How about Al Gore?

As Hilary Clinton’s poll numbers dive, some Democrats are wanting Al Gore to run, and the former Democratic candidate, while downplaying his interest, will not rule it out.

So, if Republicans nominate someone unelectable, who would you rather have as president, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, or Al Gore? [Read more...]

Political news

A major online source for political developments is POLITICO.  Check out today’s edition.  What do you find that is interesting, noteworthy, and/or worth discussing?

The marijuana strategy

No less than 17 states will be voting on legalizing marijuana, either for medical or recreational use, on Election Day, 2016.  (For details of the various state initiatives, see this.)  Democrats are reportedly counting on left-leaning younger people who don’t normally vote coming to the polls to legalize marijuana, and while they are at it, casting a vote for the Democratic presidential candidate.  (The Democrats are apparently unaware of libertarians, who tend to vote Republican.)

The Democrats are counting on the stoner vote to carry battleground states like Ohio and Florida, both of which will be voting on legalizing the weed.  Meanwhile, of the Republican candidates, only Chris Christie and John Kasich are making a big deal of opposing it.  Even social conservative Ted Cruz says he would leave it up to the states.  And libertarian Rand Paul positively supports it.

What do you think about this?  Should Republicans make it an issue?  What does this strategy tell us about today’s Democratic party?  Do you think the Democrats’ strategy will work, or will the measures bring out just as many Republican voters? [Read more...]

Speaker Boehner will resign–from Congress!

House Speaker John Boehner, who has been facing opposition and ouster attempts from many of his fellow Republican, is resigning at the end of October.  Not only from his powerful leadership position, but from Congress!

Might this help Republicans, who have a majority in both houses,  be more effective?  Or will it herald still more chaos in the party? [Read more...]

The Pope’s sermon to America

Pope Francis addressed a joint session of Congress, taking the opportunity to preach against tenets of both liberalism and conservatism.  Liberals were zinged by his remarks opposing abortion, redefining the family, and infringing upon religious liberty.  Conservatives were zinged by his remarks on the necessity of supporting immigrants, measures to combat climate change, the elimination of the death penalty, tempering the excesses of capitalism, offering help for the poor, and (interestingly) opposing “fundamentalism.”

To his credit, the Pope twice mentioned “vocation” in a more or less Lutheran sense (as opposed to the medieval Catholic application of the term to church professions alone):

A political society endures when it seeks, as a vocation, to satisfy common needs by stimulating the growth of all its members, especially those in situations of greater vulnerability or risk.

“Business is a noble vocation, directed to producing wealth and improving the world. It can be a fruitful source of prosperity for the area in which it operates, especially if it sees the creation of jobs as an essential part of its service to the common good” (Laudato Si’, 129).

Here is an annotated text of the speech (click the yellow highlights for the annotations).  After the jump, a detailed account of what the Pope said and how Congressmen and Senators reacted. [Read more...]

Bill to defund Planned Parenthood failed to pass

All of the Democrats plus 8 Republicans voted against a Senate bill that would defund Planned Parenthood, shifting the money instead to women’s health clinics.

The bill was part of a measure to fund the government, so if it shuts down on October 1, that should properly be on the Democrats (and the eight Republicans).

But House Speaker Boehner is now planning to offer two separate bills:  one to fund the government and one to defund Planned Parenthood.  [Read more...]