* Newt Gingrich can’t stop spewing falsehoods, but he’s Very Serious:
My pick for read of the morning is Post fact checker Glenn Kessler’s funny and absolutely brutal debunking of, well, pretty much everything Newt said in launching his bid for president. The man lies non-stop, but hey, he’s Serious and has Big Ideas, so who cares?
Key takeaway: No, we don’t have to take Newt seriously, no matter how many times we’re told otherwise.
* Mitt Romney keeps digging: He sends a letter to the Wall Street Journal gamely contesting the claim in yesterday’s scathing and widely-cited Journal editorial that Romneycare is akin to Obamacare. But as always, he’s again defending his use of the individual mandate on the state level.
Again: There is a core disagreement between Romney and conservatives that simply can’t be papered over. He thinks the mandate on the state level — but not on the federal level — is an exciting policy idea. Conservatives think the mandate, on the state or federal level, is tyranny. No amount of bluster or misdirection from Romney about Obamacare will change this. Period.
* Dems losing message war over debt ceiling: In case you’re wondering why Republicans feel comfortable with their strategy of brinkmanship with the debt ceiling, Gallup finds that Americans oppose raising it by a large margin, 47-19, suggesting Dems have not communicated the stakes of not raising it to the public.
* Mukasey responds to McCain: Former Bush attorney general Michael Mukasey has now responded to John McCain’s demand that he stop lying about Bin Laden and torture by simply restating his position that Bin Laden’s death does indeed vindicate torture. More on this later.
* Now is the perfect time to relitigate torture: Joan McCarter on the importance of John McCain’s extraordinary speech on the Senate floor yesterday, and on why Bin Laden’s killing makes this the perfect time to rejoin this debate.
* Fox News keeps pushing falsehood that torture got Bin Laden: A key point from Andrew Sullivan: The pro-torture brigade has a major ally in Fox News, which is operating from the premise that torture led us to Bin Laden, as if it’s not even a point of dispute.
* National money pours into special House election: The national GOP and its outside allies have now dumped nearly $1 million into the special House election in New York’s 26th district, a sign that both sides view this contest as key in setting the national narrative about the strength or weakness of House GOP incumbents in 2012.
* GOPers: Please stop scaring seniors by telling the truth about our Medicare plan: Paul Krugman on how freshman House GOPers who won by posing as defenders of Medicare against Dems are now desperate for Dems to stop claiming that the GOP plan would end Medicare as we know it, even though it would.
Also key from Krugman: “When people like Mr. Boehner reject out of hand any increase in taxes, they are, in effect, declaring that they won’t preserve programs benefiting older Americans in anything like their current form. It’s just simple arithmetic.”
* It’s the Bush tax cuts, stupid: James Fallows boils down the “permanent and worsening” budgetary impact of the Bush tax cuts in strikingly simple terms.
* Could Bin Laden’s death allow Americans to think clearly about war on terror? Eugene Robinson makes the case that Bin Laden’s death, by representing the end of the Age of Terror, could liberate us to think more clearly about the right balance between liberty and security.
* But it isn’t happening yet: Bin Laden’s killing isn’t improving the ugly side of the war on terror yet: The drive to close Guantanamo got another setback yesterday, and it’s now clear it will stay open for the foreseeable future.
* Dick Lugar withdraws support for DREAM act because Obama is a politician: Good stuff from Adam Serwer on Senator Lugar’s decision to stop supporting the DREAM act because Obama is allegedly politicizing immigration.
* And Ron Paul launches third bid for President: He makes it official, and given his following and ability to raise money, he’ll be a factor of sorts, injecting the libertarian/conservative opposition to the Afghanistan war into the GOP primary debate.
What else is happening?