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The Roundup

What can I tell you, just another day of DC Democrats wetting themselves about letting anyone know they’re Democrats.

• This leadership fight among the Dems is going to get resolved. At this point I doubt there will even be a roll call on it. You might see the Democrats just add an additional leadership position and remain intact. The co-chairs of the Progressive Caucus support Clyburn, but individual Progressive Caucus members back Hoyer and I don’t see Grijalva or Woolsey willing to get discipline in the caucus on this. Both men will be back.

• As for how many Democrats Hoyer and Clyburn will help lead, there are now nine outstanding races for the House, and the GOP leads in five of them. This means their majority will be anywhere from 239 to 248, with 243-244 looking the most likely. This includes the NY-01 race on Long Island, which Tim Bishop thought he had salted away, but which a counting glitch pushed back into the column of Randy Altschuler. If Bishop loses, we really could see a campaign for Rep. Alec Baldwin.

• Next year’s redistricting could add even more to the Republican baseline, though there are some wild-cards here. In particular, the independent commission redistricting in California, Arizona and Florida could lead to some unlikely scenarios, and it’s unclear which party that would favor.

• Lindsey Graham can’t wait to start a war with Iran. That would make, what, five or six active theaters?

• We’ll have to wait and see, but the Wall Street Journal is claiming that the Volcker rule could wind up much tougher than the banks ever expected.

• Chris Hayes goes in-depth with Tom Perriello on the last days of the defeated Senator’s campaign.

• Did Bob Gates and Michael Mullen let slip a commitment to Afghanistan through at least 2014 today?

• Auto manufacturers, suddenly emboldened to fight the federal government which basically funded them back to health, could take the EPA to court over follow-on fuel efficiency standards that could reach as high as 62mpg by 2025.

• The UN Security Council probably should be reworked to give emerging nations like India a more permanent voice.

• Melissa Bean for head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is pretty hilarious, but there’s no evidence it exists anywhere but in the frenzied mind of some bank lobbyist.

• Ireland is in huge trouble because of a popped housing bubble and bad bubble-inflating policies. Sound familiar?

• Republicans never stopped pushing a base-pleasing agenda and showed no need to moderate, and after two bad elections they succeeded. The lesson Democrats took from this is to move away from their base.

• But Republican success had plenty to do with an older electorate, particularly one susceptible to fears about their Medicare being taken away.

• The BP oil spill commission surprised a bit today with a report significantly at odds with the findings of Congressional and independent investigations, specifically about cost-cutting at the Macondo well.

• Speaking of leadership fights, Pete Sessions will stay at the NRCC, avoiding a leadership fight for Number 3 in the House Republican caucus. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) will become the Majority Whip. John Boehner should lock the door to the Speaker’s office.

• Orrin Hatch is definitely in trouble in 2012, because of the closed caucus environment whereby Utah selects their federal nominees. Oh, and Marco Rubio? You can bet he’ll run back toward the Tea Party in time for his next election. Just look at how the NRSC is supporting likely loser Joe Miller to see how afraid national Republicans are of their base.

• Amtrak and Chris Christie are in discussions over a new passenger rail tunnel. It’s insane that this deal hasn’t been sealed yet.

• Oklahoma passed a ridiculous “ban” on sharia law last week, which may mean they’ll have to take down displays of the Ten Commandments at courthouses, which almost would have made me vote for it too. Idiots. A federal judge has already issued an injunction against the initiative.

• Intense Rep-elect Allen West, one of two black Republicans elected this year, wants to join the Congressional Black Caucus.

• The creepy assistant Attorney General in Michigan who stalked the openly gay student body President at the University of Michigan has thankfully been fired.

• Democrats really could help block EPA greenhouse gas regulations, but if the President vetoes that, the threshold would go up to 67 votes.

• Randall Wray and Bill Black have been very effective going after Bank of America.

• Republicans might not hold hearings on the scientific “fraud” of climate change. I guess that’s progress?

• The latest in my Silvio Berlusconi obsession: after accusations that he paid prostitutes, he will seek a ban on street prostitution.

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David Dayen

David Dayen