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The Roundup for January 31, 2012

I hope that tomorrow, I won’t still be writing January on my roundups!

• So Mitt will win Florida tonight. After that, Newt can certainly stay involved in the race, though I don’t know that Sheldon Adelson’s ATM machine will be able to be tapped as much. Gingrich’s continued attacks on Mitt Romney, however, will help Democrats in the general election.

• The Republican bill to modify the DREAM Act so it only benefits those undocumented youth who pursue military service is a particularly sneaky bit of genius. I don’t think it will stop the DREAMers from pursuing accountability, however.

• So much for those celebrated Taliban peace talks: the prisoner swap seen as central to a deal has faltered, while Hamid Karzai fears getting get out of the solution, and therefore wants his own talks.

• Yes, a lot of the inequality in the country comes on a pre-tax basis. But there are ways to deal with that as well, particularly in the corporate governance arena.

• Abigail Field does a deep dive on the Masto letter on the foreclosure fraud settlement. Incidentally, the “insignificant” robo-signing we’d be releasing from liability in a settlement represents the smoking-gun evidence of financial fraud that so many elites want to convince people doesn’t exist. The judicial system is trying real hard to deep-six this evidence, but the foreclosure defense community won’t stop throwing this in the faces of the elites, even with a settlement.

• Eric Schneiderman gets a warning on needing to show results from a Newsday editorial. Meanwhile, Treasury is busy chasing bogus Pro Publica stories.

• Sherrod Brown wants the STOCK Act to go much further, basically forcing all individual stock accounts from members of Congress into blind trusts. That’s the right way to tackle this problem.

• The US does not have nearly the natural gas supply that proponents claim.

• How about if Russia stops defending Syria because they purchase their arms, we stop selling secret arms to Bahrain, another repressive Arab government in the region?

• The fallout from the Haditha massacre, and the light sentence for the perpetrators, continues.

• Surely all of the things we’ve heard about Mitt Romney and Bain Capital will quietly get swept away as the US looks to sell 200,000 foreclosed properties to private equity firms.

• Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh is now in New York getting medical treatment.

• The money in the Walker recall in Wisconsin will be absolutely massive. The phrase “speak softly and carry a big stick” applies.

• US home prices were at a post-bubble low in November of 2011.

• You’d think it would be more of a big deal for the future of the F-35 fighter that it doesn’t actually work.

• The conservative New Hampshire legislature wants to repeal the gay marriage law in the state, but Governor John Lynch (D) has vowed to veto any changes.

• I love the idea of a legal challenge to TABOR in Colorado.

• Speaking of states with impossible tax situations, the state Controller in California says that the state will run out of money in March. So that’s $3 billion more of austerity.

• Dan Burton, who survived a large primary in 2010 with a whopping 30% of the vote, won’t try this time. With the whiffs of scandal about to erupt, Burton may soon get joined on the sidelines by Michael Grimm and Buck McKeon.

• Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood that work within the system should be part of the strategy to bring down violent extremism.

• The Chevy Volt isn’t all that unsafe; this is more conservative noise machine business.

• How about eBay taking a stand in Utah against LGBT discrimination?

• Here’s a run-of-the-mill servicer fraud operation against a former Bank of America whistleblower.

• After that debacle of a vote count at the Iowa caucuses, the chairman of the state GOP had to resign.

• Actress Cynthia Nixon walked back her controversial comments about bisexuality being a choice.

• Surprise, there aren’t a bunch of dead voters casting ballots in South Carolina.

• Hopefully we’ll be lucky enough to get an anti-Muppet rebuttal from Fox News.

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David Dayen

David Dayen