Digest of Today's Posts (30 August 2011)
Highlights from Yesterday (29 August 2011):
Labels: Digest of Posts
Labels: Digest of Posts
That's Mitt Romney ... the ultimate political outsider and down-to-earth populist.
Ross Douthat [ED.: Gosh, I'm really starting to hate that guy!] seems in danger of jumping on the Romney meat-wagon. He writes that despite Rick Perry’s position, Romney should not panic because “Romney doesn’t have to worry about any of the rival candidates making a play for his core supporters.”(emphasis and editorial commentary added]
We’re going to hear this argument a lot in the coming months from Romney partisans as they try to argue that something they would like to happen is, in fact, likely to happen. It’s worth taking this pundit fallacy apart now because it gets to the nub of why I’ve been insisting for four years that Romney is a non-starter as a political commodity—it’s precisely because he has no core supporters. Which is why he is not very good at winning elections.
Let’s revisit Romney’s campaigns:
1) Romney made his political career out of his “close” 17-point loss to Ted Kennedy. But keep in mind that to only lose by 17, he spent $7M of his own money. But more importantly, this was the 1994 midterm election—so he got blown out during the biggest Republican wave in half a century.
(2) The high-point of his electoral career was the 2002 MA governor’s race, where he took 49.77%. Even in the biggest win of his life, he couldn’t capture more than 50% of the vote.
(3) It’s funny that Romney’s line of attack on Perry seems to be that Perry is a “career politician” because he’s been in elective office since 1984. Well, Mitt Romney would have been a career politician too, if only voters would have let him. He’s been running since 1994. His real gripe about Perry is actually, “Hey, that guy wins all the time! No fair!”
Douthat says that “The greatest danger to Romney’s candidacy — the thing that could destroy him long before the voting even started — has always been that a more appealing establishment candidate would enter the race.” But that’s not right at all. The greatest danger to Romney’s candidacy is that he has no constituency because he’s not very good at campaigning and, as the electoral results of the last 17 years have shown, voters don’t like him very much. The danger to the Romney candidacy is the candidate...
Some European scientists obviously haven't gotten the memo from Algore that they're to be treated as the equivalent of racists:
If Michael Crichton had lived to write a follow-up to State of Fear, the plotline might well have gone like this: at a top secret, state of the art laboratory in Switzerland, scientists finally discover the true cause of “global warming”. It’s the sun, stupid. More specifically – as the Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark has long postulated – it’s the result of cosmic rays which act as a seed for cloud formation. The scientists working on the project are naturally euphoric: this is a major breakthrough which will not only overturn decades of misguided conjecture on so-called Man Made Global Warming but will spare the global economy trillions of dollars which might otherwise have been squandered on utterly pointless efforts to reduce anthropogenic CO2 emissions. However, these scientists have failed to realise just how many people – alarmist scientists, huckster politicians, rent-seeking landowners like (the late Michael Crichton’s brilliant and, of course, entirely fictional creation) the absurd, pompous Sir Reginald Leeds Bt, green activists, eco-fund managers, EU technocrats, MSM environmental correspondents – stand to gain from the Man Made “Climate Change” industry. Their discovery must be suppressed at all costs. So, one by one, the scientists on the cosmic ray project find themselves being bumped off, until only one man remains and must race against time to prove, etc, etc…My Comments:
Except of course in the real world the second part wouldn’t happen. No one would need to go to the trouble of bumping off those pesky scientists with their awkward, annoying facts and their proper actual research. That’s because the MSM and the scientific “community” would find it perfectly easy to suppress the story anyway, without recourse to severed brake cables or ricin-impregnated hand-washes or staged “suicides”.
This is exactly what has happened with the latest revelations from CERN over its landmark CLOUD experiment...
