January 11: The Pain of Bain

By Roosevelt Institute |

daily-digest-150 What you need to know to navigate today’s most critical debates.

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Extremist in pinstripes (WaPo)
Katrina vanden Heuvel argues that Mitt Romney’s new conservative streak isn’t simply a ploy to win over the GOP base. He’s just finally letting his rhetoric match up with his policies.

As Romney Advances, Private Equity Becomes Part of the Debate (NYT)
Attacks on Romney’s past as a corporate raider trouble leaders in private equity, who claim to serve a vital function by stripping companies down to their useful elements — similar to the rationale space monster Galactus uses for devouring planets.

Romney rivals all become socialists, to horror of conservatives (Salon)
Sensing voters might not be keen on a guy who made his bones by laying people off, Romney’s opponents have pounced on his record at Bain, but everyone knows true capitalists aren’t supposed to care about the human impact of their actions.

Big Banks Face Inquiry Over Home Insurance (NYT)
A New York State agency has launched an investigation of several large banks that may have forced homeowners to take on overpriced insurance policies, just in case they needed a little extra push toward bankruptcy or foreclosure.

How to Save the Global Economy: Cut Defense Spending (Foreign Policy)
Barney Frank makes the case for shifting money away from the defense budget and into domestic stimulus, which seems likely to foster a stronger and more stable society than launching another open-ended “military intervention” would.

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The Crisis We Didn’t Have (MoJo)
The financial crash of 2008 may have postponed America’s reckoning with its trade deficit, but Kevin Drum argues policymakers and opinion leaders probably would have offered the same answers no matter what the question was, and they’ll do it again.

How The Debt Limit Fight Hurt The Economy, Delayed Recovery (TPM)
As it turns out, Republican lawmakers throwing a temper tantrum and threatening to let the economy melt down if they don’t get their way create a drag on growth. Not to worry; every recovery has its ups and downs and inexplicable hostage crises.

For women in business, the squeaky wheel doesn’t get the grease (WaPo)
A new report finds that the reason women don’t receive promotions or raises at the same rate as their male colleagues isn’t that they’re too timid to speak up for themselves. They just wind up hearing the word “no” a lot more.

Foxconn Is Still a Hard Place to Work (Atlantic Wire)
The Chinese factory that produces many of America’s favorite consumer electronics has moved to address worker discontentment by letting children work half-days and asking employees not to kill themselves on the job. What a bunch of sweethearts.

The President Needs Help: Happy Birthday, Brownlow Report! (Monkey Cage)
As the Obama administration welcomes a new chief of staff, it’s worth remembering how it worked in FDR’s day, when it became clear that that no president could run the White House by himself. So he got six whole staff members to help him.

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