“Blacks as Aborigines” Gaffe Draws Ire

Andrea Nill: Alabama state senator Scott Beason (R), who sponsored the state’s tough new immigration law, has been caught on tape referring to black customers of a casino as “aborigines.”

Don’t-Raise-Taxes-on-the-Rich Crowd Getting Desperate

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Robert Reich: In truth, the most important variable explaining the rise and fall of tax revenues as percent of GDP has been the business cycle, not the effective tax rate.

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.

Republicans Giving Obama Re-Election Pass

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Randy Shaw: An obvious fact: the Republican Party is content with trying to take back the Senate in 2012 and does not see the presidential race as its top priority.

Obama Needs Demand-Side Solutions

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Robert Reich: Businesses are reluctant to spend more and create more jobs because there aren’t enough consumers out there able and willing to buy what businesses have to sell.

Anthony Weiner Hands Republicans a Twofer

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Joseph Palermo: The credibility of Anthony Weiner’s loud liberal voice in the House of Representatives, who recently showed the temerity to take on Justice Clarence Thomas for his conflict of interest in Citizens United, is now toast

Palin Slams DREAM Act at Ellis Island

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Andrea Nill Sanchez: Actually, the DREAM Act aims to accomplish precisely what Palin described. Under theDREAM Act bill that Republicans killed last December, applicants would have had to go through a rigorous process of background checks, in addition to paying taxes, learning English, and either serving in the military or attending college.

Budget Jujitsu

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Robert Reich: We can reduce the long-term budget deficit, keep everything Americans truly depend on, and also increase spending on education and infrastructure — by cutting unnecessary military expenditures, ending corporate welfare, and raising taxes on the rich.

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The Battle for the Soul of the GOP

Robert Reich: Tea Partiers have almost as much contempt for big business and the Street as they do for government. After all, the Tea Party was born in anger over the Wall Street bailout. This is the heart of the civil war in the GOP.

Will the Social Animal Achieve Adulthood?

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Charles Hayes: How disturbing a notion that many of our daily behaviors are reliably predictable. How disappointed would you be to discover that some scientist could study the details of your life and then accurately predict the things you will do or say in the near future?

Immigration Bill Too Much for Mitt to Read

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Andrea Nill: Romney has decided to play it safe by touting border security and opposing immigration reform on the grounds that he’d have to read a really long bill

Intergenerational Demagoguery about Social Security

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Carl Bloice: Why is it that the richest and most powerful nation on earth cannot provide adequately for both its students and its retirees?

The Saccharine Republican Ire

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Joseph Palermo: The “conservatives” and “Tea Partiers” are quite convincing at playing the aggrieved victims, but what, exactly, do they have to be “aggrieved” about?

Big Republican Lies About Jobs

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Robert Reich: Truth doesn’t seem to matter. Republicans figure if their big lies are repeated often enough, people will start to believe them. Unless, that is, those big lies are repudiated – and big truths are told in their place.

As the Global Economy Trembles, Our Nation’s Capital Fiddles

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Robert Reich: In the past I’ve often wondered whether they’re knaves or fools. Now I’m sure. Republicans wouldn’t mind a double-dip recession between now and Election Day 2012.

Democrats Should Never Have Started Paying Ransom

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Robert Reich: Problem is, when you pay ransom once, you’re almost begging to pay it again. And that’s exactly the pickle the Obama administration is finding itself in.

Treasury Slow Fixing Foreclosure Prevention Program

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Marian Wang: By the end of last year, the program had given nearly 1.5 million households “a chance” of a mortgage modification through a trial modification. For most, that chance never turned developed into permanent help.

How Democrats Can Become Relevant Again

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Robert Reich: Republicans offered Democrats two more weeks before the doomsday shut-down. Democrats countered with four. Republicans held their ground. Democrats agreed to two. This is what passes for compromise in our nation’s capital.

Ironically, Anti-Union Republicans Need Unions

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Walter Brasch: The unions had already said they would accept what amounts to an 8 percent cut. But, Walker, acting more like a caricature of a Fat Cat Boss, refused to negotiate. His demands, if put into law, would essentially “gut” public worker unions.

Class Warfare Needed to Get Rid of Bad Blood

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David Love: In all manner of Talibanic extremism, the unhinged, lunatic rightward fringe is using this opportunity to push all of the foolishness they could imagine when they lived in the political wilderness and were jonesing for power.

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Wisconsin: Overwhelming Ironies

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Jim Fuller: It’s impossible to think of another situation so utterly bathed in irony as the battle in and about the attack on unions by Wisconsin’s Tea Party millionaire governor, Scott Walker, and other Republicans of his ilk.

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Why Republicans Should Support Planned Parenthood

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Tina Dupuy: What Planned Parenthood really does is keep poor people out of emergency rooms. The clinics treat people with or without insurance for ranges of health issues. Yes, low-cost community clinics save taxpayers’ money. Lots.

Who Says Republicans Have No New Ideas?

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Robert Reich: Republicans haven’t come up with a single new idea in almost 60 years. Herbert Hoover was the last Republican president to introduce a new Republican theme back in 1952 at the Republican National Convention. Since then they’ve repeated the message. Of course, Herbert Hoover, you may remember, didn’t have a sterling record when it came to the economy. As president, he presided over the Great Crash of 1929 and ushered in the Great Depression.

Why This Is Our Time

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Anthony Samad: On education, immigration, the green environment, and of course, jobs, President Obama helped even Republicans understand that the only way the country was going to move ahead was, together.

Why the Republican Budget Plan Is a Hairball

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Robert Reich: What happened to John Boehner’s $100 billion budget-cutting commitment? What became of Paul Ryan’s big ideas? Where did all the roaring and raging on the right during the 2010 election go?

Extreme Right 3, American People 0

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Jim Fuller: With Olberman gone, MSNBC is left with Rachel Maddow, its number two star up to now, and Ed Schultz and Lawrence O’Donnell. The network executives, for a time anyway, will be comfortable with that lineup.

Barbara Lee: We Need to Convince Obama to Campaign Against War

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Tom Hayden: President Obama needs to be convinced to “shift his political calculus” and campaign in 2012 “on a platform of ending the war in Afghanistan,” Rep. Barbara Lee told representatives of several peace organizations in a conference call on Dec. 10.

The Big Lie

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Robert Reich: Americans no longer have the purchasing power to keep the economy going at full capacity. Since the debt bubble burst, most Americans have had to reduce their spending; they need to repay their debts, can’t borrow as before, and must save for retirement.

Obama Affirms Desire to Reform Immigration Next Session

Seth Hoy: While the President acknowledged that border security is part of that conversation, he also acknowledged that “changing the politics” of how Congress and his administration engage the public on immigration is equally important—as is “doing right” by the many DREAM students who deserve a fair shot at the American dream.

Labor’s Last Stand in 2011?

Shamus Cooke: The stage is set, and the main actors in Congress and in the corporate establishment are ready to perform, having rehearsed behind closed doors for the coming assault on organized labor’s most powerful sector, public workers.

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