Daily digest – Fighting back is so unfair
What you need to know to navigate today’s most critical debates.
Daley Stepping Down in Rare White House Shake-Up (NYT)
Bill Daley will step down as chief of staff after having transferred key duties to Pete Rouse. Jack Lew will take over, vacating the top spot at the OMB and perhaps having all other staffers rotate one office to their left.
How a Little Bit of Good Economic News Can Be Bad for the President (Robert Reich)
The unemployment rate has gone down, which is good, but if people who have given up start looking for work again, the unemployment rate will rise. So we’ve gone from “the audacity of hope” to “whoa, whoa, don’t get your hopes up yet.”
Obama’s Populism (HuffPo)
Robert Kuttner notes that whenever Obama does something vaguely progressive, like defending Social Security or filling vacancies at the CFPB, conservatives start hyperventilating about how he’s betraying his promise to be meek and ineffectual.
Bush’s Torture Lawyers Agree: Obama Is Mad With Power (MoJo)
President Obama’s recent recess appointments might have been way outside the bounds of his constitutional authority. Just ask the guys who said waterboarding and genital torture were un-cruel and totally usual forms of punishment.
GOP class warfare: Make the middle class pay (Salon)
The Republican presidential field, which is above cynical ploys like trying to win over voters by defending their economic interests, has a more straightforward plan: slash taxes for the 1% and gut government programs that serve everyone else.
By promoting mortgage refinancing, Obama could win big (WaPo)
Ezra Klein recommends that if the president wants to boost the recovery and earn some good will with voters, he should push Fannie and Freddie to launch a large-scale mortgage refinancing program. Or he could just let Mitt Romney do it.
Battle of the Supremes (TAP)
Challenging the doctrine behind Citizens United, the Montana Supreme Court reasoned that unrestricted corporate spending created a corrupt shell of a government in the past and human nature hasn’t changed much in the meantime.
Goldman, Citigroup CDOs Were Tip of Iceberg (Bloomberg)
A new study finds that many CDOs have performed so exceptionally badly that it’s almost as if firms intentionally loaded them up them with the worst garbage on their books just so it would become someone else’s problem. Say it isn’t so!
A Paradox Of Smaller Wall Street Paychecks (NYT)
No doubt it tugs at the heart strings that the average i-banker has been forced to accept a slightly lower six-figure salary this year than last, but rest assured that even as profits shrink, firms are devoting a larger share of revenue to compensation.
Small Companies, Big Credit Problems (Slate)
Research suggests small businesses were hardest hit by the credit crunch resulting from the 2008 crisis, so with the economy improving, banks must be encouraged to start lending to them again instead of hoarding their riches like Smaug.
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