GOP Payroll Tax Disaster

gop tax plan

Brent Budowsky: As President Obama and Democrats battle during this holiday season to enact a tax cut for the 99 percent of Americans who constitute the heart of the nation, House Republicans are making a seismic political blunder reminiscent of the self-destructive overreaching of then-Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Georgia) that rejuvenated the Clinton presidency during the 1990s.

The Top 10 Best and Worst of U.S. Politics in 2011

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Randy Shaw: Occupy Wall Street’s emergence in September raised progressive spirits, as has the unexpected rise of Newt Gingrich as the frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination. Here’s my list of the top ten best and worst political events that occurred across the nation in 2011.

Tim Tebow and the Politics of Whiteness

tim tebow

Mark Naison: Best of all, Tebow doesn’t confirm racial stereotypes. He is strong, tough, athletic, dominating the game because defensive players can’t tackle him. And he has clearly won the respect of his black teammates. I like that.

Confessions of a Child Janitor

newt child abuse

Tina Dupuy: Gingrich has a dark vision for a Shining City Upon a Hill: where poor children work in place of union labor. It’s basically the 20th century played in reverse.

Pennsylvania: The Kidneystone State

newt and calista

John Peeler: Joining the conservative chorus against Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the federally sponsored mortgage giants, Gingrich has had trouble explaining his receipt of $1.8 million over several years as a consultant to Freddie Mac.

Newt? NEWT???

newt put kids to work

Tom Degan: It’s oodles of fun these days to watch a moderately intelligent guy like Romney stumbling around the country saying all sorts of mind-jarringly stupid things.

‘Tis the Season for GOP Exit Strategies

gop thanksgiving

Michael Sigman: Congressman Ron Paul will pull out of politics entirely. Since his son Rand is also a member of Congress, Ron will become the first politician ever to leave public life so he can spend less time with his family.

Newt’s Nasty Narcissism

newt historian

Michael Sigman: When the Newt boomlet fades, there may yet be a role for Gingrich in public life. Given his obsession with such words as “fundamentally,” “profoundly,” “desperately” and “dramatically,” how about Ambassador of Adverb Abuse?

The ‘New Nixon’

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Berry Craig: Will religious rightists forgive Gingrich for his serial adultery? He is on his third marriage. Gingrich cheated on wives one and two and ditched them for his paramours.

A Passionless Presidential Race?

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Robert Reich: Occupiers and others have had enough.

Yet paradoxically the presidential race that officially begins a few months from now is likely to be as passionless as they come.

Flat Tax a Flat-Out Fraud

herman cain

Robert Reich: All flat-tax proposals benefit the rich more than the poor for one simple reason: Today’s tax code is still at least moderately progressive. The rich usually pay a higher percent of their incomes in income taxes than do the poor. A flat tax would eliminate that slight progressivity.

Dysfunction in Congress a National Crisis

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Ray Smock: The current Congress has become largely dysfunctional because extreme partisanship and ideological differences are preventing the deliberative process from completing its most important function, which is to be one of the two governing branches of government.

Rejoice, FCC Kills Fairness Doctrine

fairness doctrine

Sue Wilson: The final nail has been pounded into the coffin of the Fairness Doctrine. But there is much to celebrate. Wednesday’s FCC ruling shows the agency clearly understands that broadcasters do have an obligation to “serve the public interest.”

Gays, Nazis, and the GOP

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Jonathan Zimmerman: It’s one thing to oppose same-sex marriage; it is quite another to claim that gay people launched the Nazi Party in Germany. The former is a policy opinion, while the latter is a factual lie. Republican presidential candidates to distinguish between opinions and lies and to denounce those supporters who have made the gay-Nazi claim.

Congratulations Republicans!

Chart prepared by Rick Seaman of Portland, Oregon source: Rachel Maddow Blog

Steve Hochstadt: In 2011, the Republican strategy has been crowned with total success. They have managed to make the US government into a laughing stock, a global symbol of incompetence. Public confidence in government is at an all-time low.

Our Hope for Change Still Not Fulfilled

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Walter Brasch: After significant compromise with the recalcitrant Republicans who want to continue to give the wealthy tax advantages while cutting significant social programs, President Obama has finally taken a stand on debt ceiling negotiations. However, in labor, wildlife management, and the environment he is still compromising rather than coming out forcefully for the principles he and the working class and environmentalists believe.

GOP Candidates Boldly Oppose Shariah

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Michael Sigman: Inside the GOP funhouse, Islamophobia is common, of course. A Newsweek poll last summer indicated that a majority of Republicans believed President Obama wants to impose Islamic law across the globe.

Clash of the Half Wits

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Tom Degan: Not only would the candidacy of Sarah Palin guarantee the reelection of Barack Obama, it would be a months-long holiday for political satirists everywhere.

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