Mitt Romney kicked off the foreign policy leg of his campaign (which will include a stop at the Summer Olympics in London) with a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars today. As Jonathan Chait notes, Romney is using the opportunity to revive the topic of his 2010 book, No Apology. “His overarching theme,” writes Chait, “is that he, unlike certain current presidents he could name, loves America absolutely and without qualification.” A favorite conservative charge is that Obama is ashamed of his country and goes around the world apologizing for it.
The Washington Post ran a provocative essay this weekend by journalist Sharon Lerner, who wrote to complain about the media attention to new Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer’s pregnancy. She also made a lot of compelling observations about the serious problems many lower-income mothers face after giving birth, from a lack of quality childcare to jobs that offer no paid maternity leave. But in framing her piece as a rant about our “obsession with the work-life dilemmas of the rich and famous,” Lerner lost me.
President Obama stopped in Colorado last night to visit with survivors of Friday’s mass shooting and with the families of those who were gunned down. Afterward, he delivered some brief remarks, closing with this thought: “I hope that over the next several days, next several weeks, and next several months, we all reflect on how we can do something about some of the senseless violence that ends up marring this country.” Those words gave some hope to those of us who would like to see actual steps taken to make it harder for someone to shoot 71 people in the space of two minutes.
You no doubt already have this marked on your calendar, but next week is Natural Family Planning Awareness Week, as designated by the U.S. Catholic bishops. This is the tenth year that the bishops have held what is essentially a national educational campaign about the church’s only acceptable form of birth control. The week also marks the 44th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae, which officially established the church’s opposition to any method of contraception outside of natural family planning.
The deadly shooting in Aurora, Colorado is a tragedy. So why don’t we want anything good to come out of it? That’s the consequence, after all, of insisting that we avoid “politicizing” a horrible event like this. Instead we’re supposed to sorrowfully shake our heads, proclaim it an act of senseless violence, and pretend that comforting words are all we have to offer in its wake. Garance Franke-Ruta wrote this morning about the “template of grief” that is so heartbreakingly familiar now when something like this takes place.
Mega-church pastor and best-selling evangelical author Rick Warren announced earlier this week that he plans to hold a presidential forum, as he did during the 2008 campaign. Warren has not yet set a date for the event, nor does he have an agreement with the Obama and Romney campaigns for their participation. But both candidates have at least some reason to consider accepting the chance to discuss their faith publicly. I won’t review the reasons why many American voters like to hear about the faith of their presidential candidates.
Much has been written about the role of the internet and social media in the Arab Spring last year, particularly in Egypt, where protestors organized and communicated on Facebook and Twitter. But while global connectivity can help protestors overthrow dictators and tell the world their story, it also gives everyone access to the less-inspiring corners of the web. That was on display this past week during Hillary Clinton’s visit to meet with leaders in Egypt. You may have read about the protests that greeted the Secretary of State in Alexandria.
Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg is co-author (with James Carville) of the recently released book, “It’s the Middle Class, Stupid.” So I had to chuckle earlier today when Greenberg revealed that his newest research shows that Obama might do best by focusing on the poor. More specifically, Greenberg and his colleagues have learned that arguments about the impact of Republican economic policies on the working poor—represented in their latest study by the Paul Ryan budget—have the most power to move certain groups of voters to support Obama. Which voters?
Vatican correspondent John Allen (of the National Catholic Reporter, NPR, and CNN) is respected for his thoroughly-sourced reporting and scrupulously-fair analysis. If anything, he is occasionally accused by some liberal Catholics of being too sympathetic to Vatican spin.
Nearly 50 years after LBJ declared a War on Poverty, political conservatives have not only conceded that poverty is bad, but have become outraged about it. (At least if it affects women.) And they want you to be outraged, too.