Myth-Busting Monday

NIghtBeat_icon_resized_for_embed.gifFrom the Night Beat:

Within hours, a new capping stack should be snug on top of the Deepwater Horizon well. And if you look at the live stream, it appears as if there is no oil leaking into the Gulf.


MYTHS DEBUNKED AND BUNKED: No, gays will not be segregated if they are accepted (openly) into the military. "Absurd," spokesman Geoff Morrell tells CBS News. At most, perhaps a shower curtain could be added to open showers in response to a survey question about shower situations. ... No, the decision not to pursue the Black Panther case from election day was not made by political appointees. The political appointees who would have made the decision had not been confirmed yet, reports Adam Serwer. ...  And no, priority three of Charles Bolden, the administrator of NASA, is not outreach to the Muslim world. Or so says the White House, which insists that Bolden misspoke. Actually, the White House is probably wrong on this one and Bolden probably knows what the President told him. ... Liberal media alert: Mort Zuckerman (who is no liberal) says he "helped write one of [Obama's] speeches" but won't say which one. Obama's aides don't remember consulting with Zuckerman.

COOPERATION: Wonder why Russia is agreeing with U.S. intelligence assessments that Iran is closer to a nuclear weapon? The CIA and the SVR, Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service, have been working together on a joint assessment, sharing analysis to a degree that would have been unimaginable during the Cold War. (This is one reason why CIA Director Leon Panetta has a good relationship with his SVR counterpart and consults with him often.) A revised, classified National Intelligence Estimate of Iran's capabilities is due any day now.

SNOWE VOTE: Sen. Olympia Snowe will vote "yes" on the financial regulatory reform bill, leaving Senate Democrats one vote shy of the 60 needed to break a threatened filibuster. Sen. Ben Nelson remains on the fence. Congressional Democrats are confident the bill will pass. ... For close followers of the legislation -- those on the left, broadly -- it's important that Elizabeth Warren, the law professor whose consumer crusading has kept the bill on track and who strongly advocated for the creation of a separate agency to regulate consumer financial products, becomes the head of that agency if she wants the job. Suffice it to say, it is not clear whether Warren does want the job -- it is one that will require management skills, not so much a public face -- but it will be hers for the taking.

LEADERS MEET: President Obama meets tomorrow with Senate Democratic leaders ... and various other Senate Democrats, which means that, as much as they might all want to agree on a schedule of events leading up to the August recess, with that big of a group, not much will get done. ... The Senate confirmed President Obama's 23rd judicial nomination today; President Bush at this point had 72 of his judges confirmed.

SLUGGISH PACE: Last May, the White House outlined the Department of Homeland Security's role in protecting critical infrastructure. Late last week, the White House issued the following guidance:

Effective immediately, DHS will exercise primary responsibility within the executive branch for the operational aspects of Federal agency cybersecurity with respect to the Federal information systems that fall within FISMA under 44 U.S.C. §3543.

Which is sort of what one assumes that DHS is supposed to have been doing all along. ... Wednesday's cyber security meeting at the White House will touch on the economic consequences of cyber crime (and the benefits of cooperation on it) and will serve as a check-in of sorts, or an attempt by the White House to convey to industry, particularly the IT side of industry, that it will take cyber breaches seriously. It's not a public event, and the White House won't say much about it.

SUPER WOMAN: First Lady Michelle Obama is fast becoming the avatar of health promotion; she has three preventative-health-related events in the space of two days. Tomorrow, she launches the new website with a live chat on AOL at 10:00 am EST. On Wednesday, she hosts another South Lawn Series event featuring United States Tennis Assocation stars and Billie Jean King (it's tennis themed). And later that day, she joins Jill Biden and Kathleen Sebelius and docs at GWU for a preventative health care initiative announcement.

BUSINESS BEAT: From the Atlantic Business Channel's Daniel Indiviglio:

In the morning we get trade deficit numbers for May. In April we saw a $1 billion decline in U.S. exports -- the biggest drop in more than a year -- and an increase in the trade deficit. If that trend continues, it will deaden the possibility of an export-driven recovery. A few notable corporate earnings releases will include Yum! Brands Inc. and Intel Corp.

BONUS: Dave Weigel and David Frum are guest-blogging for Andrew Sullivan this week.