CPRoundup: Oyez, Oyez, Oyez

This week, sales of the Etch A Sketch soared thanks to Mitt Romney’s campaign, the Speaker of the House may have proven that you should never negotiate with him, and the president’s health care mandate is being fought over at the Supreme Court.

Oyez, Oyez, Oyez

Oral arguments began Monday at the Supreme Court about the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, colloquially known as “Obamacare.” As one might expect, the court’s well-known 5-4 conservative split is showing. On Tuesday, most of the conservative justices seemed doubtful about the legality of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate — the ones who speak, anyway. All pundits agree that the court’s sure to bet against the Act’s constitutionality and interestingly enough, the only for sure individual mandate is Clarence Thomas — whose views are the most well known out of the justices despite his vow of silence. At any rate, it will be interesting to see in the coming months whether the individual mandate will hold up against scrutiny. For now, we have wild speculation from everybody with a keyboard and a WordPress account (New York Times).

Will the real Mitt Romney please stand up?

First, in an appearance on CNN, Romney campaign senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom said that his campaign is “almost like an Etch A Sketch” because if he gets the Republican nomination, you can just “hit the reset button” for the general election campaign. This might be the single most appropriate gaffe ever made by a candidate’s campaign staff, especially because Romney is typically pointed to as being willing to say anything to get elected. As a result, the toy’s sales are up 3000 percent since Fehrnstom’s appearance last Thursday. If I were the president, I would start selling Obama for America blue Etch A Sketches (Time).

Tears of a speaker

Remember the time Congress nearly drove the United States to default on its debt because it didn’t want to raise the debt ceiling – a practice so routine it even happened under Ronald Reagan? If you do, then you may also recall the deal that was struck in order to raise the debt ceiling: The formation of a so-called “super committee” whose job it was to recommend cuts to the US budget with the penalty for failure being automatic, across the board spending cuts. In this case, “across the board” includes the defense budget. Thursday, however, John Boehner decided to put his weight behind legislation that would try to replace the defense spending cuts that came out of the super committee’s failure. Despite feeling “bound”to the cuts in November, the ever-mercurial speaker has decided to cast even more doubt on his and his caucus’ willingness to play by the rules that he created. I wonder how Boehner would feel if one of the members of the Democratic caucus put forth legislation to repeal automatic cuts—I doubt he would be a fan. It seems what’s good for the goose isn’t good for the gander (Talking Points Memo).