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The Roundup for May 20, 2011

Slow news day, I assume because everyone’s packing up for the Rapture tomorrow. What will be awesome is that my Sunday brunch place will be sooo empty tomorrow. The Rapture gets results!

• Here are Richard Trumka’s full remarks at the National Press Club today. A lot of people are counting on him to hold to this idea of an independent progressive movement.

• The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for an attack on a convoy outside the US consulate. It killed one Pakistani passerby.

• The lack of leadership at key financial regulatory agencies when a passel of rules have to be written under Dodd-Frank is approaching a crisis.

• All of a sudden, Tea Party Republicans representing districts experiencing tragedy from natural disasters want federal dollars in the form of emergency aid. How quickly they turn.

• WaPo checks in on Jon Tester’s race in Montana. What struck me was a line from this ad already running in the state: “Why does Senator Tester side with the big banks and not us?” Good question.

• It took Democrats all of five days to make use of Newt Gingrich’s “right-wing social engineering” comment about the Paul Ryan plan to end Medicare.

• Meanwhile, Republicans have figured out the best way to deal with town hall anger: ban cameras so nobody outside of the town hall can see them being embarrassed. They know that everyone has a camera in their cell phone these days, right?

• Medicare is already means-tested, in the sense that it’s financed in part by progressive taxes.

• I have a strong feeling that this “bipartisan” energy deal will probably end up worse than the status quo.

• Now Gallup shows a majority for marriage equality. Slowly, its time is coming.

• A judge in Nevada overruled the Secretary of State, and will allow the parties to choose official candidates for the special election to replace Dean Heller in NV-02. This probably means the end for Sharron Angle’s hopes.

• President Obama pardoned eight people today, mostly for low-level pot offenses.

Riots in Spain after austerity cuts to the welfare state.

• A family in Vallejo is being evicted from their home just weeks after the tragic death of their daughter. The banks are so compassionate.

• California’s unemployment rate is the lowest since August 2009. Things are definitely improving in the state, mainly due to a second tech boom and exports, and possibly a sprinkling of insourcing.

• Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s wife rented an apartment in a luxury building for her husband to stay in while his trial commences, but the building won’t let him stay there. Sounds like he’s going to corporate housing.

• Libyan women led the uprising against Moammar Gadhafi, but Libyan men are keeping them out of the top positions on the Transitional National Council, the rebels’ governmental arm. Just add in some sexual harassment and the Libyan rebels would fit right in at the IMF!

• Jared Bernstein coins a term – The NASTIEs (Never-A-Stinkin’-Tax-Increase-Ever).

• A representative of a nonprofit tweeted about FCC Commissioner Meredith Baker getting a job at Comcast. Comcast retaliated by dropping their funding of the nonprofit. Once the media got a hold of it, now they’re reinstating the funding.

• Still no deal in Yemen, as President Saleh continues to evade responsibility.

• Just as the Wisconsin GOP passes a voter suppression bill, we find a case of voter fraud in Wisconsin – from a GOP legislative aide.

• The Centers for Disease Control want you to be prepared in the case of a zombie emergency.

• RIP Macho Man Randy Savage.

• John Lithgow gives a dramatic reading of the Newt Gingrich “literati” press release on The Colbert Report.

• The only thing funnier than John Lithgow? George Takei.

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David Dayen

David Dayen