[Read the whole thing]
Lord of the Rings aficionados know that the evil lord Sauron paid little attention to the danger posed by two hobbits slowly struggling across the mountains and deserts of Mordor until he suddenly realized that the ring on which all his power depended was about to be hurled into the pits of Mount Doom. All at once the enemy plan became clear; what looked like stupidity was revealed as genius, and Sauron understood everything just when it was too late to act.My Comments:
Jeffrey Toobin’s gripping, must-read profile of Clarence and Virginia Thomas in the New Yorker gives readers new insight into what Sauron must have felt: Toobin argues that the only Black man in public life that liberals could safely mock and despise may be on the point of bringing the Blue Empire down.
In fact, Toobin suggests, Clarence Thomas may be the Frodo Baggins of the right; his lonely and obscure struggle has led him to the point from which he may be able to overthrow the entire edifice of the modern progressive state.
At most liberals have long seen Thomas as the Sancho Panza to Justice Antonin Scalia’s Don Quixote, Tonto to his Lone Ranger. No, says Toobin: the intellectual influence runs the other way. Thomas is the consistently clear and purposeful theorist that history will remember as an intellectual pioneer; Scalia the less clear-minded colleague who is gradually following in Thomas’ tracks.
If Toobin’s [revisionist] take is correct, (and I defer to his knowledge of the direction of modern constitutional thought) it means that liberal America has spent a generation mocking a Black man as an ignorant fool, even as constitutional scholars stand in growing amazement at the intellectual audacity, philosophical coherence and historical reflection embedded in his judicial work... (emphasis added)
[Definitely read the whole thing, as well as Toobin's piece]
Biden’s professed “pro-choice” sensibilities have been exposed as pro-abortion with this shameful suck-up to Beijing on a policy that no US envoy should profess to “fully understand.”
"Let's not forget that at the Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal, forced abortion was properly construed to be a crime against humanity. It is no less a crime against humanity today and there is our Vice President saying that he fully understands the one child per couple policy that has made brothers and sisters illegal in China."
Labels: Catholic Identity, Catholic Social Teaching, Catholics Against Biden, Crime and Punishment, Culture of Death, Dissident Catholics, Malthusian Nonsense, Obama Culture of Death Update™, Pro-Life
[Laughs good-naturedly in response to question] Well, I may not have served in the Obama Administration or appeared in the pages of Vogue magazine, but I don't think those are necessarily valid measures of "sophistication" or "intelligence", either. [Looks gravely into the camera] Look, it's not a matter of "believes" or "doesn't believe" in a scientific theory that, quite honestly, a whole lot of people are skeptical about, and rightly so, given the fact that the earth has heated and cooled all on its own - without any help from humans - for millenia. What this is about is that, in one of the worst economies in our nation's history, with millions of folks unemployed and struggling to make ends meet, it just doesn't make sense to implement the sort of policy schemes supported by Ambassador Huntsman and President Obama that will devastate our already fragile economy, throw even more people out of work, and raise the costs of heating and cooling our homes and driving our cars beyond what people can afford.
You know who this DOESN'T help?
Texas Governor Rick Perry, the new face in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, has jumped to a double-digit lead over Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann with the other announced candidates trailing even further behind.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Republican Primary voters, taken Monday night, finds Perry with 29% support. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who ran unsuccessfully for the GOP presidential nomination in 2008, earns 18% of the vote, while Bachmann, the Minnesota congresswoman who won the high-profile Ames Straw Poll in Iowa on Saturday, picks up 13%.
Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who was a close second to Bachmann on Saturday, has the support of nine percent (9%) of Likely Primary Voters, followed by Georgia businessman Herman Cain at six percent (6%) and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with five percent (5%). Rick Santorum, former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, and ex-Utah Governor Jon Huntsman each get one percent (1%) support, while Michigan Congressman Thaddeus McCotter comes in statistically at zero.
Sixteen percent (16%) of primary voters remain undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Still, this marks a significant jump in support for Perry, who officially entered the race on Saturday although his candidacy had been rumored for weeks. Just over two weeks ago, a survey of likely primary voters found Romney with 22% support, closely followed by Perry at 18% and Bachman with 16% of the vote.
