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The ax is laid to the root of the tree: An argument for the Dream Act

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In the confusion of voices now vying for our attention, from our struggling economy (“Shopping is a patriotic act!”) and from a venomous Washington (“We cannot afford the future!”), another, barely audible voice is telling us the truth. It is the voice of Advent, and it is telling us that as a country we are in danger of losing our souls.

Children's Rights are Human Rights

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United Nations member nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Dec. 10, 1948. That event is commemorated on different dates throughout this month.

The U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted by the U.N. general assembly on Nov. 20, 1989, and Children's Day or the International Day of the Child, is commemorated on various dates in different countries.

We do not — as yet — however have a comparable universal pledge to defend children from sexual abuse and exploitation and a day to commemorate that pledge. Why not?

The economists who support the tax cuts

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William K. Black writing on the Huffington Post:

You know the Obama administration is desperate when it creates a web page citing economists who support its capitulation on taxes. And what do you know, these economists are all "wealth managers" or from major banks. This shows that Obama is continuing to promote the views of his virulent opponents, who gloried in and profited from the Democrats' recent electoral and legislative defeats.

Simultaneously, his administration is launching another petulant attack on his strongest supporters. The administration's daily floggings will continue until morale improves among progressives -- and generations of political scientists will marvel at this administration's self-destructive reflexes.

Read the full piece: The Effort to Claim That Economists Support Obama's Capitulation on Tax Cuts for the Wealthy

The tax plan and Jesus' option for the poor

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Jesus was born a poor man and he ministered to the poor. He spoke about his special love for the poor. Unfortunately, it seems his voice would not be welcomed among the Republicans, including Republican Catholics and Christians who have seemingly forgotten the roots of the very faith they claim to represent.

It is unbelievable that such Republicans and some Democrats would instead have a preferential option for the very rich that represent no more than 1 percent, if even that, of the total population.

These politicians would rather give unfair tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires than support the poor and unemployed through longer extensions of unemployment benefits, including to those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits. Instead of supporting immediate job creation programs, they instead want to allow the very rich more money to stash away or to buy one more luxury item.

Despite their clamor for reducing the deficit, they’d rather give more tax breaks to the very rich that almost all economist agree only adds to the deficit because those tax cuts are not paid for.

But it’s the callousness and lack of humanity that bothers me the most.

More on the tax cut compromise

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On his God's Politics blog, Jim Wallis says that President Obama should have fought tax cuts for the wealthy.

He should have fought this one. The richest 2 percent of the country just got an extension of tax cuts they didn’t need at great cost to us all. President Barack Obama should have been fighting against the self-interest of the very wealthiest Americans long before this. So he is now backed into a corner, and just made a compromise that he thinks is the best deal possible ... The president did want to keep some things for average Americans in this compromise, but he lost the big battle a long time ago by not fighting the people whose greed, recklessness, and utter lack of concern for the common good have led us into this terrible crisis.

Read the full entry: President Obama Should Have Fought This One

Bridget Mary 'talks' with Benedict

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A press release from the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests:

In his just-released book, Light of the World: "The Pope, the Church and the Sign of the Times," Pope Benedict XVI says ordaining women is not the church's choice to make. See: Pope: Church has 'no authority' to ordain women

In her just-released book, Living Gospel Equality Now, Loving in the Heart of God: A Roman Catholic Women Priest Story," Bridget Mary Meehan shares her journey to priesthood as a Roman Catholic woman. See: Living Gospel Equality Now

The following "press release" is an imagined dialogue between the Pope and Bridget Mary.

Pope Benedict: It's Jesus' fault. He didn't ordain women priests. Why blame me for everything?

Bridget Mary: Don't blame Jesus! He didn't ordain anyone -- male or female.

Pope Benedict: He had only male Apostles.

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