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The Roundup for December 8, 2011

I’m hoping to land a ten-year, $250 million contract with somebody soon. They appear to be giving them out!

• Dean Baker is right about WaPo’s terrible article about electric cars. Everyone in America doesn’t have an iPad right now, so I guess we should give up on that, too.

• I could see many reasons why Republicans will experience an enthusiasm gap, at least relative to 2010. But at the same time, they think the guy in the White House is an alien of some kind, and that should be motivation enough.

• The EPA definitively tied fracking to contamination in a town’s water supply in Wyoming. This is a pretty big deal, maybe more tomorrow.

• Liberal donors taking a stand to not fund conservative Democrats would be the big-money equivalent of an Occupy Wall Street protest.

Manu Raju has little understanding of the recent history of the filibuster, but I have no doubt that Democrats will escalate its usage the next time they find themselves in the minority. That is, if the Republicans don’t go nuclear, which is highly likely.

Machinists at Boeing approved a four-year contract extension, as the company purchases labor peace and deprives Republicans of a talking point about labor destroying jobs.

• If the Obama Administration thinks their only problem in 2012 comes from Europe, I have to inform them of their mistaken impression.

• This AP description of a new-shuttered secret CIA prison in Romania makes for some great national security reporting.

• David Rogers, who is in a position to know, says that the House and Senate are close on a year-end spending deal of over $1 trillion that would wrap up the FY 2012 budget.

• Egypt’s military will hold on to a number of powers after the elections, calling into question the purpose of the elections themselves. By the way, the US continues to arm the Egyptian military, despite their crackdown on unarmed protesters.

• Some countries have responded to Hillary Clinton’s vow to link foreign aid and gay rights defiantly, but at least one African nation, Malawi, will review their policies.

• Weekly unemployment claims came in at their lowest level since February.

• Rick Perry has pulled the final trigger, accusing both Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich of supporting health care mandates. The air war has begun in earnest in Iowa, and we’ll have to see if it moves any numbers.

• I haven’t wrestled completely with this idea of a progressive consumption tax, but my initial instinct is that trying to make it “progressive” will prove a very difficult task. Couldn’t people hide their savings quite easily?

• Charlie Pierce ripped off another great one yesterday on our secret wars. The guy is putting all us scribes to shame.

• I’m sure I’m not the only one made uncomfortable by the Osama bin Laden bloody shirt-waving that we’re going to see for the next year.

• It will be difficult for the CFTC to prevent more MF Global disasters, because a) they don’t oversee brokers of this type and b) they’ve seen their funding completely get slashed over the past year.

Another tragedy at Virginia Tech. Thankfully, less dead this time.

• The Republican leadership hung Spencer Bachus out to dry by blocking his insider-trading bill.

• We’re saved! The House voted to block a farm dust regulation that the EPA has no intention of proposing! Next up: the “ban Iranian statehood” bill!

• Another investigation of the Dover Air Base dumping scandal shows that remains of 274 bodies were dumped in a local landfill. Sickening.

• Breaking: nobody’s good at predictions.

• Mitch McConnell is apparently not a fan of electing a President based on which candidate gets the most votes.

• What? Conservatives write to each other on a secret list-serv??? I thought only liberal journalists did that!

• No, spending and debt did not do in Europe. Martin Wolf explains.

• California will have to contend with a union dues check-off measure on the ballot in 2012, in addition to everything else. This will be very costly for labor.

• Richard Branson learns a lot about life in a 2-hour Nigerian traffic jam.

• Godless heathens have a response for Rick Perry:

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David Dayen

David Dayen