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The Roundup for December 29, 2011

I see no point in continuing. Expect light posting tomorrow through the weekend.

• Nate Silver has caucus projections, as well as the New Hampshire primary. He’s currently predicting a Romney-Romney double win. There’s really no other adult running a campaign for modern conservatives.

• This Steve Randy Waldman post on complexity in the financial markets is bound to be controversial, but there is some great writing in here.

• I assume the Economist depicts these assaults on classical economics as a threat to the established order, but the established order has been full of FAIL the past several years, so at least some of these other options are getting a hearing. I’d add that the Austrian school is far closer to orthodoxy among economic elites these days, and that’s part of the problem.

• 2011 featured an historic rollback in abortion rights, mostly in the states.

• The thing is that ads already appear on PBS, and in fact the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is responsible for a much smaller portion of the annual budget of public television and radio than most people, even members of Congress, believe.

• Kim Jong-un has been named the Supreme Leader of North Korea.

• Matt Stoller is well worth reading on Ron Paul and liberal reactions thereto.

• The initial reports got this wrong: David Petraeus didn’t almost resign when the order came to draw down troops in Afghanistan, lunatic neocon Max Boot told him to resign, and Petraeus declined.

• This is really revolting. Blue Shield of California illegally rescinded the policies of over 1,000 sick patients, and their penalty is… a measly $2 million? To be split by the city and county? This does pile on a state settlement that got an additional $3 million out of Blue Shield and got the policies of the affected patients restored. But keep in mind that one patient, Patsy Bates, got $9 million in a jury trial against HealthNet in a rescission case.

• Charlie Pierce takes a whack at that awful high Broderist piece on Obama not schmoozing enough.

• Egyptian military forces raided a series of nonprofits and civil society groups, a pretty bad sign for the country going forward.

• Surprised that anyone at this point in Europe would run on joining the euro currency union. Because it’s been so well-run? Speaking of which, so much for the end of the euro crisis. Italy couldn’t sell all their bonds without ECB help today.

• Muslim leaders boycott an interfaith breakfast in New York City in protest of the NYPD’s spying activities against their community.

• China lifted its rare earth minerals export quota, one of the more important pieces of economic news you won’t hear about.

• A bill in the South Carolina legislature would ban the Nikki Haley-approved phone greeting from public offices of “It’s a great day in South Carolina” until it’s actually a great day in South Carolina. Genius.

• Great story about an innovative direct action to shame Bank of America into completing a loan modification.

• Hugo Chavez asserts that the United States is giving Latin American leaders cancer. Not seeing the evidence for this one, but OK.

• I will actually get to cast a vote next June on whether porn movie actors should have to wear condoms. The TV ads for this one are going to be, er, intense.

• Why the small Pennsylvania college Franklin & Marshall is so huge in Europe.

• Give apes iPads and watch them illegally download copyrighted movies! #SOPAArgumentNumber243

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David Dayen

David Dayen