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Dayen’s Roundup from December 5, 2012

We may have found another habitable planet. (VLA Photo: Sher, NM firefighter)

Another exciting day watching paint dry Congressional maneuvering is over.

• The read of the day may be Ken Rogoff, he of the favorite argument for the establishment to hide behind, This Time Is Different, wondering whether modern capitalism is sustainable. Didn’t expect that from him.

• Two other year-end developments worth watching: the continuing resolution to fund the government, which runs out at the end of next week, and all the arguments over policy riders and levels of spending that will go along with that; and the series of “tax extenders,” expiring tax breaks that corporate America wants to see extended.

• Simon Johnson writes that William Dudley, the head of the NY Fed, should resign. This is over something that escaped my attention last week.

• Federal Reserve communications should be sharper, though I’m not sure this has the capacity to move markets.

• The Huffington Post rounds up the most egregious foreclosure stories of 2011.

• Vladimir Putin’s party in Russia lost a total majority in Parliament, nailing down only a plurality. Surely he will swiftly move to end this flirtation with actual democracy.

• The Afghan government surmises they will need international aid until at least 2024. If they were honest, they would just say “indefinitely.”

• The Inspector General of the NLRB will investigate whether Congressional Republicans tried to interfere with the agency to compel the lone Republican on the board to resign, blocking it from doing any future work. Specifically, they’re looking at whether Brian Hayes received any “enticements” to resign. Could be a big deal.

• Looks like we won’t just have a recall election against Scott Walker in Wisconsin, but against some state Senate Republicans as well.

• Now Syria says they will sign the peace deal with the Arab League, but it looks like another stalling tactic.

• Legislative liaison Phil Schiliro, a former aide to Henry Waxman, will depart the White House, another indication that there’s no need to have a legislative liaison in this current political environment. [cont’d]

• Turns out that Brookfield Properties, the owners of Zuccotti Park, don’t pay their back taxes, which just perfectly caps the whole Occupy Wall Street protest.

• Brad Plumer has a pretty good summary of what happened in Europe today. I didn’t realize that the peripheral countries don’t even get Eurobonds out of this deal. Incidentally, while spirits are high for a solution to the Euromess, S&P’s credit warning to European nations could bring things back down to Earth by tomorrow.

• The military has confirmed that Iran has possession of a missing unmanned aerial vehicle, i.e. a drone. Secret war alert!

• This could be the end of the line for racist Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, now accused of neglecting hundreds of sex crimes within his jurisdiction.

• Jerry Sandusky keeps digging a deeper hole with all these interviews in major media.

• Laurent Gbagbo appeared before the International Criminal Court in The Hague, becoming the first ex-world leader to do so.

Is Newt Gingrich the next FDR? No! He may be the next Mitt Romney, in that he is mastering the technique of taking every side of an issue.

• Predictably, the Occupy movement has branched out with a flurry of new protests and actions.

• The church in Kentucky that banned interracial couples saw their ruling overturned today.

• Rick Santorum decides that he single-handedly led the Republican revolution. Why not just give that to him, it’s not like he’s going to be President.

• Chick-fil-A should not have a monopoly on any sentence that begins with “Eat more.”

• Shockingly, teenagers don’t sit around all day and send naked pictures of themselves. Who knew?

• People would love oil tycoons if it weren’t for those meddling Muppets.

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David Dayen

David Dayen