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Wassup at CNS?


The Catholic News Service is an indispenible provider of news pertinent to Catholics in the U.S. But, what possessed them to reprint an unsigned editorial from the Tennessee Register that was sloppily argued and brazenly partisan.

The entire text reads as if it was written by the Republican National Committee in its unrelenting indictment of President Obama from his pro-choice stance to his inability to defend programs that harm the poor and te vulnerable from congressional budget cuts. Mind, I do not share the president's pro-choice stance and I, too, have been critical of his inability to defend programs that are the proud legacy of the Democratic Party. But, surely the author of this piece might have noticed that it was the Republicans in Congress who were trying to eviscerate domestic programs that help the poor.

Who Won the Debate?


Who won last night’s debate in Iowa? In part, we will need to wait until the results of tomorrow’s straw poll in Ames to find out. As I mentioned yesterday, one of the principal objectives of the participants last night was to rile up their base to get to Ames and vote. More significantly, at this stage of the campaign, with so many candidates jockeying for position, what really matters is how the candidates performed relative to each other in the eyes of fundraisers and pundits.

Tell It Like It Is Sister!


During the health care debate, E. J. Dionne published a column entitled, "Listen to the Sisters" a reference to the women religious, many of whom work in hospitals, who were supporting the health care reform bill.
This morning, in the Des Moines Register, Sr. Paulette Skiba takes on the "Values Voters" bus tour, run by conservative Christian groups that is currently making its way around Iowa.

MSW Handicaps Tonight's Debate


Tonight’s Iowa debate on Fox will serve two purposes, which, in the event, are at cross-purposes with each other, one for those participating and one for the Obama campaign. The Republican candidates need to fire up their base in advance of the Ames straw poll this weekend. But, in an age when everything is videotaped, the candidates risk firing up the base by staking out extreme positions – it is the way you stand out on a stage with seven other people – and their statements could easily become campaign fodder for Democratic ads next year.

Sullivan on Perry


Over at Swampland, the always readable Amy Sullivan offers her take on Gov. Perry's Prayerfest. Read the whole thing but the key takeaway is this:

Now comes Perry, whose remarks on Saturday contained more religiosity than Bush ever uttered publicly, and whose supporters don’t even think that church and state should be kept separate. And because of that, they interpret concerns about Perry’s use of his office to promote one religion as criticism of his faith itself. You can’t have a conversation when the response to “If the governor wants to hold a day of prayer, maybe it should be open to all faiths” is “Why are you uncomfortable letting us pray?”

Dept. of Self-Inflicted Wounds


According to a new poll from CNN, only 33 percent of Americans approve of the Republican Party while 59 percent disapprove. That is a ten point drop from June.
At the same time, the Democratic brand slightly improved its standing with 47% approving and the same number disapproving of the Democratic Party. In June, 45 percent of those asked approved of the Dems and 49% disapproved.

What is most surprising here is that anyone approves of either party.

The Wisconsin Recall & What It Means


The results from the special elections in Wisconsin were decidedly mixed yesterday. Six Republican state senators were subject to a recall election and four survived the ordeal. In two districts, the Democrats won the seats back, but the GOP maintained control of the state senate.

The vote was, mostly, a referendum on Gov. Scott Walker and specifically his union busting legislation that passed after much acrimony earlier this year. More than $30 million dollars were spent on the special elections, which must be some kind of record for state legislative races. That is a lot of ads, a lot of messages, and so it is difficult to say that this one message or another triumphed over the others, especially when the results were so mixed.


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In This Issue

March 27-April 9, 2015


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