Archive for January, 2010


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Sunday, January 31st, 2010 | Uncategorized | 22 Comments

Mouneer Anis, the Anglican Bishop of Egypt, can’t make himself pretend any longer:

After much prayer and consideration, I hereby submit my resignation from the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion (SCAC). I have come to realize that my presence in the current SCAC has no value whatsoever and my voice is like a useless cry in the wilderness. Having said that, I must say that since I joined the committee in 2007 I have learnt quite a lot and made friends who may disagree with me whom I appreciate very much and I will miss.

Many sing praises of “inclusiveness” while at the same time they exclude others. I am deeply disturbed in my conscience when I see a kind of double-standard in dealing with different issues. While emphasizing the importance of caring for for the marginalized in our communities, like the LGBT community, the orthodox Anglicans are being marginalized. I understand that in a family, the concern of every member is cared for; but this is not the reality in our meetings where the orthodox voices are disregarded or suppressed.

The Listening Process as mentioned in Lambeth 1998 Resolution 1.10 is to help us all to “minister pastorally and sensitively” to people with homosexual orientation.”  I am afraid to say the Listening Process, as it is now, is taken out of the context of the whole resolution which rejects “homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture.”  By all means, we should love, welcome and pastorally care for people with homosexual orientation.  But it seems as if the aim of the Listening Process is to convince traditional Anglicans, especially in the Global South, that homosexual practice is acceptable.

In our Communion where some churches depend financially on others, there is no guarantee of a fair, two-way listening process.  My heart breaks when some of my colleagues say, “we too reject homosexual practice, but we cannot speak up because we have great financial needs.”  It is sad that money speaks louder than the Scriptures.  I wish the Anglican Communion Office would clarify with honesty what is the ultimate aim of the Listening Process.

Read the whole devastating thing.

Even the Anglican Communion Institute understands that with this resignation, the Anglican Communion has just taken one in le secteur génital.

We have learned today from Bishop Mouneer Anis that he has submitted his resignation from the former joint standing committee. Following so closely the release in December of the final text of the Anglican Communion Covenant, this resignation underscores the extent to which the Anglican Communion is at a major crossroads. At this decisive moment, however, substantial doubts have been expressed both publicly by Bishop Mouneer and privately by others as to whether this committee, now the standing committee of the Anglican Consultative Council, is the appropriate body to coordinate the implementation of the Covenant. These concerns point to the steps that we believe are necessary to restore the Communion so badly damaged by actions in North America over the last decade.

I may be mistaken but I believe that Henry Orombi is still on the committee.  If he follows Anis out, the credibility of the Standing Committee dies unless Dr. Williams reaches out to one or more Anglican conservatives as replacements.

If he does, will they pull his chestnuts out of the fire?  Doubtful.  If Mouneer Anis realizes that all this has been a sham and if the Anglican Communion Institute is slowly being dragged to the understanding that the Anglican Communion is running on fumes, then absent a major move against the Americans, I don’t see any credible conservatives stepping in to give Dr. Williams cover.

Which means what?  Beats me.  Traditional Anglican indolence could set in and nothing could happen.  But Anis’ letter suggests to me that some Anglicans, even among the hierarchy, are beginning to grasp the idea that if what had been the “Anglican tradition” wants to survive, it’s going to have to radically reinvent itself.

And that that reinvention will probably necessitate cutting ties with Canterbury.

UPDATE: Jim?  OutSTANDing job at proving Anis’ point for him.  Dumbass.

UPDATE: Pointless-on-the-Thames weighs in.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Sunday, January 31st, 2010 | Uncategorized | 15 Comments

For anyone who still thinks that abortion won’t some day become an Episcopal sacrament, meet the Rev. Mark Asman, another cleric with God’s 800 number:

The Santa Barbara Pro-Choice Coalition hosted an event January 25, with refreshments aplenty, to commemorate the 37th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.

Within the art-adorned walls of the Faulkner Gallery, located in the Santa Barbara Public Library’s main branch, men and women of various ages gathered to listen to two Santa Barbara religious leaders, Reverend Mark Asman and Rabbi Arthur Gross-Schaefer, discuss abortion, along with Kathy Kneer, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California.

Declaring himself a “progressive religious activist,” Asman critiqued the health care bill’s anti-abortion amendment. “God is grieved by this amendment,” he said. Asman went on to say that he feared the “tragic consequences of a pre-Roe world.”

