The Roundup for September 23, 2011

Have a nice weekend:

• After some bad publicity in the wake of audience members booing a gay soldier, Rick Santorum offered a condemnation of those who booed and thanked the soldier for his service. The problem was more with Santorum’s actual answer, however.

• Michael Hudson (who has a great book called The Monster about Ameriquest and mortgage fraud) has a nice two-part series about mortgage fraud at Countrywide, and the attempts to silence those who tried to stop it.

• They are just grabbing at straws: witness Rachel Weiner getting spun on the idea that Elizabeth Warren’s viral video about class warfare could make her “unelectable.” Mm-hm.

• The “Quartet” (The US, EU, Russia and the UN) is making a big deal out of this agreement on a negotiation statement that would put Middle East peace talks back on and end the bid for Palestinian statehood, but neither Israel nor Palestine has agreed to it.

• The inspector general for the FHFA blasted Fannie Mae, saying they were asleep at the switch while robo-signing and foreclosure fraud went on around them.

• Adam Serwer has an interesting portrait of Tavis Smiley and Cornel West’s poverty tour.

• I’ve referred to Republicans now excoriating Solyndra who begged for green energy loan guarantees themselves, but the Democrats on the House Oversight Committee wrote up a report on it.

• Rick Perry apparently had a bad debate (I didn’t watch it), but to the extent that he’ll have a problem in the primaries, it comes from defending his own immigration record. Kevin Drum thinks so too.

• Strangely enough, a guy involved in tech start-ups thinks the Buffett rule is bad for tech start-ups! Will wonders never cease?

• The US reopened their Libyan embassy in Tripoli, where the Transitional National Council plans to introduce a “crisis government” in the next couple days.

• The Koch Brothers are worth $50 billion between the two of them. Small-dollar donations are unlikely to compete.

• Ileana Ros-Lehtinen became the first Republican to cosponsor the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal DOMA. This brings the cosponsors for the bill to 125.

• One other piece of news from that G20 pre-meeting: they recommended cuts to fossil fuel subsidies as a means to mitigate radical climate change.

• I’m excited about the SB 5 election in Ohio. The Dayton Daily News took a look at the stakes – pay cuts, health care premium hikes, and more hardships for public workers.

• So according to Mitt Romney, the idea that it’s unwise to have 50 kids stacked into a classroom and detrimental to their educational development is a myth perpetrated by teacher’s unions.

• Eli Lake claims that the Administration sold bunker buster bombs to Israel, an explosive charge given the Palestinian UN situation. And now we’re selling arms to Bahrain again. So I guess nobody’s off limits.

• Jacob Weisberg didn’t care for Ron Suskind’s book, which is harsh on some of Robert Rubin’s proteges who were in the Obama White House. Wait, let me rephrase that: Jacob Weisberg, who co-wrote Robert Rubin’s biography, didn’t care for Ron Suskind’s book, which is harsh on some of Robert Rubin’s proteges who were in the Obama White House.

• Pakistan simply denied the US assertion about their links to the Haqqani network and other insurgent groups.

• Ian Milhiser was on the scene at the latest court case against the Affordable Care Act, and he finds one conservative judge using the anti-individual mandate argument to argue against the Constitutionality of Social Security privatization. Whoops!

• Just totally petty: Texas stops special last meal service for executions.

• Time travel around the corner as researchers in Cern break the speed of light. But I wouldn’t throw Mr. Einstein overboard just yet.

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