* Good Ed Kilgore post on the racial underpinnings of Mitt Romney’s welfare/Medicare strategy, and the goal of the Rovian tactic of pairing it with the claim that Obama is the one making racial appeals.
* Michael Cohen cuts through the BS false equvivalence: The candidate in this race making racial appeals is Mitt Romney. Why is welfare suddenly central to the battle to oust the first black president?
* Relatedly, Romney campaign advisers privately confide that their public expressions of outrage over Obama’s attacks are all about closing the likeability gap Romney suffers from.
* Politifact, on the central claim driving Romney’s entire Medicare attack, i.e. that Obama robbed Medicare of $719 billion: “Mostly false.”
* Must-read from Jonathan Cohn cutting through the BS: By repealing Obamacare, Romney/Ryan are the ones who would take benefits away from current retirees. Obama’s Medicare savings don’t do this.
ICYMI: Chris Van Hollen says Dems will increasingly make this case in the days ahead.
* Jonathan Bernstein on Paul Ryan’s sudden opposition to Medicare savings that are in his own budget: He is again confirming that for Republicans, actual deficits don’t really matter a whit.
* Another must read from Alec MacGillis, who marvels at the fact that reporters are standing idly by while Romney lies in the faces of crowds of voters, which may enable him to get away with it.
* Steve Benen comments:
This is infinitely more serious and consequential than whether one candidate hurt another candidate’s feelings in a spate of rhetorical excesses. Millions of people will elect a president in 12 weeks based on faulty understandings of basic truths because they ended up falling for a con — a con made possible because media professionals let it happen.
* Ominous question from James Oliphant: Has a Pennsylvania court, by upholding the voter ID law, put the state in play in November?
* Andrew Rosenthal translates Romney’s latest: He’s not proposing to do away with literally every regulation in existence, so therefore, he’s not actually proposing to deregulate Wall Street.
* Andy Kroll has a nice overview of the challenges Dem Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin faces: “can a gay Madison liberal win over Wisconsinites in the polarized, cash-drenched Scott Walker era?”
* Ari Berman keeps asking: What if only one candidate has a jobs plan that would actually create jobs? Why aren’t more people asking this question? Isn’t the economy the central topic of this presidential race?
* And Ben Adler argues that Paul Ryan’s affection for Ayn Rand stops short of her positions on civil liberties:“Ryan does not share any of Rand’s commitments to freedom, other than the freedom to be selfish.”