Newsreel 2/11

  • Rick Santorum gained momentum this week by taking three caucus states in one fell swoop. While many still take Romney as the inevitable Republican nominee, this shows that race is far from over. Especially when Gingrich, who at this point has only won one state, has promised to not drop until the bitter end
  • In spite of the beating that Romney took earlier in the week, today it looks like he might be regaining some momentum after pulling out a win in Maine. Ron Paul, though, the only potential GOP candidate still in the race to not yet win a state, won 36% of the vote putting him just 3% behind Romney’s 39%. It seems that Paul isn’t going down without a fight.  
  • On top of his win in Maine today, Romney also won the CPAC straw poll. My gut tells me, though, this has less to do with the party actually liking him, but more as a pragmatic step that the GOP is making to make sure that they actually have a fighting chance against Obama. Mitt just can’t seem to catch a break.  
  • In other news, Obama has come to a compromise on the issue of the government mandate for all employers to cover contraception for their employees. This comes loud opposition by Catholics (and, later, the backing of many Evangelicals), who claimed that this trampled their religious freedoms.
  • Obama also has signed an executive order for the expansion of government collaboration with faith-based organizations by building upon the Office of Faith Based and NeighborhoodPartnerships started under the Bush administration. It’s still unclear, though, whether or not he is going to keep his promise to attach strings to that money that require that any organization taking government dollars to not discriminate grounds in their hiring practices against those of a different faith or no faith at all. Bush allowed it and Obama at least claimed on the campaign trail that he wouldn’t. He’s yet to act on that promise, though.
  • This last one is completely and totally off topic but there was an awesome piece for the New York Times written by a philosopher out of Notre Dame named Gary Getting entitled “How to Argue About Politics” that came out a couple weeks ago. I know on the internet if it’s more than 5 hours old it’s old news, but it’s a fantastic piece none that everyone should take to heart when discussing politics. Seriously. I’m pretty sure most of the problems we have today in this country could be solved by taking the lessons of this piece to heart. 
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