Jumping the News Cycle

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted, and I’ve sat out a few of the major issues that have occupied much of the local and national blogosphere. To atone for my missing out on the recent past, I’ll gaze into the crystal ball and offer up a few glimpses into the national, state and local future.

1. National: President Obama is going to be re-elected. Period.
Despite constant efforts by those who sell advertising space to convince us that there is an interesting story here, there isn’t. They are just trying to sell newspapers and fill air time between ads. If we ignore them, they will go away, but we won’t ignore them. In all seriousness, if the Republicans were smart, they would just skip the 2012 elections, and nominate one person for 2016 at their next convention, devoting two cycles worth of money and promotion toward making darned sure they win the next winnable election.

2. State: The independence of the Missouri judiciary will be ferociously attacked by high-dollar corporate interests.
At first blush, this may seem a bit obvious, along the lines of predicting that “abortion rights will be controversial” or “Peter Kinder will say something dumb”, but I think the attacks on the Missouri Plan for selection of judges are going to take a nasty turn. Recent history has seen determined efforts by wealthy corporate interests to inject more money and politics into Missouri’s judicial selection process. In a rare refutation of the Golden Rule (“He who has the gold makes the rules”), good judgment has thus far prevailed against these breathtakingly bad ideas. I’m betting that we are going to see focused attacks on good judges in the next cycle of elections, with well-funded negative campaigns aimed at judges who are unable to raise funds and fight back. Whomever Governor Nixon appoints to replace Mike Wolff will have a big target on his or her back, and will face a huge “Vote No on Judge ____” campaign. Money and its corrupting influence view our court system as a vacuum to be abhorred.

3. Local: Bishop Finn isn’t going anywhere.
I have good reason to avoid much commentary on this topic, but the Catholic Church is pretty much immune from popular opinion. It’s a little amusing to watch political reporters wrestle with competing demonstrations of support and nonsupport as if they mattered. It’s as if a sports reporter went to a Royals game and focused on the fans’ attempts to muster a successful wave. The real game doesn’t happen in the stands, and the real umpire is in Rome (or, perhaps, in heaven).

14 Responses to “Jumping the News Cycle”

  1. 3. The fans are leaving the stands. The Catholic church is losing fans in record numbers because they know the Catholic church doesn’t care about child rape.

    If the diocese was serious, they would put a prosecutor, and investigator, and a victim in charge. However, they continue to test what the congregation will tolerate.

    The congregation knows that there has never been a priest in the entire world that has spoken up honestly and strongly against child abuse, and if the congregation will accept another one, they can continue to hide the truth, which is that the problem is much, much, much worse than we’ve seen.

    A Grand Jury investigation should take place as soon as possible.

    Bishop Finn and his co-conspirators hid one pedophile that we know about, but we were lucky to find that one. There are certainly others.

    If you are Catholic at all, you should read the first 6 pages of the Phil Grand Jury report at
    http://www.philadelphiadistrictattorney.com/images/Grand_Jury_Report.pdf to see what they found when they did an investigation in Philadelphia.

    You should demand an investigation in Kansas CIty to see what else has been covered up.

  2. les says:

    Nice to see you’re still aging and dispensing, gracefully of course. If you want another national issue–an all out assault on non-Republican voters, in states across the country. Activists who care about democracy, of any political stripe, would be well served to focus on voter registration and education. The young, the poor, the uneducated, the aged could have real problems voting if they don’t get prepared early. The mantras are voter fraud–nearly non-existent, despite many years of scare tactics and concerted effort to find some–and “voting is a privilege, not a right.”

  3. gonemild says:

    Patrick –

    With all due respect, I think you’re coming off as a bit of a blowhard here. It’s a bit of a stretch to claim that “the Catholic church is losing fans in record numbers because they know the Catholic church doesn’t care about child rape.” Try to unpack that sentence a little, and you’ll see that you’re making a lot of guesses, generalizations and flat out lies. Is the church losing record numbers? What are those numbers, and how do they relate to the current local controversy? Has attendance slipped locally due to the current issue? Has there been a demonstrable sudden dip? If so, what would that have to do with child rape? Are you adding a new allegation to the current situation? Do you know of something that has not been published?

    I also believe you are mistaken about the absence of priests speaking out against child abuse. Horribly mistaken. You are slandering some good men.

    As for your call for a grand jury investigation – I believe that the federal, state and local authorities should do whatever their job is in these situations. Perhaps the problems locally are as bad as Philadelphia, perhaps not. I assume that you don’t know, and I certainly do not.

  4. craig says:

    Dan,
    1. Gentlemans bet? $25 to winners favorite charity?
    2. While I am an opponent of direct election of Judges. I do wish there was a few tweaks to the Missourie plan. Maybe a few laymen on the committee, and an easier way to remove incompetent Judges. You also fail to mention that with Soros donating to the elimination of judicial elections (which I agree with him on), the money factor is basically even.
    3. No strongl opinion on the matter other than the Catholic Church needs to clean itself up. A little biased here (I am Lutheran), but maybe the Pope should have listened to Martin Luther about letting Priests marry.

