The governments in Barcelona and Madrid continue on their collision course. Time is running out to avoid a constitutional crisis in Spain.
- Catalonia’s regional parliament legislated this week for an independence referendum from Spain.
- Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has vowed to do “whatever is necessary” to stop it.
- His government challenged the legality of the referendum to the Constitutional Court, which promptly suspended the law while it considers arguments.
- Prosecutors filed criminal charges against senior Catalan officials, including the regional president and speaker of parliament.
- Law enforcement agencies in Catalonia have been instructed to seize ballot boxes. Read more
America is going the way of Europe. There are fewer Christians. Young people in particular are losing faith. White Christians have become a minority.
The Public Religion Research Institute interviewed more than 100,000 Americans across all fifty states and found that:
- White Christians comprise only 43 percent of the population anymore. As recently as 1976, that was 81 percent.
- Catholic and mainline Protestant churches have gradually lost flock. A decline in evangelical Christians — once thought to be bucking the trend — has been more sudden. They went down from 23 percent of the population in 2006 to 17 percent today.
- The Catholic Church is undergoing an ethnic transformation. A quarter century ago, 87 percent of Catholics were non-Hispanic whites. Today that’s 55 percent.
- 38 percent of Americans under the age of thirty call themselves unaffiliated with any church. Only 12 percent of seniors do. Read more
Finally a good idea from Donald Trump.
The Washington Post reports that the American president has agreed with the leader of the Democratic opposition in the Senate, Charles Schumer, to find a way to abolish the debt ceiling.
When asked by a reporter, Trump said “there are lots of good reasons” for eliminating the measure.
Trump’s own Republicans, who have often used the debt ceiling as leverage to negotiate spending cuts, are appalled. Read more
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Since last year’s presidential election, the American left has been calling on Democrats to adopt a program of economic populism in order to lure back working-class voters.
This would be a mistake.
A lurch to the left may not bring back working-class whites but would disappoint middle-class voters who have been joining the Democratic Party in far greater numbers. Read more