Friday, November 12, 2004
Catholic blogger Professor Stephen Bainbridge of UCLA on the hypocrisy Senate, and the fears of the SEC:
I reported a few weeks ago on a study finding an unusual level of stock trading profits being made by US Senators, which implied that they were traing on the basis of inside information learned on the job. Securities Litigation Watch now reports that the SEC has decided not to go forward with an investigation.I've added Professor Bainbridge to the blogroll.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:25 PM Permalink
A Fitting Tribute to Arafat
We should get the families of Americans, Israelis, Palestinians, anyone killed by terrorists led by or supported by Arafat to read the names of the victims on television.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:59 AM Permalink
Thursday, November 11, 2004
Rod Dreher. Casualty of a culture war
...Now that another Dutchman [Filmmaker Theo van Gogh] has given his life for criticizing Islam, Holland is at a crossroads in which its very survival depends on the path the nation takes. By 2020, half the people 18 and under in Holland will be Muslim. By 2100, estimates Middle East scholar Bernard Lewis, all of Europe will be predominantly Muslim.
I've laid out a similar grim story in this blog as well. Another possible outcome could be a nativist force arising in Europe to expell the Muslims. In Europe one still sees skinheads.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:34 PM Permalink
Now that the 2004 election is over and the permanent campaign continues
It's time to file away the buttons which appeared in the left margin.
The folks who brought you Catholic Kerry Watch have created Catholics in the Public Square.
They used some of my content in Catholic Kerry Watch, so I'm in their debt for sending new readers here.
When they create a gallery of prominent pro-abortion Catholics, then may want to use this exquisite find of mine: a photo which reveals the true Geraldine Ferraro. She was a two-term Congresswoman from my district in Queens, New York where she had run as a Catholic. She had a famous showdown with Cardinal O'Connor. As far I know it was the first shock -- the first time a bishop was openly critical of the politician's position on life -- in public and by name.
She had challenged the Church directly but almost casually, not knowing what reaction it would cause. Of course, I can support the right to choose and be a good Catholic. After all, this had been going on over 11 years since Roe. She ran for Vice President in 1984 in the Reagan landslide -- Reagan carried New York, Queens, and even her old congressional district. Thomas Manton was elected to her district in 1984 and served until he retired in 1998. Manton was the last pro-life Democrat from New York in the House or Senate.
A few months after the Ferraro/Cardinal O'Connor war of words, Governor Mario Cuomo would go to the university of Norte Dame and declare the Catholics of the Democratic Party to be in heresy via the personally opposed, publicly support position. I didn't it know it at the time but for the Democratic Party which I belonged to at the time, this was the point of no return.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:59 PM Permalink
Row is brewing anew over '02 Cathedral caper. Ray O'Hanlon. Irish Echo.
The sin in the cathedral is coming back to haunt Sam Adams. It's casting a long shadow over a dinner in New York tonight for bar and restaurant owners. The organizers of the dinner see it as a storm in a beer mug. But some members of the United Restaurant & Tavern Owners of New York City are crying foul.
The URTO will tonight honor Boston Beer Company co-founder Jim Koch at its annual dinner.
But not every member of URTO will be showing up at the Grand Hyatt for cocktails, suds and a hearty dinner.
One among them is John Mahon, owner of some of city's best known hostelries, including Langan's, the Pig 'n' Whistle and P.J. Moran's.
In a letter to the URTO, Mahon said that the organization had no business honoring Koch as a result of a stunt in St. Patrick's Cathedral two years ago that caused a nationwide uproar.
The stunt involved a couple having sex in a confession box in St. Patrick's as part of a radio broadcast of a "Sex for Sam," a reference to the popular beer brewed by Koch's company.
The contest was broadcast on Aug. 15, 2002 on the "Opie and Anthony Show" on WNEW-FM.
The resulting uproar sparked a boycott of Boston Beer Company by bar owners in Boston and New York.
