Monthly Archives: July 2011

Reid signals possible impending vote on White House deal

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (R-Nev.) instructed senators to stay close to the Capitol Sunday afternoon as a deal was being furiously negotiated among congressional leaders and President Obama.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Budget, Economy, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

(The Hill) Senate defeats Reid bill, waits for deal from Obama and GOP leaders

The Senate voted largely along party lines on Sunday afternoon to block legislation crafted by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) that would raise the debt limit by $2.4 trillion.

Reid and other Democratic leaders worked intently to persuade centrist Republicans to support the plan but fell short.

The vote to end a GOP filibuster failed 50-49. Only Sen. Scott Brown, a centrist Republican from Massachusetts, defied the GOP leadership.

Read it all.

Update: More from Marketwatch there.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Budget, Economy, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

(National Journal) Outlines of Debt Compromise Emerge

In many respects, the deal will, if approved by all parties, resemble the contours of a short-lived pact negotiated last weekend by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. Obama rejected that deal, forcing Congress to wrestle with other inferior legislative options throughout the week.

Among the newest wrinkles, according to informed sources, is an agreement to extend the current $14.3 trillion debt ceiling very briefly to give the legislative process time to work without resorting to emergency, hurry-up measures.
President Obama has said he would only sign a short-term extension (days, not weeks) if it were linked to an extension of borrowing authority that lasts beyond the 2012 election.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Budget, Economy, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

Quiz: Test your U.S. history knowledge

Take it and see how you do.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Education, History

(CNN) If students fail history, does it matter?

Test results released in June showed that fewer than _____ of all students are “proficient” in American history.

Many of the fourth grade students asked about Lincoln on the tests could identify him, but few could say why he was an important president.

You need to guess the percentage to be placed in the blank first; then read it all.[/i]

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Children, Education, History, Teens / Youth

Upcoming Anglican Communion Environmental Network to Focus on Sabbath and Sustainability

The second meeting of the Anglican Communion Environmental Network (ACEN) will occur in Lima, Peru from Aug 4-10, 2011.

Hosted by Bishop Bill Godfrey of the Diocese of Peru, representatives from Australia, United Kingdom, USA, Fiji, Canada, Melanesia, Brazil, Madagascar, Tanzania and Mexico will report on environmental ministry in their respective jurisdictions. Together they will create an action plan which will become a template for provincial, diocesan and parish-based ministry. Such a plan will connect with environmental ministry at the United Nations and in relation to the forthcoming COP 17 meetings in Durban South Africa in December of 2011.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Theology

More on Jonah from the South Carolina Cathedral–Rick Belser on Jonah 3

Listen to it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Adult Education, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Theology, Theology: Scripture

An Interactive Map of U.S. Newspapers, 1690-2011

Check it out–very interesting.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, History, Media

(Jerusalem Post) US Jews hail decision against San Francisco circumcision ban

Jewish groups in America have welcomed Thursday’s decision by a California Superior Court judge to remove a proposal aimed at banning circumcision from a San Francisco city ballot scheduled for November.

In response to the initiative, a number of Jewish organizations, including the Jewish Community Relations Council of San Francisco and the Anti-Defamation League, along with several individual plaintiffs ”“ both Jewish and Muslim ”“ filed a suit in June against the city, claiming that California state law prohibited municipal governments from restricting or regulating medical procedures.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, City Government, Judaism, Law & Legal Issues, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord Jesus Christ, into whose death we have been baptized: Grant, we beseech thee, that like as thou wast raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we may walk in newness of life; that having been planted in the likeness of thy death, we may be also in the likeness of thy resurrection; for the glory of thy holy name.

–Henry Alford

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

“Blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not reckon his sin.” Is this blessing pronounced only upon the circumcised, or also upon the uncircumcised? We say that faith was reckoned to Abraham as righteousness. How then was it reckoned to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. He received circumcision as a sign or seal of the righteousness which he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised and who thus have righteousness reckoned to them….

Romans 4:7-11

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(The Hill) Harry Reid postpones vote to end GOP filibuster of his debt-limit plan

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced shortly after 10 p.m….[tonight] that he would postpone a vote on his bill to raise the debt limit to give negotiators at the White House more time to work.

He said the Senate would vote on his plan at 1:00 p.m. Sunday, instead of 1:00 a.m., as was originally scheduled.

Reid said leaders are at the White House this evening working on a deal but many details remain unresolved.

Read it all.

Update: Here is an interesting tweet–@JohnJHarwood: on table in debt talks: extension thru ’12; $1.2-Tr 2nd round spending cuts w/no revenue, triggered 1/13 when Bush tax….

Another Update: ABC News’ Jonathan Karl now has more there.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

WSJ–Live Blog: The U.S. Debt Battle

I have found this to be a helpful source, if you are following the debt debate/debacle add it to your list. Cspan 2 has covered the Senate all day.

