*+-Ted Vaill: The ultimate Republican strategy for the 2012 election is this: they know that they will lose if the economy continues to improve and unemployment figures drop substantially.
*+-Miles Blue: Recently, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, over a four year period, failed to report his wife’s rather substantial income. A one-time failure may be human error; a four-time failure is a willful, criminal, act. Thomas deserves impeachment. His behavior is not acceptable for a Supreme Court Justice.
*+-Michael Sigman: Now that Republicans control the House, they’re hell-bent on further deregulating corporations — now, thanks to the conservative Supreme Court, designated as “people” — while threatening the freedoms of actual people, such as those with preexisting medical conditions or public-sector union memberships.
*+-Brent Budowsky: What does it tell us that even after the 2010 election in what was called the year of the Tea Party, Americans chose a populist progressive Democratic president, not a Republican or conservative president, as their favorite over the last 50 years?
*+-John Peeler: “Winner-Take-All Politics” provides a well-documented analysis of how the United States government, since the 1970s, has systematically enriched the top one percent of the country at the expense of everyone else. Written by distinguished political scientists, Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, the book shows how big business interests ratcheted up their national organizations to defend their interests in national policy debates. In addition to employing far stronger lobbying, these interests created think-tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation, designed to challenge the liberal conventional wisdom of the New Deal and Great Society and replace it with an explicitly conservative, free-market-oriented way of thinking.
*+-Robert Reich: Next week starts the new Congress, and with it the Tea Party conservatives. What are they going to do about government spending? Knowing they don’t stand a chance of getting a direct repeal of the healthcare mandate, they’ll try to strip the federal budget appropriation of money needed to put the healthcare mandate into effect. This could lead to a standoff with the White House over government funding in general, and a possible government shutdown.