Voting for Mitt Romney is a transaction, but Newt Gingrich thinks he’s Reagan in 1976 [AM Briefing]

Voting for Mitt Romney would mean he owes voters--it’s a transaction, says AEI’s Jonah Goldberg. “Romney is not a man of vision. He is a man of duty and purpose. He was told to “fix” health care in ways Massachusetts would like. He was told to fix the 2002 Olympics. He was told to create Bain Capital. He did it all. The man does his assignments.” (National Review)

“With sky-high unemployment rates for teens (23 percent) and unskilled workers (14 percent), why does Gov. Mitt Romney support raising the minimum wage with the inflation rate? New jobs numbers come out Friday, and we can be sure that these two groups will still remain behind,” writes Manhattan Institute’s Diana Furchtgott-Roth. (Washington Examiner)

Does Newt Gingrich think he’s Ronald Reagan and that it’s 1976? (Politico)

Envisioning a deal with Iran. (New York Times)

Brookings’ Robert Kagan on American power: “These days “soft” power and “smart” power are in vogue (who wants to make the case for “dumb” power?) while American “hard” power is on the chopping block. This is, in part, a symbolic sacrifice to the fiscal crisis — even though the looming defense cuts are a drop in the bucket compared with the ballooning entitlement spending that is not being cut. And partly this is the Obama administration’s election-year strategy of playing to a presumably war-weary nation.” (Washington Post)

Room for Debate asks: If black churches are renewing their tradition of activism in this post-civil rights era, what are the most pressing issues for them to address? (New York Times)

France: Google’s free map service unfair to commercial map sellers. (Cato)

Is Eric Cantor trying to kill the proposed ban on congressional insider trading? (ThinkProgress)

Manhattan Institute’s Nicole Gelinas on Bloomberg’s budget: “Tellingly, in this year’s budget documents, the mayor’s stopped calling all of these costs “uncontrollable” and started calling them “not fully controlled by the city.” That’s closer to the truth — and it’s time to start controlling them.” (New York Post)

“One has to be struck by the basic disconnect between Greece’s rapidly deteriorating economic and social situation and the policy course charted at this week’s European Summit for the rest of the European periphery. For while Greece’s economy is literally collapsing under the weight of severe budget austerity within its Euro straightjacket that precludes currency devaluation, European policymakers are insisting on a multi-year program of severe budget austerity for Italy, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain,” writes AEI’s Desmond Lachman. (AEI)

Allen McDuffee writes about politics and policy and covered think tanks for The Washington Post from 2011 to 2013. He blogs and hosts a podcast at governmentality.net and is currently working on a book about the influence of think tanks in Washington.

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