...The Crazy Turn Pro! A group of birthers are threatening to mount an effort to impeach NCR's "Person of the Year," Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts, if he performs the swearing-in ceremony for President Barack Obama.
I especially want to call attention to two recent posts at the online journal Millennial.
First, this post from Ben Feuerherd on Catholics taking the St. Francis pledge on Climate Change. Ben is the son of the late editor and publisher of NCR, Joe Feuerherd, and the apple has not fallen far from the tree!
Will this be the year? For those of us who have been advocating for comprehensive immigration reform, that question changed on election night. Before the election, we were hoping for some kind of incremental changes, perhaps passing the DREAM Act, and laying the groundwork for more comprehensive efforts down the road. But, after President Obama took a stunning 71% of the Latino vote, a margin that makes it almost impossible for a Republican to win the White House, the possibility of enacting comprehensive reform became thinkable.
From this morning's Washington Post:
U.S. government spent $18 billion on immigration enforcement in 2012. That is 24 percent more than it spent collectively for the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Secret Service, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Yet, our system is broken. Anyone who thinks we don't need comprehensive reform of our immigration laws needs to explain how we can continue to fund this enormous expense of enforcing our current immigration policies. More on this issue tomorrow.
Well, the season did not end as I had hoped. But, last night's loss to Alabama does not take away one iota from the fact that this year's Notre Dame football season kept many of us glued to our television sets every Saturday afternoon. The fact that a Mormon from Hawaii was the face of Notre Dame all autumn was an especially charming side story, and what an outstanding young man he is, going through extreme personal tragedies with dignity and faith. The Fighting Irish were no match for the Crimson Tide, who deserve the crown they have won.
Continuing on my theme of depressing thoughts about the world from this morning, this article at The New Republic by Luke Mogelson reminds us that when the war in Afghanistan ends for the U.S. it does not mean the war in Afghanistan will be over for the Afghani people. The outlook is decidedly Augustinian.
Former US ambassador to the Holy See, Thomas Melady, penned the first of a series of blog posts running at the USCCB's blog on poverty. The blog series is to highlight "Poverty Awareness Month." You can read the Ambassador's blog post by clicking here.
If you want to feel depressed, think about the foreign policy challenges that face the nation in the next four years. Most of the debate in the coming weeks will be about the suitability of the three men selected by President Obama to lead his foreign policy team: Sen. John Kerry, former Sen. Chuck Hagel, and John Brennan. But, the deeper question is not how they will perform, but what options the US faces in the coming years no matter who is serving the President.
As mentioned, I spent the past five days surfing. Here is a video I found of the "Gloria" from Schubert's Deutsche Messe. We all know the Sanctus from that Mass, and it even found its way into the newest version of the Worship hymnal. A few years back, I discovered the Agnus Dei from that Mass and it is very beautiful too. But, this weekend, I came across the Gloria, sung at the Easter Vigil at St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna. Magnificent. Someone needs to translate this into the new English translation of the Missal and get it into our hymnals.
Over at Millennial, the blog by young Catholics but for all ages, Kate Gordon has a challenging essay about the way mental illness still occasions stigmas that we do not associate with other types of illness, and why as Catholics, we need to break down the barriers we erect around mental illness.