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Ross Douthat says universities are terrible, but trying to make them better is worse... Nicholas Kristof looks at what extremists fear most... Dana Milbank details Ted Cruz' big list of crazy charges...

But first, let's go to church this Mother's Day Sunday...

Frank Bruni looks at how increasing messages of tolerance from the Vatican sometimes don't make it to the local church. an expanded employment contract that the Archdiocese of Cincinnati is forcing on more than 2,000 teachers, some of whom are refusing to sign it. In what the document does and doesn’t spell out, it sends the tired message that virtue resides in whom you share your bed with and how you do or don’t procreate. ...

Teachers in Catholic schools have long been forced to accept a vague morals clause telling them that they shouldn’t contradict Catholic doctrine. But teachers in Catholic schools in the Cincinnati archdiocese are being given a longer, more explicit litany of words and deeds that could get them fired.

The new contract expressly forbids a “homosexual lifestyle” and any “public support” of one. But it says nothing about public support of the death penalty, something else that the church opposes.

The new contract specifically rules out any use or advocacy of abortion rights, surrogacy, even in vitro fertilization. But it doesn’t address possible advocacy of the sorts of bloody military engagements that the church often condemns.

If that's not specific enough in pointing out what the Cincinnati archdiocese thinks is important, try this.
The new contract forbids “living together outside marriage,” “sexual activity out of wedlock” and any public endorsement of either. But there’s no reference to concern for the downtrodden, to the spirit of giving, to charity. And while those are surely more difficult to monitor, aren’t they as essential to Catholic principles, and closer to the core of the faith?
This sounds more like the kind of document that leads to other documents being nailed to a church door.

Maureen Dowd examines the increasingly ugly relationship between the church and the women who keep it running.

Pope Francis appears guilty of condoning that most base Vatican sport: bullying nuns.

The cool pope suddenly doesn’t seem so cool, allowing Rome’s grand inquisitors to torque up the derogation this Mother’s Day of the American sisters who have mothered so many — even as an endless parade of ghoulish priests were shielded as they defiled vulnerable kids in their care.

Pope Benedict’s Vatican was determined to rein in American nuns inspired by Vatican II, accusing them of pushing “radical feminist themes” and caring for the sick instead of parroting church teaching opposing contraception, gay relationships and the ordination of women.

Last year Pope Francis said he would let the Vatican’s coercive reform of the nuns’ group continue. ...

The new pope’s focus on the poor and social justice, his “Who am I to judge?” cri de coeur on gays, his critique that the church has become too “obsessed” with abortion, gay marriage and contraception — all these shocking and refreshing moves echo the gospel-infused spirit for which the nuns are being punished.

Well, in the church's defense, gay men are... men. That makes all the difference.

Come on in for additional punditry...

Ross Douthat follows up last week's column in which he argued that education is bad for morality, by arguing that (and I'm not kidding) liberals are being too hard on rapists.

What I didn’t discuss was the ongoing ideological war over a more specific and toxic issue in college social life: the prevalence on campuses, often in alcohol-infused situations, of rape and sexual assault, and the question of what college administrations should be obliged to do about it.

The conflict pits an array of campus activists — students who have been raped or assaulted, supported by left-wing and feminist groups — against their own deans and administrators and disciplinary committees. The activists, lately with the support of the Obama White House, have leveraged Title IX’s rules against sex discrimination to pressure colleges to expand counseling for victims, to cooperate more fully with police departments and — most important — to take a much harder disciplinary line against sexual misconduct.

Uh huh. This is Douthat. Just wait a paragraph. He's going to explain how this is a bad thing.
The colleges, for various reasons, are disinclined to push back too hard publicly against their critics. So conservative and libertarian observers — a mostly female group, it should be said, including Reason’s Cathy Young, Bloomberg View’s Megan McArdle, the American Enterprise Institute’s Caroline Kitchens and others — have stepped into the breach.
Well thank god for that, huh? From here on out Douthat argues that universities are corrupt because they've "pursued a strategy of corporate expansion" and are actually souless machines more interested in protecting their brand than their students. He says this, and yet somehow Douthat doesn't burst into flame for contradicting everything he's said about the moral compass of capitalism since... ever. After arguing that universities are indeed amoral, Douthat concludes that liberals are wrong because fighting against corporate assholery is "utopian." Fighting for the corporate side? Well, that's admirable.  Seriously, what else did you expect?

The New York Times looks past the surface language of "limits" on abortion.

Anti-abortion groups that saw a chance to get state legislatures to restrict women’s reproductive rights piously declared that all they wanted to do was to make women safer. This argument had little credibility then, and it has even less now. What has actually happened is that in state after state, with the enthusiastic support of Republican lawmakers, it has become increasingly difficult, if not impossible, for women to get safe and legal abortion care. ...

