Daily Archives: October 15, 2008

David Broder: Hard to See how McCain can Overcome the Odds

In April, on the eve of the Pennsylvania primary, voters in this Philadelphia suburb were finding plenty of fault with both Barack Obama and John McCain. Many were preparing to — and soon did — vote for Hillary Clinton, helping her to a decisive victory in this state.

This week, those voters are part of a mass movement to Obama, driven by much greater familiarity with the Illinois senator’s views and by a pronounced distaste for McCain and his running mate, Sarah Palin.

The striking shift in Montgomery County, often a bellwether, makes McCain’s task of recapturing Pennsylvania from the Democrats look almost like Mission Impossible.

Robert Stutz, a recently retired hospital administrator, was, like many of his neighbors, skeptical of both the eventual nominees when they were on the primary ballot, “so I was mostly listening to Hillary at that point.” But he’s been impressed with Obama’s health-care plan and says that McCain virtually disqualified himself with his vice presidential choice. “I can’t imagine putting Sarah Palin in a position to be president of the United States,” he said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

US troops kill No. 2 leader of al-Qaida in Iraq

American troops acting on a tip killed the No. 2 leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, a Moroccan, in a raid on one of the terror group’s command centers in the north, the U.S. military said Wednesday.

The Oct. 5 death of the man known as Abu Qaswarah was a major blow to the terror network as American commanders have warned it remains a significant threat. The military statement described him as a charismatic leader who trained in Afghanistan and managed to rally al-Qaida followers in Iraq despite U.S. and Iraqi security gains.

The insurgent leader, also known as Abu Sara, became the senior al-Qaida in Iraq emir of northern Iraq in June 2007 and had “historic ties to AQI founder Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and senior al-Qaida leaders in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” the military said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Iraq War, Military / Armed Forces

Washington Post: How did the world's markets come to the brink of collapse?

Greenspan and Rubin maintained then, as now, that Born was on the wrong track. Greenspan, who left the Fed job in 2006 after an unprecedented three terms, also insists that regulating derivatives would not have averted the present crisis. Yesterday on Capitol Hill, a Senate committee opened hearings specifically on the role of financial derivatives in exacerbating the current crisis. Another hearing on the issue takes place in the House today.

The economic brain trust not only won the argument, it cut off the larger debate. After Born quit in 1999, no one wanted to go where she had already gone, and once the Bush administration arrived in 2001, the push was for less regulation, not more. Voluntary oversight became the favored approach, and even those were accepted grudgingly by Wall Street, if at all.

In private meetings and public speeches, Greenspan also argued a free-market view. Self-regulation, he asserted, would work better than the heavy hand of government: Investors had a natural desire to avoid self-destruction, and that served as the logical and best limit to excessive risk. Besides, derivatives had become a huge U.S. business, and burdensome rules would drive the market overseas.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Credit Markets, Economy, Politics in General, Stock Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Episcopal Church Fast Facts 2006

Do take a look.

Check all the links with the yellow “new” next to them here.

Every Province had a year over year decline.

Update from the elves:
After the 2006 ASA data came out, we created an Excel spreadsheet tracking certain key trends in ASA. You can find it here.

We’re all set to add 2007 data when it’s available. 2007 data is available now in TEC’s diocese and parish charts, only. If past years’ experience is any guide, the actual parochial data reports with hard numbers for each diocese will be available in late November, early December. We’ll keep an eye out for the new data.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Data

Religious peace threatened in South Korea

At Jogye Temple, normally an island of Buddhist serenity, plainclothes officers have staked out the exits, waiting to grab any fugitives who venture out. Camped out on the temple grounds are the leaders of fierce anti-government protests who have been charged with instigating violence. They have come to the temple seeking political sanctuary, not spiritual uplift. One top government official has branded them “Satans.”

As a gong echoes through the neighborhood of office towers in central Seoul, afternoon worshipers arriving at the temple – home to the largest Buddhist order in South Korea – walk below a canopy of 6,200 lotus-shaped lanterns. The lanterns are arranged by color to spell the English word “OUT” – a highly unusual rebuke to President Lee Myung Bak from the country’s once-docile and normally apolitical Buddhists.

“Religious peace in our country is being threatened by those who dream of turning it into a medieval Christian kingdom through a church elder-president,” said Park Jeong Kyu, a spokesman for the Jogye Order.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Korea, Religion & Culture

A BBC Northern Ireland Sunday Sequence Audio Segment on the Oxford Movement

Listen to it all-featured is Saint George’s, Belfast.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of Ireland

God, alcohol and marketing intersect at beer fest

Shortly after the doors opened on the 27th Great American Beer Festival, a crowd congregated at the booth offering that and other pours from The Lost Abbey of San Marcos, California, where the tap handle is a Celtic cross and the legacy of beer-brewing monks endures.

Standing under a banner promising “Inspired beers for Saints and Sinners Alike,” proprietor and former altar boy Tomme Arthur had a confession: He’s using God to sell some beer.

