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The Roundup for March 5, 2012

Some late-breaking stuff I’ll have to attend to tomorrow.

• Attorney General Eric Holder gave his speech today trying to justify the targeted assassination of suspected terrorists, including US citizens living abroad, like Anwar al-Awlaki. More on that later.

Seventy Congressional Democrats have demanded that the CFTC crack down on oil speculation which has distorted the market and raised gas prices. Brad Plumer takes a look at the case for speculation, but I also think he soft-sells it a little bit, and I think it can be summed up by one of the analysts he consults, who simply says that speculation will be difficult to stop because of the power of the financial industry.

• Congressional Dems are also still hounding Ed DeMarco to reduce principal on GSE-backed mortgages. I expect the pressure to increase on DeMarco, as this is a missing link in the economic recovery agenda.

• After a series of decent economic reports, the Fed has put on hold the possibility of instituting another round of quantitative easing.

• Great piece over the weekend from a so-called “bad teacher” in a public high school in Brooklyn. Some needed perspective here for the education debates.

• Apparently some people are deluded enough to believe in an Obama second-term agenda – for real this time – that nicely matches all the things they want. This is a recipe for not getting any of them.

14,000 protesters converged in Moscow to demonstrate against Vladimir Putin’s victory in the Russian Presidential elections. Putin had supporters of his own in the streets, but they were paid to be there.

• John Kasich turned down federal disaster relief for his state after a spate of tornadoes.

• Seeking to hide from protesters, the G-8 summit has moved to Camp David from Chicago.

Thousands of protesters descend on Sacramento to demand more higher education funding in California.

• Rush Limbaugh keeps losing advertisers after his week of misogyny against Sandra Fluke. The latest: AOL, the parent company of the Huffington Post.

• We’ll find out tomorrow who will win the primary in Ohio between Marcy Kaptur and Dennis Kucinich. If Kucinich loses, I’ve heard he may even shop around to other states looking for a seat.

• The 1% – doing just fine, no need to worry.

• America Public Media’s The Story looks at the case of June Clarkson and Theresa Edwards, the foreclosure fraud investigators fired by the Florida Attorney General’s office.

• Interesting WaPo article on how to rethink food safety with constrained resources.

• George Will called the Presidential election eight months early, said that Republicans need to move on and protect Congress rather than engage in a fool’s errand for the White House. The elongated Presidential primary is certainly not helping the GOP brand.

• President Obama will hold a press conference tomorrow.

• The Syrian army continues to chase down rebels who fled from Homs, attacking them with heavy weaponry. John McCain called for war, again.

• Meet Joe Biden’s new hire: a former lobbyist. On a related note, “lobbyist” is about the only job description for former members of Congress.

• Bill Press and Stephanie Miller get the simulcast treatment from Current TV, which is building out their progressive-leaning weekly lineup.

• The Afghan peace talks are not going well, despite the offer to transfer Afghan detainees from Bagram.

• A public option in Oregon? Maybe after the Presidential bid ends, Rick Santorum could move there, because apparently his private insurance coverage is terrible.

• Just a tar sands pipeline catching fire after a spill, nothing to see here….

• From beyond the grave, Andrew Breitbart unleashes a bombshell – President Obama once saw a play about Saul Alinsky. What hurts most about this is that there was an Alinsky play showing in Chicago in 1998 – when I lived there – and I never saw it. I’m a terrible radical.

• There’s a brand-new law enforcement position in the Los Angeles area: porn watcher/compliance monitor of the new condom rules. That’s going to be a high-demand position, I assume.

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David Dayen

David Dayen