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The Roundup

Sorry for the delay. I have two days’ worth of links, however!

First, a programming note: LA-area firedogs have two opportunities to see me, me, me in public this week. On Thursday night, I’m on a panel called “Would California Be Better Off As Its Own Country?” put on by the lecture series Zocalo Public Square. It’s at the Autry National Center near Griffith Park. Then on Sunday, as I mentioned earlier, I’m hosting an event where Alan Grayson will debate a George Bush impersonator. I’m actually moderating the debate, and we have some great comics like Patton Oswalt coming as well. So you have no excuse not to stop by and say hi. The Zocalo event is even free for you starving students.

• Chuck Schumer, playing against type, is pushing for the Obama bank tax (maybe because he wants to get Wall Street off with as easy a punishment as possible), but Max Baucus isn’t biting on it, displaying some “concern” about banks passing on the costs to consumers. Um, aren’t you writing consumer protection rules about things like that?

• The House hearing on Lehman Brothers produced some fireworks. Bill Black was particularly brilliant. Dick Fuld didn’t have much credibility when he feigned ignorance on Lehman’s dirty accounting deals. The lead examiner in the investigation faulted both Lehman and the SEC.

• No GOP Senators want to co-sponsor campaign finance reform legislation dealing with the Citizens United case, despite it being massively unpopular. Good – it shows which side everyone’s on. But in the House, Chris Van Hollen is inexplicably allowing Mike Castle, who’s running for Senate in Delaware, to get some bipartisan glory by becoming the lead co-sponsor on the bill. That just makes no sense at all, especially as Van Hollen runs the campaign arm for House Democrats.

• You’d think the fact that Ed Case can’t raise any money would figure into the DCCC’s calculations on the Hawaii special election, but it hasn’t. So far, the D-Trip is publicly still bashing the Republican, Charles Djou.

• Yes, best to listen to JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon about overregulation. Given the history of the past decade, best to give the benefit of the doubt to the banksters.

• How much you want to bet that Arlen Specter doesn’t even ask a question about wiretapping at the next Supreme Court hearings?

• Has anyone but the BBC even reported on these allegations of torture in Afghanistan on the Obama Administration’s watch? There seems to have been a total news blackout on it.

• I should write a longer piece about this ugly Arizona law which basically turns the state into a police state. It’s horrifying that this can pass in America, and civil liberties advocates should step in and sue.

• Look out Goldman Sachs – now SIGTARP wants to probe those CDOs. They do seem to think they’re too entitled to fail, don’t they?

• Just collecting the taxes owed through vigorous enforcement would slash the deficit more than anything the teabaggers can come up with. The “tax gap” was $345 BILLION in the last fiscal year.

• Rarely is the question asked: is our President learning about the nature of Republican opposition?

• Mitt Romney is one more interview like this away from not running for President. There’s no way for him to explain the Romneycare/Obamacare question.

• Let me praise the Administration for a couple things – this FDA ruling limiting the amount of salt in processed foods will save a lot of lives and make food taste better; Kathleen Sebelius has been successful in getting insurers to allow kids on their parents’ policies up to age 26 before the implementation date in the Affordable Care Act; and Joe Biden announced a new ruling rolling back a bad Bush-era decision on Title IX funding.

• Toyota dinged for $16 million dollars, the largest possible fine, for withholding information from the Department of Transportation about their sticky pedals.

• Joe Lieberman finds his gavel, subpoenas documents in the Fort Hood case, of all things.

• I don’t know how Susan Page makes it through this statement without getting fired, especially since an African-American – Barack Obama – just did win statewide in Florida.

• That special election in PA-12 to replace Jack Murtha is basically tied, but the statewide races will drive turnout in favor of the Democrat. I basically don’t care, because Mark Critz has proven himself through his campaign to be a worthless Blue Dog.

• The deputy mayor of Kandahar was shot dead at a mosque. Brazen.

• More aggressive activism from the gay rights group GetEQUAL, getting in the President’s face for the second time in two days.

• The Supreme Court probably got this one right. However distasteful animal cruelty videos are, we have free speech laws in this country.

• Interesting letter from two of the crew members in the Apache helicopter incident captured in the Wikileaks video.

• Investors want a clear winner in the British elections – do they have the ability to spend money to assure a verdict?

• I’m going to offer the proposition that Sarah Palin supporters are quite racist.

• Speaking of racism, this is the worst typo in the history of publishing.

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David Dayen

David Dayen