Opening Act: Colementum

Rep. Tom Cole becomes the first Republican with clout to say he’s open to a short-term tax cut punt, probably because he realizes it only saps Barack Obama’s leverage.

Joshua Green finds out how much Obama raised from the irritating emails with subject-lines like “Hey.”

Maureen Dowd had a preview of the Susan Collins-Susan Rice meeting, which predicted the Heathers-ish outcome.

Collins is curious why Rice is not angrier, if, as she insists, she was repeating what she was told. “I’d be furious at the White House and F.B.I. and intelligence community for destroying my credibility,” the senator said.

Charlie Pierce reads the tea leaves in Massachusetts and wonders whether Democrats – who control every lever of government in the State – might just revert to the old gubernatorial appointment system if John Kerry moves to state. That would spare voters a special election, and deny Scott Brown a path back to government for two years.

The Democrats have changed the rules twice in the last eight years for purely political purposes and, at least in theory, there’s nothing to stop them from doing so again in such a way that Governor Deval Patrick can appoint Kerry’s successor. (Patrick’s not running again anyway and therefore can stand the gaff.)

And because we need a break, behold: The surprisingly decent, Dmeke Mtumbo-voiced video game produced by Old Spice.