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The Roundup

Don’t forget, all weekend I’ll be updating the whip count and bringin you the latest updates…. what? That’s over? Wow, maybe I’ll be able to find out if the sun’s out this weekend!

And with that….

• It does appear that Benjamin Netanyahu got humiliated by the President, who flat walked out on a meeting with him this week. But in the end, Obama failed to gain his support for freezing settlements, so modes of decorum aside, the Middle East still looks deadlocked and with little hope for peace.

• The big part of this interview with Howard Dean on health care is Dean’s contention that “I would have had to leave the administration over this bill.” But he’s kinder to both Obama and Nancy Pelosi in the piece.

• Senator Ted Kaufman (D-DE) has become a kind of folk hero on financial reform, freed from the constraints of re-election and serving his bank industry constituents in Delaware. His latest speech about Too Big to Fail savages the Senate Banking Committee draft bill, saying that “little in the current legislation … would change the behavior or reduce the size of the nation’s six mega-banks.” Simon Johnson approves. As Paul Krugman makes very clear in a fantastic blog post, simple rules like a firewall between commercial and investment banks will go a lot further than the byzantine, specialized roles for regulators in the Dodd draft.

• The New York Times has gone Woodward and Bernstein on the Pope. Today’s scoop notes that Ratzinger knew about a German sex abuse case more directly than he let on. The Vatican denies that the Pope was aware of a transfer for the pedophile priest in question.

• Wow, Eric Cantor is an idiot to claim that a random stray bullet aimed at an office not even in his district was a “direct attack.” Cantor’s press aide tries to defend this conduct and fails.

• James O’Keefe and his son-of-the-US-Attorney accomplice got their charges reduced to a misdeamenor in the Mary Landrieu district office case. He reportedly plans to plead guilty. So I’m supposed to think he’s been vindicated by agreeing that he entered a federal office illegally under false pretenses?

• Bob Bennett is the latest not-conservative-enough conservative Republican in a lot of re-election trouble. Due to Utah’s rules, he may not even get on the ballot.

• FWIW, Conor Friedersdorf says many of AEI’s health care experts have been weighing in on health care, contra Bruce Bartlett.

• Two Glenn Greenwald pieces of brilliance: he dissects an interview President Obama gave to an Indonesian TV station (where he actually used the words,”We can’t go forward without looking backwards”), and he vivisects Cass Sunstein upon word that he may be tapped for a Supreme Court slot.

• Small change: the EPA may shut down a huge mountaintop mining project.

• This homebuyer’s tax credit in California is a terrible policy, and what’s more, the state can’t afford it. I could write a book on what this reveals about our broken government here in Sacramento.

Great story about Hilda Solis taking charge of the US Department of Labor.

• Maybe Charlie Crist has a shot to beat Marco Rubio in the Florida Senate primary after all. Rubio burst onto the scene, but Crist’s ads over his personal spending seem to be reaching the target.

• This is a pretty funny entry from Tom Udall and Ben Ray Lujan in the burgeoning genre of multimedia presentations to Google to get their super-fast broadband contract for their region. Here’s a separate one from Al Franken.

• Why would the iPhone offer an app that allows you to make free VOIP calls and sidestep AT&T? Was this a mistake or the end of a partnership?

• I am a serious victim of the baseball card bubble. What am I going to do now with that mint condition 1985 Topps set, look at it?

• Who among us hasn’t given mouth-to-mouth to a possum every now and again?

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David Dayen

David Dayen