Last night, Congress came within a single senator's vote of passing legislation to authorize a major crude oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico that would pump more than 830,000 barrels of high-polluting tar sands oil a day and carry and emit 51 coal plants worth of CO2 (pdf)—despite the fact that U.S. oil demand is falling and, you know, the planet is burning up—in exchange for 35 whole permanent jobs.
I'm sorry, I buried the lede: what I meant to say is that the runoff Senate race in Louisiana hasn't happened yet.
I like Michael Gerson's writing, and sometimes I even agree with the things he says. This week he wrote a sensitive and heartfelt column about one of the houses in the DC-area L'Arche community—a place I feel some small connection to, as my wife was once part of a different house in the same community.
In case you’re not up on your celebrity news, Shia LaBeouf recently told Interview magazine that he “became a Christian man” on the set of Fury, in which he plays an evangelical soldier. Yay, another high-profile believer!
I don't have much use for the notion that hostility toward religion generally or Christianity in particular pervades American media. Yes, Bill Maher can be kind of horrible, but there's really just the one of him on TV.
Today is Michaelmas, St. Michael the Archangel's feast day that's traditionally associated with the harvest. I like Travis Norvell's idea to recover the day's observance in a culture that's largely forgotten its relationship with the land:
About a dozen years ago, I was back home visiting from my young-adult life in the city, sitting around drinking coffee with my mom and my sisters, when I suddenly heard my much-younger brother crying out in pain. I jumped up. “Where are you, buddy?” I called out.
Some modest good news this week from the Census Bureau [pdf]: for the first time since the Great Recession began, the poverty rate is down a little and the child poverty rate is down a little more. The latter was driven by a bit of job growth and—among families with children—higher income.
But at this pace it'll take years for the poverty rate to get back down just to where it was in 2000.