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The Roundup

I’m going to have more from that Jason Furman blogger roundtable and a whole lot more tomorrow, but the LA County Fair, and a fried Oreo wrapped in bacon and dipped in chocolate, beckons!

• Governor of Indiana and former Bush OMB Director Mitch Daniels proposed a 6-point plan for economic recovery today, which included the same capital investment tax cut as the President, a payroll tax cut, and then some magic to make it all revenue-neutral.

• I could not care less about the Chicago mayor’s race, or who is “the next Rahm,” but I am curious about one thing: at a time when all these economic proposals are coming out of the White House, who is running the Office of Management and Budget? Jack Lew, the nominee to replace Peter Orszag, hasn’t been confirmed. Jeffrey Zeints, the acting director, has almost no economic expertise that I can find; he is a management consultant.

• The Obama Administration isn’t doing a thing on anti-trust law, and here’s an area where they really haven’t lived up to their rhetoric. Half of the things they’ve said they wanted to do on financial reform and health care could have been accomplished simply by enforcing the law. The argument that they’re boxed in by Congress really falls down with this news.

• An ad hoc Afghanistan Study Group has some tough words for the President’s policy, but stops short of calling for a full withdrawal. It’s a pretty interesting report, however.

• The last Congress phased out the incandescent light bulb for good reasons, to move us to a more energy-efficient future. But in the process, they basically outsourced an entire manufacturing sector to China in ways that could have been easily avoided.

• As Marcy says, the worst part about this state secrets ruling essentially exonerating the government for kidnapping and torture is that it came from the 9th Circuit, traditionally seen as the most liberal Appeals Court in America. The courts have always given wide deference to the government on state secrets and national security, but we’ve really reached the point where “if the President does it, then it’s not illegal” has become operative.

• Haven’t gotten through it yet, but I hear great things about this Michael Lewis profile of Greece. Meanwhile, their economy contracted again after the austerity cutbacks, because, um, consumers aren’t spending.

• Combat operations are over? Well, US soldiers are still dying in Iraq.

• The 2010 election crash for the Dems becomes even more of a problem for them when you consider the effect on redistricting for the next decade.

• Imam Feisel Abdul Rauf, of the Park51 project in Lower Manhattan, spoke out about his project today, vowing to continue it through to completion. Meanwhile, one 9-11 widow feels duped by the media, which led her to believe that a mosque would be built at the World Trade Center site. “It is our privilege to misinform you.”

• Nice long article about left v. right in the media. One area Paul Waldman doesn’t look into much is the institutional affinity, at least inside the Beltway media, for conservative arguments, because they’ve been hearing them from the same flaks who they’ve built the same relationships with for 30 years.

• Still not a Jeffrey Goldberg fan, but this series on his encounters with Fidel Castro are extraordinary.

• Immigration enforcement has moved out of the fields and into the kitchens.

Stunningly good piece from Robert Farley entitled “How Did I Get It Right,” showing why all the indicators for Iraq being a disastrous policy blunder were apparent from the very beginning.

• The Royal Family phone-hacking scandal will get a hearing in the British Parliament, as it metastasizes and threatens the Conservatives’ agenda.

• The egg industry is only worried they might have to expand their cage sizes because they don’t want to spend the money on it. We have in California through Prop 2 changed the brutal practices of the egg industry and everything’s fine, after a few grumbles. And I’ll note that the egg recall started in Iowa, not here.

• In case you wanted to know what Target bought when they used corporate dollars for political campaigns, here’s the ad. Hardly seems worth it. Should’ve used their own ad person, not Minnesota Forward’s.

• Mike Castle doesn’t want to risk a Murkowski against his Tea Party challenger, so he goes after her hard in this ad.

• George W. Bush likens himself to Ted Williams with his quick reflexes in dodging the shoe-thrower in Iraq. Seriously, his speech sounds like a cabaret act written by George Jessel. Schlock joke after schlock joke. Most criminals usually have to peel potatoes and make license plates, not tell jokes.

20% of this country still smokes?

• Rodney King got a payout for $3.8 million dollars in his police brutality case. He’s now marrying one of the jurors. Hey, it is someone who understands him.

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David Dayen

David Dayen