Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Does the Vatican Have Obamamania? --
Well, OK, probably not. But a column in the Vatican's official newspaper criticized Hollywood for rewarding films such as There Will Be Blood and No Country For Old Men for their "hopelessness." Gaetano Vallini was critical of the "lack of moral conscience" and the "obliterat[ion] of the American dream," preferring more positive films such as The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and Juno.

I haven't seen any of these films, but I share the general sentiment that there is too much of a "grim and gritty" focus in popular culture at times. What are some good recent movies with hopeful, optimistic outlooks that can serve as an antidote to the Bush years?
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Death Leave --
Pope Benedict is calling for people caring for terminally ill family members to have "death leave" analogous to parents having maternity leave.
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Obama As Psychotherapist to a Nation? --
Lisa Schiffren at The Corner links to this column by Spengler in the Asia Times that analyzes Obama by the women in his life. It's an interesting analysis, even if I don't agree. Here's one tidbit:


Obama profiles Americans the way anthropologists interact with primitive peoples. He holds his own view in reserve and emphatically draws out the feelings of others; that is how friends and colleagues describe his modus operandi since his days at the Harvard Law Review, through his years as a community activist in Chicago, and in national politics. Anthropologists, though, proceed from resentment against the devouring culture of America and sympathy with the endangered cultures of the primitive world. Obama inverts the anthropological model: he applies the tools of cultural manipulation out of resentment against America. The probable next president of the United States is a mother's revenge against the America she despised.


I don't think that Obama is resentful of America, but I wouldn't be surprised if he uses the technique described of keeping his true thoughts close to the vest in order to find out what other people think. It sounds a bit like client-centered therapy, that unstructured form of psychotherapy pioneered by Carl Rogers which involves the therapist acting as a sort of a mirror that clarifies how the client feels.
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Monday, February 25, 2008


An Apt Comparison? --
At MyDD, Glenn Smith argues that Hillary Clinton's campaign is reminiscent of Jim Mattox/ Who is Jim Mattox? A Democrat with a solid record as Texas attorney general who was running for governor. And if you don't remember him, that's because he was beaten in the primary by Ann Richards.

According to Smith, both Mattox and Clinton are frustrated candidates with solid resumes who can't adjust to facing what they believe to be a charismatic lightweight. I agree with that assessment. In fact, Hillary Clinton seems politically tone-deaf at times and her apparent failure to understand why Obama is winning is something that I hold against her as a candidate. I honestly do not think that she is as capable of dealing with the unexpected as Barack Obama.
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Thursday, February 21, 2008


At this point in the race --
I'm probably going to start posting some comments on political blogs stolen from this website.
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Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Patburto Solis Gonzales --
As Kevin Drum notes, there's a story in the Atlantic about the firing of Patti Solis Gonzales which, along with some stories it links to, paints a grim picture of a candidate not even aware that her mismanaged campaign had financial problems until after Iowa and that she clung loyally to her loyal subordinate even though it was apparent to everyone that she wasn't cut out for the job.
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Thursday, February 07, 2008


Obama and Catholic Democrats --
Philip Klinkner at PolySigh notes that Barack Obama seems to have a "Catholic problem",which he dubs the "Catechism Gap".
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Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Oversensitive --
Auguste at Pandagon isn't a fan of some Super Bowl ads.
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