* A very tough reported piece from John Broder on the politics of Obama’s recent decision to reject a proposal tightening national standards regulating smog.
* Matt Miller has a nice column explaining to the Supremes why they have a moral imperative to rule the individual mandate constitutional. Key nugget:
If the GOP succeeds in invalidating the one way to use private health plans to achieve universal coverage, frustrated Americans will eventually say, “Just give us single-payer and be done with it.” I can’t say whether that tipping point comes at 60 million uninsured or 70 million. But it will happen.
* Fact-check of the day: MSNBC’s Mark Murray skewers the absurd and widespread claim, most recently in a Rick Perry ad, that Obama called Americans “lazy.”
* Newtmentum is real!!! A new Fox poll has him statistically tied with Mitt Romney at the head of the GOP pack after doubling his support since late Octoberm
* Chris Cillizza reads the polls and rightly concludes: Americans don’t care about the supercommittee. I’d only add that they don’t care about the deficit, either.
* Is it over? Paul Kane reports that supercommittee Republicans have no intention of budging from their offer of around $650 billion in new revenues in exchange for entitlements cuts and making the Bush tax cuts permanent.
* Jed Lewison offers some pretty convincing explanations as to why Mitt Romney’s role as the intellectual godfather of Obamacare hasn’t yet become a bigger issue in the GOP primary, and suggests that the worst may be yet to come.
* The SEIU becomes the latest union to pledge to stand by Occupy Wall Street and to help it continue organizing, and sees no difficulty in reconciling that with the union’s support for Obama’s reelection.
* What really causes “regulatory uncertainty”? Budget cuts.
* Fascinating history lesson of the day, from David Atkins, commenting on today’s chatter about Occupy Wall Street’s dip in the polls:
Advocacy for social justice has never really been publicly popular at the time. It’s hard to believe today, but at the time, the public overwhelmingly blamed the students for the Kent State Massacre.
* And your sorely needed Wednesday comic relief. Jason Linkins, writing about Tom Friedman’s bizarre claim today that he doesn’t know what Obama wants for deficit reduction, offers the columnist some sound advice:
Here is the telephone number for the Office of Management and Budget’s “media inquiries” department: 202-395-7254. Thomas, you should “unlock” your iPhone, press the “phone” icon, then press “keypad,” then type in those numbers in order, and finally press “call.”
Not a bad technique for a journalist to employ! What else is happening?