As usual when I fill in for Greg on Happy Hour Roundup, I’ll include some items you may have missed from the past few days as well as today. Enjoy!

1. I really liked Steve Benen’s take on Paul Ryan and Medicare today; I agree that Ryan seems to get points for policy seriousness that he just hasn’t earned. Jonathan Chait explains. Matt Yglesias points out something just as important: the general selective amnesia from some deficit-cutters about the significant Medicare reforms in the Affordable Care Act. And Joan McCarter has more on the polling.

2. Also, Kevin Drum says something that’s worth saying: Paul Ryan doesn’t actually have a Medicare “plan,” for all of the huffing and puffing about it. It’s a sound bite, not a plan.

3. Conor Friedersdorf asks 11 questions about government and presidential power of the presidential candidates.

4. Neil Sinhababu looks at the latest from the Democratic Senate race in Hawaii.

5. A great post on Europe 1989/Middle East 2011 from the Monkey Cage.

6. “[W]hile the White House doesn’t set Fed policy, it does get to appoint Fed governors. Why are there all those vacant seats? Why weren’t there recess appointments?” That’s Paul Krugman. Brad DeLong adds some specific suggestions. Wish I knew the answer to Krugman’s questions — hey, reporters! Shouldn’t you spend a little less time on you-know-what and a little more on this one?

7. Actually, you-know-what could apply to so many things. But not judicial nominations; those are actually important. New statistics from the Alliance for Justice on the 111 th Congress and the early results from the 112 th Congress.

8. And an update on crowdsourcing ratings of which nations are the most democratic from Xavier Marquez (and you can still vote!).

Any good stuff I’m missing?