A reader asked me which websites are the best for gathering information about the midterms. I use several and here they are with brief reviews.
No, not the purple elephant. Rachel Brown famously confronted Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts last year at a town hall meeting. She called the health care proposals “a Nazi policy” and she carried with her a picture of President Obama defaced to make him look like Hitler.
UPDATE: This race looked like a nail biter when I wrote about it last month. At the beginning of October, however, both the Cook Political Report and Real Clear Politics moved PA-3 from the "Toss-up" column to "Lean Republican." Incumbent Democrat Kathy Dahlkemper has trailed in every poll, and the most recent survey from Mercyhurst College has her down by 7 points.
The race has also become a focus of a duel between Catholic groups with Catholics United challenging the veracity of ads put out by pro-life organizations which claim Dahlkemper's vote for health care was a vote for federal funding of abortion. Catholics United had a press call on the issue featuring pro-life Catholics in PA-3 defending Dahlkemper. I wrote about the call here. The decision yesterday, in federal court, to allow the case against the Susan B. Anthony List's ads to proceed in Ohio does not have a direct impact on the race in Pennsylvania, but the local press in Erie is covering the story.
Like a moth to a flame, I can't continue browsing the newspaper when I see an item in the society pages about the world's most famous party-crashers. The couple, Michaele and Tareq Salahi, became household names when they wiggled their way into a state dinner at the White House. They are now "stars" on a reality television show.
Following up on a promise to reporters that she would auction off the dress she wore into the White House, and give the proceeds to charity, Mrs. Salahi announced that the dress would go on the auction block and that she and her husband "have directed the auction gallery to forward 80 percent of their proceeds from the gown's sale to the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund." 80 percent? I suppose she needed to cover her costs. These people are obscene.
When I was growing up, I wanted to write like Leon Wieseltier. I also wanted to play baseball like Carl Yastrzemski. Both desires came up against the reality that I lacked the talent my dreams inspired. Fortunately, we can still read Wiesletier's elegant writings and from the start of the controversy about the planned mosque in lower Manhattan, I knew that Leon would not only write the last word, but the definitive word, on the subject. Here it is.
In anticipation of the Pope's visit to the UK next week, The Tablet has been running a series in which they asked prominent British Catholics the question: If you had five minutes with Pope Bendict, what would you say to him?
Here at Q & A, we decided to turn that question around and ask four editors at The Tablet what they think Pope Benedict needs to say while he is in Britain. For those who do not subscribe to The Tablet, you should. In addition to being available online to subscribers, the print edition, which is published on Thursdays, arrives in the mail every Monday here in Washington. Like NCR, The Tablet is committed to strong writing, solid reporting and incisive analysis.
Our first submission comes from Catherine Pepinster who is the editor of The Tablet.
The question: What is the most important thing Pope benedict must say or do while he is in the UK?
Next week, the Holy Father will go to Great Britain for a state visit. A poll commissioned by The Tablet shows what Britons are thinking about the upcoming visit. It makes for interesting reading.
Additionally, starting today, our coverage of the papal trip here at Distinctly Catholic commences with a week of Q & A with editors from The Tablet. Next week, we will hear from several Newman scholars about the Pope's beatification of Cardinal Newman while in the UK.
Yesterday, the Washington Post had two great, must-read op-eds on labor.
UPDATE: This was the first race I looked at, back at the beginning of September. I penned a long article about it for the print edition of NCR that you can read here. No race remains closer to the heart of progressive Catholics than this one.
The polling has been all over the place, with the SurveyUSA polls skewing the averages. Still the most recent public poll from Roanoke College shows Republican challenger Robert Hurt with a six point lead. Hurt does not come across like a raving Tea Party fanatic, although the district is dotted with tea Party lawn signs that read "November is Coming." On the other hand, Hurt's ground game appears ineffectual and Perriello's is energized. The progressive evangelical group Matthew25 is runnign ads for Perriello on Christian radio, an effective means of communicating in this sprawling rural district.
Perriello's chances will hinge on his ability to generate high turnout among African-Americans in the southern part of the district and among students at UVA in the northern part. This is a must-win for the GOP, but it looks like they will claim the seat.
A final section from the RCIA lectures:
I. The papacy of Pope Pius X accomplished many good things, such as an increased focus on CCD, a liturgical renewal and a commitment to more frequent reception of the Eucharist. As well, Pius X was a saintly man whose piety impressed all who met him. But, his reign was a disaster in many ways and especially for the life of the mind. He issued an encyclical condemning modernism which he called the sum of all heresies. He instituted an oath against modernism that all university professors took. And he indulged a secretive organization, the Sodalitium Pianum, which undertook witchhunts against those it considered suspect. Among those considered suspect by the group were two future Popes, Benedict XV and John XXIII. The only notable American Catholic magazine, the Ecclesiastical Review, was shut down. American Catholic academic life went into a free-fall precisely when it was needed to challenge the increasing influence of John Dewey’s pragmatism. In the great debate between evolutionary theorists and evangelicals that resulted in the famous Scopes trial, the Church was a bystander.