Daily digest – Campaigning for capitalists
What you need to know to navigate today’s most critical debates.
Obama May Move Convention Speech to Bank of America Stadium (Bloomberg)
The Obama campaign might kick off the general election in a stadium named after a bank so it can sell more seats to rich donors. Plans to have poor people form a human carpet leading to the stage were rejected.
Mitt Romney and our overdue debate about capitalism (WaPo)
EJ Dionne notes that opportunistic attacks on Romney’s record in the private sector are forcing leading conservative voices to admit that some forms of capitalism are in fact greed and exploitation by another name, and they smell just as sweet.
South Carolina Primary: Next Stop, Foreclosureville (HuffPo)
With upcoming primaries in a trio of states where jobs are scarce and foreclosure rates are high, candidates are saying the kinds of things voters like to hear: the unemployed are drug addicts, and more people should be kicked out of their homes.
Conservatives Won’t Actually Cut Spending (Breakthrough Journal)
Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Mark Schmitt points out that while Republicans constantly seek to cut revenues, they’re not big on cutting entitlement spending, unlike Democrats who are eager to burnish their “but not too liberal” credentials.
How budget cuts can increase the deficit (WaPo)
Even when spending isn’t shrinking much, some well-placed budget cuts can really screw things up. For example, see the Internal Revenue Service, which is passing up about $965 million in revenue that it doesn’t have the resources to collect.
Data Show German Economy Stalling (NYT)
Facing high uncertainty and weaker demand for its exports, Germany’s economy has begun to slow down, though it’s still comparatively strong. According to its plan for the rest of Europe, its only recourse may be a national day of self-flagellation.
The mafia is now Italy’s largest ‘bank’ (WaPo)
Once Italy’s economy was at the mercy of a cartel of greedy thugs in expensive suits who had deep pockets, low ethical standards, and a penchant for pushing risky loans on desperate people. Now the mafia has taken over that role.
Divided Loyalties (Boston Review)
Roosevelt Institute Fellow Dorian Warren writes that the biggest challenge in today’s black politics is reconciling the interests of poor and working class blacks who seek social justice and black economic elites who, like all other elites, seek more money.
States Attempt to Instill ‘Work Ethic’ by Rolling Back Child Labor Protections (The Nation)
Little Skylar and Madison might not be sent to the coal mines, but thanks to the tireless efforts of Republican legislators across the country, many children may soon enjoy the freedom of getting to work longer and harder, just like mom and dad.
Credit Card Firms: They Don’t Just Steal From Cardholders (Rolling Stone)
Matt Taibbi notes that credit card companies have discovered that in addition to imposing ridiculous hidden fees on their customers, they can do it to merchants, too. They’ll take whatever they can get. Literally, hand it over.
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