"I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong."-- A. Lincoln
I came home on Tuesday night to find my street blocked by police barricades and emergency vehicles everywhere. I quickly discovered that a watermain had burst, and that everyone was being evacuated.
I've been staying- at city expense- at motels since then. Rumors spread that the structural integrity of our apartment building had been compromised and that it would be condemned, and that mold had been discovered and we would be kept out until this could be rectified. Turns out that neither are true, and we will probably be back home on Wednesday or Thursday. Meanwhile, they're even paying for our meals!
I admit that Fiji would probably be a better spot for an all-expenses paid vacation, but hey.
Meanwhile, I attended Thanksgiving services at St. Mary's yesterday morning, and hadThanksgiving dinner at the home of some friends and former parishioners. Afterward, we, went to see Lincoln- a wonderful movie, btw; Daniel Day-Lewis really does. as Dolores Kearnes Goodwin sais, …
Ron Paul- who thinks that America was to blame for 9/11 and that most African-Americans in the District of Columbia are criminals, and who claims that he isn't responsible for the content of a newsletter he allowed racists and quasi-Nazis to run in his name for ten years because he wasn't paying attention- says that, the Civil War and numerous Supreme Court decisions notwithstanding, secession is "a deeply American principle."
I guess this is just another lost cause, Mr. Paine. All you people don't know about lost causes. Mr. Paine does. He said once they were the only causes worth fighting for... And you know that you fight for the lost causes harder than for any other. Yes, you even die for them.
--Jimmy Stewart, as Senator Jefferson Smith in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Actually it was Clarence Darrow who said that, but Sen. Smith was right about lost causes. So was Jesus. So were (are) the martyrs. So are people all over the world who have stood up against overwhelming odds for what is right even without the ghost of a chance, humanly speaking, of winning.
Being a Christian, in the last analysis, means staking everything on the notion that "lost" causes not only sometimes ultimately win, but that God tends to use them for His purposes- which aren't always ours.
I've already blogged about the reasons why the outcome of the 2012 election makes me profoundly pessimistic about the fut…
Due to a union strike, Hostess- maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Ho-Ho's, SnoBalls, Hostess Cupcakes,Wonder Bread, Home Pride Bread and a host of other familiar mass- produced baked goods- is going out of business.
Look. I'm as discouraged and disgusted by Obama's re-election as anybody. But the nut jobs who are talking about the red states seceeding from the Union are beyond the pale.
Treason is not the answer. Besides, we settled the issue of secession a century and a half ago- and not only by the outcome of the Civil War. In Texas v. White, the United States Supreme Court ruled that secession of Texas from the United States was illegal. The court wrote, "The Constitution, in all its provisions, looks to an indestructible Union, composed of indestructible States."
The movement seems to be especially strong in Texas, where a persistent urban legend says that a treaty between the United States and the Republic of Texas whereby the latter annexed the former included a clause granting Texas the right to secede from the Union if it chose.
For some time it's been fashionable on the Left to claim that silencing, discriminating against, firing, and otherwise harassing those who remain faithful to the teachings of Scripture and historic Christianity isn't religious persecution. But now, it seems that they don't even draw the line at crucifixion, boiling in oil, burning at the stake, b…
I got up at 5 a.m., showered, dressed, and headed to the bus stop. Upon arriving, I called DART (our local transit authority) to be sure I was getting on the right bus. As I feared, it turned out that the polling place I was assigned to was an impractical distance from any bus stop.
This is, after all, Des Moines.
Moreover, I was given the wrong information about which bus to take, and not told that the bus I needed to transfer to was an "on-call" bus (a kind of quasi-cab intended, sometimes on request and sometimes by running a regular but infrequent route, to supplement the bus system and enable commuters to reach destinations far off-route).
Fortunately, the lady who answered the phone was also wrong about what time the on-call bus would arrive. As a result, I got to the polling place only half an hour late.
But there were two poling places in the church where mine was located, and I initially went …
I trust that he is not delusional. I cannot, therefore, believe that the cynicism- to say nothing of the hypocrisy-of that statement is other than intentional. That speaks ill of a man a I once respected, even though I disagreed with him, and bodes ill for the country as well.
In the past several months, I've lost all respect for Barack Obama. And that's sad, because there's a great deal about the man that's attractive: his intellect, his charm, his eloquence, and the fact that he really was in a position to be a healer if he had been in fact the moderate and post-partisan his rhetoric and the media always insisted he was. But alas, wh…
ADDENDUM: Actually, the Romney people here told me Monday night that my premise is wrong. The point was that the Obama campaign expected Romney to win the vote on election day, just as McCain did in 2008- with the victory supplied by early votes. Thus, exit polling would be misleading.