Posted in Uncategorized

(NY Times Front Page) Maternal Deaths Focus Harsh Light on Uganda

Jennifer Anguko was slowly bleeding to death right in the maternity ward of a major public hospital. Only a lone midwife was on duty, the hospital later admitted, and no doctor examined her for 12 hours. An obstetrician who investigated the case said Ms. Anguko, the mother of three young children, had arrived in time to be saved.

Her husband, Valente Inziku, a teacher, frantically changed her blood-soaked bedclothes as her life seeped away. “I’m going to leave you,” she told him as he cradled her. He said she pleaded, “Look after our children.”

Half of the 340,000 deaths of women from pregnancy-related causes each year occur in Africa, almost all in anonymity. But Ms. Anguko was a popular elected official seeking treatment in a 400-bed hospital, and a lawsuit over her death may be the first legal test of an African government’s obligation to provide basic maternal care.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Health & Medicine, Uganda, Women

(WSJ) Egypt's Islamists Rally for More Clout

Tens of thousands of people descended Friday on downtown Cairo in one of the largest Islamist demonstrations in Egypt’s history, an effort to show political unity among Muslim groups and challenge efforts to limit their power.

In the march, a broad range of Islamist groups called for the establishment of Islamic law in Egypt and protested moves by secularist politicians to prevent them from influencing the drafting of a new constitution.

Friday’s rally showed the extent to which Egypt’s constitution has become a the core point of conflict between secular and Islamist political forces in the democracy emerging from the fall of President Hosni Mubarak.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Egypt, Foreign Relations, History, Islam, Middle East, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Economist Leader: Debt and politics in America and Europe–Turning Japanese

America’s debt debate seems still more kabuki-like. Its fiscal problem is not now””it should be spending to boost recovery””but in the medium term. Its absurdly complicated tax system raises very little, and the ageing of its baby-boomers will push its vast entitlement programmes towards bankruptcy. Mr Obama set up a commission to examine this issue and until recently completely ignored its sensible conclusions. The president also stuck too long to the fiction that the deficit can be plugged by taxing the rich more: he even wasted part of a national broadcast this week bashing the wealthy, though the Democrats had already withdrawn proposals for such rises….

In both Europe and America electorates seem to be turning inward. There is the same division between “ins” and “outs” that has plagued Japan. In Europe one set of middle-class workers is desperate to hang on to protections and privileges: millions of others are stuck in unprotected temporary jobs or are unemployed. In both Europe and America well-connected public-sector unions obstruct progress. And then there is the greatest (and also the least sustainable) division of all: between the old, clinging tightly to entitlements they claim to have earned, and the young who will somehow have to pay for all this.

Sometimes crises beget bold leadership. Not, unfortunately, now….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Globalization, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, Stock Market, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

(WSJ) China's Banned Churches Defy Regime

On a recent Sunday at the Beijing Zion Church, Pastor Jin Mingri laid out a vision for Christians in China that contrasts starkly with the ruling Communist Party’s tight reins on religion.

“Let your descendants become great politicians like Joseph and Daniel,” said Mr. Jin, referring to the Old Testament figures who surmounted challenges to become political leaders. “Let them influence the future course of this country,” the pastor said in one of several sermons to his 800-member church.

Mr. Jin is one of a growing group of Protestant leaders challenging China’s state-run religious system, in an escalating struggle largely unnoticed by the outside world. For the first time, China’s illegal underground churches, whose members are estimated in the tens of millions, are mounting a unified and increasingly organized push for legal recognition.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, China, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

More on Jonah from the South Carolina Cathedral–Chris Warner on Jonah 2

Listen to it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Adult Education, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, TEC Parishes, Theology, Theology: Scripture

PBS' Religion and Ethics Newsweekly–Christians in the Holy Land

PROFESSOR BERNARD SABELLA (Al-Quds University): The places are important, but you need to make these places to come alive, and you cannot do that without indigenous Palestinian Christians in the Holy Land.

[KIM] LAWTON: The overwhelming majority of Christians here are Arabs. They were among the hundreds of thousands displaced in 1948, when the State of Israel was established and in the wars that followed. For decades now, Palestinian Christians have continued to emigrate at disproportionately high rates, and their birth rates are much lower than those of Muslims. Roughly 150,000 Christians live in Israel proper””about two percent of the population. In the Palestinian Territories, it’s estimated that Christians make up just over one percent of the population. There are also small Christian minorities in disputed East Jerusalem. The circumstances for Christians vary in each of those places and, like most things here, a lot of it is shaped by the ongoing conflict.

SABELLA: The challenge, I think, to Palestinian Christians, in my view, and to Christian communities in Israel and the Middle East, is really to stay put.

Read or watch it all and you can watch more extended excerpts there if you so desire.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Archbishop of Canterbury, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Judaism, Middle East, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

Sharon Autenrieth–John Stott: "A walking embodiment of the simple beauty of Jesus"

Fifteen years or so ago I purchased a copy of The Cross of Christ by John Stott. I’d heard his name, knew he was “famous” in evangelicalism, but had never read any of his writings. It took only a chapter or two in The Cross of Christ for me to be won over to Stott’s style of writing. He was intellectually rigorous but clear and accessible. More than that, though, I was drawn to the devotion that permeated Stott’s writing. It was contagious, the passion he had for Christ and His church. I wanted it to characterize my own spiritual life.

