The next couple weeks will be all about the Prop. 8 trial around these parts – it starts in the morning. I’ll actually be reporting from a courthouse in Pasadena, CA, where a simulcast of the feed from Judge Vaughn Walker’s courtroom will be broadcast. And I’ll have a background post up in the morning. The trial starts at 8:30am Pacific.

Also, we will have the Jon Walker/Nate Silver debate for you tomorrow, probably in the late afternoon. You almost can’t keep up with everything happening at FDL.

Now, weekend links:

• Expect this Harry Reid “Negro” comment to take up most of the next week’s political theater. I’m glad I’ll be busy covering an important civil rights trial rather than wallow in all of that. I do agree that Reid is pretty much not an viable candidate for Senate right now, but the calls for him to resign or step down are ludicrous.

• Maureen Dowd wants a daddy. And said so in print. Wow.

• A study earlier this week showed that immigration reform that allowed a path to citizenship for the undocumented could increase total GDP by $1.5 trillion dollars over ten years. Framing immigration reform as an economic imperative will be a key point made by supporters over the next several months.

• This WaPo story says that the US was focused more on Al Qaeda’s efforts in other countries than their efforts to strike the US homeland. I guess having only eight or nine analysts for the Middle East at the NCTC would lead you to that conclusion.

• It’s gossipy and you have no idea if the narrator is reliable, but man oh man do John and Elizabeth Edwards come off terribly in this New York Magazine cover story. It’s a classic “power corrupts” tale.

• I never got around to some of the “Obama/movement” pieces floating around this week, so just so you have them in one place: Harold Meyerson on the need for progressive movements; Charles Homans on Obama’s organizers; and James Fallows on how America can return (yes, return) to prominence.

• Actually, Mr. Schwarzenegger, California is getting back more than they give to the federal government in taxes, so quit your bellyaching. Or rather, keep bellyaching, because without more federal aid, the state will chop multiple safety net programs. So I have no idea why Barbara Boxer would hold conference calls trying to prove California gets their fair share. In the aggregate that hurts the most vulnerable people in the state for the sake of winning an argument.

• The Washington Post’s ombudsman has weighed in on the paper’s use of deficit-howling content from the Fiscal Times, and he doesn’t see much of a problem. OK then.

• The FDIC wants to penalize banks for taking risks through the fees they charge the financial firms. Ian Welsh says it won’t work because the banksters would rather let their companies die on the vine as long as their salaries stay ridiculously fat.

• Blanche Lincoln’s grousing because having to work through to Christmas caused her to miss a bunch of re-election fundraisers. Public Campaign sees this as symptomatic of why we need campaign finance reform.

• David Broder, moron.

• Looks like our courts are actually going to go to great lengths to deny habeas corpus to suspects in our custody. Because of the “ramifications,” you see.

• The “housing bubble” was a real estate bubble, much broader than any misguided arguments about the Community Reinvestment Act or predatory lending.

Same-sex marriage in Portugal.

• McDonald’s is doing its part for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by studying cow flatulence.

• I don’t want to hear it about the Eagles.