Morning Examiner: Gang of Distraction 

If the Gang of Six’s goal was to produce a detailed and credible plan to reduce our nation’s deficits and solve the debt limit crisis, then they failed spectacularly yesterday. The plan they released contains no specific spending cuts, kicks all the major decisions down the road to Senate committees and congressional commissions, and depending on what baseline you use, raises taxes by as much as $3 trillion. And Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., a member of the Gang of Six, admitted yesterday that the details of the plan are nowhere near firm enough to be scored by the Congressional Budget Office before the August 2nd deadline. On the other hand, if the goal of the Gang of Six was to steal headlines and attention away from the House’s passage of Cut, Cap, and Balance, then they succeeded spectacularly.

Around the Bigs

Associated Press, GOP pushes huge deficit-cutting ‘Cut cap and balance’ bill through House: By a vote of 234-190, the House passed the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act which caps federal spending at 19.9 percent of gross domestic product and requires a Balanced Budget Amendment to be sent to the states before the debt limit is hiked $2.4 trillion.

National Journal, Boehner Says It’s Time to Contemplate What ‘Plan B’ Will Be: Just hours before the House vote Cut, Cap and Balance, Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, conceded that, “I’m not going to go out of my way and say the Senate can’t pass it,” but “I think it is responsible for us to look at what Plan B will look like.”

The Washington Examiner, Obama tries to build momentum for ‘Gang of Six’ plan: Obama quickly endorsed the Gang of Six’s new deficit reduction plan Tuesday calling it “broadly consistent” with what he has been pushing Republicans to adopt. The plan would reduce the deficit by $3.7 trillion almost entirely through tax hikes.

The Hill, Gang of Six plan won’t be ready for debt-limit deal by Aug. 2: Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., acknowledged Tuesday that the Gang of Six plan will not be ready for a vote before the debt limit deadline expires. “The Gang of Six plan has not been drafted nor has it been scored by the CBO — it’s not ready for prime time,” Durbin said.

The Wall Street Journal, Public Tilts Toward Debt-Cap Compromise: According to a new WSJ/NBC poll more Americans, 38 percent, now say they support raising the debt limit than those that do not, 31 percent. This is a huge shift from a month ago when 39 percent were against raising the debt limit and only 28 percent supported it.

The Washington Post, GOP too dug in on debt talks; public fears default consequences: According to a new WaPo/ABC poll, majorities of Americans see both Obama and Republicans as not willing enough to compromise on the debt limit. 58 percent believe Obama is not doing enough to work with Republicans while 77 percent believe Republicans are not doing enough. In the event of economic breakdown, 42 percent would blame Republicans and 36 percent would blame Obama.

USA Today, Minn. lawmakers OK budget, assure end to shutdown: Minnesota lawmakers passed a budget that did not raise taxes and Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton is expected to sign it today, thus ending a 20-day state government shutdown.

Campaign 2012
GOP Field: According to the new WSJ/NBC poll, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has surged into a strong second place behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Romney still leads the field with 30 percent, Bachmann places second with 16 percent, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry comes in third at 11 percent. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty slipped to seventh place with only 2 percent of respondents picking him.

Bachmann: Bachmann’s campaign released a statement responding to yesterday’s Daily Caller story questioning her fitness for office due to persistent migraines: “I have prescribed medication that I take whenever symptoms arise, and they keep the migraines under control. Let me be abundantly clear — my ability to function effectively has never been impeded by migraines and will not affect my ability to serve as commander in chief.”

Righty Playbook
The Weekly Standard‘s Jay Cost identifies Four Historical Lessons for the Republican House and concludes: “Thus, the GOP approach to the current debt ceiling debate should be to get the best deal they can get from Obama without major disruptions to the American economy, and then count on the GOP presidential nominee taking this issue to the voters next year.”

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan says the Gang of Six Plan raises taxes by $2.8 trillion.

At The Heritage Foundation‘s Blogger Briefing yesterday, Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., called Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s debt hike plan a “cover-up.” DeMint explained, “It’s like leaving the door to the federal vault open and looking the other way and saying we had nothing to do with the robbery.”

Lefty Playbook
The New York Times Nate Silver looks at national polling since March and declares a Obama vs Romney race to be a toss-up.

Digby hopes the administration quickly adopts the Institute for Medicine’s birth control mandates so that Democrats can have a fight with Republicans over birth control.

Washington Monthly‘s Steve Benen hails Obama’s support for repealing the Defense of Marriage Act as “the latest in a series of encouraging steps on civil rights.”

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