Earlier, I called attention to the collaboration of Republican Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic Mayor Cory Booker to secure a huge, $100 million matching grant from zillionaire Mark Zuckerberg to help fix the miserable public schools in Newark. This collaboration was called to my attention by my friend Rick Garnett, professor of law at the University of Notre Dame and a principal contibutor at the always worth reading blog "Mirror of Justice."
Welcome to Distinctly Catholic, a blog by Michael Sean Winters that examines politics, religion and the estuary where the two meet, all from a distinctively Catholic point of view. The blog is small "c" catholic as well as big "C" Catholic, examining a wide range of issues but always from the perspective of Catholic history and theology.
CNN ran an interview with a self-described Christian who is also an assistant Attorney General for the state of Michigan. It is disturbing that someone so disturbed holds public office and Mr. Shirvell should be fired. Additionally, if you want to know how some Christians give the rest of us a bad name. Here is the video.
The First Lady evidently let it slip that her husband keeps a prayer card of Our Lady, Help of Christians, in his wallet. Very RC.
A few months ago, in an address on the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, President Obama spoke movingly about the Blessing of the Fleet. Again, very RC.
And, the other day, when asked about his Christian faith, the President described his decision to become a Christian in terms that were, while not exactly Catholic, decidedly non-Protestant.
The President said:
UPDATE (10/26): Cook Political Report changed its rating on this race six days ago, moving it from "Lean Dem" to "Toss-up." The district is centered on South Bend, and Joe Donnelly is playing the role of a fightin' Irishman. There is only one October poll and it shows Donnelly leading by nine points, but Indiana, like Arizona, is a state that is looking terribly red this year. In the Indiana Senate race, former Republican Senator Dan Coats is headed to an overwhelming victory, leading his opponent Brad Ellsworth by an average of 18 points so Donnelly will not get any help from hte top of the ticket.
Donnelly's opponent, Jackie Walorski, is a social conservative running in a year when the GOP is downplaying social conservative issues.
Indiana's polls close early, so if this race is called early, we will have a sense of how the winds are blowing.
We continue our week long conversation with Rocco Palmo, the blogmeister at Whispers in the Loggia.
The question: What is the most important thing that will happen at the USCCB meeting in November?
Rocco Palmo: One of the perks of covering church politics is that, while the country has to wait four years between presidential elections, American Catholics get one every three. So yet again, this year’s “Fall Classic” -- the USCCB’s November Meeting in Baltimore -- will see the Making of the President, Church Edition.
That said, the top-ballot’s outcome is the least suspenseful part of the process. Following a custom that’s essentially been inviolate for the half-century since the US bishops began electing a president, barring anything apocalyptic the incumbent vice-president of the body, 69 year-old Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, will be elevated to the top slot. As ever, the real race is the one that’ll determine his #2... and this time, a very changed scene since 2007 renders who makes the cut even more intriguing than usual.
Not sure what Ms. Lopez is smoking, but her recent attempt to link the Tea Party movement with Pope Benedict XVI is bizarre. The ranters who carry racist placards that show the President as a witch doctor or the dumb with a captial "B" signs that say, "No government health care - Hands off my Medicare!" have nothing, repeat nothing, in common with the refined, thoughtful social and political analysis of Pope Benedict XVI. The Tea Party movement is in euqal parts inchoate and incoherent, two adjectives that do not leap to mind when considering the writings of Joseph Raztinger.
My friend John Gehring takes on the comparison at greater length here.
Blogging may be a little light today. It is my feast day, the Feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. I shall be celebrating accordingly.
The Washington Post has an article this morning about a new law being proposed in France that will crackdown on immigration in that country. It makes for some sadly familiar reading. Or does it?
Regular readers are used to seeing the Q & A posted around noontime, but the past two days, our guest interviewee all week, blogger extraordinaire, Rocco Palmo, asked for more time to give fuller replies. Don't stand in the way of a great artist, I remember being told, so I apologize for the delays in posting but am sure you will agree that the wait was worth it. Check out Rocco's two posts below and look for more the rest of the week.
UPDATE (10/25): The Real Clear Politics Polling average has Boxer leading Fiorina by 2.5 percent, with almost all polls showing a slight lead for Boxer. But, most polls are within the margin of error and the Cook Political Report and RCP both rate the race as a "toss-up." Nate Silver's model at fivethirtyeight.com nonetheless only gives Fiorina a 19% chance of taking the seat based on both the large number of polls conducted in this race and the nearness to election day.
Neither candidate has run a particularly noteworthy ad, nor produced a defining debate moment, and it is difficult to think at this late date any news would affect this race in particular. California is a blue state that, despite being hit hard by the recession, would need more of a reason to vote Republican this year.