I really enjoyed my virgin “Ask Me Anything” chat at Reddit. I responded to over 110 questions in 2 hours — from No Labels, to our national political mess, to the NBA Draft, to the baseball season, to good television, we covered the whole gamut.
If you are interested in reading a transcript, click here.
Today I was reminded that habits we start in youth seem to easily become part of us for many years without questioning.
When I was 7 my Uncle Lorn told me that it bad for my neck and back to sleep with a pillow.
41 years later I still refuse to sleep with a pillow.
When I was 8 years old a friend of the family told me he liked to eat peanuts whole –shell and all. I wanted to impress him.
40 years later I still eat peanuts with the shell.
So, I did at least two things today because a 7 year old and an 8 year old decided it was a good idea at the time. And I’ve never taken the time to question either–from the perspective of an informed adult.
Which leads to the next (and scarier) question: What else did I do this week bc my 7 or 10 or 12 year old self made a lifelong decision for me many years ago?
Today, from 11 am-1 pm, I am hosting an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit, a social network that has the ability to drive huge amounts of traffic back to No Labels and build the movement.
Ask Me Anything is a forum where you can literally ask me anything — and I’ll answer as many questions as I can.
I’m sure we will be discussing the news of the day — the NBA Draft. Oh, and there is news from another Court as well.
Please join the forum. Click here to join the conversation. Click the “UP” arrow next to my original comment to help spread the word to others on Reddit.
You can create an account by clicking “register” in the top right-hand corner of your screen.
Join me NOW until 1 PM.
Shortly after 10 a.m. this morning, in a majority decision written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the Supreme Court of the United States has upheld the core of President Obama’s signature healthcare law, stating that while the individual mandate is not permissible under the commerce clause, it is under Congress’s taxing authority. However, the Court said that states can opt out of the law, as many have attempted in the past two years. [Washington Post]
UPDATE: Click here for the link to the text of the Supreme Court decision.
UPDATE 2: Courtesy of The Atlantic, SCOTUS blog, a one paragraph summary of the decision:
In Plain English: The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional. There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance. However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power. That is all that matters. Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding. On that question, the Court held that the provision is constitutional as long as states would only lose new funds if they didn’t comply with the new requirements, rather than all of their funding.
From Politics 365:
Name: Michael Steele
Title/Occupation: Former RNC Chairman
Organization: Republican National Committee
What Makes The Person A Game Changer: Michael Stephen Steele is an American politician who served as the first African-American chairman of the Republican National Committee from January 2009 until January 2011. From 2003 to 2007, he was the seventh Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, the first African American elected to statewide office in Maryland. During his time as Lieutenant Governor, he chaired the Minority Business Enterprise taskforce, actively promoting an expansion of affirmative action in the corporate world. He co-founded the Republican Leadership Council, a political action committee.
No full meal yet, but wanted to send regards from the line in front of the Supreme Court.
I’m #42 in line to get in and hear the opinions read in the morning — as you know, the healthcare decisions are expected.
First 60 are reserved for public…so I lucked out.
But, I am so ill-prepared. One water bottle, and the same button down and khakis I wore since Tuesday morning and through a red-eye flight. Everyone has sleeping bags and pillows, foam egg crates and blankets. And 95% of us are under 25 years old!
Sexually molesting ten innocent children: if there is one crime for which I can hardly fathom forgiveness, it is most certainly this one.
Jerry Sandusky was sentenced to life in prison yesterday — and justly so. He deserved to be punished severely, and if he is murdered in prison, he most likely deserves that as well.
However, in the midst of my celebration of “justice being served,” a still small voice rose up inside of me.
“I love him.”
I knew it was the Lord.
He came again, but louder this time, “I love him.”
I was speechless. Yeah, sure, I know that God loves everyone, but never before had it shaken me to the core like this. Here was man whom abused ten innocent children, and probably more, and God is telling me he loves him. I just couldn’t swallow it.
As I watched one Facebook status after another pop up in celebration of Sandusky’s demise, the Lord’s words played on repeat, “I love him. I love him…”
I don’t understand.
And that’s just it, as humans we have such a difficult time fully understanding the height and depth and width of God’s unconditional love because it is, well, so un-human.
God loves Sandusky as much as He loves you, your children, and your grandchildren; and even as much as he loves those hurting, aching, and wounded little boys that Sandusky abused.
It’s not fair.
It’s not fair!
“Grace is not fair,” the Holy Spirit interjected unwaveringly.
I guess that’s the mystery of grace; you just can’t get God to quit loving you.
It’s crazy love, way beyond my comfort zone – yet, for it, I’m forever grateful. If grace can be extended to man like Sandusky, then there is hope for us all, and that is good news.
And as for the victims, I mourn for them, but I don’t put anything past my God. I know that out of this horrendous tragedy, He will bring about healing, peace, transformation, and a beautiful display of forgiveness and the ability to overcome all things through Christ.
(Cross-posted, with permission of the author, from Eucharisteo)
What the hell ever happened to populism in the Democratic Party?
A must-read piece today by Jonathan Martin asks why. [Politico]
Speaking at the New York cultural landmark last week, former Senator Evan Bayh discussed the changes he has seen in Congress in the past few decades.
Read the rest of…
RP Evan Bayh at the 92nd Street Y
As Presbyterians prepare to convene in Pittsburgh for their biennial General Assembly, and plan to consider a resolution to divest from companies that do business with Israel, here’s a stark reminder of moral choice they are making.
As I discussed in my Huffington Post column yesterday, Hewlett-Packard — one of the companies proposed to be boycotted —
is charged with selling “hardware to the Israeli Navy that is used for its operational communications, logistics and planning including the ongoing naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.” Yet, as an official report of the notoriously anti-Israel-leaning United Nations declared in 2011, the blockade was manifestly legal, and it was instituted for the very purposes of upholding the peace. Wrote the Palmer Commission: “Israel faces a real threat to its security from militant groups in Gaza…The naval blockade was imposed as a legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea and its implementation complied with the requirements of international law.”
Yesterday, came this report from the Washington Free Beacon:
As Gaza militants renew violent rocket attacks on Israeli cities, a Hamas national security minister told a delegation of graduating police officers in the Gaza Strip that they should help liberate Israeli cities, such as Jerusalem, from Jewish control, according to a recently released translation of his remarks.
“None of you should give up playing with all the tools of force and equipment, which will bring us closer to our aspirations: Jerusalem, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Haifa, Akko, and Jaffa,” Hamas Minister Fathi Hammad declared during a Gaza police academy commencement ceremony on June 13, about a week before militants began firing hundreds of rockets into Southern Israel.
“The officers of the class graduating today will become the police chief of Jaffa, the police chief of Haifa, the police chief of Akko, the police chief of Lod, the police chief of Ramle, and of all other places,” said Hammad, an interior and national security minister said, according to a translation of his remarks by the Middle East Media Research Institute.
“Therefore, from this place, we declare to all those who usurped our lands that they must prepare to leave, because we have prepared for jihad,” said the Hamas official, which remains officially committed to the destruction of Israel. “You are going to leave, while we are summoned to battle. We are the owners of this land.”
Hammad’s remarks, which are routinely echoed by Hamas officials, provide context for the currently stalled peace negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.
Click here for the full article.
I hope members of the General Assembly seriously consider whether the interests of peace are best serve by divesting from Israel, and taking the side of brutal thugs like Fathi Hammad who calls for Israel’s very destruction.