Durbin of Illinois: not even close, definitely no cigar

See Dick.  See Dick Durbin.  See Dick Durbin continue to do dumb things.  (With one hand tied behind back):

Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin (Ill.) and Frank Lautenberg (N.J.) called on the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Orange Bowl Committee on Thursday to cancel a sponsorship from Camacho Cigars for the event. 

“Tobacco has no place in sports, and the promotion of cigars at the Orange Bowl sends the wrong message to young fans,” the senators wrote in a letter. “[C]amacho Cigars’ sponsorship is at odds with the NCAA rules prohibiting tobacco use by student athletes and all game personnel in any form at practice and in competitions.”

There is no word yet on whether the NCAA wil consider the senators’ request.

It’s part of Dick’s hell-for-leather trying to make private companies bend to governmental will.  What a fellow he is!

Sauce for the goose at NY Times . . .

. . . sauce also for the gander:

I do not begrudge [CEO Janet] Robinson her golden parachute, as she helped turn around the paper’s fortunes, quickly repaying the $250 million bailout they took from Mexican monopolist billionaire Carlos Slim, and selling off noncore assets . . .  

But given that the paper finds it scandalous that Mitt Romney continues to profit from Bain Capital because the firm (gasp) turns some companies around by right-sizing them, some derisive laughter at the NYT’s expense is in order.

Or as the Savior said, get rid of the big thing in your eye before removing the speck from someone else’s.

As for sauce, etc., look here.

This Newt fellow, he’s an odd one

How’s this for a rundown of Gingrich as maybe our next Catholic president, from the Catholic Herald of UK:

Newt Gingrich has surged into the front of the polls in the Republican race to be the next president of the United States. He would be America’s second Catholic president, and its first chief executive with two ex-wives. His political resurrection has managed to outrage his former colleagues, the media, and conservative intellectuals. It is a contradiction of almost all received political wisdom.

Read on and on in this sparkling, stimulating account about “one of the most undisciplined political figures in modern America.” 

So what, considering the state of things in the U.S., where “with the spectre of a second term for Barack Obama terrifying social conservatives, it should be no surprise that it would tolerate the living outrage that is Newt Gingrich.”

The governor who preaches

Quinn vs. Cardinal George et al.

Quinn said Saturday morning that the two-hour talk between him and Cardinal Francis George and 9 other bishops was “only a little bit” about his positions the bishops say are at odds with Catholic teachings on abortion and gay couples’ right to adopt — a clash that has made headlines recently — and more about the need to help the poor.

“A lot of the discussion was how we could work together to fight poverty, help the people who are less fortunate and need a helping hand,” Quinn told the Sun-Times as he left a Christmas toy give-away on the Far South Side. “Getting people jobs, helping people who don’t have enough food to eat — that’s what the church’s social mission is all about.”

That’s Bishop Quinn in his alternative universe.

The issue was not quite social mission, however, as C-George (surely the writer of Illinois bps’ response) explained.

The primary purpose of the sit-down, [the bps] said, was to admonish the governor for using his Catholic up-bringing to justify views that they say aren’t supported by the church. It was the second time in the past two months the bishops have issued a statement blasting the Catholic governor.

“We share the Governor’s concern for the poor,” they wrote. “From our point of view, however, this was a meeting between pastors and a member of the Church to discuss the principles of faith, not the works of faith. On several occasions, the Governor has referred to his Catholic conscience and faith as the justification for certain political decisions.”

The letter continued: “As Catholic pastors, we wanted to remind the Governor that conscience, while always free, is properly formed in harmony with the tradition of the Church, as defined by Scripture and authentic teaching authority. A personal conscience that is not consistent with authentic Catholic teaching is not a Catholic conscience. The Catholic faith cannot be used to justify positions contrary to the faith itself.It is a matter of personal integrity for people who call themselves Catholic to act in a manner that is consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church.”

The bishops said they were particularly concerned about Quinn’s influence on others “since he holds a highly visible and influential position.” [Italics added]

He was bloviating as if he knew church teaching better than they, such apparently is his high opinion of himself.  It’s one (bad) thing to promote abortion, another to claim church backing.  George is smarter than he and on solid public-opinion ground in this.  And his (their) rapid response is a welcome riposte in the never-ending struggle between pro–  and anti-abortionists.

Now what if he (they) began to hone their social-justice concerns in a free-market direction.  They know church teaching.  What if they knew economics too?  And how reduced taxation would keep more businesses in Illinois, contributing to the prosperity of rich and poor alike?

(For an excellent discussion of free market as understood in Catholic tradition, see this by Fr. Robert Barron, the uncrowned theologian-laureate of the Chicago archdiocese.)

Why don’t candidates talk economic policy?

At the latest “debate” in Iowa, for instance, where The Newtster:

Mr. Gingrich has a pro-growth 15% flat-tax-reform program. But he never mentioned it. He recalled that he campaigned with Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. But he neglected to talk about their supply-side tax reforms that ignited growth and ended the stagflation of the 1970s.

If Newt truly understands the supply-side power of low marginal tax rates, he should talk about it and connect it to job creation and growth. But he didn’t. This was a disappointment.

And Romney-man:

Governor Romney has a business-tax reform to lower the corporate rate to 25%. This is good as far as it goes (lower would be better). But so far, Mr. Romney has not proposed a flat-tax reform for individuals that would slash rates and broaden the base. Meanwhile, his staff has been trashing the flat taxes proposed by Mr. Gingrich and Governor Perry. Does Mr. Romney believe in the incentive-model of growth?

All of which critique is based on the economy, stupid central issue, as L. Kudlow points out:

This election is principally about the economy and its poor performance. It’s about the slow rate of growth, the high rate of unemployment, and the tax, regulatory, spending, and monetary obstacles conjured up by President Obama that are holding back the animal spirits that are so essential to job creation and prosperity.

Risk-taking is virtually absent today. Business profits are strong, but firms won’t make commitments in front of Obamacare, regulations, mandates, and tax threats. The president is on the campaign trail with a leftist, class-warfare message. He blames successful entrepreneurs for their wealth, and slurs high-powered businesses at every turn.  His is a big-government planning vision, an FDR-like vision.

And doomed to failure.  Let’s hear it for growth.  Please.

(Church people, take note also: Prosperity is not a dirty word to people who care about people, poor or otherwise.  Get with it, bishops.)