Shock jocks" Opie and Anthony were fired, the radio station was fined by the Federal Communications Commission and Koch scrambled to apologize in newspapers, including The Irish Echo.
One of the participants in the cathedral stunt, Brian Florence of Virginia, died of a heart attack a year after his escapade.
Now, more than two years later, some feel that it is still too early to entirely forgive and forget.
In his letter to URTO, Mahon said he was still unclear as to what Koch had hoped to accomplish in a promotion that led to a "sacrilegious stunt" and the "defilement" of St. Patrick's Cathedral.
URTO had "no business encouraging Mr. James Koch in his tasteless behavior and preposterous attack on our town, much less honoring him," Mahon wrote in his letter.
"Cardinal Egan should denounce your decision from the pulpit," he concluded.
"I feel very strongly about this," Mahon said separately. "St. Patrick's is very important to me. It gave me my strength."
Mahon described how as a newcomer to the bar and restaurant business in the 1970s he had spent a considerable amount of time in St. Patrick's seeking solace as his finances hit hard times.
He attributed much of his later success to the time he had spent in the cathedral and the inspiration drawn from within its walls.
Mahon said he would not be attending tonight's dinner.
"I'm staying home," he said.
It is understood that Mahon will not be the only URTO member who will be absent from the dinner.
But 400 guests are still expected to attend, according to Brian Nolan, URTO's executive director.
The dinner will be honoring three people, one of them being Koch, who is the URTO Industry Man of the Year.
The other honorees are Melissa Delaney, the group's Outstanding Member of the Year, and Chris Hill, who is being honored as Outstanding Vendor.
Nolan said that when told that he was to be honored by URTO, Koch had said he felt humbled and made it clear that he was still feeling sorry over what happened in St. Patrick's.
"He obviously made a mistake and clearly some have not forgotten and still object," Nolan said. "We admit some people might disagree with what we're doing, but we're a democratic organization and they have a right to object."
However, Nolan said that Koch had made amends over the last couple of years not just in apparent ways, but in other ways that the public did not know about.
Koch, Nolan said, was being honored because he had broken the mold in an industry that was once confined to a handful of monopolies.
"He broke the cartel. He is the reason why there are so many more beer brands available today," Nolan said.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:29 PM Permalink
Alberto Gonzales named as Attorney General
I'm not willing to dismiss Gonzales as being opposed to the Bush-Scalia-Thomas judicial philosophy. After all, he's been Bush's counsel for years and Bush must know him well.
Ashcroft himself was confirmed in the understanding that he would “enforce” Roe.
I'll join the anti-Bush chorus only when he puts up for nomination to the SC a Souter-Kennedy-O'Connor and not a Scalia-Thomas.
You can be pro-life and disagree on the best politcal tactics to accomplish that goal.
NewsMax's Joseph Farah definitely disagrees.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:48 PM Permalink
Give the sign of peace to a veteran today
Today I screwed up. I forget to bring my camera to work to take a few pictures of the Veteran's Day parade as it moves up Fifth Avenue beneath my office.
Most, but not all, of the flagpoles along Fifth Avenue are showing the flag today. I wonder if there's than many building vacancies on Fifth Ave. or whether it can be attributed to laziness in not putting out the flag.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:32 PM Permalink
The Specter issue is cold.
The news cycle is moving onto Arafat and Gonzales. I'm afraid that if Specter stays quiet, it's a done deal. He's going to be in a position of sit on his hands and fumble the President's nominees and blame it on the failure to reach out to the minority Democrats.
Specter should accept that the credit for his victory over Toomey belongs to the President.
What's needed are the following:
As Robert Bork said recently, Specter cannot be trusted to support the nominees of the President, and that's the criteria that the Senate Republican leadership should use to remove him from the judicary committee.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:08 PM Permalink
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:48 PM Permalink
Meanwhile at the Republican Majority for Choice everyone is on hiatus as their leader Arlen Specter is under fire for only his equivocation on supporting the nominees for the Supreme Court.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:21 PM Permalink
A convert to the Catholic faith, Larry Kudlow has started a blog Kudlow's Money Politics which he plugged on the Laura Ingraham
I've never met Larry but have admired him in print and on tv.
