Daily digest – The better-than Castro congress
What you need to know to navigate today’s most critical debates.
America’s New Robber Barons (NYRB)
Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Jeff Madrick notes that the richest of the 1% made their fortunes the old-fashioned way: by holding down wages to boost their corporate stock prices.
Mayors and Cops Traded Strategies for Dealing With Occupy Protesters(MoJo)
While officials deny that recent crackdowns were part of a coordinated effort, they admit to some broader strategic discussions. You know how it goes: “What’s up? Oh, I’m sending some riot cops to destroy a library. Did you see Glee last night?”
What Can Labor Learn? (In These Times)
Roosevelt Institute Fellow Dorian Warren tells Mike Elk that the question for unions is not whether they can force the Occupy movement into the shape of traditional labor activism, but whether modern labor activism needs to look more like Occupy.
Federal Prosecution Of Financial Fraud Falls To 20-Year Low, New Report Shows (HuffPo)
TRAC finds that financial fraud prosecutions have been trending downward over the last decade, probably because bankers have just been too busy rescuing kittens from trees and helping old ladies across the street to start any trouble.
Dodd-Frank’s Derivatives Reforms: Clear as Mud (ProPublica)
Jesse Eisinger notes that even the regulators setting up derivatives clearinghouses don’t seem sure how they should work or whether they’re really better than the old system, but they’re hoping it won’t take another crisis to figure out the answer.
Progressives on the march to take over Congress (WaPo)
Katrina vanden Heuvel writes that the Occupy movement isn’t meant to produce political candidates, but it has cleared a path for genuine progressives and citizen activists to run for office without charging straight into the right-wing buzzsaw.
A Saint With Sharp Elbows (New York)
Jason Zengerle argues that by freezing out his administration’s clearest middle class champion, Obama created his own biggest rival in the progressive movement. Now the president is taking campaign lessons from a Massachusetts Senate candidate.
America’s ‘Brain Drain’: Best And Brightest College Grads Head For Wall Street (HuffPo)
Amanda Terkel examines the growing trend of elite college students being funneled into the financial sector and asks why all that brain power isn’t being put to use to help the world instead of designing innovative new ways to blow up the economy.
CBO Ranks “Repatriation Holiday” Dead Last in Job Creation (CBPP)
A report finds that Congress can reward job creators by boosting unemployment benefits and cut off welfare queens by scrapping plans for a corporate tax holiday. The cognitive dissonance has triggered severe migraines in the GOP caucus.
Congress’s unpopularity in one hilarious chart (WaPo)
The disastrous oil spill in the Gulf was apparently less damaging to BP’s reputation than whatever Congress thinks it’s been doing for the last few years has been to Americans’ opinions of the legislative branch.
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