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Weekend Roundup

I’s busy. So here’s your weekend in links:

• The frustration in this article is palpable, but it’s incredible how the moralizing over the alleged dishonor of strategic defaults has made its way into the public bloodstream. The banks and their allies have really done a number on this.

• The well at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico has really, truly, finally been shut down. “The water out here is a cemetery,” said one worker.

• Meanwhile, that oil-eating bacteria that magically appeared to cleanse the water in the Gulf? Yeah, it only eats natural gas, according to one scientific study.

• Bill McKibben definitely has the right idea with building a movement for action on climate change, with mass direct and public events. It certainly has a better shot than throwing up the occasional ad with Nancy Pelosi and Newt Gingrich and hoping for the best. I think we’ll look back at this time of gridlock and disappointment and look at the organizing and the movements that spawned from that frustration. Some may not succeed, but McKibben has the right plan.

• While the President tore up the GOP for blocking the Citizens United fixes in the DISCLOSE Act, which have led to a flood of corporate election money, a new ad by Public Campaign and Common Cause actually includes tea party members and progressives both arguing for public financing. Somehow I think they might have held the “public” part back from the tea partiers.

• Oh good, a contract on America from the GOP. So much of it sounds like it was written by a paranoid obsessive – “read the bill” and “cite Constitutional authority for legislation” and other trifles.

• Even union members are slow to support Democrats in this cycle.

• Yes, there was ballot stuffing in Afghanistan. Lots of it.

• As we get closer to raising marginal tax rates on the rich by a shocking 4.6%, you’re going to see a lot more weasels come out of the woodwork crying poor about this state of affairs. Hopefully we can just sic Brad DeLong on them and be done with it.

• Colin Powell gave his support to the DREAM Act on Sunday. Though he supports repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, which figures into the same defense authorization bill, that never came up.

• Blue Dog Walt Minnick takes a gratuitous shot at immigrants in an attack ad against his opponent. Sadly he’s likely to win. But we’re told that this is what sets the Democrats apart, that “big tent.” See, we have members who welcome immigrants and who demonize them.

• By contrast, Alan Grayson is trying unabashed progressive values in a swing district, in the belief that progressive values intersect with American values enough to draw in voters. The fact that his opponent supports indefinite occupation in an unpopular war won’t hurt him much, either.

• Meanwhile, all they could find at the Values Voters Summit to carry their flag was Mike Pence, otherwise known as “not an intelligent man.”

• Howard Fineman heads to the Huffington Post in yet another example of how the traditional media and the online media basically have merged, and your best path through the landscape is to focus on individual writers you trust, not the outlets themselves.

• After becoming the catalyst for the passage of the health care bill when it tried to jack up rates 39% on individual subscribers in California, Anthem Blue Cross actually got a double-digit increase through the state. And now every other insurer has followed suit.

• Vernon, California is the craziest American city nobody knows about.

Dude you have no Quran, the remix.

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David Dayen

David Dayen