The Roundup for July 15, 2011

Sorry for the delay. As luck would have it, I had to spend some time on the other side of the dreaded 405 today. And as you may know, Carmageddon begins in just a few hours. So I wanted to get a jump on people and get across early. Apparently everyone had that idea.

• Kevin Drum is right on the policy, by the way, the whole reason for Carmageddon is to widen the 405 to build a carpool lane, which will probably not add a single carpool to the road or relieve congestion in any meaningful way.

• Interesting that Elizabeth Warren appears to have put this video of her comments yesterday at the House Oversight Committee hearing on her own Facebook page. Maybe she’s angling for a post-CFPB career: the Wall Street Journal says that she will not get the nomination for head of the bureau, and that it’ll be announced next week. Richard Cordray would be an interesting choice.

• Lisa Schweitzer has a good op-ed on the selling of the world, the global push toward privatization.

• The Gang of Six is ready for their close-up. They’ll probably call this Catfood Commission II that they want to set up through McConnell-Reid the “Gang of Six Commission” or something.

• Republicans in the House will actually vote on their “Cut, Cap and Balance” plan next Wednesday. This would delay any debt limit increase until Congress sends a balanced budget amendment to the states for ratification. Incidentally, Bill Richardson actively supported a balanced budget amendment in his Presidential campaign in 2008, so this isn’t a madness confined to one party.

• I’ll have more on this list of Obama bundlers later, but in looking for names like Anna Wintour and Ari Emanuel, people are not recognizing the real significance: if you add it all up, a significant portion of the fundraising haul in Q2 for Obama came from these bundlers. And they’re not collecting that from the grassroots, to be sure.

• Ryan Avent has been really good in questioning this headlong rush into austerity. This is an excellent post.

• Don’t be confused, a default would be terrible for pretty much everyone. And we’re just a couple weeks away.

• You have Rudy Giuliani now warning against a default. The crazy thing about this whole debt limit debate is that Obama apparently played the right strategy to get the Republicans to back down. He just ended up believing in cuts more than the Republicans did.

• Here’s some actual good news: the US is considering pulling its tactical nuclear weapons out of Europe. It’s high time. And I’m guessing that saves money in security costs, too.

• Marine General James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs, actually raised the threat of a draft if there were excessive defense budget cuts. I say bring ’em on. Watch support for wars plummet when everyone knows their son or daughter could be fighting them.

• Sandy Pasch is basically even with Alberta Darling in one recall election in Wisconsin. And the Darling race is probably 5th out of 6 in terms of chances of flipping to the Democrats.

• Don’t look now, but the Senate rules “deal” has completely broken down, with just one federal judge getting confirmed in the last month. This is basically all the Senate should be doing while they wait for a vote on the debt limit.

• Another Friday of murderous repression from the Syrian government. 20,000 protested in Damascus, which is a pretty big number – the protests were not usually so big in the capital.

• Republicans couldn’t muster a 2/3 vote for phasing out energy-efficient light bulbs this week, so they added it as an amendment to the energy and water appropriations bill. Freedom!

• Henry Aaron argues for the Independent Payment Advisory Board.

• A federal judge harshly condemned the government’s Secure Communities information-sharing program, saying that the feds have “gone out of their way to mislead the public.”

• Longtime Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI) will retire.

• The Koch Brothers’ PAC maxed out to Michele Bachmann.

• I was struggling to figure out how Newt Gingrich’s Presidential campaign managed to get $1 million in debt already. It’s not like he has any staff to pay. Then I found out that he really, really likes private jets.

• Rick Perry found the fucking stupidest guy on the face of the earth to teach him about foreign policy.

• Rummy got a pat-down yesterday.

• You can find Marcy at She’s already doing daily links, so she totally stole my thing.

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