That emerging reality was driven home late last month before a three-judge panel of the New Orleans-based United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The court heard arguments in a constitutional challenge to a Mississippi law requiring doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. If that law is allowed to take effect, Mississippi’s sole remaining clinic, the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, would be forced to close because its doctors have been unable to secure admitting privileges at any nearby hospital — hardly surprising given the local political atmosphere.

Mississippi would become the first state without an abortion clinic since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973.

Dana Milbank shows where we're going to go if Republicans get control of the Senate.
Sen. Ted Cruz, in a speech to fellow conservatives at the Federalist Society this week, provided detailed evidence of what the right calls the “lawlessness” of the Obama administration.

The Texas Republican, in his latest McCar­thyesque flourish, said he had a list of “76 instances of lawlessness and other abuses of power.”

To his credit, Cruz made his list public. But perhaps he shouldn’t have. An examination of the accusations reveals less about the lawlessness of the accused than about the recklessness of the accuser.

Milbank goes on to catalog a long list of charges made by Cruz none of which (surprise) are backed by actual evidence. The stakes for 2014 are simple enough. If Republicans win, it's going to be at least two years of nothing but Benghazi! and half-assed impeachment efforts. If Democrats win, it'll mean an increased minimum wage. You'd think that was a pretty easy choice.

Carl Hiaasen provides the Rick Scott response to a new report showing that climate change will drastically affect Florida.

My fellow Floridians, as you’ve all probably heard, a new National Climate Assessment report says that Florida is seriously threatened by rising sea levels, mass flooding, salt-contaminated water supplies and increasingly severe weather events — all supposedly caused by climate change.

Let me assure you there’s absolutely no reason for worry. I still don’t believe climate change is real, and you shouldn’t, either.

Don’t be impressed just because 240 “experts” contributed to this melodramatic report. The tea party has experts, too, and they assure me it’s all hogwash.

Even if the atmosphere is warming (and, whoa, I’m not saying it is!), I still haven’t seen a speck of solid evidence that it has anything do with man spewing millions of tons of gaseous pollutants into the sky.

Is the planet a hotter place than it was 200 years ago? Yes, but only by a couple of degrees. Did most of the temperature rise occur since 1970? Yes, but don’t blame coal-burning plants or auto emissions.

Maybe the sun is getting closer to the Earth. Ever think of that? Or the Earth is moving closer to the sun? Let’s get some brainiacs to investigate that possibility!

As long as I’m the governor, Florida isn’t going to punish any industries by imposing so-called “clean air” regulations that limit carbon emissions.

Maybe there are aliens up there with a big magnifying glass. On the other hand, I kind of wouldn't blame them.

The New York Times editorial board looks at some small things that are a big deal.

The World Health Organization has surveyed the growth of antibiotic-resistant germs around the world — the first such survey it has ever conducted — and come up with disturbing findings. In a report issued late last month, the organization found that antimicrobial resistance in bacteria (the main focus of the report), fungi, viruses and parasites is an increasingly serious threat in every part of the world. “A problem so serious that it threatens the achievements of modern medicine,” the organization said. “A post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries can kill, far from being an apocalyptic fantasy, is instead a very real possibility for the 21st century.”

The growth of antibiotic-resistant pathogens means that in ever more cases, standard treatments no longer work, infections are harder or impossible to control, the risk of spreading infections to others is increased, and illnesses and hospital stays are prolonged.

We're used to medicine moving forward, but in this case we may slide back to the point where the "good old days" really were.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for the roundup, Mark! (41+ / 0-)

    Of this morning's APR, the last item is the most frightening. A world in which antibiotics don't work is going to be horrible.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Sun May 11, 2014 at 04:26:49 AM PDT

    •  Antibiotic resistance (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lenny Flank

      Been seeing a lot of pushback from my GMO-labelling friends concerning antibiotic resistance as a concern with Roundup Ready plants.  Not sure what to make of that.  

      We have the skills, the tools, the knowledge and the means to solve all our problems. All we need is the political will.

      by bloomingpol on Sun May 11, 2014 at 08:33:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know what to make of it: it's crap. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lenny Flank

        Roundup (glyphosate) is a specific inhibitor of a plant-specific enzyme. It has nothing whatsoever to do with antibiotic resistance. The people who spread this kind of misinformation are right up there with the anti-vaccine crowd.

        Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

        by Anne Elk on Sun May 11, 2014 at 09:11:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  True, but... GMO's don't get a free ride (0+ / 0-)

          Roundup/glyphosphate tolerant GMO crops may not be the unmitigated blessing that Monsanto (maker of Roundup) would have us believe.