Good thing that didn’t come out of Pat Robertson’s pie hole.  Because that would have been embarrassing.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Saturday, January 30th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 20 Comments

Well this sucks:

Washington Episcopal Bishop John B. Chane announced Saturday he will retire in the fall of 2011, saying it was “time to elect a younger person to lead what I consider to be the best and one of the most influential dioceses in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.”

Speaking to about 325 attendees at the annual diocesan convention at the Washington Cathedral, Bishop Chane, 65, admitted he was stepping down during a time of flagging growth and stagnant giving in the 42,000-member diocese.

“Parochial reports filed by the parishes of our diocese for the most part tell a story of no real measurable growth in membership within the last 12 years,” he said. “Financial giving has been stagnant.”

The budget that supports the missionary work of the diocese to its congregations, schools and our mission outreach beyond our borders has been stagnant as well. Any financial growth has come primarily through the bishops annual appeal and from the generosity of individuals, some who are not even Episcopalians.

“There has been no strong upward trend in pledged giving to the diocese by our congregations. And we have not received any large, unexpected financial gifts from those who have remembered the diocese in their wills or in large, unrestricted gifts received from the living to preserve our outreach ministry to our Episcopal schools, our campus ministries and our outreach to an exploding Spanish speaking community that resides within our geographic boundaries.”

But in “other models” for success, the diocese supplied parishioners and many others with pastoral care and ministry, he said. Plus, the diocese has some of the fastest-growing Spanish-speaking churches in the denomination.

A search committee will be formed in March to start the process of looking for the bishop’s replacement. An election is tentatively slated for June 2011.

I’ve gotten some decent material out of the old gasbag over the years and he was the inspiration for this site’s last Instantlanche.  So enjoy your retirement, John.  And I mean that sincerely, big man.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Friday, January 29th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 30 Comments

Should Hillary Clinton challenge Barack Obama in 2012?  CNN’s Jack Cafferty thinks so:

In American politics, two years is an eternity.  But as things stand right now, Hillary Clinton might be the only chance the Democrats have to avert total disaster.

For the sake of argument, let’s say that the Republicans do REALLY well in the elections this fall. Maybe they take one or the other house or maybe they just make things a whole lot closer than they are now.

Who gets the blame?  The President.  Which means that if he wants to avoid being this generation’s Franklin Pierce, Barack Obama will have to tack back toward the center if not the center-right.

Pull a Bill Clinton, in other words.

But is Obama capable of such a move?  Experience would suggest that he’s not.  Besides, if he did, his base, which is not happy with him now, would probably desert him.

Which leaves Hillary.  She’s the Secretary of State which means that she’s free from any taint from Obama’s domestic policies. 

Hill fashioned a health care plan of her own back in the day that somebody probably still has a copy of(wish I’d held on to mine) but she can always point out that it wasn’t anywhere near as thick as the current Senate plan.

Will the radical left rally in great numbers behind her?  Will she attract the same level of enthusiam that Obama did in 2008 and get the same media blow job?

You’re kidding, right?  If Obama, the guy the radicals thought would deliver the goods, can’t make single-payer happen, then Hillary’s certainly not going to be more radical.

Can she snag enough moderates to win the presidency?  That’s the $64,000 question.  She does have the track record.  And if a Republican can take Ted Kennedy’s seat, then the conventional American political wisdom is out the window.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Friday, January 29th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 20 Comments

I don’t know whether this is common knowledge or not but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi seems to have a rather exalted opinion of herself:

Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has obtained documents from the Air Force detailing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s use of United States Air Force aircraft for Congressional Delegations (CODELs). According to the documents, obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Speaker’s military travel cost the United States Air Force $2,100,744.59 over a two-year period — $101,429.14 of which was for in-flight expenses, including food and alcohol.

The Speaker will be damned if she’ll set foot inside some plebian carrier like Southwest.

Speaker Pelosi used Air Force aircraft to travel back to her district at an average cost of $28,210.51 per flight. The average cost of an international CODEL is $228,563.33. Of the 103 Pelosi-led congressional delegations (CODEL), 31 trips included members of the House Speaker’s family.

And none of those little, tiny bottles with next-to no booze in ’em either!  If the Speaker wants a government-funded party plane, the Speaker’s going to effing GET a government-funded party plane!!  Got that, bitches!!

