Healthcare: What Democrats Should Have Learned By Now

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Robert Reich: Had the President and the Democrats stuck to their guns during the health-care debate and insisted on Medicare for all, or at least a public option, they wouldn’t now be facing the possible unraveling of the new health care law.

Let’s Hope for Continued Fiscal Gridlock

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Ivan Eland: The good news is that if the committee can’t reach an agreement on the fiscal changes, or if Congress rejects its work, defense (including homeland security) and domestic programs have to take equal cuts.

Well-To-Do Americans Getting More Benefits than the Poor

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Sherwood Ross: All the Federal welfare checks, food stamps, and unemployment benefits don’t begin to add up to the more than $1 trillion in indirect tax breaks awarded annually to America’s middle- and upper-classes.

The Speaker and the “Back-Bencher”

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Dick Price & Sharon Kyle: California State Assembly Speaker John Perez took another swipe at fellow Democratic Assemblymember Anthony Portantino, blocking a routine legislative procedure under the guise of prudent fiscal management, but that reeks of possibly illegal voting influence and intimidation.

In the Debt Ceiling Machinations Democracy Is Also Up for Grabs

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Carl Bloice: If the people who set the Tea Party in motion and sustain it want a mandatory “balanced budget” there is a democratic way of going about getting one; introduce specific legislation. They wouldn’t take that route.

Save the Nation

Betty and Don Draper, of "Madmen"

Brent Budowsky: The president and congressional leaders should bring a new player to sit at this jobs-and-deficit table on behalf of all who love and serve the nation: Former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell.

Why Obama Can’t Pivot to Jobs

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Robert Reich: The nation and Oba,ma remain hostage to the ideology of right-wing Republicans who won’t let the government spend more money. Yet if the government can’t spend more – at least this year and next, until the pump is primed and the economy is growing again – we won’t see job growth. And without job growth, the economy will remain anemic.

Blacks and Obama

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Sharon Kyle: Even though blacks in America are suffering more than most during this economic crisis, they are least likely to complain that the Obama administration policies are not benefiting them.

Ransom Paid

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Robert Reich: Anyone who characterizes the deal between the President, Democratic, and Republican leaders as a victory for the American people over partisanship understands neither economics nor politics.

Understanding ‘Debtageddon’ Tuesday

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Denis Campbell: Many economists predict a failure to act before Asia markets open Sunday or Monday night could see an immediate stock market loss of up to 5% and wipe out 10% of US GDP by Tuesday night. It’s that serious.

Don’t Fall for GOP “Budget Crisis” Lie

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Robert Reich: Republicans are using what would otherwise be a routine, legally technical vote to raise the debt limit as a means of holding the nation hostage to their own political goal of shrinking the size of the federal government.

An Anti-Government Challenge

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Richard M. Mathews: Unless you are wearing 100% cotton made on the plantation you have had in the family for generations without the benefit of outside seed or fertilizer, the clothes have got to go.

Americans Elect?

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John Peeler: Disillusioned liberals ought to know that if this effort takes off, it is very likely to siphon votes away from Obama and facilitate a complete Republican takeover of the federal government.

The Empty Bully Pulpit

Robert Reich: Barack Obama is one of the most eloquent and intelligent people ever to grace the White House, which makes his failure to tell the story of our era all the more disappointing and puzzling.

What “Shared Sacrifice” Means

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Carl Bloice: All across the country social services, which largely benefit lower income women, men and children are being cut back and people who made them function are being added to the ranks of the unemployed.

Won’t You Come Home, Jim Crow?

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Tom Degan: The Republican party is at this very moment mounting a campaign that, if successful, will disenfranchise the voting rights of African Americans – and everyone else who tends to vote left-of-center – all across America. Isn’t that sweet?

Medicare Is the Solution, Not the Problem

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Robert Reich: The real problem is the soaring costs of health care that lie beneath Medicare. They’re costs all of us are bearing in the form of soaring premiums, co-payments, and deductibles. Medicare offers a means of reducing these costs — if Washington would let it.

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Democracy Is Messy

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Ted Vaill: Every Member of Congress who voted against increasing the debt ceiling should be targeted for defeat in the 2012 election. If that is not successful in changing the makeup of Congress after 2012, I may follow the lead of my ancestor Pelatiah Everett, and begin a new revolution.

FBI Probe of VA Crime Should Expand

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Jeff Norman: Now that the FBI is investigating a homicide committed on VA property, federal authorities may also investigate shady land use deals the VA made.

The Dangerous Hi-Jinks of the GOP’s Juveniles

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Robert Reich: The GOP’s experienced actors – House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell – have been upstaged by juveniles like Eric Cantor and Michele Bachmann, who don’t know the difference between playacting and governing. Washington has gone from theater to reality TV – a game of hi-jinks chicken that could end in a crash.

CIA: Business As Usual Under Petraeus

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Sherwood Ross: By now substantial majorities the American public, like their European cousins, want all their troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq, yet their elected officials betray the sound instincts of their citizenry.

We Need to Rethink the Morality of the Economy

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James Livingston: Why can’t the liberal Left answer the Right when budget deficits are the issue? Why are Democrats, Obama included, so eager to reduce spending on so-called entitlements?

The Day the GOP Shot Ol’ America Down

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Ted Vaill: In less than a month, unless they relent in their effort to destroy the American (and the world) economy to curry favor with their Tea Party wing, the Republicans in Congress will cause the American government to default on its debt, on August 2, 2011 or thereabouts.

“Hostilities” and War Powers: Let’s Choose the Constitution

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John C. Pinheiro: Despite dozens of wars, invasions, occupations, air raids, and various other international “hostilities” over more than a century and a half, the U.S. Congress has rarely “declared war.” With the current Libyan intervention in mind, let’s explore this long history of Congress’s abdication of its Constitutional war powers.

Government May Be Violating Tobacco’s 1st Amendment Rights

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Walter Brasch: A controversial Supreme Court decision less than two years ago could have the unintended consequence of significantly reducing the government’s 46-year campaign against cigarettes.

Republicans Bungle War-Powers Pushback

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Ivan Eland: Although John Boehner, speaker of the House of Representatives, laudably sent a recent letter to President Barack Obama suggesting the possibility of a violation of the War Powers Resolution in the attack on Libya, he was 90 days too late.

Clean Water and Good Government

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Steve Hochstadt: Supplying pure water is just one of many essential functions of governments that we all must fund with our taxes. Governments, representing all citizens, were created for just such common purposes.

NATO: What’s It Good For?

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Carl Bloice: What we should hope for is that White House leadership will be employed to unite the governments involved in giving full support to the efforts of the African Union to find a negotiated path out of the deepening and costly quagmire.

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You’re Not Supposed to Be Happy

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Tina Dupuy: The whole idea of a democracy is accepting you’ll never fully get your own way in government.

The Swamp of Washington and the Morass of the Economy

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Robert Reich: If the Democrats remain silent, the vacuum will be filled by the Republican snake oil of federal spending cuts and cut taxes on big corporations and the wealthy.

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