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The only things we really know about the so-called Super Committee are that it is super-secret and super-likely to make life more miserable for the 99 percent of us who aren’t super-rich.

A devotion for Wall Street

From Red Letter Christians:

The more I read the Gospels, the more they seem to confront the very patterns of the world we live in. At one point Mary, pregnant with Jesus cries out: “God casts the mighty from their thrones and raises the lowly… God fills the hungry with good things and sends the rich away empty…” You can’t help but think if she were alive in contemporary America some folks would try to accuse the Virgin Mother of being Marxist or promoting class warfare. But all through Scripture we see this – over 2000 verses about how God cares for the poor and most vulnerable.

What would Jesus say about Wall Street?
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New data on what it means to be part of the 99 percent who aren’t in with the in crowd:

The top 1 percent of earners in the United States saw their average household incomes grow a whopping 279 percent from 1979 to 2007, according to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study (PDF) published this week.

For the lowest earners, what the CBO described as the poorest fifth of America, average incomes grew just 18 percent in that same period. The middle class — comprised of about three-fifths of Americans — saw incomes grow about 40 percent.

Those figures should be enough to enrage virtually all of the 99 Percent protesters demonstrating in nearly every major U.S. city for the last month, who see themselves as being the forgotten segment of society and wish to highlight the nation’s growing income disparity.

All told, the gap between rich and poor in America more than tripled in just under 30 years, marching in line with government policies that have increasingly tended to rely on regressive taxes on the poor and working classes, and less on taxing the top earners.

Here’s a song for armed men in uniform who attack unarmed, peaceful protesters:

The headline on a recent Daily Beast story was “Are we really done with Iraq?” I doubt it, even though Barack Obama is saying our involvement there will end in a few months. Interesting that Obama conveniently left out the fact that the U.S. is withdrawing its remaining forces reluctantly, after a breakdown in negotiations with the Iraqi government:

It was in the final months of George W. Bush’s presidency that the United States negotiated an agreement to withdraw its troops from Iraq by the end of 2011.

In his first year as commander in chief, Obama promised to adhere to the timeline, even though many US and Iraqi military leaders said some American forces should remain in the country. The US position on the 2011 date changed this year, however. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and his predecessor, Robert Gates, said publicly that some US troops should remain in the country after the withdrawal. The conflict has claimed 4,200 American lives.

Proponents of remaining in Iraq argued that the smaller US footprint would be needed to train the Iraqi military on new American equipment – and as a trip wire if sectarian tensions flared up again and threatened to plunge the country into another civil war.
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Samuel Johnson wrote “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” Never has this adage seemed more true:

October 26 [marked] the 10th anniversary of the USA Patriot Act, the first among many bipartisan government assaults on the Bill of Rights over the past decade. It is a time to mourn our lost freedoms.

Our constitutional rights have dramatically eroded, turning the “land of the free” into the “land of the easily intimidated.” We have traded liberty for a false impression of security, and we will regret it.

President Bush originally signed the Patriot Act into law on Oct. 26, 2001, and – despite documented, recurring and ongoing abuses – President Obama has signed reauthorization bills no fewer than three times. Even though more than 400 cities and towns, plus eight states, have issued official resolutions repudiating domestic surveillance, the national security juggernaut has continued to steamroll the Constitution.
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Something warm and fuzzy…

… to help you start the day on a mellow note:

Want to see a rough sketch of how low the Republican Party will sink in waging war against those who would pass the American Jobs Act? Here you are:

Karl Rove’s organization American Crossroads, which functions as a kind of privately run Republican Party organization, has a memo laying out how the party ought to oppose President Obama’s jobs bill. It’s a telling window into the contours of the jobs debate. The specifics of Obama’s proposal are all highly popular, and the Republican challenge is to oppose it anyway. The memo offers a fascinating look at the mechanisms of political spin in general, and the particular dilemma of the Republican Party as it blocks economic action in the face of crisis.

The key fact to understand about the bill, delicately left unmentioned by the American Crossroads memo, is that Americans want to do all the things Obama proposes. By a twenty-point margin, they favor funding new road construction and a payroll tax cut. By a 30-point margin, they agree with higher taxes on the rich to cut the long-term deficit. They support helping stave off layoffs of police officers, firefighters, and teachers by a 50-point margin. How do you fight that?

You redefine the issue as a generalization. People don’t like firing police officers and teachers? Fine, just call them “union workers”:

Similarly, 70% of respondents initially favor Obama’s proposal to “give billions to states to stop layoffs of teachers and firefighters.” But when the same idea is described as “giv[ing] billions to states to keep government union workers on the payroll,” 52% turn against the idea.

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Occupy Baltimore

Unions step up.

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