Happy New Year! Greg will be back as usual next week; thanks to him, to commenters, and everyone else for a fun week. Most important point: Things may look bleak now, but pitchers and catchers report in only six weeks or so. Wishing everyone a great weekend, and here’s the good stuff:
* Jonathan Chait on Mitt Romney’s rhetorical style
* Excellent post from Kevin Drum about nullification. Despite the fact that as far as I know, the great political scientist Tom Mann was the one who came up with it, I’m not really thrilled with the word – but the phenomenon that we’re talking about here is real, and a very big deal.
* And a good example of why it matters, and why elections (should) matter: Coverage under Tri-Care (Defense Department health insurance) will be expanded to cover some treatments for addiction, reports Keith Humphreys.
*Hey, it’s even a big deal when there’s less at stake, as in this story of yet another nomination defeated by filibuster. Reported by Peter Landers.
* Heather Hurlburt on what went right in 2011 in foreign policy and national security
* Matt Yglesias presents the case for jargon. Tough call; he has a point, though.
* “So what [Glenn] Reynolds argues is evidence of Obama's incompetence in government is rather evidence of how bad the economy was in the last months of the Bush administration.” Andrew Sullivan, reality-based
* Matt Duss names names of “hawks who learned nothing.”
* Josh Marshall asks, “What’s the deal with Romney’s taxes” Why he won’t release them, that is. Expect this one to linger until Romney relents.
* Latino voters? Increasingly, they’re Democrats, as Scott Clement reports.