The Roundup for June 20, 2011

I’m still sitting on at least a half-dozen stories from Netroots Nation, which I’ll trickle out for you over the rest of the week. I’m balancing them with news as it develops. Here’s a big ol’ link dump of things I missed over the past several days.

• In the other Supreme Court ruling today, the Justices unanimously blocked a public nuisance lawsuit over climate pollution coming from the states. Essentially, the Court said that EPA, being the experts in climate policy, should drive climate policy. But of course, the EPA isn’t doing its job, having delayed many of its carbon regulations. And in the past, Presidents like Jimmy Carter have seen the value in public nuisance suits as a complementary action to regulation. More from Adam Liptak.

• Here’s a comprehensive take-down of that terrible Supreme Court ruling in Wisconsin allowing the anti-union law in Wisconsin to move forward. There’s substantial reason to believe that the legislature knew the ruling was coming. Now labor groups are trying a federal equal protection lawsuit, but I’m not too optimistic about it.

• The attention in Wisconsin shifts to the recalls, and while the right-wing front groups are ramping up, so are progressives. Many at Netroots Nation crossed the border from Minnesota into Wisconsin and canvassed for one of the recall candidates yesterday. The Democrats still face a primary from right-wing spoilers, although the state Dem Party removed all their placeholder candidates from the ballot.

• Showing that attacks on workers can be bipartisan, New Jersey is poised to attack worker rights by forcing higher health care and pension contributions and removing collective bargaining for health benefits. The State Senate, led by Democrats, approved the changes today.

• The Fed is considering an implicit inflation target, but if I know this Fed it’s probably at 1% or something. We could use some inflation right now.

• While Democrats and Republicans spar over the NLRB case against Boeing, the judge in the case is trying to get the parties to settle. Thomas Geoghegan had some good thoughts about this in a Wall Street Journal op-ed today. He also had a NYT op-ed on the same day on a different topic! Has anyone ever added, say, the Washington Post and done the op-ed equivalent of a full Ginsburg?

• In the wake of the revelation that Bush-era functionaries sought dirt on Juan Cole during the Iraq war, the Senate Intelligence Committee has planned an investigation.

• No word yet on the fate of marriage equality in New York. Supporters apparently have all but one of the votes they need locked up in the Senate, but they have to get an actual vote from the Senate Leader, Republican Dean Skelos.

• The pledges for reforms from Syria’s Bashar al-Assad seem toothless to me, but at least he feels pressured to offer them at all.

No more waivers for the Affordable Care Act after September. But the voluminous number of waivers already approved get get extensions.

• Great breakdown by Dean Baker of the debt ceiling fight and the Republican, not Democratic, constraints.

• Nobody’s really focusing on voter suppression for the 2012 elections, so E.J. Dionne’s piece was somewhat refreshing.

• The Obama Administration may be pressuring Bahrain on their political repression by using international labor laws.

• They’re not exactly “Internet taxes”. Cash-strapped states want to merely extend their legal sales taxes to online sales.

• The Obama jokes were fine with Republicans; it’s only when an Obama impersonator started turning his attention to the GOP nominees that he was ushered off the stage.

• Tunisia’s former leader was sentenced in absentia to 35 years in jail.

• Greece faces a ton of pressure to accept austerity and privatization measures in exchange for a bailout. Britain, not a part of the euro zone, predicts a “collapse.”

• Even tea party members understand how extreme the Ryan plan to end Medicare is.

• Bill Clinton doesn’t get all the facts right in this article on how to fix the economy (manufacturing started falling on his watch), but there are a few good ideas.

• $300 million: the cost of just one execution in California.

• The threats to the very successful BadgerCare program were a feature of Scott Walker’s budget repair bill; now he’s just getting around to enacting them.

• John McCain is not well and is actually kind of despicable for blaming undocumented immigrants for wildfires in Arizona.

• The first state to force public disclosure of the chemicals used in fracking is – surprise – Texas.

• Jon Huntsman is a balanced budget amendment guy. So much for that whole moderate thing.

• The next House race up is in NV-02, and the Republican nominee’s first ad demands that we NEVER raise the debt limit.

• Clarence Thomas has some serious ethical problems to attend to, and they appear to be mounting.

• Now we learn about the entrapment of Anthony Weiner.

• Chris Matthews has the Internet printed out for him.

• Chris Christie would like you to shut your mouth.

• Aping MoveOn, the Heritage Foundation now has a Save the Dream page.

• Many thanks to Paul Krugman for the link last week.

• Keith Olbermann returns to TV with Countdown on Current tonight at 8pm ET.

• The weekend saw glitterbombs of Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann. They’re the next big thing.

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