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The Roundup

Suddenly, a half-dozen non-blog related, labor-intensive activities have come to a head, so I’ll have to leave you this afternoon. By the way, you can now get every single post of mine on Twitter at the new FDL News Desk feed.

• Very interested in this. Florida is like Lord of the Flies country. This particular entrepreneur is banking on the fact that nobody actually owns any of the properties down there to just take ownership of them and rent them out to low-income families. It’s like common-law property ownership.

• Speaking of foreclosures and the courts, here’s an update on the Ohio judge whose ruling on whether banks can just submit substitute documents in cases where they used robo-signers. She sounds like she understands the magnitude of the issue.

• Now Jim Clyburn wants a vote for Minority Whip. This is looking like a big miscalculation for everyone all around, which will lead to a lot of hurt feelings in the caucus. The elections should happen next week.

• We knew about the security gaps for years that could allow unscreened cargo like bombs onto planes, but shipping companies didn’t want to pay to fix it. Uniquely American.

• I think Jim Webb is just trying to put distance between himself and the Democratic Party with this interview, and he’ll continue to do so for the next two years, but he hits on a very important point about the co-opting of Democrats by Wall Street.

“I’m very concerned about the transactional nature of the Democratic Party. It’s evolved too strongly into interest groups rather than representing working people, including small business people… “People look up say, what’s the difference between these two parties? Neither of them is really going to take on Wall Street. If they don’t have the guts to take them on, and they’ve got all these other programs that exclude me, well to hell with them. I’m going to vote for the other people who can at least satisfy me on other issues, like abortion. Screw you guys. I understand that mindset.”

• Speaking of which, Michael Bennet seems like he learned the right lesson from his election, huh?

• I could get behind a slow, gradual increase in the gas tax, but only if it pays for mass transit and other infrastructure items beyond roads and bridges. And Voinovich and Carper want to put 40% of the tax to deficit reduction, which right now would be absurd.

• I think at least some Republican operatives would be happy to keep Michael Steele where he is, distracting opponents away from their mass corporate spending sprees.

• Iraq called for Barack Obama to step down after the elections, in order to break gridlock in the government… oh, wait, that didn’t happen, that would be horrifying, only the exact same thing happened when the US called for the Iraqi President to step down.

• A company claiming that the US hasn’t allowed permits to deepwater drilling companies despite lifting the moratorium had a hearing in US District Court today, which the judge closed to the media. They hate us for our freedom.

• Paul Volcker’s correct about no quick fix for unemployment, but a plan – any plan – would be nice.

• Best news I heard all day: Kent Conrad might leave the Senate Budget Committee.

• Ari Berman strikes back at Matt Bai’s fairly insipid column today.

• Gerry Connolly and Rick Larsen were confirmed the winners of their respective House contests today, leaving the scoreboard at 238 Republicans, 190 Democrats with 7 undecided. Of those, the GOP leads in 5, although they’re losing their grip on CA-20, with Andy Vidak up on Rep. Jim Costa by just a handful.

• If the Oil Spill Commission had subpoena power, they might actually reveal more than just complacency at the top firms in the Gulf.

• More on the end of the torture tape case from Bmaz.

• New expert on monetary policy Sarah Palin intentionally falsified a quote from the WSJ’s Sudeep Reddy to have it make her point. She’s certainly learning what it takes to make a great journalist in the 21st century, I’ll give her that.

• Aside from everything else, the Comcast/NBC merger will probably mean more money on your cable bill.

• Rahm Emanuel has actual competition for Mayor of Chicago in the form of Rep. Danny Davis. But I’m not certain he can assemble the kind of coalition to take on Rahm.

• Illegal detention watch: Lori Berenson has finally been released from Peru, while Liu Xiaobo’s lawyer was detained at the airport on the way to Oslo for the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony.

• Nicaragua invaded Costa Rica because of a Google maps error.

• Olbermann’s show should be a hoot tonight.

• Alvin Greene for President.

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David Dayen

David Dayen