John Stott was 90 years old when he died in London on Wednesday. Surrounded by friends, Stott passed away listening to “Handel’s Messiah” and the reading of scripture. If there is such a thing as a good death, it sounds like a good death to me. In life and in death, John Stott’s was soaked in scripture and dedicated to Christ the Messiah.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Books, Church of England (CoE), Evangelicals, Globalization, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry

(SMH) Prayers unanswered as Sydney Anglicans brace for more cuts

The Anglican Church’s Sydney diocese faces another year of belt tightening and cuts to community services after its investment arm warned of a ”substantial reduction” in its annual payout.

Two years after it lost $160 million because of a high-risk gearing strategy, the investment arm of the country’s largest Anglican diocese has blamed a 71 per cent fall in earnings – to $3.2 million for the year to December – on a ”subdued performance” by the Australian sharemarket. The result would have been worse if not for a $4.5 million rise in the value of its investment in St Andrew’s House.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Credit Markets, Economy, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, Stock Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

House set to reject Reid debt plan as endgame nears

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives is set to reject Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s plan to raise the nation’s debt ceiling Saturday — partisan payback for the Democratic-controlled Senate’s rejection of Speaker John Boehner’s plan Friday night.

The twin votes are a likely prelude to a long weekend of furious back room negotiations between congressional leaders looking for a way to end a tense political standoff and avoid a potentially catastrophic federal default next week.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

Chart of the day: How did America ever come to be over $14 Trillion in debt?

Check it all.

Update: Megan Mcardle has further thoughts on this over there.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, History, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

Local newspaper Editorial–Hope amid a debt debacle

Tea Party activists in and out of office, including 1st District Rep. Tim Scott, have been demanding more spending-cut assurances than House Speaker John Boehner can deliver on the debt accord. They should realize that with Democrats still controlling both the Senate and White House, they can’t get everything they want this time around.

Tea Party folks also should realize that unless the debt ceiling is raised in time, the immediate bottom-line consequences could include a federal default and U.S. credit-rating downgrade.

Of course, even with a debt deal, the nation still faces serious financial risks — including a credit-rating demotion. Fortunately, next year’s presidential and congressional elections will give voters another chance to send the message that Washington can’t keep spending so far beyond our means.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Budget, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Medicare, Social Security, Stock Market, Taxes, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

Americans Are More Indebted Than the U.S. Government

Strangely, as the U.S. citizenry passionately criticizes their government for running up the budget deficit, a greater irony is afoot: When it comes to debt management, Americans are sadly worse than their government.

While government debt sits at 94 percent of national revenue, U.S. household debt sits at a whopping 107 percent of personal income. The household balance sheets of Americans are in worse condition than anytime since the Great Depression. The ratio of household debt-to-GDP is greater than anytime since 1929. And while we all are trying to comprehend a poorer nation, many American’s have not yet comprehended their own personal poverty.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Personal Finance, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

The Latest from Anglican TV including AS Haley and Bishop Love of Albany

The segment description is as follows:

George Conger and Kevin Kallsen discuss this day in History and the death of John Stott. This week we also have two contributors – AS Haley delves into New York states new same sex marriage law and Bishop Love discusses how this new law affects the Diocese of Albany NY. –Oh and for the curious…. we have the blooper reel at the end of the show.

Watch it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, - Anglican: Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Episcopal Church (TEC), Evangelicals, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), State Government, TEC Bishops

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Joseph of Arimathaea

Merciful God, whose servant Joseph of Arimathaea with reverence and godly fear did prepare the body of our Lord and Savior for burial, and did lay it in his own tomb: Grant, we beseech thee, to us thy faithful people grace and courage to love and serve Jesus with sincere devotion all the days of our life; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Heavenly Father, we pray that thy Holy Spirit may rest upon me now, as I approach the study of thy holy Word, and that he may make that Word a living message to my soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

And he commanded the crowd to sit down on the ground; and he took the seven loaves, and having given thanks he broke them and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and they set them before the crowd. And they had a few small fish; and having blessed them, he commanded that these also should be set before them. And they ate, and were satisfied; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. And there were about four thousand people. And he sent them away; and immediately he got into the boat with his disciples, and went to the district of Dalmanu’tha.

–Mark 8:1-10

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Episcopal Bishop of the Central Gulf Coast Issues Immigration Statement

“Jesus wept.” (St John 11:35) As a child I learned that “Jesus wept” was the shortest sentence in the Gospels. I grew to understand that it is also one of the most powerful. I wept not long ago when I learned that the State of Alabama (the lower part of which is within my episcopal jurisdiction) passed legislation that would put me in violation involuntarily with State law because of my faith and religious convictions. With the implementation of HB56, we face one state’s edict to limit assistance and ministry only to those who can produce certain documentation.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Immigration, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, State Government, TEC Bishops, Theology