The lame duck Congress is history. The House passage of the 9-11 health care bill from the Senate was the last bill of the session and about 170 members missed the vote. So before the encomiums to the 111th begin…

• Dave Weigel has the latest on the war on public employees, specifically the war on public pensions. This is going to be a very difficult fight in the next Congress.

• Trudy Lieberman talks with WIlliam Greider about Social Security. Another major fight for next year.

• Republicans are uncovering new areas of the social safety net to cripple. This is especially going to be a problem in the Southern states, where Republicans largely swept to power in 2010.

• Richard Haass of the Council on Foreign Relations wants to see a lighter footprint in Afghanistan. It’ll be fascinating to see if either the establishment or the Republican grassroots break with current policy on the war.

• This video is inspiring. Dan Choi got his ring back today.

• On a lighter note, Barney Frank clowns a right-wing reporter trying to make trouble on DADT.

• Great stuff from Mark Thoma on the balance sheet recession, and how we could have arrested it with less bank-friendly policies.

• Yes, the banks worked to gut financial reform. And it was a lot easier to do that with Basel III than with the Congressional bill because it was happening half a world away and nobody really paid attention to it. Of course, that also holds for both implementation and funding the bill, and it looks like a similar trajectory in favor of the banks.

Rick Perlstein on Haley Barbour. There’s just way too much in the history for Barbour to get away with this.

• These Democrats can push for regulations on servicers, but the targets are very different now that the lame duck is over. The pressure has to go on the regulators, not Congress.

• Lanny Davis looks as ridiculous covering for a human rights violator in the Ivory Coast as he did covering for Joe Lieberman.

• Elizabeth Warren gets the Vogue treatment.

• The National Labor Relations Board has proposed a rule forcing employers to post information telling workers about their right to organize in all workplaces. EFCA went down, but the work of the NLRB goes on.

• The latest on Wikileaks: a Norwegian paper has gotten access to all 250,000 cables despite not being a media partner for Wikileaks; the organization will work with a publication in Russia to expose corruption in that country; Spain rejected a new copyright law that was exposed as written by the US government in a Wikileaks cable.

• The Office of Congressional Ethics will not be shut down by John Boehner, which is a bit of a surprise.

• 48 hours after cancer surgery, Ron Wyden returned to vote on the new START treaty.

• It’s come to bartering in the US economy, at least at the low end of the scale.

• The newest staffer on derivatives oversight in the House? a former derivatives lobbyist, of course.

• Here’s the video of that incident where 22 activists got arrested for protesting in front of a Chase bank in Los Angeles.

Fax attack from North Korea! Weapons of two-page-plus-cover-sheet destruction!

David Dayen

David Dayen