The Catholic Church brings peace to the presidential contest for one evening


President Barack Obama, left, talks with Cardinal Timothy Dolan, second left, as Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Ann Romney are seated at right as they attend the 67th annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, a charity gala organized by the Archdiocese of New York, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York.

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No Comments 18 October 2012

Debate 2: Obama won

The stakes were exceedingly high and that the 2nd presidential debate a dramatic event not to be missed. Barack Obama woke up out of his slumber and wrestled a victory in his 2nd debate with Mitt Romney.  At one moment the tension became so high that could feel that they wanted to smack one another like parliamentarians in Italy even modern times happen to do. But to become president your can smack your opponent in a TV ad but not with your own fists in front of millions of people. We did not see a fist fight but a great duel for the presidency. Round 2 goes to Obama.  JIM RUTENBERG and JEFF ZELENY in the NY Times provides the details of the evening.

Rivals Bring Bare Fists to Rematch
President Obama and Mitt Romney engaged Tuesday in one of the most intensive clashes in a televised presidential debate, with tensions between them spilling out in interruptions, personal rebukes and accusations of lying as they parried over the last four years under Mr. Obama and what the next four would look like under a President Romney.


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No Comments 17 October 2012

Poem of the Day: “Bless Their Hearts”

At Steak ‘n Shake I learned that if you add
“Bless their hearts” after their names, you can say
whatever you want about them and it’s OK.
My son, bless his heart, is an idiot,
she said. He rents storage space for his kids’
toys—they’re only one and three years old!
I said, my father, bless his heart, has turned
into a sentimental old fool. He gets
weepy when he hears my daughter’s greeting
on our voice mail. Before our Steakburgers came
someone else blessed her office mate’s heart,
then, as an afterthought, the jealous hearts
of the entire anthropology department.
We bestowed blessings on many a heart
that day. I even blessed my ex-wife’s heart.
Our waiter, bless his heart, would not be getting
much tip, for which, no doubt, he’d bless our hearts.
In a week it would be Thanksgiving,
and we would each sit with our respective
families, counting our blessings and blessing
the hearts of family members as only family
does best. Oh, bless us all, yes, bless us, please
bless us and bless our crummy little hearts.

“Bless Their Hearts” by Richard Newman, from Domestic Fugues. © Steel Toe Books, 2009.

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No Comments 15 October 2012

How FDR won reelection in 1936 under similar circumstances Obama is in

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No Comments 14 October 2012

VP Debate: The Winner is Martha Raddatz

imageJoe Biden did a good job of forcefully defending the policies of the Obama administration. Paul Ryan did not screw up. But the real winner is Martha Raddatz who did a fantastic job keeping the combative candidates in check. She also asked very good questions. I don’t agree with Ryan, but more than Romney he believes in outlining for voters what he wants to do so that he has a mandate to actually implement of radical cuts to the federal budget.

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No Comments 12 October 2012

Poem for Columbus Day

Columbus sailed the ocean blue
Back in 1492.
He sailed across and spotted land,
A beach, and people on the sand.

He called them Indians because
He had no idea where he was,
India was just a guess.
When in doubt, declare success.
“Columbus sailed the ocean blue…”

Poem by Ramon Montaigne

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No Comments 8 October 2012

Debate 1: Romney won

Romney scored against Obama last night. He was an agile fighter, Obama seemed tired.  The LA times summarizes well was transpired.

Mitt Romney makes smooth shift to center in debate with Obama

In his first debate with the president, the Republican works on his empathy problem and appears to gain momentum.

WASHINGTON — The small group of voters who remain undecided or at least open to persuasion in the presidential campaign consistently tell pollsters that they want to hear specifics and don’t like partisan attacks. President Obama and Mitt Romney, his Republican challenger, obliged them.

Their debate often wandered far into the byways of Washington policy, including financial regulation, “qualified mortgages” and competing healthcare plans. Obama left aside much of the central thrust of his campaign — the fierce attacks on Romney’s business record, personal taxes and ideology.


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No Comments 4 October 2012

Revealing Mitt Romney

image I suspected that a key motivation for Mitt Romney to run for president is that he wants to achieve what his father did not. Nicholas Lehman in his New Yorker profile provides evidence that this interpretation is correct. The profile make you understand Mitt Romney very well.

TRANSACTION MAN: Mormonism, private equity, and the making of a candidate.

Lehman explores Romney’s background through historical research, and by talking at length with Romney’s friends and colleagues, as well as with the candidate himself. If elected, Romney, scion of an old, distinguished Mormon family (his ancestors had a direct connection to Joseph Smith and Brigham Young), would arguably be the most actively religious President in American history; he’s been deeply influenced by the Mormon values of personal discipline and business-centric practicality. His approach to problem-solving, meanwhile, has developed over the course of a long career as a consultant, at Bain & Company, and in private equity, at Bain Capital; he thinks of himself as a rescuer, someone who can apply data-driven analyses to otherwise intractable problems and emerge with workable solutions. Romney, in short, presents an unusual combination: personally, he is driven by old-fashioned values, while professionally he is thoroughly modern, a prime mover in the finance-driven, post-corporate, essentially transactional economy that has come to define America in the early twenty-first century. Though Romney is direct, pleasant, and engaged in small groups, his campaign has been hindered by his inability to open up in front of crowds.

Download Full Article here.

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No Comments 28 September 2012

The Turning Point in the Election

image This may be the turning point in the election.  David Brooke’s explains why.

Thurston Howell Romney

In 1980, about 30 percent of Americans received some form of government benefits. Today, as Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute has pointed out, about 49 percent do. In 1960, government transfers to individuals totaled $24 billion. By 2010, that total was 100 times as large. Even after adjusting for inflation, entitlement transfers to individuals have grown by more than 700 percent over the last 50 years. This spending surge, Eberstadt notes, has increased faster under Republican administrations than Democratic ones.

There are sensible conclusions to be drawn from these facts. You could say that the entitlement state is growing at an unsustainable rate and will bankrupt the country. You could also say that America is spending way too much on health care for the elderly and way too little on young families and investments in the future.


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No Comments 18 September 2012

Michael Lewis on what is it like to be President

image Michael Lewis was able to spent 6 months following Barak Obama. He provides us we a good glimpse of what it is like to be President in his Vanity Fair article.

Here is the key passage:

This was the third time I’d put the question to him, in one form or another. The first time, a month earlier in this same cabin, he’d had a lot of trouble getting his mind around the idea that I, not he, was president. He’d started by saying something he knew to be dull and expected but that—he insisted—was nevertheless perfectly true. “Here is what I would tell you,” he’d said. “I would say that your first and principal task is to think about the hopes and dreams the American people invested in you. Everything you are doing has to be viewed through this prism. And I tell you what every president ... I actually think every president understands this responsibility. I don’t know George Bush well. I know Bill Clinton better. But I think they both approached the job in that spirit.” Then he added that the world thinks he spends a lot more time worrying about political angles than he actually does.


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No Comments 17 September 2012

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