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Final Debunking Of 2014: The Sony Hack

By The Reverend Published: December 31, 2014

I have never believed that North Korea was responsible for the alleged hack into Sony Inc. computer files. In fact, my first reaction was....this is bullshite.

And my first reaction was the proper one. From this must-read comes a believable narrative about hacked Sony computers.....

There are strong indications that the cyberattack involved one or more disgruntled Sony employees or ex-employees, probably working together with experienced hackers. The malware used against Sony had been modified to include hard-coded file paths and server names. System administrator user names and passwords were also hard-coded. Only someone having full access with system administrator privileges to Sony’s computer network could have obtained this information.

See those last two sentences? That is what is known as evidence. You remember evidence, right? Here is President Obama at his end-of-the-year press conference, and he didn't offer up any evidence of North Korean involvement, he simply declared North Korean to be the culprit....

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The Biggest Lie Of 2014

By The Reverend Published: December 30, 2014

If you type into the Google bar "Russian aggression in Ukraine", you will get 36,700,000 hits. In a year filled with lies from U.S. officials and their servants in U.S. corporate media, and despite near-universal acceptance that Russia WAS the aggressor in Ukraine......the phrase "Russian aggression in Ukraine" is the Lie of the Year.

How it all began....

Protests have unfolded in Ukraine since November 21, (2013) after President Viktor Yanukovych changed his stance on a trade pact with the European Union that had been years in the making.

He refused to sign the agreement, which would have strengthened cooperation with the European Union. Instead, he opted for closer ties with neighboring Russia.

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No Wonder Americans Are Clueless

By The Reverend Published: December 29, 2014

If you read this Business Insider article, you will come away with the idea that Saudi Arabian leaders are blithering idiots. Think: The Stooges....not Iggy's band. Larry, Curly and Moe.....those Stooges.The piece explains that Saudi will experience their largest government deficit ever, approximately $14 billion....and all because of low oil prices. Saudi depends on oil for 90% of their country's public revenue.

And yet, Saudi, the kingpin of OPEC, refuses to cut back on production. Cutting back on Saudi oil production, as the country has done many, many times in the past....would bring about a reversal of daily oil price drops, which, in turn, would eliminate any need for Saudi gibberish-filled whining about running deficits this year.

Behold the U.S. establishment's analysis of this seemingly idiotic Saudi policy.....

OPEC has maintained a production ceiling of 30 million barrels per day, in a move analysts say is aimed at stifling competition from new market players with higher costs, in particular North American shale oil producers.

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Just Don't Talk About It Publicly

By The Reverend Published: December 29, 2014

Hundreds of police officers turned their backs on a screen showing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio as he spoke at the funeral of one of two officers killed last week....

You see, in free America, free speech and assembly of the People motivates violence. New York City protesters and Mayor Bill De Blasio made the mistake of exercising their free speech rights over the injustice done to Eric Garner. Authoritarians from underneath every rock crawled out to blame those....words and protests....for the subsequent execution-style murders of two NY policemen.

According to the authoritarians, the following words from Bill De Blasio are the reason why NY policemen had to behave like spoiled, mannerless children.....

"What parents have done for decades who have children of color, especially young men of color, is train them to be very careful when they have a connection with a police officer," de Blasio said.

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December 25th: Birthday of Mithras, the Sun-God

By The Reverend Published: December 24, 2014

Why is Christmas celebrated on December 25th each year? 

"Both Mithras and Christ were described variously as 'the Way,' 'the Truth,' 'the Light,' 'the Life,' 'the Word,' 'the Son of God,' 'the Good Shepherd.' The Christian litany to Jesus could easily be an allegorical litany to the sun-god. Mithras is often represented as carrying a lamb on his shoulders, just as Jesus is. Midnight services were found in both religions. The virgin mother...was easily merged with the virgin mother Mary. Petra, the sacred rock of Mithraism, became Peter, the foundation of the Christian Church."

..........

