Given the state of our Congress, days with them in session aren’t all that different than days with them out of session. So let’s keep looking at the remainders.

• There will be two new members of Congress after tonight. Republican Mark Amodei is a near-lock to win in NV-02, and Republican Bob Turner appears poised for the upset in NY-09. If you want to cut through all the spin of whether Obama or Israel or whatever else is to blame for David Weprin’s imminent loss, Nate Silver theorizes on how to assess special elections as a 2012 bellweather.

• Good thing that only two of the four biggest US banks have heavy exposure to European debt. That shouldn’t be a problem at all! Not like those banks are giant and interconnected or anything! I have to say that Citi’s analysis of the effect of a Greek exit from the euro sounds way overblown to me, however.

• The Kinde Durkee treasurer scandal out here in California has really taken on Madoff-like proportions. Every day I hear about another Democratic politician or campaign committee talking about losing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Dianne Feinstein just announced that she was wiped out in the scandal.

• Pennsylvania’s plan to split electoral votes by Congressional district is pretty much what Republican operatives tried to do in California in 2008. It didn’t come to pass then, and I’m not sure if the pressure will get to Governor Tom Corbett and the state legislature in PA. It would basically nullify the state as a battleground, though the way it’s trending, that may hurt the Republican more than Obama.

• Nice profile of Nevada AG Catherine Cortez Masto, and her stand against the big banks seeking a foreclosure fraud whitewash.

• Trying to figure out this Yemen deal. It looks like Ali Abdullah Saleh signed an agreement to allow his deputy to transfer power, but really it’s only an agreement to enter into a negotiation with that goal.

• The Pentagon is slashing expenditures on Afghan security forces training through 2014 The fact that the security force envisioned for Afghanistan would cost more than the country’s GDP and is completely unsustainable, this is a good move. But I would also see this as a way for lobbyists to hang on to their weapons systems amid program cutbacks at DoD. Which aren’t really cutbacks but an end to the decade-long party of massive growth.

• David Roberts on the politics of the Obama cave on ozone standards. Not pretty.

• These bills introduced by Democrats won’t go anywhere right away, but… Barney Frank is absolutely right to hammer the Fed regional bank structure, Jerry Nadler is absolutely right to try to eliminate the debt limit, and 122 House Democrats are absolutely right to try and repeal DOMA (a record number of cosponsors for this legislation).

• Arizona wants to jump the Super Tuesday process and move up its primary by a week, as the primary calendar escalation begins.

• It’s good news that the three hikers in Iran may be set free in the coming days.

• Michele Bachmann’s claim that vaccines cause mental disabilities wasn’t her only demonstrably false zinger of the past 24 hours, she also believes that immigration systems thrive with a dash of racism.

• However, Rick Perry’s role as a punching bag for his competitors is taking a toll on his electability, according to PPP.

• With the bipartisan coalition demanding immediate disaster relief funding, I don’t think Republicans will be able to hold out on this for very long.

• I suppose it was inevitable that we’d have gay marriage bans to deal with on the 2012 ballot in select swing states.

• If Michael O’Hanlon supports staying in Iraq, that should make things easy for everyone to the left of Dick Cheney. They should be against it.

• Mr. Murdoch, Parliament would like to see you again.

• Municipalities are increasingly holding securitization trusts responsible for upkeep on distressed properties. Good.

• Turns out the Bush Administration was heavily involved in the loan guarantees for Solyndra, the now-bankrupt energy company that the right is heavily invested in turning into a scandal for Obama.

• I remember seeing that ARPA-E’s funding was threatened. That would be a huge mistake.

• This Colorado tax measure is the biggest item on the 2011 ballot that nobody knows about. It’s a real contrast of ideologies.

“We’re gay. Get over it.” This is on the cover of the Marine Corps Times.

• Seattle passes paid sick days, as that movement progresses and gets another big metropolis.

• This story of racial profiling in Detroit makes me sick.

• We’re not that far from all news being reported in PR-funded dummy sheets.

• Wonder of wonders, TSA will stop groping kids 12 and under and allow them to wear their shoes through security. I see major PR potential: “Fly United and kids 12 and under go through rape-free!”

• And you should have seen it after the charoset hardened: “Bomb” was actually seder plate.

Life on other planets? Quick, send the missionary launcher!

David Dayen

David Dayen

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