Daily Digest - November 26: The Writing on the Wall for Walmart

Nov 26, 2012Tim Price

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With Biggest Strike Against Biggest Employer, Walmart Workers Make History Again (The Nation)

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With Biggest Strike Against Biggest Employer, Walmart Workers Make History Again (The Nation)

Josh Eidelson reports that Walmart workers and organizers pulled off the biggest strike in U.S. history as hundreds walking off the job and a thousand protests throughout the country gave the super-store chain a black eye to go with its Black Friday sales.

What Kind of Walmart Do We Want for Our Country? (HuffPo)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Annette Bernhardt argues that the best way for America's largest employer to silence protesters is not with intimidation but with basic decency. And the good news is there's profit to be had, so even morality comes with a discount.

Fighting Fiscal Phantoms (NYT)

Paul Krugman writes that deficit hawks' false predictions of doom have left them with as little credibility as a guy on the street corner shouting that the end is nigh, but if you shave that guy and put him in a suit and tie, we're expected to let him set fiscal policy.

Why rich guys want to raise the retirement age (WaPo)

Ezra Klein writes that making Americans work longer before they can qualify for Social Security benefits sounds like a sensible idea to people who don't have to worry about enjoying their golden years because they've already upgraded to a platinum lifestyle.

Today's Crazy Idea: Let's Get Rid of Tax Brackets for the Rich! (MoJo)

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to tax you. Kevin Drum notes that one of the odder bipartisan proposals on the table is to tax all of high earners' income at the highest level, making the tax code work like it does in right-wing chain e-mails.

Economists, Obama administration at odds over role of mortgage debt in recovery (WaPo)

Zachary Goldfarb writes that everyone seems to agree that the Obama administration erred by not doing more to address mortgage debt overhang except for Tim Geithner, whose opinion is the game-winning Golden Snitch of White House policy debates.

Mary Miller vs. Neil Barofsky for the S.E.C. (NYT)

Simon Johnson examines two potential choices to take over the S.E.C: Miller, a Geithner understudy who's more likely to please powerful interests with not-so-benign neglect, and Barofsky, who has popular support but runs a serious risk of doing a good job.

It's Hard to Make It in America (Foreign Affairs)

Lane Kenworthy writes that while the U.S. has made great strides toward equality of economic opportunity regardless of race or gender, our fortunes are still being determined less by the content of our character than by the content of our families' bank accounts.

Inequality is Killing Capitalism (Project Syndicate)

Robert Skidelsky argues that instead of blaming greedy low-income borrowers for taking on too much debt to keep up with the Joneses, we should ask why the government is letting the Joneses hoard their wealth instead of forcing them to be good neighbors.

The Choice to End Poverty (The Nation)

Greg Kaufmann highlights a new report from the Half in Ten campaign that shows we can reduce soaring inequality in America -- we just have to be tough on poverty instead of offering up antipoverty programs in a fiscal cliff deal to show we're tough on the poor.

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Daily Digest - November 21: Dear Congress, Don't Screw Up. Love, Ben

Nov 21, 2012Tim Price

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A Chance to Tackle Inequality (NYT)

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A Chance to Tackle Inequality (NYT)

Eduardo Porter suggests that before fiscal cliff negotiators begin patting themselves on the back for working out a bipartisan compromise to shrink the safety net, they should consider whether it needs to be made bigger to catch everyone who's falling.

Bernanke to Congress: Don't flub the austerity crisis (WaPo)

Neil Irwin reports that the Fed chairman didn't offer any specific policy recommendations for a fiscal cliff deal in his speech yesterday, but as has now become customary in his messages to Congress, he did ask them to try not to make everything terrible.

The New Republican Tax Policy (NYT)

Bruce Bartlett argues that the GOP must give up on its "starve the beast" strategy and accept that taxes are going to go up one way or another, as its current approach only creates larger deficits while the beast grows to Clifford the Big Red Dog proportions.

Return of the 47 percent: The right's latest tax lie (Salon)

Michael Lind looks at a new report from a conservative think tank that claims an unprecedented number of Americans are paying no federal income taxes, which winds up being an accidental argument that FDR's Republican successors ruined everything.

