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The Roundup for May 25, 2011

I feel like this day had more news in it than the last month combined. Lots of new developments. In fact, I’m going to have to save some of them for tomorrow. Here’s just SOME of what I didn’t get to:

• French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde is officially a candidate for Director the IMF, but the emerging nations want to end the practice of always giving that spot to Europe. Former chief economist for the IMF Simon Johnson makes the case for a non-European leader.

• President Obama will choose Army General Martin Dempsey as the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

• The President met with David Cameron in London today, and both leaders stressed that they would continue to fight in Libya until Moammar Gadhafi left power. Meanwhile, Libyan rebels have resorted to robbing their own central bank to come up with funds for the war effort.

There is almost no economic recovery. We’re still in a jobs crisis with no end in sight, and the near-term economic indicators don’t look good either. It’s time to do something about that. And contrary to deeply held Republican belief, budget cuts will not help economic growth. Quite the opposite.

• The worst thing about that awful Elizabeth Warren hearing yesterday was how the Republican members didn’t know basic facts about the CFPB. It’s like they have no staffs. Patrick McHenry, who chaired the hearing, got an earful from Warren fans on his Facebook page.

• Meanwhile, there are a series of worthwhile efforts in the House to end the war in Afghanistan, pursuant to the defense authorization bill. That’s in addition to ending the “forever war” authorization, which Obama issued a veto threat on. Obama also threatened to veto the detainee provisions which would block transfers from Gitmo, the first time he’s made that threat. AND, there’s that F-35 second engine that you apparently can’t kill.

• Tea Party Governors in the states still doing what they do: Scott Walker signed the voter suppression bill in Wisconsin, and wants to pay for it by ending all public financing of elections in the state; in Texas, possible Presidential candidate Rick Perry signed a bill requiring a sonogram test be administered 24 hours before an abortion; and in Michigan, Rick Snyder signed a tax bill that actually cuts taxes on the rich and raises them on the poor.

• It looks like John Edwards will get indicted for campaign law violations, and based on this statement from his lawyer (former WH counsel Greg Craig), he’s going to fight it.

• Remember when I said that Eric Cantor wanted offsets for emergency funding for tornadoes in Missouri? The GOP wants to take it from clean cars funding.

• With curious timing, a California inspector general claims that violent offenders were released without supervision by the parole board. But quadraplegics cannot leave prison. Anyhoo, if the state wants to keep scaring people into accepting this, give it a try.

• I like these new fuel economy labels for cars and trucks put out by the Department of Transportation.

• New Hampshire Republicans want to hold their override vote on making the state right-to–work-for-less on the same day as a giant fundraiser for state Democrats, forcing Democrats to choose to miss the override vote or miss the fundraiser.

• Egypt will permanently open the Rafah border crossing with Gaza starting Saturday.

• Labor has begun to think strategically about how to reach non-members as well as members. That’s a good sign, but also an expression of defeat, that the movement is now too small to have an impact without non-union counterparts.

• Public schools are charging students for certain classes, extra-curricular activities, and even taking the bus.

• CNBC uses the D word – default – when talking about Greece.

• Alberto Gonzales is very, very disappointed in himself over the US Attorney scandal. Well, that’s nice.

• The New Jersey Supreme Court ordered Chris Christie to increase school funding, because the state is in violation of Constitutional guidelines governing levels of support.

• David Vitter blocked Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s pay increase because not enough permits are being given out to oil companies in the Gulf of Mexico.

• Sharron Angle won’t run for the “mockery” of an election in NV-02, which now will feature candidates chosen by the state parties.

• A House lawmaker said that Obama’s Middle East speech showed him to be “tilting toward Hamas” – and it was a Democrat who said it. By the way, actual Israelis think Netanyahu is a diplomatic failure endangering the national security of the country.

• Ezra Klein on the new overseer of comparative effectiveness research.

• Kathy Hochul’s win in NY-26 has a residual impact on redistricting in New York state, which is now thrown into quite a bit of turmoil. New York loses two seats in redistricting.

• Obama continues to tout the auto rescue, will travel to Ohio for that purpose next week.

• The Swiss government plans to decommission all its nuclear power plants within 25 years.

• In a related story, Citibank and Google will fund a giant wind farm in California.

• Wish I knew the inside story about the Ahmadinejad/Khamenei split.

• Every country should ban Marmite. Yuck.

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David Dayen

David Dayen