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The Roundup for March 22, 2012

The two-year anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act is actually tomorrow, though a lot of pols pre-empted by putting out statements today. This is not information you need to know but a peek behind the curtain of my email inbox.

• Though we’re supposed to believe that the crisis in Europe has faded, some particularly nasty indicators came out today. Ireland has slipped back into recession, while Spanish borrowing costs jumped back up. In fact, economic indicators across Europe (and China) fell today. This hasn’t stopped European governments from hiring technocrats and ex-bankers to make everything all better, of course.

• Ryan Grim and Amanda Terkel outline what went wrong in Ilya Sheyman’s failed Congressional primary bid. They lay out a variety of factors. Digby looks forward to additional opportunities. I hate to say this, but I think the progressive movement has lost the ability to really dominate over the establishment, an ability they once held.

• Gary Gensler, chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, says he needs more money in the budget to actually crack down on over-speculation. Meanwhile, the king of Saudi Arabia may just solve the gas price problem, if it’s within his capacity.

• Capper has another deep dive into Walkergate. I still think that what could sink Walker in the recall is not corruption, but his terrible jobs record.

• I joked about Larry Summers offering stimulus the day before the World Bank appointment announcement, but the paper he authored with Brad DeLong is actually quite good. The basic point they make is that stimulus at near-zero interest rates will not only help the economy in the short-term, but over time as well.

• I don’t know where Ezra gets this idea that single-payer will magically appear as a result of conservative health care schemes, either. See Jon Walker.

• Banks don’t just own Congress, they apparently own state houses as well.

• Teju Cole on Kony2012 and The White Savior Industrial Complex. Stunningly good work.

• Perhaps as an antecedent to that, Daniel Larison on the mess that is Libya.

• Did China experience an under-the-radar coup? So hard to know, but there are some signs.

• Linda Greenhouse confidently predicts that the Administration will win its court fight on the Affordable Care Act. Perhaps too confidently, and with too much faith in the power of logic.

• There are now 60 co-sponsors in the Senate to renew the Violence Against Women Act. So what’s everybody waiting for?

• The deep investment in proving that housing has hit bottom and will thus rebound is getting a little embarrassing.

• The man alleged to have killed schoolchildren in Toulouse, France died after a daylong standoff and shootout.

• Another great one from the HuffPost crew on the lobbying war between community banks and credit unions. It’s yet another mediation of corporate interests that never gets into the press, but eats up a large fraction of Congress’ time.

• Now Kay Bailey Hutchison is walking back her party’s antipathy to Planned Parenthood. Of course, she’s retiring at the end of the year, so she can do that.

• Deutsche Bank found a way around US capital requirements.

• Unemployment claims drop again. Good news for the labor market.

• You barely ever hear the President manage to defend the health care law anymore, but he stepped up to the plate today.

• What? No troop drawdowns from Afghanistan in all of 2013, either?

• The Supreme Court actually did an OK job on plea bargains and defendant’s rights.

• Amazing story about how a Reddit comment expanded into a big-budget action movie, with the commenter as screenwriter.

• You’ll be happy to know, if you’re an investor, that Goldman Sachs will no longer refer to you as a muppet in internal emails. That should make the medicine go down smoother.

• And hookers for John Edwards. Though Edwards denies it. Though he’s denied lots of things before.

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David Dayen

David Dayen