The Roundup for October 21, 2011

Warning, extremely long wrap-up of three days of odds and ends below.

• Left-leaning economists are jumping on the bandwagon of the Fed using NGDP level targeting, which in a sense is really just a statement of commitment. So far, the Fed looks more likely to throw in with another round of quantitative easing.

• Protesters staged an Occupy Fox Studios event outside the Fox lot during their shareholder’s meeting today in LA. Jon Weiner has a report in The Nation. Here is the list of grievances against Fox that protesters put together. If anything, the action was more heated inside.

• Dick Cheney’s daughter Liz is leading the charge for Ohio’s anti-union law, which faces a referendum in a little over two weeks. Dan at Pruning Shears has a good report on the No on Issue 2 campaign.

• House and Senate leadership are inserting themselves into the workings of the Super Commitee, which is floundering. At the behest of the austerity class, I’m sure.

• Meanwhile, we’re a month away from another major appropriations showdown. Today Jack Lew flat-out asserted that the President would veto any spending bills that had unrelated ideological policy riders attached to them.

• The EPA plans to regulate the water from fracking. Let’s see the rules, but a good start.

• The White House nominated Thomas Hoenig, late of the Kansas City Fed, to be the number 2 at the FDIC. Hoenig was an inflation hawk as a Fed President, but he also wanted to break up the big banks. And unlike Jon Huntsman, I think he means it. So this could work out.

• After Rand Paul initially blocked it, the Senate HELP Committee passed a reauthorization of No Child Left Behind with a bipartisan 15-7 vote. The bill would sharply curtail federal oversight of public schools.

• The Justice Department wants the Supreme Court to take a take it or leave it approach to the health care challenge. They want the court to strike down other aspects of the law if the individual mandate is found unconstitutional.

• That SEC/Citigroup settlement isn’t a done deal. It has to be blessed by a federal judge, and they drew one who has been skeptical in the past of SEC operations.

• Actually, I’m OK with HHS allowing the use of nurse practitioners instead of physicians for more routine cases.

• Eric Cantor’s aborted inequality speech was fairly ridiculous, by the way. Honestly, I read the whole thing and I don’t know what his point is. Maybe that we should all be like Steve Jobs. Was it a drug legalization speech?

• The accountable care organization regulations are really only for a pilot program, but if they do get traction it would usher in a new way of paying for health care in America.

• Several solar companies filed a petition with the Commerce Department over illegal solar subsidies from the Chinese government toward their domestic industry. This does make the price of solar go down, so there are benefits to it, but not for some forms of domestic manufacturing.

• Melody Barnes is the latest policy adviser to leave the White House.

• Yes, a $2 trillion pyramid would be a pretty good idea.

• Phil Angelides, chair of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, sounds downright giddy about Occupy Wall Street. Would love to hear the FCIC report on the people’s mic.

• Conservatives have figured out that the easiest way to stop abortions is to shut down access to them.

• Harry Reid has now come out against the Keystone XL pipeline. Maybe he’s heard about the Koch Brothers connection.

• Mitt Romney basically endorsed the Ryan budget, but I’m sure by next week he’ll flip on it.

• Seniors will see a 3.6% increase in their Social Security checks, thanks to the cost of living adjustment that everyone wanted to mess with earlier this year.

• The President has written personal checks and made phone calls based on some of the letters he reads from ordinary Americans. So if you wrote to the President, and you didn’t get an Obama check back, well then you’re just not that compelling a writer.

• Important to be cautious here, but there are a few signs of an improving economy. Not enough to make any headway on employment, however, so this is not good enough.

• Haven’t really followed the Marco Rubio story, but it appears that WaPo overhyped it, and also that Rubio embellished (and continues to embellish, as his website still has inaccurate information).

• Good stuff from Markos on the slow death of the Blue Dogs.

• Tommy Thompson thinks that sons and daughters just need to lighten up and let their grandma die. That’s going to go over well.

• Brian Sandoval blinked, and the Nevada caucuses may be pushed back behind Florida, in the interests of stopping the escalation of the primary schedule wars.

• Not just Gadhafi: Colombia killed a top FARC leader this week.

• With any luck we’ll have a malaria vaccine soon, which would be a tremendous human accomplishment.

• Tony Bologna won’t have a vacation this year, although it looks like to him, pepper spraying protesters IS his idea of a vacation.

Awwcuppy Wall Street. Hopefully something will knit a sweater for a penguin with a “We are the 99%” slogan on it.

Clinton Foundation: Celebrity Division is hilarious.

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