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Obama Urges Congress to Act to Stave Off Cuts (NYT)
Michael Shear and Jackie Calmes report that the president wants Congress to pass a smaller package of cuts and tax increases to replace the sequester, hoping to take the edge off their desire to do something pointless and unproductive without going overboard.
Memo to Congress: To bring down the deficit, focus on jobs (WaPo)
Greg Sargent highlights a plan by the Congressional Progressive Caucus that would achieve over $3 trillion in balanced deficit reduction while investing in infrastructure and other stimulus. They’re those nerds who got all their homework in on time and did the extra credit.
Susan Crawford for FCC chairman (WaPo)
With FCC chair Julius Genachowski expected to step down soon, Katrina vanden Heuvel writes that Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford would be the best pick to promote freedom of information and a competitive marketplace. No fair; we saw her first.
Twenty Years After the FMLA, Our Family Leave Policies Are Dragging Us Down (The Nation)
On the anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act, NND Editor Bryce Covert looks at how many Americans still lack paid or unpaid leave and why it’s hurting our standing relative to countries where employers don’t just ride workers until the wheels fall off.
Are Immigrants Taking Your Job? A Primer (NYT)
Catherine Rampell notes that research shows immigrant and native-born workers are largely complementary rather than competitive, with immigrants taking jobs no one else wants or is qualified for. So the short answer is: No, but they might just give you one.
Grin and Abhor It: The Truth Behind ‘Service with a Smile’ (In These Times)
Sarah Jaffe expands on recent analyses of the rise of “emotional labor,” pointing out that this kind of service industry performance art is also highly gendered, with women expected to serve as both a customer’s waitress and his fake girlfriend for the evening.
Eric Cantor’s Bold New Vision for America: No Medical Device Tax (TNR)
The House Majority Leader’s big speech at AEI yesterday was supposed to unveil his new recipe for rebranding the Republican Party, but Alec MacGillis writes that most of the policy ideas it contained were either warmed over or undercooked and cold in the middle.
GOP Senators Obstructing the Consumer Protection Bureau Receive Loads of Wall Street Donations (Think Progress)
Pat Garofalo notes that the financial industry has donated a combined $143 million to the 43 Republicans who signed a letter promising to filibuster any CFPB director who’d be presiding over a functional agency. It’s their own consumption they want to protect.
Tangle of Ties Binds SEC’s Top Ranks (WSJ)
Jean Eaglesham and Jessica Holzer write that the SEC has trouble pursuing enforcement cases because its commissioners are so frequently forced to recuse themselves due to conflicts of interest. Sometimes you get your sleeve caught in the revolving door.
Currency Wars, What Are They Good For? Absolutely Ending Depressions (The Atlantic)
Matthew O’Brien explains why a cascade of countries devaluing their currency would be good for the economy in the midst of a global depression, and what exactly that has to do with one senior Federal Reserve official hinting he enjoys wetting the bed.