Moving right along….

• After 5 years, Gilad Shalit is free and back in Israel in a mass prisoner swap. As Spencer Ackerman explains, this is a failure of negotiating posture by the Israelis.

• The numbers are in: 400,000 deportations in Fiscal Year 2011, which wrapped up at the end of last month. Many have speculated that this is a kind of quota that needs to be filled to fulfill prior agreements with private prison contractors who carry out the deportations.

• CFPB Director nominee Richard Cordray received the endorsement of 37 sitting Attorrneys General, Democrats and Republicans. Not going to matter, but heightens the level of obstructionism at work here by the Senate GOP.

• While Olympia Snowe breaks with her colleagues on the issues of block granting Medicaid and reducing Medicare eligibility, Jon Tester and Ben Nelson may break with their party on the state fiscal aid bill that will put teachers and first responders back to work – the bill that has Mitch McConnell spitting with rage. The do-nothing Senate continues.

• The Commodity Futures Trading Commission presented their rule to stop speculation in the commodities markets, and boy are the Senators who care about this, Bernie Sanders and Maria Cantwell, pissed off. I should have made this a fuller post today.

• The US charge d’affaires in Uganda says that the 100 troops deployed to the region by the President not only will not maintain a combat role in hunting down Joseph Kony, most of them won’t even leave Uganda, where the LRA hasn’t attacked in years. Those people waving bloody images of the victims of the LRA should be mighty disappointed at this, no? And here’s a fun note about the last time we tried this:

The United States has helped plan and pay for offensives against the group before, including an operation in 2008 and 2009, which was seen as a failure after the guerrillas dispersed into small groups and carried out retaliatory attacks, killing up to 900 civilians.

• I tried and was unsuccessful to get more information on this belligerent quote about Iran attributed to Elizabeth Warren. It is a right-wing paper, the Boston Herald, reporting this, so skepticism is advised, but I’d certainly like to know the full context.

• James Kwak thinks Occupy Wall Street should adopt the do nothing strategy that would allow the Bush tax cuts to expire fully, increasing tax fairness. I think they’re doing a good job of setting their own parameters so far, not that this is a bad idea.

• Walter Pincus goes full Walt and Mearshimer. Didn’t know we paid for 18% of the Israeli military budget.

• Bani Walid is in the hands of the Libyan rebels, and Sirte may not be far behind.

• Dallas Fed chief Richard Fisher wants to deliberately tighten monetary policy to force austerity. He calls this a “policy” rather than sheer vindictiveness, and I’m not sure why.

• Another analysis of the 9-9-9 plan shows it to be extremely regressive. Even the architect of the plan wants to drop the sales tax piece. I’m waiting for the part of the 9-9-9 plan where one of the 9% goes right into purchases of Herman Cain’s book.

• Banks have slowly started to make more loans, and they are slowly starting to allow more short sales. Maybe the banks are finally realizing that they cannot survive with this crappy an economy.

• What the Occupy Wall Street protests tell us about the lack of limits of Anne Applebaum’s desire to front for global elites. I prefer Rebecca Solnit’s prose.

• One farm subsidy goes away, to be replaced by another farm subsidy under a different name.

• BREAKING: Rand Paul actually gave up on something, and as a result, the nation’s pipelines might be a bit safer.

• No, there is no such thing as an EPA farm dust rule. It’s a complete fabrication.

• The Bevilacqua case, where a buyer of a clouded title home could not sue over it because he isn’t the true owner, is less a setback for accountability on foreclosure fraud and more an example of why the system is so painfully messed up.

• Iowa sets their caucuses for January 3. The New Hampshire primary is the missing piece of the puzzle at this point.

• Ohio may end up holding a referendum on their redistricting plan the same day as general elections using those districts. I don’t think it’s such a big deal, if the districts are invalidated, they just redraw for 2014, no?

• Goldman Sachs’ Judd Gregg is proud of his role in back-door killing the CLASS Act, making it harder for the old and sick to survive. He is proud of doing it after Ted Kennedy died, since the inclusion of CLASS was merely a “courtesy” for him. Thing is, there are ways to save the CLASS Act and make it completely sustainable, rather than simply repealing it and causing continued hardship on older Americans and their offspring.

• US ignores complaints from human rights leaders and even Congress, finalizes an arms sales deal to the repressive government of Bahrain.

Enthusiasm gap redux?

• John Mica is such a hack.

• Rick Jacobs and the Courage Campaign score with their Occupy the Golf Course hit on Speaker John Boehner in Orange County, California.

• It will cost you one more cent to mail a letter.

• Best economic stimulus plan I’ve seen yet – Stone Roses reunion tour.