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\"Pledge to America\" is Fraudulent

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Q & A: Dennis Coyle on the Tea Party

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Q & A continues its looks at the Tea Party with these comments from Professor Dennis Coyle, a politics professor at the Catholic University of America and a fellow at the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies.
The question: Will the Tea Party be a curse or a blessing for the GOP in November?
Professor Coyle:
With friends like these, who needs enemies? That is what perplexed mainstream Republicans are asking themselves in light of the surprising success of Tea Party-backed candidates in party primaries. Seemingly fringe candidates are roiling the political waters with their dynamic and sometimes puzzling personalities, their provocative statements and controversial backgrounds. Most surprising was the victory of Christine McDonnell over Rep. Michael Castle in Delaware, which seems to have dashed overnight Republican hopes, or perhaps fantasies, of taking over the Senate. It is enough to make one suspicious that Tea Party success is the product of some vast left-wing conspiracy intent on infiltrating the Republican Party and filling it with unelectable candidates.

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November 21-December 5, 2014

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