My commentary on Benedict's legacy has been posted at The New Republic. I will have a more "entre nous" commentary tomorrow here at Distinctly Catholic.
The Washington Post has an interview with Peter Berkowitz of the Hoover Institution, on his new about about the future of conservatism in America. Berkowitz is, as I have noted before, one of the three smartest people I have ever met. I will be getting a copy of his new book at a book party Wednesday night and look forward to reading and reviewing it here at Distinctly Catholic. The interview in the Post shows why this book is a must-read for anyone interested in politics.
Bill Keller, of the New York Times, is not my favorite columnist, and his essay about the HHS mandate gives ample reasons why. For example, he writes: "You might ask why a clerk at Notre Dame or an orderly at a Catholic hospital should be denied the same birth control coverage provided to employees of secular institutions.
For reasons known but to God and the electric company, we have lost power at my house. I ran to the neighborhood market, which has wifi, to write and send in an article to The New Republic on the Pope's resignation. That should be posted soon. Heading back to the house now to see if the power is back on. Not a good day to lose power. I apologize for the lack of further posts so far.
Distinctly Catholic: Pope Benedict's resignation could lead to the most interesting conclave in 200 years. Here's Michael Sean Winters' take on the news.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan posted an item at his own blog, in which he sought to correct the impression left by several news outlets that the USCCB had "rejected" the latest proposals from the administration regarding the HHS mandate.
Kudos to Connecticut Congressman Joe Courtney, CT-2, for correcting the historical record and defending the honor of my home state. In the movie "Lincoln," the principal character expresses disgust at two Connecticut congressmen who did not support him on the 13th Amendment. Courtney researched the matter and, it turns out, all of Connecticut's representatives voted in the affirmative. Full story here.
While the Catholic intelligentsia is focused on the HHS mandate, an important development is occurring that should warm our hearts: GOP governors are increasingly agreeing to expand Medicaid under the terms of the ACA. This is very good news for the nation's poor and working poor. Ron Brownstein at the National Journal has the story here.
Over at Commonweal, Grant Gallicho has a fine analysis of the USCCB response. Grant and I do not always see eye-to-eye, and I discern more movement within the conference than he does on this contentious issue, but his analysis is well worth a read.
Mark Silk, at RNS, is even less enthusiastic about the USCCB response than I am, and he makes some good points, especially the fact that the USCCB's most fundamental complaint was about the four-part definition, and the White House should deserve more credit for removing it. Reading Silk's piece, and a slew of emails this morning, I want to add another thought.