Two articles on the front page of this morning’s Washington Post show what is wrong with American politics today. The first details the fights in several states where Republican legislatures are voting not to expand Medicaid as permitted, and encouraged, under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
In this morning's Washington Post, the foreign minister of the Marshall Islands explains that climate change is already causing havoc on his island nation. A modest proposal, from me, not the foreign minister: Close Guantanamo, but send all public officials who deny climate change to the Marshall Islands. Beachfront property.
If you want to see precisely what is wrong with the Tea Party, read this article in this morning's Washington Post about Tea Party opposition to the "Common Core" initiative to improve our nation's schools. I especially call readers' attention to the comments of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush who is a champion of the effort. He lays out arguments. The Tea Party responds with a conspiracy theory.
The “Nuns on the Bus” have begun their second nationwide bus tour, this year calling attention to the need to pass comprehensive immigration reform. The bus tour is sponsored by NETWORK, the social justice lobby organized and run by religious women. Their executive director, Sr. Simone Campbell, is well known to NCR readers for her efforts to promote public policies that assist the poor.
The Public Religion Research Institute has new survey data on Americans' attitudes towards affirmative action programs for college admissions and on DOMA, both issues which are before the Supreme Court. I wish the survey had asked about legacy scholarships which, to my mind, are a greater affront to justice than any other college admissions policy. Still, an important survey.
Negotiations between the Holy See and Israel have been stalled for years on such issues as custody of the Cenacle. Now, Vatican Insider reports that the two sides have reached agreement on that and other issues and a further meeting in June aims to wrap up all outstanding points of contention.
An important news story got lost this week because all the coverage of the “scandals” afflicting the Obama administration.
The State of California, which is leading the country in setting up a competitive health insurance exchange under the terms of the Affordable Care Act, announced the new plans and premiums that will be available to customers. Despite dire warnings that Obamacare would drive premiums through the roof, lo and behold, the new premiums seem pretty reasonable.
Now published at The New Republic, my friend Leon Wieseltier's magnificent commencement address at Brandeis, a stirring defense of the humanities and civilization.
Over at Religion & Politics, Fordham's Michael Peppard has a smart, tough piece comparing the recent political activities of the National Rifle Association and Planned Parenthood. "[T]hey do share a troubling characteristic. Both reject reasonable limitations on the particular liberty for which they advocate. In so doing, they disregard the well-regulated liberties that vast majorities of our country desire," Peppard open and proceeds to make the case.