July 6

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

Punishing the Jobless (NYTimes)
Paul Krugman argues that Republicans blocking an extension of unemployment benefits are making a cynical electoral calculation at the expense of the economy and the American people.

The unemployment emergency (WaPo)
Eugene Robinson observes that politicians from both parties are putting more effort and enthusiasm into spinning the unemployment numbers than they are into doing anything about them.

Are Profits Hurting Capitalism? (NYTimes)
Yves Smith and Rob Parenteau argue that consumers are still tightening their belts and businesses are obsessed with short-term profit at the expense of long-term growth, leaving a hole in the economy that the government needs to fill. [note: Click here for a look at the unedited draft of this article, including a more subdued headline.]

Long-Term Deficit Posers (MoJo)
Adam Ozimek wonders why deficit hawks aren’t trying to compromise on short-term spending in exchange for long-term budget cuts; Kevin Drum explains that it’s because they don’t really want any.

Results matter most in politics (Think Progress)
Matt Yglesias warns about the dangers of letting the president’s political team set economic policy.

Small businesses sidelined in slow recovery from recession (LA Times)
Small businesses are usually among the first to recover after an economic downturn, but this time around, no one’s hiring because no one’s buying, and no one’s buying because no one’s hiring.

The hard work falls to the regulators (WaPo)
With FinReg nearing completion, Ezra Klein reminds us that the real legacy of reform is not its immediate impact but the regulatory framework it leaves behind.

Sen. Brown: ‘I’m liking what I see’ on financial reform legislation (The Hill)
The inexplicably powerful Massachusetts Republican is leaning toward supporting FinReg, but he wishes Democrats would vote with him more instead of making him vote with them. What does that even mean?

Consumer Agency’s Path Will Be Set by First Chief (WSJ)
Despite hundreds of pages in FinReg detailing the new consumer protection agency, the head of the agency is likely to shape its approach and its agenda — and right now, the front-runner is ND20 contributor Elizabeth Warren.

As Oil Industry Fights a Tax, It Reaps Subsidies (NYTimes)
Congress wants to impose a tax on petroleum production to help pay for the clean-up of the Gulf, but the welfare queens of the oil industry feel that they are entitled to federal subsidies at every level of their operations.

The BP/Government police state (Salon)
Glenn Greenwald notes that BP’s security team is stifling the First Amendment by denying reporters access, and the government is aiding and abetting them.

Is Climate Change Worth Tackling? A Reply to Jim Manzi (TNR)
Bradford Plumer pushes back on the argument that climate change is too costly to confront by pointing out the potentially cataclysmic price of doing nothing.

Are Democrats setting themselves up for failure in 2011 by not passing a budget? (WaPo)
Hope you like gridlock. House Democrats used a budget enforcement resolution to avoid the political risks of passing a full budget this year, but now Senate Democrats won’t be able to use reconciliation to bypass the filibuster after the midterms.

My Private Obama (HuffPo)
Robert Kuttner laments that the President Obama in progressives’ imaginations is so much more effective than his real-life counterpart.

What Do Liberals Want From Obama? (TNR)
In a counterpoint to Kuttner, Jonathan Cohn argues that Obama has been remarkably effective at pushing progressive policy when the alternative to compromise has been total defeat.

Goldman Sachs Just Became A Seller of European Diapers (Business Insider)
That should dovetail nicely with some of their other products.

ND20 ALERT: Join us in NY for fresh ideas,  July 16-18! Guild Hall, in collaboration with the Roosevelt Institute,  will gather thought leaders in the arts, the economy, and the media in  East Hampton for a can’t-miss symposium featuring George Soros, Van  Jones, plus ND20 contributors Elizabeth Warren, Rob Johnson, Jeff  Madrick, Editor Lynn Parramore, and more. RSVP today - seats are limited.