One CODEL traveling from Washington, DC, through Tel Aviv, Israel to Baghdad, Iraq May 15-20, 2008, “to discuss matters of mutual concern with government leaders” included members of Congress and their spouses and cost $17,931 per hour in aircraft alone. Purchases for the CODEL included: Johnny Walker Red scotch, Grey Goose vodka, E&J brandy, Bailey’s Irish Crème, Maker’s Mark whiskey, Courvoisier cognac, Bacardi Light rum, Jim Beam whiskey, Beefeater gin, Dewars scotch, Bombay Sapphire gin, Jack Daniels whiskey, Corona beer and several bottles of wine.


The Department of Defense advanced a CODEL of 56 members of Congress and staff $60,000 to travel to Louisiana and Mississippi July 19-22, 2008, to “view flood relief advances from Hurricane Katrina.” The three-day trip cost the U.S. Air Force $65,505.46, exceeding authorized funding by $5,505.46.

Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, if you need her.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Friday, January 29th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 14 Comments

First off, the fact that the news media reported and the intelligentsia made fun of every misstatement George W. Bush ever made and so turnabout is fair play really doesn’t justify doing the same thing to Barack Obama.  We conservatives are supposed to be bigger than that.

That said, there’s a reason why the President takes a teleprompter everywhere he goes:


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Friday, January 29th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 28 Comments

The shiver that just went up your spine might have been caused by the fact that Rowan Williams and a number of other theologians are in New York discussing the economy:

Theology’s contribution to economic decision-making goes beyond simply raising the question of “common good”; it also offers a framework into what is being assumed – human motivations — promoted through economic practices, said Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams during a Jan. 28 lecture at the 2010 Trinity Institute. 

“If we find, as a good many commentators and researchers have observed in recent years, that working practices regularly reward behavior that is undermining of family life — driven or obsessional, relentlessly competitive and adversarial — we have some questions to ask,” he said.

Williams’ lecture “Theology and Economics: Two Different Worlds?” opened day two of the Trinity Institute’s 40th National Theological Conference –“Building an Ethical Economy: Theology and the Market Place,” exploring the intersection between economics and theology, held at Trinity Wall Street in New York’s financial district Jan. 27-29. The conference officially began Jan. 27 in the evening with a Holy Eucharist, where Williams celebrated and Archbishop of Burundi Bernard Ntahoturi preached.

“Economic activity is something people do, one kind of activity among others; and as    such it is subject to the same moral considerations as all other activities. It has to be thought about in connection with what we actively want for our humanity,” Williams said.

In exploring the intersection between economics and theology, the conference seeks to explore questions and themes including: “Is capitalism a belief system?”; “What is wealth and how should it be measured?”; “constructive models of economics and consumerism”; and “envision ways to build an economy that is both ethical and just.” The conference includes presentations, panel discussions followed by Q&A sessions and theological reflection groups.

Over the past few years, Williams said, he has repeatedly noted that the word “economy” is at its root a term for “housekeeping,” which has implications as to where the discourse belongs.

“A household is somewhere where life is lived in common; and housekeeping is guaranteeing that this common life has some stability about it that allows the members of the household to grow and flourish and act in useful ways,” he said. “A working household is an environment in which vulnerable people are nurtured and allowed to grow up (children) or wind down (the elderly); it is a background against which active people can go out to labor in various ways to reinforce the security of the household; it is a setting where leisure and creativity can find room in the general business of intensifying and strengthening the relationships that are involved.

“Good housekeeping seeks common well-being so that all these things can happen; and we should note that the one thing required in a background of well-being is stability,” he said.

“‘Housekeeping theory’ is about how we use our intelligence to balance the needs of those involved and to secure trust between them,” Williams said. “A theory that wanders too far from these basics is a recipe for damage to the vulnerable, to the regularity and usefulness of labor and to the possibilities human beings have for renewing (and challenging) themselves through leisure and creativity.”

The same kind of damage, Williams said, results in an economic climate where everything is reduced to the search for maximized profit and unlimited material growth.

“The effects of trying to structure economic life independently of intelligent choice about long-term goals for human beings have become more than usually visible in the last 18 months, and one reason for holding this conference is the growing force of the question ‘what for?’ in our global market. What is the long-term well-being we seek? …” he said.

On one level, there’s nothing particularly harmful about any of this.  At the end of this conference, these people will issue a report no one who matters will read containing recommendations no one who matters will pay any attention to.  No harm, no foul.