"Mithra or Mitra is...worshipped as Itu (Mitra-Mitu-Itu) in every house of the Hindus in India. Itu (derivative of Mitu or Mitra) is considered as the Vegetation-deity. This Mithra or Mitra (Sun-God) is believed to be a Mediator between God and man, between the Sky and the Earth. It is said that Mithra or [the] Sun took birth in the Cave on December 25th. It is also the belief of the Christian world that Mithra or the Sun-God was born of [a] Virgin. He travelled far and wide. He has twelve satellites, which are taken as the Sun's disciples.... [The Sun's] great festivals are observed in the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox—Christmas and Easter. His symbol is the Lamb...."

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CBO Rules To Be Sprinkled With Fairy Dust

By The Reverend Published: December 23, 2014

Bloomberg reports....

Incoming Republican leaders in Congress won’t reappoint Doug Elmendorf to another term as head of the Congressional Budget Office, according to a party aide briefed on the decision.

The Hill explains why Elmendorf is out....

Their biggest issue is the CBO’s decision to rarely use “dynamic scoring,” which includes long-term budgetary impacts of legislation into their analyses.

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Guns Don't Kill People.....Protests Do

By The Reverend Published: December 22, 2014

As I knew they would, yesterday conservatives continued blaming the exercise of the first amendment for the gun murders of two NY police officers. According to numerous authoritarian conservatives whose opinions are always sought out after events of violence, blame for the assassination-style murder of two NY policemen is to be found in the free speech and assembly of citizens, and the words of an Attorney General, a President and a Mayor....

"We've had four months of propaganda starting with the President, that everybody should hate the police. I don't care how you want to describe it, that's what those protests are all about," Giuliani said Sunday on Fox News.

So, are conservatives, who usually explain that guns don't kill people, people kill people......now ready to change their tune? Have the conservative blame-game rules changed? Is it the exercise of free speech that kills people now? Or is it citizens-who-protest?

See...according to Rudy, Peter King, and many others.....protesting the police killings of unarmed black males, whether on the streets or through words coming from the POTUS......communicates that "everybody should hate the police." What that means is that any heavy-handed event by police, no matter how heinous, should never be responded to by citizen protests. Citizen groups protesting police brutality are, according to America's Phucking Mayor, not voicing their disapproval of thuggish police tactics but, instead, efforts at convincing others to hate police.

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Trouble In New York City

By The Reverend Published: December 21, 2014

The New York police department opposed Mayor Bill De Blasio long before he was elected. De Blasio had the audacity to criticize the city's "stop and frisk" policy while campaigning for his current job. The relationship between the now-mayor and the NYPD only worsened after that.

On December 4th, De Blasio held a press conference in the wake of the grand jury decision of "no indictment" in the chokehold murder case of Eric Garner. After De Blasio's press conference, the New York Patrolmen's Benevolent Association blasted De Blasio......

“What police officers felt yesterday after that press conference is that they were thrown under the bus,” said Patrick Lynch, the head of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, which represents rank-and-file officers. “If the mayor wants to change policies, and wants us to stand down against crime, then say that.”

The Soprano-character-wannabe Patrick Lynch tripled down on those words over this weekend.....

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Describing Keystone To Children

By The Reverend Published: December 20, 2014

A transcript of Obama's end-of-the-year press conference can be found here. 

Besides giving Ed Henry a sad face.......because Obama only called on female reporters.....the first black U.S. president offered up some very reasonable answers to gotcha-type Republican questions (are there any other kind?)

One of those questions was over the Keystone XL pipeline. Here's the "Republican" question.....

"So one of the first bills that Mitch McConnell said he will send to you is one that would authorize the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. When you talked about this in the past, you’ve minimized the benefits and you highlighted some of the risks associated with that project. I’m wondering if you could tell us both what you would do when faced with that bill, given the Republican majority that we’ll have in both chambers. And also, what do you see as the benefits? And given the precipitous drop we’ve seen in oil prices recently, does that change the calculus in terms of how it will contribute to climate change, and whether you think it makes sense to go ahead with that project?"

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Securing The Borders....Between States

By The Reverend Published: December 19, 2014

It is during this time of the year that Real Smart People who write stuff take up making lists and such. Top ten stories of 2014. Person of the year. You know, stupid, vapid stuff like that.

Though not quite as Smart as Real Professionals.....I do have a prediction to offer up as we close out another year.

