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Judge denies request to block Ind. voucher program

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Read the full story at the Huffington Post:

A judge Monday declined to halt Indiana's broad new school voucher program, saying the law was "religion-neutral" and likely to be upheld.

The measure passed this year by the Republican-dominated General Assembly and signed into law by GOP Gov. Mitch Daniels is the nation's broadest private school voucher program. A group of teachers and religious leaders backed by the Indiana State Teachers Association is challenging it, claiming it violates the state constitution by providing public money to religious institutions.

However, in his ruling denying a temporary injunction, Marion Superior Court Judge Michael Keele wrote the law "is religion-neutral and was enacted `for the benefit' of students, not religious institutions or activities."

"It permits taxpayer funds to be paid to religious schools only upon the private individual choices of parents," Keele wrote in siding with the state.

Brother, can you spare a sanctuary?

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Here's an example of responding to a natural disaster:

From The Leaf Chronicle:

Wind, fire, flood — Clarksville has its share of disasters. It also has a strong sense of how to respond to those disasters, demonstrated nowhere more strongly than at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.

Immaculate Conception most recently came to the aid of Bethlehem United Methodist Church when its Gothic revival, all-wood sanctuary, built in 1900, burned down after being struck by lightning on July 15, 2009.

Bethlehem wasn't about to give up. Members first set up worship under two large shade trees at 1324 Gholson Road, and then spent the next few months trying out various housing options.

Then Immaculate Conception offered a sanctuary — literally.

Read more here.

The gambler in chief?

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"The deficit/default imbroglio that ended in the deficit-reduction agreement on August 2 has pretty much squelched that hope" that as President Obama would "press a progressive agenda," Margaret O'Brien Steinfels writes over on the Commonweal blog (See The Obama Gamble).

She cites James Kloppenberg, who wrote in Reading Obama, Obama’s commitment to “compromise and painstaking consensus building…represent a calculated risk as political strategy,” and admits “it is a gamble he may lose.”

Steinfels then throws down the gauntlet: "The president has fourteen months to demonstrate that he has not lost the gamble, or to come up with a better, less-accommodating strategy."

St. John's alum Bradley wins PGA Championship

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Keegan Bradley, an alum of St. John's University, Queens, New York, won the PGA Championship Golf Tournament yesterday in dramatic fashion.

From the New York Post:

Don't let the look fool you.

Don't be lulled by the rosy cheeks and the aw-shucks wide-eyed look into thinking Keegan Bradley is soft.

The kid never quits.

Just ask Jason Dufner. He had had a five-shot lead on him with three holes to play and watched helplessly on the third and final hole of their playoff as Bradley, a PGA Tour rookie playing in his first major championship, tapped in a two-foot putt to win the PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club.

Just ask Bradley's caddie, Steve "Pepsi" Hale, who said: "The guy's the gutsiest player I've ever worked for. He's got no quit in him. Ever."

Just ask Frank Darby, who coached him for four years on the St. John's golf team.

"Nothing fazes him," Darby said last night.

News bites

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I became a media literacy education specialist because I started paying attention to the news. Now I am a recovering news junkie because after Tim Russert died, no one seems civil and especially I don't enjoy the Sunday morning talk shows any more. The news isn't what it used to be; it's infotainment at best.

However some news bits and bytes get my attention because they "bite" -- though for different reasons.

Politicians that blame the "lame stream" media get a lot of broadcasting sound bytes that can take a politicians' meaning out of context -- or not. It depends on one's perspective I think.

Here's what I heard on the news yesterday and again this morning:

Morning Briefing

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Home sweet shopping cart, for a moment at least, 'the universe bends toward justice.'

Pope planning 'radical' changes to Irish Catholic Church. Set to slash number of dioceses, force bishops to retire?

Pittsburgh D.A. ends clergy abuse inquiry

Australila Attorney general conisders Catholic abuse inquiry

Retro-Actives: The religious practices of Millennial Catholics, 20-somethings are embracing old parts of the Catholic tradition

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