Wall Street Group Behind Poll Supporting Social Security Cuts (CAF)

Richard Eskow notes that Lloyd Blankfein has called for raising the retirement age for Social Security, so we can all breathe a sigh of relief now that he's finally told us what to do. And what do you know, Wall Street's own polls show we already agree with him.

Jobless Benefits as an Antipoverty Program (NYT)

Catherine Rampell warns that the expiration of extended unemployment insurance threatens the 2.3 million people, including 620,000 children, who are living just above the poverty line (or as the GOP would have it, taking a paid vacation) thanks to those benefits.

Walmart rattled by growing unrest ahead of Black Friday's strike (Guardian)

Sarah Jaffe writes that as Walmart gears up for its annual orgy of consumerism, the workers who have gone on strike are challenging the notion that the way to "live better" is by fighting to the death over the last WiiU instead of fighting for a decent wage.

Worker Group Alleges Walmart 'Told Store-Level Management to Threaten Workers' About Strikes (The Nation)

Josh Eidelson reports that OUR Walmart continues to file charges with the NLRB alleging that the retail giant is cracking down on workers behind the scenes. Walmart denies that any retaliation is taking place while quietly pounding its fist into its palm.

Michigan Republicans Push for Tax Breaks for Fetuses (RH Reality Check)

Robin Marty notes that the Michigan GOP is combining the chocolate and peanut butter of the conservative agenda by delivering tax cuts straight to the womb. But once those kids are born, they're on their own with the whole health care thing.

Rich People Who Don't Understand Taxes Should Be Told So (The Atlantic)

Derek Thompson asks that we all take some pity on the poor (but in this case, very rich) souls who understand so little about how marginal tax rates work that the thought of raising taxes leaves them terrified by the prospect of making more money.

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Daily Digest - November 20: Which Way is Forward?

Nov 20, 2012Tim Price

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The Great Society's Next Frontier (Prospect)

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The Great Society's Next Frontier (Prospect)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal writes that Obamacare has finally completed the safety net America should have had last century. But if we dare to bring it all the way into the present day, it's time to focus on greater opportunity and shared growth.

Obama's "Roosevelt Moment" (CAF)

Richard Eskow argues that while Obama wasn't the FDR-like figure some progressives hoped for, he could still be today's Teddy Roosevelt by embracing TR's fight against excess corporate power. He's got the "talk softly" part down; now he just needs the stick.

The U.S. Does Not Have a Spending Problem, We Have a Distribution Problem (The Atlantic)

James Kwak argues that as America's wealth continues to rise, it's silly to claim that we can't afford a basic standard of living for everyone. The real problem is that the people to whom all the money is going treat everyone else like a beggar asking for change.

For Tax Pledge and Its Author, a Test of Time (NYT)

Jeremy Peters reports that some Republicans are beginning to doubt the wisdom of adhering to a pledge of anti-tax absolutism thought up by a 12-year-old 44 years ago, but Grover Norquist is confident they'll eventually ask for another delicious glass of Kool-Aid.

Small Business Sells John Boehner Out (TNR)

Timothy Noah notes that despite John Boehner's repeated warnings that raising taxes on the highest earners would (somehow) crush small businesses, actual small business owners don't seem to be losing much sleep over the idea. You win again, "reality."

Vulture Capitalism Ate Your Twinkies (The Nation)

John Nichols debunks the emerging narrative that Hostess was brought down by unreasonable demands from unions, arguing that the real culprits were greedy managers and private equity consultants who saw themselves as the company's all-important cream filling.

Keep Tipping Your Servers (Slate)

Matthew Yglesias argues that while chain restaurant owners are indulging in a collective whine about Obamacare forcing them to pay for their workers' health insurance, it's probably just another excuse to raise prices without throwing in any free bread sticks.

American manufacturing is coming back. Manufacturing jobs aren't. (WaPo)

Neil Irwin writes that a thriving manufacturing sector is good news for out-of-work robots, but due to advances in technology and automation, everyone else will find more job opportunities marketing cars to their fellow flesh-creatures rather than building them.

Hurricane Sandy Destroys Jobs, Brings Threats of Poverty to Thousands of Unemployed (HuffPo)

Catherine New reports on the challenges facing residents of states affected by Sandy whose jobs were literally wiped out by the storm. While the storm surge may have receded, they're still struggling to keep their heads above water as they search for new work.