But first read this....

The states of Nebraska and Oklahoma filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S. Supreme Court Thursday, claiming that Colorado's legalization of recreational marijuana is unconstitutional under federal law.

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Republicans: 'We Don't Negotiate....We Dictate'

By The Reverend Published: December 18, 2014

Conservative Republicans in Congress have increasingly embraced the principle of refusing to compromise, or even negotiate with, political opponents.

We've witnessed this numerous times with the renegade Teas in the House, plus Ted and Mike's most excellent wingnuttery in the Senate. The omnibus bill anxiety was caused by those guys. Why? Because they would rather shut the whole damn thing down than....compromise. On anything.

Now with Obama's announcement about Cuban relations, we see the same hard-headed authoritarianism from the right. Fifty years. 50 long years. And 50 long years of what? An unwillingness to negotiate with perceived enemies or opponents.

How did that 50 years of full metal jacketed isolation of Cuba change things? Not at all. So what is the response of Republicans, and some Democrats? Keep doing the same thing, only harsher. It's the same mentality of the authoritarian conservatives who still think we could have "won" Vietnam if we would have just dropped more bombs.

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Did John Kerry Make A Deal With The Saudis On Oil?

By The Reverend Published: December 18, 2014

In the past, if there were the slightest of actions foreboding middle eastern unrest, oil prices would spike. However, even with ISIS wreaking violent havoc in Iraq and Syria....even with major middle eastern oil producers taking sides in what looks like a very tense and volatile situation in the Oil Basin....world oil prices have plummeted almost 50%.

The question is...why? This from the Guardian.....

John Kerry, the US secretary of state, allegedly struck a deal with King Abdullah in September under which the Saudis would sell crude at below the prevailing market price. That would help explain why the price has been falling at a time when, given the turmoil in Iraq and Syria caused by Islamic State, it would normally have been rising.

More from Counterpunch.....

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Double-Standard Bearers

By The Reverend Published: December 17, 2014

If you check out the tables of numbers found here, you will find that in 1985 the U.S. imported but $5 billion worth of goods from Communist China. Before clicking over, can you venture a guess on how much the U.S. imports from China now? 10 times the 1985 total, perhaps? 20 times?

In 2013, the U.S. imported $440 billion worth of goods from Communist China. The numbers are not complete yet for 2014......but they will exceed that 2013 number.

China not only is governed by a big centralized, communistic government.....but also has a miserable record of human rights AND the communist nation also has a nuclear arsenal.

Now, why do I bring this up?

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Weasel Wordsmiths

By The Reverend Published: December 17, 2014

It's all so stupid.

Although corporate media pimps peed in their pants a little when they heard about this Jebby Bush "announcement".....I found Jebby's so-called announcement nothing more than a bunch of weasel words.

"I have decided to actively explore the possibility of running for President of the United States,” Jeb Bush announced.

What the hell does that sentence mean? All it says is that Bush has "decided to actively explore the POSSIBILITY of running." Which begs the question.....what, exactly, has Jeb been doing these last few months if not exploring the possibility of running?

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It's Official.....We're At War In The Ukraine

By The Reverend Published: December 16, 2014

 

The Obama White House just announced that the President would sign a congressional bill agreed to over the weekend that will ratchet up more economic sanctions on Russia.

Current sanctions plus a U.S.-Saudi conspiracy to drive oil prices down 50% in just a few months has brought Russia to the brink of bankruptcy.....

On Monday, Russia’s central bank announced it would raise its key interest rate from 10.5 to 17 percent — the largest single increase since 1998, preceding a government default on its debt. It was the sixth interest rate increase this year by Russia.

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1% Doctrine Nation

By The Reverend Published: December 16, 2014

Fifty-one percent of adults surveyed in a poll from the Pew Research Center said the CIA's methods were justified, while 29 percent said they were not. Twenty percent of adults said they did not know.

Republicans at 76 percent are far more likely to believe that the methods were justified than Democrats at 37 percent.

CBS also took a poll on torture.

