The Washington Post

Happy Hour Roundup

* Jonathan Cohn on what’s really at stake in the battle over Obamacare and the Ryan budget: The right may have finally slain the postwar bipartisan consensus over the role of government and the welfare state.

* Scoop from Tom Hamburger: Romney is using an obscure federal ethics loophole to avoid disclosing the full extent of his Bain holdings, and experts say his disclosure is the most opaque they’ve ever seen.

* The Obama campaign seizes on the story to renew pressure on Romney to release his tax returns:

“Mitt Romney has put his personal financial assets in a black box and hid the key, attempting to play by a different set of rules than any candidate in recent history...President Obama released his returns dating back to 2000 when he ran for president....He must meet that same standard now so that the American people may judge whether he would be a suitable President, and whether there are any conflicts of interest that could cloud his judgment.”

A reminder that those tax returns will again become an issue in a big way.

* Real Clear Politics’ Scott Conroy has an interesting look at New Hampshire as a microcosm of the Obama campaign’s big grass roots organizing head start over Romney, a massively undereported story.

* Uh oh: New Romney adviser Ed Gillespie was a lobbyist on behalf of the federal individual mandate — yes, federal — before Obama embraced the idea. Does that mean he thinks it’s constitutional?

* Ed Kilgore gets it right on Romney’s tight embrace of Paul Ryan:

Romney’s eagerness to be Ryan’s buddy makes the Obama campaign’s task easier. If the public relations battle over Ryan’s budget goes hard south for the GOP, which is at least an even bet, Mitt is making it a lot harder to walk away from it all as just another overreach by those crazy House Republicans.

One would have thought Romney would ultimately have to try for separation from the unpopular GOP Congress. Yet Republicans still seem convinced that Ryan is a winner for them.

* Funny response from Kevin Drum to a defender of the Ryan budget: If hacking away 80 percent of the government doesn’t count as radical, what does?

* Ron Brownstein, digging deep into gender gap polling, finds Obama beating Romney handily among college educated white women in four swing states, and explains why this is bad news for Romney.

* Eric Holder defends Obama’s “attack” on the court, telling the 5th circuit judge that he wasn’t questioning its power: “the executive branch has often urged courts to respect the legislative judgments of Congress.”

* The flap over Obama’s claim that overturning Obamacare would be unprecedented actually gets at the heart of the legal dispute that may determine the law’s fate.

* Obama and Eric Cantor get all chummy as the JOBS Act is signed into law, and Cantor rightly confirms that Obama believes in the private sector, which might come as news to Romney.

* And Karen Tumulty asks: Why didn’t Nancy Pelosi, the first female Speaker and arguably the most powerful and effective in House history, merit a single cover story on Time or Newsweek?

What else?

Greg Sargent writes The Plum Line blog, a reported opinion blog with a liberal slant -- what you might call “opinionated reporting” from the left.

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