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"Give me your tired, your poor

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore

Send these, the homeless, tempest-toss'd to me

I lift my lamp beside the Golden Door."

Hundreds of Oregon Corporations Escape the Minimum Tax

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Half of the US Is Broke

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The myth of the Christian country

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“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

FDR, 2nd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1937

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Middle East friendship chart

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Corporations enriching shareholders

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Facts not fiction on universal gun background checks

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"Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere"

Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The GOP - Not One of US.

Wall Street, our new criminal class...       

   Business in the USA is sitting on $2 trillion dollars refusing to invest their own funds in expanding and hiring workers.  

   When one adds to this the reserves that banks, equity firms and hedge funds have - the picture is clear - "capitalism in the USA is on strike." 

   The engine of our economy - the spirit of entrepreneurship is not in evidence today.  So much for business being dynamic and risk taking. 

   They hire K- Street lobbyists and their ilk at the state level because they are averse to risk taking - pleading for tax breaks, tax credits and endless loopholes. 

   The "business of business" in America today is not about job creation, it's about wealth hoarding and redistribution from the middle class to the top 1%. 

   So for those who claim government doesn't create jobs, my response is that business doesn't either until given "corporate welfare" by government.  The fact is that the private and public sector are highly integrated, something the anti-tax, anti-government Tea Party types don't understand. 

   Job creation requires public/private partnerships but the benefits of such collaboration should go to the 99% not just the 1%.  

 

RAD'S

WEBSITE PICKS: 


 

  • A Middle East View      

Rami G. Khouri

  • RealClearPolitics:

Realclearpolitics

  • Jim Hightower:   

Jimhightower.com

  • Robert Reich:

Robert Reich

  • Thomas Friedman: 

Friedman Column

  • Nicholas Kristof: 

Kristof Column

Oregon's Motto: 

She flies with her own wings! 


Hard Times in Oregon: 

Hardtimes

The Oregon story - the rich get richer, the poor and middle class lose ground.  Check this front page Oregonian article out. 

Oregon wage gap widens

Homelessness in Oregon - a call to action

Chuck Currie The crisis of homelessness


  

      Oregon's coming 34th out of 41 states in the Obama "Race to the Top" illustrates the failure of leadership from Governor Kitzhaber and his predecessors as they have built an educational bridge to nowhere called high stakes testing.

   Instead of being in a race to the top we seem to be dumpster diving to the bottom despite doing education reform since 1991.  Insanity is termed doing the same thing over and over again.  When can we put a fork in this stupidity? 

   To confuse matters more the Oregonian's editorial board has pontificated that this was a lost opportunity to get federal funding for innovation.  How firing principals and teachers equals innovation is a mystery to me.   

   The way to reform schools is to reduce class sizes, to encourage teacher collaboration and to support their continued education.  High stakes testing and performance based assessment of teachers are NOT the answer!    

   If you want students to succeed you first have to resolve the issues they confront before they come to school.  Children who face poverty, hunger, homelessness, health care issues and family instability require wrap around services for them and their families, 24/7.   

   Every child needs a safe home of their own and parents who know how to be good parents.   

There is only one way to address this impending crisis.  Schools must have a stable source of funding. Until that happens - we will limp from crisis to crisis.   

 

 

    

    Why does the richest nation in the world have the moral blight of homeless people?

Invisible People

http://www.npr.org


 Homelessness

    Connecting the dots between homelessness & hunger in Oregon and Washington County: 

Homelessness:  

•    The faces of the homeless are families with children, single men and women, vets, and many who are impaired. It is estimated that in Washington County up to 56% of homelessness occurs to families.

Hunger:

•    Hunger is highest among single mother households (10%) and poor families (15%) as well as renters, unemployed workers and minority households. 

     In Washington County, Oregon's "economic engine," the divide between the affluent and the working poor continues.  We have a 19,000 unit gap in affordable low income rental housing.  County political and business leaders are indifferent to this crisis...   

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If you want to e-mail me "comments" use my Yahoo back up e-mail address russdondero@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAD Lines

See my FACEBOOK @ Russ

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  • He lost by 2.9 million votes...

  • He's a con artist...

  • He's a pathological liar... 

  • He's a failed business man...

  • He's a fascist... 

 

Trump & The Mob

http-//www.politico.com#13C5A6C


Trump's role models are Vladmir Putin and Benito Mussolini.  He has contempt for our checks and balances system.  He wants to "rule" not govern like a strong man, a despot.  He will shredd the Constitution anytime he feels the urge to do so and like all despots he only listens to his inner circle.  And he is paranoid and narcissistic. 

