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The Roundup for August 9, 2011

I’ll be around with the latest on the Wisconsin recall elections tonight. It should go down to the wire, with several close races. Turnout is heavy but also spotty. Polls close at 9pm ET (8pm CT).

• Claire McCaskill’s just being honest here. Congress isn’t going to pass a jobs bill. Now, McCaskill probably likes it that way, because she’s facing re-election and she doesn’t want to be put on the spot for some bill that spends money. But she’s just accurately playing pundit here. I wish Democratic politicians would play pundit less and advocate more.

• Syrian troops are pulling out of Hama, as President Assad rejects a new play from Turkey to end the repression of the uprising. Assad calls it a war against “militant Islamists” rather than peaceful protesters.

• Congressional Democrats filed Supreme Court briefs at variance with the President’s position on a case where Medicaid beneficiaries are challenging cuts made at the state level. This is a pretty important case.

• Stability watch: Libyan rebels dissolved their cabinet to placate the family of the top military commander who was slain by a rebel faction recently. US officials called this a sign of “reflection” and “renewal.” I would have went with “disarray.”

• Breaking: President plans to case opponent for the Presidency in a bad light. Unprecedented!

• Kind of a big deal: Ron Bloom is stepping down as the Administration’s manufacturing czar. He’s been one of the bright spots from a policy standpoint.

• You want some good news? The dollar is down. That’s good for US exports.

• More good news: the European Central Bank’s intervention to buy bonds from Spain and Italy so far appears to be holding.

• Michele Bachmann wants the President to call Congress off of recess so they can make a bunch of speeches and get nothing done. Meanwhile, she also threw her support to raising the Medicare eligibility age, the dumbest idea possible.

• Zach Carter returns to your video streaming screens to explain how Panama is one of the biggest tax havens in the world, and how a proposed free trade agreement with them would practically normalize tax evasion.

• The newer Medicaid beneficiaries will probably be sicker and therefore more expensive, at least to start (because most were previously uninsured). This is why you’re seeing more and more states looking into Medicaid managed care.

• Now Yemen’s news agency says that Ali Abdullah Saleh will return, even while the US wants him to stay put in Saudi Arabia.

• The Justice Department gets tough on for-profit colleges, filing a multi-billion-dollar fraud suit.

• Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) disavowed the Norquist anti-tax pledge at a town hall meeting. I assume he’ll walk back to Washington on his knees.

The Era of Good Feelings wasn’t all that good. Discuss.

• The Congressional Black Caucus has a jobs tour much like the Progressive Caucus version. These voices are rarely heard by our leaders, but sadly, I’m not sure how to translate the voices into action at this time.

• This Bank of America investor call should be a hoot.

• Remember when the Supreme Court Justice in Wisconsin, David Prosser, choked one of his colleagues on the court? There’s going to be a special prosecutor investigating the incident.

• Arnold Schwarzenegger is a terrible person.

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David Dayen

David Dayen