February 15: Paradise by the Dashboard Light

Feb 15, 2012Tim Price

daily-digest-150 What you need to know to navigate today's most critical debates.

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Dems To GOP: Keep Birth Control Out Of Highway Bill (TPM)
Roy Blunt wants to amend a transportation bill to let employers deny health coverage for anything on moral grounds. Whatever the senator does while driving on highways, his hands are probably not at ten and two.

Congressional negotiators reach tentative deal on payroll tax, unemployment benefits (NYT)
Republican leaders have agreed to a compromise to extend both the payroll tax cut and emergency unemployment benefits in order to keep those nasty Democrats from twisting the GOP's terribly unpopular policy preferences into an election issue.

A make-or-break moment for democracy (WaPo)
Katrina vanden Heuvel argues the president's decision to accept Super PAC support is an acknowledgment that he can't fight with one hand tied behind his back, but if he doesn't commit to reforming the system, there may not be a fight left to have.

Occupy’s amazing Volcker Rule letter (Reuters)
Felix Salmon reviews Occupy the SEC's 325-page comment letter on the Volcker Rule, in which the mob of wild-eyed socialists offers an incisive line-by-line analysis of how the proposed rule could be made an effective and vital piece of regulation.

The rich and the not-so-rich Republicans (WaPo)
Harold Meyerson notes that the Republican primaries have revealed a split between Wall Street elites and the working class voters who care about the social issues the party pays lip service to, and who aren't too keen on selling out their own interests.

Check out “The 99 Percent Plan,” a new Roosevelt Institute/Salon essay series on the progressive vision for the economy.

How Obama’s Budget Helps Working Women And Their Families (Think Progress)
Sarah Glynn points out that the president's budget includes $5 million to help states establish paid leave programs for workers with new children or sick family members, allowing more workers the option to be both an employee and a human being.

Obama Housing Plans vs. Reality (ProPublica)
While the president has put more emphasis on his plans to aid struggling homeowners, Cora Currier writes that most of his proposals are recycled from prior efforts, and their success depends largely on how much he can ignore Congress.

"Do Manufacturers Need Special Treatment?" -- They Both Need It and Deserve It (HuffPo)
Leo Hindery, Jr. and Rick Sloan challenge economists and policymakers who admit that the manufacturing sector was once the backbone of America's economy and gave rise to the middle class as we know it, but react to its demise with a shrug.

Michigan's Hostile Takeover (MoJo)
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has taken conservative policy to its logical conclusion by privatizing local government, replacing city councils in financially-strapped areas with "emergency managers," which must have polled better than "benevolent dictators."

How Blue America Subsidizes Red America (Slate)
Matthew Yglesias highlights the latest chart that shows how the liberal parts of America wind up supporting the parts that complain vociferously about government subsidies, and why America's success depends on the fact that they don't mind.

With additional research by Roosevelt Institute intern Elena Callahan.

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