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As the United States faces down potential economic disaster, Republicans are demanding entitlement cuts before they'll vote to raise the debt ceiling. This time, however, the stakes are even higher than in the fiscal cliff standoff, and refusal to raise the ceiling could lead to significant job loss. On MSNBC's The Ed Show, Nation columnist John Nichols explained who will be hurt the most and what he sees as Barack Obama's leverage in the situation.

—Alec Luhn

In his latest blog post on, John Nichols remembers a late professor from Austria whose struggle against the Nazis and later against gender discrimination still resonates.