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The Roundup for August 29, 2011

Days like this I just feel like I’m a set-builder for the theater production set to take place when everybody goes back to work. That’s not until next week, so we’re stuck with this:

• Lots of states shifting to “Medicaid managed care,” which is just a privatization scheme similar to Medicare Advantage. And just like MA, it doesn’t actually save the government any money.

• It’s not just that Gadhafi has a lot of loyalty, it’s that a) the Transitional National Council doesn’t really have a base of support, given the tribal society and lack of a unified vision outside of attacking a common enemy, and b) the TNC doesn’t even plan to contest the elections, making stability a more remote possibility.

• Some decent ideas to increase job creation that won’t become law in the near future. Just cataloging here.

• Much more on this tomorrow, but the FDIC is objecting to the Bank of America settlement on mortgage-backed securities issues, essentially taking Eric Schneiderman’s side of the argument.

• Rep. John Lewis summons some moral authority in objecting to voter ID laws, calling them “a poll tax by another name.”

“When I said, ‘Change we can believe in,’ I didn’t say, ‘Change we can believe in tomorrow.’” I hope they’ve got something better than that.

• The Communications Workers of America is readying for the upcoming FAA authorization battle with Mica Watch, keeping close scrutiny on House Transportation Committee Chair John Mica.

• By the way, those COBRA subsidies that helped a lot of people expire this week. In its place? Nothing, but at least those high-risk pools are utilizing 2% of their federal funding authorization to get people health care who can’t otherwise obtain it!

• In the end, the biggest impact of the Libyan revolution may be in Syria. I think Iran’s statement that the government in Damascus must recognize “legitimate” demands of the people is a huge development.

• I actually found a fair bit to agree with in Ross Douthat’s column today, particularly about the theocratic right getting less than they expect from the federal government continually when it shifts to the right. That said, they’re doing land office business in the states, and chipping away just enough at the federal level to keep the charges happy. Assuming that the extreme theocratic views of leading GOP presidential candidates are irrelevant seems like folly to me.

• The Al Qaeda #2 used to be Al Qaeda #3 before the death of bin Laden, so this remains the drummer for Spinal Tap revolving-door position.

• It would be great for the world if China allowed appreciation of their currency, it could lead to the increase of up to 2 million manufacturing jobs in the US.

• This seems like a bad turn of events: “Infuriated that Washington met secretly at least three times with a personal emissary of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Afghan government intentionally leaked details of the clandestine meetings, scuttling the talks and sending the Taliban intermediary into hiding.” The Afghan government is our partner, the ones we’re fighting to protect, incidentally.

• Get ready for the spate of thematic pieces about 9/11 over the next two weeks. The real 9/11 trend piece, of course, is about the rise of the terror industry.

• Immigrants need to see the details in action before praising the Administration’s new deportation policies.

• With Wilma Leibman’s term expired, the NLRB only has a few more months before Craig Becker’s recess appointment is up and the board can no longer make any rulings because it will not have a quorum of commissioners.

• Beware the out-of-town election trend pieces, but it sounds like people don’t even know there’s an election for Congress in Reno in a couple weeks, which is probably good news for the Democratic underdog.

• Would love to see an international Tobin tax implemented.

• I’m sure Rick Perry’s exploding bank account while serving the public as governor is just a coincidence.

• Hurricanes expose the poor quality of US infrastructure.

• Eyewitness testimony is quite unreliable.

• Man, even Cyprus is moving to austerity.

• Everyone settle down, Mitt Romney’s only doubling the size of his vacation home in La Jolla, not quadrupling it, you haters.

• Marc Neumann has a really good chance to beat Tommy Thompson in the Wisconsin Senate GOP primary, which is good news for Democrats, because Neumann polls worse than Thompson against the Dems.

• Can’t believe the “I was showing off my butthole in a display of pride over my weight loss!” excuse didn’t work for this anti-gay Republican.

• Welcoming Pam’s House Blend to FDL. We’ve needed some good coffee around this place. Be sure to bookmark.

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David Dayen

David Dayen