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The Roundup for January 10, 2011

I’m on Virtually Speaking tonight at 8:00pm ET/5:00pm PT with blogger Susie Madrak and Eric Kingson of Social Security Works. Listen here on the Web.

• Frank Lautenberg will offer companion legislation in the Senate to Carolyn McCarthy’s gun legislation in the House. It does look like they’ll solely focus on banning those high-capacity extended magazines that Jared Loughner used in his assassination attempt. I think you could go further and question how someone with a history of mental health issues and run-ins with the law could get a Glock legally with such ease.

• Jared Loughner’s mug shot. His lawyer previously represented the Unabomber.

• And now a man has been arrested in suspicion over a threat to Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO). Another Democrat. Hm.

• When will President Obama decide to speak about the Tuscon shootings? Will he sound anything like Bill Clinton after Oklahoma City in 1995?

• Adam Levitin has a great takedown of the American Securitization Forum’s minimizing of the Ibanez case in Massachusetts. He concludes that “there is previously undisclosed material risk in all private-label mortgage backed securities.” John Carney at CNBC, who has traditionally been more skeptical, agrees.

• It’s unclear when we’ll see resolution of the debate over servicing standards between federal regulators, but the FDIC is starting to dribble out some of the rules it wants to impose, including transparency for second liens.

• Why do we still have a vote on the debt limit, anyway? It’s only use seems to be for hostage-taking. Annual budget resolutions could easily renew the debt limit automatically.

• I’ve noticed a consistent rollback of the Iranian threat from US and Israeli officials in recent days. I think “the sanctions are working” is an awful convenient explanation.

• An unusually strong editorial in the LA Times today protesting Bradley Manning’s “inhumane imprisonment.” What the government has done to volunteers for Wikileaks is pretty awful in its own right. I guess it’s OK because of all that “deep damage” from Wikileaks.

• The European Central Bank has given a lifeline to Portugal, but that won’t hold out very long. We should know a lot more about Portugal and the euro debt crisis in general this week.

• “Accountable care organizations,” which allows for partnerships between insurers and providers to treat patients and efficiently bring down costs, are already running into trouble, because nobody wants to play nice with each other.

• I feel better knowing that Tim Geithner is meeting with 15 business executives to hash out possible changes to the corporate tax rate.

• Is William Dudley, the head of the NY Fed, gossiping to Wall Street friends about Federal Reserve meetings because the information goes public, essentially engaging in insider trading?

• Newt Gingrich continues to press for state bankruptcies so they can default on union contracts and harm millions of state employees.

• Robert Reich has become one of the President’s biggest critics on the left of late.

• Rick Perry is not too good at the math. But that aside, here’s another state with a huge deficit, showing that overall fiscal policy will end up sharply anti-stimulative this year without further help from the feds.

• Hey, didja know that the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline has been shut down for three days because of a leak?

• Trying to boost his foreign policy credentials, Mitt Romney traveled to Afghanistan to meet with Hamid Karzai. I guess he’s starting with the most corrupt public officials in the world and working his way backwards.

• Thomas Menino, the mayor of Boston, calls Scott Brown unbeatable in 2012. Did he mean by Democrats, or the Tea Party?

• The Consumer Product Safety Commission now has an office in China, which after all is where all the consumer products come from.

Former Nigerian President Obasanjo showed up unexpectedly in Ivory Coast to try and help broker an end to the crisis there.

Two-tiered justice system.

• You can’t get a more low-profile issue, but spectrum happens to be important.

• The director of Oldboy shot an entire movie on the iPhone.

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David Dayen

David Dayen