“Governor Perry is enjoying a bounce from entering the race at precisely the right time”, said Scott Rasmussen. “Now the difficult part begins for the new frontrunner. It’s much easier winning support when people are hoping you will get in the race, than retaining support when you are the frontrunner.”
Of course the douchiest just so happens to be the other house "conservative" at the left-wing "newspaper of record". But Douthat is determined to give Brooks a run for his money:
... Rick Perry has many of the qualities that Romney seems to lack: backbone, core convictions, a killer instinct and a primal understanding of the right-wing electorate. He also has the better story. Where Romney has to run away from his Massachusetts health care bill and downplay his years as a downsizing artist at Bain Capital, Perry can spend the campaign reminding voters that almost half of the new jobs in Obama’s presidency were created on his watch in Texas.Give it a rest, Ross. The guy who's been governor of New Jersey for all of 5 minutes (less time on the job, actually, than your favorite whipping girl, Sarah Palin, had as Governor of Alaska) has no intention of stepping in to save you elitists from having to suffer through yet another "red-state rube" from Texas as the GOP nominee.
What Perry doesn’t have, though, is the kind of moderate facade that Americans look for in their presidents. He’s the conservative id made flesh, with none of the postpartisan/uniter-not-a-divider spirit that successful national politicians usually cultivate.
Imagine if the Democratic Party nominated a combination of Al Franken and Nancy Pelosi for the presidency, and you have a sense of the kind of gamble Republicans would be taking with Perry. And even if that gamble worked, little in his record suggests that he’s prepared to preside over a polarized country, or negotiate his way through a divided Washington.
So whose door should Republicans be knocking on instead? Unless Mitch Daniels changes his mind or Jeb Bush changes his last name, the only compelling possibility remaining is Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey.
Just when you thought the environuts couldn't get any more insufferable:
Hybrids Trump Handicapped At Liquor Store
In order to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification, Nashua’s new 20,000-square foot liquor store, which is owned and operated by the state, was “built with solar panels, geo-thermal heating and cooling systems, local building materials and recycled products.”
The problem? It was also designed with reserved parking spaces right in front of the door. Not for the handicapped, though—they had those, too, but they were further down. Who got the primo spots? Low emission and hybrid cars, of course!
See, I frequently get accused of hating the environment in a most un-christian way, but this is not fair. I actually love the natural world, and my family’s lifestyle is amazingly green. No, really all I hate is professional environmentalists, because of the way they are jerks.
The sheer moronitude of the environmental planning board’s decision boggles the mind. First, how did they not realize how much outrage it would generate? It’s a policy just begging for inflammatory headlines. I’m imagining the environmentalists putting their heads together, realizing that ideas like forced sterilizations make them kind of unpopular. “I know!” says one stringy fellow in hemp biking shorts. “We need a new message, to make our ideas more palatable. How does this strike you:’Nyah, nyah, cripples—we got here first!’ ”
[Read the whole thing]
FARGO, North Dakota, August 11, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Church should seek the conversion of pro-abortion politicians, but if they remain obstinate they should be expelled from the Church, says Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo.
The Bishop proposed in an interview with Catholic World Report this week that Bishops should take their cue from the Gospel of Matthew in handling pro-abortion politicians.
“Our Lord tells us to speak to the person, and then take two or three others with us if he does not change,” he said. “If he still does not change, the Church can speak to him, which is done through the bishop. [The bishop] exercises the authority of Christ. Christ then says that if that person is still obstinate and will not change, treat them as a tax collector or Gentile. Expel him.’”
The Bishop continued: “Catholics are called to defend human life, particularly that of the unborn. The Church’s teaching is clear. If we don’t challenge public officials who reject this teaching, we leave them in their sins and confuse the faithful.”
Aquila, who has been the spiritual head of the diocese of Fargo in North Dakota for ten years, is well known for his support for the pro-life cause.
... Obama has often mentioned Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (including at Georgetown University) to make the case for his economic policies. In fact, the Politico ran a piece entitled "Barack Obama invokes Jesus more than George W. Bush."