The poll reveals that most Americans consider the CIA tactics highlighted in a 500-plus-page summary report released by Senate Intelligence Committee Democrats last week to be torture, including waterboarding (69 percent), a forced ice water bath (57 percent), 180 hours of sleep deprivation (70 percent) and threatening to sexually abuse a prisoner's mother (73 percent).

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The American Nazis

By The Reverend Published: December 15, 2014

Most readers now know what the still unindicted U.S. Nazis meant when they called torture, "enhanced interrogation techniques."

Some may be offended by my use of "U.S. Nazis." But you may think twice after reading this 1942 "secret" order for the Gestapo to begin using "sharpened" or "enhanced" techniques of interrogation.

The similarities of what German Nazis carried out against detainees in the 1940's and what the American CIA did to detainees in the 2000's are uncanny. Read the linked article for all the squeamish and sickening comparative details.

What Nazis did to their captives was not much different from what "American patriots" carried out on helpless, and in 25% of torture cases, innocent, Muslim detainees....except that the Gestapo's new order seems to have contained a bit of empathy and compassion.

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News From Our Bloodless Civil War Front

By The Reverend Published: December 15, 2014

Congressional Republicans shut down the government in October 2013 because they couldn't gut Obamacare.....a conservative-inspired program ginned up by the very conservative Heritage Foundation to fight back any attempts by the Clintons in the 90's to usher in a single-payer national health insurance program.

Thirteen months later, Republicans won the midterm election in a landslide......which proved that contrary to being punished at the ballot box for shutting down the government in a tantrum fit, Republicans were greatly rewarded for their destructive efforts.

And so, less than 2 months after the 2014 midterms, Republicans rolled out their America-destroying battering rams, shattering into pieces as many progressive programs as they could fit into the omnibus funding bill.....

Republicans demanded and got a gutting of one of the most important provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, preventing banks from speculating with government insured money.

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Oil Prices Continue To Plummet

By The Reverend Published: December 14, 2014

Crude oil is currently sitting at $57.81 per barrel.....a 40+% fall in just a few short months. Predictions are that prices will continue to fall....perhaps as low as $40 per barrel. In previous blog postings I have asked the question: why are oil prices falling so radically and so quickly? The answer has nothing to do with supply and demand fundamentals......

“Saudi Arabia and its neocon friends in the USA are targeting both Iran and Russia with their new policy of driving down the price of oil. The impact of oil deflation is already severely affecting the Russian and Iranian economies. In other words, this policy of promoting global oil price deflation finds favor with significant political interests in the USA, who want to generate a deeper disruption of Russian and Iranian economies for reasons of global political objectives. It will not be the first time that oil is used as a global political weapon, nor the last.”

Recently, Vlad Putin stated publicly that western powers (the U.S.) are "sabotaging Russian's economy." And we are.....sabotaging Russia's economy.

I find it interesting that the U.S. is following a very similar pattern vis-a-vis Russia as we followed in another oil-rich nation...Iraq. Punishing economic sanctions combined with a handicapping of Iraq's ability to market it's oil.

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Compromising On Slavery

By The Reverend Published: December 13, 2014

Let's say for the sake of a thought-exercise that Congress was seeking to pass an omnibus spending bill to keep the government open and operational for almost a year. Furthermore, in my hypothetical, let's say that Republicans attach a rider to the bill which reinstitutes legal slavery in southern states. No, reinstituting slavery has nothing to do with the spending bill, but, somehow, conservatives successfully fuse legalizing slavery to the spending bill.

If the funding bill doesn't pass, government will shutdown. If the spending bill passes, the buying, selling and owning of other fellow citizens to be used as slaves becomes the law of the land.

With that hypothetical in mind.....ask yourself, what should a Democratic president's response to such a bill be? Would it look like this.....

In an effort to try to ensure passage of the spending bill, Obama reiterated his support, saying, “This, by definition, was a compromise bill.”

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Rectal Rehydration

By The Reverend Published: December 11, 2014

So far, the only new piece of information for me coming out of the Senate Intelligence summary on the Bush administration's use of criminal torture....is ...this.

Rectal rehydration.....yes....rectal rehydration....

