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Minimum Wage Debate Heats Up

New York Times editorial says business will benefit from a $10.10 minimum wage.

“Scholarly studies and the experience of businesses themselves show that what companies lose when they pay more is often offset by lower turnover and increased productivity. Businesses are also able to deal with higher costs by modestly increasing prices and by giving smaller increases to higher-paid employees. … The argument that a higher minimum wage would hurt business is old and tired.”

Fed’s Yellen on minimum wage hike: CBO got it right, it would cost jobs

Christian Science Monitor: “She didn’t take a side on Obama’s proposed hike in the minimum wage, but she aligned herself with economists at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which recently estimated that Obama’s plan could mean about 500,000 fewer US jobs.”

Bloomberg reports on full-page ad that purports to expose “Marxists” supporting a minimum wage hike.

“… it turns out that some of the 600 economists who signed a letter to President Obama in January advocating a federal minimum wage of $10.10 an hour are indeed followers of the bushy-bearded 19th century economist … A full-page ad today in the New York Times, placed by the business-backed Employment Policies Institute, which opposes a higher wage floor, features choice quotes from eight of the letter’s signers. … Julie Matthaei, a Wellesley College professor and self-described “Marxist-feminist-anti-racist-ecological economist” [said,] “It reminds me of the McCarthy era.””

After 5 Years, Is Tea Party Ending?

Tea party celebrates five years, despite questions about its present and its future.
“The all-day event, hosted by the Tea Party Patriots, featured dozens of speakers, including Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.), Mike Lee (Utah) and Ted Cruz (Tex.), and Reps. Raúl R. Labrador (Idaho) and Louie Gohmert (Tex.). They, along with various activists, radio personalities and state politicians, were preaching to a crowd of several hundred people, mostly middle-aged or older, mostly white and many from out of town. Topics included how to grow the conservative audience, eliminating the Education Department, and continuing the fight against the health-care law and the moral sin that is abortion.”

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz received a hero’s welcome at a Tea Party Patriots-hosted fifth anniversary event.
Politico: “Texas Sen. Ted Cruz told tea party activists on Thursday that he is “filled with the promise that we’re going to turn this country around” after legislative fights over drones, guns and Obamacare last year.

Despite push, House Republicans have recruited 33% less women candidates.
“Part of the problem is that Republican female state legislators tend to be more moderate than their male counterparts and therefore have a tougher time getting through increasingly partisan primaries, according to Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University.”

Vice President Joe Biden wants Democrats to put up a strong 2014 fight.
“Vice President Joe Biden told fellow Democrats from around the nation visiting Washington this week that their party should be able to win elections in November despite the pessimism that he’s heard. “Folks, I am so tired of hearing about the demise of the Democratic party,” he said. “Gimme a break. There is no Republican party.””

Being “My Brother’s Keeper”

Obama kicks off outreach to young men of color. “Shawn Dove, manager of The Open Society Foundation’s Campaign for Black Male Achievement, said Thursday’s launch was significant and historic. … The funding, Dove admits, will not undo or reverse immediately a dismal state that has been centuries of institutional racism and oppression in the making, but continues to sow the seeds of sustainability for such efforts.”

President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” is breaking new ground by investing in what works. Equity Blog: “There are a number of programs already working to advance the goals set forth by the White House Initiative. Since we like to lift up what works—and the White House is doing the same—here are a few of the projects around the country doing exemplary work to drive tangible results for young men of color.”

Breakfast Sides

Krugman explains his opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
“I am in general a free trader, but I’ll be undismayed and even a bit relieved if the T.P.P. just fades away. … Supporters like to talk about the fact that the countries at the negotiating table comprise around 40 percent of the world economy, which they imply means that the agreement would be hugely significant. But trade among these players is already fairly free, so the T.P.P. wouldn’t make that much difference. … In short, there isn’t a compelling case for this deal.”

Why Dick Cheney is wrong about food stamps … and our troops.
Elyssa Koidin Schmier writes at Moms Rising: “What Mr. Cheney fails to realize is supporting the food stamp program IS supporting our troops. When almost $104 million worth of food stamps was redeemed at military commissaries in 2013 and 900,000 struggling veterans and low-paid enlisted active duty military families receive SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps) each month then food stamps become a military support program. … Clearly our troops are not receiving the type of monetary support they need back home since so many members of the military rely on SNAP to make ends meet.”

Hundred of Chicago students and parents say ‘no’ to state tests.
“More Than a Score, a group made up of parents, students, teachers, and community members “working to end the misuse of high-stakes standardized testing in Chicago Public Schools,” estimated earlier this week that more than 500 children in 29 schools won’t be sitting for two weeks of ISAT testing next week.”

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