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Weekend Roundup

Kind of a quiet weekend precedes a deceptively important week, with Congress looking to clear a war supplemental and a $190 billion omnibus spending bill that could finally close the carried interest loophole. Some of the rest of the story:

• I don’t think Chris Van Hollen is right at all about this. Theoretically tea partiers should oppose bailouts and Wall Street, but given their tribal identification with Republicans, they probably think that the Community Reinvestment Act, poor people and ACORN caused the financial crisis, and that the bill did little to allay those problems.

• Top AIG execs will not face charges for their role in the financial crisis.

• Problems with the siphoning tube means that even the meager non-solution that has succeeded, 30-plus days into the oil spill, isn’t succeeding any more. And yet BP has little to worry about, at least to their bottom line, no more than a few angry words. And this is why we despair at this disaster which carries a larger message about our government and corporate influence.

• Meanwhile, this treatment of Deepwater Horizon workers, held against their will after the explosion and coerced into signing waivers indemnifying the companies involved, sounds pretty much criminal.

• Meg Whitman, floundering in her quest to become California Governor, has flipped back to opposition to offshore drilling in the wake of the BP disaster, becoming the latest coastal-state Republican to change their view. Will this translate into her endorsement of an oil extraction tax for California, the only state in the nation that doesn’t charge oil companies for taking their natural resources out of their territory.

• The Texas Board of Education passed the revisionist, right-wing textbook standards, as expected, on Friday. The final vote came in a meeting featuring one board member’s invocation about America being a Christian nation. If most textbooks adhere to the new Texas standards, that woman’s view will be reflected in social studies classrooms all over the country. You can start weeping now.

• I wanted to write a longer piece about Obama’s commencement address at West Point contrasted with the reality of his actual national security policies, but Spencer Ackerman beat me to it, and brilliantly. The ruling by the DC Circuit basically allowing the denial of habeas corpus for prisoners at Bagram simply added another nail into this coffin.

• As long as the Wall Street reform bill invests in regulators the decision-making on so many key issues, at least we’re getting some signs that the regulators want to get tough on Wall Street, even banning uncleared derivatives.

• A few people rumored that labor would give a dual endorsement in the Florida Senate race, to both Kendrick Meek and Charlie Crist. But the AFL-CIO opted for Meek. The state teacher’s union actually gave Crist and Meek a dual endorsement.

• Maybe you hadn’t heard about the latest incident of right-wing violence.

• I went to this horror show with Andrew Breitbart and assorted other bloggers, too. Breitbart really is more of an 80s movie villain than anything. And the best way to beat a bully is to ignore him or punch him in the nose. Take your pick.

No chicken costumes at Nevada polling places. Them’s the rules. The context is Sue Lowden’s infamous comment about bartering for health care.

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David Dayen

David Dayen

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