President Obama’s cockeyed math:“A bill designed to enact President Barack Obama’s plan for a ‘Buffett rule’ tax on the wealthy would rake in just $31 billion over the next 11 years, according to an estimate by Congress’ official tax analysts obtained by The Associated Press. That figure would be a drop in the bucket of the over $7 trillion in federal budget deficits projected during that period. It is also minuscule compared to the many hundreds of billions it would cost to repeal the alternative minimum tax, which Obama’s budget last month said he would replace with the Buffett rule tax.”

Obama’s screwy Middle East policy has political ramifications. “Susan Crown, a philanthropist and member of the billionaire Crown family, has switched sides from supporting Obama in 2008 to backing Romney now, although some of her relatives remain Obama supporters. Crown said in an interview that she was prompted to support Romney after Obama spoke in favor of a return to 1967 borders with land swaps as part of a potential Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement.”

Mitt Romney rebuts the wacky idea that you should get a bunch of free stuff from the government. “If you’re looking for free stuff you don’t have to pay for, vote for the other guy. That’s what he’s all about, okay? That’s not, that’s not what I’m about.”

Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s goofy grading system: “At one point, committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) asked Chu whether he’d give his efforts to control gas prices an ‘A-,’ the same grade he gave to the department’s work on the loan program. ‘The tools we have at our disposal are limited, but I would say I would give myself a little higher in that since I became secretary of Energy, I’ve been doing everything I can to get long-term solutions,’ Chu said.” Cringe.

His memory seems to be on the fritz: “Rick Santorum, who yesterday questioned whether the country ‘wants to elect a Wall Street financier as the president of the United States,’ insisted to Laura Ingraham that that wasn’t actually his line of attack in a radio interview earlier. Asked by Ingraham what he meant by that line, Santorum said, ‘Well, I mean, it wasn’t my line of attack.’ Except that it was. Santorum also agreed with Ingraham when she said there’s nothing ‘inherently wrong’ with being a financier.”

This is a silly line of attack, and yet another distraction from whatever message it is that he is running on. “Rick Santorum weighed in on Malia Obama’s spring break trip to Mexico on Glenn Beck’s radio show today, criticizing the First Family for sending Malia to a country the government has warned U.S. citizens not to go to.” Santorum must believe we need to hear every thought in his head.

It was daft to pull all our troops out. “As Iraq prepares to showcase itself to the world next week with a highly anticipated gathering of Arab leaders, a string of suicide attacks and car bombings on Tuesday morning offered a bloody reminder that insurgent violence still wreaks havoc with the country’s tenuous stability.”

Oddly, the most important development yesterday in the 2012 race had nothing to do with Illinois. Yuval Levin argues that “the details of this year’s budget are in some key respects significantly better than last year’s. Its tax proposal is more specific (though still not specific enough, since decisions about how to handle individual exemptions, credits, and deductions would have to be made by the House Ways and Means Committee). On defense it offers a responsible alternative to President Obama’s attempt to squeeze our military to buy an unreformed liberal welfare state a few more years. And on Medicare, it moves even further in the direction of enabling efficiency in health care through real market competition but at the same time makes the politics of Medicare reform easier rather than harder for Republicans—significantly easier, I think.”