The Washington Post

Happy Hour Roundup

* Via Jed Lewison, Jim DeMint claims Mitt Romney personally pledged to him that he’d implement what sounds a good deal like the Tea Party agenda immediately upon taking office:

“We need to do it in the first 100 days,” DeMint says. “[Mitt] Romney has told me, face to face, that he knows that he needs to get these things done right away. He is looking at this as a one-term proposition.”

As Jed says, DeMint may be lying. But this is an indication of the pressure Romney may come under if elected to be a Tea Party rubber-stamp, or, as Grover Norquist put it, a set of fingers and a pen.

* Nice Steve Benen post on a House Republican leader who has decided Americans don’t want their lawmakers to think big and want them to give up on national ambition.

* A new Pew poll finds Americans view Romney unfavorably by a surprising 52-37, and the survey was taken before his overseas trip. Caveat: Plenty of complaints on Twitter about the sampling.

* Jamelle Bouie on what a political disaster Romney’s tax plan (cuts for the rich, likely be paid for by a middle class increase) has become — and how you’ve only seen the beginnings of Obama’s attack on it.

* Paul Krugman, on the real meaning of that Tax Policy Center report on Romney’s tax plan:

What we’ve just learned is that they were faking it all along. There is no plan to offset the tax cuts; Romney is just intending to blow up the deficit to lavish favors on the wealthy, then use it as an excuse to savage Social Security and Medicare...there is no valid Romney counterargument except to say that he doesn’t really mean all that stuff about actually making up for lost revenue.

And the truth is that many Romney supporters, even those who claim to be concerned about the deficit, probably won’t even care.

* David Firestone demolishes the Romney camp’s efforts to dismiss the study, and rightly notes that their pushback only reveals how devastating it really was.

By the way: How many of Romney’s supporters have even engaged with the fact that the study bent over backwards to be as generous to Romney’s plan as possible?

* Jonathan Chait argues persuasively that Obama has had a good July. Only three more months to go.

* Michael Cohen ponders which is more pronounced in Romney’s foreign policies — lack of specificity, or sheer belligerence — which is summed up thusly : “The angry lightweight.”

* Harry Reid triples down on the Senate floor today about what his anonymous sources told him about Romney’s tax returns: “The word is out he hasn’t paid taxes for 10 years.”

I don’t see how this is helpful or defensible.

* Mitt Romney responds:

“Harry’s going to have to describe who it is he spoke with because that’s totally and completely wrong. It’s untrue, dishonest and inaccurate. It’s wrong. So I’m looking forward to have Harry reveal his sources and we’ll probably find out it’s the White House.”

* An interesting Ed Kilgore look at how the right’s hatred of government has now spilled over into the demonization of regional and municipal planning, of all things.

* And Mike Tomasky is funny on Romney’s one-page middle class economic plan, which has articulated really controversial goals such as this: “attract the best and brightest from around he world.”

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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