But there’s an underlying assumption here that ought to concern thinking people.  Namely, that there is a way for economies to act “ethically” or “justly,” we Christians can determine what that way is and that once we do, we are obliged to work for it.

Which means that the government needs to pass laws to force the economy to be “just” and that we non-politicians need to support politicians who agree.

I think you can see the difficulty.  The idea of determining exactly what constitutes a perfectly “just” and “ethical” economy is perfect fodder for the Anglicans because it means that they can talk forever without actually coming up with an answer.

And even if they did, how on Earth would they implement it?  By passing laws?  If it were possible to pass(more importantly, if men had the desire to pass) laws to make all bad stuff go away, the Bible would never have been written because it would never have needed to be written.

When Dr. Williams says, “If we find, as a good many commentators and researchers have observed in recent years, that working practices regularly reward behavior that is undermining of family life — driven or obsessional, relentlessly competitive and adversarial — we have some questions to ask,” he indicates that he hasn’t gotten his mind around something most intelligent people figured out a long time ago.

Economies are not nice, never have been and never will be.

Most people figured that out before they graduated from college.  Does your job require you to work long, driven, obsessional, competitive and adversarial hours, much of these away from your family?  You probably make a lot of money. 

Me, I’m not any of those things.  I work at the Webster Groves Public Library and I don’t make jack.  But that’s everyone’s deal.  You take into account how much money a job pays, what that job requires of you and what you want from life.  And you proceed accordingly.

Want a wife and a family of your own?  Those cost money.  Maybe what you’d like to do doesn’t pay very much and so you may have to take a job that you don’t particularly care for.

And even if you do work at a job that you don’t hate all the time, you still might not be out of the woods.  This is my work schedule this week.  Monday through Thursday, I work from 1:00 PM until 9:00 PM.  Tomorrow, I’ll work from 8:30 until 4:30, have Saturday off and work Sunday afternoon.

But this week’s Sunday shift only happens every eight weeks or so; usually, my weekend would be clear.  Next week, the Monday through Thursday schedule will be the same, I’ll have Friday off, I’ll work Saturday and have Sunday off.

Which is not exactly conducive to week-night Bible studies or similar church activities I’d like to participate in.  But I knew that going in and took the job anyway.

What’s your point, Johnson?  My point is this: does the Webster Groves Public Library owe me a decent life outside the library?  No.  All that it owes me is what it has agreed to pay me for my services to it.

Nothing more.

Dr. Williams’ implied notion that we can fiddle with economies in order to make them more “just” is bone-crushingly stupid.  It is easier to make the sun rise in the west than it is to make economies consistently and thoroughly “just” or “ethical,” however my gracious lord of Canterbury defines those terms.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Thursday, January 28th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Drop dead:

The Obama administration stunned New York’s delegation Thursday, dropping the bombshell news that it does not support funding the 9/11 health bill.

The state’s two senators and 14 House members met with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius just hours before President Obama implored in his speech to the nation for Congress to come together and deliver a government that delivers on its promises to the American people.

So the legislators were floored to learn the Democratic administration does not want to deliver for the tens of thousands of people who sacrificed after 9/11, and the untold numbers now getting sick.

“I was stunned — and very disappointed,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who like most of the other legislators had expected more of a discussion on how to more forward.

“To say the least, I was flabbergasted,” said Staten Island Rep. Mike McMahon.

The 9/11 bill would spend about $11 billion over 30 years to care for the growing numbers of people getting sick from their service at Ground Zero, and to compensate families for their losses.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Thursday, January 28th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 37 Comments

Say what you want about atheists(for example, how this most “reasonable” and “enlightened” of belief systems managed to kill more people in one century than religion did in the 20 centuries preceding it) but for the most part, it’s tough to accuse an honest atheist of hypocrisy. 

If a guy decides he doesn’t believe this stuff anymore, he’s going to start sleeping in on Sunday mornings because the idea of continuing to perform or participate in meaningless ceremonies is absurd.  I don’t know which is more painfully embarrassing, Unitarian minister Marilyn Sewell’s attempt to kiss up to Christopher Hitchens or Hitchens’ barely-disguised contempt for her:

The religion you cite in your book is generally the fundamentalist faith of various kinds. I’m a liberal Christian, and I don’t take the stories from the scripture literally. I don’t believe in the doctrine of atonement (that Jesus died for our sins, for example). Do you make and distinction between fundamentalist faith and liberal religion?

