After 16 days of political brinkmanship, lawmakers passed a temporary funding plan that raised the debt ceiling and reopened the federal government.
But now, the nation is just barreling toward a new set of deadlines -- lawmakers have until January 15 to deal with the budget and February 7 to deal with the debt ceiling. Until Congress sets the country on stable financial footing for the long term, we're bound to play this game over and over again.
As lawmakers begin negotiations, the conversation must start with tax and entitlement reform. This begins with Medicare and Social Security, as they're the most pressing challenges facing our country. more >>
Radio commentator Rush Limbaugh attacked Pope Francis' letter, condemning the pope's comments on the "new tyranny" of "unfettered capitalism" as uninformed and somehow planted by the Marxist movement.
"This is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope," Limbaugh declared. The commentator noted that, until this letter, he had admired Pope Francis. Now, however, he must distance himself. On economics, the pope is "totally wrong, I mean dramatically, embarrassingly, puzzlingly wrong."
In "Evangelii Gaudium," an "apostolic exhortation" sent to the entire Roman Catholic Church, Francis insisted on a renewal of the Catholic Church and a political battle against poverty and inequality to combat a soulless economic system. "The worship of the ancient golden calf (cf. Ex 32:1-35) has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose," Francis wrote. more >>
As millions of Americans go to the stores for frenzied shopping on the day after Thanksgiving, a group of Texas churches have sought to provide an alternative.
"Bless Friday," a time away from the shopping centers and the seasonal sales, involves congregations organizing community service projects for Black Friday, with the hopes of someday making such volunteer work the norm.
For most Americans, Thanksgiving is a time of plenty, where tables are overflowing with all manners of foods and drinks.
The turkey often gets the prominent placing, along with mash potatoes, pumpkin pies, salads, cranberry sauce, and many other items that remind people of all they have available.
Yet for some, Thanksgiving is not a holiday of abundance but deprivation, where neither a food-filled table nor extended family are present. more >>
Thanksgiving is as wonderful a holiday as they come. This American holiday represents the commencement of "the most wonderful time of the year" and celebrates the thankfulness of the early American settlers for their survival. It is a day for reflection in the heart and celebration of the hearth, and in a pluralistic America, it is a holiday sacred to all.
In recent years, Black Friday has been celebrated as a holiday in its own right, with its own rites and virtues, plundering other holidays' themes and imagery to create a bizarre tradition all its own: The day of hysterical shopping blends Christmas marketing with Back-to-School season commercialism and a New Years' Eve-like countdown to midnight.
But this year, corporate marauders have chosen to literally pillage time from Thanksgiving Day itself. Many American retailers will be commencing their Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Day, rather than doing families the courtesy of waiting until midnight. USA Today reported recently that Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, Sears, Macy's, Kohl's, J. C. Penney, and Old Navy are among the chains that will have locations open for business on Thanksgiving. Their likely reasons include a short holiday season and shaky profits in light of a weak American economy. more >>
One of the largest churches in North America will soon be charging entry fees for visitors who are there for sight-seeing purposes.
Washington National Cathedral, located in the District of Columbia, announced Monday that it will begin charging an entry fee in January for a "six-month trial period."