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The Roundup for January 15, 2012

Another exciting week begins! At least Jesus’ wife is happy that she doesn’t have to watch football anymore until next season.

• If you look at one interview from this weekend, make it Chris Hayes’ talk with Lakhdar Boumediene on MSNBC.

• Syria is at war. The emir of Qatar over the weekend called for military intervention.

• Mohammed ElBaradei quit his candidacy for President of Egypt, saying that the ruling military government acts “as if no regime has fallen.”

• I would say that by saying he understands the economy, Mitt Romney is really saying he understands how to use favorable tax policy and a lack of conscience to make a lot of money. The evidence bears that out. So does this testimony from William Cohan.

• When Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad were found to be in Countrywide’s “VIP” mortgage program, the conservative movement made them household names. There’s no way Buck McKeon and Elton Gallegly will get the same treatment.

• Rick Santorum picked up the support of the fundies over the weekend. This could potentially help him, but it’s not clear yet whether they will put much effort into it. This is especially true in South Carolina, where SuperPACs are outspending the candidates 2:1.

Update: Oops, he’s gone.  Jon Huntsman got the endorsement of the largest newspaper in South Carolina, by the way. And I’m sure this will continue the unerring accuracy of newspaper endorsements.

• Speaking of SuperPACs, Colbert Super PAC’s new ad in South Carolina is a direct hit on all levels. Colbert himself was great on ABC’s This Week. Apparently Democrats in South Carolina can vote for him.

• Matt Taibbi deconstructs just one Wall Street asshole.

• Amid all these claims of “foreign policy successes” for the Obama Administration, in my mind the only one that really qualifies is the rapprochement with Burma, which looks real to me. So of course, that’s the one that Republicans want to shut down.

Great piece in the Washington Monthly about the futility Latin American countries experienced by trying to export Colombia’s tactics in the drug war.

• I would love it if the courts took down credit card interchange fees, which weren’t touched by the Dodd-Frank legislation.

• House Republicans had enough problems in their first year, trying to navigate things during an election year will be painful to watch.

• Those poor, downtrodden Masters of the Universe.

• The EPA just made it very difficult for New York to allow new fracking wells.

• As part of a unique journalism arrangement, local California reporters actually went to Spain and reported on their high-speed rail network, and the implications for the Golden State. The sad part: that this is unique.

• Earlier in the week I wrote that the President’s government reorganization plan wouldn’t eliminate the Commerce Department. Now I have learned that it would, or at the very least it would merge Commerce and other trade agencies into some new agency with a different name. I apologize for the error.

• Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren are making an effort that will make them look good to limit outside campaign spending, but one that I believe ultimately will fail to keep out the attack ads.

• Is this for real? Romney stuffed a wad of cash in the hands of an unemployed supporter?

• The problem is not the desecration of dead bodies in war in a violation of international law. The problem, to Rick Perry, lies in the condemnation of it.

• Joe Paterno sounds like an old and confused man in his first post-Sandusky scandal interview.

• How could they have screwed up the MLK “drum major” quote so badly on the face of the memorial?

• Bowing to pressure after a series of damaging reports of its labor practices, Apple released its list of suppliers.

• This came up the last time Obama made the joke about different federal agencies regulating different types of salmon. It’s worth noting that’s just a gross oversimplification.

• The Republican lawmaker who wrote a bill in Georgia to mandate drug testing for state welfare recipients got picked up on a DUI.

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David Dayen

David Dayen