I would say that if you don’t believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ and Messiah, and that he rose again from the dead and by his sacrifice our sins are forgiven, you’re really not in any meaningful sense a Christian.

Let me go someplace else. When I was in seminary I was particularly drawn to the work of theologian Paul Tillich. He shocked people by describing the traditional God—as you might as a matter of fact—as, “an invincible tyrant.” For Tillich, God is “the ground of being.” It’s his response to, say, Freud’s belief that religion is mere wish fulfillment and comes from the humans’ fear of death. What do you think of Tillich’s concept of God?”

I would classify that under the heading of “statements that have no meaning—at all.” Christianity, remember, is really founded by St. Paul, not by Jesus. Paul says, very clearly, that if it is not true that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, then we the Christians are of all people the most unhappy. If none of that’s true, and you seem to say it isn’t, I have no quarrel with you. You’re not going to come to my door trying convince me either. Nor are you trying to get a tax break from the government. Nor are you trying to have it taught to my children in school. If all Christians were like you I wouldn’t have to write the book.

The way I believe in the resurrection is I believe that one can go from a death in this life, in the sense of being dead to the world and dead to other people, and can be resurrected to new life. When I preach about Easter and the resurrection, it’s in a metaphorical sense.

I hate to say it—we’ve hardly been introduced—but maybe you are simply living on the inheritance of a monstrous fraud that was preached to millions of people as the literal truth—as you put it, “the ground of being.”

I don’t know whether or not God exists in the first place, let me just say that. I certainly don’t think that God is an old man in the sky, I don’t believe that God intervenes to give me goodies if I ask for them.

You don’t believe he’s an interventionist of any kind?

I’m kind of an agnostic on that one. God is a mystery to me. I choose to believe because—and this is a very practical thing for me—I seem to live with more integrity when I find myself accountable to something larger than myself. That thing larger than myself, I call God, but it’s a metaphor. That God is an emptiness out of which everything comes. Perhaps I would say “ reality” or “what is” because we’re trying to describe the infinite with language of the finite. My faith is that I put all that I am and all that I have on the line for that which I do not know.

Fine. But I think that’s a slight waste of what could honestly be in your case a very valuable time.

Thanks to Captain Heinrichs.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Wednesday, January 27th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 24 Comments

According to former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, one of the reasons why the Democratic Party got its ass handed to it in 1994 was Fox News:

In December 1994, Bill Clinton proposed a so-called middle-class bill of rights including more tax credits for families with children, expanded retirement accounts, and tax-deductible college tuition. Clinton had lost his battle for healthcare reform. Even worse, by that time the Dems had lost the House and Senate. Washington was riding a huge anti-incumbent wave. Right-wing populists were the ascendancy, with Newt Gingrich and Fox News leading the charge. Bill Clinton thought it desperately important to assure Americans he was on their side.

Fox News debuted in October, 1996.

UPDATE: Fox News.  So powerful that it can alter the space/time continuum.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Wednesday, January 27th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 24 Comments

The goofy game for dopey leftists!  Like Service Employees International Union head Andy Stern:

Stern also said today that union members would lose their enthusiasm to help re-elect Democrats to Congress in the November mid-term elections if lawmakers don’t deliver on stalled health-care and labor law agendas. Union members would be likely to focus their campaign energy on state governor races, he said.

Stern criticized Senators Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut independent, and Ben Nelson, a Nebraska Democrat, who have stalled legislative action with their objections.

“There are a lot of terrorists in the Senate who think we are supposed to negotiate with them when they have their particular needs that they want met,” Stern said.

Wonderful PR move there, dumbass ERRRRRRRRRR Andy.  Name-calling.  That’ll win ’em over.  Then there’s the, well, entire Democratic Party.

President Barack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will be all smiles as the president arrives at the Capitol for his State of the Union speech Wednesday night, but the happy faces can’t hide relationships that are fraying and fraught. 

The anger is most palpable in the House, where Pelosi and her allies believe Obama’s reluctance to stake his political capital on health care reform in mid-2009 contributed to the near collapse of negotiations now. 

But sources say there are also signs of strain between Reid and White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, and relations between Democrats in the House and Democrats in the Senate are hovering between thinly veiled disdain and outright hostility. 

In a display of contempt unfathomable in the feel-good days after Obama’s Inauguration, freshman Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.) stood up at a meeting with Pelosi last week to declare: “Reid is done; he’s going to lose” in November, according to three people who were in the room. 

