July 26, 2014
"Perhaps that is why, in a town with many other kinds of churches, that young man in the fetal position and his friend found their way to San Carlos Cathedral.Maybe, in fact, for two thousand years the Church has existed, with all her flaws, so that on the afternoon of April 3, 2014, that one lost sheep could for half an hour find solace under the portico. Maybe eighteen years ago I was confirmed and took my First Communion simply so that on that one afternoon I could be positioned to run and get Fr. Patrick. Maybe I needed to be inspired and humbled by that anonymous young woman who, herself worn-out and anxious, had sought help for her friend. Who had let him take the bench, the shade, while she stood in the hot sun - Stabat Mater - pleading. To be even the weakest, most invisible, least useful, member is still to participate in the Mystical Body of Christ. Even to know who to run to - someone stronger, someone better, for when all else fails, we think “Call a priest” - is to be everything.“Are you Catholic?”Never have I so rejoiced to say yes. Weak, yes. Broken, yes. On fire with love-yes. Am I Catholic? Yes. To the marrow of my bones. Yes I am."

For All the Forgotten - Aleteia

July 26, 2014
"Before I found the actual Church, libraries were the closest thing to a church I knew. I can’t imagine my faith, or my life, without books."

The ALOUD series at the L.A. Public Library

July 26, 2014

July 26, 2014
"If we wish to improve the UK and the US economies by encouraging investment and the consequent growth of productivity, we must recognise that management remuneration systems need to be revised. This is a necessary part of making capitalism work well and is therefore very similar to the need to ensure that we have a competitive rather than a rent-gouging economy. The key is not the size of management’s pay, but the incentives that come from bonuses, options and other additions to basic salaries. Things would be greatly improved if chief executives’ incomes were limited to their basic salaries. Suggesting this would produce such a howl of rage that even putting the idea into the public domain would be a useful ploy. Faced with the threat, it may be possible to introduce a code of best practice in which bonuses were dependent on things other than profits."

Maybe CEOs are to blame for weak US business investment | AEIdeas

July 26, 2014
"The deliberate creation of a separate section to authorize a separate federal entity is not a drafting error. The repeated and deliberate reference to one section but not another is not a drafting error. The refusal to grant equal authority to two programs authorized by two separate sections is not a drafting error. The decision to specifically reference section X but not section Y in a portion of a law that grants spending or tax authority is not a drafting error.
The clear text of the law repeatedly demonstrates that plans purchased via federal exchanges were never meant to be treated the same as plans purchased by state-based exchanges. Despite its assertions, the IRS was never granted the statutory authority to hand out tax credits related to plans purchased via a federal health exchange."

No, Halbig Did Not Gut Obamacare Because Of A “Drafting Error”

July 26, 2014
"Why this GOP inflation obsession? Maybe it’s a legacy of how rapidly rising prices in the 1970s swept conservatives into power in both America and Great Britain. Maybe it’s how many conservative talk radio shows are sponsored by gold companies who stand to benefit from inflation hysteria. Maybe it’s a belief that every single economic metric must be a nightmare under President Obama.
But whatever the reason, the GOP’s preoccupation with phantom price increases is distracting it from the actual problems afflicting the U.S. economy — such as low social mobility, stagnant wages, and the decline of middle-class work. The price of not addressing those issues is rising every year. And that is the kind of inflation worth obsessing over."

The weird obsession that’s ruining the GOP - The Week

July 26, 2014
"It doesn’t often get reported, but the key indicator that has been decisive for the last several elections is how people making below the median income vote,” Podhorzer said this week. Black or white, Asian or Hispanic, male or female, young or old, it’s that simple. To reach these voters, Podhorzer believes, candidates need to focus on the economic issues of the working class. “Economic populism decides who wins elections in America,” he said. Now, as a union man, Podhorzer has an interest in encouraging politicians to cater to this demographic. But the data bears out his claim. In addition to working-class voters’ Democratic margin, their turnout rate is also an important variable. Though they make up half of all earners, they consistently comprise less than half of the electorate, because the richer people are, the more likely they are to vote. But working-class turnout has varied over the years. In 2004, Bush won despite remarkably high turnout among this group. But since then, the larger this group’s share of the electorate, the better Democrats have done. If working-class turnout in 2010 had been at its 2006 or 2012 level—about 5 points higher—the election would have been neutral rather than a Republican wave, Podhorzer observed."

