The Common Good

Quick Read: Social. Justice. News.

Learning From Rep. John Lewis

The Huffington Post's Senior Religion Editor, Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, interviews civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis. Lewis says:

The church should be out front leading the way, and be a headlight rather than a taillight. If you are going to live up to the teachings of the Great Teacher, and follow in the tradition of the great leaders of faith, you have to be out there, shining the light, preaching the Good News and living the Good News. You have to make it real.

Read the full interview here

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Finding a Space for Occupy

A key figure in the Occupy movement, Arun Gupta writes for Al Jazeera:

The real stumbling block for the Occupy movement is also the reason for its success: space, or now, the lack thereof. Understanding the significance of political space and Occupy's inability to recapture it reveals why the movement is having difficulty re-gaining traction.

Read this full article here

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Where is the Occupy movement going?

For The Washington PostJonathan Capehart fears that the Occupy movement won't survive if it doesn't adapt:

If Occupy doesn’t use this time to get actively involved in political process, it will never move from protest to power to achieve the goals it says it has.

Read his full analysis here

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Uncovering the real National Security budget

Writing for Tom's Dispatch and The Huffington PostChristopher Hellman and Mattea Kramer estimate what the U.S. really spends on national security:

National security accounts for one quarter of every dollar the federal government is projected to spend in 2013. And if you pull trust funds for programs like Social Security out of the equation, that figure rises to more than one third of every dollar in the projected 2013 federal budget.

Learn more here

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Iowa Congressman's immigrant slur

As reported by Salon

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, compared immigrants to dogs at a town hall meeting yesterday, telling constituents that the U.S. should pick only the best immigrants the way one chooses the “pick of the litter.”

Read the full report of the incident here

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Senator Bernie Sanders Calls For End to "Polluter Welfare"

In an opinion piece for The Huffington PostSen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) writes:

At a time when we have more than $15 trillion national debt, American taxpayers are set to give away over $110 billion dollars to the oil, gas, and coal industries over the next decade. Clearly, we cannot afford it. When the five largest oil companies made over $1 trillion in profits in the last decade, with some paying no federal income taxes for part of that time, they certainly do not need it.

Read his full article here

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Host of Catholic Groups Sue Over Contraception Mandate

As reported by Alan Duke for the CNN Belief Blog:

The University of Notre Dame and "a diverse group of plaintiffs" filed lawsuits Monday challenging the federal mandate that religious employers offer health insurance that includes coverage of contraceptives and birth control services, Notre Dame spokeswoman Shannon Chapla said. The Notre Dame suit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Northern Indiana, is one of a dozen filed Monday by 43 separate Catholic institutions in different federal courts around the United States, Chapla said.

Read the full story here

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Long-Term Unemployed Losing Benefits

For The NationGreg Kaufmann writes:

The long-term unemployed now make up over 40 percent of all unemployed workers, and 3.3 percent of the labor force. In the past six decades, the previous highs for these figures were 26 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively, in June 1983. Instead of helping these folks weather the storm and find ways to re-enter the workforce, our nation is moving in the opposite direction. In fact, this past Sunday, 230,000 people who have been looking for work for over a year lost their unemployment benefits. More than 400,000 people have now lost unemployment insurance (UI) since the beginning of the year as twenty-five high-unemployment states have ended their Extended Benefits (EB) program.

Read more here

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In the Presidential Election, Two Different Views Of God

Writing for The Washington PostLisa Miller writes:

People always ask, “What would Jesus do?,” but in America today, it’s impossible to know. And that’s because there are (at least) two prevailing views of God at work in our public and political conversation. It would not be an exaggeration to say that when you pull the lever this November, you will not just be voting for president. You will be saying what you believe about God.

Read her full article here

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