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.

The Swamp of Washington and the Morass of the Economy

robert reich richard shelby

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.

More Torture, Please

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Steve Hendricks: I derive immense comfort, for example, from the similarity between the pro-torture 70 percent and the 68 percent of Americans who believe “angels and demons are active in the world.” Surely many of my pro-torture countrymen just need a little more education about torture. Well, a lot more.

Party Like It’s 1892!

Steven Conn: The great historian Richard Hofstadter, writing about the Populists, described third party political movements in this country as bees: They sting one of the two major parties. Then they die.

Friday Feedback: Martin Luther King Stood Up for What Is Right

I don’t care if you believe that whites are better than blacks, or if your religion teaches that the Bible says gays are immoral, you don’t have the right to oppress other citizens. You don’t have the right to deny the benefits of civil marriage to the children of gay citizens. Not in this country. That’s what makes Martin Luther King’s work so powerful – he stood up for what was ethically right, and his demands were in alignment with the Constitution of our great nation: Equal rights for all!

Reconciliation Is Conventional, Not Nuclear

Sen. Robert Byrd (D-West Virginia)

Richard M. Mathews: With the death of the public option in the Senate version of the health care reform bill, more attention is being paid to the budget reconciliation process. The House-Senate conference could bring back the public option, but a filibuster could still kill it. The reconciliation process would allow the bill to pass with a simple majority of 51 votes rather than the 60 needed to overcome a filibuster.

From Kennedy to Obama: Recapturing America’s Greatness

by Tom Hall – The day after the election, another lawyer in my office asked, “Is this what it felt like in 1960?” When did I get old enough that people think of me when they want the wisdom of the aged? But it’s a fascinating question.

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