It’s genuinely unclear just what’s about to happen this weekend, with a snowstorm coming into DC and Joe Lieberman out of town for Hanukkah. To the extent that the Senate comes up with something on health care, I’ll bring it to ya. Meantime:

• Dylan Ratigan went off on Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz today. So much so that he had to apologize. I haven’t heard anyone engage with his point, which is this: if the insurance industry is so afraid of this bill, why do their stocks go up with every cave to the Liebercrats?

• Alan Greenspan is making sense. Bringing all workers in America out of the shadows and into the economy would have very positive implications.

• David Sirota advances the ball a bit on the Dorgan/reimportation/FDA scandal. If there’s been a satisfactory explanation for this, I haven’t heard it. And I’ve been calling around looking for one.

• Remember the Office of Personnel Management, the one which runs the federal employee health benefits package, and the one which might have a lot of power in the insurance exchanges? They are denying benefits to a same-sex partner and defying a judge’s order (though according to the OPM, not a legally binding one) to do so. It’s a bit complicated, but worth understanding. Time Magazine has more.

• This is appalling and sad – kids are asking for jobs for their parents for Christmas. But we can’t give them any, because we’re worried about the possible threat of inflation. Sheesh.

• Claire McCaskill is fighting the Afghan contractor issue almost single-handedly. The fraud reports leading out are ALREADY nearing $1 billion dollars. She’s also angered by the fact that contractors are paying Afghans so much money that they cannot be recruited to the Afghan army or police force.

• Is SEIU paying off Bill Halter’s campaign debt from his previous Lt. Governor campaigns, perhaps a precursor to a primary run against Blanche Lincoln? It looks like it.

• Speaking of SEIU, Andy Stern’s words of scorn for the filibuster are very important. Maybe he should team up with Jeff Merkley and work on some of this stuff.

• Arlen Specter looks more in trouble from Pat Toomey in a general election than from Joe Sestak in a primary, at this point. However, this is unchanged from the last poll, so nothing’s moved here.

• Larry Kissell seems to be having major problems in his district because he voted against the House health care bill. This is my favorite part:

Grace Liem, a nurse practitioner at Community Free Clinic, which serves the uninsured in Concord, was an Obama delegate at the Democratic National Convention. “We felt [Kissell] was one of us and could empathize. He’s not. You know what’s on his plate now? He’s concerned about the estate tax. The estate tax! Nobody here has an estate.”

• Barack Obama made a veiled threat toward Rep. Peter DeFazio (who called for the firing of Geithner and Summers, remember), saying “Don’t think we’re not keeping score.” But DeFazio is unafraid.

• John McCain is a sanctimonious fool who failed to allow Robert Byrd more time to speak during the Iraq war debate. He’s a born liar.

• Obama’s version of the Conrad-Gregg cat food commission would not have the same kind of mandate to bring their recommendations to the floor for an up or down vote. It would be a nice blue-ribbon panel with a report that ended up un-read on a shelf. I’m cool with that.

• The Iranian opposition says that the ruling regime will not last a full term. Yeah, they would say that.

• UK banksters are in the bargaining stage dealing with the Darling 50% bonus tax, asking to buy their way out of it.

David Dayen

David Dayen

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