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Obama agenda: What will happen in July 2011?

Per the New York Times, “When he ordered 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan last December, President Obama stressed that they would not stay forever. ‘After 18 months,’ he said, ‘our troops will begin to come home.’ Last weekend, though, he scorned the ‘obsession around this whole issue of when do we leave,’ saying he was focused on making sure the troops were successful. The July 2011 deadline he set was intended to ‘begin a process of transition,’ he said, but ‘that doesn’t mean we suddenly turn off the lights and let the door close behind us.’”

"Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) will not attend a pivotal Tuesday meeting at the White House on energy and climate legislation between President Barack Obama and a bipartisan group of senators," The Hill writes. "Graham cited conflicting hearings with Gen. David Petraeus, who is the newly designated head of the military campaign in Afghanistan, and Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan."

Stu Rothenberg's column in Roll Call today: "President Obama, welcome to Bush's world": "If bad news continues in our nation’s newspapers and on the evening news, whether about jobs and the economy, foreign policy or the environment, the public will quickly discount Democratic achievements on Capitol Hill as ineffectual and insufficient. That’s why Republicans were punished in 2006 and 2008, and it’s why Democrats are headed for the same fate. The president needs some good news. Unfortunately for him and his party, time is running out, and tomorrow’s news is largely beyond their control."

(But weren’t Republicans punished in 2006 and 2008 because they stayed the course with a war of their own choice that was widely unpopular -- much more unpopular than the current one in Afghanistan?)