POLITICO labor policy editor. Author, The Great Divergence. Previously with New Republic (TRB column), Slate (Chatterbox), WSJ, Washington Monthly, etc.

McConnell: Shhh! I'm exercising free speech!

msnbc.com — Raise your hand if you think that wealthy people and corporations in this country have a hard time getting their message out. Anyone? Ah, there's one. You, sir, in the back. What's that you say? Money is speech? And limits on campaign spending therefore suppress speech?

What’s lost when telephone calls disappear.

slate.com — When was founded in 1996, people all over the world spent much of their day speaking into telephones. In 2016, as celebrates its 20 th birthday, the phone call is a thing of the past. Not entirely of the past, of course; phone conversation lives on in roughly the same way that swing dancing lives on, or Latin declension, or manual transmission.

The false belief that income inequality can't be fixed

msnbc.com — A lot of people have been suggesting lately that the problem of income inequality is insoluble. "'Is the rise in inequality inevitable?" George Mason economist Tyler Cowan asks on NPR, touting his new book, Average Is Over. "It probably is." Fortune's Adam Lashinsky observes that "No one seems to have any good suggestions."

The right is wrong: Obamacare isn't killing jobs

msnbc.com — The new unemployment numbers for July undermine the right's claim that Obamacare is killing American jobs. Granted, the new numbers aren't much to celebrate. Although unemployment has now fallen to 7.4%, that partly reflects people dropping out of the labor force altogether.

Census findings on income growth could boost Clinton

politico.com — U.S. incomes saw their largest single-year boost last year in nearly half a century, according to a new Census Bureau repor t that could boost Hillary Clinton's campaign while undercutting Donald Trump's message of Americans being left behind. Median household income increased 5.2 percent in 2015, to $56,516,the census said.

Presidential transitions come into the open

politico.com — The presidential transition is stepping out of the shadows. For half a century candidates have started planning their presidencies as much as six months before Election Day. These deliberations were kept as secret as possible, lest their opponents accuse them of taking voters for granted.

Dinesh D'Souza's Mullah Envy

slate.com — Dinesh D'Souza has found common cause with Osama Bin Laden. The al-Qaida leader, it turns out, didn't strike out against the United States on 9/11. He struck out against the American cultural left, which-not content to promote homosexuality, divorce, The Vagina Monologues, and other morally bankrupt causes across the United States-has been promoting them abroad, too.

Tilting at Windmills

washingtonmonthly.com — A lot of people have been comparing 2016 to 1968, and there are some parallels: racial turmoil, angry politics, violence. Just about everyone I know who's around my age-I was ten that year-remembers a parent saying the same thing, usually in the same words: "I don't understand what's happening to this country."

Joe College meets Joe Hill

politico.com — JOE COLLEGE MEETS JOE HILL: The National Labor Relations Board ruled 3-1 Tuesday that graduate assistants at Columbia University may form a union, overturning its 2004 ruling in Brown University .

Koch group asks members to 'ban the box'

politico.com — KOCH GROUP ASKS MEMBERS TO 'BAN THE BOX': Mark Holden, chairman of the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce (central command for the Koch brothers' network) asked members to "ban the box" at their organizations - that is, to delay inquiries into job applicants' criminal histories until late in the hiring process.
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Sep 24, 2016

The GOP is now the protectionist party. 85% of Rs say free trade brings net job loss. Only 54% of Ds say same.  http://politi.co/2crrqJp 

Sep 23, 2016

@PhilPerspective @DougHenwood I don't know what pushed him rightward, but that wasn't uncommon in the '80s.


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