Links for 1/9/18

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Highway construction workers are seen in Dallas in this 2011 file photo. (CNS/Larry W. Smith, EPA)

In The Washington Post, the Koch brothers are trying to seduce Puerto Ricans who have fled to Florida. The report says that the word of their outreach efforts is being spread through Spanish-language radio, Florida Hospital Orlando, and "a network of churches." I don't know about the radio or the hospital, but the Catholic bishops of Florida should make sure this anti-Christian, libertarian group is not being promoted in our churches!

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From the Catholic Labor Network and the Kalmanovitz Initiative at Georgetown, a joint report on the degree to which organized labor and state Catholic conferences share common values in the fighting for justice in the state legislatures – and that there is plenty of room for improvement. At a time when the nation's solidarity deficit could scarcely be more obvious and more threatening, here is an area for the U.S. bishops' conference to focus on: strengthening ties with organized labor.

Also from the Kalmanovitz Initiative, this week's Working-Class Perspectives blog features Professor Mary Romero on President Trump's pardon of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and how Arpaio's criminal actions as sheriff demonstrated the vulnerability of undocumented workers.

Elizabeth Bruenig, in The Washington Post, argues that if we are going to condition welfare benefits on a person's willingness to work, why don't we do the same for the filthy rich?

At The Catholic Thing — and from the file "what 'we,' white man?" — Fr. Gerald Murray writes about "The Crisis We Are Living." No, a few cranks are all worked into a lather about Amoris Laetitia, but most of us are fine with it. Murray's commentary shows just how thoroughly he epitomizes the caricature of a hyper-legalistic cleric who can be well described as pharisaical.

How vile can EWTN be? This past week, Raymond Arroyo's first segment featured an interview with former White House aide Sebastian Gorka and "terrorism expert" Walid Phares. Gorka's insane assertions were, unsurprisingly, unchallenged by the host. I also saw Arroyo last week on Laura Ingraham's new show, a show that is dedicated more or less to demonizing immigrants. When will the bishop of Birmingham recognize it is time to insist on changes at the network or to contemplate the "I" word – interdict!

[Michael Sean Winters writes about the nexus between religion and politics.]

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