The Common Good

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Christians Rethink Interactions in Public Arena

For USA TodayJonathan Merrit examines the changing nature of "Christian civic engagement":

Christian Millennials are now coming of age and recognizing the flawed strategies and broken agendas embraced by their forebears. They've seen how the religious right (and the religious left, for that matter) has used the Bible as a tool to gain political power and reduced the Christian community to little more than a voting bloc — and they are forging a different path.

Read the full article here

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The Challenge

Glenn Kessler, writer of the Washington Post Factchecker column, issues a challenge to President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney:

"With the presidential election looming in exactly six months, I would like to issue a challenge to you both: Give at least one campaign speech, on a substantive policy issue, lasting at least 15 minutes, that does not contain a single factual error or misstatement. That means no sugar-coating of your record, no exaggerated claims about your opponent’s record, and no assertions that are technically true but lack crucial context."

I’m not holding my breath for the challenge to be accepted.

 

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War and Peace and the President

Yale Professor David Bromwich analyses President Obama's foreign policy for The Huffington Post:

President Obama, it has been said, is a master of having it both ways. Nowhere is this truer than in foreign policy. He ended the torture regime at Guantanamo, in line with rulings handed down by the Supreme Court. At the same time he assured impunity to the lawyers who justified torture and the agents who executed it. He publicized his intention of closing the prison itself as a matter of principle; but when resistance sprang up, he scuttled the plan. To facilitate the extension of the war in Afghanistan, he allowed American diplomats and military officers not to inquire too closely into the treatment of enemy combatants at Bagram and elsewhere.

Read the full analysis here

 

+Leave a Comment | Peace & Nonviolence

Making Better Use of Food Stamps

On the Politico opinion pages, Jason Ackerman examines how food assistance programs could be better utilized:

Americans who depend on the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — known as food stamps — are unable to buy groceries from online vendors. The Electronic Benefits Transfer, the system that allows SNAP recipients to pay for groceries, does not support Internet transactions. But Congress now has a unique opportunity to change this and bring some relief to millions of people.
 
Learn more here

 

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Sudan Promises to End Hostilities

From the BBC

Sudan has promised to cease hostilities with South Sudan and comply with a UN Security Council resolution. However the foreign ministry also said that Khartoum reserved the right to respond to "aggression" from the South. The statement came hours after Juba alleged fresh bombing by the Khartoum government's forces.

Learn more about the situation in Sudan and South Sudan here

 

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Time to Raise Minimum Wage?

Over at The Atlantic, Jordan Weissmann asks whether it is time to raise the minimum wage:

One of the harshest realities of America's slow economic recovery -- and there are many -- is the fact in spite of modest job growth, pay for workers is falling. Year over year, average inflation adjusted wages have dropped by 0.6 percent for all private sector employees. They're down a full 1 percent for non-supervisors -- your retail salespeople, your shop floor factory workers, your cashiers. In other words, even as the overall employment picture has improved in fits and starts, the working poor are getting poorer. 

Read the full article here

 

+Leave a Comment | Faith & Politics

Are Faith-Based Initiatives a 'Failure'?

Sarah Posner critiques faith-based initiatives in an article on Salon.com:

“Compassionate conservatism” may seem a relic of the Bush era, but one of its signatures — the so-called faith-based initiatives — quietly persist under President Obama.

Read the full article here

 

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Keeping 'Above the Fray' in Religion and Politics

In The Washington Post, Lisa Miller profiles religion and politics commentator Mark Silk:

Mark Silk is a medievalist by training, and a professor at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. But what he really does, on his blog Spiritual Politics, which runs on the Web site of the Religion News Service, is to scan the religion-politics landscape and make a single shrewd observation every day.

Read the full profile here

 

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Civil Disobedience in Alabama on HB56

Civil disobedience hits the Alabama State Legislature today in opposition of the HB56 legislation on immigration. See the livestream for the latest updates:


Video streaming by Ustream

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Graduate from Harvard, MIT... for Free?

The Boston Globe reports on a new partnership between Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology:

Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will team up on a $60 million initiative to offer free online, college-level courses under a joint superbrand known as edX, the universities said Wednesday.

Read more about the initiative here

+Leave a Comment | Economic Justice