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The Roundup for April 21, 2011

Just hanging out in late April, waiting for the social safety net to break open…

• The Gulf Cooperation Council tries again with a deal for President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Yemen. Saleh promised an official response tomorrow. Meanwhile activists are unhappy with the US reaction to the uprising.

• Protesters and the government are preparing for battle in Syria tomorrow, with massive demonstrations planned.

• The revitalized National Labor Relations Board is trying to stop a non-union Boeing plant from opening in South Carolina.

• The Economic Populist on foreclosure fraud and the original sin of the ownership society.

• There’s really not much to fear from the current US debt situation.

Fraud in the energy markets is something that the Administration ought to pursue aggressively. There’s a political self-preservation instinct at work here as well; lower gas prices are in the interest of the President going into re-election, as well as protecting American consumers.

• Jon Walker takes a whack at Politifact. This is really a low point for them.

• Less attention has been paid to the crippling of Medicaid inherent in the Ryan budget. People who actually utilize Medicaid know that it helps seniors more than anyone.

• Oklahoma bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, as the chipping away at Roe continues. Nebraska, Idaho and Kansas are the other states which have post-20-week bans in place.

• Dan Simmons reports on how Scott Walker’s policies could turn Wisconsin into Missouri. Welcome the era of $30,000/year prison guards!

• I can’t believe that Republicans are still grabbing for the “everyone can use the emergency room” straw on medical access for citizens. By the way, these are somehow the same people who claim to be concerned with cost control. ER visits are the most expensive form of treatment you can get.

• Marcy has the report of the scene at a San Francisco fundraiser today, where Bradley Manning supporters flash-mobbed the President. Obama is doing a fundraiser at Sony Studios with Jamie Foxx in LA today, which is actually also a sentence in municipal courts. In case you’re wondering where I am tonight, I’ll be on a freeway for several hours.

• At a fundraiser last night, Obama actually used the phrase “climate change deniers,” which was unusually partisan.

• We now have eight sets of recall petitions in the hands of the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, 5 against Republican Senators and now 3 against Democrats. But the overall intensity level, Chris Bowers argues, is higher on the side of the Democratic grassroots.

• Nick Kristof whines about Greg Mortensen getting caught lying about his exploits. Nobody brought this on Mortensen but himself.

• David Frum gives it up for the welfare state. Yes, that David Frum. The Axis of Evil guy.

• Did the Heritage Foundation write this WaPo piece themselves?

• Now an Egyptian court has ruled to remove the name of Hosni Mubarak from public buildings. This is no joke.

• Idaho inadvertently (or perhaps advertently) closes down its Medicaid program by 2014.

• The White House pushes back on criticism of the Independent Medicare Advisory Board.

• Gary Johnson is running for President, seemingly on a platform of overhauling drug policy and I’m not sure what else. But if you’re going to pick one policy, at least that’s a solid start.

• Bobby Jindal on the road to privatizing a successful health care program in Louisiana.

• Apple uses coal power at the sites that house its servers, making it a more “dirty energy” tech company than any other, according to Greenpeace.

• I think I’ll have to trade my Silvio Berlusconi obsession for a Thaddeus McCotter obsession.

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David Dayen

David Dayen