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The Roundup for February 21, 2012

Only 1,713 days until the 2016 Presidential election!

• Speaking of Supreme Court delays into 2014, the Supremes themselves look like they may achieve that on health care.

• The Gallup poll on employment gave me and a lot of others heart palpitations today, but Joe Weisenthal says there’s nothing to worry about, because the poll isn’t seasonally adjusted.

• I didn’t realize that the changes to unemployment insurance in the payroll tax/UI/doc fix bill include boosts for work-sharing, which is a really good idea that I hope will expand.

• Should the European Central Bank really be wrapping up their work on bond purchases at this point?

• If the public employee unions in Wisconsin are backing Kathleen Falk as the candidate to go up against Scott Walker in the recall, I’d say she’s probably the candidate. The unions are really leading the way in that state. Falk lost the Attorney General’s race statewide in the strongly Dem year of 2006, incidentally.

• Alex Ulam on the foreclosure fraud settlement. I didn’t know that Nevada and Arizona got specific separate settlements on the BofA/Countrywide case at the same time, I just thought it was all folded in. Man, Nevada’s settlement makes Arizona’s look almost criminal.

Cue the bleating about nanny-state liberalism telling kids what to eat in 3, 2…

• What a fresh surprise! Mitt Romney will announce a plan to cut taxes more.

• Ron Paul has piled on Rick Santorum in Michigan, yet another example of Paul coming to Mitt Romney’s aid. It’s a strange relationship.

• By the way, I don’t think Romney’s money problems are really problems, because anyone who wants to give to Mitt but is maxed out can simply fund the SuperPAC at an unlimited range. The huge cash-on-hand advantage for Obama will have at least some impact, however, perhaps in the ground game.

• It’s a depression for state and local government.

• Russ Feingold’s new book attacks know-nothing foreign policy, which accurately describes most of our politicians here in the US.

• While Shaun Donovan has been dialing up reporters to hype the mortgage settlement, the Federal Housing Administration is falling apart on his watch, particularly by refusing to give out loan modifications.

• Marriage equality will likely pass in Maryland this week, and then we’ll probably see two referendums in November (also in Washington state) where activists will have to defend the equality laws passed by the legislature.

• Tip for Republicans: your position on birth control polls really really badly.

• Most court observers believe that this case could end affirmative action for college admissions.

• Expect neocons here to wave this bloody shirt all around, as one Iranian leader (albeit a deputy head of the armed forces) threatens pre-emptive actions over their nuclear program.

• The Virginia House of Delegates punts for a second straight day on the trans-vaginal ultrasound bill – could the protests be having an impact?

Sectarian violence in Libya.

• The White House has done a not-terrible job, in a number of cases, of enforcing trade agreements.

• Closing post offices would only increase the digital divide.

• Another Rubber room piece? I think we’ve got it.

• Very gracious of Vice President Biden to make a statement on the death of Anthony Shadid, the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter on the Middle East.

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David Dayen

David Dayen