So why is there no worry about Obama infusing religion into his politics? Ah, that's easy. Because the media believes that Obama's Christianity is only used to advance his politics while they fear that Perry's politics are actually informed by his Christianity. In short, he means it. And that scares the heck out of them.
My friend, Don McClarey, has posted a very nice tribute to the recently deceased liberal Republican and former Senator from Oregon, Mark Hatfield:
... Ronald Reagan, who was a friend of Hatfield, once noted in his diary while he was President that with Republicans like Hatfield, who needed Democrats. He was a RINO’s RINO. Of course you know there is a but coming.
He was a Baptist and an ardent Christian. Perhaps partially because of that he was also an ardent foe of abortion and always voted pro-life. In a liberal state like Oregon that was a hard stance to take, but Hatfield never wavered from it. He introduced the first proposed constitutional amendment to ban abortion and he was a key ally of the late, and great, Congressman Henry Hyde in passing legislation banning federal funds for abortion...
[Read the whole thing]
An interesting piece over at First Things by Archbishiop Augustine Di Noia, O.P., that is of particular significance to me as a graduate of the University of Virginia who was received into the Church at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish (a Dominican parish adjacent to the UVA grounds).
(Originally posted 8 August 2006)
Dominic de Guzman
Born of wealthy Spanish nobility. Son of Blessed Joan of Aza. When she was pregnant, his mother had a vision that her unborn child was a dog who would set the world on fire with a torch it carried in its mouth; a dog with a torch in its mouth became a symbol for the order which he founded, the Dominicans. At Dominic's baptism, Blessed Joan saw a star shining from his chest, which became another of his symbols in art, and led to his patronage of astronomy.
Studied philosophy and theology at the University of Palencia. Priest. Canon of the cathedral of Osma. Augustinian. Worked for clerical reform. Lifelong apostolate among heretics, especially Albigensians, and especially in France. Worked with Blessed Peter of Castelnau. Founded the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans) in 1215, a group who live a simple, austere life, and an order of nuns dedicated to the care of young girls. Friend of Saint Amata of Assisi.
At one point Dominic became discouraged at the progress of his mission; no matter how much he worked, the heresies remained. But he received a vision from Our Lady who showed him a wreath of roses, representing the rosary. She told him to say the rosary daily, teach it to all who would listen, and eventually the true faith would win out. Dominic is often credited with the invention of the rosary; it actually pre-dates him, but he certainly spread devotion to it, and used it to strengthen his own spiritual life.
Reported miracle worker who brought four people back from the dead. Legend says that Dominic received a vision of a beggar who, like Dominic, would do great things for the Faith. Dominic met the beggar the next day. He embraced him and said, "You are my companion and must walk with me. If we hold together, no earthly power can withstand us." The beggar was Saint Francis of Assisi.
1170 at Calaruega, Burgos, Old Castile
4 August 1221 at Bologna
13 July 1234 by Pope Gregory IX at Rieti, Italy
belonging to God
astronomers; astronomy; prelature of Batanes-Babuyanes, Philippines; diocese of Bayombong, Philippines; Dominican Republic; falsely accused people; Santo Domingo Indian Pueblo; scientists
Prayer I to...
Prayer II to...
chaplet, Dominican carrying a rosary and a tall cross; Dominican holding a lily; Dominican with dog and globe; Dominican with fire; Dominican with star shining above his head; rosary; star
Gallery of images of Saint Dominic [50 images, 713 kb]
Commercial Links related to Saint Dominic
New Catholic Dictionary
Fausto Appetente Die: On Saint Dominic, by Pope Benedict XV
A man who governs his passions is master of his world. We must either command them or be enslaved by them. It is better to be a hammer than an anvil.
- Saint Dominic
Dominic possessed such great integrity and was so strongly motivated by divine love, that without a doubt he proved to be a bearer of honor and grace. And since a joyful heart animates the face, he displayed the peaceful composure of a spiritual man in the kindness he manifested outwardly and by the cheerfulness of his countenance.
