March 2: Crime Rings with Shareholders

What you need to know to navigate today’s most critical debates.

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Will Wall Street Ever Face Justice? (NYT)
Phil Angelides argues the mortgage fraud task force could succeed given the right resources, but calling prosecution efforts thus far a success is like visiting a landfill and congratulating yourself for sweeping up some dust.

How Empires Fall (Including the American One) (TomDispatch)
Andy Kroll interviews Jonathan Schell, the author whose thesis that nonviolent resistance is the most powerful force in today’s society seemed totally ridiculous until protesters from Cairo to lower Manhattan went out and proved it for him.

Four Fiscal Phonies (NYT)
Paul Krugman writes that while the GOP candidates have issued dire warnings that America’s growing debt will trigger our own Greek crisis, their fiscal plans would leave our economy and finances in ruins without the intervention of Zeus Himself.

Romney can’t pay for his tax cuts by repealing Obamacare (WaPo)
Ezra Klein points out that Republicans’ plan to repeal health care reform to reduce the deficit doesn’t quite work since half of it was devoted to deficit reduction. Before reshaping fiscal policy, let’s see if we can master addition and subtraction.

Blunt, Rubio, And The Madness of Employer-Based Health Care (TNR)
The Senate celebrated Women’s History Month by tabling an amendment that would have let employers deny coverage for contraception (or anything else), but Tim Noah argues they shouldn’t be the gatekeepers of health care to begin with.

Check out “The 99 Percent Plan,” a new Roosevelt Institute/Salon essay series on the progressive vision for the economy.

Where the Jobs Are, the Training May Not Be (NYT)
Catherine Rampell notes that while nurses, engineers, and technicians have remained in high demand, cuts to public universities mean many Americans are hard-pressed to actually learn any of those trades. And you really, really don’t want them winging it.

A Brief History of the Education Culture Wars: On Santorum’s Legacy, the GOP and School Reform (The Nation)
Dana Goldstein charts the course of the Republican Party’s rapid swing from pushing hard for comprehensive federal education standards to arguing that the very existence of the public school system is a blight on the very soul of our fair nation.

A Civil Right to Unionize (NYT)
Richard Kahlenberg and Moshe Marvit argue the Civil Rights Act should include the right to form unions without being fired — a law that’s technically already on the books but carries as much weight as the warning to not remove your mattress tag.

Why the Rent Is Too Damn High (Slate)
Matthew Yglesias explains that now might be a good time to buy a home, but the fear that a house could turn into a lead anchor if the economy sinks again is driving more and more people toward a dwindling supply of rental properties.

Pirates of the Corporation (TAP)
Garrett Epps looks at a Supreme Court case in which a subsidiary of Shell Oil is arguing that while corporations enjoy many of the privileges of being a person, they’re exempt from petty human laws against things like torture and murder.

With additional research by Roosevelt Institute intern Elena Callahan.