Daily digest – Thinking outside the park
What you need to know to navigate today’s most critical debates.
A Raid on the First Amendment: New York’s Assault on Press Freedom (The Nation)
John Nichols writes that while Mayor Bloomberg was reinterpreting the right to free speech, he decided to do away with the free press too. Luckily, worshiping the 1% is still not technically an established state religion.
Beyond Seizing Parks, New Paths to Influence (NYT)
By cracking down on protesters, mayors around the country may be inadvertently reinvigorating the movement and reminding participants that they’re trying to occupy a space in the national dialogue rather than a two-block strip of cold cement.
Why We Need Occupy Wall Street (TAP)
Harold Meyerson notes that in just two months, the Occupy movement has already caused a five-fold increase in media discussion of inequality. If this keeps up, elected officials might not even be able to keep pretending they haven’t noticed.
Bank Excuses on Foreclosure Growing Stale (NYT)
Judges seem to be getting tired of listening to banks’ lawyers lie about how a dog ate their foreclosure paperwork. Meanwhile, AGs like Eric Schneiderman insist that knowing what banks did is kind of important to figuring out whether it was illegal.
F.H.A. Audit Sees Possible Bailout Need (NYT)
The Federal Housing Administration, which provides insurance to private lenders in case of homeowner default, is having some funding problems due to the fact that homeowner default is currently the centerpiece of U.S. housing policy.
Krugman vs Summers: The debate (Reuters)
Felix Salmon scores the Munk Debate between Paul Krugman and Larry Summers, with Krugman arguing America is headed for a lost decade of stagnation and gridlock and Summers trying to keep the audience from downing a fistful of antidepressants.
All the supercommittee proposals (and counterproposals) in one post(WaPo)
While the Super Committee’s negotiations are naturally shaping up to be a resounding failure, Suzy Khimm provides a helpful rundown of the Democratic and Republican proposals that are competing to fail the hardest.
The Balanced Budget Amendment Delusion (NYT)
Bruce Bartlett weighs in on the GOP’s quixotic effort to rewrite the Constitution in service of an idea they don’t really believe while tying hard spending caps to an undefined and constantly evolving economic measure. Just another day in Congress.
How Income Inequality Undermines Social Security’s Finances (CAF)
Daniel Marans notes that the taxable maximum for Social Security was always meant to rise with national income, but policymakers assumed huge income spikes would be broadly distributed instead of being hoarded by elites for cigar-lighting purposes.
Middle-Class Areas Shrink as Income Gap Grows, New Report Finds (NYT)
Rising inequality has left more Americans living in neighborhoods that are starkly divided along economic lines, severely restricting the territory that the 1% can pass through without having to remind their chauffeurs to lock the car doors.
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