The West Wing

Religious Groups Feel the Pinch of Government Shutdown

Lincoln Memorial, Oct. 6, 2013, closed due to government shutdown. Photo: RNS/courtesy Flickr user reivax via Wikimedia Commons

As the government shutdown enters its second week, some religious groups are starting to feel the pinch, and they’re also finding ways to reach out.

More than 90 Catholic, evangelical, and Protestant leaders have signed a statement rebuking “pro-life” lawmakers for the shutdown, saying they are “appalled that elected officials are pursuing an extreme ideological agenda at the expense of the working poor and vulnerable families” who won’t receive government benefits.

Starting Wednesday, evangelical, Catholic, and mainline Protestant leaders will hold a daily “Faithful Filibuster” on Capitol Hill with Bible verses on the poor “to remind Congress that its dysfunction hurts struggling families and low-income people.”

My Netflix Love Affair and My Carbon Footprint

I love Netflix. I love that from the comfort of my couch, I can watch almost an endless selection of movies and TV shows. I’m re-watching all of The West Wing right now, along with most of Washington and probably much of the country. My friend Kat told me recently that she and her fiancé are watching it for the fifth time on Netflix, despite it sitting in a deluxe DVD set above their TV. Why get up to switch DVDs when your streaming player automatically starts the next episode for you?

So I wasn’t too happy when I read that my Netflix habit is seriously energy intensive. In a new article on, I learned that watching Netflix streaming for an hour a week uses more energy each year than two new refrigerators. In my household we definitely watch a lot more than an hour a week.

She Does Not Represent Me (But CJ Does)

Why do I want to be CJ Cregg? She is confident, educated and intelligent. She is not afraid to speak her mind and not afraid of conflict that may come her way. But in all of this she is respectful and elegant. And in turn she is esteemed and one could even say feared in some situations.

Don’t cross her or you’ll get “sucker punched” – not in any literal physical sense, but with her words, intellect, wit and determination. But she is also compassionate; she has such a soft core. She makes the president pardon two turkeys cause she couldn’t bare to kill one of them.

The C.J. Cregg’s are the models that we need in television and films. We should all be running out buying pantsuits, reading the New York Times and getting a political science degree.

Women don’t need to overcompensate for historical oppression and abuse by becoming those very things ourselves. We need to compensate for those things by becoming the beauty we want to see in the world.