          They will tell you (and their apologists on DKos) that Roundup will break down quickly (not true) and toxicity testing hasn't shown any problems (also not true).

          Try some Mother Earth News?

          A Perfect Poison

          The researchers’ most disturbing findings were not only the cytotoxic and hormonal responses to low-dose exposures, but the fact that the “active” ingredient — glyphosate — had much less of a toxic impact alone than the branded chemical mixtures sold to homeowners and farmers nationwide.

          Solvents and surfactants, legally considered “inert ingredients,” are mixed with glyphosate in products such as Roundup weed killer to create chemical formulations that increase mobility and more direct access to the cells. “Those same factors that aid penetration into a plant, also aid penetration into the skin,” says Vincent Garry, professor emeritus of pathology at the University of Minnesota. “These chemicals are designed to kill cells.”

          What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

          by TerryDarc on Sun May 11, 2014 at 10:52:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Boy oh boy. Even more crap. (0+ / 0-)

            Last point first. "These chemicals"? Which chemicals? Nice obfuscation there. Glyphosate interacts with remarkable specificity with a plant-specific enzyme, 5-enolpyruvylshikimate 3-phosphate (EPSP) synthase. It has been very widely studied and is just not toxic to humans or animals. It's been evaluated in studies lasting from days to years and nothing has turned up. These are serious, well-conducted studies. The acute LD50 in rats is 5.6 gm per kg! That means for 50% of a group of normal weight humans to die of poisoning, they would each have to ingest about 336 gm, about 3/4 of a pound! So the FACTS are that glyphosate is not designed to "kill cells". It's designed to kill plant cells not animal cells and it does that very well. So you are just spectacularly and obviously WRONG as I pointed out above. If you want to actually read some science - you know, verifiable facts about our world - take a look at this report.

            Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

            by Anne Elk on Mon May 12, 2014 at 02:52:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  it's partly true, but mostly baloney (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wintergreen8694, T100R

        Any herbicide produces resistance, whether the plant is GMO or not. Indeed, Roundup itself was sprayed on non-GMO plants for decades before GMO plants ever even appeared--and it is still  sprayed on non-GMO plants today (you can go to any Home Depot and buy a gallon yourself and spray it on anything you want). So GMO crops do not cause the problem of pesticide-resistant weeds. Blaming GMO plants for herbicide resistance because we spray herbicides on them, is like blaming grass lawns for fertilizer runoff because we spray the fertilizer on them--therefore we should outlaw grass lawns.  It's dumb.

        Yes, spraying herbicides on GMO plants helps produce resistant weeds--but so does spraying herbicides on anything at all, whether it's GMO or not.

        There are two tiny grains of truth in the argument, though--first, it seems as though GMO crops do get a larger average amount of pesticides (around 15% more, if the figures I remember seeing are accurate). And second, there is indeed the chance that the genes for herbicide resistance, inserted into the GMO plants, can cross-pollinate with certain weeds and give them resistance too.

        But neither of these seem to be significant factors in the development of herbicide resistance in weeds. The simple fact is that weeds will always develop resistance to ANY herbicide we use, just as microbes will always develop resistance to ANY antibiotic we use. That is simple evolution in action. There is no way anyone can stop that from happening. Any pesticide or herbicide or antibiotic is good for only a certain period of time, until its target inevitably develops resistance to it. And there's absolutely nothing we can do about that.

        PS--before the fringe anti-GMOers get their undies all in a knot and start accusing me of being part of the big corporate plot blah blah blah, I am opposed to Monsanto and its use of GMOs. Monsanto uses its GMO seeds as a bludgeon to club its competition, to form a vertical monopoly that places the entire agrarian sector in a feudal relationship with it. And I do not think anybody should have the right to patent a natural product for private profit. But my objections to GMOs are social, political and economic--nearly all of the "scientific arguments" given by the fringers are simply scientific nonsense. Eating GMO genes does not cause cancer or tumors (or anything else). Butterflies are not being killed by eating leaves coated with GMO pollen. All of the "scientific studies" showing "dangers" from GMOs are anti-science crap that shouldn't fool a fourth-grader (including the ones that have NOT already been withdrawn by the journal they were published in). The "science" presented by the fringers is at the same level of horseshit as the "science" presented by the anti-vaxxers (indeed, if you listen long enough, you'll find that many of the crackpots in the fringes of the anti-GMO movement are also anti-vaxxers).

        I consider it an embarrassment to have anti-science nutters like that on the same side as me. There are plenty of good reasons to oppose Monsanto and its use of GMOs.  We don't need to make stupid shit up.

