Why Elizabeth Edwards Left God Out of Her Last Goodbye (by David Gibson, Politics Daily, Dec. 8, 2010): A dying person’s last words are often, and perhaps too easily, held out as the key to understanding all that went before, and so it has been with Elizabeth Edwards. Her final public message, posted on Facebook, was characteristically eloquent, to the point, and full of grace. … “I can’t say what it is — spiritual or otherwise — that animates her sense of grace, but it’s not God,” Douglas wrote before proceeding to add some even less graceful conjecture. Douglas drew some sharp critiques in the comments on his post but also strong support, and even in the report on the faith angle at Christianity Today — the leading mainstream evangelical publication — some commenters rued Edwards’ apparent lack of orthodox Christian faith. But a closer look at the faith of Elizabeth Edwards offers a more nuanced view, and one that might elicit more charity from those who would judge her at her death.
Labor-Backed Oct. 2 Rally Competing With Jon Stewart, Pro-Corporate Senate (The Huffington Post, Oct. 1, 2010): This Saturday’s “One Nation Working Together” rally on October 2 in Washington has drawn the support of the most diverse coalition of over 400 progressive and labor groups in history. Its stated policy goals are to promote jobs, quality education, peace and justice, but its political goals are just as challenging: reviving interest among the Democratic base for the mid-term elections, pressuring Congress and taking the so-called reform mantle and media narrative away from the Tea Party and its GOP enablers.
Tired of ‘tea party’ sniping, moderates organize. In Washington, a new advocacy group decries ‘the tyranny of hyperpartisanship.’ And powerful New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg throws his support behind candidates willing to reach across the aisle. (Los Angeles Times, September 26, 2010)
Why elections matter, in one graph, by Ezra Klein (Washington Post, Sept. 8, 2010): I’ve been trying to figure out how to link to Timothy Noah’s series on inequality, which falls under the rubric of “things you should read that I have nothing to say about.” One thing I can say is that Noah, Catherine Mulbrandon and Slate have put an enormous amount of work into creating visuals to accompany the articles, and the results are really impressive. This graph, for instance, is the best visualization I’ve seen of Larry Bartels’s striking data showing how different income groups do under Republican and Democratic presidents: “INCOME GROWTH RATES UNDER DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS 1948-2005″: [NOTE: Click on graph image for larger version. Click here for Rachel Maddow’s video explanation about it. – MH]
TIMOTHY EGAN [August 25, 2010, 8:30 pm] Opinionator Blog, NY Times: “Having shed much of his dignity, core convictions and reputation for straight talk, Senator John McCain won his primary on Tuesday against the flat-earth wing of his party. Now McCain can go search for his lost character, which was last on display late in his 2008 campaign for president. Remember the moment: a woman with matted hair and a shaky voice rose to express her doubts about Barack Obama. “I have read about him,” she said, “and he’s not — he’s an Arab.”
States to establish nationwide standards for students, teachers (USAToday, Posted, 6/2/2010): “States are expected to use the standards to revise their curriculum and tests to make learning more uniform across the country, eliminating inequities in education not only between states but also among districts … All but two states — Alaska and Texas — signed on to the original concept of Common Core more than a year ago. … Texas’ commissioner of education, Robert Scott, has said that the state didn’t sign on to Common Core because it wants to preserve its ‘sovereign authority to determine what is appropriate for Texas children to learn in its public schools.’” [I’ll let that comment speak for itself. -MH]
Shame on America, Jews and the ADL, by Rabbi Bruce Warshal (The Florida Jewish Journal, ca. September 1, 2010): “To begin, the mosque controversy does not involve a mosque. It is planned as a 13-story community center encompassing a swimming pool, 500-seat performing arts center, gym, culinary school, restaurant and, yes, a prayer space for Muslims, which already exists in the current building. A formal mosque would forbid eating or the playing of music on the premises. I guess that we are now at the point in America where Jews can have our JCC’s and Christians their YMCA’s, but Muslims are not wanted.”