The One Number That Will Decide This Year’s Election - Atlantic Mobile

July 26, 2014
Jesus is from somewhere. Yes, the eternal Son of God transcends time and space. He was with the Father and the Spirit in love and glory “before the world was” (Jn. 17: 5). But in his Incarnation, Jesus identified with a tribe, with a genealogy, with a hometown.
He “went and lived in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled: ‘He shall be called a Nazarene” (Matt. 2:23). Some of Jesus’ contemporaries rejected him because of where he was from. Nathaniel infamously asked Philip, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” (Jn. 1:46). His question is entirely sensible. Nazareth was a powerless backwater, not the sort of urban, elite center that we are told drives cultural change. Philip’s response wasn’t an argument about Nazareth; it was simply to say, “Come and see.”
For some, the issue wasn’t just Nazareth particularly but rootedness itself. “But we know where this man comes from, and when the Christ appears, no one will know where he comes from” (Jn. 7: 27). They were quite mistaken. It is “the Beast” who is from nowhere, “rising out of the sea” (Rev. 13:1), representing humanity in its origins-denying self-exaltation (Rev. 13:18). Our Lord Jesus, on the other hand, is from “the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee
July 26, 2014

ourpresidents:

President Kennedy was known for being a fast and voracious reader.

As Mrs. Kennedy once said, “He’d read walking, he’d read at the table, at meals, he’d read after dinner, he’d read in the bathtub…He really read all the times you don’t think you have time to read.”

 In fact, JFK could read 1,200 words per minute. Check out this letter from JFK’s press secretary, Pierre Salinger, discussing JFK’s talent.

-from the JFK Library 

(via retrocampaigns)

July 26, 2014
"What has distinguished Christian ethics historically is its belief in the transcendent dignity of human beings as image-bearers of God. The Christian picture of the cosmos as rationally ordered by an utterly transcendent of God, emptied out the world of spirits, gods and other intentionalities, and left it up for humanity to “rule over.” This idea of the transcendental dignity of human beings was carried over into the Enlightenment notion of human rights, now properly reincorporated and contextualized into Catholic ethics since Vatican II. It is fair to say that this idea is the foundation of our civilization. It is also fair to say that this idea is in trouble nowadays. So there is a strong voice in me that wants to stand up for the purely instrumental value of animals.One of the memes that is quite popular in our society is the absolutely cretinous pseudo-utilitarian idea that the moral worth of a thing is proportional to the subjective feelie-feels that thing experiences. To believe this is to radically relativize, even deny, the intrinsic dignity of every human being and is therefore, fundamentally, to overturn the foundations of our civilization. This is why I am terrified of the animal rights movement, as a sign and bellwether of how low our civilization sinks. When future generations want a shorthand to describe the barbarity of our present-day culture, they will say that you could go to jail for beating a dog, but you could get a subsidy for murdering a child in the womb."

A Dog’s Breakfast

July 26, 2014
"In the late 1990s, after Bill Clinton campaigned for reelection against the Gingrich Congress’s assault on government spending, George W. Bush decided that he too would make congressional Republicans his foil. In September 1999, when GOP budget hawks tried to cut the earned-income tax credit, the Texas governor declared, “I don’t think they ought to balance their budget on the backs of the poor.” Now the same pattern is repeating itself. In 2012, Mitt Romney boasted that he was “severely conservative.” He chose Paul Ryan as his running mate in large measure to mobilize Republicans who loved Ryan’s assault on the welfare state. But Romney and Ryan lost in part because Barack Obama, like Clinton before him, scared Americans about the GOP’s assault on government. Moreover, as in the late 1990s, the budget deficit is going down. It’s easy to see why compassionate conservatism is back. It’s harder to see it helping Republicans all that much.As a result, potential GOP presidential candidates are falling over one another to run as Bush did in 2000"

