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Links for 08/05/15


Today is the feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major. It is one of the most beautiful churches in Rome, and Pope Francis often stops there en route to and from his papal trips outside Rome, to pray the icon of Mary, "Salus Populi Romani," The current archpriest is Cardinal Avril y Castello. Happy feast!

At First Things, a fine article by Peter Berkowitz on Michael Walzer's new book.  

Planned Parenthood: The Videos & the Vote


The reaction to the undercover videos of physicians at Planned Parenthood discussing the dismemberment of unborn children with a view toward being able to harvest their organs shows the potential to reframe this nation’s debate about abortion.  But, last night’s vote in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood shows how the political reaction betrays a flawed strategy that risks missing the opportunity to reframe that debate.

The Koch Brothers and Justice


Charles Koch wants your shackles. In a speech to his Donor Summit this weekend, opened to the press for the first time, Politico reports that Koch claimed, “we aim … to remove the shackles preventing all Americans, especially the disadvantaged, from pursuing their dreams.” He likened his efforts to those of the civil rights movement’s leaders, to the suffragettes, to the abolitionists, and, of course, to the generation of patriots who fought the Revolutionary War.

Happy Birthday Medicare & Medicaid!


Today, in addition to being the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola (happy feast to all my Jesuit friends!), is the 50th anniversary of the signing into law of two landmark social programs, Medicare and Medicaid. Both were – and are – part of the “war on poverty,” much maligned by the right, but one of the notable, if incomplete, achievements of modern American politics.

Boehner's Conundrum


We can all be forgiven for not even knowing that there was such a thing as a “motion to vacate the chair,” seeing as the procedure has not been invoked in over 100 years. But, Cong. Mark Meadows of North Carolina proposed such a motion yesterday, in effect calling for the ouster of fellow Republican Cong. John Boehner from the Speakership of the House of Representatives.


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In This Issue

November 20-December 3, 2015


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