Morning Must Reads: Withdrawn

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  • Nobel-winning economist Peter Diamond has withdrawn as a Federal Reserve Board of Governors nominee after more than a year in confirmation limbo. Republican Senator Richard Shelby was the primary obstructor, but the White House has appeared sluggish, if not downright apathetic, about getting appointments like Diamond’s through. As the economy founders and fiscal stimulus remains legislatively out of reach, the Fed may weigh further monetary action. With Diamond’s withdrawal, there are now two vacancies on the board of governors. The other seat opened at the end of March with the departure of Kevin Warsh, but President Obama has yet to name a nominee.
  • There’s some debate within the Obama administration over the speed of the Afghanistan drawdown that is slated to begin this summer. Gates talks up the mission on his farewell tour.

…its tone is an excruciating combination of bombast and whining, it’s so outlandishly partisan that it makes Richard Nixon look like Abraham Lincoln and its febrile rush of images — not excluding earthquakes, car wrecks, volcanic eruption and attacking Rottweilers — reminded me of the brainwash movie Alex is forced to sit through in “A Clockwork Orange.” Except no one came along to refresh my pupils with eyedrops.

  • And Paul Revere’s ride, re-re-explained: