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When this week began, Mitt (?) Romney—slayer of Osama bin Laden—€”was coming down from a sugar high; but by week's end—with God as his co-pilot—€”he was soaring like the Hindenburg.

What happened in the intervening period to so dramatically alter his trajectory?

Well, it probably wasn't the constant lying, per se—people have come to expect that from him by now.

It's far more likely that, while an international crisis (of the non-shiny object variety) was unfolding, Romney's first (and second) instinct was to cravenly attack President Obama for things he didn't say.

And then, when called to account for his repeated lies, rather than apologize (never!), he chose to go all-in.

The consensus among foreign policy experts was that Romney had failed the so-called "3 a.m. test," and even some of his closest allies and surrogates were quick to abandon him.

But hey, at least he's still got Todd Akin and Vladimir Putin on his side.

Morning lineup:

Meet the Press: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice; Roundtable: Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN ), Rep. Peter King (R-NY); Bob Woodward (Washington Post), Jeffrey Goldberg (The Atlantic) and Andrea Mitchell (NBC News).

Face the Nation: Libyan Interim President Mohammed el-Megarif; U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice; Sen. John McCain (R-AZ); Richard Haass (Council on Foreign Relation); Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk; Roundtable: David Sanger (New York Times), Bobby Ghosh (TIME), Margaret Brennan (CBS News) and John Dickerson (CBS News).

This Week: U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice; Christiane Amanpour (ABC News); Martha Raddatz (ABC News); Brian Ross (ABC News); Roundtable: George Will (Washington Post), Sociopath Liz Cheney, General Wesley Clark (Ret.), Gwen Ifill (PBS) and Jonathan Karl (ABC News).

Fox News Sunday: U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice; Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI); Roundtable: Brit Hume (Fox News), Liz Marlantes (Christian Science Monitor), Bill Kristol (Weekly Standard) and Jeff Zeleny (New York Times).

State of the Union: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice; House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA); Reliable Sources: Clarence Page (Chicago Tribune); Ryan Lizza (The New Yorker); Amy Holmes (Glenn Beck TV); Paul Farhi (Washington Post); Media Critics Gail Shister & Adam Buckman.

The Chris Matthews Show: David Ignatius (Washington Post); Helene Cooper (New York Times); Katty Kay (BBC); Major Garrett (National Journal).

Fareed Zakaria GPS: Former NSA Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski; Oxford University Professor Tariq Ramadan; Author Bernard-Henri Levy; Former Assistant Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz.

Up with Chris Hayes: Student Loan, Medicaid, and Food Stamps Recipient Tanya Wells; Steven Gates (Youth Advocacy Programs-Illinois); Melissa Boteach (Center for American Progress); John Reel (Senior Services America, Inc.); Gary Younge (The Nation); Matt Farmer (Huffington Post); Author Stephen Pimpare; Bronx Teacher Elise DeBroad.

Evening lineup:
60 Minutes will feature: an interview with ex-Mossad Chief Meir Dagan (preview); an interview with sports agent Drew Rosenhaus, who represents the most NFL players (preview); and, an interview with British singing sensation Adele (preview).

On Comedy Central...

As is usually the case when there's a major breaking news story, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert were off this week, and so there are no new videos to share

Instead, here's Jon's look back at Republican objections to the politicization of national security.

The Daily Show

Monday: Former U.N Secretary General Kofi Annan

Tuesday: Author Salman Rushdie (NBC News)

Wednesday: Singer Pink

Thursday: TBA.

And Stephen's examination of Mitt Romney's and Paul Ryan's foreign policy credentials.

The Colbert Report

Monday: Author Drew Faust

Tuesday: Legal Commentator Jeffrey Toobin

Wednesday: Artist Itzhak Perlman

Thursday: Documentarian Errol Morris

Elsewhere...

Speaking at this weekend's Value Voters Summit, Rick Santorum informed the assembled crowd that they're a bunch of morons.

"We will never have the media on our side, ever, in this country," Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, told the audience at the Omni Shoreham hotel. "We will never have the elite, smart people on our side."

The media "doesn't like the other side," Santorum said. "And not necessarily, I would argue, because they agree with them, but because they can influence the country.

In all likelihood, the message went right over the audience's heads.

Meanwhile...

Sarah Palin worried about the size of President Obama's package.

"It's about time our president stood up for America and condemned these Islamic extremists. I realize there must be a lot on his mind these days – what with our economy's abysmal jobless numbers and Moody’s new warning about yet another downgrade to our nation's credit rating due to the current administration's failure to come up with a credible deficit reduction plan. And, of course, he has a busy schedule – with all those rounds of golf, softball interviews with the 'Pimp with the Limp,' and fundraising dinners with his corporate cronies. But our nation's security should be of utmost importance to our Commander-in-chief. America can’t afford any more 'leading from behind' in such a dangerous world."

"We already know that President Obama likes to 'speak softly' to our enemies. If he doesn't have a 'big stick' to carry, maybe it's time for him to grow one."

And, in other news...

The gathering of crackpots known as "Birtherpalooza" was cancelled due to poor ticket sales.

Not even the promise of crooner Pat Boone singing oldies from a spinning stage could save what was intended to be the premier birther event of the year later this month in Arizona.

Organizers of the gala, which would have featured Boone alongside Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio and some of the nation's other prominent conspiracy theorists, broke the news online Friday that it was canceled "due to inadequate ticket sales." [...]

The announcement was disappointing to the few people who did plan to attend, as evidenced by a handful of web postings about the cancellation. It didnt take long for true believers to spin elaborate conspiracy theories about why the event was called off.

The only winning move is not to play.

- Trix

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