Dayen’s Roundup from February 12, 2012

Gathering signs of severely intelligent life (VLA Photo: Sher)

2.12.12. Here’s a binary code roundup. (in the sense that there are only two numbers in the date, I recognize it’s not a true binary code date like 10.11.11 or 1.10.01)

• Good commentary on the foreclosure fraud settlement from Michael Hiltzik, Gretchen Morgenson and former US Rep. Patrick Murphy. Meanwhile, it’s day four since the settlement was announced, and still no terms released.

• Kamala Harris vowed to continue investigating what’s left of the mortgage crisis on which she hasn’t released liability. The crowd at the California Democratic Party convention, cheered her on without much skepticism on display. There’s no question that Harris did well for the state in the context of an inadequate settlement.

• I guess the Secretary of State in Massachusetts has some jurisdiction over mortgage-backed securities in that state, as he’s requesting documents from BofA.

• Is Komen Foundation CEO Nancy Brinker the next to fall in their Planned Parenthood backlash?

• You may know that Oklahoma didn’t join the foreclosure fraud settlement. It turns out that they cut a side deal with the five leading banks that appears to be just a cash settlement for $18.6 million.

• A whopping 5,600 people participated in the weeklong Maine caucuses, and Mitt Romney took it by 200 votes. Ron Paul’s campaign claimed corruption led to Romney’s win. But even a legitimate win with so few participants is pathetic. And though Rick Santorum didn’t finish second in Maine (Ron Paul did), he proclaimed that it’s a two-person race.

• More good jobs data last week, albeit a major increase in the trade deficit.

• Great story from Glenn Greenwald on the MEK, labeled a terrorist group by the State Department, and their support from key politicians and governments.

• The education gap is really an income gap, according to a new study.

• Steven Harper keeps saying that he’s about to re-route the Keystone XL pipeline and sell the oil through British Columbia to China. If that was such an easy task, you’d think he’d have started construction by now. [cont’d]

• Let’s see how this deal on foreign taxes progresses.

• As Homs continues to be under siege, the Arab League’s next step in Syria is to request UN peacekeepers, or at least a joint observer mission. The UN General Assembly will probably decide this. By the way, it’s weird that the name of the main activist chronicling the siege of Homs bears a striking resemblance to my own.

• Iran plans to announce major “progress” on nuclear power issues soon. That won’t escalate a secret war or anything.

• Baltasar Garzon, the crusading Spanish judge, has been arrested for overstepping his jurisdiction.

• Will Romney not use a TelePrompTer at his Ford Field economic speech?

• Libya simply has no government with the authority to control militias. Separate from claims of the intervention as a mistake or not, this is a serious concern.

• Gas prices have risen steadily and are expected to be at $5 a gallon by May. So anyone presuming economic recovery and a cakewalk for Obama in November needs to wrestle with that.

• The world is run by monsters, says Ken Livingstone, the former mayor of London. Co-signed.

• Buck McKeon is in a fair bit of trouble and is probably getting calls from Republican poohbahs asking him to step aside.

• Good for the Defense Department for its new rules on women in combat.

• 24% of all 18 to 34 year-olds have moved back in with their parents because of economic conditions, according to a Pew survey.

• Ten states will get more flexibility on No Child Left Behind mandates, which presumably means that 40 other states won’t, unless this is just a first announcement.

• All Americans rely on lots of government benefits, not just the ones listed in this survey. For example, I’m guessing they all drive on roads.

• RIP Whitney Houston.