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DOMA no more?
Author: Raine    Date: 02/24/2011 14:04:25

Today I was going to write a blog about social security, but with all the news yesterday, it's going to have to wait. We got news that the Obama administration has directed the department not defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act. Specifically, Section 3, which states:
In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word 'marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word 'spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.
This is both surprising, as well as expected.
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47 comments (Latest Comment: 02/25/2011 03:54:30 by Raine)

The State of the Unions - Dateline: Wisconsin
Author: BobR    Date: 2011-02-23 11:16:53

First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

-- attributed to Martin Niemöller, Germany, 1946

The ongoing battle between the teachers and Governer Walker in Wisconsin has been dominating the news. There have been numerous discussions about whether teachers are paid too much or too little. There have been smear attempts against the teachers for being absent from school to participate in the protests. There have been metaphors and analogies drawn comparing Walker to recently-deposed Egyptian president Mubarek. What is rarely mentioned is the role of unions through history and the recently resurgent attempts to crush them once and for all.
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81 comments (Latest Comment: 02/23/2011 23:35:39 by livingonli)

Ask a Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 02/22/2011 11:33:20

Good Morning.

Today is our 2,897th day in Iraq and our 3,425th day in Afghanistan.

We'll start this morning as we always do; with the latest casualty figures from our ongoing wars, courtesy of Antiwar.com:

American Deaths
Since war began (3/19/03): 4438
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 4299
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3579
Since Obama Inauguration (1/20/09): 210
Since Operation New Dawn: 20

Other Coalition Troops - Iraq: 318
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 1,476
Other Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 857
Contractor Employee Deaths - Iraq: 1,487
Journalists - Iraq : 348
Academics Killed - Iraq: 448

We find this morning's Cost of War passing through:

$ 1, 155, 857, 200, 000 .00

Over much of AAV's run, we've been all about the gloom and doom, bad news, and challenges facing our vets...whether it's on the battlefield, in Washington, or at home.

Today, we have some good news. The Massachusetts 102nd is home!

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67 comments (Latest Comment: 02/23/2011 01:15:23 by Mondobubba)

Those who can, teach
Author: clintster    Date: 02/20/2011 23:09:12

Update From Raine: Since this Blog from our own Clintster didn't get the attention it deserved last evening, (Sunday nights are usually slow around these parts) I have decided that it will be our Monday Blog. It's important. Thank you Clint, and thank you to all of our hardworking educators in this country.

I have to get this off my chest. Like many of you, I have been following the events unfolding in Wisconsin, even with the slight handicap of no longer being able to follow the cable news coverage. (Why? Because Comcast sucks - but that's another column.)

I have heard stories, though; of Glenn Beck linking the protests to his ever-expanding Marxist-Soros-Muslim-WoodrowWilson caliphate theory, of Fox News' shameful degradation of the protesters, of Rush Limbaugh coming to the rescue of the poor, poor set-upon governor, who is only trying to make the situation better by stripping state employees unions of their collective bargaining power.
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54 comments (Latest Comment: 02/22/2011 04:39:07 by Raine)

Boston, Mass...02134!
Author: TriSec    Date: 02/19/2011 12:26:50

Americans of a certain age can still sing it:

"Send it to ZOOM: Box 350, Boston Mass, 0-2-1-3-4!!"

While a friend remains fluent, I have sadly lost the ability to communicate in Ubbi-Dubbi. However, I can still do the Zoom "arm flip". (only it hurts now...must be getting old.)

Listen, you know I try not to toot Boston's horn most of the time, but as far as PBS goes, we totally rule.

Do you watch cooking shows? The entire genre was invented here. Does the name "Julia Child" ring a bell? How about home improvement shows? "This Old House". (And it's spinoff, New Yankee Workshop.) The list goes on and on and on...

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27 comments (Latest Comment: 02/21/2011 01:14:24 by Raine)

Stating the Obvious
Author: BobR    Date: 02/18/2011 13:22:40

Money, money, money... It always seems to be at the center of controversy. Listening to the debate about the deficit, taxes, jobs, and the budget, one can almost picture a family arguing around the dinner table. Mom thinks Dad should earn more, or get a second job (increase taxes), Dad thinks Mom should learn to get by with less (cut spending), and the kids want more allowance, while the credit cards get maxed out every month.
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61 comments (Latest Comment: 02/18/2011 20:38:50 by Raine)

2012? What about 2011?
Author: Raine    Date: 02/17/2011 13:51:21

There is much talk about the FY 2012 budget. It's painful, it's belt tightening and as I have previously said -- no one likes it. That is completely understandable. I think, however we are getting ahead of ourselves. Why? There is no budget for Fiscal year 2011. We, as a nation, are currently running on 2010 spending levels. So what is congress doing about it?
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54 comments (Latest Comment: 02/18/2011 01:17:05 by livingonli)

Squatting in the Peoples' House
Author: BobR    Date: 2011-02-16 12:05:49

We've all heard mention of coworkers who "live at the office". This is often meant as a subtle put-down against over-achievers, those who are willing to sacrifice their personal lives to get ahead in their professions, where most people prefer a more balanced lifestyle. Imagine, though, if you worked with someone who actually lived at the office? Imagine that at the end of the day, they roll out a sleeping bag and sleep right there on the floor? You know they're getting paid enough to have their own home... why would they do that?
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55 comments (Latest Comment: 02/17/2011 01:24:24 by TriSec)

Ask a Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 02/15/2011 11:36:30

Good Morning.

Today is our 2,890th day in Iraq and our 3,418th day in Afghanistan.

We'll start this morning as we always do; with the latest casualties from our ongoing wars, courtesy of Antiwar.com:

American Deaths
Since war began (3/19/03): 4436
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 4297
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3577
Since Obama Inauguration (1/20/09): 208
Since Operation New Dawn: 18

Other Coalition Troops - Iraq: 318
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 1,476
Other Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 849
Contractor Employee Deaths - Iraq: 1,487
Journalists - Iraq : 348
Academics Killed - Iraq: 448

For the second week in a row, the "Cost of War" website seems to be unresponsive. I hope it's not going away; this is important information. Nevertheless, the home site of the National Priorities Project is up and running, so I urge you to spend some time poking around.

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64 comments (Latest Comment: 02/15/2011 21:38:36 by Raine)

Budget Balancing: Axe & Blindold Vs. Scalpel & Lasers
Author: Raine    Date: 02/14/2011 13:52:18

The President will be offering his Budget proposal this morning. The Washington Post reports:
Obama also would raise hundreds of billions of dollars in fresh revenue, which Republicans adamantly oppose. He would increase taxes on the wealthy by limiting the value of their itemized deductions and by allowing the recently extended George W. Bush-era tax breaks to expire in 2012. He would end subsidies for oil and gas companies, and would eliminate certain tax breaks for corporations that do business overseas. And he assumes that Congress will develop a plan to pay for a $556 billion transportation bill, a measure traditionally funded by increasing the federal tax on gasoline.

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51 comments (Latest Comment: 02/15/2011 01:12:06 by TriSec)

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