     

Hundreds of Oregon Corporations Escape the Minimum Tax

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Half of the US Is Broke

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The myth of the Christian country

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Housing Needs in Oregon 

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"There are men who believe that democracy... is limited or measured by a kind of mystical and artificial fate [and that] tyranny and slavery have become the surging wave of the future..." 

FDR, 3rd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1940

  • "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." - Mayer Amschel Rothschild


  • Miguel de Cervantes, from The Duke - "I accuse you of being an idealist, a bad poet and an honest man."  Cervantes' response - "Guilty as charged, I have never had the courage to believe in nothing."   from Man of La Mancha  


Professor Kingfield, from the Paper Chase

   "I'm not a teacher: only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead – ahead of myself as well as you." 

- George Bernard Shaw

 

BLOGS:

From the Left Wing:

Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman - The New York Times

Democracy Now
democracynow.org

The Daily Kos

dailykos.com

Blue Oregon

blueoregon.com

 

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." 

- Emilie Buchwald 

 


    "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." 

- Justice John Paul Stevens, Bush v. Gore, 2001

    The state of our union - check out the map, it's a reality check for those who can't figure out why people are so ticked off... 

americanobserver

 



"Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war"

- John Adams

"Loyalty to country always.  Loyalty to government when it deserves it."  

- Mark Twain  

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  

- George Santayana 

"The love of one's country is a natural thing.  But why should love stop at the border?" 

- Pablo Casals

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned; the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." 

- William Butler Yeats  

 

"You see things; and you say, 'Why?' 

But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"  

- George Bernard Shaw, "Back to Methuselah" (1921) 

"...the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society...  The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government..."  

- James Madison, Federalist Papers #11 

"Why … should we have government? Why not each individual take to himself the whole fruit of his labor, without having any of it taxed away?”   

The legitimate object of government, is to do for the people whatever they need to have done, but which they can not do, at all, or can not do, so well, for themselves – in their separate and individual capacities … There are many such things … roads, bridges and the like; providing for the helpless young and afflicted; common schools … the criminal and civil [justice] departments."    

- Abraham Lincoln 

Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society  

- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. 

"Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests, which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates, but Parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole..." 

- Edmund Burke  

“It is a maxim among these lawyers that whatever hath been done before may legally be done again, and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind.  These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities, to justify the most iniquitous opinions.”  

- Jonathan Swift 

A RAD rhetorical question - Were Madison & Marx "Marxists"?  

 

"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments."   

- James Madison

 

FYI:  

Squareapace has closed the "comments" section on my blog as a way around this contact me via my Yahoo e-mail address posted on the left sidebar...   

