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Election Time: CT-Senate


UPDATE (10/25): Cook Political Report still has this race rated as a "Toss-up" and Real Clear Politics still rates it as "Lean Dem." RCP is right. The RCP poll average sits at a 10.2 percent lead for Blumenthal and the most respected poll in the state, the Quinnipiac poll, had him up by 11 percent. None of the GOP House candidates have caught any breaks, and Connecticut appears ready to put a Democrat in the Governor's mansion for the first time since 1994.
The GOP candidate, Linda McMahon, has spent over $40 million on the race but to no avail. Blumenthal is going to win handily.

Yahoo Watch: American Principles Project


This is splendid. The American Principles in Action, the Political Action Committee of Professor Robert George's American Principles Project, is launching a bus tour of California to support Republican candidates in the autumn. So far so good - that is the kind of thing Political Action Committees do. But, here is the funny thing. The bus is targeting Latino communities and emblazoned in bold letters on the side of the bus is the slogan, "Vota Tus Valores!" or "Vote Your Values!" I can't make out what it says underneath, but perhaps it is something like, "So we can deport your relatives!"

\"Pledge to America\" is Fraudulent


The Republicans’ “Pledge to America” is a fraudulent document. As an electioneering tool it may be effective, heavily emphasizing efforts to control the growth of government. As a blueprint for governance, none of the proposals included add up to a coherent, plausible attempt to achieve what its authors claim they want, a vibrant economy with a smaller government footprint.

Election Time: PA-11


UPDATE (10/26): In my initial look at this race, I predicted that Rep. Paul Kanjorski was headed for defeat. Every poll published this year shows him trailing former Hazleton mayor Lou Barletta. Kanjorski has ethical problems, and regular readers know that I have no sympathy for those who, given a public trust, violate that trust. Still, the thought of Barletta, who came to fame by pushing racist anti-immigrant policies as mayor will be a blight on Congress. This district is based in the heavily Catholic Scranton and Wilkes-Barre region, and it is criminal to think that so many good Catholics are about to play a role in elevating a bigot to national office. But, there it is.

Blast From the Past: Clement VII


As Pope Benedict XVI reached the sanctuary at Westminster Abbey for the ecumenical prayer service, I knew he would not say the one thing I most wanted him to say. In my heart of hearts, I wanted him to look around at the magnificent abbey and ask if we might not have it back.

Westminster Abbey and all of England was, of course, lost to Rome because of Henry VIII's desire to annul his marriage. Parts of Germany, Switzerland and France had all been overcome by Protestantism, but not England: It departed from the Roman Church for reasons of state, both in Britain and in Rome. Because the issue was not only that Catherine was barren; the issue was also decided by the Sack of Rome in 1527. Here is Eamon Duffy's account:

Yahoo Watch: Gay Rights Groups


In this morning's Washington Post, Richard Soccarides, who was an adviser to President Clinton on gay rights issues, had this to say about the failure to overturn "Don't Ask; Don't Tell": "The Washington-based gay rights groups made a decision early on that they were better off going along with the president's timeline and that right now that looks like a serious miscalculation." Of course, gays and lesbians who lack health insurance might feel differently. Gays and lesbians who watched their 401ks plummet or who lost their job in the recession might feel differently. Gays and lesbians who were worried about predatory credit practices might feel differently. It is not like the President of the United States has been sitting on his hands these two years. The myopia of Soccarides's remark is stunning.


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July 4-17, 2014


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