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ThePlumLIneGS whorunsgov plumline
Posted at 06:11 PM ET, 11/14/2011

Happy Hour Roundup

* Must watch video of the day: Herman Cain’s stumbling, bumbling interview on whether he supports Obama’s handling of Libya. Just wow.

* Cain’s spokesperson explains: “He was on about four hours of sleep after flying from Atlanta to Wisconsin. He just took a moment to get his bearings.”

Not sure that’ll do it — if Republicans are looking for ways to shove Cain out of the race, this video will be a pretty potent data point...

* Very telling: Senator Scott Brown, who’s facing a populist challenge from Elizabeth Warren, suddenly comes out in favor of Richard Cordray, Obama’s nominee to the consumer protection bureau Warren created.

* Chuck Todd, on the new Elizabeth Warren ad keeping the focus aggressively on Wall Street: “Pretty clear that Elizabeth Warren is no Martha Coakley.”

* Obama reelect reality check of the day: Ron Brownstein parses the numbers and finds that Mitt Romney runs strong against Obama among upscale white swing state voters — which could be real trouble, because they’re crucial to the Obama coalition.

* David Bernstein unearths a priceless Romney/Bain anecdote that perfectly captures Romney’s relentless use of his wealth and influence to avoid personal risk at all costs.

* Great Steve Benen point: Romney is benefitting in a big way from the presumption of competence and knowledge on his part.

I’d only add that this dynamic is probably reinforced by the glaring and often buffoonish incompetence of his rivals.

* Chart of the day, proving the stimulus still matters: What will happen to the economy if the payroll tax cuts and unemployment benefits aren’t extended.

Question: Does this make it more likely that Congressional Republicans will agree to extend those things, or less?

* Missed this over the weekend, but it looks like Romney subsequently sided with the torture wing of the GOP after the other 2012 candidates split on whether waterboarding should be reinstated.

* Andrew Cohen says continued GOP zealousness on torture should be blamed on Obama’s failure to prosecute.

* But Jonathan Bernstein points out that presidents don’t yet have the power to exert mind control over the opposition.

* Still, as Andrew Sullivan notes, the bottom line is that elites who ordered torture simply were never held accountable.

* Paul Krugman, on a new CNN poll finding a majority now supports the individual mandate:

Since that’s the core of health reform, this basically means that proponents are slowly winning the argument. If we make it to actual full implementation, this reform will be irreversible.

* Obama, on why the supercommittee should bite the bullet and reach a deal already: “The math won’t change.” Of course, neither will the GOP unwillingness to make meaningful concessions on tax hikes...

* And only a half a dozen of us seem to care that Rove’s Crossroads is already blanketing the airwaves with millions in false and misleading ads. I’m glad Keith Olbermann and Ari Berman are among them.

What else is going on?

By  |  06:11 PM ET, 11/14/2011

 
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