The Chicago Bears- the number one defensive team in the NFL, with a defense that scores as much as some NFL offenses and is drawing (premature) comparisons to the great 1985 Super Bowl Champions' "D-" left Tennessee in the dust yesterday, 51-20. Three Cutler-to-Marshall touchdown passes, four forced fumbles by Charles "Peanut" Tillman, a "pick 6" by Brian Urlacher, a touchdown on a blocked punt, and a franchise record 28 points in the first quarter told the tale.
The Bears are now 7-1. Next Sunday night we'll have a much, much tougher test: another 7-1 team, the Houston Texans.
So get ready, Ursine Warriors. And BEAR DOWN!
(The song in the video above is performed, BTW, by the Chicago Sympthony Orchestra and Chorus).
This may be the saddest statistic of the campaign.
Final RCP average: Obama 48.5%, Romney 48.1%. Most polls in the swing states show Obama with a lead well within the margin of error. The best sign for Romney is that some states which shouldn't be close- like Michigan and Pennsylvania- also are within the margin of error, at least in some polls. The election will be decided by which campaign does a better job of getting its voters to the polls.
The final Gallup and Rasmussen tracking polls both give Romney 49% and Obama 48%. Given the size of Romney's lead in previous Gallup polls, this may not be good news.
When all the spin is over and done, the bottom line is that there is no real reason for either campaign to be either optimistic or pessimistic. It will all come down to the ground game.
Tommorow night we will find out whether the Orca or the Narwhal is the mightier- and who will be appointing up to four justices on the Supreme Court in the next four years, enough to determ…
As I sat here at the Des Moines Public Library working on my last post, a lady sat down next to me and asked whether the computer she was about to use was broken.
"No," I replied. "It's rebooting."
She eventually got the thing going and went straight to the Daily Kos. Wonderful, I thought.I minded my own business until the disgusted noises she was making became difficult to ignore. She was upset- as we all are- by the inadequacy of the computers here.
Don't get me started.
"The computers here are very old," I commented. "They're frustrating, aren't they?"
"Yes," she replied- noting my Romney-Ryan tee-shirt. "That's why we need to elect progressive candidates who will spend money on such things."
"Or, alternatively," I replied, "we could elect people who understand economics, so we can get the economy moving and generate enough growth that we can afford to."
This morning I attended Mitt Romney's rally here in Des Moines, where the Republican candidate replied- as he has several times since the president's odd comment, "Don't vote for revenge. Vote for love of country."
The crowd at Hy-Vee Hall was large, loud and enthusiastic. The Republican party is motivated here in Iowa, and I suspect in the rest of the country as well.
I'm beginning to wonder about my own prediction that one of the candidates will blow the campaign wide open this weekend.
The polls show no indication of movement whatsoever. President Obama's lead in the still Gallup-less Real Clear Politics average is 0.1%. As things now stand in the RCP state averages, the president would be re-elected. But the president's margin is so small in several swing states that in the actual vote, it could easily be wiped out by a good Republican turnout and a slightly weaker one for the Democrats.
On Monday, Gallup will publish its final poll. So will everybody else. If there isn't major movement by then- and it's looking less and less likely- it will all come down to an old fashioned contest in state after state to see which side can do a better job of getting out the vote.
It used to be that we had to go door to door, or at least telephone all the voters in a given precinct, in order to be able to identify our voters. A poll-watch…
President Obama has a 0.3% lead in the RCP average of the polls today. It should be noted that this average still does not include Gallup, which "tentatively" plans to release its final poll Monday after suspending operations due to the effects of Superstorm Sandy. Gallup has been consistently more favorable to Romney of late than other polls. As a result, what looks like a slight Obama surge is at least in part probably a statistical glitch.
I still think that the electorate will break one way or the other in the next 48 hours. If not, it will all come down to the "ground game." Both campaigns have high-tech operations whose details I may go into after the election. Suffice it to say that as a veteran of many old-fashioned campaigns, I"m floored.
Both sides have formidable election day operations in Oh…
Thirty-two years ago, political apathy was so rampant on the campus of my alma mater, Concordia College in River Forest, Illinois (now Concordia University Chicago) that supporters of Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan and John Anderson had to join forces to promote student political involvement under the organizational title "Voters Organized to Elect SOMEBODY" (V.O.T.E.S.).
That ambivalent moniker sums up the condition of the 2012 race five days out from Election Day. One thing seems certain five days out from what may be the most important presidential election in modern history: either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney is going to win.
Well, one other thing: either Obama or Romney is doomed, and totally without hope. In fact, either Obama or Romney have such an overwhelming advantage in the polling and other dynamics of the race that victory is simply and obviously inevitable.