As I mentioned on Monday, rarely do we get an October jobs' report before election day, but we got one this year. And, the numbers are surprisingly good even though I doubt they will have much of an effect on the election.
This is the second time I have found myself unable to vote for a Democratic incumbent seeking re-election to the presidency. In 1996, the straw that broke the camel’s back was President Clinton’s refusal to intervene in Bosnia during the siege of Bihac, but the camel’s back had been weakened by Clinton’s inability to articulate the kind of left-leaning economic populist message and policies that would have challenged the ascendancy of the moneyed interest.
Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne has joined the list of prominent liberal Catholics arguing against the referendum in Massachusetts that would legalize physician assisted suicide. I will have more on this tomorrow.
Professor David Cloutier has an important article up at Commonweal. Cloutier, who teaches theology at that notoriously leftie hangout Mt. St. Mary's in Emmitsburg (that's a joke people!), examines the use of the concept "intrinsic evil" in the current political debate. With greater erudition, learning and theological heft, Cloutier makes the point I have been making for some time - it is the wrong category and its misuse makes the bishops look like they don't know what they are talking about.
Last week, Mitt Romney said that "he read" somewhere that Jeep was going to send all of its Ohio jobs to China. Chrysler officials politely pointed out this was completely not the case. Then Romney launched an ad that repeats the same canard, only extending the warning to include GM. Corporate officials usually do not jump into partisan fights. After all, both Democrats and republicans buy cars. But, Romney's brazen lie required a response.
At the Washington Post, Mark Rozell looks at different religious groups and how they will likely be voting this year. Rozell is a professor of public policy at George Mason University and a senior fellow at the Institute for Policy research & Catholic Studies at CUA, where I am a visiting fellow. He has been looking at this kind of data for years and no one knows this turf better.
Bishop Daniel Jenky’s letter to his clergy, asking them to read a letter to the people of the diocese of Peoria, is remarkable in several ways. First, Bishop Jenky is inviting his clergy to commit an intrinsic evil because in the very first paragraph, there is a big, fat lie. Jenky writes:
I do not doubt that Mitt Romney is a good and decent man. The stories of his personal generosity are many and moving. A friend who had dealings with Romney when he was Governor of Massachusetts always found him receptive and responsive.
I suppose we have all done it at least once. You feel the need to say something to appease one person in the room, but you want to re-assure a different person that your words should not be taken at face value. So, you mouth the words, turn to the second person, and give them a knowing wink.
Bishop Anthony Taylor has posted the text of a recent homily he delivered that touched on the upcoming election. I do not know Bishop Taylor, but I have very fond memories of worshipping at the Cathedral of St.