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Sun May 11, 2014 at 09:19:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  oops, I think I misread your question--- (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wintergreen8694, T100R, Jim M

          I answered in response to the crackpot fringe's BS about "GMOs produce resistant weeds !!!"

          "GMOs produce antibiotic resistance!!" is even more nutty. While the GMO "Roundup-Ready" gene does specifically produce resistance to Roundup herbicide, it doesn't have jackshit to do with resistance to antibiotics.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Sun May 11, 2014 at 09:31:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Ross Douhat and his like-minded friends (22+ / 0-)

    are pretty clearly guilty of rape fantasies, if not rape realities. Imagine a world in which no means no!  He doesn't give a shit about colleges, corporate or otherwise, or their reputation protection desires.  He's scared he'll get busted by the women in his past or present who have the dirt on him and his friends.  

    Do I know this for sure?  Nope, I just know that anyone with this disdain for women as full human beings prolly needs to have a leash on his dick.  Any brave legislators out there willing to propose such legislation?

    I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

    by I love OCD on Sun May 11, 2014 at 04:27:04 AM PDT

  •  Indeed (34+ / 0-)

    This is really troubling.

    There are several parts of this.

    First is the alignment of the U.S. bishops with Protestant Evangelicals in the culture wars. Not only are the U.S. bishops wrong on just about everything here from same-sex marriage to women's reproductive health and family planning, they are also so far out of line with U.S. Catholics -- who are more liberal than the mainstream. This just leads to more empty pews as the American church hierarchy continues to withdraw to more and more regressive positions on issues that are important to their congregants.

    The second is the political alignment of the U.S. bishops with the Republican party, which it views as consecrating their gold-plated lifestyles and greed and their neglect of the social mission of the church. (See Cardinal Dolan of New York accepting awards from Wall St. groups and then returning to his palace dripping with jewels and fancy clothes afterwards.)

    It's just a huge lost opportunity. The Catholic Church in the U.S. is still quite powerful, though diminished, and could really do a lot of good if it wanted to do it.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Sun May 11, 2014 at 04:28:50 AM PDT

    •  The story of organized religion (11+ / 0-)
      The Catholic Church in the U.S. is still quite powerful, though diminished, and could really do a lot of good if it wanted to do it.
        Organized religion is the one force, throughout human history, with the ability to rein in the 1%. Governments can do it on occasion, until they get co-opted. But religion has a strong enough hold on the masses that it can override the propaganda of the 1%. Would George W. Bush have dropped a single bomb on Iraq if the Pope had personally traveled there as a human shield?

        Sadly, over most of the course of history (and this isn't just Catholicism), organized religion has chosen to side with established power structures, in order to uphold a "social order" that does nothing but inflict immense misery on the 99%. The whole Calvinist mindset is about glorification of the 1% and condemnation of the rest.

         It's one of the great tragedies of humanity.

      "Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge."

      by Buzzer on Sun May 11, 2014 at 05:54:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No one remembers prayer vigil for Syria (0+ / 0-)

        Pope Francis led a day long fast and prayer vigil for Catholics around the world last September for peace in Syria.  This was primarily in response to American threats at the time to bomb Syria because of the reports of chemical weapons.  Escalation and American intervention were averted (although there is still not peace in Syria).

        (Yes I know correlation does not imply causality.  The point is that there are instances where the Church tries to do good.)

      •  actually JPII strongly opposed the Iraq invasion (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        In the final year of his life, he did what he could to persuade against it. Too ill to travel, he sent a Vatican representative to the Bush WH, and the WH pretty much gave the rep the bum's rush.

        It was no secret that JPII opposed the invasion, because he said so publicly numerous times. It was the official position of the Catholic Church that it was an unjust war. Many other American congregations felt the same, including Bush's own Methodist church. Our war-pushing media didn't report on it much, but then there were a lot of things they weren't reporting in those years, when it came to Iraq. i was relying a lot on British media just to find out what my own damn country was up to.

        •  The local churches out here (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          were at the forefront of the Iraq war protest movement.  We held vigils, sponsored letter-writing campaigns, and went on several marches.  Not that it did any good.  :(

          I agree about the media.  Even our local media under-reported the protest numbers significantly.

      •  Sorry... (0+ / 0-)

        the last thing religion ever did for the 99% was the "one rest day in seven."
        Downhill ever since.

        "Our problem is not that the glass is half empty or half full, but that the 1% claims that it is their glass." ---Stolen from a post on Daily Kos

        by jestbill on Sun May 11, 2014 at 11:11:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  ^^^This is why, despite the words coming out (7+ / 0-)

      of Pope Francis' mouth, I will not return to the Catholic church.

