Commentary

Analyzing a government report is like eating and digesting a meal — better to take it slowly than gobble quickly and suffer the possible consequences.

Example: last Thursday’s report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on whether or not large financial institutions were still perceived as “too big to fail.”

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The economy grew at an impressive rate of four percent in the second quarter of this year, according to a government report released on Wednesday. But the stock market promptly tanked. The Dow lost more than 317 points Thursday and another 70 points Friday.

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Today's economy doesn't contain a lot of good news for working people. While the Great Recession officially ended five years ago, millions of Americans are still out of work and wages continue to lag. Yet this week, working people made some hugely significant gains as the fruits sowed by organizing efforts, lawsuits, legislative action -- and above all, workers standing up for themselves despite tremendous risk -- began to be visible.

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No think tank commands more respect among liberal policy wonks and Capitol Hill Democrats than the D.C-based Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, founded over 30 years ago by the indefatigable Robert Greenstein. The center is revered for its analytical rigor, its rapid response time, and its sheer relentlessness. The place is like a machine: Any time a proposal appears that whacks the poor, you can use a stopwatch to clock how it long it takes the center to whip out a scathing critique, often written by Greenstein himself. Does the guy sleep? 

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When I was young, a mantra among progressives was that America had to stop operating as global policeman. Vietnam was the signal episode of arrogant and ultimately self-defeating American overreach. But there were plenty of other cases of the U.S. government doing the bidding of oil companies and banana barons, and blithely overthrowing left-democratic governments as well as outright communists (or driving nationalist reformers into the arms of communists.)

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Nate Silver has already dubbed the 2014 election as "the least important in years." But this year's midterms are still breaking records for at least one thing: Secret political spending.

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If being a parent often feels like a constant juggling act, it can be that much more challenging for single parents. Between work and parenting, it can feel like there’s never enough time, energy or money for the things you want to do. And that feeling may extend to your credit too. You may barely have time to check your credit, much less fix it.

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Writing recently in The New York Times, Thomas Edsall linked race, genes and political ideology. Edsall, a journalism professor at Columbia University who writes a weekly online opinion piece for the Times, has been one of the leading voices covering race and politics in the United States for the last quarter century — and his latest piece strongly suggests that he fundamentally misunderstands race, missing that race reflects social dynamics rather than genetics.

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For a very good reason, this year my girlfriend, Pat, and I were in London for the Fourth of July. The British feigned indifference to the anniversary of our breakaway, like disappointed parents choosing not to mention the unruly prodigal who dropped out, left home and, in spite of their warnings, did okay.

If there were poetic justice in the world, Argentina would have beaten Germany in the last three minutes of play instead of vice versa. Germany represents everything that's wrong with the world financial system. Argentina is the epic case of countries whose economies are screwed by policies championed by Germany -- and unfortunately by the United States as well.

Let me explain.