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Wow, the new Mitt Romney really is an easy-going kind of guy, huh?

During a campaign stop Tuesday morning at a New Hampshire diner, Romney posed for a photo with a group of four waitresses -- and then melodramatically jumped up, joking that one of them had grabbed his posterior.

He then assured the women, who were indeed laughing about the whole thing, that he was just joking.

It is true that the voting public likes to see some sense of humor and personal familiarity from presidential candidates -- but this might be a bit off the beaten path.

Here is the video of the event, courtesy of Chris Matthews on MSNBC:

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A federal judge has rejected the argument by supporters of California's gay marriage ban that U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker -- who ruled the ban unconstitutional -- was biased because he is gay.

"It is not reasonable to presume that a judge is incapable of making an impartial decision about the constitutionality of a law, solely because, as a citizen, the judge could be affected by the proceedings," U.S. District Judge James Ware wrote in his ruling Tuesday.

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Republican state Sen. Roy McDonald announced Tuesday that he'll back New York's marriage equality bill when it comes up in the Senate this week.

"I'm trying to do the right thing," McDonald said, Capitol Confidential reports. "Rather than wait I worked with the governor. ... I'm not out to alienate anybody. This is driven by compassion."

He added that he thinks the vote will be on Friday.

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Before the last Senate recess, Republican leader Mitch McConnell (KY) made an epic demand: No raising the debt limit, unless Congress also agrees on a bipartisan basis to unspecified cuts to Medicare.

The strategy was clear. Republicans in both the House and the Senate are suffering politically back home after having voted for the GOP budget, which would phase out traditional Medicare and replace it with a private insurance system. One way to trigger voter amnesia on that vote, Republicans reason, is to replace it with another vote -- a bipartisan vote, with President Obama's support -- to "cut" Medicare.

That would become law, McConnell noted, and thus become the true -- and more warranted -- focus of voter reaction.

Democrats are biting -- but carefully. At a Capitol press conference, Democratic Senate leaders drew a clear line: Medicare cuts can be on the table, but not Medicare benefit cuts.

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Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) is in hot water again thanks to YouTube.

A few months after a county Republican Party in Wisconsin attempted to scrub the Internet of Duffy's contention that he struggles to pay bills on his $174,000 per year taxpayer-funded salary, his staff pulled down another YouTube clip of Duffy after a local station in Eau Claire, Wisc., said Duffy's staff "doctored" it.

A Duffy spokesperson told TPM the video has been removed at the request of the station and says no substantial changes were made.

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Self-appointed independent fact checkers continue to miss the boat on the GOP's Medicare plan. And not just small misses, but big belly flop misses.

The immediate result has been fact-check assessments that ding Democrats for overstating how radical the GOP plan is and give political ammunition to Republicans to use against Democrats. But at a deeper level the misguided fact-checking -- almost always the result of insufficient expertise on Medicare specifically, and health insurance more broadly -- threatens to skew the public policy debate in ways that obscure the truth and complicates the effort to provide the public with a clear assessment of the GOP's plan on the merits.

The list of fact-checker errors and thin analysis is steadily growing but they fit broadly within three general categories. We take them one by one and have the experts weigh in:

MISTAKE #1: The GOP Plan Doesn't End Medicare

This is the single biggest bone of contentions for fact checkers, and it's based on a category error: Specifically, that if you replace one health insurance scheme with a different health insurance scheme, but call both of them "Medicare," then you haven't really "ended" anything. A widely cited Monday piece by Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler takes Democrats to the mattresses for three different claims they made about the plan in a recent web petition -- the biggest being that Republicans want to scrap the current Medicare program. "[T]he DSCC essentially says: The House Republican budget plan would eliminate Medicare."

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