    •  Someone on Reddit just pointed out that (5+ / 0-)

      Protestant comes from protest, protesting the Catholic church. So how did they get on the same side? They must have found something in common. Either Jesus or money and power. Take your pick.

      We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.

      by PowWowPollock on Sun May 11, 2014 at 06:45:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  money and power... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Organized xtian commonality has nothing to do with Jesus.  After the celebration of his birth, their leaders pretty much ignore him.

        A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

        by dougymi on Sun May 11, 2014 at 08:14:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Every couple of years theres a new study about (21+ / 0-)

    antibiotic resistant bugs and the danger they pose.
    You could almost cut and paste an article from 2004, or 1994, instead of writing the whole story up again.
    It gets 1 day of headlines and a few panel discussions on the MSM.
    Then, nothing.
    It will be the same this time.
    The same reason nothing that makes any difference ever gets done to slow global warming
    Because the danger is LATER and doing something about it means a serious penalty NOW, in this case, the end of cheap burgers and chicken McNuggets.
    And we're just a race of monkeys who got smart, but not as smart as we think we are.

    •  Communicable diseases (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      have always played a part in the natural selection process for the human species. Those individuals with stronger immune systems go on to reproduce, etc. It looks like, as a species, we only temporarily slowed down that force of nature.

      Of course it would help if we cut out the use of antibiotics in our mass produced meat factories. But I think Americans would rather have measles and polio than more expensive meat.

      You will not be punished for your anger. You will be punished by your anger.

      by mstep on Sun May 11, 2014 at 06:54:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  there's not much we can do anyway (0+ / 0-)

      Even we can't stop evolution from happening. The bad guys will ALWAYS develop resistance to anything we use, sooner or later. It's an inevitable natural process that we can't stop.

      The best we can do is use antibiotics and pesticides as sparingly as we can, to try to delay the process as long as possible. But even that just pushes the day of reckoning into the future. Ultimately, it's a race we simply cannot win.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Sun May 11, 2014 at 09:24:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bullshit. The best solution is to not only use (0+ / 0-)

        antibiotics sparingly but to rotate them because guess what, if an antibiotic hasn't been used for a sufficient amount of time often the resistance goes away as the genes for resistance to an antibiotic have a cost elsewhere thus those genes will be selected against as it no longer provides such a huge advantage for survival.

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Sun May 11, 2014 at 03:14:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  bullshit yourself (0+ / 0-)
          antibiotics sparingly but to rotate them because guess what, if an antibiotic hasn't been used for a sufficient amount of time often the resistance goes away as the genes for resistance to an antibiotic have a cost elsewhere thus those genes will be selected against as it no longer provides such a huge advantage for survival.
          That can take centuries, perhaps millenia.

          No pathogens have yet been demonstrated to have lost resistance to any modern antibiotics. No antibiotic to which pathogens have developed resistance, has yet reverted to losing that resistance. Not a single one of them.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Sun May 11, 2014 at 04:37:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  ps----- (0+ / 0-)
          the genes for resistance to an antibiotic have a cost elsewhere
          No they don't. They're no different than any other allele. There is no selection pressure whatever to remove them. If nearly all the population already has those alleles, then they will disappear only through the long process of random mutation.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Sun May 11, 2014 at 04:59:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  As I've pointed out before (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      back in the late '60s when I was in high school, I had an after school job working as a lab assistant for one first scientists to study Infectious Drug Resistance.* It as obvious to everyone in the field at the time -- almost fifty years ago -- that the combination of overprescription of antibiotics to humans and particularly the addition of antibiotics to animal feed was a huge disaster waiting to happen.

      *Infectious Drug Resistance refers to the ability of a resistant bacterium to pass a bit of genetic material (a plasmid) encoding the resistance to another bacterium.  In your gut are a huge variety of largely benign bacteria, some of which are resistant to one antibiotic or another. In the presence of an antibiotic, those bugs that are resistant to that specific drug start passing out these plasmids like party favors. This results in a "horizontal" spread of the resistance through disparate populations faster than purely evolutionary mechanisms.

  •  Per Douhat: Support for student rape victims... (22+ / 0-) simply a tactic in the ideological battle between right and left. I clicked through and read it. Are we really going to have an argument that Universities might be too forward-leaning when it comes to preventing rape?

    What about a little compassion, a sense of justice, indeed - a modicum of basic humanity?

    His disdain for students is repellent.

