August 21, 2013

1. I’ll start this time with something very important: a new report on stagnant wages over the last decade, from the Economic Policy Institute’s Lawrence Mishel and Heidi Shierholz:

The revived discussion of strengthening the middle class, however, has so far failed to drill down to the central problem: The wage and benefit growth of the vast majority, including white-collar and blue-collar workers and those with and without a college degree, has stagnated, as the fruits of overall growth have accrued disproportionately to the richest households. The wage-setting mechanism has been broken for a generation but has particularly faltered in the last 10 years, once the robust wage growth of the late 1990s subsided. Corporate profits, on the other hand, are at historic highs.

2. More on wage stagnation. Dylan Matthews adds several nice graphs.

3. On the fall budget debate: Jared Bernstein on the leverage that sequestration may give Democrats, and how they plan to approach the upcoming battle.

4. Good Nate Cohn analysis of the latest polling from the Virginia Governor race.

5. Brad Plumer brings the maps to back up Greg’s point about Latino voters and swing House districts held by Republicans.

6. And another good reminder that this isn’t just a partisan or ethnic issue: The Catholic Church hasn’t given up on comprehensive reform, and is trying to keep the pressure on House leaders.

7. No, Obamacare isn’t pushing people out of full-time work and into part-time work. At least not enough people so that it shows up in the numbers. Jonathan Cohn looks at it. Important point here: Employers make decisions for lots of reasons, and it probably takes a pretty strong push to get them to change how they do things. That includes hiring full-time workers and offering them benefits in the first place. They do that because they think it’s good business, not because they’re altruists, and they’ll often need significant incentives to change.

8. Related: Mark Zandi can’t find any Affordable Care Act effect on unemployment, either. From Tim Mullaney.

9. Meanwhile, the GOP obsession with “young healthies” continues, and Matt Miller points out a few basic facts about “the GOP’s Obamacare youth hoax.”

10. Alex Altman: “The Republican Party’s ‘Slap Hillary’ Problem.”

11. Brian Beutler argues that Republicans should debate on whatever network will have them in 2016.

12. Speaking of 2016, Ed Kilgore has some good informed speculation about the coming Scott Walker policy roll out.

13. Could an acknowledged misquote shake up the New York City election for mayor? Joe Coscarelli has more.

14. Digby on Bradley Manning’s 35 year sentence.

15. And Marin Cogan reports on what happened when vegetarians clashed with lobbyists over food in Congressional cafeterias.