Wherever he went he showed himself in word and deed to be a man of the Gospel. During the day no one was more community-minded or pleasant toward his brothers and associates. During the night hours no one was more persistent in every kind of vigil and supplication. He seldom spoke unless it was with God, that is, in prayer, or about God; and in this matter he instructed his brothers.
Frequently he made a special personal petition that God would deign to grant him genuine charity in caring for and obtaining the salvation of men. For he believed that only then would he be truly a member of Christ, when he had given himself totally for the salvation of men, just as the Lord Jesus, the Savior of all, had offered himself completely for our salvation. So, for this work, after a lengthy period of careful and provident planning, he founded the Orders of Friars Preachers.
In his conversations and letters he often urged the brothers of the Order to study constantly the Old and New Testaments. He always carried with him the gospel according to Matthew and the epistles of Paul, and so well did he study them that he almost knew them from memory.
Two or three times he was chosen bishop, but he always refused, preferring to live with his brothers in poverty. Of him Pope Gregory IX declared: "I knew him as a steadfast follower of the apostolic way of life. There is no doubt that he is in heaven, sharing in the glory of the apostles themselves."
- from various writings on the history of the Order of Preachers
Pierre Mandonnet, O.P.: St. Dominic and His Work
New "St. Dominic Page" on the St. Joseph Province website
The Life of St. Dominic by fr. Gregory Anderson, OP
St. Dominic: Biographical Documents, ed. by Francis C. Lehner, O.P.
The First Disciples of St. Dominic, Adapted and Enlarged From Father Anthony Touron's Histoire Abrégée des Premiers Disciples de saint Dominique By The Very Rev. Victor F. O'Daniel, O.P., S.T.M., Litt.D.
St. Dominic Clip-Art
St. Dominic and His Symbols
Litany of St. Dominic
Father Paul A. Duffner, O.P. IN DEFENSE OF A TRADITION: St. Dominic and the Rosary
The Rosary Light & Life - Vol 49, No 5, Sep-Oct 1996
Who's Who in Medieval History: St. Dominic
Catholic Encyclopedia: ST. DOMINIC
St. Dominic from The Penguin Dictionary of the Saints
St. Dominic and the Rosary by Robert Feeney
The Nine Ways of Prayer of St. Dominic
Biography & Readings for St. Dominic, August 8, according to the Episcopal Church
Patron Saints Index: Dominic de Guzman
ST. DOMINIC Founder of the Order of Friars Preachers
Saint Dominic Adoring the Crucifixion
FRA ANGELICO, Fra (b. cca. 1400, Vicchio nell Mugello, d. 1455) Roma)
Manuscript painting of St. Dominic by Taddeo Crivelli Italian, Ferrara, about 1469
Fra Angelico Mocking of Christ with the Virgin and Saint Dominic
1439-1443 Fresco 73 5/8 x 59 1/2 in (187 x 151 cm) Cell 7, Convent of San Marco, Florence
Saint Dominic Founder of the Friars Preachers, Confessor
Taken from "Lives of Saints", Published by John J. Crawley & Co., Inc.
Fra Angelico: The Glorification of Saint Dominic
Saint Dominic Reviving Napoleone Orsini, Nephew of the Cardinal of Fossanova,
1516 oil on panel Accademia Carrara di Belle Arti, Bergamo
St. Dominic de Guzman, confessor, founder of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans)
Also Domingo de Guzman
Died August 4,1221 at Bologna
Canonized July 1234 by Pope Gregory IX
Commemorated August 8 (also August 3 or 4)
Patronage: astronomers, astronomy, Dominican Republic, falsely accused people, scientists
In art: Portrayed as a Dominican carrying a rosary and a tall cross; Dominican holding a lily; Dominican with dog and globe; Dominican with dog carrying a torch in its mouth; Dominican with fire; Dominican with star shining above his head; rosary; star
SAINT DOMINIC, Founder (1170-1221)
Saint Dominic de Guzman was born in Spain in 1170. As a student, he sold his books to feed the poor during a famine, and offered himself to ransom a slave. At the age of twenty-five, after taking the religious habit he became acting Superior of the Canons Regular of Saint Augustine in Osma, and was soon offered an episcopal chair at Compostella. He answered as afterward he also answered many times: "God has not sent me to be a bishop, but to preach." He accompanied his prelate to southern France on a commission for the king of Castille. There his heart was well-nigh broken by the ravages of the Albigensian heresy, a variant of ancient Manicheanism, and the source of devastating wars in southern France. His life from that time on was devoted to the conversion of heretics and the defense of the Faith.