“It’s the oldest story ever told ”” the struggle between good and evil,” said Arthur, 35, a product of Catholic schools in his native San Diego. “There is a battle being waged between those who make good beer and those who make evil beer.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Religion & Culture

Newly Discovered Audio Tapes Of President John F. Kennedy

This is really fascinating–watch it all. Make sure to get the setting of the scene fixed in your mind before you start; I did better when I did that the second time through.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Politics in General

A Pastoral Letter from the Bishop of Harare

The Lambeth Conference is a gathering of bishops from the entire Anglican Communion which met for the first time in 1888. It meets every ten years to discuss issues of common concern in the mission of the church today. In the words of the Archbishop of Canterbury: “The chief aims of our time together are, first, that we become more confident in our Anglican identity, by deepening our awareness of how we are responsible to and for each other; and second, that we grow in energy and in enthusiasm for our task of leading the work of mission in our church.”

The conference gives bishops a chance not only to get to know each other personally, but also to share stories from different parts of the world and the cultural contexts they come from. This year’s conference was attended by 670 bishops out of approximately 800 bishops in the Anglican Communion. Nigeria, Rwanda and Uganda did not attend.

One of the issues that came up among others was homosexuality, especially the blessing of same sex marriages and ordination of openly gays and lesbians. Lambeth’s position was that homosexuality is a sensitive pastoral and divisive issue that has to be handled with care. Lambeth discussed this issue in a very responsible manner by emphasising the importance of the family bond in the Communion whereby members of one family do not have to agree on all issues but still remain a family. Contrary to the forecast by the media that the Anglican Communion was about to break up, the 670- bishops present expressed their allegiance to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Communion. It was also made clear and agreed upon, after long discussion in small groups where all the bishops were able to make an input, that the ordination of gays and lesbians and blessings of same sex marriages was to stop forthwith and the discussion about these matters was to continue.

Read the whole thing.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Bishops, Africa

Episcopal Priest inhibited as a result of her conversion to Islam

Bishop Geralyn Wolf of the Diocese of Rhode Island has inhibited the Rev. Ann Holmes Redding for publicly professing her adherence to the Muslim faith.

The notice states that the diocesan “Standing Committee has determined that Dr. Redding abandoned the Communion of the Episcopal Church by formal admission into a religious body not in communion with the Episcopal Church. The bishop has affirmed that determination.”

The inhibition prevents Redding from “exercising the gifts and spiritual authority conferred on her by ordination and from public ministry” and is in force until March 31, 2009. In accordance with Episcopal canons, unless Redding “reclaims” her Christian faith, said Wolf in an interview, the inhibition will automatically lead to a deposition, ending Redding’s priesthood.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Christology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Theology

CNN dot com: The proper way to be friends with benefits

There are times in every woman’s life where her body wants either what her heart can’t handle or her brain knows better.

You know the drill — you want a man, but not a relationship. Or, more to the point, you want some loving, but don’t want the strings attached.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Men, Sexuality, Women

Independent: Wall Street humiliated by nationalisation of banks

The actions are “not what we ever wanted to do”, Mr Paulson conceded, “but today, there is a lack of confidence in our financial system ”“ a lack of confidence that must be conquered because it poses an enormous threat to our economy.”

In recent weeks, governments around the world have had to respond to the financial crisis with extraordinary measures and dizzying speed. The financial system came close to calamity in the days after the Bush administration, arguing that markets should be allowed to work difficulties through without government help, let the investment bank Lehman Brothers fail last month. Before a week was out, however, the US government had to take over the world’s largest insurance giant, AIG, and promise to guarantee all the money in the $3 trillion money market industry. Last month, it became the country’s largest mortgage lender when it took over the tottering mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in a rescue bid that could cost taxpayers $200bn.

Almost without any thought, the actions usher in a new and unpredictable era in American capitalism.

“It wasn’t just the right move, it was the only move,” Ken Rogoff, Harvard University economist, said of yesterday’s cash injection. “Thank goodness they didn’t dally for another week to finally figure it out.”

Read the whole article.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Credit Markets, Economy, Stock Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The September 2008 Proposed Henry Paulson 700 Billion Bailout Package

FT: Borrowing costs remain high

Similarly, euro three-month Libor, which was down 7.37bp at 5.225 per cent on Tuesday remains high.

“The fact that the boldest banking guarantee in history was not worth more . . . raised some eyebrows,” said Christoph Rieger, analyst at Dresdner Kleinwort.

Dollar three-month Libor is reacting better, down 11.75bp at 4.635 per cent, which was accompanied by a 15bp rise in the yield on three-month Treasury bills to 0.4 per cent.

This leaves the so-called Ted spread, which measures the difference between interbank lending rates and risk-free government lending rates, at a hefty 420bp. “These developments suggest that the market is reducing the odds of imminent financial Armageddon, but that significant year-end funding issues remain,” said TJ Marta, strategist at RBC Capital Markets.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Credit Markets, Economy, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Church of England Evangelical Council expresses support for Bishop Bob Duncan

The Church of England Evangelical Council issued this statement after their meeting on October 10th.

CEEC deplores the recent deposition of Bishop Bob Duncan and expresses full support for him and sends warm greetings and prayers to him, the Diocese of Pittsburgh and their new home in the province of the Southern Cone.

We endorse the following two statements from six diocesan bishops of the Church of England and Anglican Mainstream.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Pittsburgh

Who are the villains of the mortgage mess?

David M. Abromowitz faults the Bush administration’s dismantling of federal regulation. Daniel J. Mitchell says both Republicans and Democrats over several decades contributed to the crisis.

Read it all. It isn’t a bad discussion but it is not as good as the earlier list posted from the Independent , and, once again the SEC doesn’t get mentioned–KSH.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--