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The Roundup for March 11, 2011

Eight months until 11-11-11! Get psyched!

• Japan’s building codes definitely saved lives, but we have no idea how many are dead at this point. We’ve already blown past four figures and 88,000 people are reported missing. And the news about the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is really not good; they’ve started broadening the evacuation around the area, as radiation readings rise. Most nuclear plants in Japan shut down before the earthquake, thanks to early detection technology.

• Here’s a good place to start on the deficit, if you think that’s it worth starting there: a 5.4% surtax on millionaires, courtesy Bernie Sanders.

• Kent Conrad let the Pentagon know that their days of ever-increasing budgets are over. Of course, Conrad can say that, he’ll never run for re-election again.

• Can’t wait to see these “secret Medicare cuts” that Paul Ryan won’t tell anyone about. Speaking of mandatory spending, check out Jack Lew pushing back on Charles Krauthammer over Social Security. Now if he could only get in the budget game…

• Hamid Karzai’s cousin killed in a raid in Afghanistan.

• Basically, what we had today is the spokesman for the State Department saying that Bradley Manning’s treatment is “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid,” and the President of the United States saying, “Nah.”

• What, you mean a James O’Keefe production is falling apart upon scrutiny? First NPR released emails showing they did refuse donations from the phony Islamic group. And second, the raw video shows self-serving edits in O’Keefe’s presentation, according to… The Blaze. Glenn Beck’s website.

• Like it or not, Scott Walker had the votes and got what he wanted for now. So other states are following suit – like Florida. But growing along with the anti-union legislation is the mass energy poised to stop it – thousands turned out in Florida this week.

• One of the Republican 8 that’s most endangered is Randy Hopper, and in addition to voting for the anti-union bill, he has a wife ready to sign the recall petition because of the 25 year-old mistress staying with him in Madison.

• Egypt’s protesters are peeling back the onion on decades of repression and corruption, securing and releasing reams of documents about the Mubarak regime.

• The President claimed he’s “slowly tightening the noose” around Moammar Gadhafi, but as Marcy explained, he’s not. The Arab League will back a no-fly zone, apparently, but I don’t know what good that can do at this point.

• Has anyone recognized that the first national crisis in Africa this year came from Ivory Coast, which has 450,000 internally displaced refugees and is on the brink of a bloodbath?

• Saudi Arabia effectively repressed their Day of Rage. They would be as merciless as Libya if things got out of hand, in my opinion.

• Bob Gates is perturbed that the rest of NATO doesn’t want to follow the US into a quagmire in Afghanistan anymore.

• If independent voters want more government, analysts like Charlie Cook are going to see their heads explode. That does not compute for them.

• Conservatives simply don’t think out the consequences of the laws they pass.

• More right-wing terrorism that’s surely just another isolated incident.

• Within a generation or less, I’ll be in the minority in California, as a white male.

• Bill Keller either doesn’t like aggregation or doesn’t like Arianna Huffington, I’m not sure which. By the way ALL news gathering is aggregation at some level.

• Marc Thiessen wanted to say that Al Qaeda was recruiting inside the US. So he found a terror group that has recruited Somalians here and simply lied about their link to Al Qaeda. Neat trick!

• Howard Kurtz is still trying to dig his way out from the embarrassment of thinking Darrell Issa’s aide was actually the Congressman. Pathetic.

• These rare color photographs of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake are amazing and poignant in light of today’s events.

This video of protesters marching around the Capitol last night after a rally in Madison is awesome.

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David Dayen

David Dayen