The President is going to deliver remarks on the situation in Egypt in the next hour or so. Until then….

• In case I didn’t get this out, the Senate will allow a vote on health care repeal, but since it violates the Budget Act, it would need, and not get, 60 votes.

• Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Daniel Inouye basically gave up on earmarks for this session, but it sounds like he’s doing it in such a way to narrowly define earmarks and allow for directed spending by another means. Speaking of earmarks, this from Bob Casey seems like an effective way to deal with “orphan earmarks,” where the money is appropriated but the project never completed.

• The DNC picked right-to-work state Charlotte as the site for the 2012 Convention, and they’d better get cracking on finding just one hotel to organize to avoid the total embarrassment of bringing Democrats to a non-union city. Somehow I don’t think they care much.

• The release from Raul Grijalva and Mike Honda on Egypt makes the key, broad point: “The CPC calls on the Obama administration and Congress to begin a thorough review and re-evaluation of our foreign policy and foreign aid programs. The prime goal of foreign aid must be to elevate the socio-economic and political conditions of recipient countries and their populaces, not the personal enrichment of government leadership and oppressive control of the populace.” They want to review all weapons sales to authoritarian governments, too. It’s a better policy than the one which has led down a road to irrelevance in the region.

• Sounds like Al Qaeda is learning who really controls the levers of power in the Western world. That, or the Wall Street titans want to feel like bold giants.

• This could be a major ruling in an appeals court in California, finding that a foreclosure victim has cause to sue US Bank for fraud. But this concerns the bank promising to negotiate a loan modification and then reneging on it, not the faulty documentation processes that go to chain of title. This could be effective in stopping dual track, but little more.

• Some liberal groups are pressing for low-cost job actions like declaring China a currency manipulator and adding “Buy American” provisions to government contracts.

• Get ready for major street protests in Syria on Saturday, as the revolt against Arab dictators continues.

• Here’s the link to the FDL Book Salon with FCIC Commissioner Byron Georgiou today, which featured some heavy hitters in the comments, including Bill Black and Yves Smith. Georgiou was, shall we say, measured in his opinions.

• The Senate Ethics Committee appointed a special counsel to look into the John Ensign scandal. This is of course an Ethics Committee review and not a criminal or civil investigation.

• Shortages of food and necessities have become a major problem in Egypt. Maybe the secret police looters are causing the shortages.

• No question that Republican governors want to essentially roll back teacher tenure.

• Will lawyers in foreclosure cases become liable for perjury or fraud if they allow faulty documents to be submitted on behalf of their cases?

• Good to see some Democrats talking about how insane and violent this move is to redefine rape and basically end insurance coverage of abortion. I wish they’d have the same vitriol for those Democrats who have co-sponsored the bill, too.

• Good interview with Mark Pauly, the founding father of the individual mandate. That was a Republican idea initially, mind you.

• Denny Rehberg will offer a legitimate challenge to Jon Tester for Senate in Montana. Tester will need to run the same race he ran against insider Conrad Burns in 2006, only this time, he’s the incumbent, so that might not play as well.

• Responding to criticism that he didn’t hire any minorities in his cabinet, Ohio Governor John Kasich announced the appointment of a black woman for Director of Minority Affairs, when the appointee was already the Director of Minority Affairs.

• Jay Carney won’t have a direct line to the President, meaning that White House press briefings will be more fact-free than usual.

• Haiti will give a passport to Jean-Bertrand Aristide to allow him entrance back to the country.

• The phone-to-Twitter bridge in Egypt is remarkable for putting out a message, but it has less impact if people inside the country can’t receive it. I do congratulate Twitter for setting that up though.

• Every rapper in America should give money to Kool Herc, who led the way for their entire genre, so he can get health insurance.

• Who cares if Barbara Bush supports gay marriage? She’s the daughter of a former President, not a carbon copy. Good for her, but I don’t see this as a huge deal.

• I noticed that Rachel Maddow fell for the parody site Christwire last night. At least she acknowledged it.

• Finally, if you wanted to see my mug on RT’s The Alyona Show from yesterday, here ya go:

David Dayen

David Dayen

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