In the article linked on "Morning Briefing," everyone agrees that the highly disturbing comments and behavior of a Michigan Assistant Attorney General, Andrew Shirvell, are reprehensible, but the ACLU evidently supports Attorney General Mike Cox's decision not to fire Shirvell. An official said, "As offensive and as despicable as Mr. Shirvell's comments are, they are protected expression under the First Amendment when they are not used as a direct threat," she said. "Without making specific threats against others, this is just another example of speech that society must tolerate, even though it is profoundly disturbing and stirs many to anger." This misses the point.
Politico has an article up today about the SurveyUSA's polling in VA-5, which consistently show Democratic incumbent Tom Perriello trailing his challenger by twenty points or more. The Perriello camp has pushed back, releasing two internal polls that show the race as a dead heat. I am going to that district tomorrow and will have an update in next week's print edition of NCR. But, for now, let's just say that polls must always be examined with grains of salt at hand, because the different methodologies used by pollsters allow for such disparate results.
UPDATE (10/25): Unlike the Senate races in Washington state, Pennsylvania and Illinois, the race in Wisconsin has broken decidedly against incumbent Sen. Russ Feingold. The Cook POlitical Report and RCP both rate the race as "lean Republican." Nate Silver gives Sen. Feingold only an 11 percent chance of retaining his seat. This race proves my point that the ideal GOP candidate this year is a totally bland person with no record. GOP businessman Ron Johnson, unlike the Tea Party favs in Nevada, Colorado, Alaska and Delaware, is, as the Italians say, "macaroni senza sal," flavorless. This has allowed him to keep the focus on the three-term incumbent who has appeared increasingly lackluster in the campaign, as if his heart is simply not in the race. Barring a miracle, Feongold is going into an early retirement.
This week, Rocco Palmo is sharing the ecclesiastical version of a State of the Union address with us here at Q & A. Today he looks at the much-rumored forthcoming consistory.
The question: According to some reports, Pope Benedict is preparing to name new cardinals, possibly as soon as next month. What can we expect in the College’s next class?
Rocco Palmo: I’d normally be reluctant to compare people to bulls... but there’s something about that scarlet that really drives folks wild -- and not just in the the church. Indeed, a friend once mused that if Martians ever descended, not knowing our languages, customs, anything about us, even they’d be able to quickly tell the difference between a bishop and a cardinal because of how everybody just seems to charge toward anyone wearing the rank’s distinctive color, and what it represents.
Ya know, the "Corner" at National Review is becoming one big Yahoo Watch. But, today's entry by Mark Krikorian about Meg Whitman's former maid is repulsive in the extreme. He employs the phrase "Illegal Alien" twice at the article's beginning as if the maid was from Mars not Mexico. What's next? Calling undocumented workers "sub-human"? Krikorian finishes his little hissy fit by asking whose Social Security number the maid stole and wondering if that person's credit score has been ruined. Why not ask if the person whose Social Security number the maid "stole" must give back all that extra money from the maid and Whitman's Social Security contributions?
This stuff is hateful, just hateful.
Here is Professor Garnett's comment on my post below.
Garnett and I do not agree on many things, but I always feel smarter after an exchange with him. If more Catholic conservatives were as thoughtful as he, I might be tempted to swim the Potomac.
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."
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.