Kicking-off-early-because-nothing’s-happening edition. I’m adding the date to the roundups, by popular demand. As I’m sure longtime readers know but just for those just arriving, this is not in any way a comprehensive list; it’s mainly the remainders I didn’t get to write about during the day.

• ICYMI, here’s my segment from Countdown last night. I’m given to self-criticism, so I can’t watch these things in an unbiased way. But I do think that Ta-Nehisi Coates’ explanation of concision on television applies. It’s a genuine art to say something accurate and concise in the artificial time constraints of the TV medium.

• Glenn Greenwald’s stint on CNN shows the power of concision, and it doesn’t hurt when you have the so-called journalist lined up so perfectly with the other side of the debate.

• I do think that Wikileaks is not only a net good for transparency but the future of the medium. However, I think people should incorporate the potential setback for democracy in Zimbabwe, based on a Wikileaks cable, into their analysis. Important caveats to the story: the treason charges against opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, based entirely on that cable, have been dropped, and it was the New York Times, not Wikileaks, who made the decision to publish the cable. So you have to say that the Times set back democracy in Zimbabwe if you want to be accurate (and you have to recognize the fact that Mugabe hardliners would use any pretext to muscle out Tsvangirai).

• It’s not just all the Tea Party freshman gunning for the EPA; the new chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee has a WSJ op-ed today laying out a blueprint for stripping the EPA of its regulatory power. This will be a big fight in the next Congress.

• Michael Waldman of the Brennan Center for Justice makes the case for reforming Senate rules. The process is going to be as important as the conclusion; a majority that changes Senate rules by majority vote, after all, can change them again, and so this can credibly be seen as a warning shot as well as a corrective.

• So now we have to have a “Quill-buster” campaign about letter-marking, and then Congress will find some other way to make the priorities of their districts known, and outrage will result. This is just stupid and pointless.

• One man’s pork is another man’s job at this point, so I’m not completely incensed by Richard Shelby keeping open a NASA project that the space agency doesn’t want, but eventually this does have to close, and you can see how members of Congress can stall that almost permanently.

• I fixed this in a prior article, but just to reiterate, there is a full transcript of Nouri al-Maliki’s two-hour interview with the Wall Street Journal on their website.

• Unable to trip up repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, bigots and theocrats will now try to use the issue of showering to whip up opposition. It never ends with these people.

• Steve Bartlett, CEO of the Financial Roundtable, sounds pretty scared of Elizabeth Warren.

• Seemingly in reaction to some WTO litigation from the US, China will reduce quotas on rare earth mineral exports in early 2011, further restricting supply.

• Long Esquire article on Harry Reid, complete with a groovy 70s-era picture of the future Senate Majority Leader.

• The Israeli offer of peace talks to the Palestinians was a little obnoxious.

• David Shuster’s back in the media, finally out from the MSNBC contract, and due to start a “new journalism venture.” I don’t think it’s second shift on FDL News.

• A touching-your-junk Venn diagram.

• Alvin Greene for the South Carolina state house! If they don’t use the Greene-house effect as a campaign slogan I’m using it for them.

• RIP to John Warhola, the brother and minder of Andy Warhol. He also helped found the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, which happens to be where I got married. So thanks to him.

David Dayen

David Dayen

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