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Red States v. Blue States

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There is a lot to think about in this article from the NYTimes this weekend, comparing Red States v. Blue States, in terms of cost-of-living, different sources of economic growth, etc. Most startling may be the rise in inequality in the blue states, a clear consequence of the financialization of the economy, as New York and Connecticut top the list now in terms of income inequality. The money quote:

Pope Francis Riles Conservative Pols

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This article at The Hill suggests that Pope Francis and the GOP will be at odds in the coming year. Of course, there is plenty in the Holy Father's words to rile Democrats too, but at least there now appears to be some equal opportunity riling going-on, which we have not seen in the stateside Church for some time. For 35 years, if you did not agree with the way the 'i's" were dotted or the "t's" crossed in Humanae vitae, you were labeled a bad Catholics.

The New Cardinals

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Wow. I looked at the list of new cardinals yesterday morning and had what I assume was the reaction that most people did: Who are these guys? And that, I suspect, is the most important thing to realize about the list, that this pope of surprises is using his surprises to upset the sense of predictability that the conferral of red hats once entailed.

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