In the sphere of spookdom, nothing compares to "666" as a creepy portent, but today's date, 9-9-09, ain't too shabby. Futurists and apocalypticists are no doubt conjuring such matters even as I type. As in, how might it portend the nature of Obama's speech?
The President has many tasks in his speech tonight. But, the most obvious is that he must finally articulate his own plan for reforming health care. For much the past few months, people have spoken about “the President’s plan” and “Obamacare” when, in fact, what was being debated were a variety of bills being drafted by different committees in both the House and the Senate. Tonight, the President must make a compelling case for those parts of the reform effort upon which he is willing to stake the prestige and power of his office.
In an earlier blog on this site today I posted some questions sent in from a reader, taken from the working paper, or "Instumentum Laboris" of the Apostolic Visitation. Those questions and others are to be answered by U.S. women religious as part of phase two of the Visitation process. As an aid to readers I thought it would be helpful to see the entire list of questions, all taken from the working paper. The questions follow a brief introduction:
My gratitude to Tom Fox for fetching those questions from the list of those being used to investigate American sisters. They undermine any pretense of neutrality. They are loaded with unsubstantiated, prejudicial assumptions that further highlight a punitive agenda. On a related note, the whole purgative purpose seems to me to violate the meaning of "Visitation" in Catholic tradition.
Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (F.A.I.R.), the Washington-based media watchdog group has written a report generally critical of U.S. media coverage of the Honduras coup some weeks back. However in the report, FAIR singled out NCR's coverage as an exception. Here is what FAIR said:
You can read the full report here:
This from a reader........
The following list of questions is taken from the Vatican's working paper on the U.S. Women Religious Apostolic Visitation:
2D. In what way are non-members, including “associates,”
involved in the governance of the institute?
(Who said associates are non-members?)
By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.
tI’m in Brazil this week, speaking at a seminar on the always-volatile relationship between the church and the media at a couple of seminars sponsored by the International Institute for Social Sciences in São Paulo. Though we’re just one day into the event, there are already a couple of nuggets worth recording.
tYesterday, a veteran Italian writer on Vatican affairs floated an intriguing hypothesis about a recent mystery surrounding the release of Pope Benedict XVI’s social encyclical Caritas in Veritate. In effect, he argued that anonymous leaks of the encyclical a few days before it came out in early July represented the first stirrings of a new “dynamic communications strategy” in the Vatican.
More than one of every five requests for medical claims for insured patients, even when recommended by a patient's physician, are rejected by California's largest private insurers, according to data released today by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee.
Quick – check your children when they come home from school today to make sure they do not show any ill signs from President Obama’s “back to school” speech, delivered earlier today. The rightwing punditocracy warned that the speech amounted to indoctrination although the text was an anodyne series of encouragements to students to sick with their schooling.
There was a time when conservatives were all about patriotism. The President is the only office, along with the Vice-Presidency, that is elected by a vote of the entire nation. As well, in our constitutional system, the President is both head of state and head of government. He is the natural focus of national, as well as political, spirit. But, all that came crashing to a halt when Barack Hussein Obama won last November. Now, when the President does something that previous presidents have done, give a speech to schoolchildren, we are warned that the republic is under attack.