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Sochi 2014: The Conundrum of Politics & Sports

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This week, gay rights activists have been making the rounds of the cable news shows, urging that the Winter Olympics scheduled for Sochi, Russia next year be changed to a different venue or that the West launch a boycott of the Games. The activists are upset about anti-gay laws recently enacted by President Vladimir Putin and his rubber stamp Duma.

 

Can Dems Flip Georgia?

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Nate Cohn, at the New Republic, thinks Michelle Nunn may be the Democrats best chance to flip a Senate seat next November, in part because of demographics and in part because her Dad was the kind of Democrat who could win in Georgia. Mostly, however, the reason is that the GOP is likely to nominate the kind of off-the-charts crazy right wing candidate that cost the GOP potential pickups in Nevada, Colorado, Delaware and Alaska already.

Egypt's Descent Into Civil War

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“The rule of reason had quit Egypt.” That powerful sentence in an essay in the Wall Street Journal by scholar Fouad Ajami embodies the difficulty we all face, including the Obama administration, in trying to figure out a way forward for an Egypt now engulfed in violence. When secular liberals in Egypt discern an American plot in the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood to power, you know that reason has indeed left the field. And, where there is no reason, there can be no check on power.

 

Bp Tobin Switches Parties

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Bishop Tobin of Providence announced that he switched his party registration from Democratic to Republican. Hmmmm. I would have thought most bishops would register as unaffiliated. And, I am not sure why the bishop felt the need to share this news with anyone. I would be interested to know if he discerns any "cultural destruction" in the Republican Party, for which one need not look too hard. But, frankly, my initial reaction is - they can have him. 

Remembering Jean Bethke Elshtain

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Jean Bethke Elshtain died Monday. She will be greatly, and deeply, missed. The two adverbs are not reducible one to the other, which is something Elshtain helped teach me and others: There is a depth and density to human life that too many thinkers ignore in their abstract ratiocinations. I suspect it was this attention to the embodied quality of human life that really drew Elshtain to Augustine and I know it was what first drew me to Elshtain.

 

Speaker Boehner MIA

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Politico has a report on Congressman Steve King's on-going efforts to pressure Republicans to stand firm against any immigration reform that would confer legal status on undocumented immigrants. The leadership of the House would prefer that Republicans lie low on the issue and work it out behind closed doors. Unless Speaker Boehner figures out what it is he wants to say on the issue, King's will be the only voice defining the GOP's stance on immigration reform.

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