* Yes, there have been false recovery starts before, but David Leonhardt details some reasons for a bit more optimism this time.
* Paul Krugman, however, offers up a reality check, explaining why excitement over the new jobs numbers only dramatizes how deep our hole remains.
* Steve Benen unveils a welcome new feature: The Friday afternoon tally of Mitt Romney’s most ostentatious falsehoods of the week.
* No end to it: The Romney campaign is now attacking Obama’s “labor stooges” by arguing that the NLRB actually undermines workers’ rights.
* Dems are circulating video of a local Massachusetts news segment on another worker laid off from a company fired from Bain on Mitt Romney’s watch.
This quote from the layoff victm may be key to the argument: “He’s never been the CEO of a company that produces something.”
* Obama ties the Richard Cordray appointment to the new jobs report to make a central case for 2012: Rebuilding the middle class out of the ashes of the crisis must remain a paramount goal of the recovery.
* Chris Bowers is optimistic that Dems may be on the verge of blocking the “right to work” union-busting push in Indiana, which would deliver an Ohio-like set back to the national conservative drive to break unions at the state level.
* Santorum-mentum!!!Rick Santorum has a reasonable shot at winning second place in New Hampshire, and the question then becomes what kind of momentum that will give him heading into South Carolina.
* Santorum has some ground to make up, though: The just-released WMUR poll in New Hampshire finds he’s trailing Ron Paul for second place, 20-8, though a third are still undecided. (Romney is at 44 percent.)
* Jennifer Rubin makes the clear-eyed conservative case for Santorum’s South Carolina chances, noting that he’s likely to benefit as Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich sink and that Santorum just has to make it close.
* Still, Steve Kornacki has a reality check for conservatives: If divisions over who the not-Romney should be continue any longer, Romney may soon be unstoppable.
* The Obama Justice Department filed its defense of “Obamacare” today, and Ian Millhiser thinks it hits on the one sentence that will carry the day in court.
* And your sorely needed Friday comic relief: New Hampshire GOPers preparing to vote next week can rest assured that both Mitt Romney’s and Rick Santorum’s tax plans each give the state’s richest one percent a tax cut 90 times larger than the one middle income taxpayers would receive.
What else is happening?