* Good stuff from Jamison Foser: If you really want to determine whether Romney is concerned about the “very poor,” just look at his policies.
* Dylan Byers, on Romney’s hypocritical plea for context for his “very poor” gaffe: “You’re either for context or you’re against it.”
Or, if you’re Romney, you’re both, depending on who’s doing the decontextualizing.
* Euphemism of the day: John Boehner says No Go to Obama’s new mortgage assistance plan, saying government needs to stop trying to help homeowners and get out of the way until the “market clears.”
It’s going to be interesting to see how vulnerable Congressional Republicans (see Brown, Scott) react to this plan, if and when the White House really starts selling it.
* Relatedly, Steve Benen makes a point that is going under appreciated:
When making a list of what issues are likely to be important in the general election, it’s probably best to put housing policy near the top of the list.
And as Steve notes, Obama’s proposal today was the first real stab at drawing an implicit general election contrast with Romney on the issue. It’s a contrast that goes right to the heart of deeper ideological differences over government and the free market.
* And speaking of the case for government, Joan McCarter points out that the new consumer protection bureau is up and running and handling complaints, and generally demonstrating why “government is good.”
* Massive protests erupt in Indiana as it becomes the first “right to work” state in the industrial midwest, a blow to labor’s efforts to slow the conservative movement’s drive to roll back union rights nationally.
* Senate Dems plan hearings into Super PACs, which will dovetail well with the Dem message about GOP candidates being beholden to corporations and the wealthy.
Footnote: With Republicans crying “hypocrisy,” Chuck Schumer says Dems are wrong to rely on Super PACs, too: “No matter who does it, the system needs to be fundamentally changed.”
* E.J. Dionne, on a key exit poll number among Florida GOPers that could signal low GOP enthusiasm in the general: “After watching months of campaigning, nearly 40 percent still said they would like someone else to run for the nomination — a high number, since it reflected the views of Republicans who took the trouble to vote. “
* Ari Berman breaks down Romney’s fundraising, and the degree to which wealthy donors are fueling his campaign is striking, though perhaps not surprising.
And no — as Berman shows, the proportion of big-to-small Romney donors aren’t at all equivalent to Obama’s mix.
* Steve Kornacki on how the “profound cultural and demographic divide” in the GOP could still save Newt Gingrich, at least until March.
* Newt reality check from Gallup: His national lead has evaporated. Again.
* Katrina Vanden Heuvel: Yes, reserve judgment on whether Obama will give Eric Schneiderman the resources for a thorough mortgage probe, but here’s why it’s good to have him on the inside in any case.