Occupy Sandy: From protest group to storm recovery (BBC)

Kate Dailey looks at the revival of the Occupy Wall Street movement in the form of the Occupy Sandy relief effort, whose members' time navigating the ins and outs of the financial sector has proven surprisingly good preparation for organizing in a disaster area.

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Daily Digest - November 19: The More Things Change, the More the GOP Stays the Same

Nov 19, 2012Tim Price

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Obama and the end of decline (WaPo)

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Obama and the end of decline (WaPo)

E.J. Dionne writes that President Obama's second term has the potential to dispel the widely shared concern that America is caught in an escapable downward spiral -- but only by addressing rising inequality and helping those Americans who actually are.

The Twinkie Manifesto (NYT)

It turns out Twinkies won't be joining cockroaches post-apocalypse, but as long as we're getting nostalgic for snack products, Paul Krugman notes that their heyday was the '50s, a time when taxing the rich was not considered the source of said apocalypse.

Why We Should Stop Obsessing About the Federal Budget Deficit (Robert Reich)

Reich urges Democrats to make the case that creating jobs and boosting growth should be our top priority instead of allowing the agenda to be set by whatever the grumpy conservatives who populate Sunday talk shows are currently paid to complain about.

The Next Chapters in the Republican War on Math: Tax Cuts and Austerity (The Atlantic)

Heather Boushey argues that Republicans' insistence that Nate Silver and his liberal "mathematics" must be wrong because it was telling them things they didn't like reflects their overall approach to economics, in which 2+2=? is a creative writing exercise.

GOP's Opposition to New Taxes: Same As It Ever Was (TPM)

Sahil Kapur writes that despite recent feints, Republicans only support raising revenue through tax reform as part of a deficit reduction compromise as long as that reform doesn't actually raise any revenue and the compromise is they get everything they want.

This Week in Poverty: The Fiscal Cliff and the Janitors Who Are Already on It (The Nation)

Greg Kaufmann checks in on the ongoing wage negotiations between Cincinnati's janitors and the city's cleaning contractors, and also attempts to figure out just what this supposed cliff is that we're barreling toward like Thelma and Louise on a bender.

How to Sort Out Social Security's Finances While Making It More Generous (WaPo)

Dylan Matthews notes that amid a sea of proposals to cut Social Security because, well, it seems like the type of thing a serious person would do, one senator has a plan to simply lift the payroll tax cap and increase benefits. Whoops, not serious enough.

Defending the Right to Treat Your Employees Like Dirt (Prospect)

Paul Waldman argues that when a company like Papa John's reacts to Obamacare by punishing its employees, it's really demonstrating its contempt for workers, not its heartfelt moral objection to asking its customers to pay an extra dime for bad pizza. 

Wall Street's Great Scapegoat Hunt (Bloomberg)

William Cohan writes that the message being sent from top Wall Street executives to underlings involved in shady activity is pretty clear: in exchange for the glory of fighting under the king's banner, you may be called upon to throw yourself on a pike for him.

Big Banks vs. Elizabeth Warren: It's On (Again!) (MoJo)

Elizabeth Warren: Threat or menace? The new junior senator from Massachusetts hasn't even been sworn in yet, but Andy Kroll reports banks are already lobbying hard to keep her off the Banking Committee for fear that she might use the position to do stuff.

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Daily Digest - November 16: A Fiscal Cliff Survival Guide

Nov 16, 2012Tim Price

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Fiscal Cliff: The End Game (Prospect)

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Fiscal Cliff: The End Game (Prospect)

Robert Kuttner notes that President Obama is holding firm on taxes and edging away from Social Security cuts, but he argues that fixing the economy is the key to fixing the deficit, while the GOP's approach would have the horse galloping head-first into the cart.

Life, Death and Deficits (NYT)

Paul Krugman explains why raising the eligibility age for Social Security and Medicare is one of those "solutions" that doesn't really fix anything, and debunks the deficit quacks who seem to believe that people used to burn out like a light bulb when they hit 65.

