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Should the United States fund the service program AmeriCorps? President Obama would increase its budget. Rep. Paul Ryan would eliminate federal funding for the program.

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ThePlumLIneGS whorunsgov plumline
Posted at 06:13 PM ET, 11/22/2011

Happy Hour Roundup

* Tonight’s GOP foreign policy debate starts at 8 p.m. eastern time. Jonathan Bernstein will be live-tweeting it right here, and he’ll have reaction later on this blog.

* Newt-mentum!!! Polling guru Mark Blumenthal dives into the numbers and concludes that the Newt Gingrich boomlet is being driven by a faith among GOP voters in his experience and intellectual heft.

* Josh Rogin on the Obama camp’s opening of a new front on Romney: Painting him as a foreign policy flip flopper who has made conflicting statements on Afghanistan and has held five positions on Libya.

* The CBO has released a new report on the efficacy of Obama’s much derided stimulus. Politico’s summary cuts to the point:

The economy would have been in much worse shape without the 2009 stimulus — which increased employment in the third quarter of this year by as many as 3.3 million full-time jobs, according to a report by the Congressional Budget Office.

* Steve Benen demolishes Ron Fournier’s false equivalences about the supercommittee. Also note Steve’s framing of the argument that the supercommittee failed for reasons that — get this — can be objectively verified.

* Pew confirms that Occupy Wall Street just had its biggest week of media coverage yet, though it’s unclear whether that fully cuts in the movement’s favor, since police crackdowns drove the coverage.

* Obama offers a quasi-endorsement to Occupy Wall Street, and speaks to the angst underlying the movement:

“For a lot of the folks who have been in New York and all across the country in the Occupy movement, there is a profound sense of frustration about the fact that the essence of the American dream, which is if you work hard, if you stick to it that, you can make it, feels like that’s slipping away. And that’s not the way things are supposed to be.”

Apparently Obama didn’t get Doug Schoen’s memo arguing that doing this is tantamount to immediate political self-immolation.

* Labor ramps up for the next big fight: The battle to strip the GOP’s union-busting provision from the FAA reauthorization, which is set to heat up before you know it.

* HuffPo reports that Mitt Romney reluctantly supported a big 2003 tax hike on businesses to fund unemployment insurance, which would be a big deal if Romney’s GOP rivals were even remotely competent.

* Romney’s family history is more complex than it looks on the surface, and includes three sons who practiced in vitro fertilization, which is frowned on by some anti-abortion advocates.

* The Romney camp’s defense of the false ad sinks deeper into absurdity:

“This is something that was done intentionally because ... three years ago, Barack Obama as a candidate mocked his opponent for saying if we keep on talking about the economy we’re going to lose. President Obama is doing exactly what Candidate Obama had criticized.”

But again, viewers of this ad could not know Obama mocked McCain in this fashion without the surrounding context that the Romney ad removed.

* Good for CNN for aggressively calling out the Romney camp’s bogus justification, claiming it makes “little sense unless you ignore the truth or don’t care about it.”

* And Ron Brownstein on how the shifting population and political landscape are reshuffling Obama’s strategic imperatives among three key demographics: Blue collar whites, college educated whites and minorities.

What else is happening?

By  |  06:13 PM ET, 11/22/2011

 
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