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The Roundup for January 26, 2012

Looking forward to Congress holding a consequential vote at any point this year.

• This description of Eric Schneiderman as “coy” about joining a foreclosure fraud settlement sounds accurate to me, given my reporting. It’s also not good news that pro-bank Kathryn Wylde thinks the Schneiderman task force could pave the way to a settlement. More optimistic takes from Mike Lux and RJ Eskow. There’s a petition on the Financial Fraud Unit that you can sign, too.

• I hear this is actually a big deal ruling in Alabama restoring the rules of property law that have existed for 200 years, but sadly enough, most observers expect the bought-and-paid-for state Supreme Court to strike the ruling down.

• This SIGTARP audit says simply that the Administration’s hands-off policy on bank noncompliance with foreclosure mitigation programs is harming borrowers. Pretty timely report, I’d say.

• New home sales hit a record low in 2011, 20% of all home sales were foreclosure sales, and those sales are damaging overall home prices. I really don’t know how anyone could say that the housing market is due for a rebound under current conditions.

• The human costs of the iPad. Good stuff from NYT.

• There are definitely questions to be raised about the mass-refi plan proposed by President Obama in the State of the Union, but at some level I don’t know why people are bothering. The financing model for it, in the form of a bank tax, is totally DOA.

• House Republicans come to grips with the fact that Americans actually want their government to do something.

• The new child nutrition guidelines aren’t as good as they could be – remember, pizza sauce is a vegetable? – but they are a step forward.

• First-time unemployment claims jumped back up a bit last week.

• A majority of Americans would throw out every single member of Congress if they had the opportunity. Good work, Congress!

• Looks like the Senate will vote on that Congressional insider trading ban next week.

• Carl Levin, whose permanent subcommittee on investigations has gone after offshore tax havens, is starting to engage on Mitt Romney’s overseas bank accounts. Seriously, how stupid is Romney for having these while RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT IN 2008?

Lunar colony enthusiast Newt Gingrich may have a Ronald Reagan problem. In truth, conservatives in Congress savaged Reagan for his “sellouts” back in the 1980s.

• Barney Frank will marry his longtime partner soon. With marriage equality going back on the ballot in Maine, hopefully LGBT citizens in Maine will get to join him.

• Weird story out of Egypt, as Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s son is barred from leaving the country because of his work with a pro-democracy organization.

• Jan Brewer, drama queen.

• North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue will not seek re-election. Maybe this is a job for Brad Miller?

• Gabby Giffords’ husband Mark Kelly will not run for Congress. I think that would be too much of a burden on him, really.

• Amnesty International today accused Libyan militias of torture.

• Here’s the White House’s energy blueprint, building off the State of the Union address. Lots of natural gas in there.

• Ohio’s Secretary of State, a Republican, wants the citizens of the state to repeal the voter suppression bill up on the ballot in November.

• Ron Paul is off to Maine, chasing caucus delegates.

• Justin Long does a pretty good Mitt Romney.

• If this year’s movie posters told the truth.

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David Dayen

David Dayen