The Growing Global Movement Against Austerity (Truthdig)

Amy Goodman writes that between tragic suicides in Spain, general strikes across Europe, and the "Rolling Jubilee" in the U.S., the public is sending a clear message about austerity. But can that signal penetrate the white noise generated by politicians?

School Districts Brace for Cuts as Fiscal Crisis Looms (NYT)

Motoko Rich notes that sequestration would cut over $2 billion from education, placing the greatest strain on the threadbare budgets of schools that serve the neediest students. Can't they teach themselves? They've never heard of public libraries? Oh, wait.

Obama must kill the debt limit (WaPo)

Matt Miller argues that while Obama ruled out using the 14th Amendment to bypass the debt ceiling last time, he should now recognize that doing so to prevent future blackmail attempts by Republicans is not just the "constitutional option" but the sane one.

Why Cell Phones Went Dead After Hurricane Sandy (Bloomberg)

For those frustrated that the storm that physically cut them off from the world also knocked out their ability to communicate, Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford questions cell phone companies' claim that they have a constitutional right to incompetence.

America's Mid-20th Century Infrastructure (NYT)

Uwe Reinhardt offers his euro-socialist perspective on America's widespread infrastructure problems: instead of investing in peanut butter and candles to get us through blackouts, what if we just spent the money to make sure everything works properly?

Americans Want to Raise the Minimum Wage (The Nation)

NND Editor Bryce Covert writes that voters' decision to raise the minimum wage in three cities was not only a crucial response to rising inequality but an acknowledgment that a wage isn't "minimum" if it isn't enough to do things like, say, find a place to live.

Mitt Romney's America: Why Makers, 'Gifts,' and Takers Is a Losing Vision (The Atlantic)

Derek Thompson argues that if Republicans learn anything from Romney's failure to charm voters by labeling half of them as greedy losers, it should be that they need to help people up the economic ladder instead of throwing rocks at those at the bottom.

Why Republicans Lack a Compelling Economic Agenda (Bloomberg)

Josh Barro writes that the GOP's failure to convince voters that implementing conservative policies would improve their personal economic situation might have something to do with the fact that conservatives don't approve of any policies that would actually do that.

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Daily Digest - November 15: You Know Who Else Gives Gifts? (Santa.)

Nov 15, 2012Tim Price

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The Poor Will Be the First Over the Fiscal Cliff (The Nation)

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The Poor Will Be the First Over the Fiscal Cliff (The Nation)

NND Editor Bryce Covert explains how the combination of higher taxes and spending cuts will hurt the most vulnerable and argues that piling the poor up so high at the base of the fiscal cliff that the rest of us can just walk across is not the right solution.

Obama's Message, Still Loud and Clear: Taxes for the Wealthy (TNR)

Jonathan Cohn notes that the president remained committed to ending the Bush tax cuts for the rich at yesterday's press conference. He's also open to alternate sources of revenue that don't rely on magical thinking, but the GOP doesn't have any of those.

Save the Payroll Tax Holiday (Slate)

Matthew Yglesias writes that the expiration of the 2010 payroll tax holiday has flown under the radar because it's an offshoot of that awful stimulus that saved the economy, but renewing it is important for the sake of the recovery and people who work for a living.

2 million could lose unemployment benefits unless Congress extends program (WaPo)

Michael Fletcher writes that millions of Americans who have been unemployed for six months or more will suffer if Congress fails to renew emergency benefits. Hasn't government done enough for these people already? I mean, except for creating more jobs.

Want Less Inequality? Tax It (Prospect)

Liam Malloy and John Case argue that it's time to channel the spirit of Arthur Pigou with a tax on soaring inequality, which would help to persuade wealthy executives that they don't need to make 300 times more than their mailroom clerks to lead fulfilling lives.

The new poverty measure is out, and it's grim (WaPo)

Dylan Matthews notes that the Census Bureau's supplemental poverty measure shows poverty much higher for groups like the elderly, who rely heavily on income from Social Security. Odd how different things would look if we didn't freeze time 48 years ago.

Janet Yellen's Game-Changing Speech for Monetary Policy (FDL)

David Dayen highlights remarks that suggest the Federal Reserve is warming to the idea of tying monetary policy to specific unemployment targets instead of basing it on whether or not Ben Bernanke sees his shadow when he pokes his head above ground.

