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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 06:50 PM ET, 08/06/2012

Happy Hour Roundup

* Good David Firestone rant about the larger context behind Mitt Romney’s lie about Ohio early voting and the real reason behind it: Those who vote early are more likely to vote for Obama.

* Politifact adds its voice to those condemning Romney’s Ohio lie.

* Joan Walsh puts Romney’s Ohio falsehood in the key context: Happy 47th birthday, Voting Rights Act!

* Romney suggests Obama is trying to block members of the military from exercising their “fundamental right to vote,” prompting this from Jonathan Chait:

If Romney is conceding that voting is a fundamental right rather than a privilege — not all Republicans concede this anymore — and, more importantly, that practical impediments can interfere with that right, then what justification do they have for their wide-ranging campaign to deny the same convenience to other Americans?

* The second mass shooting in less than a month, with a gun that was purchased legally, is still not enough to get Obama to call for a meaningful policy response to a problem that continues to kill Americans.

* Glenn Kessler skewers the Romney camp’s new ad knocking Obama for not visiting Israel., an attack designed to sow doubts about his values and whom he secretly sides with; the target isn't just Jewish voters.

* Ed Kilgore on why the Romney camp keeps promising a 1980-like late break against Obama: It quiets the right’s tendency to greet bad polls with calls for all-out ideological nuclear war.

* Harry Reid keeps up the assault on Romney: “The whole controversy would end very quickly if he would just release his income tax returns just like everybody else that runs for president.”

* A GOP strategist explains why Reid keeps doing what he’s doing:

“I just believe that this hurts Romney more. If he doesn’t produce his tax returns, this will probably continue. If he finally relents, then Reid just says ‘thank you.’”

* Joe Conason: “The missing evidence is in Romney’s grasp, yet he insists that he will never produce it. Does anyone need instruction from a judge to make the correct inference?”

* Smart point from David Dayen: The battle over Reid’s charges has become a kind of proxy fight for the actual tax policy dispute in the presidential campaign, which is very real.

* And via Taegan Goddard, a remarkable statistic: “the White House race will come down to nine states that have absorbed an eye-popping $350 million in commercials so far.”

One wonders if the massive amounts slated to pour into these states — and the diminishing returns they’ll likely result in — will end up partly negating Romney’s cash advantage.

What else?

By  |  06:50 PM ET, 08/06/2012

 
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