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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 06:20 PM ET, 03/16/2012

Happy Hour Roundup

* Michael O’Brien does a nice job debunking the comparisons between this year’s GOP bloodbath, which is damaging Mitt Romney and leaving GOPers unenthusiastic, and the Hillary-Obama 2008 race.

* Ron Brownstein finds more good news for Obama in the new National Journal poll: His strongest demographic groups are expressing the most optimism about the economy.

Key footnote: Rising optimism among minorities and white college educated voters could be key in offsetting expected difficulties winning back blue collar whites.

* Noam Scheiber offers a fair assessment of the Obama campaign documentary’s virtues and flaws, and the ways it fell short as a piece of persuasion about Obama’s response to the crisis he inherited.

* Obama is set to embark on a four state energy tour, another sign the White House reckognizes the political peril of gas prices and the imperative of broadening the conversation to our energy future.

* No end to the shenanigans: Romney loves to say that Rick Santorum is unelectable because of his big 2006 Senate loss, but Romney lost his 1994 race by a slightly larger margin, if that’s possible.

* Jamelle Bouie ferrets out the racial significance, intended or not, in Romney’s Obama-never-had-a-job crack.

* Surprise, surprise. It turns out that the Obama administration’s decision to drop the words “war on terror” did end up damaging Al Qaeda, after all.

* Good point from Francis Wilkinson: The Supreme Court is set to hear four cases with serious ramifications for the election that could boost turnout, particularly among Latinos, like nothing else.

* A Wisconsin state senator facing a recall fight will resign, effectively ending (for now) the GOP majority. Wait, didn’t the right say the GOP’s hold on the majority meant labor had suffered a permanent defeat?

* Perhaps those Missouri GOP Senate candidates are all deeply clueless about the minium wage because none of them suffers incomes that are anywhere near it.

* The next big entitlement fight for the left: AARP appears to again be flirting with “grand bargains” on Social Security.

* Good old Arizona:

Just when you thought the contraception issue wasn’t heated enough: the GOP-led Arizona state legislature is moving forward with a bill that would allow all organizations to refuse birth control coverage in their employee health care plans. Women who wanted to receive birth control from organizations who opt out would have to prove it was for a medical reason rather than preventing pregnancy.

* And there are no female guests on this week's Sunday shows, which makes sense, since women’s issues have completely receded from the headlines lately.

What else?

By  |  06:20 PM ET, 03/16/2012

 
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