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Celebs tweeting their prayers for Japan


From CNN:

The devastating 8.9 magnitude earthquake in Japan and subsequent tsunami has not only media organizations but the Twitter-verse buzzing.

Celebrities like Alyssa Milano, P. Diddy and stars from "Glee" are tracking the news and tweeting prayers, hope and ideas on how we can help.

Katy Perry: "My prayers go out to anyone that is being effected by the disaster in Japan..."

Ryan Seacrest: “Glued to TV watching this unreal earthquake footage out of Japan. Sending prayers to everyone affected. Unbelievable.”

P. Diddy: “GOD BLESS everyone in Japan and anyone affected by this disaster- you are in every thought and prayer!!”

Justin Bieber: "Japan is one of my favorite places on's an incredible culture with amazing people. My prayers go out to them. We all need to help."

Ron Paul: Today's Anti-War Stalwart Balked at Key Moment


Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) spoke today in favor of a House resolution that would have required the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year. “A message needs to be sent,” said the Texas Republican of the legislation, which was offered by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH).

Paul, a libertarian, has a certain cache in liberal and left circles because of his seemingly staunch opposition to US military adventurism abroad. Five years ago, a Republican in the White House, Paul had an opportunity to really “send a message.” Instead, he blinked.

Facing intense pressure from the Republican leadership at the time, Paul voted “present” on a resolution in the House Foreign Relations Committee that would have forced a full scale debate on the war. Paul’s vote doomed the resolution, which never reached the House Floor. (NCR’s coverage of the 2005 committee action can be found here.)

Legislator: 'The Catholic bishops are often laughed at'


Recently, I was part of a discussion group with progressive Catholics who care a lot about their church. One of them was a member of the Maryland State Legislature.

After we adjourned our general discussion and began milling around before departure, I went up to him, inquiring about the recent votes in the Maryland legislature on a bill that would have legalized same sex marriage.

Unfortunately, the bill is dead for this year. It passed the Senate, but was tabled in the House -- even though we have solid Democratic majorities in both chambers and Governor Martin O’Malley was ready to sign it.

I thanked the legislator for his vote in favor of this bill, and then sought to confirm my analysis as to why the bill failed to pass. I asked if he shared my view that the defeat of the bill was largely due to the lobbying of African-American ministers in Prince Georges County in the suburbs of Washington, DC, rather than the Maryland Catholic Conference.

Both were opposed to the legislation, and both lobbied hard.

Santorum Urges Boycott on Gifts to Catholic Schools that 'Abandon the Church's Teaching'


Rick Santorum took some heat, here at the NCR Today blog and elsewhere, for his contention that Thomas Jefferson is “rolling over in his grave” at modern interpretations of church-state separation. But the former Pennsylvania senator’s comments on Catholic schools are equally irksome.

“The heresy that goes on in Catholic schools in America is amazing,” he told Boston Catholics at an event earlier this week. “He urged the crowd not to donate money to Catholic schools that abandon the church’s teachings,” reported the Boston Globe.

Said Santorum of those who contribute to Catholic schools, “You’re feeding the beast.” One wonders what criteria Santorum, whose children are home-schooled, uses to determine which schools “abandon the church’s teachings.”

Health reform law challenges: An update


I have tried mightily to keep track of the various court challenges brought against the health care reform law that Congress passed and President Obama signed last year, but have failed.

Thank goodness Kaiser Health News is keeping track for me.

All over the country, lawsuits challenging the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are working their way through the federal courts.
KHN is tracking the status of 25 cases, below, and will update those and other new cases on this page.

Court overturned law or part of law: 2 cases
Court ruled law constitutional and dismissed case: 6 cases
Court dismissed for lack of standing or procedural problems: 4 cases
Court dismissed but gave plainiff right to refile: 1 case
Court decision pending: 12 cases

Read the full scoreboard: Tracking Health Law Court Challenges

Haiser Health News is funded by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.. From its web site:

"Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a nonprofit news organization committed to in-depth coverage of health care policy and politics.

Morning Briefing


COMMENTARY: Everyone's Irish today

North Dakota Catholics told not to donate to groups, no giving to or working with the March of Dimes, UNICEF, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, or Crop Walk

Discussion on The Wall Street Jouranl discussion page: How should the Catholic Church and Catholics respond to the Philadelphia clergy-abuse allegations?

Editorial: A few bad apples don’t spoil the bunch, The 96 percent of good priests deserve a better fate and reaction from the public.

Chicago: Fr. Mike Pfleger’s tenure at St. Sabina Parish may be ending


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