January 18: Picking the Bones Clean

Jan 18, 2012Tim Price

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

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Vulture capitalism on trial (WaPo)
Katrina vanden Heuvel notes that Mitt Romney's rivals have decided to Occupy the GOP Primary, sparking a national debate about the difference between genuine venture capitalism and the equivalent of burning down a business for the insurance money.

Free Enterprise on Trial (Robert Reich)
Over in a different wing of the courthouse, Robert Reich asks who really bears the biggest risks: bankers who collect their fees and move on, CEOs with their polished golden parachutes, or low-level workers whose livelihoods may go up in smoke?

Explainer: Will New Appointees and Rules at the NLRB Revive Union Organizing? (The Nation)
Labor professor John Logan explains why the sturm und drang surrounding President Obama's NLRB recess appointments and the board's new rules won't die down any time soon. In short: Republicans don't like them, therefore they shouldn't exist.

Labor's Second Front (TAP)
Josh Eidelson writes that labor activists who led the revolt against Wisconsin's union-busting are turning to Indiana, where Republicans hope to pass a "right to work" bill (as in the "right to work" for lower pay thanks to inadequate union representation).

How would Mitt Romney prevent the next financial crisis? It’s not clear. (WaPo)
Romney thinks overregulation is worse than financial sector instability and wants to repeal Dodd-Frank, but he also wants to preserve parts of Dodd-Frank and says the government needs to rein in the banks. Just get back to him after he's elected.

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Is the Government's Financial Watchdog All Bark and No Bite? (TNR)
Nathan Pippenger notes that the SEC's decision to charge six former Fannie and Freddie execs with securities fraud may be justified, but when all the bigger fish in the financial crisis have been allowed to swim free, it looks a little desperate.

How Today’s Income Inequality Kills Tomorrow’s Economic Mobility (Think Progress)
Heather Boushey highlights a graph from CEA chair Alan Krueger illustrating the fact that here in the supposed land of opportunity, your chances of getting ahead in life are strongly correlated with an age-old question: "Who's your daddy?"

$422,320 for a College Degree? With Tuition Skyrocketing, It is Time to Rethink Higher Education (AlterNet)
Sarah Jaffe writes that there are basically two major options available in the world of education policy: Let college costs spiral out of control until only rich kids can afford to learn, or find ways to reshape and revitalize the public university system.

The Republicans' Dark-Money-Moving Machine (MoJo)
Andy Kroll delves into the operations of the Republican Governors Assocation and its network of state-based Super PACs, which offer the benefits of unlimited campaign spending without the annoyances of accountability or strict compliance with the law.

Tiny group of super-rich donors dominate primary (Salon)
The Supreme Court says money equals speech, but with fewer than 100 deep-pocketed donors contributing 90 percent of the money raised by Super PACs this election cycle, it's clear the elite are drowning everyone else out with their bullhorns.

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