Several detainees, including Zubaydah, Marwan al-Jabbur, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, underwent "rectal rehydration" or "rectal fluid resuscitation" -- and detainee Majid Klian's "lunch tray," made up of hummus, pasta with sauce, raisins and nuts, was "pureed" and rectally infused.

According to CIA medical officers, rectal infusions were partially used as a behavior control: "While IV infusion is safe and effective," an officer noted, "we were impressed with the ancillary effectiveness of rectal infusion."

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Should Richard Cheney Be Sentenced To Death For His Crimes?

By The Reverend Published: December 11, 2014

Propaganda is an art form. To mislead others, nuance and subtlety are essential.

When you mislead others, it is often to shield yourself from criticism. The Bush administration failed to stop the 9-11 attack. They failed to keep Americans, and America, safe. To divert our attention away from that dismal failure, the Bushies kept telling us how they were doing everything possible to protect us from ANOTHER attack.

When you hear people say that the reason torture had to be ordered was to prevent another attack on the Homeland.....there is an assumption there that requires one to believe that the "terrorists" were planning waves of attacks, not just the one-off of 9-11.

Fascist supporters of the Bush regime developed an annoying habit during those glorious post 9-11 days. Those supporters kept awkwardly reminding us how the Bushies had kept, and were keeping, us safe AFTER 9-11. To me, that always sounded like people with guilty consciences trying to change the subject and avoid being held accountable for their faliures.

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Pimping Out The Omnibus Bill

By The Reverend Published: December 10, 2014

Will there be another government shutdown this week....or will the best Congress money can buy agree to pass an omnibus spending bill totaling $1.1 trillion (half for defense and endless war, both new and old) that will keep a government shutdown threat at bay until September 2015?

No vote has been taken yet. The House is scheduled to take a vote sometime today. That will give the Senate approximately 24 hours to approve the House bill....OR....the government will shut down...again.

From MSNBC.com comes the reasons why Republicans are confident they will keep the government open. The funding bill includes these totally insane provisions.....

Leaders agreed to gut a new regulation of complex derivatives known as swaps – one of the biggest changes to the Dodd-Frank financial reform law to date. They rolled back a new safety requirement for truck drivers to sleep for two consecutive nights in between work weeks, and raised the maximum work week from 70 to more than 82 hours per week.

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Torturing The Report

By The Reverend Published: December 10, 2014

Well, the enhanced interrogation shite has hit the American exceptionalism fan with all the predictable commentary from white male authoritarians.....

O'Reilly: On a personal note, I know scores of Americans who lost loved ones on 9/11. I've watched their children grow up without mothers and fathers. If I were president, I would authorized waterboarding and other severe interrogation methods of high ranking captured terrorists.

It is morally correct to protect innocent lives from barbarians.

We are a nation of laws, but we are in a brutal ongoing war. Americans need to be protected.

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The Real Party Of Amnesty

By The Reverend Published: December 9, 2014

Today and tomorrow...that's it. Two more days for the Senate to avoid another Republican-induced government shut-down.

The House of Representatives is expected to wrap up legislation on Wednesday to fund the federal government and allow President Barack Obama to implement his sweeping executive actions on immigration.

That leaves just one day in the Senate to pass the bill in order to avoid a government shutdown on Thursday at midnight.

Here is government shut-down artist, Texas GOP Senator Ted Cruz....

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Pentagon Sets Tone For Torture Report Response

By The Reverend Published: December 8, 2014

CNN is now reporting that the Senate Intelligence Committee's summary of their investigation into the Bush administration's use of illegal torture will be released tomorrow....

White House spokesman Josh Earnest at the briefing Monday said the Senate committee has told them they will release the enhanced interrogation report Tuesday.

Thousands of Marines have been put on a higher state of alert around the world in advance of the anticipated release of a Senate report on coercive interrogation techniques as a precaution, a U.S. defense official tells CNN.

A couple of observations.

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Six Christie Associates To Be Indicted

By The Reverend Published: December 8, 2014

There has been some news on Chris Christie's multiple investigations front. Last week we learned that the New Jersey Assembly investigating BridgeGate issued a statement claiming they couldn't prove, one way or the other, whether Christie knew about, or was involved in, shutting down the George Washington Bridge for political payback reasons.

