As things go better, looks like making bold choices is more popular than stamping feet and shouting ‘No!’ over and over again

Consecutive months of job growth, the bullish stock market and improving consumer demand appear to be benefiting – for now, at least – a president who stated outright three years ago that his chances for a second term would depend on his ability to persuade the country that its economy was on the mend by this very month.

In what could be a turning point, the percentage of people who say they believe the economic outlook is improving is now greater, by double digits, than the percentage of those who say they believe it is getting worse, a reversal from a low point in September, when pessimists outnumbered optimists by more than three to one.

NYT: Economic Growth Gives Lift to

Some good trends, although we’ve had the same ones to start the last couple years.  A stronger U.S economy might do a bit to help alleviate pressures across the pond, which leads us into a virtuous economic cycle.  Time will tell, but 2012 could be a good year for the country (and a catastrophic one for Republicans…but I repeat myself).

Catholic Bishops convince Republicans to fight to end employer healthcare coverage (I.e. throw the baby out with the birth control)

US bishops plan aggressive expansion of birth-control battle

Obama agreed to modify the mandate a bit, so that religious employers wouldn’t have to pay for contraceptive coverage directly. That satisfied some Catholic groups, but the bishops were not mollified. They want the mandate repealed altogether.

And now, they are aiming higher still, lobbying Congress to enact a law that would let any employer opt out of covering any medical treatment he disagreed with as a matter of his personal faith.

So, for instance, a pizzeria owner who objected to childhood vaccinations on religious grounds would be able to request an insurance plan that did not cover them, in effect overriding a federal requirement that vaccinations be provided free with any health-insurance plan.

Leaving coverage decisions up to each employers’ conscience might create chaos in the marketplace, “but chaos is sometimes the price you pay for freedom,” said Richard Land, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, who is backing the bishops whole-heartedly.

Actually ‘blood’ is usually what you have to pay for freedom, much like those who came and founded this country to explicitly get away from the idea that religion should control culture.