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The Roundup for February 8, 2012

A few things just broke here, but I think I’ll save fuller remarks for tomorrow.

• I can’t verify this, and I’ve seen anonymous sources get this wrong before, but American Banker says that California and New York will soon join the foreclosure fraud settlement. Arizona’s probably joining too, but I have an easier time believing that one. RJ Eskow asks the right question: if a Missouri grand jury can deliver criminal indictments for this conduct, “why should bankers be allowed to write a check and walk away?”

• One of the reasons that New York’s Eric Schneiderman can separate “pre-bubble” and “post-bubble” conduct is that his state has largely solved the post-bubble problem by simply creating rules forcing lawyers to personally attest to the validity of their documents.

• Much more on this tomorrow, but the Greek bailout talks appear to have broken down completely.

• The Washington state legislature gave final passage to a marriage equality bill today, and the Governor will sign it. Everyone expects a ballot measure on this at some point, but at least for a moment, marriage equality will become law in Washington. Is Illinois next?

• As residents in Homs, Syria talk openly about being under siege, the US military has begun to review their options for intervention, even though the official policy remains non-interventionist.

• With no solution in sight for the payroll tax/UI legislation, Congress may skip their weeklong recess scheduled for the end of the month.

• You know by now that Rick Santorum swept last night’s primary and caucus contests. You may not know that his focus now shifts to Michigan, where Romney’s father was once Governor, rather than Arizona. It’s an interesting tactical decision. Meanwhile, with Santorum staking out the Midwest and Gingrich in the south, Romney looks like a regional candidate rather than a national one.

• I haven’t gotten around to reading Gabriel Sherman’s story channeling the fine whine of Wall Street, but I think my thoughts will line up with Matt Taibbi once I do.

• The possibility does exist that the Supreme Court will deny cert on the Prop 8 case, given the narrow crafting of the ruling. That would certainly end any precedential value from it.

• Something must be wrong with me, I think I completely agree with a Peter Orszag column. Automatic stabilizers should be bolstered, and they should be tied to economic indicators, too (although the right indicators need to be chosen).

• The banks’ mortgage failures have now cost them $72 billion. And climbing. So much fail.

• Republican Senators endorsed a mandate for contraceptive coverage over 10 years ago. This whole debate is so retrograde.

• House Democrats continue to pound Ed DeMarco on principal reductions.

• Interesting item from Housing Wire about Connecticut AG George Jepsen recruiting private consulting firms to help with the RMBS working group investigation into Wall Street abuses. Is there funding for that?

• They’re denying food stamps to US-born children of immigrant parents in Alabama. Where at least I know I’m free.

• The State Department pushes back on the report that it will cut diplomatic staff at the US Embassy in Iraq in half. But they say they will “right-size” the mission.

• John Kasich would get destroyed in a rematch for Ohio Governor, and his totally bizarre, conservative talk radio-host State of the State Address gives you an indication why.

• Sheesh. John Hickenlooper, the governor of Colorado, is a climate skeptic.

• Didn’t think I’d say this, but good for Bernie Goldberg.

• One of the best heads of state on climate change, Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives, has been deposed in a military coup.

• Refis are starting to spike, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

• DSK fallout: hotel workers in New York City will get panic buttons as part of their contract.

• Thank Jeebus the Secret Service can save Presidential candidates from a full-on glitterbombing.

• There’s apparently a very broad definition of “active users” on Facebook. I would fall on the inactive side, personally.

Best amendment ever.

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David Dayen

David Dayen