May 24, 2013, 6:02pm | Ed Morrissey
Point 1: You’re probably going to get more comments in that thread than in your Holder thread, AP.
Point 2: The point of the first part of the passage quoted in the Atlantic was that Jesus came to save all mankind. However, we can choose whether or not to follow in that salvation — and that includes atheists. Free will, after all, makes that our own choice. That is basic Christian doctrine, which isn’t limited to the Catholic Church.
Point 3: The part about doing good speaks to meeting each other in this life, not the next. Pope Francis is actually gently rebuking those who would argue that people without faith at all or the “wrong” faith must therefore be bad. The part that starts, “And we all have a duty to do good,” is a separate thought and would be better expressed in its own paragraph. With that in mind, Francis’ meaning is clear enough for me:
And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”
The final there refers to the conjunction of doing good works in this life to reach communion with each other in the present, not in Heaven. It’s an instruction on how to live life with all of God’s children here now, and as such is hardly controversial … but we frequently need reminders, as our fallen nature dictates.
This doesn’t sound like Pope Francis’ view of eschatology, but of genuine ecumenical outreach.
Point 4: You’re going to get more comments than my Holder piece, AP, and yes doggone it, I’m jealous.
May 24, 2013, 4:16pm | Guy Benson
A few nuggets from my chat with DC attorney Craig Engle, who worked with Lois Lerner over several years at the FEC. She is who we thought she is:
“I would say that Lois is pro-government. The bigger, the better. The more demanding the regulations, the better. The larger the investigation, the better it is. Anything that would be considered an activist government, that’s the Lois Lerner I worked with.” Engle says Lerner saw violations around every corner, even when her legal reasoning was slight. ”Under [Lerner], the general counsel’s office functioned as a prosecutor. Nine times out of ten, her recommendations were against the respondent. I think she was philosophically opposed to money in politics and was very much a critic of people spending money in political affairs. She could always find a violation — at least in her opinion, or in her head. In my opinion, her interpretation of the law was sometimes just incorrect.”
Engle goes on to say he believes Lerner is ultimately an honest person who’s gotten in over her head — an assessment some people may find hard to square with evidence like this. Parting quotation from the piece: “Quite a coincidence, isn’t it?”
May 24, 2013, 2:01pm | Mary Katharine Ham
My friend Col. Tom Manion (USMC-Ret.), whose son 1LT Travis Manion (USMC) was killed in Iraq in 2007, is a man worth listening to as we go into Memorial Day. Here, he pays tribute to Sgt. Aaron Wittman, KIA in Afghanistan, and offers a vision for carrying forward the memories of those we’ve lost. After the shock, and after the mourning, we can do our best to honor them every day.
This Memorial Day, reach out in your neighborhoods and communities to honor your city or town’s heroes and their families. Share their stories so future generations will understand the cost of freedom. Bring your families and friends together for a moment of silence, and put a face on those who have paid the ultimate price.
When I think of my son, I see the face of a young man who wanted to make a difference. By following the selfless examples of the heroes no longer with us, we can make a difference too.
The Travis Manion Foundation does the work of connecting those in the general American public to those who serve, so we can created more men and women like Travis. (Full disclosure: I’m a board member, and knowing the Manions has made me ever-more cognizant of exactly the treasure we have in those who serve and how much we ask them and their families to shoulder.) It’s well worth your time and money to join us in a great cause. Check the map to see if there’s a 911 Heroes Run near you!
May 24, 2013, 12:50pm | Erika Johnsen
Anthony Weiner’s campaign for New York City mayor got off to an energetic, but bumpy, start this week after his campaign website briefly featured an image of the wrong city’s skyline — instead of showing the Big Apple, the website featured a shot of beautiful Pittsburgh.
A technology firm is taking the blame for the photo mix-up. NGP VAN, which does consulting work for Democratic campaigns, said in a statement that a designer simply used the wrong image.
“This is our fault,” the company said. “NGP VAN acknowledges that the image of the wrong skyline on the placeholder page for the Weiner campaign was our honest mistake, and not that of the Weiner campaign.”
May 24, 2013, 12:40pm | Ed Morrissey
Let’s face it — a lot of us who grew up on the Jetsons feel pretty ripped off these days, especially while sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic. However, this video report from Reuters suggests that we may soon see a practical option for a flying car:
Actually, I’ve always had reservations about this concept. People drive bad enough on the ground for us to daydream in traffic jams about flying above it all. What happens when that becomes a widely-available option? The same bad drivers on the ground will be up in the air at the same time, a prospect that doesn’t sound safe in the air or on the ground below. What do we do with power and phone lines? What happens when people fly straight to destinations rather than along roads, where cross-traffic isn’t just perpendicular but every angle on the compass as well as above and below?
