See that hit job on Cindy McCain?

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It was in the Sunday New York Times. Front page. Just a little over two weeks before the election. This is not an October surprise.

As the guys at Powerline put it, the piece didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know about Cindy McCain or the Times.

Still, consider that the Times assigned two reporters (Jodi Kantor and David Halbfinger) to the profile. We know that Kantor trolled Facebook for trash among schoolmates of the McCains’ 16-year-old daughter. That must be some kind of a first for the Times, burrowing somewhere under the National Enquirer for journalistic practices.

One who follows the media suspects this is not a first for the Times.

However, the most interesting part of this is the last little snip from this review:

Despite its remorseless vindictiveness, the Times profile has one incidental benefit. It elicited a letter from Akin… click here to read whole article and make comments



Did any good will carry over from that Al Smith dinner?

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Or rather, it was politics as usual the next morning. And by necessity, both campaigns are warring over their versions of fixing the economy. Media coverage is fixed on the candidates’ answers in Wednesday night’s debate about what they plan to do on spending and budget cutting.

McCain is staying on his message that Obama’s plan means confiscatory taxes.

Republican presidential candidate John McCain on Saturday accused Democratic rival Barack Obama of favoring a socialistic economic approach by supporting tax cuts and tax credits McCain says would merely shuffle wealth rather than creating it.

“At least in Europe, the Socialist leaders who so admire my opponent are upfront about their objectives,” McCain said in a radio address. “They use real numbers and honest language. And we should demand equal candor from Sen. Obama. Raising taxes on some in order to give checks to others is not a tax cut;… click here to read whole article and make comments



Who knew the candidates were so funny?

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It took about a year of campaigning and several dry debates to get to the humor.

But it really came out in last night’s Al Smith dinner, and suddenly we have a couple of comedians zinging each other with frankly hilarious jokes.

McCain struck first.

“A major announcement. Events are moving fast in my campaign, and yes, it’s true that this morning I’ve dismissed my entire team of senior advisers,” he joked. “All of their positions will now be held by a man named ‘Joe the Plumber.’”

Some of the best jabs we’ve heard lately.

Obama, in turn, announced that his vice presidential running mate, Senator Joseph Biden, now prefers to be known simply as “Joe the Senator.”

Although McCain referred to him as “Joe the Six-Term Senator” (an obvious play on the plumber, Joe Six-Pack, and Biden’s long tenure).

click here to read whole article and make comments



Now, let’s have a civil public debate

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It’s been a long year of talking heads on TV, both in media and politics. We have heavyweight voices on talk radio. There’s a great deal of chatter online, and it has reached new levels of nastiness, especially in the blogosphere…..which winds up being reported on the TV news shows, just to elevate its role in the national debate over the presidential campaigns, for some reason.

Okay, the last presidential debate is over. While it is endlessly replayed and rehashed throughout the above-mentioned world today, this is a good time for the people to start tuning that out more, and start talking with each other. Civilly.

The Witherspoon Institute has seized this opportune time to launch a new online journal Public Discourse that offers solid critical thinking and logical reasoning on major issues facing the nation.

Like this commentary by Princeton Professor Robert George. 

The media are talking about the… click here to read whole article and make comments



Is race really an issue again (or still)?

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Though we didn’t hear much about race in the presidential campaign for a while, it has re-emerged in recent days. Who’s raising it?

The media, for one. Like this cover of Time. 

What’s the point of this story at this time? That in spite of Sen. Barack Obama’s amazing ascendancy and lead in the polls, positioning him as the likely next president…..people are hiding their racism and really don’t support him as much as they would a “generic” Democratic candidate in a hypothetical poll?

That’s what it says.

Some attribute it to something less distasteful: Obama’s unfamiliarity, his “exotic” background, his comparatively recent emergence on the political stage. The doubters–they would call themselves realists–often assert that these are just euphemisms for prejudice, a way of camouflaging what lies beneath.

