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The Roundup for April 26, 2011

A reminder that my Twitter feed is available on the right-hand column, and you can follow it here. Sometimes I get tunnel vision from writing a bunch of posts and don’t tweet as much as I should, but I try to throw some additional insights up there when I can.


• I actually kind of agree with this David Brooks column, which is really about the failure of elites whether he realizes it or not. Of course, the only options he sees in the future are a “semi-crackpot outsider like Donald Trump” or the return to a “strong centrist political establishment.” Those are the only alternatives possible in Bobo’s world.

• Mitt Romney isn’t going to offer any solutions worth a damn either, but his core argument against Obama about unemployment is going to resonate with a lot of people. Lesson: don’t send in a moderate Republican in a time of crisis. And I’m not talking about Romney.

• While the OCC continues to cover for the banks, some states are beginning to investigate further. That’s a Republican AG in Michigan, and he was outpointed by a clever county recorder of deeds who used the 60 Minutes story on foreclosure fraud and elevated the issue locally.

• Housing prices plummet again, dampening the green shoots crowd who wanted to declare housing back after one new home sales report. This reality is why you haven’t heard anything about Fannie and Freddie from Republicans for a while – they believe it’s the only thing left propping up the market.

• A couple additional revelations in the Gitmo files I never got around to: 1) the detainee who was released, only to become a trainer of Libyan rebels? The hell? 2) the extreme degree of jailhouse snitching going on at Gitmo, providing evidence that later proved unreliable.

• Not all is well, however. Out of all the things to investigate in the housing mess, Iowa (whose AG Tom Miller is leading the foreclosure fraud “investigation”) has decided to look into a couple who used contract law to save their home from foreclosure.

• Andy Kroll has a link-laden piece on the network of policy shops driving the attack on unions at the state level. Excellent backgrounder.

• I don’t know why you would conclude that hedge fund managers are switching to the GOP now, all of a sudden. This has been true for a while, and furthermore, spreading the money around to whoever’s in power or who might attain power is just what the masters of the universe do.

• Here’s an excellent discussion from five experts at what may be next for the Arab uprising.

• Brian Beutler scooped yesterday that it was actually Coca-Cola who persuaded their law firm to drop the case defending DOMA for the GOP House.

• The recount in the Wisconsin state Supreme Court election will begin tomorrow morning and last two weeks. It should all be wrapped up by May 9.

• Some amazing work here by The Daily Beast, getting an exclusive story about the Taliban prison break from the prisoners who pulled it off.

• We killed the number 3 in Al Qaeda again.

• The Financial Times reports that “say on pay,” where shareholders get some input on executive salaries, is actually working in lowering compensation. Of course, when the salaries go down, the bonuses go up, so it’s a moving target.

• Mike Konczal gave some testimony in Sacramento on a very worthwhile bill in the California legislature that would force banks to pay a $20,000 community mitigation fee for every foreclosure. Sadly because of 2/3 rules for raising revenue it’s not likely to pass. But the chair of the Assembly Budget Committee is carrying it.

• Eliot Spitzer on Goldman’s lies and the Levin report.

• Jesse Jackson on Benton Harbor. Race plays into that situation a lot more than people would care to admit.

• They’re not hiding it anymore: a bill in Louisiana would straight-up ban all abortions.

• Ford announced the largest first-quarter profit in 13 years, mostly due to sales of small cars. Yes, Detroit, there is a Santa Claus, and he wants you to sell some economy models.

Son of Stuxnet hitting Iran.

• Sharron Angle may become this year’s Doug Hoffman.

• Anti-pot lawmaker gets busted for pot possession. Sometimes the hypocrisy quotient is just too high, pardon the pun.

• Jan Brewer goes hard anti-birther.

• Get your official terrorist Casio watch and never be late for your next jihad!

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David Dayen

David Dayen