Immediately upon that news, Villagers began re-shouting the praises of Chris Christie. Here is NPR's headline from their piece reporting the BridgeGate news on Friday....."New Jersey Legislature Clears Gov. Chris Christie In Bridge Scheme." That is NPR, National Public Radio, you know, the liberal-commie people.....stating that Christie has been cleared, when that is not at all what the New Jersey state investigation claimed.

Here's what the state investigation stated about their own investigation into the bridge closing......

"At present, there is no conclusive evidence as to whether Governor Chris Christie was or was not aware of the lane closures either in advance of their implementation or contemporaneously as they were occurring," the report states. "Nor is there conclusive evidence as to whether Governor Christie did or did not have involvement in implementing or directing the lane closures."

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Fed Has 1%'s Back

By The Reverend Published: December 7, 2014

Under the watch of the communist president Americans elected twice, 11 million private sector jobs have been created. Further, while that communist has been president of the United States, the DOW and S&P indexes, indicators of capitalistic success in America, have set historic new highs. Further still, during the Communist's reign over America, the top 5% of all income earners have captured 95% of all income gains.....proving, somehow, that Obama has turned our nation's economy into a hell-hole of socialism.

What other evidence is necessary to conclude that Obama's plan all along has been to redistribute the income of hard working billionaires to the undeserving, multi-hued masses? Right? That Obama, he's a sly one, isn't he?

Yes, I'm being snarky. But aren't the paragraphs above describing what all Foxians have been warning about Obama for 6 years? And in light of the inarguable numbers I included in the first paragraph.....do you now see how goddamn crazy those Foxians have been for those 6 years?

While the treasure chests of the top 5% overflow,.....real median household income (adjusted for inflation) remains well below the peak of around $57,000 in 1999 and has been below $52,000 in each of the last three years.

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America Founded On Racism

By The Reverend Published: December 6, 2014

The recent murdering of unarmed black males by white law enforcers has stirred up passions that have marred the democratic integrity of the United States from it's inception.

It doesn't take much effort to sing the nationalistic-religious hymns of praise to our virtually divine Founding Fathers. But it does take some effort to confront the contradictions of those Fathers.....the "warts and all" part.

Ours has been a nation of white supremacy from the beginning. A nation of white male control. A nation formed with white male superiority as a given. A nation built on racism.

Yes, yes, I know....those words grate. But they are true.

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Senate Torture Report To Be Released Next Week

By The Reverend Published: December 5, 2014

Former Washington Post writer Dan Froomkin, now writing for Glenn Greenwald's The Intercept, told readers on Tuesday that the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on torture would be released to the public "in a few days." Froomkin offers up 12 things to keep in mind before the report is released. Froomkin's article is well worth reading and is a good refresher on the 5 year-long investigation.

And.....yesterday, we learned this...

On Thursday the panel's chairwoman, Senator Dianne Feinstein, confirmed to AFP that a declassified version of the controversial study would be released "next week" after her committee and the White House ironed out differences.

So, we'll see.

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Profits Before People.....America's Golden Rule

By The Reverend Published: December 4, 2014

Our elected representatives, not all but way too many, are elected to advance and protect the interests of business. Profits for business people take precedent over the daily life-needs of the People. It is important to remember that simple rule. It helps when trying to comprehend the seemingly incomprehensible.

One example of this rule in play is Obamacare. A comprehensive national health insurance bill which put the People before business interests would have, at least, included a Medicare-like insurance option. But because profits take precedent....every time....over the general welfare of the People.....no public option in the ACA.

Knowing this one simple rule about the priorities of our elected officials....profits are always a higher priority than the lives of the People....will help you navigate around the steaming piles of shite heaped upon us hourly by corporate media.

Back in January, the Kansas legislature introduced a bill to protect the prioritized-interests of Kansas elected officials. Here is the heart of the bill....

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Good Thing We Have Cell Phone Cameras

By The Reverend Published: December 4, 2014

Hey, it's a good thing we have all those cell phone cameras to capture wrongdoing by police, huh? Yep, now....you know, with all that citizen-produced video evidence of homicides-by-cop......cops who do bad things will, by god, be held accountable for their bad deeds.

