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The Roundup for August 30, 2011

I’ll be back tomorrow to tell you how screwed Bank of America is now.

• Politico’s curtain-raiser on the troubles Barack Obama is having within the leadership class of the African-American community doesn’t tread on any new ground, nor does it go to rank and file African-American voters to gauge their assessments, which I find more important.

• The Fed considered stronger action in August before going with the mid-2013 target for the near-zero federal funds rate. It would be nice if Barack Obama would appoint a full complement of Fed governors to help this along.

• More repression in Syria after morning prayers in honor of Eid. At least six are dead. The cycle just never seems to end.

• Health care fraud prosecutions are up 85%, and when this runs its course I’m sure everyone in Washington will still tell you that we have to curtail waste, fraud and abuse to pay for federal programs like subsidizing health insurance.

• Rick Perry, who personally endorsed Al Gore for President in 1988 and praised Hillary Clinton’s health care plan, is the front-runner among right-wing conservatives. This is an example of how partisanship really has shifted somewhat over the past 20-25 years. Or maybe just how it’s changed in Texas, where in the 1980s you still had to be a Democrat to get elected statewide.

• Some foreclosure fraud court news: Ohio’s Supreme Court is likely to rule on a key chain of title issue – whether the party foreclosing must own the mortgage and the note when they file their foreclosure claim. And Oregon seems to be moving toward a judicial foreclosure process, thanks to the MERS mess.

• Honestly, I’m not paying much attention to Dick Cheney’s silly opening argument from the defense book, but fortunately, some are. Barton Gellman, who wrote a factual book about Cheney, takes down the memoir at Swampland, while Leo Strauss has some trenchant thoughts.

• An incoming Republican President could not cancel the Affordable Care Act by fiat, but could undermine it in a host of ways.

• According to the Case-Shiller index, home prices edged their way up in June, but not in a big way, and reductions are still expected in future months.

• Actually, everyone, smart regulations create jobs, particularly EPA regulations that spur innovation.

• What differentiates Morocco from the other countries going through revolution in North Africa? Perhaps nothing; Laila Lalami examines.

• Among those arrested today at the tar sands protests in front of the White House was the author of many of Barack Obama’s 2008 fundraising emails.

• The Wisconsin anti-union bill is forcing cuts to teacher sick days.

• Early voting stats show Republican Mark Amodei likely to be comfortably ahead in NV-02. He’s received $600,000 in support from the NRCC, while the DCCC hasn’t ponied up a cent for Kate Marshall. Looks like Democrats aren’t really contesting this one, despite that favorable PPP poll.

• A few California notes: Democrats want to ban initiatives in low-turnout primary elections, a smart idea; a referendum has been filed to overturn the state’s Congressional redistricting maps which were put together by an independent commission; the state failed to disband the comically corrupt city of Vernon; abolishing the death penalty is likely to be on the ballot in 2012.

• Great news for Tommy Thompson: with Wisconsin House Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald entering the US Senate race, the anybody-but-Thompson vote in the primary could be split, allowing Thompson to get through to the general election.

• The staff director of the Catfood Commission II will be a senior Republican staffer on the Senate Finance Committee.

• Oh yeah, we infected a bunch of Guatemalans with syphillis in a series of experiments. Did we not mention that?

• Ruth Bader Ginsburg probably wouldn’t be confirmed today.

• Will Barack Obama’s undocumented immigrant uncle get leniency under the Administration’s new deportation policy?

• Uh-oh, Sicily’s Mount Etna is erupting. Although, it is one way to curtail global warming.

• Why Christine O’Donnell was invited to speak anywhere is beyond me, but FWIW the tea party organizers at this particular event dropped her from the bill. The Tea Party apparently found someone who embarrasses them.

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David Dayen

David Dayen