In the year 1199, while he was still a Canon Regular of Saint Augustine and was preaching near the Spanish coasts, he was taken captive, with all his audience and a Brother in religion, by a band of pirates. They placed the prisoners in their galleys at the oars. When a furious storm broke, the young Saint exhorted the disciples of Mohammed to think seriously of their souls, to open their eyes to the truth of Christianity, and above all, to invoke the Mother of God. They did not listen until his third exhortation, at a moment when it was clear the ship and passengers could not be saved. They swore to him then that if the God of Christians preserved them by the intercession of His Holy Mother, they would dedicate themselves to their service. Immediately the storm ceased, and the pirates kept their word.
When in his 46th year, and with six companions, he began the great Order of preaching Friars, this Order with that of the Friars Minor, founded by his contemporary friend Saint Francis of Assisi, was the chief means God employed to renew Christian fervor during the Middle Ages. In addition, Saint Dominic founded his Second Order for nuns for the education of Catholic girls, and his Third Order, or Tertiaries, for persons of both sexes living in the world. God abundantly blessed the new Order, and France, Italy, Spain, and England welcomed the Preaching Friars. Our Lady took them under Her special protection. During a debate with the heretics, a book by the Saint, defending Her Immaculate Conception, was thrown into the flames along with one by the heretics, to see whether one might be spared. Saint Dominic's was not injured, and many heretics were converted.
It was in 1208, while Saint Dominic knelt in the little chapel of Notre Dame de La Prouille, and implored the great Mother of God to save the Church, that Our Lady appeared to him and gave him the Rosary, bidding him to go forth and preach it. During the famous battles in southern France against the Albigensians, with his rosary in hand he revived the courage of the Catholic armies, led them to victory against overwhelming numbers, and finally subdued the heresy. His nights were spent in prayer; and, though all beheld him as an Angel of purity, before morning broke he would scourge himself to blood. His words rescued countless souls, and three times raised the dead to life. At length, on August 6, 1221, at the age of fifty-one, he gave up his soul to God.
A man who governs his passions is master of his world. We must either command them or be enslaved by them. It is better to be a hammer than an anvil.
- Saint Dominic
More on St. Dominic at:
Ben Smith writes at Politico:
Call it the Mittness Protection Program.My Comments:
Through the hot summer of 2011, the front-runner for the Republican nomination has been in hiding.
Romney was hit repeatedly by his opponents and the Democrats for refusing to offer an opinion on the debt deal until twelve hours after Congressional leaders accepted it – but that’s just been the most obvious example of a campaign that’s keeping the candidate far from the front lines and the headlines.
“His strategy is clearly to play a lower profile so that he will draw less fire because he’s got a number of issues that he would rather not address,” said Mark Penn, who steered Hillary Clinton in similar waters in 2007.
“When voters worry that a candidate may be all things to everyone, every day that candidate fails to cement his identity, he risks validating their concerns. Silence can be assent,” said Alex Castellanos, a 2008 Romney adviser who no longer supports the former Massachusetts governor. “More importantly, once the fight starts, Governor Romney will be forced to establish his identity in a more competitive climate. It’s a lot harder to keep your candle lit in a windstorm.”
His rivals and critics, meanwhile, are beginning to hone in on his calculated refusal to take risky political positions, driven by apparent concern for the general election and by a second-time candidate’s understanding of the rhythm of political cycles.
“There’s a difference between not chasing every ball, and not getting in the arena,” said a spokesman for one rival, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. “In the ongoing battle of ideas for the future of America, Mitt Romney is a spectator with a record of cheering for both sides.”