  5. gonemild says:

    Craig -
    1. Absolutely. I only wish I could find someone to offer me a nickle for every implausible bogus analysis that gets published and hyped by the pundits to try to make it look like it’s a horse race.
    2. You’ll be pleased to know that there are laymen on the committee. Further, in Missouri, the spending has been almost exclusively from those looking to inject more money and politics into the judicial selection process. The Missouri Bar has spent some on education for people about the current system, but that’s about all that that the “good guys” have spent so far. If it comes to an election, I hope you’re right, and that the money to save the Missouri Plan starts flowing.
    3. Good points. Perhaps an organization that is proudly hierarchical and enthusiastically non-diverse will inherently have a few problems operating in the modern world. But what do I know?

  6. DaveKc says:

    Regarding 1. Sad over confidence. President Obama was in great trouble, even when you posted weeks ago. Of course, it’s many months to the election any many things could happen….but it is obvious to even diehard fans that he is in dramatic trouble.

  7. gonemild says:

    Nope, you’re mistaken. The only sane Republican is getting no traction, and Obama is still cruising with tolerable numbers without even trying. The man is a campaign stud, and the news-sellers and pundits acting like he’s in trouble are merely filling space with blather. Sorry if you’ve fallen for it.

  8. craig says:

    Dan,
    I am assuming that by the “sane Republican” you are talking about Huntsman. That is a different argument, but my question is this.
    What is it about Romney that you feel falls into the “not sane” category?
    BTW, I have my own reservations about some of the GOP candidates myself, but would vote for all but one rather than Obama.

  9. gonemild says:

    Craig – Yes, Huntsman was my reference there. “Not sane” is probably not the best description of Romney – though it fits. The man wants to be president so badly that he will change anything he believes for a couple extra poll points. He stands against the teabaggers until he embraces them. He stands against health care reform that he formerly embraced. After living and pofiting as a hatchetman, he claims that job growth comes from coddling corporations. Somewhere along the line, Mitt Romney completely disappeared, swallowed up by an eager-to-please brand that stands absolutely zero chance of gaining the White House.

  10. Mo Rage says:

    I think Gone Mild (Dan, right?) may well be mistaken on Bishop Finn “not going anywhere.” That was my initial reaction to the charge against him, too, but this may have finally been a step too far on his and the church’s part. Their denial of doing anything was/is clearly against this current Missouri state law. That and I think the times and people’s attitudes and openness to let this kind of thing go by may well have finally changed.

    As for numbers of Catholics and their decline, I give you this:

    “Worldwide, the Roman Catholic Church now has 1.1 billion members, compared with 1.5 billion Muslims and 593 million Protestants. In the U.S., all the major denominations have seen their numbers decline in recent years, but the Catholic Church has taken the biggest hit. Since the 1960s, four American-born Catholics have left the church for every one who has converted, according to a 2009 Pew study. In 2008 alone, Catholic membership declined by 400,000. More than 1,000 parishes have closed since 1995, and the number of priests has fallen from about 49,000 to 40,000 during that same period. Some 3,400 Catholic parishes in the U.S. now lack a resident priest. ‘Catholicism is in decline across America,” says sociologist David Carlin.’ ” Source: http://theweek.com/article/index/202388/catholics-in-crisis

    And this overall Google link: http://www.google.com/#pq=catholic+membership+statistics&hl=en&sugexp=kjrmc&cp=22&gs_id=s&xhr=t&q=catholic+membership+decline&qe=Y2F0aG9saWMgbWVtYmVyc2hpcCBkZQ&qesig=zAUQREH59RYHmaAcbRJkfA&pkc=AFgZ2tnoe8X7zKK3otOf0Lct2pxkePpyze2l8gzhGQP04LkWFhfRkEJg7Rx2knp-_9g3xgKePPj9Yzve8Hv5tTKE5nK29otY1A&pf=p&sclient=psy-ab&source=hp&pbx=1&oq=catholic+membership+de&aq=0&aqi=g1g-b1&aql=f&gs_sm=&gs_upl=&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=29da0c806043dc3&biw=1366&bih=644

  11. Mo Rage says:

    And Craig, Romney has just flipped and flopped FAR too many times for the hardcore, mainstream Republicans to want to support him. He’s going to get beat up all the way to next November.

  12. Mo Rage says:

    and hey, now that I look this over, how come I’m not on your blogroll?

    :)

  13. gonemild says:

    Mo Rage – sorry for the failure to get you onto the blogroll – I’ll fix it tonight. I got pretty sloppy in my blogging there for a while!

    You make a strong case for the numerical decline of the Catholic Church (and other churches as well), but that still doesn’t mean that Bishop Finn will be removed from his seat or resign it. I just don’t think it’s going to happen. Even if he gets convicted.

  14. [...] For instance: It’s been a long time since I’ve posted, and I’ve sat out a few of the major issues that have occupied much of the local and national blogosphere. To atone for my missing out on the recent past, I’ll gaze into the crystal ball and offer up a few glimpses into the national, state and local future. [...]

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