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Rain Dance

the best kind of baptismToday's comic stems, believe it or not, from watching the Olympic balance beam competition. It's such an odd sport that I began wondering about its origins, so I turned to Google whereupon I discovered its use in physical education stems from about the mid-1800s when they used real tree trunks suspended off the ground, or even over rivers. By the 1930s it had more or less been civilized into the shape we're now familiar with. Simple as that.

Then Olga Korbut and Nadia Comaneci came along in the 1970s and the balance beam went high-tech with improved surfaces and passive suspensions. The better not to break their gymnastic little backs with.

As usual, Google refused to release my curious little mind. So once the balance beam mystery was solved I got to thinking about where the rite of baptism originated. Unfortunately, details for that was a bit more murky but I discovered that there are four distinct types of baptisms:

(1) Aspersion, which is the sprinkling of water on the head. (And, yes, I should have had our Pope-ish Pup wheedling on the guy's head but even I have my limits.)

(2) Affusion, which is the act of pouring of water over the head.

(3) Immersion, in which part or all of the body is immersed in water. This can be also accompanied by affusion.

(4) Submersion, which means the entire body is doused.

I was delighted to know about this because in the process I also learned that the many and varied Christian sects don't all employ the same method of baptism, meaning that most denominations are spinning their sacramental wheels. The practical upshot of which is that many of our pious brethren are going to arrive at the Pearly Gates expecting to graduate to the next level, only to discover they arrived short a required elective.

Saint Peter: "What do you mean he 'sprinkled' you?"


Hmm, I wonder which creed it is? Guess we'll just never know.


are you registered to vote?Okay, enough of that nonsense.

Are you registered to vote? Are you sure? Let me ask that again...


If not 100%  then go here and find your state.


Finally, Amalgamated Bank is America's only union-owned bank. Which is why the Democratic National Committee just deposited all its funds with them. Good move, guys.



end rant

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Oh, That Mitt Paul.

big fat liarHere's a stunner... under the Romney-Ryan tax plan Mitt Romney would pay 0.82% tax.


Curious about how much more the middle-class will be taxed under a president Romney? Use this handy calculator and find out.


Speaking of Paul Ryan, here's ten reasons he's worse for Romney that Palin was for McCain. And here twelve things you really ought to know about him.


Today's video is a snapshot of Paul Ryan: "I hope he's taken his blood pressure medication." Hardy-har-har!

An exclusive Raging Pencils bumper-sticker!
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Get yours now at zazzle.com


President Obama's Top 50 Accomplishments

Number 24: Eliminated Catch-22 in Pay Equality Laws

barack obamaSigned Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009, giving women who are paid less than men for the same work the right to sue their employers after they find out about the discrimination, even if that discrimination happened years ago. Under previous law, as interpreted by the Supreme Court in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., the statute of limitations on such suits ran out 180 days after the alleged discrimination occurred, even if the victims never knew about it.

For the full list of his 50 finest achievements read the Washington Monthly story.


And now our Chart of the Day: Number of Marriages and Infant Baptisms per 1000 Catholics.

catholic marriages and baptisms

Much larger version of chart here.

Republican Job Creation Update

republican job creationCongress is in recess until early September. No jobs are being created, no farms are being saved.

For the full 2001-2012 list of Republican sloth please visit republicanjobcreation.com.


Fox News Lies. Dump Fox News

Fox News Lies! F
ox News is going to great lengths to make it appear that president Obama is planning to gut Medicare, even though that's Paul Ryan's fondest wish. (The $700 billion cut from Medicare refers to Medicare Part D, a Bush-era black hole filled with insurance cronies.)

Click here to help Drop Fox from your cable system.


If you enjoy Raging Pencils, might I also recommend:
born again pagan
the infinite cat project

Can't make sense of the news? Try our selection of progressive nosh:
DailykosCrooks and LiarsThink ProgressTalking Points Memo

Today's Google Chow.

Dog in pope hat peeing on aspirant's leg.

Baptismee: Hmm. Good thing I requested aspersion.

Caption: Confused by his dyslexia Frank gets baptized in the Church of Dog.

Overturn Citizens United