Iowa caucuses tonight

Tonight the presidential campaign, that has seemingly been going on for so long, gets started in earnest with the Iowa caucuses.  Then things will happen fast, with the New Hampshire primary on February 9 and the Nevada caucus and the South Carolina primary both on February 20.  The others will come right after another.

As of today, polls show Trump and Clinton with narrow leads, but polls don’t mean that much in Iowa.   This is a caucus, in which people go to other people’s homes, try to persuade each other, and then choose delegates.  It all depends on who shows up.  And often, not many do.  (Only 6% of eligible Republican voters showed up in 2012).   So the results are pretty much up in the air.

While it’s true that the number of delegates will be small, the stakes are large:  Lots of Republicans are waiting to see from these early caucuses and primaries who emerges as the best alternative to Trump, whereupon they will rally around him.  And a Saunders victory–or even a very good showing–will send more money his way, making Democrats think Hillary Clinton isn’t inevitable after all.

Do you live in Iowa?  If so, please tell us what these things are like.  Also, what do you think will happen?  Make your predictions here.  (After the jump, Politico gives 6 reasons why the Iowa polls don’t necessarily tell us much.) [Read more...]

How Planned Parenthood got its accusers indicted

Reuters has an eye-opening story on what we blogged about earlier, how Planned Parenthood lawyers turned the tables on those who made the videos exposing the organization’s organ trafficking.  By working closely with the Texas grand jury investigating Planned Parenthood, the lawyers were able to frame the case so that the abortionists were no longer accused of a crime but were rather victims of a crime.  And because the filmmakers used fake IDs, they had a crime to charge them with.  On top of that, with excruciating irony, because the filmmakers said they wanted to buy fetal tissue, the lawyers got the grand jury to charge the pro-lifers with organ trafficking, the very crime Planned Parenthood had been accused of!

Another example of the cynical adage that if you are accused of a crime, all you need is a good lawyer.  Read the details after the jump. [Read more...]

Pope to have joint service with Lutherans on Reformation Day

Pope Francis will join with the Lutheran World Federation in a joint worship service in Lund, Sweden, on October 31, 2016, to celebrate Reformation Day.

To underscore, once again, conservative Lutheran bodies do not approve of joint services with those of other confessions.  Neither do conservative Catholics.  So we do have that in common, along with closed Communion, male-only ordination, pro-life convictions, traditional morality, and belief in the historic creeds.  The LWF has gone wobbly on all of those issues, so I’m curious what unity the Pope hopes to find.  I guess “justice, peace, and reconciliation” is more important than theology for all liberals and that the current pontiff is in that camp.

But setting that aside for now, some Protestants have wondered if they should celebrate Reformation Day.  If the Pope celebrates it, they should too! [Read more...]

Bernie Sanders is a “none”

Bernie Sanders finally said where he stood on religion.  He is Jewish by birth, but, more precisely, he is a “none,” claiming no involvement with organized religion.  He told an interviewer that he believes in God in the sense that “all of us are connected.” [Read more...]

Debate night post-mortem and the Iowa caucus

Well, where do we stand after last night’s debate (plus the boycot, the non-debate, the undercards who complained about not getting enough attention because of Donald Trump going to Donald Trump’s non-debate, etc.)?  Who came out the best?  Did anyone jump the shark?  Did any of you change your mind about any of the candidates?

And on Monday, the Iowa caucus elects actual delegates.  How do you think the Iowa caucus will go?  I’d especially like to hear from our valued readers in Iowa.

Live-blogging tonight’s Trumpless Republican debate

This may be a crazy night.  Donald Trump is boycotting the debate on Fox because of Megyn Kelly, but he is holding a non-debate event of his own, which is being carried by CNN.  And two of the undercard candidates, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, after their kind of humiliating debate with Jim Gilmore and Carly Fiorina, are going to appear at Trump’s event.

So let’s see what this debate amounts to.  I’ll comment, but you comment too.