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Antonin Scalia: National Disgrace

By The Reverend Published: February 28, 2013

Section 5 of the 1965 (Voting Rights Act) law,...requires state and local governments with a history of racial discrimination to pre-clear any changes to their voting laws with the Justice Department prior to enacting them.

"pre-clear any changes to their (state) voting laws with the Justice Department"

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The New WMD.....Debt and Deficits

By The Reverend Published: February 26, 2013

Yes, I realize it's boring to mention that if something is repeated often enough, by enough people....that something eventually becomes conventional wisdom. By late November 2001, George W. Bush's Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld......

...was meeting with Gen. Tommy Franks, Centcom commander, to plot the “decapitation” of the Iraqi government, according to the now declassified talking points agenda from the sessions. The talking points suggest that Rumsfeld and his team were grappling with a tricky issue: “How [to] start?” the war. In other words, what would the pretext be? Various scenarios were outlined: “US discovers Saddam connection to Sept. 11 attack or to anthrax attacks?” reads one of them. “Dispute over WMD inspections?” reads another. “Start now thinking about inspection demands.”

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"Displaying Religion's Warts"

By The Reverend Published: February 25, 2013

In commenting on my post from Saturday, "Why Did Benedict Resign?", my blog bud, King, asked a few good questions.....

Rev, I've noticed that when you feel compelled to display a religion's warts, it is invariably the Catholic religion you attack. Is there any particular reason this is so ? Many Christian and non-Christian religions proscribe homosexuality. Some even advocate executing homosexuals (Islam), yet you don't attack them. It's always the Catholics. What's up ? Do you think Catholics vote Republican, or what ?

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Why Did Pope Benedict Resign?

By The Reverend Published: February 23, 2013

I suppose it could be coincidental. Coincidences do happen.

The paper (La Repubblica) said the pope had taken the decision on 17 December that he was going to resign – the day he received a dossier compiled by three cardinals delegated to look into the so-called “Vatileaks” affair…

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Indiana GOP'ers Intensify War On Women

By The Reverend Published: February 22, 2013

Think Progress has two stories from red state legislatures in Indiana and Montana that illustrate what conservatives really mean when they talk incessantly about small, limited government.

The Scriptures of St. Ronaldus, Book 3, Verse 4 tells us...."verily, verily I say unto you, gub'mint IS the problem." The word 'IS' is emphatic in the original ancient text.

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Fear And Greed....But Mostly Greed

By The Reverend Published: February 21, 2013

Between 2003 and 2008, the amount of speculative money in commodities grew from $13 billion to $317 billion, an increase of 2,300 percent. By 2008, a barrel of oil was traded 27 times, on average, before it was actually delivered and consumed.

Used to be...isn't any longer....that traders in commodities had to be participants in taking delivery of that product....corn, wheat, oil, pork bellies, orange juice, broadband, etc.  The whole point of trading commodity futures, or options, was so that major producers and buyers of a marketed commodity would not have to be constantly challenged by roller coaster price fluctuations from season to season, year to year.

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Why GOP Now Favors Sequester

By The Reverend Published: February 20, 2013

The sequester was meant to be an incentive. $85 billion in automatic spending cuts across the board to defense and discretionary domestic spending was included in the Budget Control Act in case the "super committee" couldn't reach agreement. Because Republican members of said super committee could not, and would not, accept revenue agreement was reached. It was because of the failure of the super committee that we face the brunt of the sequester in just two weeks.

Stubborn, non-negotiable Republicans on the super committee created the need to enact the sequester by refusing to accept ANY revenue in any committee agreement. That's what happened. Now, having stalemated the super committee through refusal to entertain ANY new revenues....Republicans, reticent at first, now seem to have embraced the sequester as yet another political tool to use against their enemies....I mean, against the Democrats.

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Yes...Soak The Rich

By The Reverend Published: February 19, 2013

If you review a chart of productivity gains by business from 1948-2011 as compared to worker compensation over the same period, you will find that from 1948 until 1973, worker compensation and business productivity tracked along the same incline. As businesses became more productive, they shared those productivity gains with their workers in the form of higher wages.

But starting around 1973, workers compensation and business productivity began to diverge. During the period from 1973 until 2011, business enjoyed an 80.4% gain in productivity while workers saw hourly compensation grow by only 10.7%. If you exclude the years 1995-2000 (dotcom boom) average compensation gains for workers from 1973 until 2011 would be only 4.9% over the period.

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McCain, Graham...."Brokeback Partnership?"

By The Reverend Published: February 18, 2013

"I love the guy," said conservative Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.),... "And he's got the tenacity to stand for something and not back down. That means he's my kind of guy."

"I think he's going to be a superstar," said Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a fellow Cuban-American and another rising star on the right. "You're already starting to see some of that. He's just smart as a whip."

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$13 Per Hour Minimum Wage ?

By The Reverend Published: February 16, 2013

President Obama's call in his SOTU to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.00 has not been received very well by Republicans in Congress. Here's the alleged GOP Savior, Marco Rubio...

"I don't think a minimum-wage law works," Rubio said on "CBS This Morning." "I want people to make a lot more than $9. Nine dollars is not enough. The problem is that you can't do that by mandating it in the minimum-wage laws. Minimum-wage laws have never worked in terms of helping the middle class attain more prosperity.

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Minority Rule Rolls On

By The Reverend Published: February 15, 2013

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) way, way back in 2005....when the president was Republican George W. Bush....

“I think the President is entitled to an up-or-down — that is simple majority — vote on nominations, both to his cabinet and to the executive branch and also to the judiciary.”

