Church, Economic Reform and Consolation – UPDATED


In the comments section of this piece, some appear to be wondering whether I am simply "dismissing" the Note on Financial Reform. I can't do that, as I still have not read it.I do think the church is, as ever, caught upon the same wire it has danced upon since its founding, with one foot poised for the next step, hovering between earth and heaven and trying to reconcile both to each other, and trying to do so in the language and sensibilities to which its churchmen have been formed. Some … [Read more...]

As with every Vatican Pronouncement…

. . . take media reports of this one with a grain of salt.When my Southern Baptist friends read press accounts of news or statements coming from the Vatican, they sometimes write me saying, "what fresh hell is this? Was Jack Chick right? Is the Vatican a bunch of commies?"And I always have to remind them to "ignore the headlines; the headlines are about the press framing their preferred narrative, because they know that two days of blaring headlines promoting one narrative will … [Read more...]

"Up-to-$800" My Precious!

I have to be honest, I don't really understand this:The president’s Labor Day speech in Detroit featured an assertion that contained a number of warning signs that it might be an errant fact: “biggest middle-class tax cut in history.” [. . .] We decided to put the president’s claim to the test.We took an informal survey in our office and asked people what they thought the president’s statement meant. Everyone agreed he was claiming the biggest tax cut in terms of dollars.Imagine our surpr … [Read more...]

Labor Day: Steyn on 16 Tons — UPDATED

If Mark Steyn were not such a brilliant social analyst (here's my take on his latest book, After America) then I would wish him to be recognized as the pre-eminent scholar and appreciator of the American Songbook. As much as I value his political stuff, I love when Steyn writes about the arts, and most particularly when he writes about music, where he is knowledgeable, funny and infectiously enthusiastic.For Labor Day, Steyn gives us two songs about labor, "Ol' Man River" and "16 Tons," but … [Read more...]

Labor Day Look at Obama on Jobs – UPDATE

Inconguity, incongruity. Incongruity on its face!"OBAMA'S ENRON": the Solyndra failure has Rich Lowry wondering: Bush was flayed for Enron. Where does that put Obama and his green-energy pet?A gentle reminder: "Bush's Enron" was, in reality, much more "Clinton's Enron." Ken Lay golf-partnered with Bill Clinton and Lay, along with a number of Enron execs, traveled to India with Clinton and eventually profiting from the trip. And I mostly shrug about that. But I think it's worth remembering … [Read more...]

Let Obama Speak Before GOP Debate! UPDATED

The White House's disdain is palpable and so is the attempt to build a narrative:The speech will fall on the same night Texas Gov. Rick Perry makes his debut on the GOP 2012 debate stage. The Republican presidential field is set to take part in a debate, also scheduled to begin at 8 p.m., at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif.Asked whether the speech was purposefully scheduled the same night as the Republican debate, White House press secretary Jay Carney said "of course not.""It is … [Read more...]

Postcard from the Staycation

Dear Washington,Just wanted to drop a note from our stay-cation to say we hope you're enjoying your time off, and do let us know how the fishing, golfing and clam bakes have gone for you.Circumstances being what they are, we have decided to stick close to home this year. We hope you don't mind if we tag along, vacationing vicariously with you through media. After all, reading that you've driven four under par is like a victory for all us little people and I personally pine to see the latest … [Read more...]

Three More Little Words UPDATED

In the post below, we look at Three Little Words -- "Don't be afraid" -- that we should perhaps use to begin more of our sentences.Here are three other words, that perhaps should end more of those sentences: "Pay it forward.""Don't be afraid; pay it forward." It's almost the perfect one-sentence summary of the Gospel.And here are a few more words, from both my mom and Saint Bernadette Soubirous, the visionary of Lourdes:"God is never outdone in generosity."This is true. I know this … [Read more...]

"So, we can't laugh at Canada, anymore?"

Discussing the S&P downgrade with a young person today, I mentioned this chart, showing the 18 countries with better credit ratings than ours.When he heard that Canada was #3 on the list, he said, " can we joke about Canada anymore? It's no fun at all if we make fun of you know, their basic Canada-ness, and they can come back with, 'ayeh, well what aboot yuer credit rating, eyah?'"Canada, of course, has had its own share of problems -- what nation hasn't -- but as … [Read more...]

It's a Consensus! Better Listen! – UPDATE

Instapundit notes the economic news is pretty darned bad, and links to this smart stuff.He also links to a CNBC report that says 150 economists "back U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner's call to match any increase in the debt limit with spending cuts of equal size. . . " including". . .Nobel laureate Robert Mundell of Columbia University and economists from schools like New York University and Georgetown University, as well as conservative think tanks like the American … [Read more...]