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Here are some news stories and articles which might be of interest to you. I've posted the opening section, and if you want to read more, you can click on "Read the whole article" to go to the original item. You'll find a variety of things here -- current news, political analysis, opinion pieces, articles about religion -- things I've happened to read and want to share with you. It's your Reading Room, so take your time. Browse. You're certain to find something you'll want to read.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Truth That Tells a Lie

When Obama speaks about health care, he omits crucial details.

by Alex Castellanos

Let’s agree that the U.S. House of Representatives is not the place to use the word “lie” to demean your political opponents. Joe Wilson’s outburst was shameful and uncivil. Just when you think no one could drag political discourse down any lower than it is, along comes Congressman Wilson to shout an insult at our president. The Democratic majority has censured him for that breach.

Should they now censure President Obama for his more composed delivery of the same term? A few moments before Congressman Wilson lost his cool, President Obama said, “Some of people’s concerns have grown out of bogus claims spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform at any cost. The best example is the claim, made not just by radio and cable talk show hosts, but prominent politicians, that we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens. Such a charge would be laughable if it weren’t so cynical and irresponsible. It is a lie, plain and simple.”

Whether the president’s charge is true is a separate but important issue we will take up in a moment. First is the issue of fairness. Is it inappropriate for all of our political leaders to call members of the opposing party liars on the floor of the House of Representatives? Or is there a separate standard for President Obama and the members of his party? Joe Wilson’s remark was unplanned. Our president came to Congress pleading for bipartisanship but intending to demean his opponents with the same expression. What standard are we to observe?

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Fr. Phillips is the founding pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church, the first Anglican Use parish, established on August 15, 1983. Not that there is any confusion, but he is on the left, shown in his younger, less gray-headed days.