The big hand's at the top of the clock -- here's what's at the top of the news:
Libyan rebels continued to pull back from recently captured positions today, as forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi pounded insurgent positions west of Benghazi. The rebels called for increased air support from NATO forces, and an instruction manual for their rocket launcher.
More reaction, meanwhile, to President Obama's Monday-night speech spelling out the administration's position on the Libyan intervention. Former House Speaker (and likely presidential contender) Newt Gingrich is demanding that the networks give him a similar opportunity to spell out his position -- although Gingrich says he'll need two nights.
In related news, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld asserted today that the U.S. mission in Libya was "confused," and lacked both "clarity" and "precision." Rumsfeld made his comments in New York as he accepted a lifetime-achievement award from the American Chutzpah League.
Growing pressure on President Obama to remove GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt as head of the White House Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. This in the wake of news that GE, with $14 billion in profits last year, paid no federal taxes. Thus far, at least, the president is standing by Immelt. "We need to keep this in perspective," said Mr. Obama. "It's not like GE was building faulty nuclear reactors or anything."
Speaking at a press conference in Washington, GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney today criticized three things that President Obama will be saying and doing next week. Romney said he wasn't sure what the three things would be, but "I know I'll be against them, so why wait?"
This just in: Libyan rebels are now surging toward Tripoli, recapturing recently abandoned positions and forcing a hasty retreat by forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi. Rebel leaders are calling on Gadhafi to "step down immediately, before we run out of gasoline."
A government shutdown? Maybe not. Word of a possible budget deal in sight at this hour, even as aides to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell deny that McConnell has a personality conflict with Majority Leader Harry Reid. Actually, they denied that Reid has a personality.
Also on Capitol Hill, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor dismissed reports that he was trying to undermine his fellow Republican, House Speaker John Boehner, by taking a harder line than Boehner in budget negotiations with the Democrats. "I respect the Speaker's leadership abilities as much today as I ever have," Cantor told reporters. Cantor also released results of a new study linking suntans and willingness to sell out your party's principles.
Fresh from defeating an amendment that would have acknowledged the scientific evidence for global warming, GOP members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee moved today to eliminate all foreign travel by members of Congress. "What's the point?" said one committee member. "They just keep falling off the edge of the earth!"
This just in: Libyan rebels have once again pulled back from recently captured positions in the face of a fierce artillery onslaught by forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi. "Today they are winning," said one rebel soldier. "If we had tanks, we would also be winning."
Still testing the waters for a White House run in 2012: Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann. Speaking today to a group of Tea Partiers in Lincoln, Neb., Bachmann praised her audience for freeing the slaves and winning the Civil War. She also said that their memorial was "my favorite place in Washington."
And this just in: Libyan rebels are now surging toward...
# # #
Rick Horowitz is a syndicated columnist. You can write to him at email@example.com.