I’m glad I work from home, that’s all I have to say.
May 24, 2013, 11:26am | Ed Morrissey
After a long fight over tapes between one of the Manson Family defendants and his attorney, the Los Angeles Police Department hope to find evidence linking Charles Manson and his followers to other murders at the time. The LAPD finally obtained the tapes after courts ruled that Charles “Tex” Watson, convicted of multiple murders and serving a life sentence, waived his privilege when he allowed some of the tapes to be sold for a book:
Detective David Holmes said the department has had the tapes for a couple of weeks and the Robbery-Homicide Division and the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office are analyzing them.
A federal judge in Texas ruled in March that Charles “Tex” Watson waived his right to attorney-client privilege when he allowed his lawyer to sell the eight cassette tapes to an author nearly 40 years ago for a book on his life.
The tapes, which were converted to electronic audio files, are being reviewed to determine whether there’s evidence that could resolve unsolved murders.
The cache only came to light after the law firm to which Watson’s attorney belonged went into Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2009 and a trustee tried to sell off its assets. The LAPD and the local DA have always suspected that the Manson Family committed several other murders, but didn’t have much more than hearsay and foggy memories to pursue. There may be other chapters left to write in this saga, and that may have Manson and his long-imprisoned followers open to trials on new charges — assuming that the LAPD can corroborate anything they find from the tapes.
May 23, 2013, 3:01pm | Ed Morrissey
Normally I’d spend an hour on Thursday afternoons catching up on the latest news with my friends Kerry Picket of Breitbart News and Steven Crowder. Today, though, I have family visiting unexpectedly (but happily!) and a couple of appointments that can’t be moved, so we’ll take today off and come back tomorrow afternoon with Duane “Generalissimo” Patterson and the Week in Review at 3 ET.
Be sure to catch up with both Kerry and Steven yourselves, though. Kerry’s got a couple of good stories up this week, one pointing to CIA chief John Brennan as the prime mover behind the administration’s snooping on journalists. Steven has a new video out, the “Qu’ran Challenge 2,” and it’s already received quite a bit of the kind of attention you’d pretty much predict.
May 23, 2013, 1:01pm | Ed Morrissey
Looks like Obama’s comms team realized that Jay Carney’s jaw-dropping accusation against Major Garrett and the rest of the White House press corps of being birtheresque for asking about scandals in the administration went over like a lead balloon. After being discovered snooping on the AP and accusing James Rosen of being a co-conspirator in espionage for what used to be called “reporting” in DC, the White House needs to snuggle back up to the briefing-room denizens. Carney came out yesterday with a much different attitude, according to The Hill:
The White House admitted Wednesday that its handling of information about three big simultaneous scandals has produced justifiable press frustration and suspicion.
After tense and combative press briefings on Monday and Tuesday, press secretary Jay Carney took a different tack Wednesday, acknowledging there were “legitimate criticisms about how we’re handling this.”
Will that convince the press corps to lighten up? Don’t bet on it:
Carney has been skewered over the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups; the Department of Justice’s subpoenaing of phone records and labeling of Fox News reporter James Rosen as a criminal co-conspirator; and the administration’s handling of the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.
“They’re two steps away from causing harm to themselves,” said Tobe Berkovitz, a professor of communications at Boston University. “They’re digging themselves a pretty big hole, and the real question is, ‘Is Obama going to fall into it?’ ”
I think they’ve already fallen into it. They just haven’t learned the First Rule of Holes.
May 23, 2013, 12:02pm | Guy Benson
Last month, a Kaiser Foundation poll pegged Obamacare’s public support at a tepid 35 percent. A new survey from Fox News confirms that finding. Asked if they’d rather to keep the new law in place or erase it from the history books and revert back to the 2009 system, Americans say they’d strongly prefer turning back the clock:
22. Do you think it would be better to leave the new health care law in place, or would it be better to go back to the health care system that was in place in 2009?
Better to keep law: 34 percent
Better to go back to previous system: 56 percent
The president’s signature legislative accomplishment is underwater by double digits on this question among every measured demographic — including women, independents and young voters — with the exceptions of registered Democrats and non-whites. The public’s rationale isn’t too complicated. They believe the “Affordable Care Act” will make their families’ lives worse:
23. In general, how do you expect your health care situation will change as the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare goes into effect — will you and your family be better off or worse off under the new health care law?
Better off: 26 percent
Worse off: 53 percent
Implementation begins in earnest next year, and even the law’s staunchest supporters aren’t expecting great things for the grand roll-out. Mix in the radioactive IRS’ enforcement mandate, plus another Fox poll finding that fully 68 percent of the public views the federal government as “out of control,” and you’d at least think that Republicans have a killer narrative on their hands for 2014.