No, Obama Isn't About to Crack Down on Wall Street (ProPublica)

Jesse Eisinger warns that reformers hoping to see real progress on financial regulation now that President Obama is no longer beholden to bankers are likely to be disappointed, because Dodd-Frank is already written in fine print and bound with red tape.

Changing the Conventional Wisdom on Wall Street (NYT)

Simon Johnson argues that nominating Ted Kaufman, Neil Barofsky, or Dennis Kelleher to head the SEC would signal to Wall Street that it's time for genuinely new thinking about reducing risk, not for one of their friends to whisper sweet nothings in their ears.

Mitt Romney: Obama Won With 'Gifts' to Blacks, Hispanics, Young Voters (AP)

In a conference call with donors, the not-at-all-bitter Romney explained that Obama turned the 47 percent into a majority by spending trillions to make their lives better. As opposed to the more noble method of inflicting brutal economic punishment on them?

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Daily Digest - November 14: It's Not the Fall That Gets You

Nov 14, 2012Tim Price

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Why We Should Go Over the Fiscal Cliff (Time)

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Why We Should Go Over the Fiscal Cliff (Time)

Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Mark Schmitt argues that despite the scary connotations of calling something the "fiscal cliff," we shouldn't be afraid to take the plunge, since we're not exactly standing high atop the peaks of rational fiscal policy right now.

Grand bargain is the wrong solution (WaPo)

Katrina vanden Heuvel writes that voters expressed their policy preferences at the ballot box last Tuesday, and when they backed a government that would challenge powerful interests, they didn't think that would include the best interests of the American people.

Progressives get ready to push the president (Salon)

Alex Seitz-Wald notes that progressives who worked to reelect Barack Obama by a surprisingly decisive margin last week are now preparing to go all out to defeat him if he offers up Social Security and Medicare as a sacrifice to the Beltway gods of Seriousness.

The End of the Pledge: How Democrats Can Finally Beat Grover Norquist (The Atlantic)

Republicans treat Grover Norquist's pledge to never raise taxes under any circumstances as their very own Green Lantern oath, but Derek Thompson thinks they might view a Romney-esque deduction cap as a forgivable, eating-meat-on-Fridays kind of sin.

The economy (probably) can't survive a short dive into austerity crisis (WaPo)

Neil Irwin warns that while the full effects of the fiscal cliff take some time to kick in, it also presents short-term risks if the markets panic. That could throw a bucket of cold water on negotiators, but if we lapse into recession, voters might switch to tar and feathers.

University of Hard Knocks (Prospect)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal writes that despite a few good job reports, recent college graduates are still at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to finding jobs that will put them on a career path -- unless "barista" is their one true calling in life.

Alleging a New Wave of Retaliation, Walmart Warehouse Workers Will Strike a Day Early (The Nation)

Josh Eidelson checks in with the Walmart employees who are launching another round of strikes today to secure better working conditions. Walmart insists it's all just a publicity stunt, which must be why it's firing supporters and holding propaganda meetings.

On the New Shopping List: Milk, Bread, Eggs and a Mortgage (NYT)

Stephanie Clifford and Jessica Silver-Greenberg report that big-box stores like Walmart and Home Depot are branching out into financial products for consumers turned away by banks. But will their debt collectors be taught to greet everyone with a smile?

This Week in Poverty: Janitors in the Queen City (The Nation)

Greg Kaufmann writes that Cincinnati is home to several Fortune 1000 companies and lots and lots of underpaid workers, including the city's janitors, who have decided there's only so much garbage even they can put up with in their contract negotiations.

Charity's Role in America, and Its Limits (NYT)

Eduardo Porter writes that despite the impressive generosity on display in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, we need to ask ourselves whether we can afford tax breaks for someone to get his name on a wall at Harvard when the poor are struggling to get by.

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Daily Digest - November 13: The Debts We Owe

Nov 13, 2012Tim Price

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The President's Opening Bid on a Grand Bargain: Aim High (Robert Reich)

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The President's Opening Bid on a Grand Bargain: Aim High (Robert Reich)

Reich argues that if President Obama wants to capitalize on his newfound leverage in the fiscal negotiations, he needs to make an ambitious push for top earners to pay more, not just a humble request to pretend the Bush administration never happened.