    Peace, Love, and Canoes!!!

    by OldJackPine on Sun May 11, 2014 at 04:41:39 AM PDT

  •  The Church Doesn't Oppose Death Penalty or Poverty (4+ / 0-)

    It's critical of them, it whines about them from time to time.

    It doesn't oppose them. Hell it's spent 2,000 years working to improve and soften poverty.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun May 11, 2014 at 04:51:10 AM PDT

  •  dinner (12+ / 0-)

    I had dinner last night with former Catholic brother, and we discussed the new Pope.  He is very proud of the "cri de coeur on gays" words, I called it style over substance.  My wife chimed in--show me the money.  The church could fund a lot of good stuff if it sold off some of its warehoused art.  My dinner mate said, change takes time-- I said that's not true of the man who has a direct line to God--and who has a good heart.  Needless to say, I enjoyed dinner more than he did.

    Actions speak louder than petitions.

    by melvynny on Sun May 11, 2014 at 04:53:02 AM PDT

  •  Glad to see Bruni and Dowd (16+ / 0-)

    punching some holes in the Francis cloud of ecstasy that has been holding sway over the media.  I get so tired of seeing Francis love fest diaries on Kos.  Anyone with any sense of progressive values can't possibly be looking at Francis or the RCC with a clear eye when they totally ignore what this institution continues to do with women and reproductive rights.  As the Cincinnati school issue demonstrates, this church is still all about dominionism, period.

    That pretty face of Francis is melting, and not a moment too soon.  There is no way this institution is EVER going to change its immoralities or participate in the full bloom of human rights.

  •  Douhat, once again, proves why (11+ / 0-)

    he richly deserves to be throttled.

    Let's just take a look at how universities take rape seriously [not]:

    CU pays $32K to settle sex assault case that sparked Title IX investigation

    Gilchriese has said publicly that she was sexually assaulted last February. Her assailant, an undergraduate male, was found responsible for non-consensual sexual intercourse by the school's student discipline office.

    His punishment included an eight-month suspension, $75 fine and a paper.

    Gilchriese said it took four weeks for her assailant to be removed from campus, and during that time he went against an order to have no contact with her several times.

    In the end, she sought help in the form of a permanent protection order.

    In case some of you have not seen it: Not Alone, the US Government's Rape Crisis website for students and schools.  

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Sun May 11, 2014 at 04:59:21 AM PDT

  •  What punishment can the nun's incur? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    •  In the past (14+ / 0-)

      punishment has been anything from a public reprimand to removing them from their orders/revoking their vows.  Also, nuns have been "silenced" by refusing to allow them to teach at Catholic institutions or publish through Catholic media.  

      The men in the church actually believe they have control over a nun's vows.  Ha!

      It is a new world and the nuns who are being targeted frankly don't care in the long run.  They haven't changed their missions.  The don't need the Vatican or the Diocese for their being able to function.  

      " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

      by gchaucer2 on Sun May 11, 2014 at 05:23:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  In addition, they can punish them less directly (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      salmo, rl en france

      Two professors at our local Jesuit university,a priest and a nun, taught classes in Christian sexuality, and had a very robust therapeutic practice.

      The local bishop didn't care for some of their teachings.  For whatever reason, the university didn't get rid of them (tenure?), but they lost the space for their therapeutic practice and had to relocate to somewhere much less expensive.  Still came in to teach intensive weekend classes, although it much more difficult.

  •  For a personal story about the Cincinnati (18+ / 0-)

    teacher contract issue, a teacher with a gay son had this to say when she refused to sign her contract:

    "Though a lifelong Catholic and devoted teacher, the lengthy contract's starkly detailed restrictions on her personal life – and the freedom to publicly support her now 22-year-old son – stunned her.

    "In my eyes there is nothing wrong with my son. This is what God gave me and what God created and someone I should never be asked to not support," she said from her Butler County home.

    "For me to sign this (contract), I feel like I would be telling my son I've changed my mind, that I don't support him as I did. And I won't do that," she said."

    Needless to say:

    "Archdiocese officials remain steadfast in their support of the new contract."

    “The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day.” Gloria Steinem

    by ahumbleopinion on Sun May 11, 2014 at 05:28:09 AM PDT

  •  The Archdiocese of Cincinnati's Teachers Contract (10+ / 0-)

    Is so Cincinnati. It's behind the times. It builds walls everywhere to keep the unwanted out. In the end it is intolerant.

    There is enlightenment. The headline in yesterday's Cincinnati Enquirer was about a gay mom who is first grade teacher in a Catholic School. She is quitting after this year, will not sign the new contract because she loves and supports her gay son.

