Morning Joe

It's one of those days when the news cycle is moving faster than I can write about it. As of Wednesday afternoon, the chatter online is all about the Romney campaign's unexpected decision to cite his Massachusetts health reforms as proof that he cares about average Americans facing financial hardship. The decision is unexpected because Romney has spent the past two years vowing to repeal the Affordable Care Act, whose scheme for expanding insurance coverage is basically a national version of what Romney did in Massachusetts.

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[Guest post by James Downie] Perhaps the strangest part of the furor around the Ryan budget proposal has been his ability to snow the media into treating him as a serious wonk, a thinker of “brave” thoughts. Then again, as Jon has written many times, media outlets seem to have fallen head over heels for Ryan’s “just a plain accountant” persona.

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One Monday morning in November, according to the admittedly rough transcript provided by the Federal News Service, “Morning Joe,” anchor Joe Scarborough spoke 3,213 words; his co-anchor Mika Brzezinski spoke just 644. Most of her words seemed merely to remind the audience that she was still awake: Yeah. Okay. Yes. No. Maybe. Right. Terrific. Scarborough dominated the meaty segments; Brzezinski piped up mainly during the transitions.

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Barack Obama's aides can pat themselves on the back today; they have succeeded in spinning the president's new troop surge as a simultaneous plan for leaving Afghanistan. And I can see honest logic there: By delivering a hard punch to the Taliban, you hope to create conditions that allow even flawed Afghan security forces to get on their feet, which may then allow for a quicker U.S. exit.

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When I read today's Politico piece about Liz Cheney's new "Keep America Safe," a foreign-policy focused group aimed at saving this nation from the "radical" Obama White House, two things immediately sprang to mind: 1. With every passing week, Bill Kristol sounds more like an overcaffeinated Ann Coulter: "The Left has dozens of organizations and tens of millions of dollars dedicated to undercutting the war on terror. The good guys needs some help too." What an appalling jackass. 2.

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