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Archive for July 29th 2011

James Martin, S.J., describes the devastating drought in Eastern Africa, and what Catholics can do to help, and Kerry Weber discusses the challenges facing unemployed workers who are now being told not apply for jobs if they have been out of work for an extended period. Kevin Spinale, S.J., concludes the discussion with an update on Google's legal battle to obtain the rights to scan books into an online digital archive. Read Robert Darnton's coverage of the issue in the New York Review of Books.

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Is the race for the Republican nomination Mitt Romney's to lose? Will Sarah Palin ever decide whether to run, and can Michelle Bachmann pull a Mike Huckabee at the Iowa stroll poll next month? Can any of these candidates defeat President Obama, even at a time of growing unemployment? Matt Malone, S.J., former associate editor and keen observer of the U.S. political scene, analyzes the field as the race for 2012 gathers steam.

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Agnes Nixon, the creator of "One Life to Live" and "All My Children," talks about her Catholic childhood in Tennessee and the faith that spurred her to write on issues of social justice.

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Tim Reidy joins Mike Avery and Tim O'Brien, S.J., two of America's summer interns, in a discussion of Mark Oppenheimer's much-talked about article on Dan Savage's views on monogamy and marriage. The roundtable also takes up Mickey Edward's six-step plan to fix Congress, published in The Atlantic, and Daniel Okrent's Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition. Listen to Terry Gross's interview with Okrent here.

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How can a Catholic balance the demands of voting with the Christian call to holiness? Nicholas P. Cafardi, dean emeritus and professor of the Duquesne University School of Law, discusses his article in the current issue of America, "Keep Holy Election Day," explaining why the values of holiness and conscientious citizenship need not be contrary. He also addresses the controversy surrounding the passage of same-sex marriage legislation in New York state and the dilemma it posed for Catholic politicians.

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Kevin Clarke hosts a discussion with fellow editors Raymond A. Schroth, S.J., and Francis X. Hezel, S.J., on Foreign Policy's annual list of failed states, what risks these states pose to the international community and what role other nations should play in their rehabilitation. The editors also look at a growing sense of disappointment with President Obama from critics such as Maureen Dowd, and more seriously, David Bromwich, whose essay in the New York Review of Books offers a devastating critique of Obama's governing style.

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