Titus denied Tuesday evening that she had singled out Reid, but she acknowledged that she said Democrats would be “f—-ed” if they failed to heed the lessons of Massachusetts, where Republican Scott Brown won Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat last week.

I have to admit that watching the Democratic meltdown has been awfully impressive.  Considering the majorities with which the Democrats entered 2009, I can’t remember, in my own lifetime or in the histories I’ve read, a US political collapse of this magnitude.  Even the Obama die-hards at The New Republic think that the President is already perilously close to lame-duck status.

How does this president handle a crisis? Thus far, the answer is not at all encouraging. The current crisis is the election in Massachusetts of Scott Brown, now the forty-first Republican senator. His arrival in Washington has sent Democrats into panic mode–fearful that they too will be swallowed by a seething electorate–and caused many of them to flee in the other direction from health care reform. In short, Barack Obama faces a moment where his presidency just might collapse or, rather, risks heading into a wilderness where it would accomplish next to none of its ambitious goals.

Although the Chinese probably never said it, interesting times are not necessarily a curse.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Tuesday, January 26th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 25 Comments

Know what’s really, really, REALLY funny?  George W. Bush[curses and execration be upon him] never had a Congressional majority anywhere near as large as the one Barack Obama has now and George W. Bush[curses and execration be upon him] actually managed to get a bill passed now and then:

With no clear path forward on major health care legislation, Democratic leaders in Congress effectively slammed the brakes on President Obama’s top domestic priority on Tuesday, saying they no longer felt pressure to move quickly on a health bill after eight months of setting deadlines and missing them.

The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, deflected questions about health care.

“We’re not on health care now,” Mr. Reid said. “We’ve talked a lot about it in the past.”

He added, “There is no rush,” and noted that Congress still had most of this year to work on the health bills passed in 2009 by the Senate and the House.

Mr. Reid said he and the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, were working to map out a way to complete a health care overhaul in coming months. “There are a number of options being discussed,” he said, emphasizing “procedural aspects” of the issue.

At the same time, two centrist Democrats who are up for re-election this year, Senators Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and Evan Bayh of Indiana, said they would resist efforts to muscle through a health care bill using a parliamentary tactic called budget reconciliation, which seemed to be the easiest way to advance the measure.

The White House had said in recent days that it would support that approach.

Some Democrats said they did not expect any action on health care legislation until late February at earliest, perhaps after Congress returns from a weeklong recess after Presidents’ Day. But the Democrats stand to lose momentum, and every day closer to the November election could reduce their chances of passing a far-reaching bill.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Tuesday, January 26th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

As the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh reads it, Ken Price is holding 3-9 off-suited:

We were gratified to read, in your letter of January 20, that you were writing in a conciliatory spirit. As you know, a number of us in the Diocese have been working diligently with those in your fold to find helpful ways of moving forward in this difficult season. As the Standing Committee of the Diocese, we heartily endorse your desire for conversation with us, especially if it leads to concrete ways in which we might work through our mutual misunderstandings and divisions. For our part, we in the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh continue to be eager to welcome back those parishes and clergy who have left our diocese. As you know, we continue to recognize the orders of those clergy who have left the diocese and make no claim on the property of parishes who are in your fold, making any transition back to us a simple transaction.

To this end, we would be grateful if a few of us, clergy and lay leaders in the diocese, could meet with you at your earliest convenience to see how we might together forge a better way forward, particularly concerning the litigation that is currently before the courts.

It would be most helpful to all if we could discuss our mutual hopes, desires and concerns for the future in a way that created space for reconciliation in the truth of the Gospel and mission in the Diocese of Pittsburgh.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Monday, January 25th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 20 Comments

Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISM!!


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Monday, January 25th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 47 Comments

Most people remember where they were and what they were doing when they first saw this now-legendary picture of Katharine Jefferts Schori’s most famous bad vestment display.  No doubt, phrases like, “Welcome to Episcopal Burger, may I take your order?” and “The Presiding Bishop’s head is currently experiencing technical difficulties, please stand by,” among a great many others, immediately ran through your mind.  You probably think that the Presiding Bishop reached the apogee of horrible liturgical vestment taste here and that she cannot possibly outdo herself.

But if you think that, you’re wrong.

UPDATE: Cut her some slack, Johnson, it’s not that bad.  You’re quite correct.  It’s WAY worse.

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