Paul Ryan and the Cycle of Compassionate Conservatism - Peter Beinart - The Atlantic

July 26, 2014
"At 53, D’Souza looks only slightly older than he did a generation ago. His hair is graying at the temples and his face has gotten fuller. His sympathies and work ethic have not changed much either. But he has expanded his range from author and public speaker to filmmaker, serving as a writer and director of both 2016: Obama’s America and America: Imagine a World Without Her. He has also struck a series of road bumps. In October 2012, D’Souza was forced to step down as president of Kings College in Manhattan after running afoul of the evangelical school’s sexual mores; he divorced his wife of two decades; and he pled guilty to using straw donors to aid the candidacy of Wendy Long, a friend who ran for the U.S. Senate in 2012. In the eyes of progressives, those sins and crimes made D’Souza a moral hypocrite and phony. In the eyes of critics, he trots out straw men rather than concrete arguments. But both were symptoms rather than causes of his change intellectually (and perhaps spiritually) from a generation ago. D’Souza has not so much broken bad as fallen victim to pride."

What Happened to Dinesh D’Souza? - Mark Stricherz - The Atlantic

July 26, 2014
Pope Francis made a surprise visit on Friday to the Vatican’s canteen for its employees. He turned up there unexpected shortly after noon much to everybody’s astonishment and after taking a tray and cutlery joined the line with all the employees to be served his lunch. Staff at the canteen said he ate pasta without sauce and cod served with grilled tomatoes. He ate his lunch at a long table alongside a group of various employees

Pope Francis made a surprise visit on Friday to the Vatican’s canteen for its employees. He turned up there unexpected shortly after noon much to everybody’s astonishment and after taking a tray and cutlery joined the line with all the employees to be served his lunch. Staff at the canteen said he ate pasta without sauce and cod served with grilled tomatoes. He ate his lunch at a long table alongside a group of various employees

July 19, 2014
"The Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is a weeklong event that began Monday with the highlight the 2.5-mile parade to honor the appearance of the Blessed Mother to the Carmelite prior general, St. Simon Stock, in 1251, offering him a brown cloak. In Hammonton, the parade began as a way for the new immigrants to give thanks for safe passage to the United States and a new beginning.”It’s great, There’s not a lot of tradition left in life,” Vivona said in between joking and shaking hands with men he knew and fielding work calls from employees wondering if the carnival was doing hand stamps that day. “There’s only a few left. This thing keeps going.”“Blue Devils!” the high school band roared in front of him, and the horns joined in with the drummers. They quit marching in place and moved forward.The celebration is organized by the St. Mary of Mount Carmel Society in Hammonton, and the organizers still believe in the original message of thanks and prayer. The men that run the society are mostly in the family: The traditions are passed from father to son."

In Hammonton, a procession honors the saints - Philly.com

July 19, 2014
"It is not clear in what sense Casey remains an “anti-abortion Democrat.” He votes the same way as pro-choice Democrats on judicial nominations and subsidies for insurance plans that cover abortions. The bigger problem here is that the bill Casey is planning to vote for does more than reverse the effect of the Hobby Lobby decision.Obamacare authorized the federal government to require that insurance plans cover preventive health services for women, and the Obama administration decided that a broad range of contraceptives — including some that may act as abortifacients — should be included. Some organizations have objected either to providing this subset of contraceptives or contraceptives in general, and raised legal claims under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act against being forced to do so.The Senate Democrats’ bill would take away this legal defense, and not only in the case of contraception. The Obama administration could decide next year that surgical abortion should be covered as a preventive health service too, or the Hillary Clinton administration could do so in a few years, without having to amend the text of Obamacare. And the bill Casey is voting for would mean that companies that object to providing surgical abortions would in that case no longer have a legal defense under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act."

Bob Casey vs. Religious Freedom | National Review Online

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