CommunityThe Bullpen

The Roundup for August 23, 2011

I was on Susie Madrak’s show on Virtually Speaking tonight, talking about Eric Schneiderman.

• This was a weak job by Joe Nocera Tuesday, apparently some kind of penance for him thinking he’s been “too liberal” since hitting the op-ed page. Laura Clawson flays him over his thoughts on the NLRB/Boeing dispute.

• The White House is considering a program mirrored after a Georgia policy of job training for the long-term unemployed. Annie Lowrey and Zaid Jilani look at the pluses and minuses of such an idea. While job training is a nice enough idea – I like this Colorado program for training prisoners for green jobs careers – ultimately you still have to boost aggregate demand.

• At the risk of analyzing the Libyan situation before it’s over, thoughts from Shadi Hamid and Blake Hounshell.

• The six-month conflict in Libya has so far cost the US $896 million, less than a couple days’ work in Afghanistan. In other Libya fiscal news, the US is unfreezing $1.5 billion in funds that the rebels can use right away for their needs.

• Adam Levitin gives his take on the White House trying to goad Eric Schneiderman into a global settlement on mortgage issues. He is correct that in some ways, the moment has been lost to truly fix the housing market. But the rule of law doesn’t have to be swept away either.

• The DC corridor discovered the existence of earthquakes today. Sometimes hillsides catch on fire too! Marcy has the best response I’ve seen, noting that the quake was centered in Eric Cantor’s district. He’s the guy who wants to cut USGS funding.

• PPP’s Presidential polling makes clear that Latino support for the President is really propping up his numbers. He leads Republican challengers among Latinos by between 37 and 53 points, an even bigger margin than what he got over John McCain. In case you were wondering what that deportation order was all about.

• What do you know, it turns out that, even despite a big NYT profile and everything, Republicans are not all that close to taking over NY-09 after all! Who’d-a thunk it?

• Warren Buffett and Ford CEO Alan Mulally got calls from the President today as he prepares his jobs package for September. I have a few other names of people he can call.

• Joe Biden, touring Asia, says get ready for the trigger and the failure of the Catfood Commission II.

• The states that have made progress on lowering mortgage delinquencies are correlated strongly with non-judicial foreclosure states. In other words, the foreclosure crisis is inversely proportional to the level of due process in a state.

• I would hope the number of problem banks would finally drop after five years of financial crises. We’re down to 865!

• Raising the Medicare eligibility age will lead to a net increase in overall health spending.

• Tommy Thompson is really not a shoo-in to be the GOP nominee for that open Wisconsin Senate seat.

• It was only a matter of time before every foreclosure defense attorney experienced some smears and attacks. But in this case, the banks’ allies are trying to get April Charney fired.

• They’re really getting desperate. Think Progress chronicles one Republican town hall where cameras were confiscated, and found another Republican claiming that nobody holds town halls anymore.

• The Teaching Assistant’s Association at the University of Wisconsin, who were instrumental in the protests against Scott Walker’s assault on worker’s rights, decided not to certify as a union for collective bargaining. It sounds like they will become more of an outside advocacy organization.

• Apparently there’s no such thing as free speech for Eliot Spitzer.

• As people start to recognize the scams of for-profit colleges, their enrollments are plummeting. Good.

• Japan’s Prime Minister couldn’t weather the controversy of the Fukushima disaster, it appears, as he’s likely to resign.

• Don’t buy any talk that the new fuel efficiency standards are unattainable. The automakers won’t even need to create new technology to reach the 54.5 mpg standard.

• KBR wants $2 million from raped former employee Jennifer Leigh Jones.

• Good to see Bill Moyers going back on TV with a new show.

• Can’t wait for “I’ll have a Biden” to become a thing you say at restaurants in China.

• The final words of Jack Layton, Canada’s progressive leader, are inspirational and should not be forgotten.

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David Dayen

David Dayen