The Roundup for December 26, 2011

Busy with some items this afternoon and so here’s a mini-roundup from the weekend and today to wet your whistle until tomorrow.

• Both Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry failed to qualify for the Virginia primary ballot, joining Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann and Jon Huntsman on the sidelines. This is just like Pearl Harbor. But on a more serious note, there’s something likely wrong with the ballot access standards in Virginia if almost the entire Republican field can’t qualify.

• The President issued a signing statement on the omnibus appropriations bill. This is not the defense authorization bill; presumably that gets its own signing statement.

• Turns out that Ron Paul didn’t storm out of that interview with CNN’s Gloria Borger; the segment was just edited that way. This insider account of Paul’s character traits from a former staffer is a lot more damning than anything CNN put together, however.

• The turmoil in the House Republican caucus really has a lot to do with internecine rivalry.

• Paul Krugman hails the EPA’s mercury rule.

• The faulty assumption made here is that the US had any leverage left in Iraq to begin with. Meanwhile, Iraq has arrested its own security officials in the investigation into the recent Baghdad bombings. The purge has begun.

• After investigating itself, the CIA finds nothing wrong with the NYPD running an internal spy operation on US soil. Good to know.

• Another big rally in Russia demanding that Putin leave. This could be a big story in 2012.

• So how can Germany build twice as many cars as the US while paying workers twice as much?

• The Arab League observers in Syria haven’t gone to Homs yet, where the bulk of the killing is taking place?

• A financial transaction tax, which the EU seems poised to initiate, needs to get applied globally to really have the intended effect.

• What a bold play for the addicted Internet gambler vote.

• This is a good idea from Dave Weigel. On this slow week I plan to look back at my own predictions too.

• Mona Eltahawy speaks out on her brutal assault at the hands of Egyptian security forces.

More trouble for Joe Arpaio.

• Oh please oh please let’s have a Trump third-party run, just for the entertainment value.

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