We like this guy! – If the first few weeks of Pope Francis I pontificate are any indication of the future, the Vatican is in store for some radical changes. Instead of residing in the palatial Papal Apartments near St. Peter’s, Francis has chosen to lay his head in a small studio in the Vatican guest house. Instead of donning the red handmade Prada slippers favored by his predecessors, Francis typically wears a pair of thick soled clodhoppers more reminiscent of a blue collar worker than the Vicar of Christ. Instead of commuting to and from work in the papal limo, Francis joins his fellow clergymen on the shuttle bus. Instead of riding quickly through St. Peter’s Square in the bulletproof “Popemobile”, Francis prefers a golf cart sans bulletproof glass, stopping frequently to kiss virtually every baby in the crowd. On Holy Thursday the Pope traditionally offers mass before a packed crowd in St. Peter’s. But Francis chose to go to a youth detention center where he washed and kissed the feet of twelve inmates; calling to mind the humility that Jesus displayed when he washed the feet of his apostles. Jesuits take vows of humility, poverty and obedience with a primary focus on caring for the poor. Francis initially appears to be a man who practices what he preaches. While these are small gestures in and of themselves, they are a signal that the papacy under Francis I will be very different from the recent past. If Pope Francis I is as good an administrator as he has shown to be a communicator, the Catholic Church is in very good hands.
Guns! – Yesterday we learned some heartbreaking and horrific news about the Sandy hook shootings. We learned that while parents waited nervously for their children to exit the school they witnessed first responders carrying one child covered in blood with a bullet wound to the head to a waiting ambulance. Another child was seen covered from head to toe in the blood, brain matter and flesh of one of her classmates. We learned that when police executed a search warrant of shooter Adam Lanza’s home they found an arsenal including 1,600 rounds of ammunition plus assorted guns, knives and swords. We learned that Adam Lanza left behind a bolt action rifle and several 10 and 20 round magazine clips choosing instead to carry ten 30 round magazines, a semiautomatic Bushmaster XM15 rifle and two handguns. Clearly Lanza’s intent in favoring the 30 round magazines and the Bushmaster was to kill as many people as possible before being apprehended. Lanza fired off 154 shots killing 20 children and 6 educators. The entire attack took less than five minutes. The NRA likes to say: “Guns don’t kill people…people do.” That is correct. But people with access to semiautomatic weapons and extended capacity magazines kill more.
She’s baaack! – Sarah Palin is out with a new web video titled: “Loaded for Bear.” A freshly quaffed, buffed, spray tanned Palin is seen railing against big government, Washington elites and the lame stream media while sipping on a giant 64oz soda…a less than subtle poke at New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg efforts to reduce soft drink consumption. Ted Cruz is prominently featured: (“I would not be a US Senator if not for Sarah Palin.”) as is Palin’s trademark…a momma grizzly bear. The purpose of this narcissistic, self promoting, self aggrandizing video…shilling for money to jump start her failing career and return her to a relevant place on the political stage. This would be funny if it weren’t so sad. The “Palin being Palin” that we see in this video is exactly the image that Carl rove and the Republican Party are desperately trying to put in their rear view mirror. And the clips that she uses in this video to promote herself…are exactly the same clips that Democrats use to portray the Republican Party as a bunch of wackos who are out of touch with the majority of the country.