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It’s Not the Very Poor That Romney Doesn’t Care About, It’s the Working Poor (TNR)
Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Mark Schmitt writes that while Romney may have misspoke, his gaffe reflects a radical belief that no one counts as poor unless they're camped on a sidewalk with a cardboard sign.
S.E.C. Is Avoiding Tough Sanctions for Large Banks (NYT)
Edward Wyatt reports that the SEC has developed a nasty habit of granting big banks waivers for securities fraud regulations so they can enjoy the advantages of a business that doesn't break the law without all the hassle of actually following it.
Progress on Letting Big Banks Fail (NYT)
Simon Johnson praises the FDIC for responding to its new mandate to liquidate failed mega-banks by assembling a transparent Systemic Resolution Advisory Committee and soliciting advice from someone other than the bankers it's meant to regulate.
Foreclosure Wrongdoing Settlement Between States And Banks Moved to Feb. 6 (Bloomberg)
The deadline for the states to sign on to the proposed $25 billion robo-signing settlement has been pushed back three days to give the AGs more time to review the terms and, if necessary, refine their excuses for caving in at the last minute.
Republicans Sharply Question Bernanke for Fed’s Focus on Job Market (NYT)
House Republicans grilled the Fed chairman over concerns that he's willing to let inflation soar in his zeal to reduce unemployment, while Bernanke tried to explain that they're the only people in the world who think that's the problem right now.
The GOP’s plan to spare defense, target federal workers (WaPo)
A group of conservative senators led by John McCain wants to delay the mandatory defense cuts triggered by the Super Committee's abject failure in favor of the more economically sound approach of destroying jobs and freezing civil servants' wages.
America's Disastrous Public Sector Construction Spending Plunge (Slate)
Matthew Yglesias notes that with private sector construction having collapsed and investors eager to park their money in treasuries, the last few years were ripe for massive public works. But we don't do stuff like that anymore. We do nothing.
With NFL Players Behind Them, Groups Plan ‘Occupy Super Bowl’ Protests Of Indiana’s Assault On Workers (Think Progress)
Protesters hope to raise awareness about Indiana's anti-union law, but critics don't want them to ruin a fun event where players smash into each other until they're physically incapacitated by complaining about working conditions or whatever.
How Scott Walker and ALEC Plotted the Attack on Arizona's Unions (The Nation)
John Nichols writes that Gov. Walker, facing backlash for union-busting in Wisconsin and declaring compromise "bogus," proved there were no limits to his own bogosity by advising Arizona conservatives on how they too could strip workers' rights.
Obama Won't Touch Climate With a 10-Foot Pole (MoJo)
Kate Sheppard notes that the Obama administration has been treating climate change like a dirty word, but Republicans will probably be determined to make it an issue on the campaign trail even though they're the ones who don't believe it exists.
With additional research by Roosevelt Institute intern Elena Callahan.