Hawks and Hypocrites (NYT)

Paul Krugman argues that deficit hawks have proven consistently wrong since their rise to power in 2010, and now that their thinly veiled effort to dismantle the safety net has gotten them what they claimed to want, they're even wrong about what's wrong with that.

It's not a fiscal cliff -- it's an austerity crisis. (WaPo)

Suzy Khimm notes that media coverage of the fiscal cliff tends to allude to the threat of an exploding deficit when the real problem is that our deficit is about to get too small too fast. But this suits policymakers whose solution is to jump off a slightly lower cliff instead.

Sweet Forgiveness (Boston Review)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal explains how soaring household debt and increased pressure on borrowers could be causing a prolonged recession and why the key to ending the slump is debt forgiveness, not more debt-shaming. #sorryricksantelli

Occupy Wall Street Activists Buy Up Debt to Abolish It (The Nation)

Allison Kilkenny reports on how the Occupy coalition Strike Debt plans to raise $50,000 to buy up about $1 million in debt and wipe the slates clean. The only obstacle may be the banks, who want to make sure homeowners rue the day they borrowed from them.

Yes We Can, We Did, and Now Obama's Second Term Is Our Responsibility (Truthdig)

Robert Scheer argues that that with the election behind us, it's time for progressives who supported Barack Obama as the lesser of two evils to start pushing for an evil-free second term, which should be easier now that the devil on his shoulder has gone Galt.

Labor Mortgages Future on Obama (Jacobin)

Mike Elk writes that after labor unions flexed some considerable muscle to help President Obama win a second term, they're hoping the debt he owes them is big enough that the strain of lifting a finger on their behalf won't feel so great over the next four years.

In need of help (The Economist)

Poverty in America is at its worst since before LBJ's Great Society, but according to the two presidential campaigns that just concluded, the only economic categories in the U.S. are the rich, the middle class, and those on the waiting list for one of those groups.

Land of the "Free Stuff," Home of the Brave (Prospect)

Paul Waldman notes that after much painful soul-searching, conservatives have finally decided why Republicans lost their bid for the White House last week. It's because the American people are a bunch of spoiled, greedy, lazy jerks who... er... hate America.

The GOP Civil War Is Now a Class War (Atlantic Wire)

Elspeth Reeve writes that as the Republican Party tries to take stock after the wake of its loss, divisions are emerging between the party elites who blame the rubes for getting too caught up in the act and the grassroots who blame the elites for, you know, elitism.

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Daily Digest - November 9: Dealer's Choice

Nov 9, 2012Tim Price

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Let's Not Make a Deal (NYT)

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Let's Not Make a Deal (NYT)

Paul Krugman argues that after a decisive victory, President Obama shouldn't give in to the House GOP's "heads we win, tails you lose" strategy on the fiscal cliff and fall back into the role of economic hostage negotiator as he's done so many times before.

The coming debt battle (Salon)

James K. Galbraith writes that despite growing Beltway pressure to slash Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, they're programs that can always meet their demands as long as we want them to, meaning the only thing bankrupt is their opponents' arguments.

Climate change, not the national debt, is the legacy we should care about (Guardian)

Dean Baker argues that deficit hawks who claim they're just trying to save their grandchildren from the terrible burden of paying interest on government debt might want to step back and look at some bigger questions, like whether Earth will be habitable for them.

Debt Ceiling Complicates a Tax Shift (NYT)

Annie Lowrey notes that while President Obama has leverage in the upcoming fiscal cliff fight thanks to the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, congressional Republicans still have a card up their sleeve, and as usual, it's labeled "Threaten to Destroy Our Credit Rating."

What do voters really think about the economy? Three lessons from exit polls (WaPo)

Neil Irwin writes that exit polls reflect an electorate that believes Obama is still trying to clean up George W. Bush's mess and isn't particularly concerned about the size of the deficit, but would really like to be earning enough money to pay for gas and groceries.

Obama's Second Chance to Be Historic (Bloomberg)

David Kennedy argues that after shattering America's biggest racial barrier, Obama's next task is to convince the GOP to stop gaming a system designed to ensure cooperation in order to achieve the opposite. Then he can challenge Usain Bolt to a foot race.

