If anything should be obvious to an economist, as opposed to a propagandist, it is that economic data can never be viewed in a vacuum. Yet, the American Principles Project presents Arthur Laffer, who never met a tax cut he did not like, making precisely this kind of fallacious argument.
This week at Q & A, we are following up on the coverage of the ordination of Bishop David O'Connell by interviewing American bishops about their role in today's Church. Yesterday we heard from Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans. Today, we hear from Bishop Gabino Zavala, auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles and chairmand of the USCCB Committee on Communications.
The question: What is the best thing about being a bishop in 2010?
As a Bishop, I live in a Church without borders -- my concerns
are universal! I have an opportunity to interact with a diversity of
people -- young, old, women and men, people of many diverse life
experiences, cultures, ethnicities, perspectives. In any given week, I
can meet with the condemned on death row, children in a parochial
school, government officials, celebrities, Church leaders and people in
As a Bishop, I reflect on and look at faith and the living out of
the Gospel in contemporary times, in the world today. I have an
opportunity to dialogue on topics that affect the common good. Being a bishop
challenges me to be a person of discernment, reflection and prayer.
Peter Berkowitz, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, is one of the three smartest people I know. He is also one of the most incisive conservative commentators writing today so even when I do not agree with him, he is always worth reading.
This morning’s New York Times has an article on how the leveling of ethics charges against two long-serving, congressional giants, Rep. Charles Rangel and Rep. Maxine Waters, shows that the reforms adopted four years ago when the Democrats took control of the House are working. True enough.
President Obama’s speech in Atlanta announcing he was fulfilling his promise to bring combat operations in Iraq to a close was noteworthy first of all because it showed how thoroughly the political landscape has changed since 2008. In the Democratic primaries, Iraq was a frequent topic of debate, but it has not been on the front pages since. With relative stability in Iraq and relative instability in the U.S. economy, a fickle electorate has moved on.
This week, and following on our coverage of the ordination of Bishop David O’Connell, Blast From the Past will look at instances when American bishops were really doing something heroic.
In case you missed this fascinating story in yesterday's New York Times, a look at how Italian traditions are struggling in a global market that does not always appreciate the finer things in life. I am no fan of $4,000 suits, but the story shows some of the ways modern capitalism and traditional methods of making things are clashing. Samuel Huntington: Call your tailor!
Yesterday, driving home from Mass, I listened to the radio, specifically to Sarah Palin’s interview on Fox News Sunday. Freed from the delight of watching the compelling way she caresses the camera (a skill in which her only rival is Bill Clinton), I listened to her voice and realized something about it, something which explains some of her popularity. She speaks the way a letter to the editor reads.
If you grew up in a small town, you know what I am talking about. Unlike the major newspapers which only publish a few erudite letters, small, local newspapers publish many letters from their readers. These letters share several characteristics. They tend to focus on one fact, devoid of context or nuance. They tend toward the manifesto style, filled with calls for what “we must” do. They make sweeping claims, most enough about the U.S. Constitution. Often they are a little kookie, filled with simplistic “solutions” like returning to the gold standard or ending the popular election of U.S. Senators. Most especially they are earnest, painfully earnest.
Okay - so I was pretty excited to see my friend David O'Connell get made a bishop on Friday. The thought occurred to me that in this time of crisis in the life of the Church, when everything is all gloom-and-doom, maybe we should get a fuller picture.