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August 31, 2009

What to Watch: Kennedy's Letter to the Pope

Happy Monday. Here are items from the weekend that we're watching:

--A funeral for Ted Kennedy was held on Saturday where Cardinal Theodore McCarrick read from Kennedy's letter to Pope Benedict XVI as well as from the Vatican response. Kennedy mentions what he believes to be his accomplishments, mentioning immigration, health care, and education.

"I have always tried to be a faithful Catholic, Your Holiness, and though I have fallen short through human failings, I have never failed to believe and respect the fundamental teachings of my faith. I continue to pray for God's blessings on you and on our church and would be most thankful for your prayers for me."

From Ross Douthat's New York Times column: "It’s worth pondering how the politics of abortion might have been different had Ted shared even some of his sister’s qualms about the practice."

--On a related note, Mike Huckabee is defending his remarks that Kennedy would have been told to “go home to take pain pills and die” if he had been under President Obama’s health care plan. He said on his Fox show that his comments were overblown and taken out of context, according to Politico.

“When diagnosed with brain cancer, Senator Kennedy didn’t do as President Obama suggested and take a pain pill and ride it out at home," Huckabee said. "He went to the best medical facilities in the world, had surgery and sought to live as long and as strong as possible.”

-- Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) has spent about a tenth - $152,777 - of his campaign's receipts on the church he founded called Beloved Community Christian Church. Congressional Quarterly's Jonathan Allen uses it as an example of how candidates use the campaign finance system to redirect funds to institutions they care about. There's nothing illegal about his donations, but it's unusual because they are directed towards a church.

--Terri Schiavo's father died in Florida at age 71.
Terry Schiavo died in 2005 after the feeding tube was removed according to her husband's wishes. Her heart stopped 15 years before, but her family had insisted she wanted to live.

--Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network, Regent University, and the Christian Coalition, is recovering from 10 hours of heart surgery. 79-year-old Robertson announced earlier this year that he would retire from his Regent post next year.

-- The Washington Post profiles Brian Brown, executive director of National Organization for Marriage.
"He tries to help people see that opposing gay marriage does not make them bigots, that the argument should have nothing to do with hate or fear, and everything to do with history and tradition. The reason Brian Brown is so effective is that he is pleasantly, ruthlessly sane."

--And for something light, check out William Wan's analysis of politicians' "religious views" on Facebook at The Washington Post.
Barack and Michelle Obama: "Christian"
Michael Steele: "Catholic"
Bill Clinton: nada
Sarah Palin: nada


Huckabee will never be elected to any national office (President or Veep). Everyone make mistakes but to defend that disgusting comment says a whole lot about his character. Using the name of someone who had been dead for less than a week for political purposes tell me a whole lot about Huckabee's character.

I expect him to use a recently killed soldier in the days to come to argue against changes to the nation's health care/insurance system. I wouldn't be surprise if Huckabee does so.


Mike Huckabee's fan base expands at a phenomenal pace. Thousands of Christian conservatives rallying around the new leader of the Republican party.

Google: Huckabee Fan Club

Check out how fast his skyrocketing popularity is spreading across America and around the globe.

Kennedy to the Pope: "I have always tried to be a faithful Catholic, Your Holiness, and though I have fallen short through human failings, I have never failed to believe and respect the fundamental teachings of my faith. ..."

Considering Kennedy's support for murdering babies in the womb, this part of K's letter is a sick joke.

Mr. Huckabee was on target. When they come up with a health care bill that they too would have, I'll consider their work a good thing. Until then, read the bill, as ponderous as it is, and you'll see that the options are sorely limited and not up to par. By the way, it won't be INSURANCE, it'll be a benefit, which means it won't be subject to regulation like the rest of the insurance industry and can be changed whenever and however without proper oversight. (And, I work in a doctor's office, deal with insurance companies all the time, what needs to happen is reform of the insurance industry, not another "option" that gives no options.)

Thank you, Christian Lawyer, for that post on Kennedy's support for disability rights. It is so easy to try to put people into boxes of good and evil, conservative and liberal, when really he is a perfect example that one can cross ideological lines for the common good. Teddy was a man full of faults, but we can all hail the great achievements of the lion of the senate.