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Who’s Very Important? (NYT)
Paul Krugman argues that while the uber-rich may be V.I.P. at GOP fundraisers, they’re no more important to the economy than the working-class rabble. But that won’t stop elected Republicans from doting on them like a party full of nails ladies.
Nikki Haley Slashes Support for Violence Victims Just When They Need It Most (The Nation)
NND Editor Bryce Covert notes that South Carolina’s governor is axing aid for domestic abuse and sexual assault. Despite the rising threat to women in tough financial times, she didn’t want to distract from her party’s mission of alienating them.
What Romney Means by ‘Free Stuff’ (New York)
Jonathan Chait argues that Mitt Romney’s claim that NAACP members who support Obamacare want “free stuff” from the government wasn’t a case of him being racist-racist. He was just trying to make his point in terms that racists would understand.
In Latest Data on Economy, Experts See Signs of Pickup (NYT)
Annie Lowrey writes that despite a string of disappointing jobs reports, economists think low oil prices and rebounding home and automobile sales are putting us on stronger footing. Now this is usually the part where something terrible happens.
The world desperately wants to loan us money (WaPo)
Ezra Klein notes that Treasury yields are so low that people are paying us to hold onto their money for a few years. This should help us make the vital investments we need, but our policymakers seem to be the only people who don’t like free cash.
The Market Has Spoken, and It Is Rigged (NYT)
Simon Johnson writes that Wall Street bankers know full well how bad the LIBOR fixing scandal is, but that hasn’t stopped them from constructing flimsy excuses about how breaking the law often enough, or in the right way, means it doesn’t count.
Geithner Tried to Curb Rate Rigging in 2008 (NYT)
Ben Protess reports that documents show Tim Geithner was aware of problems with LIBOR while at the New York Fed and took the heroic effort of writing a memo and sending an e-mail. Where was that can-do spirit we’ve come to know and love?
Will Lobby for Food (TAP)
Monica Potts notes that there’s a lot to loathe in the House’s version of the Farm Bill, which makes a huge cut to food stamps and diverts funds from conservation to manure lagoons, but passing anything may be better than allowing it to expire.
Wells Fargo to Settle Mortgage Discrimination Charges (NYT)
Charlie Savage reports that Wells Fargo has agreed to pay at least $175 million in what would be the second-largest fair-lending settlement in history, stemming from charges that it added racial premiums to its standard rate of borrower abuse.
Son of liberal financier George Soros launches anti-super PAC super PAC (WaPo)
Dan Eggen notes that Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Jonathan Soros has formed a new Super PAC, Friends of Democracy, to combat the influence of money in politics. He acknowledges the irony, but you don’t bring a knife to a gun fight.
With additional research by Danielle Bella Ellison.