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The Roundup for May 11, 2012

A couple programming notes. You may have noticed Scarecrow’s entry at News. He did several posts while I was on vacation, and he should be contributing here more often, I hope, particularly on the weekends.

In addition, fatster was kind enough to do roundups while I was away. And I thought she did a fine job. So much so, in fact, that we’re going to try having fatster take them over. So this should be my last roundup. Fatster will start delivering them on Sunday. Great to see homegrown talent move up the ladder. Onward!

• Some more good explainers of the “Fail Whale” trade, from Heidi Moore of Marketplace and Mark Gongloff of the Huffington Post. And a shout out to Stephanie Ruhle, who broke the news of the London Whale trades in April. I have to add that Paul Volcker appears way too credulous of banks on all this.

• I guess Joe Biden apologized to Barack Obama for jumping the gun on marriage equality. Sounds like someone’s proud of their new position! But before we lionize Biden for making this happen, let’s remember AmericaBlog’s Joe Sudbay, who really got this ball rolling. Has any other reporter done as much good in a one-on-one interview with the President?

• NARAL’s Nancy Keenan will step down because she apparently knows she’s no longer being effective, which is usually tough for anyone to say.

• I don’t know what’s worse: the EU’s “warning” over Spanish debt, when fiscal challenges pale in comparison to nearly 25% unemployment, or this German tabloid’s warning over the slightest hint of allowing higher inflation, to the extent of showing Weimar-era currency in the article. Good Lord, we’re doomed.

• Oh, and the UK is falling apart from austerity, too.

• The Obama campaign is getting involved in the Scott Walker recall, and for good reason: Wisconsin will be a potential swing state in November.

• Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has nudged California to make a decision on high speed rail. This is an important decision for the future of infrastructure in this country.

• You could call it “subsidies” aiding US manufacturing, or you could call it intelligent government policy aimed at bringing back good-paying jobs. Your call.

• The foreclosure fraud settlement monitor has no mechanism to aid in individual claims of harm or abuse. Some settlement.

• Egypt loved their first-ever televised Presidential debate. The broadcast included a primer on what a debate constitutes.

• This data on education in California makes me really sad for my state.

• Good to know that Mitt Romney’s staffers exemplify the same anti-gay bullying as the big boss.

• On Mother’s Day weekend, Trayvon Martin’s mother records a message opposing Stand Your Ground-type gun laws.

• According to Marco Rubio, everyone’s out to get him and his legislative priorities. He just asked me if I think he’s paranoid. He seems really touchy about it.

• Marijuana activists have organized against the campaign of a federal prosecutor in the Oregon Attorney General’s race.

• The biggest example of the importance of the President’s remarks on marriage equality is how many other big-name Democrats have come out for it since. The latest? Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, which hopefully gets us closer to a marriage equality law in that state.

• Habitat for Humanity has branched out from building homes and is testing out buying up a bunch and creating neighborhoods.

• A North Carolina woman was arrested for seeking a marriage license for her and her female partner.

• Italian anarchists took responsibility for the shooting of an executive in the nuclear industry.

• Great New Yorker cover art for their next issue, on Obama’s gay marriage shift.

• The President playing pickup basketball with five-foot-nothing Tobey Maguire is a bigger mismatch than his US Senate race against Alan Keyes.

• A lawsuit will decide if Fruit Roll-Ups are made with actual fruit. The judge could just, um, eat one. It would become self-evident, though it may be cruel and unusual punishment.

• And since it’s my last roundup, let me shout out to my 76ers for beating the Bulls in the first round of the playoffs last night:

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David Dayen

David Dayen