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Monday
Apr252005

OREGON'S CIM/CAM SCAM

school kids.jpgI was on a sabbatical leave in '91 when the Educational Act for the 21st Century was passed by Oregon's legislature and signed by Governor Roberts. Oregonians love to be on the cutting edge of social change.  We invented the initiative, referendum and recall in the early 20th century, in the '60s under Governor McCall we passed The Bottle Bill, saved Oregon's beaches and in '73 passed Senate Bill 100 - setting up Oregon's land use planning system.  In the '90s under Governor Kitzhaber we created the Oregon Health Care Plan. 
    But sometimes, as the saying goes - "be careful what you wish for - you may get it."  Such caution was thrown to the wind as school reform politics came online in Oregon under the leadership of Vera Katz, then a state legislator - to be implemented by a succession of Superintendents of Public Instruction beginning with Norma Paulus. 
    The CIM - Certificate of Intermediate Mastery although originally designed to create 'outcomes based' learning benchmarks, including portfolios and family service centers in public schools - gradually morphed into a testing regime at grades 3, 5, 8 and 10.  Now with NCLB - we have a 'teaching to the test' system throughout grades 1-10 in Oregon and the nation.  Now the State Board of Education is about to march up the next San Juan Hill of educational reform and require high school graduates in Oregon pass the CAM - the Certificate of Advanced Mastery, yet another series of mandated tests. 
    The rationale of both CIM and CAM advocates is to create a 'world class' work force in Oregon.  Of course that was the original intent in '91. What happened on the way to 'educational nirvana'?  Well the passage of Measures 5, 47 and 50 - which have gutted Oregon's ability to fund current operations - let alone the CIM/CAM.  And the disinvestment has forced local schools to absorb the cost of implementing the CIM, taking money out of the regular curriculum. 
    Classroom time devoted to 'teaching to the tests' is taken away from the 3 Rs, the sciences, social sciences and the arts.  In '91 - the cost of the CIM/CAM was rarely mentioned, but some educated guessing put it at @ $1 billion over a decade.  Needless to say no such investment was made.  But the key is that the CIM/CAM regime was NEVER presented with ANY evidence [research] to back up assumptions behind the plan. I was in the Capital during the debate.  You only saw Vera - nobody else.  In fact the leadership of the OEA was told to 'take a hike' and only handpicked teachers, superintendents and other community leaders were welcomed into the discussion to implement the concept after the legislation was passed.
    The legislature considered the idea a 'free ride' because there was no fiscal impact attached to the concept.  Since that time, Oregon kids and schools have struggled to meet the standards of the CIM. The costs of implementing the plan have been put on the shoulders of local schools. The CAM has been on the shelf except in the case of a few school districts. The political and corporate leadership which has backed the CIM/CAM continue to sing the praises of the plan - despite clear evidence of its failure to move Oregon students ahead of the pack - in the nation or beyond. 
    The Oregon Progress Board last week concluded that K-12 achievement was declining.  The assertion of Katz et al who promised the CIM/CAM would take us to the educational 'promised land' by the turn of the 21st century is still borne. We are years behind schedule - and the goal posts are continually pushed back. But CIM/CAM never made educational sense to those closest to it - teachers, students and parents! 
    Neo-cons are in love with theories of 'market driven' public policy; neo-libs are in love with 'accountability'.  Educational research tells us that success in school is Driven factors like 1) parental involvement in their children's learning, e.g. reading to pre-schoolers 0-3 is fundamental; 2) children coming from safe homes and safe neighborhoods; and 3) attending schools with small classes with 4) well trained teachers who are mentored and encouraged to continue their own education.  The one factor which seems to relate most directly to success in school is coming from a 'middle class home'.
    As long as kids come to school hungry, from dysfunctional families, from the ranks of the poor (1 of 4 Oregon kids) - success in school will NOT be sustainable, no matter how much we test them, even the CIM data shows this. We've put millions of dollars annually into a testing scheme which bankrolls the Oregon Department of Education and their corporate clients which invent the tests. Business wins, not kids, not teachers, not schools.     The failure of so many kids, teachers and schools to pass the test regime [failure rates very from 20% to 80%  depending on schools and grade level] simply passes the blame to them not to the real culprit - politicians on both sides of the political fence who are looking for easy fixes.  It's the old blame the 'victim' game. Who are we kidding?  The CIM/CAM are a sham.
    Move families into safe affordable homes with family wage jobs and you will solve the so-called educational gap.  That's just what we did at the end of WW II by investing in the GI Bill bringing on the most significant growth in our economy ever.  It's about shifting money from GUNS to BUTTER.  You get what you pay for.  When you starve schools of funding, you set students up for failure.
    Does anyone think that a battery of standarized tests given over several days, several times per year really measure one's ability?  At best good 'test takers' are just that 'test takers' not critical thinkers, writers, problem solvers.  Why do college admissions officers look at a student's GPA, SAT or ACT scores, essays, counselor recommendations and the ratings of high schools?  Nobody looks at CIM or CAM scores! They are merely diversions from the hard job of teaching kids the knowledge, critical thinking and collaboration skills necessary for survival in the 21st century.
    Why do Oregon's corporate and political leaders believe ONE SIZE FITS ALL?  Do you REALLY think President Bush could pass his own NCLB test in Texas - the TASS test?  The way he fractures syntax one wonders how he ever got into Yale, let alone graduated?  Answer - he was a 'legacy' admit... To make the critique bi-partisan, the 'policy wonk' who helped Vera create Oregon's testing regime was the same 'wonk' who advised Hillary Clinton on health care reform in '92! I guess this time it was 2 strikes and you're out.  And Vera, Norma et al have never been classroom teachers! 
    How about a task force of K-12 teachers to study how corporate Oregon's can survive in the global market place?  Come on folks, what's the excuse for continuing to promote a costly hoax?  

Saturday
Apr232005

LINE OF THE DAY

Can't write anything."All politics is local" - Tip O'Neill (D-Mass), former Speaker of the US House
"Politics is the sport played by adults" - Bobby Kennedy
"Think globally, act locally" - author unknown
"I can see a new day" - song by Pete Seeger

Saturday
Apr232005

GOLF & GLOBAL WARMING?  