Eric Garner, a 43-year-old father of six, was illegally selling cigarettes on July 17 when police officers tackled him and put him in a chokehold. Police said he had been resisting arrest. The city's medical examiner ruled the death a homicide.

Before there were so many cell phone cameras, the policeman who suffocated Eric Garner would have been able to skate any responsibility for killing the large black, 43 year old father of six. Thankfully, a citizen captured the "homicide" of Eric Garner on cell phone video so that justice could be served. Sadly, yesterday.....

The district attorney for Staten Island, Daniel Donovan, announced the grand jury's decision not to indict the police officer, Daniel Pantaleo, who placed Garner in a chokehold.

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The Impotence Of GOP Retaliation Efforts

By The Reverend Published: December 3, 2014

November 20...from the GOP-controlled House Appropriations Committee.....

"This agency is entirely self-funded through the fees it collects on various immigration applications," the (House Appropriations) committee said in a statement. "Congress does not appropriate funds for any of its operations, including the issuance of immigration status or work permits, with the exception of the ‘E-Verify’ program. Therefore, the appropriations process cannot be used to 'defund' the agency."

Seems relatively clear. The U.S. Immigrations Department is under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security. And yet, the Immigrations Department is self-funded through fee collections. Even an ill-advised defunding of the DHS by angry, angry Republicans will not change that self-funding reality.

But.....either neo-confederate Republicans don't accept that reality....or they're disingenuously making stuff up to keep conservative base voters from turning on them....

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Plummeting Oil Prices & Russia

By The Reverend Published: December 2, 2014

On October 27th I blogged about why oil and gasoline prices were plummeting.

Russia, you see, had to pay the price of U.S. and EU aggression in the Ukraine....and that meant severe economic punishment....punishment so great that neo-con hopes of driving Putin from power in yet another go around of our "regime change" carousel foreign policy.....would be fulfilled.

Oil prices were at $80 a barrel in late October. Today, less than 6 weeks later, prices are at $70 a barrel, dipping to around $65 per barrel over the Thanksgiving holiday and then, recovering somewhat the first of this week.

And here is Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov explaining....

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Spoiled, Vindictive Brats

By The Reverend Published: December 2, 2014

Congressional Republicans had it all figured out. The House refused to take up a bipartisan Senate bill on immigration because it contained a pathway to citizenship....a 13 year long pathway, but still. Republicans calculated that they had a very good chance to take the Senate this year...and that would set the stage for an entirely Republican immigration bill being passed in the lead up to the 2016 general election.

Republicans did take the Senate. The stage was set for 2015. Republicans could pass their "secure the border" and "green card" only bill containing no pathway to citizenship and then begin their campaign for the presidency bragging about all they did for Latinos.

Republicans do not care that undocumenteds are given green cards. They're all for it. What Republicans never want to see happen, however, is the creation of a pathway to citizenship for those same undocumenteds. Latinos are, or will be, "Democrat" voters....conservatives argue.....and so Republicans will simply never allow that political threat to materialize.

That helps in understanding Republican outrage over Obama's executive order on immigration. Obama stole the Republicans cheese, so to speak.....and that really pissed them off. In fact, Obama's order on immigration enraged Republicans so much....that those Republicans were forced to punish poor working families and poor single-mother households.

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Controlling The Narrative

By The Reverend Published: December 1, 2014

 

So, the black youth, Michael Brown, is dead, and Darren Wilson, the white policeman who killed Brown, has been cleared of any wrongdoing in the killing. The Ferguson prosecutor, Robert McCulloch, a white male, manipulated the grand jury process in an obvious effort to clear the white Darren Wilson. And, the white McCulloch will never be held accountable for any wrongdoing.

Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, a white man, told Laura Ingraham that Michael Brown's stepfather, a black man, should be arrested for "inciting a riot" because Brown's stepfather said "burn the bitch down" after hearing that the white Darren Wilson would not be charged.

Additionally, the white Rudolph Giuliani, remembered fondly by some for walking the dust-covered streets of Manhattan after the Towers fell, openly disagreed with Ferguson Prosecutor McCulloch, but only on one thing.....

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