    Here's a link: Story about Cincinnati Catholic Teacher

    "Never before has it been so hard for the rich to become poor, or for the poor to become rich." Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R,Ky)

    by wild hair on Sun May 11, 2014 at 05:39:02 AM PDT

  •  Sad Little Catholic Hierarchy (9+ / 0-)

    They have no semblance of modernity at all. No way of adjusting their thinking to the changing times. They have Cardinals and Archbishops who fetishize anachronisms wrapped in muted colors.

    And as the song and dance begins, the children play at home with needles, needles and pins.

    by The Lone Apple on Sun May 11, 2014 at 05:45:06 AM PDT

  •  Milbank's column (5+ / 0-)

    is was too soft on Cruz.

    And the comments reveal some seriously sick individuals.

  •  "I have here, in my hand, a list of 205... (10+ / 0-)

    No, wait, a list of 76... Yeah, 76, that's good. Sounds patriotic."

    Or was it 57?

    I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

    by Crashing Vor on Sun May 11, 2014 at 05:50:53 AM PDT

  •  Doucheat (6+ / 0-)

      I always thought that one of THE central tenets of conservatism was sex control -- so I would have assumed that "taking a much harder disciplinary line against sexual misconduct" would be something conservatives would support and celebrate.

      But when it's about young men raping women, somehow, all these values of sexual restraint go out the window.

      I would violently object to MY daughter dating an animal like Ross Douhat.

    "Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge."

    by Buzzer on Sun May 11, 2014 at 06:05:40 AM PDT

  •  More from Dowd (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tobendaro, wintergreen8694
    He did not contradict Cardinal Müller “because that would be sending out a liberal message rather than an inclusive message,” the biographer said. But in June, the pope reportedly told a group of nuns and priests from Latin America not to worry if they heard from the orthodoxy enforcers because “this will pass!”

    Vallely said that the pope was allowing the liberal German Cardinal Walter Kasper to make speeches on changing the rules to allow divorced Catholics to take Communion at the same time he’s allowing conservatives to oppose the same thing. He chose a liberal pope for sainthood to balance the conservative, pedophile-shielding pope.

    “The thing he really hates is the way the papacy used to work like a medieval monarchy,” Vallely said. “He wants the church to reach decisions slowly, by conversations within the church. He wants to hear all the different voices. He’s letting a thousand flowers bloom.”

    Pope Francis seems inclined towards incrementalist change that will move too slowly to please some people.  You are going to be disappointed if you expect him to act authoritatively (authoritarianly?) to make sweeping changes.
  •  You can see Ross Asshat (6+ / 0-)

    trying to wriggle some populist anti-corporatism into his attack on Universities and his ignoble attempt to save the rapists. Democrats cannot let the GOP take the anti-corporate high ground--but they've left the hole wide open and now the slime is oozing through. The Ferengi Koch brothers know this too.

    You can wake someone who is sleeping, but you cannot wake someone who is pretending to sleep.

    by gnothis on Sun May 11, 2014 at 06:22:21 AM PDT

    •  So how much can Koch backed Astroturf groups (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      fan populist anti-corporatism and resentments against perceived crony Capitalism before it turns around and bites them in the butt?

      "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

      by Stude Dude on Sun May 11, 2014 at 06:35:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  With the media (4+ / 0-)

        uncritically repeating whatever the right says I think it would take a long time. I've encountered way too many young people who have fallen for Ron Paul's b.s.--Rand is making a play for these chumps right now. There was a right wing crack down on Newt when he took that tack against Romney--maybe their own fragile victimized egos would stop if from going too far. But either way--this is turf that should not be in play.

        You can wake someone who is sleeping, but you cannot wake someone who is pretending to sleep.

        by gnothis on Sun May 11, 2014 at 07:03:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Republican governance a la Cruz (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Leo Flinnwood

    "Sen. Ted Cruz, in a speech to fellow conservatives at the Federalist Society this week, provided detailed evidence of what the right calls the “lawlessness” of the Obama administration. "
    One big SMEAR campaign.
    It's like they don't notice that parties in the past have disagreed on policy - that doesn't make one side "lawless."
    Even McCarthy is probably impressed as he looks up at all this nonsense (sweating, no doubt).

    •  Before We Were Interrupted By ACA Rollout (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      disaster, Ted Cruz was in the midst of leading the government shutdown and the the talk was it was going to lead to great midterms for the Democrats. Maybe we can get back to where we were that Trey Gowdy in the House and Cruz in the Senate will give people a look at what a totally controlled GOP Congress would be up to.

  •  Sadly, I'm not surprised (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    salmo, tb mare, wintergreen8694, tardis10

    When push comes to shove, it seems as though women's and women's issues are seen as expendable.