I played golf Friday at Portland's Eastmoreland GC - a  city owned course.  The course was a bit shaggy and my game matched that description.  But hey, it was a nice ride around a beautiful course in a neat part of town, near Reed College.  On the way into town to join a friend the roads were pretty clear, just the usual mid-morning @ 10 a.m. traffic.  But on the way home @ 4 p.m. I got stuck in the Friday afternoon traffic mess.  No matter what roads I took to avoid traffic snarls nothing worked.  I am so glad that I don't have to commute to work and that my consumer goals, including golf, can be reach within 15 to 20 minute rides from home in the 'Grove.  However, this experience reinforced the discussion I was listening to on the way home on NPR about our reliance on petroleum based products for energy, for food production et al.  This is not a renewable resource, yet we continue to act as if there was no end in sight.  Humm.  Well, Friday evening on NOW, formerly the Bill Moyers PBS program, the topic was global warming.  I began to make some connections between the two programs.  Reliance on petroleum based products not only makes us dependent on other, often politically unstable nations, but it means as long as we continue to live a life of petro consumers - we will be forced to protect our interest in access to such products by both economic and military means.  After all, Iraq has 1/10th of the world's untapped oil reserves.  Why do you think we are establishing permanent military bases there - despite claims to the contrary?  And this cycle of dependence will accelerate as China grows into an industrial giant - to say nothing of other developing nations.  The world will be split even more into developed nations vs. undeveloped nations - between rich and poor, north and south.  A truly Malthusian world of the 'haves vs. the have nots' will become ever more clear - sub Saharan Africa is the canary in the mineshaft already.  Now how does this relate to global warming -  an idea which 'W et al' consider a 'hoax'.  Here's the connection.  As long as our economy is based on the use hydrocarbon based energy sources which create CO2 there is no end in sight of the depletion of the polar ice caps as global warming continues to heat up our atmosphere and traps more CO2 which cannot be absorbed by the world's forests - which are also being depleted by industrialization all over the world.  The polar caps absorb heat; the Amazon CO2.  So, being petro dependent means global warming will continue to put mother earth at risk in all kinds of ways.  The thought of Miami sinking into the Gulf - a likely scenario  however appealing politically is not a pleasant thought in the long run.  Where would all those folks move?  God knows Oregon has enough expat 'Californians'!  Now what does this have to do with golf?  Well, by driving 60 miles into and back from Portland to play golf - I helped create more CO2 gas.  I know, so does my incessant talking/bloggin.  Being stuck in traffic for over an hour - created even more.  But if we were to organize urban and rural areas around the globe as economically self-sustaining 'city states' - the need to depend on a global marketplace would be lessened.  And with that - the stress we put on the earth and its resources would be diminished.  Along with this - we could develop regional economies based on locally renewable resources.  Isn't that the lesson of Earth Day?  We could also create alternatives to the highly centralized, monopolistic political economies which have been the hallmark since the Renaissance and the onset of the industrial age.  And this could be done by using 'real' market capitalism to support 'smart growth' in contrast to a corporatist system which uses tax payer dollars to subsidize an economy of economic oligopolies which use tax breaks to outsource jobs,  build bigger 'box' stores, and force lower wages down people's throats all over the world.  Per capita income in Oregon has been slipping since the mid '60s  [see  Oregon Progress Board report, www.oregon.gov/DAS/OPB].  The modern state - whatever its political form - is a dinosaur which has lost its political and economic compass.  For more of an idea of what I'm talking about here - check out the work of Dan Kemmis (who we had on campus last October) - Community & The Politics of Place; and This Sovereign Land.  I'm not, nor is Kemmis, arguing for some form of anarchy.  What we need is to return to the Greek and Roman notion of  the city state - classical Athens, medieval Venice updated for the 21st century.  I would build on the work of those in the '90s who argued the USA is really 9 nations and go a step futher - to suggest we are a collection of metropolitan city states surrounded by greenbelts.  This concept is also very Gandhian.  Gandhi argued that British colonialism extracted raw materials from India, as it did from the American colonies in a one way fashion.  In the process such 'globalism' extracted raw materials from those on the 'frontiers' of a global empire while destroying local economies which the Green Revolution was supposed to supplant and feed - which it doesn't.  We need to create sustainable local economies and local political institutions based on bio-regionalism - which can preserve urban and rural spaces.  Oregon at its best under Tom McCall had such a vision.  But we've lost that common ground as the passage of Measure 37 underscores [and as a poll taken by CFM highlights where over 60% of Oregonians feel private interest trumps public good].  Marx, in the Manifesto, argues that the capitalist is forced to move throughout the world breaking down "the Chinese Walls" of antiquity in the pursuit of new exploitable resources and new markets.  But the result of this 'globalism' is the 1) impoverishment of 2/3rds of the world's people; 2)  the dependency of the developed world upon the unlimited use of limited resources; and 3) the political subjugation of third world peoples under the presumably protective arms of an empire, now Pax Americana and the doctrine of 'preemptive war'. My generation paid the price of American 'exceptionalism' in SE Asia and the myriad conflicts spun off by the 'Cold War' - in The Congo, Cuba, Algeria et al.  The current generation is learning this hard lesson in the streets of Bagdad but also at home when they are caught in traffic jams as I was  - breathing bad air which increases asthma, cancer and that generic human condition - we call 'stress' - which comes out as 'road rage'.  As they used to say in the '60s - "where have all the flowers gone?"  Indeed.  When I was in DC last week, driving the gauntlet of the I-495 beltway - I sensed this was crazy!  And at Congressional GC - as beautiful and peaceful as it was - I noticed the sky was NOT blue - but on a sunny day was 'off white'.  Why?  When we lived in Carlisle, PA - we had blood red sunsets in the summer.  It was extraordinary.  But then I flew from BWI to New Orleans in August of '73 to the APSA and as we ascended we flew through, then above a layer of black smog extending down the east coast.  When I returned I installed an air conditioner to protect the lungs of our 2 month old son!  At best a temporary fix.  Well today, in Portland the sky was light blue...  But for how long?  At what price?  

