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Romney's First 100 Days (NYT)
In 2008, Barack Obama famously promised change you could believe in. But David Leonhardt writes that if the Romney/Ryan Republicans win this year, their lurch toward small government and laissez faire economics could bring change you won't believe.
You Are Probably Worse Off Than You Were Four Years Ago (TNR)
Timothy Noah reviews a study that finds the average household's income has fallen more during the recovery than it did in the recession, and notes that this would be a very tough record for any incumbent to run on if his opponents actually planned to fix it.
The Stranded Unemployed (NYT)
Catherine Rampell takes a closer look at the reasons behind the steep decline in income and notes that the unemployed either can't find jobs or take big pay cuts to get back to work. They'd rather drop a few rungs on the ladder than fall into the bottomless pit.
Looking for a Good Job? Don't Get Your Hopes Up (In These Times)
Michelle Chen writes that a new CEPR report shows that good jobs -- the kind with decent pay, health insurance, and a retirement plan -- are a dying breed in the U.S., partly because unions and labor regulations are also on the endangered species list.
Why Subsidize CEOs? (The Nation)
Katrina vanden Heuvel highlights a report from the Institute for Policy Studies that shows taxpayers are subsidizing compensation for corporate execs to the tune of $14 billion a year. Maybe it's time for us to sit them down and conduct their performance review.
Making the Election About Race (NYT)
Forget about the economy or other distractions. Thomas Edsall writes that the Romney campaign has a more important question: are you aware that the president is black and some government aid goes to black people? If not, they've got news for you.
Where's William Jennings Bryan When You Need Him? (TAP)
Harold Meyerson argues that conservatives who are sad that their own pet theories have been falsified want to make Keynesianism impossible with a return to the gold standard. But if the economy is crucified on a cross of gold, don't count on it rising again.
Suits Mount in Rate Scandal (WSJ)
More money, more problems. Jean Eaglesham reports that banks caught up in the LIBOR scandal are facing dozens of lawsuits from investors and others whom they ripped off. But they have a sophisticated legal defense: nyah nyah, can't prove it.
Talk About Poverty: Mariana Chilton's Questions for Obama and Romney (The Nation)
Greg Kaufmann shares some key questions for the candidates from the founder of Witnesses to Hunger, such as: If you're so worried about Winning the Future and saving our children from debt, do you have any plans to keep them from literally starving?
Schmooze or Lose (New Yorker)
Barack Obama has done a lot to let down his progressive supporters over the last few years, but Jane Mayer notes that for big-money donors, there may be no bigger disappointment than his failure to pose for Christmas cards with them one time.