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Just to make it interesting

Mike Lux (who worked for Bill Clinton) says the Obama-approved mortgage bank settlement by the state attorneys general is worse than a piece of shit — it’s a piece of shit that actually encourages the banks to do exactly what they did to crash the economy. Freedom! Free markets!

Tonight

My guest is the very funny David Waldman, aka KagroX from Daily Kos:

A participant in online communities since the early 80s, David found Daily Kos some time back in mid-2003 and has stuck around ever since. A non-practicing attorney, a former Capitol Hill aide and Hotline staff writer (back when Chuck Todd was an intern), David writes chiefly on Congressional procedure, and is the voice behind Daily Kos’ Today in Congress feature.

His writing has helped focus campaigns challenging the continuance of Joe Lieberman’s committee assignments, raise awareness of the limitations of Congressional subpoena and contempt processes, broker a more favorable deal on Senate committee ratios, keep the “public option” debate alive beyond all expectations, inform both activists and the media about the reconciliation process that salvaged the administration’s health insurance reform legislation, and organize a campaign for Senate rules and filibuster reform.

On the lighter side, David has developed a dedicated following in the faster-paced world of social media, and was named by the Huffington Post as one of their “18 Political Satirists You Should be Following on Twitter,” and one of Politico’s Top Tweeters among its “50 Politicos to Watch.”

Listen here at 9pm EST. Call 646-200-3440 with questions or comments.

The only stories I’m seeing regarding presidential approval of torture and broken promises to close the Guantanamo Bay jail are coming out of European and Indian publications. More here.

Yep

Drew Westen in the Times on why candidates disappoint us.

A beautiful morning

The Rascals:

Oops

I wonder who leaked this one:

Mitt Romney, his son Tagg, and Romney’s chief fundraiser, Spencer Zwick, have extensive financial and political ties to three men who allegedly participated in an $8.5 billion Ponzi scheme. A few months after the Ponzi scheme collapsed, a firm financed by Mitt Romney and run by his son and chief fundraiser partnered with the three men and created a new “wealth management business” as a subsidiary.

In an exclusive interview with ThinkProgress, Tagg Romney confirmed their business relationship, but falsely claimed that the men were cleared of any wrongdoing associated with the Ponzi scheme. Tagg Romney told ThinkProgress that his three partners collected about $15,000 from their involvement in the Ponzi scheme. Court documents obtained by ThinkProgress show that the legal proceedings are ongoing and the men made over $1.6 million selling fraudulent CDs to investors.

Voter registration in North Carolina

“We threw away the ones marked Democratic…”

Here it comes

Looks like we’re going to have to put ourselves on the line over this one:

As a critical deadline for the supercommittee nears, Social Security appears to be on the negotiating table.

In private conversations, and now in public, the idea of changing the social program as part of a deficit-reduction deal is gaining some traction — a move that has been politically unthinkable for years.

In a speech Monday in Louisville, Ky., House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) appeared to raise the stakes on a grand bargain that would include major entitlement changes. Standing with his Senate counterpart, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), at the McConnell Center at the University of Lousiville, Boehner said such action would show markets that Congress can tackle the deficit.

“Nothing,” Boehner said, according to prepared remarks, “nothing, would send a more reassuring message to the markets than taking bipartisan steps to fix the structural problems in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.”

Avoiding a paper on Marcus Aurelius, I started poking around the BBC website, and found these two related stories;

Obama orders action to address shortages of vital drugs

Feature, or bug?

Healthcare providers have also complained that because of the scarcity of crucial medicines, distributors have been selling drugs in the “grey market” at 100-fold more than their usual retail prices.

There’s this worrisome bit, though;

However it could take around 18 months for new production to reach the market, the FDA has said.

Erin Fox, pharmacist at the University of Utah says just a handful of companies are the main suppliers for many of the drugs in short supply.

A number of their manufacturing facilities were recently shut for safety upgrades. Shortages of some ingredients are also behind the bottleneck in supply.

But James Speyer, medical director of the clinical cancer centre at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, says the president’s action does not address one key part of the problem – drug profits.

Many of the scarce drugs are cheaper generics that yield low profits to their manufacturers.

However, I’m sure this part of the problem has been “taken care of:” from September 2010;

Drug shortage delays US executions

The real Herman Cain problem

Looks like the indiscretions that are more likely to sink Herman Cain are these financial allegations, and not sexual harassment settlements. But I will say this one-two punch has opposition research written all over it — Mittens, or Rove working on his behalf? Either way, reporters will seize on this because it’s a much more straightforward story:

Early in his candidacy, Herman Cain may have accepted tens of thousands of dollars in goods and services for his campaign from a tax-exempt organization founded by his top aide, documents from the organization show, raising the prospect of serious violations of tax and election law by both Mr. Cain’s campaign and the organization.

The documents suggest that the nonprofit organization, Prosperity USA, effectively subsidized some early costs of his presidential bid, paying for computer equipment, charter planes and air travel for Mr. Cain or the aide, Mark Block, who is his chief of staff.

Such expenditures would violate federal election and campaign laws, which prohibit tax-exempt groups from engaging in any political activity or contributing to election campaigns, a major problem for Mr. Cain. He spent much of Monday fending off accusations that he had sexually harassed two former employees of a trade association he once led.

The nonprofit’s internal documents cite costs “due from FOH” — apparently short for Friends of Herman Cain, the name of Mr. Cain’s presidential campaign committee — during late December 2010 and January 2011. Those costs include thousands of dollars in travel expenses to Iowa, Louisiana, Las Vegas and Houston for “travel and meetings.” An additional $3,764 was owed for iPads.

“If they are supporting his campaign, whether directly or indirectly, they are violating the law,” said Lawrence H. Norton, an election lawyer at Womble Carlyle and a former general counsel of the Federal Election Commission.

The documents were obtained and posted online by The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which reported on the discrepancies on Monday. A spokesman for Mr. Cain did not reply to an e-mail seeking comment, and a lawyer listed on Prosperity USA’s incorporation papers did not return a phone call.

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