Autiello: Will True Christianity Please Stand Up?

Nick Autiello, Contributor

The notion that homosexuality is a sin and un-Christian is one that is less than a hundred years old. It is wrong, and has no basis in scriptural or historical reality.

SASSO: The Coming New Year

James Sasso, Associate Editor

As the tumultuous 2011 comes down to its final day, this column could contain an obnoxious summary of the year’s extraordinary events. Rather than once again discussing the protests around the world, the death of Osama Bin Laden, Fukushima, America’s political ineptitude, Europe’s demise or the increasingly frightful weather patterns, here I attempt to predict what 2012 holds in store.

SASSO: Kicking the Can

James Sasso, Associate Editor

For one of the first times in his tenure as Speaker, John Boehner has made a statement with which every American, Republican or Democrat, should fully agree; the two-month Senate bipartisan extension of the payroll tax cut fails to fix the nation’s problems sufficiently. Providing a short-term band-aid to a long-term dilemma contradicts what a responsible government should accomplish, but fits the pattern of contemporary American politicking.

CIOCCI: A Foolish Consistency

Mitt Romney is guilty of serial hypocrisy, Newt Gingrich is guilty of being a public intellectual constantly scrutinized by the media and others, and Ron Paul never ceases to remind me about one of my favorite quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Essays: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”

AKMAN: Jon Huntsman’s Meaningless Campaign

Josh Akman, Columnist

Jon Huntsman did not participate in the CNN Debate in Las Vegas on Tuesday night. Short of his family and small (and getting smaller) campaign staff, no one really noticed. In a bizarre and counterproductive effort to impress New Hampshire voters Huntsman skipped the debate to protest Nevada moving its caucus ahead of New Hampshire’s, which has always been the nation’s first primary. It’s bizarre because no one else skipped the debate. It’s counterproductive because right now, Jon Huntsman is polling 6% in New Hampshire.

SASSO: The 99% Rising

James Sasso

Associate Editor

For the past month a movement has grown out of Zuccoti Park in New York with the potential to grab at the very heart of America’s problems. “We are the 99%” is not simply a catchy phrase used by frustrated jobless Americans , but a commentary on the disgraceful economic inequality that has arisen in the United States since the 1970s.

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ROBINSON: The President is Not as Powerful as We Think

Jonathan Robinson, Columnist When asked to remark on the two and a half or so years of the Obama presidency, many of my left wing friends and family have lamented [...]

LIFSON: Everything Republicans Say About the Economy Is Wrong

Matthew Lifson, Columnist

As Republicans continue to stifle our recovery by obstructing emergency spending and conflating unemployment and deficit reduction, Americans should begin to ask whether their agenda merely reflects a stunning scorn for mainstream economics or a villainous willingness to sacrifice the economy for political gain.

LIFSON: Awkwardness Abounds at Second GOP Debate

Matthew Lifson, Columnist

At the second debate of the primary, the Republican field sounded significantly more conservative they did just two years ago. Ideology aside, the whole event was a political farce — and none of the people on that stage should be President of the United States.

LIFSON: NPR Hit Job Has No Credibility

House Republicans voted in an emergency session last Thursday to prohibit National Public Radio’s member stations from using federal funds to buy NPR programming. Sponsor Doug Lamborn (R-CO) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) each hailed conservative activist James O’Keefe’s recent NPR sting during the lead up to the vote, but O’Keefe’s distortionary editing practices and pathological politics disqualify him as a reputable source.

Stroster: America’s Revolt

Revolts and protests seem to be the thing to do these days from Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, and Iran, to our very our backyards in the U.S. Between the demonstrations in Madison, WI to the all-nighters in the U.S. House chamber, 2011 budgets are causing quite a stir.

LIFSON: The Challenge of Rational Ignorance

As the networks announced Republican victory in district after district, incoming House Speaker John Boehner offered his interpretation of the night’s events: “The American people spoke and I think it’s pretty clear the Obama-Pelosi agenda is being rejected by the American people.” In his recent State of the Union speech, however, President Obama was just as eager to explain that Democrats are the true agents of the American people. Such worship of the American voter has allowed us to forget the powerful incentives for ignorance among our body politic.

Stroster: My Funny Valentine

This Valentine’s day, President Obama needs to relearn how to inspire Americans before kicking off his reelection campaign. Perhaps David Plouffe’s recent appointment inside the White House will help.

STROSTER: Sexual Education Matters

In a school in Memphis 26% of the girls are pregnant. Abstinence until marriage, the most common type of abstinence taught in this country, does not teach anything about sexual intercourse, except to not have it. Is this the right policy?

STORM: And the Oscar Goes to…

Flashback to 2007: Al Gore and Davis Guggenheim’s “ground breaking” documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” won the Oscar for Best Documentary. Needless to say, this explicitly liberal film, about a predominantly liberal topic, created/produced by openly liberal lads, received a relatively prestigious honor that is awarded by, you guessed it, the chiefly liberal Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

LIFSON: Once More with Feeling, Democrats!

For communication, the stereotype goes that the Democratic Party gives lectures while the Republican Party prints bumper stickers. Not coincidentally, the messaging tactics witnessed in the modern political era tell the same story. Compare Ronald Reagan’s It’s Morning in America ad and George H.W. Bush’s covertly racist Willie Horton attack to thediscomforting answers of Michael Dukakis and the famously tedious speeches of Al Gore and John Kerry. A classic study of consumer psychology reveals that the complexity of our political debates makes the Democrats’ strategy a losing one.

STROSTER: Agree to Disagree?

The Future of American Discourse Lianna Stroster, Columnist Ideology:  Liberal Democrat | Writing from: Washington, D.C. Not even a week into the new Congress, a horrific shooting occurred in Tucson, [...]

SIEFF: On Fear and Democracy

Adam Sieff, Columnist

The reasonable man cannot doubt that there are likely subversive foreign agents among us, but nor can he allow himself to be seduced by epic conspirational fantasies. The conspiracies promoted by the far right pollute the quality of discourse that is essential to maintaining a mature democracy.

STROSTER: Chamber Reform

Lianna Stroster, Columnist

Thus far, there’s been healthcare reform, financial regulation reform and reform on the long-standing policy on gays in the military. Rumored to be the next kind of reform is the Senate chamber.

MCNAMARA: Cap and Trade to Conserve and Protect

Lindsay McNamara, Columnist

It is time to create a unified U.S. cap and trade program so that our carbon footprint decreases as much as it needs to. The longer it takes to implement a cohesive cap and trade program, the more drastic the cuts would have to be to make up for lost time and the subsequent amounts of carbon emitted into the atmosphere.

AUTIELLO: Heed Holbrooke

Nick Autiello, Columnist

We need to start turning this country around, and correctly it needs to begin with the economy. But real economic recovery requires getting ourselves out of the longest war in American history and focusing all that attention on our failing public school system, not on tax cuts that aren’t actually tax cuts for people who are sitting on top of trillions of dollars.

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