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The Roundup

While we wait for two major developments – the un-bollixing of financial reform, and the results of the many primary elections this mini-Super Tuesday – here’s the rest of the day’s news. Two notes: Head over to Elections for the primary coverage tonight, starting when the polls close in Kentucky at 6pm local time (some of the state is in the Eastern Time Zone, some in Central). Also, please note my Twitter feed in the right-hand column. Sometimes I’m faster to getting things up on Twitter than I am here.

• The Pentagon has mandated the taping of all interrogations from this point forward. Mindful of yet another potential “torture tape” destruction, this is generally sound policy. And now it’s written policy, meaning destruction of evidence would constitute a deeper violation.

• Environmental organizations are split on the climate bill. While some are touting it, others have denounced it. This doesn’t mince words: “The well-being of our nation and the world are being sacrificed for the interests of big polluters, which continue to rake in record profits at the expense of the environment and the public.”

• So John Cornyn becomes the latest to say that Republicans won’t filibuster Elana Kagan. But this is ridiculously untrue. They filibuster everything, not because they disagree with the legislation or the nominee, but because they use it to eat up floor time and delay the Senate from doing its work. And they’ll do that again with Kagan, and nobody will remember this bit from Cornyn.

• In a related item, Kagan’s 2000-page questionnaire to the Senate Judiciary Committee has been released. Hopefully it, and all the issues, will get a long look.

• Great discussion today on the mothership with author Steven Gillon about the near-miss plan to “fix” Social Security in the late 1990s, and the possibility for a re-run today. They’re already talking about “tweaks” in Democratic-run Senate committees, including benefit reductions and raising the retirement age. I don’t know why this question ever goes beyond “lift the cap on payroll taxes.”

An awful day in Afghanistan. We’re up to 1,000 Americans dead in that war.

• Great article by Bloomberg on the big banks and their crooked muni bond deals.

• More images of the horror show in the Gulf.

• Sometimes some bully pulpit pressure works: Michelle Obama getting results on obesity reduction, some of America’s largest food distributors vow to cut portion sizes and calories.

• Sue Lowden had some trouble today, too: she apparently has been using a donated campaign bus, which is an in-kind donation of close to $100,000, and massively illegal.

• Some great schadenfreude articles about Mark Souder today from Avi Zenilman and Ryan Grim. What a lout this guy was. And depending on the GOP candidate, Democrats may be able to capitalize here.

• Undocumented students engage in a protest at John McCain’s office, urging passage of the DREAM Act. Meanwhile, Kobe Bryant’s wife wore a “Do I look illegal” T-shirt to the Laker game last night.

• Wall Street analysts are like carnival barkers, just massively lying about corporate earnings to goose profits.

• Straight talk on Susan B. Anthony, who was not quite as “pro-life” as supporters on the right like to make it.

• Who among us has not illustrated mathematical concepts by referencing the assassination of Barack Obama? The teacher who did has been placed on leave, by the way.

• Follies of the rating agencies. They are practically the worst actors on Wall Street, and that’s saying a lot.

• My Philly slip is showing, but I want a cheesesteak pretzel.

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David Dayen

David Dayen

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