- Last week President Obama gave a speech on inequality in America and how to rebuild the middle class. Fox News claimed it was a "communist, socialist manifesto" on why "freedom doesn't work," while Republican Congressman Allen West settled for calling it "contrary to the principles" this country was founded on. So....that's special.
- Senate Republicans (who previously voted to privatize Social Security) are now refusing to vote to extend the Obama Payroll Tax Cut because it might endanger Social Security decades from now. Which presumably means they're down to lift the payroll tax cap to ensure that the program remains solvent forever, right? Of course not, instead they're saying that we can't pay for it with a millionaire's surtax because that would weaken the job creators. Funny thing is when NPR asked, the Republican Congressional Leadership, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Tax Relief Coalition couldn't actually find a single millionaire who would say on the record that the surtax would hurt their business. But NPR was able to find plenty of millionaires who said it wouldn't. Funny how that works.
- In totally unrelated news, Koch sponsored political PACs are bragging that they've been able to lobby and fundraise their way into shutting down the discussion on Global Warming, here's a list of 30 corporations that paid more for lobbyist than they did in taxes, the private owners of Zuccotti Park owe the city of New York more than a $100,000 in unpaid taxes, and just 6 Walmart heirs are as wealthy as the bottom third of Americans.
- Republican Presidential Frontrunner Newt Gingrich has clarified his position on child labor, namely that making 5 year olds work would be "an education in life" though he conceded they probably "shouldn't work in coal mines." Don't worry though, wherever the 5 year olds work, if they go on unemployment (or anyone else does), House Republicans want them to be drug tested.
- Finally, I know that Republicans hate the whole "modern world" thing, but can't we at least agree that if the Roman Empire figured out that privatized fire fighting was a bad idea, we probably shouldn't do it either?
Welcome to the Working Week!