What you need to know to navigate today's most critical debates.
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Taking Back May Day: What to Expect on the Nationwide Day of Rallies, Strikes and Actions (AlterNet)
Sarah Jaffe gives the rundown of the demonstrations planned across the U.S. today, though she notes that it's not clear whether there will be a general strike. News Recappers Local 411 is still undecided, but we're all preparing very snarky picket signs.
Can There Be a Decent Center? What a Worthwhile Third Party Would Look Like (TNR)
Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Mark Schmitt argues that a serious third party would need to stake out at least one real position and advocate for reforms like fusion voting in order to serve as more than a mutual admiration society for wealthy centrist dudes.
Let's just say it: The Republicans are the problem. (WaPo)
Thomas Mann and Norman Onstein write that it's not fair to lay the blame for political dysfunction and paralysis on both parties when Democrats come to the negotiating table in good faith and Republicans flip the table over and call them communists.
Budget Bunk: The Old Pox-on-Both-Your-Houses Game (Truthout)
Dean Baker makes the case that while the Ryan budget adopted by the GOP is a disaster in the making, Democrats also need to get over the idea that the Clinton-era economic boom and deficit reduction were the result of some sort of feel-good austerity.
The Legendary Paul Ryan (New York)
Jonathan Chait looks at how the chairman of the House Budget Committee became the de facto leader of the GOP and how he's snookered the press into believing he's Washington's Saint of Wonks rather than a run-of-the-mill far right ideologue.
Obama's No FDR (National Review)
Conrad Black urges his fellow conservatives to understand that in order to hate Barack Obama it is not strictly necessary to construct an alternate history in which FDR was an awful socialist hatemonger who simultaneously accomplished nothing.
Not Wanting Jobs (NYT)
Nancy Folbre deflates the argument that unemployment remains high because our overly generous social safety net has turned it into funemployment, and that kicking the poor hard enough when they're already down will make them bounce up again.
How Elite Colleges Still Feed Wall Street's Recruiting Machine (NYT)
Laura Newland writes that even though the financial crisis proved bankers aren't the masters of the universe they claim to be, they've kept the brain drain going by appealing to the two weaknesses everyone on Wall Street understands: money and ego.
Voting Out Austerity in Europe (TAP)
Yannis Palaiologos writes that with upcoming elections in France and Greece set to oust pro-austerity governments, new and old eurozone leaders will face an uphill battle in moving toward a true European Union rather than a League of Merkels.
The bailout Mitt suddenly loves (Salon)
Steve Kornacki notes that as Mitt Romney repositions himself for the general election, he has adopted a clear position on the auto bailouts: They were terribly managed crony capitalism if you don't like them, and they were all his idea if you did.
With additional research by Elena Callahan.