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Obama chooses his third TSA nominee while Panetta and Jones head to Pakistan. Plus: Senate candidate Blumenthal lied about Vietnam record.

White House: Obama Makes Third TSA Pick

• "President Obama on Monday nominated FBI Deputy Director John Pistole to head the Transportation Security Administration -- the third time Obama has tried to fill" the "position since taking office," CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports.

• Obama's "wealth in 2009 totaled between $2.3 million and $7.7 million, financial disclosure forms showed on Monday," Reuters reports.


Energy & Environment: Independent Commission To Investigate Spill

• "President Obama will establish an independent commission to investigate the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico through an executive order," CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports.

• "A group of Senate Democrats is pressing the Obama administration to escalate its probe of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill by launching a criminal investigation of BP," The Hill reports.

• "Scientists warned Monday that oil from the spill in the Gulf of Mexico was moving rapidly toward a current that could carry it into the Florida Keys and the Atlantic Ocean, threatening coral reefs and hundreds of miles of additional shoreline," the New York Times reports.


• "Without adequately planning for trouble, the oil business has focused on developing experimental equipment and techniques to drill in ever deeper waters, according to a Wall Street Journal examination of previous deepwater accidents."

Economy: As Regulation Vote Nears, 60-Vote Threshold Making Comeback

• "After three weeks of civil debate, the Senate is expected to pull in the reins on legislation revamping the nation's financial regulatory system as it heads toward passage, with members moving to require 60 votes for more contentious amendments," CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports.

• "A bipartisan group of senators is getting closer to an estate tax deal, one of the lead negotiators said Monday, but a number of details and the process for considering the legislation remain to be worked out," CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports.

Politics: Blumenthal Lied About Serving In Vietnam

• "At a ceremony honoring veterans and senior citizens who sent presents to soldiers overseas, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut rose and spoke of... 'the days that I served in Vietnam,'" the New York Times reports. "There was one problem: Mr. Blumenthal, a Democrat now running for the United States Senate, never served in Vietnam."


Hotline On Call reports on a memo written by the National Republican Senatorial Committee's top strategist that says Democratic incumbents should be worried that Obama has had limited impact on primaries.

• Ex-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) "held a fundraiser in Manhattan last week and outperformed" Obama's "own cash grab a day later on behalf of the" Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, "another sign of trouble brewing for Dems this cycle in all corners of the country," Hotline On Call reports.

• "Today's Democratic primaries could contribute to an ongoing overhaul of the Senate's membership and exacerbate what many consider a shift from clubby camaraderie toward party-dominated polarization," CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports.

Hotline On Call reports on the burden the Troubled Asset Relief Program has become for the incumbent candidates who voted for it.

Congress: Progressive Priorities Could End Up In Extenders Bill

• "Items championed by progressives, such as money for affordable housing and expanding child tax credits to more poor families, might have a new lease on life as part of the 'extenders' bill House leaders would like to vote on this week," CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports.

• "The United States would oppose International Monetary Fund bailout packages to countries that are not likely to repay them under a measure passed by the U.S. Senate on Monday," Reuters reports.

World: Panetta, Jones To Press Security In Pakistan

• Obama's "national security adviser, James L. Jones, and CIA Director Leon Panetta were set to travel to Pakistan on Monday night for meetings with top government, military and intelligence officials on progress in the Times Square car bomb investigation and concerns about future terrorist attacks," the Washington Post reports.

• "The Thai government's deadline for demonstrators to end marathon protests came and went Monday with a single protest leader's cease-fire offer drowned out by rioting and street battles," the Wall Street Journal (subscription) reports.

• "North Korea has called a rare second session of parliament, with a possible major announcement in store, two months after a meeting which changed the constitution to boost leader Kim Jong-il's powers," Reuters reports.

Supreme Court: Kagan Stands Down As Solicitor General For Now

• "Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is stepping aside as solicitor general during her confirmation process," CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports.

• "The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that juveniles who commit crimes in which no one is killed may not be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole," the New York Times reports.

National Security: Study Finds Flaws In Antimissile Defense Program

• Obama's "plans for reducing America's nuclear arsenal and defeating Iran's missiles rely heavily on a new generation of antimissile defenses, which last year he called 'proven and effective,'" the New York Times reports. "But now, a new analysis being published by two antimissile critics, at M.I.T. and Cornell, casts doubt on the reliability of the new weapon."

• "A Taliban suicide car bomber struck a NATO convoy in the Afghan capital" today, "killing six troops, five of them American, officials said," AP reports. "Twelve Afghan civilians also died -- many of them on a public bus in rush-hour traffic."

Health Care: Insurance Agents Taking A Hit

• "Among the first to feel the effects of the nation's health-care system overhaul are insurance salespeople, whose commissions for selling policies to individuals and small groups are themselves getting overhauled," the Wall Street Journal (subscription) reports.

• "The White House announced Monday that" Obama "plans to appoint the former director of the National Institutes of Health, Harold Varmus, as head of the National Cancer Institute," CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports.

Lobbying: Oil Industry Calls In The Cavalry

• "The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is putting the petroleum industry and its top lobbyist, Jack Gerard, on the defensive after months in which the industry appeared to have the political wind at its back," the Wall Street Journal reports.

• "An offshore drilling company tied to the massive Gulf oil spill," Transocean Ltd., "is boosting its lobbying and public-relations team as the number of congressional inquiries expands," The Hill reports.

• "Lobbyists who pursue congressional earmarks are planning a public-relations campaign to defend the practice, as voters signal they no longer want lawmakers to direct millions of federal dollars to pet projects back home," The Hill also reports.

Commentary: The End Of Nuclear Diplomacy?

• In Earlybird's Pundits & Editorials section, Bret Stephens argues that Iran's nuclear fuel deal guarantees that the U.N Security Council will not approve another round of sanctions and war could follow.

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