The You're-on-Your-Own Society (The Nation)

Katha Pollitt writes that the election results suggest that Americans, whether they were convinced by the president or by Hurricane Sandy, have rejected the right-wing notion that the worst burden we can suffer is an obligation to help relieve someone else's.

The Importance of Elizabeth Warren (NYT)

Simon Johnson writes that having Elizabeth Warren headed for the Senate is great news not just for progressives but for anyone who favors transparency and accountability for banks, even if they need to pretend to hate her because of the D next to her name.

Organized labor delivered for the Dems, but what will it get in return? (Washington Monthly)

Kathleen Geier notes that labor unions formed a crucial part of Obama's winning coalition and provided him with all-important ground troops, but with the House in the GOP's hands, the best he may have to offer them in exchange for their votes is his vetoes.

Dave Siegel Hasn't Fired Anyone Yet (Businessweek)

Time-share company owner Dave Siegel was just one of the many CEOs who threatened their employees with vague but grave consequences if President Obama were to be reelected, and so far, those consequences include an across-the-board raise.

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Daily Digest - November 8: Sharp Turn Ahead

Nov 8, 2012Tim Price

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Obama's Next Economy (Robert Reich)

President Obama's first honeymoon period was more of a brief working vacation, and he already faces some tough choices after winning reelection. Robert Reich argues that in his approach to the economic debate, he should choose progressivism.

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Obama's Next Economy (Robert Reich)

President Obama's first honeymoon period was more of a brief working vacation, and he already faces some tough choices after winning reelection. Robert Reich argues that in his approach to the economic debate, he should choose progressivism.

Back to Work, Obama Is Greeted by Looming Fiscal Crisis (NYT)

Jackie Calmes and Peter Baker note that the White House and Congress traded the traditional passive aggressive nods toward cooperation yesterday, but while Obama figures out how to work with the GOP, he also needs to decide who will be working for him.

How the Election Reset the Fiscal Cliff Debate (TNR)

Jonathan Cohn writes that candidate Obama wasn't shy about wanting to raise taxes on the wealthy, and voters turned out to be more than okay with that. That's why John Boehner's already repositioning, even if his opening bid is "Do what we want anyway?"

From Coast-to-Coast, Voters Reject Anti-Tax Hysteria (Think Progress)

Pat Garofalo notes that a tax-friendly electorate turned out to the polls across the country on Tuesday, rejecting many anti-tax ballot measures and reporting a widespread belief that taxes need to be higher. In related news, Grover Norquist's head has exploded.

Obamacare stands. Now states need to make it work. (WaPo)

Sarah Kliff writes that Obama's victory means the Affordable Care Act will take full effect, helping to secure its place as part of the social safety net. The question is whether the states responsible for implementing it want to do this the easy way or the hard way.

Thank You, Republican Misogynists, for Handing Democrats Crucial Victories (The Nation)

NND Editor Bryce Covert writes that Tuesday was a bad night for creepy dudes with fringe theories about rape, who encouraged women who were already concerned about the economy to vote for candidates whose interests wouldn't wander too far afield.

Elizabeth the Great: Warren's Sweet Victory in Massachusetts (Daily Beast)

When bankers want to scare each other, they tell Elizabeth Warren stories. Now Daniel Gross talks to experts including Roosevelt Institute Fellows Rob Johnson and Mike Konczal about the populism and policy expertise that could make her a senatorial powerhouse.

The second worst trade of 2012? Wall Street's terrible presidential bet (Quartz)

Matt Phillips notes that, with all due respect to the incompetence of the London Whale, the financial industry went awfully long on Mitt Romney, contributing heavily to the Republican's presidential campaign. At least they weren't trading Virgil Goode derivatives.

Little to Show for Cash Flood by Big Donors (NYT)

Nicholas Confessore and Jess Bidgood point out that megadonors' massive spending on the 2012 election turned out to be a more environmentally conscious method of burning a huge pile of cash, suggesting that money can't buy everything -- though it helps.

Unraveling secret money in California (WaPo)

Harold Meyerson writes that with $213 million in anonymous outside spending having gone into the 2012 races, an investigation of one shady group's finances has revealed a Russian nesting doll of 501(c)(4)s designed to hide donors' identities from prying eyes.

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