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MSW Defends Labor on NPR

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Yesterday, I was a guest on the "Colin McEnroe Show" on WNPR here in Connecticut. I was on a panel with former gubernatorial candidate Bill Curry and local news reporter Christine Stuart to discuss the budget negotiations going on between the Governor, the legislature and state employee labor unions. Here is a link to the audio.
I was especially proud to be able to point out that state employees are the only people on the planet whose work contracts are subject to review by state legislatures, which is like being the only teeth in someone's mouth subject to the attentions of an 18th century dentist. And, later in the show I was able to make the point, so central to Catholic social teaching, that labor is not a commodity and efforts to see it as such, either by businesses or government, is an ethical lapse.
By the way, anyone who thinks federalism is the answer should spend some time at your state legislature.

Obama's Impressive Press Conference

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The President gave a mostly impressive performance at his press conference yesterday. Whenever a president finds himself being compared to Harry S. Truman, it is a good day for that president.

As noted in the link above, one of President Obama’s strongest parts of the news conference was when he castigated Congress for failing to act on a variety of measures that might help the economy create more jobs. He noted pending legislation on trade, middle class tax cuts, infrastructure improvements and revising the patent system and challenged Congress to pass the bills. In addition to the Trumanesque charge that Congress is not doing all it should, here was Obama defending a proposition that the GOP denies, that government is part of the solution and not just the problem when trying to stimulate the economy. I wish the President had been a little more explicit on that point, mentioning the jobs that were saved at Chrysler and GM, the people working on infrastructure projects right this moment, etc.

Congrats to Charles Camosy

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NCR pulled in a big haul of awards from the Catholic Press Association. But, I also wish to call attention to another one of the award winners. Professor Charles Camosy of Fordham won second place in the category Social Concerns category for his book "Too Expensive To Treat? Finitude, Tragedy and the Nenatal ICU" which can be found, and purchased, at Amazon by clicking here.
Camosy is one of the movers and shakers behind the Catholic Conversation Project, a group of young, untenured theologians who meet to discuss issues of concern to the Church. His commentaries have appeared in these pages before and I reviewed his book here.
Congrats to Camosy for his fine book and his well-earned award.

Bachmann Meet Ben Franklin

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Yesterday, Michelle Bachmann was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos. He asked her about her claim that the founding fathers worked tirelessly to end slavery, a claim that does not pass the historical sniff test.
Bachmann not only stood by her remarks but brought an example. She cited the anti-slavery efforts of John Quincy Adams. To be sure, John Quincy was a great hero in the cause of abolition, but he was also nine years old when his dad signed the Declaration of Independence. What can we conclude from this? Bachmann saw the movie "Amistad."

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July 4-17, 2014

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