Wednesday
Apr202005

LINE OF THE DAY

Can't write anything.   Gay Marriage / Last week the Oregon Supreme court nullified the 3000 marriage licenses between gay couples granted in Multnomah County last year.  However Justice Gillette appears to have opened a constitutional door to gay rights activists noting that  “County officials were entitled to have their doubts about the constitutionality of limiting marriage to the opposite-sex couples. But, marriage and the laws governing it are matters of statewide, not local, concern." In politics timing is everything.  Clearly the gay rights activists in Portland overplayed their hand and helped make Karl Rove's year!  So, this time let the legislature muddle through with civil unions, then after the session is over the legal challenge can be mounted if the results from the session are not satisfactory.  Battle over Bolton / C-SPAN's coverage of Tuesday's [April 19]  Senate Foreign Relations Committee debate on the Bolton UN ambassador nomination renews one's faith, for a nanno second, that the 'greatest deliberative body' in the world might live up to its self-image.  Hurray for Joe Biden 'fearlessness' and kudos to Senators Sarbanes, Dodd, Kerry,  Boxer and Obama for asking the 'right questions' of Chair Lugar - a good guy caught between a 'rock & a hard place'.  It's also heartening to see GOP Senators trying to hit a bipartisan tone - thanks to Voinovich, Hagel and today Chafee. Keep hope alive!  The Pledge  / Our legislature debates a volunteer daily Pledge of Allegiance, while the budget building process comes to a silent halt.  This reminds one of the old saying that "noboby is safe in Salem when the legislature is in session!"  I suggest the legislature get a life and do the people's businness, or  take a recess until the leadership is ready with a plan! 
Tuesday
Apr192005

THE OPIATE OF THE MASSES?  

Catholics (and the world) have a new Pope!  Benedict XVI - Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger from Germany.  The new Pope was a confidante of his predecessor so conventional wisdom is Benedict XVI  will  'stay the course' of Pope John Paul II's agenda.  Watching the unveiling on TV was like the scene from the Wizard of Oz when the drapes are drawn revealing the aged Wizard.  Surreal.  Let's hope Benedict XVI is more than his past as a doctrinal 'enforcer' fighting the "dictatorship of relativism" [for the record Marxists are not 'relativists but like the Pope - believers in revealed 'historial' not theological truth] ...   Given his age he may be merely a transitional figure in a turbulent age in which the Church faces an uncertain future.  Time will tell.  

For my liberal Catholic friends in denial:  Here's what Andrew Sullivan, a gay conservative who is also a reform-minded Catholic, has to say about his despair at the election of Cardinal Ratzinger:  THE POLITICAL ANALOGY: I was trying to explain last night to a non-Catholic just how dumb-struck many reformist Catholics are by the elevation of Ratzinger. And then I found a way to explain. This is the religious equivalent of having had four terms of George W. Bush only to find that his successor as president is Karl Rove. Get it now?