He had this insight on the Specter apppointment: Specter sees it as a job about process, at this time it needs to be a job about passion.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:53 AM Permalink
The appearance of weakness led to 9/11
Comparisions of the current battle in Fallujah and being compared to Mogadishu (the battle depicted in Black Hawk Down)
I think the weakness that started with Carter in Teheran, Reagan in Beirut, and Clinton in New York (World Trade Center I) and later in Mogadishu in the global war on terror led to confidence on the part of militant Islamists that even if American leadership counter-attacked, there would be a political price to be paid because of the hangover from Vietnam. So each attack emboldened on them onto more agressive attacks.
The election results of 2004 have utterly demolished that strategy.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:04 AM Permalink
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
If you heard Rush's Show today
One of the reasons why it's "Carole Simpson of ABC News" and not "Carole Simpson of the Democratic Party" as partisan as she was to getting Kerry elected was that Carole Simpson believed that she would best serve the shared goal of herself and Senator Kerry to get Kerry elected by remaining at ABC News and not resigning to join the campaign.
Why? Because by joining the campaign she would no longer be able to maintain a label of "objectivity" which ABC News uses to promote itself over news and opinion programming.
Where is ABC News' own concern for their appearance of objectivity -- and being "trusted" to report the news without having stealth partisans posing as reporters?
How many "reporters" during the campaign who were complaining about people with microphones like yourself crowding out the objective reporting of the news are now announcing that they were not objective all along.
It's MSM hypocrisy.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:45 PM Permalink
Phony pro-life Democrats
The emergence of pro-life Democrats is a mirage. I'll believe it when I see it. The last powerful pro-life Democrat in New York City retired a decade ago (Tom Manton) and handpicked a pro-abortion successor to Congress (Joe Crowley)
The Democratic party defines itself as the party of abortion for the purposes of firing up the its base.
The Republican party is stuggling now to fit pro-life and pro-abortion advocates inside its big tent.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:22 AM Permalink
Guest Blogger: Chris Slattery
Take to the Streets...Come out of the House...March to Wash. Now!
Join Evangelical, Jewish, Catholic Pro-Life Leaders
Rev. Pat Mahoney, Christian Defense Coalition,
Rev. Rob Schenck, Faith in Action
Rabbi Yehuda Levin, Union of Orthodox Rabbis
Joe Starrs, American Life League
Mary Ann Kreitzer,Catholic Media Coalition
Troy Newman, Operation Rescue West
Chris Slattery, Expectant Mother Care
and many others for a
"Stop Anti-Life Specter -
Tuesday, November 16th
to cry out:
"No Judiciary Committee Chair To Sen. Arlen Specter!"
and join us when the Senate returns from recess
Assemble at either:
109 Second St. NE (near U.S. Supreme Court)
12:30PM (then we will process to pray)
at 1PM sharp at 1st St. and Constitution Ave.
[Some will attend outside press conference and pray & protest outside Senate Office Building
and some will pray inside the office of]
Senator Bill First
461 Dirksen Senate Office Building
[Afternoon 2:30PM Strategy meeting at nearby location]
For Rides to Pray-in, Details or Information:
Contact Chris Slattery @
SlatteryNY@aol.com or (914) 224-5773
or Rev.Pat Mahoney at (540) 538-4741
Join the urgent national Grassroots pro-life campaign to Block
anti-Life Senator Arlen Specter of PA
from the Senate Judiciary Chair
through petitions, emails, and faxes at these brand new websites:
Read why and find petitions or fax memos at these sites:
The site has a petition that will be forwarded to the judiciary panel and offers other ways to contact influential officials in Washington.
Tell President Bush, Senator Frist, and Sen Santorum that
We Need a Loyal UnBiased Chairman
Say NO to A. Specter for Judiciary Committee Chairmanship
Contact Senator Bill First by email @ Bill Frist, M.D.
