Good morning! Here’s what you need to know:
1. Republicans, led by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), will propose this week a 2012 budget proposal that would cut more than $4 trillion from federal spending projected over the next decade. The proposal would “transform the Medicare health program for the elderly, a move that will dramatically reshape the budget debate in Washington,” says The Wall Street Journal.
2. The threat of a Federal government shutdown loomed over ongoing budget negotiations. Friday, 9 April, is the deadline for a deal.
3. The misery of the munis continues. Supply is down because demand simply is not there. No one thinks demand will suddenly pick up in the second quarter.
4. A special statewide election in Wisconsin tomorrow has become the most closely-watched election of 2011. labour unions and conservative groups are pouring money into the Badger State. The results will be widely viewed as a referendum on GOP efforts to curtail the power of public employee unions.
7. Donald Trump has emerged as the P.T. Barnum of the 2012 GOP Presidential nomination campaign. In the end, he is not expected to run.
8. The leadership of the Libyan “rebels” seeking to overthrow Col. Muammar Qaddafi is divided. The leaders themselves are behaving “like children.” Meanwhile, two of Col. Qaddafi’s sons are said to be offering a “transition plan” that will remove their father from power.
9. The NATO-led squeeze on Colonel Qaddafi is tightening. Washington Post columnist David Ignatius reports that he is slowly running out of cash.
10. WIth not much good happening on the ground in Libya, the Obama Administration is telling top reporters that the real reason the President “intervened” there was to check Iranian ambitions in the region.
11. The Wall Street Journal has a lengthy investigation of Friday’s massacre in Afghanistan. A mob, allegedly enraged by a publicity stunt in Florida, killed seven workers at a UN compound in what has long been regarded as one of Afghanistan’s “safest” cities.
12. The Obama Administration has apparently decided that the President of Yemen has to go.
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