So Time looks at the role race is playing in this election…

No… click here to read whole article and make comments



About one hour into the debate…

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….the moderator finally raised the subjects everyone avoided until now.

Abortion. And judges.

Schieffer: All right. Let’s stop there and go to another question. And this one goes to Sen. McCain. Sen. McCain, you believe Roe v. Wade should be overturned. Sen. Obama, you believe it shouldn’t.

Could either of you ever nominate someone to the Supreme Court who disagrees with you on this issue? Sen. McCain?

McCain: I would never and have never in all the years I’ve been there imposed a litmus test on any nominee to the court. That’s not appropriate to do.

Schieffer: But you don’t want Roe v. Wade to be overturned?

McCain: I thought it was a bad decision. I think there were a lot of decisions that were bad. I think that decisions should rest in the hands of the states. I’m a federalist. And I believe… click here to read whole article and make comments



Who scored the most points in the debate?

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Joe the plumber.


During tonight’s debate the candidates mentioned Joe by name more than a dozen times throughout the course of the 90-minute debate.

Actually, one count had it at 15 mentions. And it seemed like more. Over and over, Joe became the Average American who both candidates addressed. 

Sen. McCain: “Joe, I want to tell you, I’ll not only help you buy that business that you worked your whole life for and be able - and I’ll keep your taxes low and I’ll provide available and affordable health care for you and your employees.”

Sen. Obama: “Now, the conversation I had with Joe the plumber, what I essentially said to him was, ‘Five years ago, when you were in a position to buy your business, you needed a tax cut then, and what I want to do is to make sure that the plumber, the… click here to read whole article and make comments



Could this issue determine the election?

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It’s the one that no one has asked the presidential candidates about in the debates.

But soon after Gov. Sarah Palin came on the Republican ticket, former New York Mayor Ed Koch wrote this piece saying that abortion is driving this election.

I have read in the press that there is one large group of women and men who are enthralled by Palin’s support of the right-to-life movement demonstrated by her qualified support of the Republican platform on the issue of abortion which reads, “…..we assert the inherent dignity and sanctity of all human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and we endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion and will not fund organizations which advocate it. We… click here to read whole article and make comments



Palin’s Pennsylvania speech

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She focused again on abortion. Mainstream media reported it with choice words.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin charged into the culture wars Saturday in Pennsylvania, painting Sen. Barack Obama as a radical on abortion rights…

Ethics woes aside, Palin focused her attention on abortion — an issue that rallies the conservative base but some say alienates independent and women voters.

“In times like these with wars and financial crisis, I know that it may be easy to forget even as deep and abiding a concern as the right to life, and it seems that our opponent kind of hopes you will forget that,” Palin told a crowd in Johnstown. “He hopes that you won’t notice how radical, absolutely radical his idea is on this, and his record is, until it’s too late.”


Palin said Obama’s record on the matter is too extreme to be… click here to read whole article and make comments



How well do we know this man?

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America may be about to elect him president, but Barack Obama’s ascendancy left out the traditional rigors of climbing the political ranks and taking the usual brunt of scrutiny.

Now, we’re a few weeks away. And now, people are asking questions.

Speaking to a group of young Catholics in New York almost one month before Election Day, I had a harsh awakening as jarring as a shot of Wild Turkey 101. Weeks before going to the polling booth, Americans do not know Barack Obama.

In a packed bar, I was discussing the contentious question of whether a Catholic can support Obama for president. I highlighted the priority that defending innocent human lives takes in these considerations, according to the Church. I then went through Obama’s radical record on abortion. The jolt came after I finished speaking, when one by one, people told me they had no idea Obama was so… click here to read whole article and make comments


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Sheila Reports promises a perspective here that you may not be getting in mainstream media and the politically charged blogosphere. Don’t expect political correctness, because politics doesn’t determine what’s correct. This space is grounded in the natural law and moral order. And it expects civility, goodwill and an openness to truth and reason.

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