A new Pew Research Center poll shows that America is unhappy with the GOP led Congress. In fact, Americans are disgusted as Republican congressional leaders only registered a 22% overall approval rating.
What is especially significant is that the poll shows this anger is bi-partisan. Only 41% of Republicans approve of the performance of the GOP congressional leadership. This is much lower than the 60% approval rating GOP leaders received in 2011 and the 78% approval rating they received from Republicans in 1995, months after the party took control of Congress for the first time in 40 years.
There is a major difference between the congressional leaders of today and those at the helm in 1995. During that era, Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the House. In the November 1994 elections, Americans sent Republicans to Congress with a mission, enact the Contract with America. Led by Gingrich, the Congress was actually able to get some tangible goals accomplished by moving then President Bill Clinton to the right. As a result, Clinton signed into law bills that lowered capital gains taxes and established welfare reform. Even more miraculous, a significant budget surplus was created. more >>
Ireland, a traditionally Catholic country, appears to have become the first country to legalize gay marriage through a popular vote Saturday, as both government ministers and opponents of the proposed constitutional amendment said hours after the counting of votes began Saturday.
"I think it's won," Equality Minister Aodhan O. Riordain, who was at the main count center in Dublin, told Reuters as final results are expected later in the day. "The numbers of people who turned out to vote is unprecedented. This has really touched a nerve in Ireland today."
David Quinn, director of the Catholic think tank Iona Institute, which opposes same-sex marriage, agreed with the likely victory of gay marriage supporters. He tweeted: "Congratulations to the Yes side. Well done." more >>
Days after "19 Kids and Counting" star Josh Duggar publicly confessed to and asked forgiveness for molesting five girls when he was 14, GOP presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee said he stands by the evangelical family. Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, also responded.
"Josh's actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, 'inexcusable,' but that doesn't mean 'unforgivable,'" Huckabee wrote on his Facebook page.
"He and his family dealt with it and were honest and open about it with the victims and the authorities. No purpose whatsoever is served by those who are now trying to discredit Josh or his family by sensationalizing the story," Huckabee added. more >>
President Barack Obama warned of rising anti-semitism in the world, while seeking to reassure American Jews of his support for Israel, in remarks at Adas Israel Synagogue in Washington on Friday. Obama has spoken at more Jewish synagogues than any other American president.
"Our commitment to Israel's security and my commitment to Israel's security is and always will be unshakable," declared Obama. "We need to stand up to Israel's right to thrive and prosper."
The president also addressed what he sees as a "disturbing rise in anti-semitism," adding, "we know from our history it can't be ignored. more >>
With due respect for your office and the tremendous responsibilities you face, I must take strong exception to comments you made at a recent Evangelical-Catholic leadership summit.
Those comments were unhelpful, inaccurate, unbiblical, and, sad to say, hypocritical.
During a panel discussion, you urged these leaders to spend less time on "divisive" issues like abortion and redefining marriage, putting more emphasis instead on dealing with poverty. Speaking as a professing Christian, you said, "When it comes to what are you really going to the mat for, what's the defining issue, when you're talking in your congregations, what's the thing that is really going to capture the essence of who we are as Christians, or as Catholics, or what have you, [poverty] is oftentimes viewed as a 'nice to have' relative to an issue like abortion." more >>
President Barack Obama has said that despite recent setbacks, such as ISIS capturing the city of Ramadi in Iraq, the United States is not losing in the war against the terror group. Obama admitted, however, that there have been flaws in the U.S.'s approach to the conflict, which he said will be a "multi-year" campaign.
"I don't think we're losing," Obama told The Atlantic in an interview days after the fall of Ramadi.
"There's no doubt there was a tactical setback, although Ramadi had been vulnerable for a very long time, primarily because these are not Iraqi security forces that we have trained or reinforced.They have been there essentially for a year without sufficient reinforcements, and the number of ISIL [ISIS] that have come into the city now are relatively small compared to what happened in [the Iraqi city of] Mosul." more >>