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    Tea Party Threatened by Capitalist Menace

    The Tea Party, a potent collection of dyspeptic right-wing populist groups, was on the verge of national conquest. Having defeated a Republican candidate in a New York House election and a Democratic candidate in the Massachusetts Senate election, it seemed that there was no stopping this crew of tax-rejecting, socialist-hating, health-care-not-wanting defenders of the Constitution and all that is good in America.

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    Hurling Thunderbolts for Health Care

    Yesterday's Massachusetts' election affects me personally. I'm self-employed and have a cheap health plan. Within the first few months of beginning a new plan, I'm already involved in a dispute with the provider, Golden Rule, a subsidiary of UnitedHealthcare. My health plan, I recently discovered, doesn't cover preventive care in the first three months. I don't know why they have this restriction. It would not be a big deal except that no one told me about it, not when I signed up and not when I called to confirm that my physician was in network.

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    5-Year-Old Philanthropist Raises Money for Haiti

    Last Thursday, I received a phone call from my friend, Lily, a San Francisco native halfway through her kindergarten year. In truth, we are more than friends. We married in an unofficial ceremony during the summer of 2008, and over a few brief hours of marital bliss and several cups of imaginary tea, we were blessed with four or five children, one of whom resembled a furry red monster.

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    Persecution Politics: Civil War Rages in the G.O.P., but Watch Out What You Wish For

    In the wake of resignations by Democratic Senators Chris Dodd and Byron Dorgan, Democrats may be taking some shortsighted solace in the prospect of a brewing conservative civil war between the Republican Party establishment and the revolting Teabaggers, no pun intended. The differences between the warring camps are not ideological - the G.O.P. long ago purged its dissenting moderates - but attitudinal.

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    BREAKING: God Apologizes for Failure to Disrupt Senate Health Care Vote

    God issued an unusual apology on Monday for failing to stop Senate Democrats from cutting off a Republican filibuster of the health care bill. In a brief press statement, God acknowledged underestimating Democrats' resolve and promised a thorough review His divine intercession policies.

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    Who is a Jew? Britain's Supreme Court Dings State-Funded Jewish School

    When I was twelve years old, my father took a sabbatical in London, and our family moved from quiet, middle class Iowa City to London's buzzing if somewhat downtrodden Camden neighborhood. I enrolled in a "state school" called J.F.S.

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    Senator Orrin Hatch and the Eight Nights of Hanukkah

    Orrin Hatch--Utah's longest serving senator in history, former presidential candidate, proud member of the Finance Committee, the subcommittees on Energy, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure and Taxation and IRS Oversight, the Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, as well as the Joint Committee on Taxation--can now add another feather to his well-befeathered hat: Hanukkah lyricist.

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    Minaret Attack!

    Demonstrating the brilliance of direct democracy, the Swiss people declared their nation to be a minaret-free zone. One cannot help but admire the simplicity of Swiss thinking. They did not bother with definitions or rationales. There was no legal gobbledygook, no extended rationales, no conscience-driven caveats. They simply voted to amend their constitution with the inspirational words, "The building of minarets is prohibited."

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    Moon Water: What's it Good For?

    In yesterday's NYT, NASA-affiliated scientist William S. Marshall, wondered why no one seems to care about NASA's discovery of water on the moon.

    Almost as surprising as NASA’s announcement is the lack of attention it has received. Thirty years ago, a development like this would have been heralded as one of humanity’s greatest discoveries.

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    Persecution Politics: Christian Leaders Sign Historic-Futuristic Declaration

    Friday, November 20, 2009. 145 evangelical, Catholic, and Orthodox Christian leaders have signed the "Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience," in which they declared their shared opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage. Though only hours old, the declaration has already been declared "historic" by those whose job it is to designate historic declarations.

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    Obama Bows Again!

    Six months ago, I wrote a column decrying President Obama's compulsive bowing before foreign leaders and monarchs. After my editorial onslaught, the administration appeared to take note, and I thought that the matter resolved.

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    The Heretic's Bible - Genesis 21: Isaac gets born; Ishmael gets booted

    As God had promised, Sarah gave birth to a son at the age of 91. She and Abraham were very happy. Abraham named the boy Isaac and cut off his foreskin.

    All was well in the Abraham clan until Sarah remembered Abraham's bastard, Ishmael, and his slave-mother, Hagar. She said to her husband, "Drive away this slave together with her son. The son of this slave will not share the inheritance with my son Isaac!"

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    Health Insurance - The Cheap Rider Problem

    I'm a freelancer and pay for my own health insurance. Since I'm (relatively) young and healthy, and since I rarely see a doctor more than once a year, I have a fairly inexpensive plan with a pretty high deductible.

    Stupid question: If the House health care bill is adopted, shouldn't I opt for the cheapest plan that I can find?

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    UN Declares Afghan Election "Credible" and Pope "Jewish"

    In a unanimous resolution, the United Nations declared the Afghan presidential election to be "credible" and "legitimate" despite widespread fraud allegations and the withdrawal of President Karzai's opponent, Abdullah Abdullah. In a separate unanimous resolution, the U.N. declared Pope Benedict XVI to be "Jewish" and "possibly Buddhist" despite his Catholic baptism, confirmation, papal election, and long history of pro-Jesus sentiment.

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    Persecution Politics: Nazi Fever

    One of the recent propaganda tactics of the right wing has been to appropriate the leftist language of discrimination and civil rights to argue that liberal elites are persecuting white Christian conservatives. The most extreme form of this tactic is the Nazi attack, according to which liberals are portrayed as Nazis or fascists in order to represent them as brutal oppressors of helpless conservative victims. Commentators on the right have revised history to represent fascism as a leftist movement. They have invented or exaggerated associations between Democrats and Nazis.

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    What's the Matter with New York? What Doug Hoffman's Election Loss Means for America's Future

    In his book, What's the Matter with Kansas, Thomas Frank documented the emergence of an angry populist movement in the prairielands. Christian fundamentalists and anti-abortion activists had exploited the anxiety of working class midwesterners by fabricating a persuasive myth of persecution. According to the myth, a tyrannical minority of liberal elites in control of the media and judiciary seek to repress the religious practices and traditions of "regular Americans" whom they despise and disdain.

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    Congratulations, Deadman!

    Hello dagsters. I'm happy to announce the marriage of one of our legendary founders, the man who puts the D in dagblog, the blogger with a thousand questions and inordinately large sunglasses: Deadman. He was married to the lovely Mrs. Deadman on Halloween night in Saratoga Springs, New York. There have been reports of widespread despair among eligible women across the nation.

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    Persecution Politics: Beck Predicts Dollar Collapse, American Land Sold to China and Russia, Polar Bears Executed by 'Ivan'

    Last month, Glenn Beck accused the Obama administration of deliberately instigating a national emergency in order to justify a totalitarian revolution. No disrespect to Mr. Beck's investigative skills, but his account was short on details. He had not determined what kind of emergency would occur, when it would happen, or whether the revolution would be communist, fascist, or some monstrous hybrid of the two. (Fascmunism?)

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    Persecution Politics: Bill Kristol Says, Rage On!

    One reason that right-wing commentators continue to spout paranoid hysteria is that no one has told them to shut up. OK, Keith Olbermann and a bunch of left-wing bloggers have told them to shut up, and the White House has indirectly implied that they should please keep it down. But the people who really have the power to undermine the conspiracists--the non-paranoid conservative leaders, or what's left of them--have not said a damn word about the wild accusations hurled by Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh or Michele Bachmann.

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