CommunityThe Bullpen

The Roundup for March 16, 2012

With all these holes in my March Madness bracket I see no point in continuing.

• Neil Barofsky and Matt Stoller on Bloomberg with Lee Pacchia. Very good background on the foreclosure fraud settlement.

• Great Esquire series with stories of unemployment in the Great Recession.

• Simon Johnson tries to sell populism to the establishment. But populism stands on the side of common sense and prosperity in this case, and the establishment on the side of continued inequality and human misery.

• The Obama Administration could end up on a collision course with Korea, if a new government opposed to the just-implemented trade deal wins the upcoming election, as expected.

• It’s tiresome to keep refuting the silly arguments for increased domestic oil drilling.

• The deification of Ben Bernanke, during a time when the Federal Reserve has consistently missed their inflation and employment targets for going on four years, just confounds me. I guess he’s just a nice GOP daddy.

• Americans do not support intervention in Syria.

• As soon as he leaves America, Benjamin Netanyahu resumes making his case for a unilateral military strike on Iran. Great!

• Heather Hurlburt correctly hammers Leon Wieseltier’s moronic, misogynistic review of Rachel Maddow’s new book (which looks pretty good).

• Mississippi advances an immigration bill that retains some (though not all) of the worst aspects of their neighbor Alabama’s anti-immigration law. And you wonder why Republicans have a problem with Hispanics.

• Afghan President Hamid Karzai accused the US military of stonewalling an investigation into that massacre of civilians. US policy in Afghanistan is really swirling the drain at this point. Oh, and the irony of US officials objecting to unwanted vaginal searches at Afghan prisons isn’t lost on anyone.

• What if we never get that catch-up growth to trend?

• Osama bin Laden was obsessed with rebranding after the incoming Administration stopped calling it a “war on terror.”

• That incident at a military base in Afghanistan involving Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was more serious than at first thought.

• The end of the war in Iraq was always going to occasion sectarian strife.

• Of course Michael Bloomberg showed up at Goldman Sachs to give moral support.

• Yet another longtime incumbent retires from the House. This time it’s Gary Ackerman.

• I’m worried about the synchronicity between the President’s vision for the next couple years and David Brooks’ vision.

• It’s definitely worth asking why American territories have such an outsized role in the Presidential primary process.

• Dharun Ravi was convicted of a hate crime for taping Tyler Clementi’s gay tryst at Rutgers, which led Clementi to commit suicide.

The Obama doc, in case you need it.

• Rejected fruit flies turn to alcohol for relief.

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David Dayen

David Dayen