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Pope Republicanus L  

the revealer Ann Rodgers, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's smart religion reporter, wrote yesterday that Pope Benedict XVI is proving less conservative

the revealer

Ann Rodgers, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's smart religion reporter, wrote yesterday that Pope Benedict XVI is proving less conservative than expected. But the main evidence, as we read it, is that the new pope, famed for his reserve, is patting little children on the head. That's nice. Meanwhile, Rev. Thomas Reese, the former editor of the Jesuit magazine America hounded out of his job by the former Cardinal Ratzinger, is still out of a job. Rodgers cites an anonymous "informed source," who says that Reese was "the last casualty of Ratzinger rather than the first casualty of Benedict XVI." Maybe so. Benedict's subsequent emphasis on ecumenism and pragmatic approach to Italian politics suggests that despite all his speeches on absolute "truth," he may be amenable to compromise. Still, failure to promptly deliver the red meat demanded by the Church's far right does not a liberal make. Fortunately for Benedict, though, it plays well in an American media disposed to declare him a centrist, after all.

The Bush Oil Co., er, Administration      great scat!

A former disgraced official at the White House Council on Environmental Quality who resigned days after the New York Times reported he had changed some government reports on global warming is joining oil giant ExxonMobil .

Philip Cooney, the former chief of staff of the council and a former energy industry lobbyist, will be working for Exxon beginning in the fall, company spokesman Russ Roberts said on Tuesday.

The New York Times first reported Cooney's job with Exxon on its Web site. The newspaper said another Exxon spokesman declined to describe the former White House official's new job.

Cooney resigned from his White House post on Friday, two days after the newspaper reported he edited some descriptions of climate research in a way that cast doubt on links between greenhouse gas emissions and rising temperatures.

Bush Administration official, oil executive . . . same diff.

a centrist, after all.

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