Today’s Must Reads – May 14, 2012

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Bella Abzug, center with hat, smiles as she holds up her ERA sign in a pro-equal rights demonstration on New York's Fifth Avenue, Aug. 26, 1980. (AP Photo)

Bella Abzug, center with hat, smiles as she holds up her ERA sign in a pro-equal rights demonstration on New York's Fifth Avenue, Aug. 26, 1980. (AP Photo)

The Human Disaster of Unemployment: “While older workers are less likely to be laid off than younger workers, they are about half as likely to be rehired. One result is that older workers have seen the largest proportionate increase in unemployment in this downturn. The number of unemployed people between ages 50 and 65 has more than doubled.” [The New York Times]

Money Unlimited: “In one sense, the story of the Citizens United case goes back more than a hundred years. It begins in the Gilded Age, when the Supreme Court barred most attempts by the government to ameliorate the harsh effects of market forces. In that era, the Court said, for the first time, that corporations, like people, have constitutional rights.” [Jeffrey Toobin, The New Yorker]

How the ‘War On Women’ Quashed Feminist Stereotypes: “When Phyllis Schlafly is forced to concede that not all feminists are ugly, it’s clear that something has gone awry on the right. Sure enough, in April, Schlafly, a conservative crusader who has been peddling stereotypes of women’s activists as physically and socially unappealing for decades, thought she should warn cadets at the Citadel not to fall for one. ‘Some of them are pretty,’ she said. ‘They don’t all look like Bella Abzug.’” [The Washington Post]

Dirty Energy Money Pouring into Congress Faster Than Ever Before: “Members of Congress have taken almost $16 million from the oil, gas and coal industries so far in this 112th Congress. That puts this Congress on track to be the dirtiest ever.” [Oil Change International]

The Lobbyist in the Grey Flannel Suit: “Once a free-wheeling, if ethically challenged, crowd of men (and almost no women), who swapped stories about their clients over Jack Daniels, these expert manipulators of the legislative process and of public opinion have become corporate employees.” [Thomas Edsall, The New York Times]

Cutbacks Hurt a State’s Response to Whooping Cough: “Whooping cough, or pertussis, a highly infectious respiratory disease once considered doomed by science, has struck Washington State this spring with a severity that health officials say could surpass the toll of any year since the 1940s, before a vaccine went into wide use.” [The New York Times]

Lies, damned lies and advertising: “Who pays for those political attack ads? Who knows?” [Doyle McManus, LA Times]

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