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The Roundup

Sorry to be getting to this late today. There’s been a flurry of activity late today.

Also I should mention two things: 1) I’m moving over the next two weekends, so my output will be fairly low; 2) I am spending a couple hours this Sunday from 5-7pm ET hosting the FDL Book Salon for Dean Baker’s new book False Profits. It’s a fantastic book and Dean is unabashed and unafraid, so it should be a good session. Please stop by the mothership for that.

And now, a set of links:

• Once again, the NYT drops a David Paterson story, and while this one is more damning, showing him as an aloof and perhaps incompetent public servant, it does not match with the rumors floated, and in fact Paterson in the article responds to rumors not contained in it. Paterson’s communications director offered a pretty decent rebuttal, and it’s hard to argue with the assessment of other news outlets in New York, that the Times got ahead of themselves and are now just picking on Paterson.

• The Administration has certainly hammered Anthem Blue Cross of California for rate hikes – they should switch that attention to big Medicare Advantage rate hikes, which is completely on point since they’re trying to phase out overpayments to private insurers to administer MA. Kathleen Sebelius is already on this one.

• The most frustrating thing about central bankers like Ben Bernanke worrying about inflation, aside from the fact that we could use it right about now, is that we’re actually in a state of deflation for the first time since 1982. As Paul Krugman alludes to, this is a prescription for a Japanification of the US economy.

• Matt Taibbi’s latest piece about the financial industry is up.

• Quick, somebody tell Scott Brown that the anti-government anger that led a man to crash a plane into an IRS building isn’t a good thing, nor should it be related to the anger that propelled him to victory in January. Behold the new guard of the Senate.

• By the way, here’s a more constructive outlet for anger at corporate elites – tear down your house when they come to foreclose on it.

• Does anyone in America think that, given the nearly impossible struggles for Democrats to pass simple legislation through the Senate and break filibusters with 60 votes, that the White House would have any more luck with an arms-control treaty that would require 67?

• Arlen Specter is resorting to the duck and hide strategy that front-runners often pursue when they don’t want to give their opponents any oxygen. Specter won’t debate Joe Sestak on Meet the Press.

• Darrell Issa sez: OMG Obama loves ACORN! I wonder if the President ever secretly funded ACORN, the way Darrell Issa did.

Case closed for the FBI’s anthrax investigation, and conveniently, the late Bruce Ivins is named as the perpetrator, without the ability to defend himself. You can read the report here. Marcy is also following along.

• The argument for federal funding of Medicaid in two news stories: 1) During the recession, millions more Americans became newly eligible for Medicaid and sought entry into the program. 2) States which cannot run deficits are looking to cut Medicaid funding at the same time. If the federal government were in charge of the program, this wouldn’t be an issue.

• Notes from the loveliness of CPAC: Tim Pawlenty calls on Americans to attack Barack Obama as if he were Tiger Woods and the public were his wife; speakers alternately praise and bash a pro-gay group’s attendance; and Jed Babbin makes a tasteless joke about Grover Norquist flying a plane into an IRS building. It’s open mike night there or something.

• Here’s a measure of justice: the Obama Administration settled a lawsuit with black farmers for decades of discrimination in loan programs.

• Fun story about being a Congressman – you too could get caught up in an African coup, like Alan Grayson did in Niger this week.

• The “Family Guy” actress with Down Syndrome definitely got the better of Sarah Palin with this response, but what’s up with the NYT trying to shield Sarah’s delicate sensibilities?

• And noted religious scholar Elton John claims that Jesus was gay. At least the Focus on the Family press release should be a hoot…

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David Dayen

David Dayen