Here Comes Rick

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Tom Degan: The deeply disturbing similarities to George W. Bush aside, Rick Perry has also got that Ronald Reagan thing happening, have you noticed that? Good hair, telegenic, sunny disposition, smooth talker – and dumber than dog poop.

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.

Inflation — Fighting the Last War

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Steven Conn: For thirty years inflation has not been a serious threat to the American economy, yet politicians and pundits continually fret about it. The never-ending worry about inflation is like fighting the last war rather than the current one. What’s needed today is a war on unemployment and wage stagnation, not inflation.

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.

Say It Ain’t So, O!

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Stanley Kutler: Our problems with governance lie far beyond the character of Obama, or with the Lilliputians who run Congress. Our “leaders” will not lead; worse yet, they refuse to honestly confront the nation’s interest or needs.

Real Crises and Fake Ones

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Steve Hochstadt: Our economic disaster is not about national debt, but about national poverty. America cannot be a great country, if we do not alleviate the critical economic problems gripping our poorest families.

Playing Ball With the Pentagon

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Andrew Basevich: And the holiday festivities at Fenway had another significance as well, one that extended beyond burnishing institutional reputations and boosting bottom lines. Here was America’s civic religion made manifest.

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.

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?

Obama Is Not Bobby Kennedy

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Brent Budowsky: Ronald Reagan once asked whether voters were better off than they were four years ago. If President Obama believes what Secretary Geithner said Sunday he will be telling many voters in 2012 they will not be much better off four years from now. This is not acceptable.

Random Observations

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Tom Degan: Now I’m going to ask you to name for me one celebrity who has died from too much grass. Go on, I’m waiting…..

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