The problem with “must-pass” legislation is that it must pass. So, as the deadline for passing a Continuing Resolution to keep the government funded looms at midnight tonight, congressional leaders are busy trying to cobble together enough votes to pass the CR in both chambers of Congress. The process is ugly and the results are ugly and, yet, our political leaders seem incapable of passing a budget in good time, with ample opportunity to debate particular legislative proposals.
At Morning Briefing, NCR has a link to a story about a parish in Iowa hosting an open house for disaffected Catholics. The Francis Effect. My dad cuts out items from the local Connecticut papers and sends them to me along with the church bulletin from my home parish. This week's envelope contained two Francis Effect items. First, the church bulletin had an insert page with quotes from Pope Francis related to Advent.
Politico reports that Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire has joined Sen. Rick Durbin of Illinois and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts in opposing the nomination of Antonio Weiss to the Treasury Department's # 3 job, undersecretary for domestic finance. Here is the emerging faultline with the Democratic Party - will they entrust the nation's finances to Wall Street or will they look to others for guidance?
The release of the highly redacted Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture is a catalogue of horrors. While the report suggested that the CIA misled both Congress and the White House about the severity of its deeds, it is hard to believe that the CIA acted in a rogue manner and far more likely that key officials in the Bush White House – Dick Cheney comes to mind – were winking as fast and as often as they could. Still, as in any corrupt enterprise, and the torture of prisoners was certainly a corruption of the nation’s moral ideals, assessing precise responsibility is difficult.
More than 130 Catholic theologians have signed onto a statement on racial injustice in the wake of the decisions not to indict white police officers in the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. It is very well done, not inflammatory but moving beyond the insufficient calls for calm and dialogue. We need calm and we need dialogue but we also need to acknowledge the racial elephant in the room.
Russell Moore, of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, had some interesting comments on the failures to indict white police officers in the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Moore is a conservative with whom I often disagree, but his candor on this issue is welcome, and to be applauded.
According to this report in the Star-Tribune, the Archdiocese of St. Paul has hired another lawyer in their on-going investigation of allegations that Archbishop John Nienstedt behaved inappropriately to younger men. The key phrase in the report is "trying to discredit." I did not know that was part of the apostolic vocation. In Calvary cemetery, Archbishop John Ireland is turning over in his grave.
As mentioned yesterday, last week I went to a briefing at the Africa Faith & Justice Network (AFJN) after the group took two trips to Africa last autumn. In that post, I shared what they told us about their work fighting land-grabs. Today, I will share what they told us about their efforts to promote good and responsive governance.
Controversy has been brewing over a couple of lines in Austen Ivereigh's new biography of Pope Francis "The Great Reformer." Mr. Iveriegh has admitted that his phrasing of one paragraph was unfortunate, and is correcting it in future editions. But, the real problem is not that Ivereigh misphrased something.
Just about everything in Rusty Reno's essay at First Things about the departure of Leon Wieseltier from The New Republic is wrong, and the part that is not wrong is confused. Reno allows that: