February 16: Keep Your Friends Close and Your Funders Closer

Feb 16, 2012Tim Price

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

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Obama Campaign To Wall Street: We'll Go Easy On You Guys (HuffPo)
President Obama has adopted a more populist tone recently, but his advisers have told bankers that if they're willing to pony up $38,500 each for a chicken dinner to support his reelection, he just can't stay mad at them.

New Bill Clouds Legality Of Tips (WSJ)
While calling something a "political intelligence" industry may sound like an oxymoron, lobbyists and other insiders who make their living off the steady stream of inside information that Congress feeds them worry that gravy train could soon be derailed.

Audit Uncovers Extensive Flaws in Foreclosures (NYT)
San Francisco county officials have reviewed 400 recent foreclosures and found that banks evidently aren't even trying to comply with the law or keep their documentation in order. There's only one choice: get them an immunity deal, ASAP.

U.S. to Nominate World Bank President Candidate in Coming Weeks (Bloomberg)
With the top job opening at the World Bank, President Obama is reportedly leaning toward nominating Larry Summers due to his long track record of success at... uh, getting nominated for things like this. Or maybe Hillary Clinton, if she's not too tired.

Greece’s depression could prove worst in modern history (WaPo)
Just as austerity hawks hoped, Greece's effort to sharply reduce spending and debt in the middle of a crisis has become a model for other countries to follow. Unfortunately, the lesson it's teaching them is "Be afraid. Be very afraid."

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

Obama to unions: See you later (Salon)
Josh Eidelson notes that the president's decision to sign an FAA bill with a provision designed to make it harder for airline workers' unions to call a vote shows how labor is forced to choose between being patted on the head or punched in the face.

Zombie Politics (TAP)
John Sides notes that the conventional wisdom that Democrats struggle because the white working class has become increasingly Republican over the last few decades has one little flaw: It's not actually happening anywhere outside the South.

Pity the Billionaire (Truthout)
In an excerpt from his new book, Thomas Frank attempts to explain why having their policies and ideology utterly and repeatedly discredited has done so little to stop American conservatives from staging one uprising after another.

Schools We Can Envy (NYRB)
Diane Ravitch writes that corporate school reformers are so impressed by the Finnish education model that they don't notice it disproves their theory that the answer is to privatize, increase standardized testing, and throw teachers to the wolves.

Radical Solutions to Economic Inequality (Slate)
Beverly Gage argues that if you want ideas about leveling the playing field that are honest, urgent, and creative, you might as well forget about today's policymakers and look to the Commission on Industrial Relations that was created a century ago.

With additional research by Roosevelt Institute intern Elena Callahan.

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