    For instance, although I am delighted that the NBA acted so decisively in removing that explicitly racist owner, if he had said equally-derogatory things about women, would the outcry have been even close to being the same?  I'm not convinced.

    Also, while I applaud the huge strides marriage equality is making, and am thrilled at the support from progressive Protestant churches (especially out here on the Left Coast), these same churches are silent when it comes to the ongoing attack on women's rights and freedoms.  Granted, there isn't a huge anti-contraception, anti-abortion push in these states, but it's like the invisible ghost at the feast.

  •  Nuns are both vicitms and victimizers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wintergreen8694, gfv6800

    Blocked from view by the horrific crimes done to children by priests has been abuse of children by nuns and their silence about priestly abuse.  When I attended Catholic school in the late 50's and early 60's in the Chicago area, a good number children were routinely, essentially beaten by nuns.  Not all, but not exceptional or dismissed by easy cliches such as "one bad apple in the  bunch."

    People miss that where there were Catholic schools, there were nuns running the schools and teaching in them.  Kids were under their care from attending Mass in the mornings to making sure the altar boys were ready.  
    To be blunt, the nuns knew priests were raping children.

    But then, I read about how priests in developing countries rape nuns as they are thought to be disease free and the ideal victims.  And yes, nuns, along with female parishioners did in fact literally keep the walls of the church and schools from falling down. And the their reward is servitude, discrimination and for women not in the orders, disdain and putting them in harms way through their abortion and reproductive stances.

    Yes nuns are wonderful for some of their progressive voices, but also remember that while they have been victims, they have participated and been complicit in the abuses of the Church.

  •  College and elitism (3+ / 0-)

    Isn't it more elitist to disparage higher education in all of its forms than it is to encourage it? When you look at wealthy Americans who have inherited large sums of money, they still attend elite schools and pursue multiple advanced degrees. All four Democratic candidates for governor of Pennsylvania have Master's degrees, for example.

    But we're told that college is a waste of time and money... blah...

    I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

    by CFAmick on Sun May 11, 2014 at 07:27:05 AM PDT

    •  That all depends... (0+ / 0-)

      I had a college roommate who spent $25,000 on an automotive industrial design degree in California. Why? Because he likes cars. After graduation and getting married, he became a... warehouse manager.

      A waste of time and money.

  •  Let me tell you about the Catholic church (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, clecinosu

    My first wife was Catholic, and she got a job teaching at a Catholic school.  She got pregnant, began to have problems with the pregnancy and was given bed rest by her doctor.

    The Catholic school she worked for fired her.  She ultimately miscarried.

    That told me everything I needed to know about their so-called respect for life.

  •  You missed today's best column (4+ / 0-)

    Be sure to check out Trudy Rubin's column today:

    Here's the real Benghazi scandal: Republicans have turned the deaths of four brave Americans into a campaign tool to galvanize their base.

    Eight congressional investigations, along with an independent review board, have laid out the facts about the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate. There have been 13 public hearings, the release of 25,000 pages of documents, and 50 briefings on the security failures that led to the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. None offered a shred of evidence that White House political considerations led to their deaths.

    ...the unending search for a Benghazi conspiracy might be laughable if it were not so shameful. Legislators who truly care about Chris Stevens and the three other victims should stop this charade.

  •  Kornacke is masterful, amazing (4+ / 0-)

    Sick of most Sunday talks, I turn to Steve Kornacke on MSNBC. He has four voices regarding climate change: meteorologist, reporter, activist and Heritage Foundation rep. He hears from the first three, then tells the conservative mouthpiece that after the break he is going to ask him question x. After the break, he announces that conservative mouthpiece doesn't want to answer the question he asked, but something else. CM reads nonsensical talking points off a sheet of paper, nothing to do with the question he was asked. Kornacke then moves on to the other three and never goes back to him.

    Could he be hired as a trainer for Meet the Press?

  •  Thanks for the link to the Carl Hiaasen column. (0+ / 0-)

    It's shocking that Rick Scott might have proudly said, if the column weren't a satire of a speech Scott could give:  

    soon after I took office we repealed the state’s Climate Protection Act and eliminated the Energy and Climate Commission that was created under my predecessor, the Obama-hugging turncoat Charlie Crist. I also ordered the Department of Environmental Protection to halt all initiatives dealing with renewable energy and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, no one at DEP is even allowed to whisper the phrase “climate change” any more.
    As another article says:
    During the past three years, Gov. Scott, a climate skeptic allied with fossil fuel companies, has led a systematic unraveling of nearly all the climate policies passed under his predecessor Crist.

    The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

    by ybruti on Sun May 11, 2014 at 02:30:48 PM PDT

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