The middle class squeeze continues unabated. “However the lines are drawn, it is clear that millions are struggling to hang on to accouterments that most experts consider essential to a middle-class life.”

Former Texas governor Rick Perry and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus speak to fellow Republicans during a luncheon meeting during the Republican National Committee’s Annual Winter Meeting on Jan. 16, 2015, in Coronado, Calif. Perry is contemplating a possible run for president in 2016. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

Our problems with Russia bear an uncanny resemblance to those in the Cold War. “FBI arrests Russian spy in New York.”

Uncomfortable for Democrats, but there is a lot of evidence GOP resistance to extending unemployment benefits was a big help. “2014’s jobs boom [occurred] mostly thanks to the expiration of a program that the Obama administration and Democrats fervently pushed to renew? That’s the finding of a new NBER working paper from three economists — Marcus Hagedorn, Kurt Mitman, and Iourii Manovskii — who contend that the ending of federally extended unemployment benefits across the country at the end of 2013 explains much of the labor-market boom in 2014. About 60 percent of the job creation in 2014, 1.8 million jobs, they find, can be attributed to the end of the extended-benefits program.”

Are GOP voters unable to give former Texas governor Rick Perry a second chance? Maybe they are more forgiving than pundits thought: “Perry is the most deserving of a second look from the Republican electorate. He has found it hard to break away from the pack but, if his treatment in Esquire is any indication of how the press will treat a reengineered Perry campaign, the former governor can use this episode to engineer a boomlet in the polls. The ball is now in Rick Perry’s court.

Understandably this will encourage pols to do nothing about entitlement debt.”The Congressional Budget Office just released its 10-year budget and economic forecast. Let me boil it down for you: These are the good times. Enjoy them because things are unlikely to get much better. In fact, they are likely to get worse. For instance: CBO expects the US economy to grow at 3% this year and next, and at 2.5% in 2017. That’s a definite upturn in post-recession performance, though still below the postwar average of 3.4%. . . . [But] ‘CBO expects that federal debt held by the public will amount to 74 percent of GDP at the end of this fiscal year—more than twice what it was at the end of 2007 and higher than in any year since 1950 (see figure below). By 2025, in CBO’s baseline projections, federal debt rises to nearly 79 percent of GDP.'”

It does make one uneasy when things can accidentally crash on the White House lawn. “The person flying a drone that crashed onto White House grounds early Monday called the Secret Service after the incident was widely reported and has been cooperating with agents, the agency said. So far, it appears the crash ‘occurred as a result of recreational use of the device,’ the Secret Service said in a news release. But the agency said it is still following up on other leads.”

Uncertain if this bodes well for the appeal itself. “Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell will be able to stay out of prison as his attorneys appeal his corruption convictions, the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday. McDonnell had been set to report to prison on Feb. 9 to start a two-year sentence, but the court concluded that McDonnell is ‘not likely to flee or pose a danger to the safety of any other person.’ The appeal ‘raises a substantial question of law or fact that, ‘if decided in favor of the accused’ is ‘important enough’ to warrant reversal or a new trial,’ the court said.”

Ungainly is right. “Obama’s gum-chewing in India called ‘ungainly sight.'”