Thursday, May 27, 2010

Favorite Before 9

Nicholas Kristoff relays an amazing story about a nun in Phoenix who was excommunicated for saving the life of a pregnant woman.  A story right out of the movie, The Cardinal, but with a different ending:
Sister Margaret made a difficult judgment in an emergency, saved a life and then was punished and humiliated by a lightning bolt from a bishop who spent 16 years living in Rome and who has devoted far less time to serving the downtrodden than Sister Margaret. Compare their two biographies, and Sister Margaret’s looks much more like Jesus’s than the bishop’s does.
In the movie, the mother is allowed to die.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Today's Favorite Before 9

I've been puzzled over the "scandal" in which Congressman Joe Sestak was supposedly offered a job to quit his primary challenge against Arlen Specter.  It's one of the oldest games in town when an administration is trying to manage its political affairs.  This is clearly one of those "scandals" in which Republicans ascribe some evil to something that vaguely sounds inappropriate, but is really a big nothing.

Jonathan Chait in the New Republic effectively clarifies things:
So the accusation is some kind of quid pro quo in which Sestak would receive a job in return for quitting the Pennsylvania Democratic primary. This is ridiculous. You can't offer a Senator, or prospective Senator, a job in exchange for them abandoning the Senate, because accepting the job inherently means leaving the Senate. You can't be both a Senator and an executive branch employee. Last year, the White House offered a cabinet job to Senator Judd Gregg. This was not "in exchange" for him leaving the Senate, because he had to leave the Senate to take the job. Moreover, Gregg briefly accepted the job in exchange for a promise that New Hampshire's Democratic governor would appoint his Republican chief of staff, not a Democrat, to replace him. But nobody suggested that this deal was illegal or unethical.
Thank you.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Today's Favorite Before 9

In order to keep the content flowing to this blog, I'm introducing a new feature, my Favorite Before 9.  It will be a post of my favorite online article, post, video, etc. that I discover in my first pass of the blogs each morning before the day begins.

Today's is a doozy.  Congressman Rob Simmons is about to drop out of the Senate race in Connecticut, leaving the nomination to nutcase, Linda McMahon, the CEO of the Worldwide Wrestling Federation (on the left in the picture), continuing a trend in which Republican primary voters seem to be out of their minds.  Maybe Obama just makes them crazy.  There's hope for November.

Daily Kos has a nice analysis.

Political pop quiz: You are the Connecticut Republican Party, the nation's richest state and a solid Democratic stronghold. Your Democratic opponent has been busted (fairly or not) for lying or exaggerating his military service during the Vietnam War. Do you:

  1. Nominate a decorated Vietnam War vet, retired Colonel, and winner of two Bronze Stars, with a proven track record of winning elections in tough political terrain
  1. Nominate the teabagger co-founder of the WWE

Monday, May 24, 2010

Somebody please explain....

This Nike ad is stunning.  I just don't know what it means.  I'd welcome an explanation.

Postscript:  I watched it again.  Now I get it.

Blame Bush

Paul Krugman makes the case that we're not even close to the point where we must stop blaming Bush for our troubles.  I agree with him wholeheartedly.

We’re in the aftermath of a financial crisis — and there’s overwhelming evidence (pdf) that recovery from financial crises is almost always protracted and difficult.

Friday, May 21, 2010

What Is It About Opthamologists?

Last month, there was a story about two female ophthalmologists who rudely harassed Barney Frank on a plane about his vote on healthcare reform.  Now we have the new Senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul, who's clearly either a nutcase or a cynic on a number of levels.  Here's a story that describes his contradictory stances in favor of slashing government spending....except for doctors' fees, from which he personally benefits.  The anti-government zealot derives half his income from Medicare patients and sees no contradiction.

I really struggle to understand how somebody who can handle the intellectual rigors of medical school can be so dumb when it comes to public policy.  What's up with that?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Andrew Sullivan Contemplates Death

In a fascinating post, Andrew Sullivan invites his athiest readers to explain what they believe about death.  Then , he offers his own view, which admire tremendously.  Wish I had his depth and faith.
I live in this awareness. But I also live in the awareness that eternity is here already, that the majesty and miracle of God's creation resonates through every second of our lives and every particle of matter within and without us. That is how I interpret Oakeshott's deeply Christian (and somewhat Buddhist) understanding of salvation as having nothing whatsoever to do with the future. The unity and individuality and wonder we are told we will only know then is actually here now, shielded from our own eyes by our own mortal fear, by our own avoidance of death, by our own inability to grasp that this struggle we fear is actually already over, that God loves us now unconditionally, overwhelmingly, this knowledge prevented solely from penetrating us by our own sense of inadequacy, or our looking away, or are losing ourselves in the human and worldly things that I understand by sin.

So I do not believe our consciousness is utterly different after death than now. I believe, with Saint Paul, that this is the same divine experience, but through a glass darkly. I believe it is Love, because Jesus showed me so. And I await with with great fear because I am human and I await with great hope because of the incarnation and resurrection of God in human history.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

How Can He Leave??

I'm no fan of LeBron James, or any sports figure who reaches God-like stature. But I have to say, I will think well of him if he responds positively to the people of Cleveland.

EMBED-We Are Lebron Video - Watch more free videos

Saturday, May 08, 2010

40 Songs, 4 Cords

An Australian comedy rock band goes through 40 pop songs in 5 minutes using just 4 musical cords. Genius.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Let it Rain

Here's something I stumbled across that surprised me.  I'm a huge fan of Motown and loooove the Temptations.  I sang My Gal to help my daughter go to sleep hundreds of times when she was young.

I've always loved the song, Let It Rain, but just learned the story behind that song from the Crooks and Liars website:
Lyricist Roger Penzabene penned the words after finding out that his wife was cheating on him and he tragically committed suicide a week after the single was released.
Now, listen to the song in light of that news.  I'll never hear it the same again.