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Must Reads: Mitt Romney Sells Obamacare Better Than Obama

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Must Reads: Mitt Romney Sells Obamacare Better Than Obama
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Romney ties himself in knots over health care
Mitt Romney's big health care speech yesterday only heightened the contradictions of the former Massachusetts governor's stance on government-mandated healthcare. Romney doubled down on his defense of the Massachusetts model — "quite honestly," writes Jonathan Cohn at The New Republic, "he sold the mandate better than President Obama ever did" — even as he denounced Obamacare as a constitutional abomination. Nobody is fooled by these distinctions without differences, Cohn writes. After all, both Romneycare and Obamacare "set up insurance exchanges for people without access to employer insurance. Both require insurers to provide coverage to anybody, at the same price. Both have an individual mandate. Both have subsidies. Both expand Medicaid coverage. Both seek to cover most, if not quite all, residents. Both set requirements for what insurance must cover. I could go on." [The New Republic]

Facebook vs. Google gets ugly
Facebook's competition with Google has begun to resemble a nasty political campaign. The social networking giant — long pilloried for its disregard of user privacy — hired ace/shady PR firm Burson-Marsteller to plant salacious stories about Google's "intrusions into [users] deeply personal lives." But the PR offensive was clumsy and The Daily Beast's Dan Lyons got Facebook to cop to the dirty op. "The mess, seemingly worthy of a Nixon reelection campaign, is embarrassing for Facebook .... But even more so for Burson-Marsteller," Lyons writes. "Mark Penn, Burson’s CEO, has been a political consultant for Bill Clinton, and is best known as the chief strategist in HIllary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign." [Daily Beast]

White House: No more staged photo ops
After drawing heat for staging presidential news photos, the White House has ended the practice. The trouble started in the wake of Obama's we-got-bin-Laden speech, after a Reuters photographer blogged about the little-known but apparently routine reenactment of presidential speeches for photographers after the actual live news event. "We have concluded that this arrangement is a bad idea," said Obama spokesman Josh Earnest. [AP]

Ten CEOs who screw their workers for fun and profit
Mother Jones has assembled a rage-inducing top-ten chart ranking the CEOs whose pay skyrocketed even as they slashed jobs and worker benefits. GE chief Jeffrey Immelt, for example, saw his pay soar 175 percent even as he axed 17,000 jobs. [Mother Jones]

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