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President Obama meets Congressional leaders briefly at Capitol Pete Souza (540×360)

The Game of Chicken on the Sequester

No talks are scheduled on the so-called sequester—the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts that go into effect Friday night—until deadline day, when Congressional leaders gather at the White House for a ceremonial meeting nobody thinks will accomplish anything.

They … More…

Italian comedian and politician Beppe Grillo

Italy Votes for Gridlock and Against Austerity

Italian voters went to the polls Monday and delivered a resounding –well, I won’t say it in either English or Italian—to Europe and the global markets.

Their votes were split fairly evenly among the center left coalition of Pier Luigi … More…

Angry White Guy at Arizona Town Hall Meeting NBC News (540×405)

The GOP’s Angry Old White Guy Problem

Since their devastating defeat in the 2012 presidential and Senate elections, Republicans have gone through lots of soul searching and hand wringing.

The latest effort is by Michael Gerson and Peter Wehner in Commentary who lay out some sensible ideas More…

Unemployment Benefits

What Government Should and Shouldn’t Do

Needs are endless but resources are limited. It’s been a fact of human existence from the very beginning.  As Deuteronomy said: “There will always be poor people in the land.”

Now, we face stark choices on how to divvy up … More…

Bowles and Simpson MSNBC (540×405)

Simpson and Bowles Take Their Show on the Road Again

As Congress shakes the sleep from its eyes and prepares to return from yet another extended vacation, the two Deficit Eagles (they’re way beyond being hawks), Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, have come up with yet another revision to their … More…

President Obama at SOTU Address 2 (540×405)

State of the Union Speech Had Less Than Meets the Eye

Democrats were thrilled with President Obama’s State of the Union address. It laid out what looked like an “expansive” program for government to help revive the economy for the struggling middle class.

From a prominent mention of climate change to … More…

President speaks about the sequester (540×405)

A Cold War, Not a Crisis, Ahead for the Budget

Little by little, Washington seems to be “solving” the budget crisis that loomed big just before New Year’s—or at least pushing it to the side of the road where it likely won’t cause another financial crisis soon.

The biggest piece, … More…

NYC 1977 BLACKOUT AFTERMATH

The City Ed Koch Saved

Asked by an interviewer to name his greatest accomplishment, former New York City Mayor Ed Koch declared with characteristic immodesty that he had “saved the city.”

The garrulous, in-your-face Koch, who personified the fighting spirit of New Yorkers … More…

Paul Krugman on Long-Term Debt (540×405)

Krugman Vs. Ryan on Whether There Is a Fiscal Crisis

On two different talk shows this week, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis) and Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman conducted a spirited, if indirect, debate on how serious the fiscal crisis is.

The two men, of course, disagree … More…

Paul Ryan on Meet the Press (540×405)

Paul Ryan Waves the White Flag of Surrender

The Republican retreat from the fiscal brink now appears to be complete as Rep. Paul Ryan rejected use of the last two weapons at their disposal in efforts to wrangle more spending cuts out of Democrats and President Obama.

In More…