May 16

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

Dominique Strauss-Kahn: who could succeed him? (Guardian)
The IMF chief is on his way out after making some very bad (alleged) lifestyle choices, but replacing him means more than just picking a name from a hat. It could fundamentally reshape the way the Fund operates.

Greece Aid Talks Clouded by Strauss-Kahn Arrest (Bloomberg)
Greece is set to make its case for more aid, but without Strauss-Kahn around to hear them out, tight-fisted Germany is likely to dominate the debate.

As Debt Limit Reached, Agreement Still Far Off (WSJ)
That low thud you felt this morning was the U.S. hitting the debt ceiling. It’s lucky the deadline for default is still a few months away, as Congress has plenty of squabbling to get through before it agrees to take action.

Inflation and Economic Hooliganism (NYTimes)
Paul Krugman notes that as the world recovers from a devastating financial crisis, it’s only natural for different countries to be facing different challenges. It just makes implementing a one-size-fits all solution like austerity a fool’s errand, as Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Marshall Auerback has argued.

GOP Looks To Shock Failing Medicare Plan Back To Life With New Message (TPM)
Despite intense criticism, Paul Ryan is convinced he can win the public and policymakers over on his budget plan if he just presents it differently. Coming soon: Medicare vouchers, the finger puppet show.

What Wisconsin Was Really About (Democracy Journal)
Jennifer Klein writes that the assault on labor rights is about more than just unions — it’s a condemnation of the kinds of “fake” jobs held by women and minorities.

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For Women, the Jobs Crisis Is Only Going to Get Worse (AlterNet)
Eileen Appelbaum points out that while men suffered more job losses during the recession, women are still being laid off and face a much higher barrier to reentry.  For a more in-depth look at gender and the jobs crisis, check out our Myth of the Mancession series.

How Raising The Retirement Age Screws the Poor (MoJo)
Kevin Drum highlights the fact that while life expectancy for top earners has shot up over the last few decades, the bottom half of earners has pretty much held steady. Guess which half relies the most on Social Security.

Ron Paul Calls Social Security and Medicare Unconstitutional, Compares Them to ‘Slavery’ (Think Progress)
The latest anti-government tirade from the 2012 GOP contender confirms what some already suspected: The Paul family has a very loose definition of slavery.

Newt Gingrich and “the food stamp president” (Salon)
Without invoking slavery directly, Gingrich has a knack for taking thinly veiled jabs at President Obama’s heritage. As ND20 editor Lynn Parramore points out, it’s just one of his many endearing qualities.

Actually, “The Rich” Don’t “Create Jobs,” We Do. (CAF)
Dave Johnson explains why separating people into producers and parasites is completely at odds with the principles of democracy.

Credit Error? It Pays to Be on V.I.P. List (NYTimes)
If you want to make sure your credit score is accurate, all you need to do is become powerful and famous. Plan B is to cross your fingers and hope for the best.

American History According to the Tea Party (TAP)
The Tea Party Patriots are pushing schools to adopt a lesson plan that portrays American history as a holy war against socialism. Maybe those kids should be reading William Hogeland’s Founding Finance series instead.

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