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A swelling chorus of advice is emerging in recent days amongst progressive thinkers and commentators about the ongoing fiscal policy negotiations in Washington. The message: “Hang tough Mr. President.”

James Protzman over at Blue NC has posted an example — a nice little video from former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich.

But other are saying the same thing:

Robert Kuttner says a lot of the same things in this column, entitled “About time: Obama finally gets tough.”

Meanwhile, the experts at the Center on Economic and Policy Research have weighed in on the hysteria surrounding the so-called “fiscal cliff.”

Finally, Paul Krugman exposes the true nature of the conservative con game in this NYT column.

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Well, it’s good to see that the folks on Right Wing Avenue — the folks whose “think tanks” and corporate lobby brigade have had our government under their collective thumb for decades — are at least keeping things in perspective when it comes to the re-election of the President.

Here’s the “Director of Regulatory Studies” at the Locke Foundation in a post entitled “They broke it, we bought it“: Read More

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Economist Dean Baker takes confused New York Times columnist David Brooks to the woodshed this morning for his partisan and inaccurate attack on clean energy and global warming.

Brooks tries to attack the Obama administration for its investments in green energy and then, as “evidence” that the investments have “failed,” states that there’s an oversupply of solar panels and that their price has fallen dramatically.

But, as Baker notes, that was one of the main objectives!

“Wow, what a disaster! Prices of solar panels have fallen by three quarters in 4 years. Those people in the Obama administration must feel really stupid. They thought their clean energy program would make alternative energy competitive, but look now, prices of solar panels fell by 75 percent in four years. Read More

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Wow!  It’s good to see that the nonpartisan John Locke Foundation is coming through with some more high quality convention coverage. Last week, as you will recall, the Locke people had a breathless, cheer-leading “liveblog” of the final night of the RNC in Tampa.

Now, this week, they’ve turned “Director of Regulatory Studies” Jon Sanders loose (among others) to claim that Obama is being “deified” by the Democrats because some vendors in Charlotte are selling or promoting various bits of laudatory kitsch. (Has this guy ever been to a Washington, DC tourist site?) This concocted narrative has, in turn, provided Sanders with license to link to all sorts of other articles and claims about the President (some from years ago) of which he disapproves along with some amazingly vicious attacks.

Meanwhile, Read More

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As this morning’s edition of the Weekly Briefing argues, Americans have much to learn from other countries in a variety of areas and healthcare is one of the most obvious. Happily, there are some small signs that maybe — just maybe — this truth is beginning to dawn on political leaders of both parties.

President Obama, of course, has made repeated allusions throughout the years to the need for America to do a better job of matching the performance of other nations when it comes to providing healthcare to the many while controlling costs much more effectively. 

Now comes word that, yesterday, his chief opponent, Mitt Romney, is embracing a similar argument. According to this article in the Washington Post, Romney heaped praise on Israel’s heavily regulated health care system — some might even call it “socialized” — for its success in controlling costs. 

Could it be that our nation’s leading politicians are finally finding some common ground on this critical issue?  It seems certain that many will portray Romney’s comments as a gaffe, but let’s fervently hope that he meant what he said and that it opens to door to further dialogue across the political spectrum on this critical issue.