* How Dems will use Ryancare in 2012: Was the big Dem upset victory in NY-26 a sign that Medicare will be a potent weapon in other House races next year? Lefty groups are already putting this to the test with this new ad targeting GOP Rep. Charlie Bass of New Hampshire:
“When Congressman Charlie Bass voted to end Medicare, that was an attack on New Hampshire families like mine,” a disabled former Bass supporter says in the ad, which is paid for by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy for America. The groups have been working for years to replace Bass with liberal heroine Ann Kuster.
The spot is an early taste of what’s to come as Dems seem intent on making the GOP plan to end Medicare as we know it absolutely central in dozens of races next year.
* Mitt Romney’s announcement speech to accuse Obama of destroying America’s economy: A key quote from the advance excerpts of Romney’s speech today announcing his presidential run:
Barack Obama has failed America...Government under President Obama has grown to consume almost 40% of our economy. We are only inches away from ceasing to be a free market economy. I will cap federal spending at 20% or less of the GDP and finally, finally balance the budget...I will insist that Washington learns to respect the Constitution, including the 10th amendment. We will return responsibility and authority to the states for dozens of government programs — and that begins with a complete repeal of Obamacare.
Romney signaled early on that Obama’s cultural identity and understanding and appreciation of America would be central to the 2012 campaign, and here he’s suggesting that Obama has transformed our economy into something no longer recognizably American. Also note that Romney will try to compensate for his philosophical embrace of the tyrannical individual mandate with a paean to the 10th Amendment.
* What will Romney say about his own health plan? As Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake note, Romney is expected to focus entirely on the economy in part to avoid talking about Romneycare, perhaps his greatest vulnerability in reaching out to conservative voters in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
* But the DNC will remind you about Romneycare: The DNC is out with a new Web video that features footage meant to accuse Romney flip-flopping on, well, just about everything, most notably health reform. Note the footage of Romney asserting his commitment to universal health care — another reminder that he was wholly committed philosophically to the individual mandate.
* Inside John Boehner’s strategy on the debt ceiling: After meeting with the President yesterday, Boehner warns that the deficit reduction talks are not moving quickly enough to avoid a major cliffhanger showdown in August.
Where have we seen this movie before? Just as he did in the government shutdown talks, Boehner will drag us right up to the brink of armageddon in order to make it easier to sell conservatives on the eventual compromise later, by arguing he did everything he could to extract maximum concessions from Dems.
* Obama to GOP: Compromise means you also have to give up something: In the meeting with House Republicans yesterday, Obama reminded them that they, too, have been known to demagogue on health reform, and insisted: “Compromise needs to be a two way street.”
* Why Paul Ryan is losing the Medicare argument: The meeting yesterday highlighted how far apart philosophically Republicans and Dems are on health reform, and as E.J. Dionne notes today, the nature of these fundamental differences are exactly why Ryan is losing the argument:
Here’s the basic difference before us: Conservatives want government to play less of a role in paying for health insurance. Progressives believe that government will inevitably play a growing role in the provision of health insurance because if it doesn’t, more Americans will lose their coverage. The progressive view is not a theory. It is what experience has taught in other wealthy democracies, and in our own country, too.
* Fun fact of the day: Binyamin Appelbaum sounds the alarm:
No American president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt has won a second term in office when the unemployment rate on Election Day topped 7.2 percent.
And the conversation — with Dem complicity — is all about the deficit. No matter how weak the GOP field may look, this is what Dems should be concerned about.
* Right’s campaign to falsify Obama’s Israel stance a bust: As Joe Klein points out, even members of Netanyahu’s staff are now conceding that Obama did not call for a return to pre-1967 borders.
* But Dems have enabled conservative falsehoods: A conservative group is up with a new ad that features footage of Democrats seeming to attack Obama on Israel. While the stance they’re attacking isn’t Obama’s at all, it’s another sign that Dem game playing on this issue has only helped the right continue to falsify Obama’s Israel stance. Nice work, Dems.
* Weinergate plot thickens: Anthony Weiner seems to concede that the underwear bulge photo could have been his and that it might have been improperly obtained or manipulated by the hacker who Tweeted it.
* And Republicans pounce on Weinergate: Eric Cantor calls on Weiner to “come clean,” a clear sign that Weiner’s effort at damage control — and his claim that he doesn’t know whether the bulge is his — has only created more of a mess. This story isn’t going away, apparently.
What else is happening?