend Benghazi,” says Muatasim Billah Mohamed, waiting with a crowd of young men on the roadside some 5 km from where the shells are falling. He has gone all the way from Tobruk and has a flag tied around his head like a bandanna, but carries no weapon. God will protect him, he says, pointing to the sky.
Others point to the sky to signify salvation from allied warplanes, expecting to see more wreckage of Gaddafi’s armor.
–Nate Silver parses the very early polling on Libya intervention and sees some pitfalls despite initial support:
…support for military interventions tend to be highest at the outset — the so-called rally-around-the-flag-effect — before declining until and unless some concrete objective is achieved. An important caveat is that the Libyan situation has evolved so quickly that we may still be midway through the rally phase. But if 50 percent approval is as good as the numbers get for Mr. Obama at the peak, overall support may turn negative unless Mr. el-Qaddafi is ousted fairly quickly.
–Mitt Romney supports military action in Libya, but doesn’t like Obama’s “nuanced” foreign policy.
In the President’s world, all nations have “common interests,” the lines between good and evil are blurred, America’s history merits apology. And without a compass to guide him in our increasingly turbulent world, he’s tentative, indecisive, timid and nuanced.
–One year after passage, the public remains polarized over (and a bit confused by) the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
–Coming soon to an NRSC ad near you: Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill, who faces a tough slog for reelection to the Senate next year, says she’ll pay $287,283.41 in neglected personal property taxes on a private plane she owns with her husband. “I can tell you that I will not be setting foot in that damn plane again,” she said. She’s also repaid Treasury for chartering her own plane on the taxpayer’s dime for official business and political trips.
–Some political scientists’ models suggest a squeaker for Obama’s reelection.
–A budget analyst meets the Tea Party caucus.
–After losing a court battle and being denied further appeal by the Supreme Court, the Federal Reserve will disclose the details of loans made during the financial crisis under its 13(3) emergency powers.
–Should the Securities and Exchange Commission settle less and litigate more?
…the SEC also seems to believe it needs to win pretty much all of its cases to be perceived as a threat. That isn’t true either. Look at the Green Bay Packers, who were correctly the favorites to win the Super Bowl despite having a lousy win/loss record prior to the playoffs. But all those losses had been close, in hard-fought, well-played games. In litigation, embarrassing revelations in discovery or on the stand can also have deterrent value, and can serve as building blocks for future cases.
–Army Spc. Jeremy Morlock will plead guilty to murdering Afghan civilians.
–And another TIME staffer gets an HBO deal out of a political book.