via The Looking Spoon
After being gone all day, and out for the evening, I found a welcome surprise early this morning as I was reading through my birthday email greetings from friends and readers. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the hit counter rolling over and what I never expected to see so soon.
So I grabbed a quick screen shot ........
Thank you all who visit, and comment here regularly for your support in my little endeavorer. Yeah, you know who you are.....
"With just 100 days left until the U.S. presidential election, investors are beginning to make bigger bets on which candidate will carry the day."
"The fact that the election is so close now speaks volumes about how much we are concerned about the current economic situation in the United States, the conventional wisdom indicates that Wall Street would rather see a fiscal conservative Republican win. That's sort of a free-market capitalist concept, except for the fact that history doesn't play that out. What's typically better for Wall Street is some sort of gridlock. "At the end of the day, we are not really worried that Europe is going to be 'solved' or that its economy will strongly grow.
"With the polls showing a race still ripe for the taking, the economic picture of the last four years and the next four years likely will come down to 100 days' worth of news."Read More
The words “freedom of belief” do not appear in the First Amendment. Nor do the words “freedom of worship.” Instead, the Bill of Rights guarantees Americans something that its authors called “the free exercise” of religion.
It’s a significant choice of words, because it suggests a recognition that religious faith cannot be reduced to a purely private or individual affair. Most religious communities conceive of themselves as peoples or families, and the requirements of most faiths extend well beyond attendance at a sabbath service — encompassing charity and activism, education and missionary efforts, and other “exercises” that any guarantee of religious freedom must protect.
Jesus didn’t limit his ministry to the four walls of the church and there seems to be a great deal of confusion about this point in the leadership today.
You can see this confusion at work in the Obama White House’s own Department of Health and Human Services, which created a religious exemption to its mandate requiring employers to pay for contraception, sterilization and the days-after pill that covers only churches, and treats religious hospitals, schools and charities as purely secular operations. The defenders of the H.H.S. mandate note that it protects freedom of worship, which indeed it does. But a genuine free exercise of religion, not so much.
Now we have the great Chick-fil-A imbroglio, in which mayors and an alderman in several American cities threatened to prevent the delicious chicken chain from opening new outlets because its Christian president told an interviewer that he supports “the biblical definition of the family unit.” Their conceit seemed to be that the religious liberties afforded to congregations do not extend to religious businessmen. Or alternatively, it was that while a businessman may have the right to his private beliefs, the local zoning committee has veto power over how those beliefs are exercised and expressed.
Of course every freedom has its limits. We do not allow people to exercise beliefs that require, say, forced marriage or honor killing.
It may seem strange that anyone could look around the pornography-saturated, fertility-challenged, family-breakdown-plagued West and see a society menaced by a repressive puritanism. But it’s clear that this perspective is widely and sincerely held.
It would be refreshing, though, if it were expressed honestly, without the “of course we respect religious freedom” facade.
If you want to fine Catholic hospitals for following Catholic teaching, or prevent Jewish parents from circumcising their sons, or ban Chick-fil-A in Boston, then don’t tell religious people that you respect our freedoms......
Say what you really think: that the exercise of our religion threatens all that’s good and decent, and that you’re going to use the levers of power to bend us to your will.
There, didn’t that feel better?
Now we can get on with the fight.
Mitt Romney’s plan of blatantly lying about President Obama’s “you didn’t build that” speech is clearly drawing blood. But what makes the attack work so well is not so much the lie itself but the broader subtext of it. Watch Obama’s delivery in the snippet put together by this Republican ad[.] ...
The key thing is that Obama is angry, and he’s talking not in his normal voice but in a “black dialect.” This strikes at the core of Obama’s entire political identity: a soft-spoken, reasonable African-American with a Kansas accent. From the moment he stepped onto the national stage, Obama’s deepest political fear was being seen as a “traditional” black politician, one who was demanding redistribution from white America on behalf of his fellow African-Americans.So desperate to reelect Obama he's unafraid to embarrass himself, that's a flailing Jonathan Chait in New York Magazine and this is the ad he's attempting to declare racist.