Morning Must Reads: TGIF

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Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

–So health care is done for now. Congress is running off on recess and President Obama is headed to Camp David for the weekend. Everyone could probably use a rest.

–Majority Leader Reid, caught up in the moment, accidentally voted “no” on health care (again) yesterday before correcting himself. He’s probably hoping to catch up on some sleep when he goes home during recess, but there might be a lot of noise next door.

–In the upcoming issue of the Times Sunday magazine, David Leonhardt offers a good primer on the hows, whys and what ifs of financial regulatory reform. There’s a lot there, but here’s one tidbit from Geithner:

“We don’t know where the next crisis is going to come from,” Geithner told me. “We won’t be able to foresee it. We’re not going to pre-empt all future bubbles. So we want to build a much bigger cushion into the system against those basic human limitations. I don’t want a system that depends on clairvoyance or bravery.”

Overconfidence and the “cult of expertise” — on the Street and the Hill — played a significant role in the financial crisis; it’s good to see fallibility (and capital cushions) enter the discourse.

Ezra Klein writes this of the Obama agenda:

The Democrats have been pretty good at merging their big-ticket items with their medium-size priorities, and though that’s not great for selling the accomplishments, it’s been great for getting them done.

Student loan reform and Pell grants in the health care bill, and “Race to the Top” education money in the Recovery Act all played like afterthoughts, but are not unsubstantial accomplishments. I’d say this Norm Ornstein piece (written even before health care passed) rings truer than ever.

Ben Smith writes health care is to Mitt Romney as Iraq was to Hillary Clinton. He makes some excellent points, but I’d note one significant difference: Before the economy tanked in 2008 and some of the violence died down, Iraq was the biggest issue for Americans. At the height of the debate, health reform was never a top issue in polls, and it will surely be less controversial after two years of moderate and mundane implementation.

–The White House has good amount on tap today: rollout of a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia and a new mortgage rescue program. The housing recovery isn’t going to be pretty.

–They are surely enjoying this piece from Reuters.

Peter Baker writes the fact that it’s an election year complicates the replacement process for probably soon-to-be-retiring Justice Stevens. CW short list: Solicitor General Elena Kagan, the solicitor general, Federal appeals court judges Diane Wood and Merrick Garland.

–If the chatter coming out of the Utah caucuses is to be believed, Senator Bob Bennett is in dire straits.

What did I miss?