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"The Republican Savior"

By The Reverend Published: February 14, 2013

Do you know that Florida GOP Senator, Marco Rubio, is a "rising star" in the Republican Party? Sure you did. Why? Because every time Rubio's name appears in a print article, the tag-a-long descriptor "rising star" accompanies his name. It's uncanny.

Also, too...did you know that Time magazine's recent edition has a picture of Rubio on it's cover with the declaration, "The Republican Savior"...and this byline, "How Marco Rubio became the new voice of the GOP." Again, no kidding. What's a bit surprising to this blogger is how Time left the question mark off of the end of "The Republican Savior." I guess the Time people enjoy clairvoyant powers.

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"Finishing The Job".....Wait, What?

By The Reverend Published: February 13, 2013

President Obama did a good job last night in outlining a progressive 2nd term. All except for one issue that I'll get to in a minute. The state of the Union, Obama said, "is stronger." Text of speech here.

The President opened by explaining why the pending sequester should be modified. Replacing across the board spending cuts on defense and domestic spending with "reducing subsidies to prescription drug companies", "asking more from the wealthiest seniors", changing the fee-for-service status-quo for Medicare.....and by "getting rid of tax loopholes and deductions for the well-off and well-connected" in the tax code.

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Civility A Feature At Tonight's SOTU

By The Reverend Published: February 12, 2013

Back in the day of the Amboy Dukes and then a bit later with songs like Hey Baby and Cat Scratch Fever, guitar player Ted Nugent had something positive to offer society....his wild, loud guitar playing. Nugent was never a big star during the day....never broke into the big leagues of rock and roll like, say, The Black Keys have done today.

In fact, Nugent has actually received more attention and name recognition from media after the arrival of low information officials like Sarah Palin and organizations like the Tea Party then he did during the golden rock years of the late 60's and early 70's.

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The Festering Sequester

By The Reverend Published: February 11, 2013

Major Garrett writing at the National Journal about the sequester...

The sequester arose out of a crisis over not raising the debt ceiling. This premeditated GOP maneuver sought a deficit-reduction lever against Obama with which Republicans extracted dollar-for-dollar spending cuts. Sequester, which Obama’s advisers first suggested, reduced discretionary spending and held harmless mandatory spending. All of this done at the point of a GOP-threatened government default. Republicans precipitated the crisis; the Obama-generated sequester “solved” it. Ownership was mutual because, originally, neither side wanted the sequester.

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Balanced Budget Boogaloo

By The Reverend Published: February 8, 2013

Some people argue that the federal government should not spend more money than it brings in in tax revenues. If a federal budget is not balanced, these folks say, then our government is performing incompetently. Of course, that notion is ridiculous because the facts are that for 48 out of the last 51 years the U.S government has run deficits.

I suppose elected officials during those 48 years could have all been incompetent, or, you know, communists...or something.....but I think it would be more credible to conclude that running federal deficits has always been rather routine.

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GOP Governors Seek To Please Rich Few

By The Reverend Published: February 7, 2013

GOP Governor Bobby Jindal is proposing it. Another Republican governor, John Kasich in Ohio, is looking for a way to do it. So are GOP governors in Nebraska and Kansas.

Do what? Eliminate state income taxes.

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The Drone Assassinations Of U.S. Citizens

By The Reverend Published: February 6, 2013

I've been blogging in opposition to the unitary executive theory of the U.S. presidency for years. In short....the unitary executive doctrine....

John Dean explains: "In its most extreme form, unitary executive theory can mean that neither Congress nor the federal courts can tell the President what to do or how to do it, particularly regarding national security matters."

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GOP Declares War On.....Itself

By The Reverend Published: February 5, 2013

The one famously known as TurdBlossom, Karl Rove, did an interview last July where he fielded questions about the Tea Party. Only 7 months ago Bush's Brain spoke positively about the role the Tea Party had been playing in the overall strategy of the GOP....

Distinguishing between members of the tea party movement and individuals who promote the tea party sentiment, Rove said that “both are viable and important” and “have energized a group of people that heretofore have largely been sitting on the sidelines and brought about big, important change.”

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Not Insane....Lawless

By The Reverend Published: February 4, 2013

The NRA has once and for all declared itself on the side of lawlessness.

How so? The NRA supports the status quo when it comes to mandatory background checks for owning firearms. The status quo is that 40% of all guns purchased have no background check run on the purchaser. This has been labeled the "gun show loophole."

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Senate GOP'ers: Bankster Security Guards

By The Reverend Published: February 2, 2013

One of the primary procedural gimmicks obstructionistic, anti-government Republicans have used repeatedly to stop progressive measures that would protect citizens from being systematically defrauded and ripped off is the Senate filibuster. Republicans say their use of the filibuster is to stop majority-rule overreach.....however, it seems increasingly clear that GOP filibusters are for the purpose of protecting the already-wealthy and powerful from any government oversight or reform.

Harry Reid's nauseating capitulation to the minority party in filibuster reform negotiations amplified my hunch that, in reality, both political parties often work together to block the will of the people. Reid complained effusively over GOP obstructionism.....but it was only a bunch of words. The Senate Majority Leader had no intention of really weakening the minority party's obstructionism. A similar capitulation took place on the same issue before the last Congress officially convened.

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When Did Israel Become The 51st State?

By The Reverend Published: February 1, 2013

As expected, the Chuck Hagel defense secretary nomination hearing was basically void of substance. Lots of Fox-facts were thrown around....lots of tantrums (see: McCain, Johnny Mac) thrown, and a whole bunch of Israeli-love-theater embarrassment.

Hagel, a lifelong Republican, will be confirmed by the Senate. All the bluster and babble and faux-anger by bitter, old, white, conservative male Senators during the hearings yesterday....was just that.

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