Phone 202-224-3344 or fax to 202-228-1264
Contact Sen. Rick Santorum of PA, who endorses
Sen. Specter http://santorum.senate.gov/emailrjs.html
Phone 202-224-6324 or fax 202-228-0604
Contact the White House by phone or email [En Español]
Switchboard: 202-456-1414 or FAX: 202-456-2461
E-Mail President George W. Bush: firstname.lastname@example.org
For Republican Senators on the Judiciary Committee:
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) 202-224-2934,
Here are the emails for the existing Senate (both Dems and Republicans
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:30 AM Permalink
Monday, November 08, 2004
Hannity interviewed Specter and Bork
Specter said that he was not warning the President of his opposition to appointments but giving the President the political facts of life. This sounded like a weasel to me and it will be interested to see how it gets spun.
He said he would support the nominees of the President but again said it would be difficult. Hannity atttempted to move him to some more positive statement but Specter clung to the negativism.
When it came to his vote not to confirm Judge Robert Bork, he fell apart and revealed how he is truly without principle. Specter is no dummy. Surely he must have anticipated a question to explain to people not familiar with 1987 his vote. The best he could come up with was an incredible rambling story of segregated galleries in the Senate.
He also revealed that his understanding of "original intent" is unique -- Specter finds the phrase without a clear meaning. He's another Senator Nuance on this point.
His answer to the question of did he regret the vote calling Bork unqualified was a dodge and when pressed it was the lamest excuse for a vote I've ever heard "I was one of 58" -- in other words Don't blame me. I followed the crowd.
Judge Bork called in and for a person reacting to a few Specter soundbites he was funny and direct. He repeated what every conservative has said about Bork -- his votes on the DC circuit were 99.8 percent in agreement with Scalia, his judicial philosophy is identical to that of Thomas. The Republican cave to the liberals was a failure to support the nominee of the President.
1. Specter should not chair Judiciary.
2. Robert Bork should be on the Supreme Court.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:09 PM Permalink
Specter's power is a quirk. The destiny of the United States shouldn't depend on this quirk
Some of the pro-Specter web sites which I've read enrage me.
We shouldn't have to justify our position that Specter shouldn't chair judiciary. He's said that he's not prepared to put aside his quirks and support whoever the President puts up for nomination.
That's your job, Arlen, should you choose to accept it.
The role of chairman is really a function of the majority party and not a place where an ambitious politician can accumulate television face time.
Specter's crusade -- what's really driving him is to reconcile his current position with two terrible decisions from the past:
He can't be trusted. He's got an agenda of independence from the President and the Republican Party. Rewarding him with the Judiciary Committee makes no sense whatsoever.
What a warped sense of government we have now that this committee has the power to change the laws and culture -it's more evidence of judicial tyranny.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:51 PM Permalink
A Map of Shame caption: President Bush's victory, the approval of every anti-gay marriage amendment on statewide ballots and an emphasis on 'moral values' among voters showed the power of churchgoing Americans in this election.
via New Historical Atlas of Religion in America via AP
my comment: I'm a blue state Catholic and I am ashamed of the failure of Catholics to recognize how anti-life and anti-Catholic values Kerry was.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:01 PM Permalink
If you are a tourist in New York this week
I'm often disgusted by seeing the Saudi flag flying at the Plaza Hotel because I believe that while Saudis remain allies in a formal sense, they have funded and continue to fund terrorists including al Qaeda.
This week the picture is different with the flag of the United States Marine Corps (USMC) flying in the place of honor.
The Marines and Iraqi army today are storming Fallujah and we pray for their success and safety and for the civilians that they might be spared for harm, and even for the enemy that they surrender rather than resist.
It is also Veterans Day this week, so all those cable movie channels shift from a horror them (from Halloween) to military films.
Semper Fidelis - Always Faithful
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:28 AM Permalink