March 9: The Dirty Jobs

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

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Ignorance is Strength (NYT)
Paul Krugman writes that the party of “traditional Americans values” has made a radical break on education, arguing that if you go to college, you’re a snob, and if you can’t afford to go… well, tough luck, poor kids! Beef up that stock portfolio.

The Fight to Protect America’s Growing Home Care Workforce (GOOD)
ND2.0 Editor Bryce Covert looks at the new regulations that will extend key labor protections to the workers who care for our homes and loved ones and allow so many of us to leave the house for work so they don’t make us penniless and insane.

Labor and the ‘Civil Right’ to Organize (CAP)
Eric Alterman reviews Richard Kahlenberg and Moshe Marvit’s case for establishing a civil right to organize in order to reverse the trend of workers being treated like second-class citizens because they joined a union instead of a corporate board.

GAO: Almost Half of Bailed Banks Repaid the Government With Money “From Other Federal Programs” (Naked Capitalism)
Roosevelt Institute Fellow Matt Stoller notes that a GAO report shows that the claim that TARP made money doesn’t hold up unless you think that paying off one credit card with another makes you debt-free. (If so, the banks would beg to differ.)

What passes for a jobs bill in the House (Maddow Blog)
What’s the difference between Obama’s Jobs Act and the JOBS Act that passed the House? As Steve Benen argues, one is a serious effort to stimulate the economy and put people back to work, and the other is the JOBS Act. Plus, more capital letters.

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

White House Works to Shape Debate Over Health Law (NYT)
With the Affordable Care Act set to come under scrutiny, the Obama administration plans to stop treating it like the law whose name we dare not speak and raise awareness of its benefits, which might have helped when they were passing it.

Obama unveils new foreclosure measures to resuscitate housing market (WaPo)
The Obama administration has recently begun to take a more forceful approach to housing and advocate policies that it once dismissed as unwise and unworkable after realizing that those two adjectives actually fit its old housing policies better.

When the GOP Tried to Ban Dark Money (ProPublica)
Justin Elliott peers back through the mists of ancient history to the year 2000, when increased disclosure for political donors was an issue Republicans championed instead of rolling their eyes at it while Karl Rove buries their opponents in attack ads.

The Koch Brothers, the Cato Institute and Why Nations Fail (NYT)
Simon Johnson argues that the Kochs’ attempt to commandeer Cato illustrates that while libertarians are always looking over their shoulders for signs of government oppression, they miss the threat of corporate power that’s staring them in the face.

Insane Sex Laws Inspired by Republicans (MoJo)
While Republicans have stopped just short of demanding a 24/7 livestream of the inside of women’s uteruses, their opponents have proposed creative responses ranging from personhood for sperm to mandatory rectal exams for Viagra-seekers.

With additional research by Roosevelt Institute intern Elena Callahan.