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The Roundup for June 28, 2011

A lot seemed to pile up at the end of the day, so here’s a full link-fest and we’ll see you tomorrow:

• Sorry to have missed that Harold Koh hearing on Libya, it sounds like he took a beating. Marcy has two good posts on the subject.

• Voter ID (read: voter suppression) laws to solve the non-existent voter fraud problem are in vogue as we near 2012, and a few public officials are showing some courage. North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue (D) and New Hampshire Governor John Lynch (D) just vetoed respective voter ID bills, and the Republican Secretary of State in Ohio, Jon Husted, blasted the proposed voter ID bill in his state, which would be one of the more restrictive in the nation.

• Wisconsin Democrats caught a break in their recall elections, when a Republican state legislator was disqualified from challenging Senate Democrat incumbent Dave Hansen because he didn’t get the required signatures. The remaining Republican challenger has, er, some criminal justice issues. Because there’s now only one challenger to Hansen, that general recall election will take place July 19, on a different schedule than the other Democratic recalls.

• Ron Johnson is apparently pulling a Sen. Stackhouse in the Senate, which distracts the nation from Johnson’s own fundraising scandal, and stops the Senate from doing the important work of… I’m sorry, I’m not sure what the Senate does anymore.

• Damange from natural disasters in the US hit $23 billion this year. That would be the cost of inaction on climate change.

• French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde was named the new head of the IMF today. The old order won out over the emerging markets.

• Senate Democrats held the first ever Congressional hearing on the DREAM Act. Judging from the comments of the Republicans, I don’t think much will come of it.

• The Administration is pressing carmakers to accept a new fuel economy standard of 56.2 mpg. I do think this is unusually and pleasantly ambitious, although CAFE standards may not be the best path to efficiency.

• Angling for the neocon vote, Tim Pawlenty gave a speech full of bluster today. He also lined up with the President by saying that the War Powers Act doesn’t apply to Libya.

• Sticking in riders in bills to help out specific industries is a bipartisan affair, and can even happen by Democrats when Republicans run the House.

• A remarkable story by Mac McClelland on sex and her personal struggle with PTSD.

• No, a thousand times no, contractionary fiscal policy cannot be expansionary.

• Eric Cantor holds a bunch of ETFs that short US Treasuries. This is a massive conflict of interest for the guy who just walked out of the debt limit talks.

• Tea Party activists want the Republican campaign arm of the Senate to stay the heck out of primaries.

• Good piece in Washington Monthly on tax expenditures and how big they’ve become over the years.

• Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA) is the focus of an ethics inquiry for forcing her staffers to work on her campaigns. Richardson has been an embarrassment to the California delegation for a while. Fortunately, there are a bunch of candidates ready to take her out next cycle, no matter where she runs.

• War on women watch: Kansas will probably see all its abortion clinics close after Republicans used obscure licensing laws (I thought they hated regulations!) to push them out; the Ohio House passed a “fetal heartbeat” bill that would restrict abortions to the first 6-7 weeks of pregnancy.

• Heartless Republicans watch: Florida’s Rick Scott signs a bill reducing unemployment benefits to 12 weeks; in Arizona, a low-income man needing heart surgery makes $12 a year too much to qualify under Medicaid.

• Not just Republicans watch: Missouri’s Democratic Governor Jay Nixon cut aid to abused children to pay for disaster relief in Joplin; Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter vetoed a bill which would have mandated paid sick leave in the city.

• Haven’t been following the potential government shutdown in Minnesota, but Laura Clawson has an update.

• Lynn Woolsey will retire. This district is now really screwy, stretching 400 miles along the coast from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon border in northern California. I hope that changes.

• Maggie Koerth-Baker takes a look at the Nebraska nuclear power plant. Just because it’s been idle since April doesn’t mean there’s no danger.

• Mitt Romney sees the Bachmann warning signs ahead, is now pushing an early primary for Utah to front-load states favorable to him.

• MSNBC holding most of their audience without Keith Olbermann, though Olbermann is now cutting into Lawrence O’Donnell’s viewers with his show on Current. Me, I’ll take that slightly odd RT network any time. I’ve actually been a guest on The Alyona Show on a few occasions.

• We can’t even save money on printing our own money in America.

• An Israeli man’s video claiming that the latest Gaza flotilla is anti-gay has been revealed as a hoax.

• The pope tweets! I’m not responding to his direct message, though. Just not going there. Too many twitpics out there. I’m hoping that was a mitre, put it that way.

• So excited for a new Monty Python movie, this time an animated feature using the voice of and based on the life of Graham Chapman.

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David Dayen

David Dayen