Europeans are torn about the best approach to fix their messed-up economies:  austerity (cutting government budgets and deficits) or stimulus (the government spending even more money and running up even bigger deficits in an effort to jump-start economic growth).  Austerity, as recommended by Germany, had been the plan, but recent elections in France and Greece have favored the pro-stimulus side.  Who is the role model for this position?  President Barack Obama and his stewardship of the American economy.  See  Germany,… Read more

The New York Times broke a shocking story: Joe Ricketts, an up-by-the-bootstraps billionaire whose varied holdings include a name-brand brokerage firm in Omaha, a baseball team in Chicago, herds of bison in Wyoming and a start-up news Web site in New York, wanted to be a player in the 2012 election. On Thursday he was, though not in the way he had intended. Word that Mr. Ricketts had considered bankrolling a $10 million advertising campaign linking President Obama to the… Read more

The blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng, whom we have been blogging about, has been released and has arrived in the United States, where he will be a fellow at New York University.  Melinda Henneberger writes about the human rights issue Chen has been battling: The day of Mei Shunping’s fifth forced abortion in China was “the saddest day of my life,’’ she told a congressional subcommittee this week. The cause that human rights activist Chen Guangcheng has so long championed… Read more

Yesterday was Ascension Day, marking the resurrected Christ’s return to His Father.  Pastor Reeder quotes the classic Bible scholar Paul E. Kretzmann on what the Ascension means: “By His exaltation and ascension the Son of Man, also according to His human body, has entered into the full and unlimited use of His divine omnipresence. His gracious presence is therefore assured to His congregation on earth. He is now nearer to His believers than He was to His disciples in the… Read more

So says the Obama administration.  Rod Dreher  comments: Remember how no clergy member will be forced to perform same-sex marriages against their will. If the Obama administration has its way, all US military chaplains will have to do so. Excerpt: “The Obama administration “strongly objects” to provisions in a House defense authorization bill that would prohibit the use of military property for same-sex “marriage or marriage-like” ceremonies, and protect military chaplains from negative repercussions for refusing to perform ceremonies that… Read more

Say you get a good job in the environs of our nation’s capital. (The region has some of the country’s lowest unemployment rates, with jobs in government, high-tech, and the military-industrial complex.)  Your choices of where to live are the District of Columbia, Maryland, or Virginia. Maryland has just chosen to raise its income tax rates to match those of D.C., so they will be tied for fourth highest in the nation.  Virginia’s taxes, on the other hand, are not… Read more

A judge in a Virginia lawsuit over posting the Ten Commandments in a public school has proposed cutting out the first few that are about God and allowing the rest of them to be displayed.  (The so-called “First Table” is about love of God; the “Second Table” is about love of neighbor.) Could the Ten Commandments be reduced to six, a federal judge asked Monday. Would that neutralize the religious overtones of a commandments display that has the Giles County… Read more

A lot of people don’t like either the Republican or the Democratic candidate.  Many people believe politics has gotten too extreme and want to vote for a centrist.  Quite a few people are sick of so much partisanship, believing that our hard times call for a national unity slate.  Lots of people believe our political system, with its caucuses and in-person rubber-stamping conventions, is antiquated and that the internet holds promise for greater participation in our democracy. So Americans Elect… Read more

This is Natalie, whose parents took a picture of her every day of her life, then animated the photos so as to show her reaching 10 years old in 1 minute 25 seconds. Read more

President Clinton was hailed by the liberal media as “the first black president”–on the basis of his soulfulness, sexual appetites, and other racist stereotypes–even though there would be an actual black president a few years later.  Now Newsweek is hailing President Obama as “the first gay president” with a cover story by Andrew Sullivan about alleged affinities between being biracial and being gay.  (Never mind that gays had been disillusioned with the president for not doing anything for them until… Read more

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