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Romney’s incredible extremes (WaPo)
Katrina vanden Heuvel argues that Romney has a key advantage despite his radical tax and spending plans: even if his critics’ attacks are totally accurate, his proposals are so ridiculous that voters have a hard time believing they’re not exaggerating.
Romney’s Welfare Gambit (Washington Monthly)
Ed Kilgore notes that Romney’s new effort to convince voters that President Obama is “gutting” welfare reform by issuing waivers that are built into the law is a bid to return the long-exiled dynasty of welfare queens to the throne of right-wing rhetoric.
How Mitt’s Tax Returns Show His Character Defect (Daily Beast)
Michael Tomasky writes that Romney’s refusal to quash Harry Reid’s rumor-mongering by releasing more of his tax returns reflects his belief that rather than ask annoying questions, we should all just recognize his inherent superiority and vote for him.
If the economy’s still weak, why are states cutting unemployment benefits? (WaPo)
Brad Plumer points out that extended unemployment benefits will end in all states by the end of this week thanks to a law designed to deal with a job market that was getting increasingly worse instead of one that merely remains consistently miserable.
Foreclosure Settlement Fails to Force Mortgage Companies to Improve (HuffPo)
Peter Goodman reports that although servicers agreed to clean up their act as part of the 50-state mortgage settlement, the whole system is still so chaotic that homeowners are being asked to produce documents to prove they can be foreclosed on.
In the Financial Industry, a Less Scrupulous Class of Lawbreaker (NYT)
Michael Powell notes that the concept of guilt doesn’t apply on Wall Street the same way it does for petty criminals, since big banks seem to believe cooperation with authorities is only admirable when it lets them get back to skirting the law more quickly.
Accusations Against Bank on Iran Deals Surprised U.S. Regulators, Too (NYT)
Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Ben Protess write that other regulators feel Benjamin Lawsky jumped the gun with his order against a bank accused of laundering billions for Iran to support possible terrorist activities. After all, it might only have been millions.
Tax the Olympians (Slate)
Matthew Yglesias argues that it’s a mistake for President Obama to support a special tax break for Olympic medalists, since income taxes are meant to collect revenue based on how much people earn rather than how awesome we think they are.
Art of War: How Republicans mastered voter suppression (TNR)
Timothy Noah looks at some of the tactics, ranging from voter ID laws and new registration requirements to plain old purging, that Republicans across the country are using in service of their belief that a win by disqualification is better than a loss.
Here a PAC, There a PAC — Except Some Are Not So Super (WSJ)
Rachel Louise Ensign and Brody Mullins note that while Citizens United has led to a proliferation of powerful Super PACs, it’s also given rise to many smaller groups that seek to address overlooked issues like the resale value of the Louisiana Purchase.