Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Personal Asides: George (or Somebody) Cleans House at the USCCB with its Film Critic Over “The Golden Compass”…The Only Game in Town (Scrupulously Uncovered by the Mainstream Media)…Ron Paul’s State Chairman and Russ Stewart on Sunday’s “Shootout.”…Huckab


Not So Golden.

Whether it was Cardinal George or not isn’t clear—but I think it was. The film reviewing agency under the U. S. Conference of Bishops was headed by a guy named Harry Forbes who found “The Golden Compass,” the film adaptation of Philip Pullman’s atheistic screed against God rather acceptable is out of the film reviewing business. Reason: not that the film is all that bad after much of its venom had been sucked out—but it is a come-on for Pullman’s books which are atheist and hotly anti-Catholic. As it is, while the $25,8 million it earned the first weekend put it in the top drawer it was far below what New Line Cinema people expected (“The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe” earned more than $65 million two years ago during the same period). If Cardinal George did it, hurrah for him. The movie reviewers at the USCCB are not supposed to rival Roger Ebert but are to give assessments on moral damage that can be caused. Forbes had also found “Brokeback Mountain”…the story of two male cowboys in love…enticing giving it a pretty good review (writing for the bishops) as good entertainment. Bishops’ lavender enabling again: figures. .

Secular liberal high-and-mighty free speech advocates in and out of the Church ought to understand that by no means is this a free-speech issue or curtailment of freedom of expression. The film office is supposed to rate films on the basis of their intrinsic worth on moral and spiritual grounds to Catholics. Harry Forbes can go to “Golden Compass” as often and he wishes and write hosannas to it and “Brokeback Mountain” as well but it wasn’t his job to play artistic reviewer. Let’s hope his rumored departure from the film critiquing business is true and that it came from a new surge of leadership exerted by the USCCB president. This despite the favorable press report it got from…who else?...Cathleen Falsani the religio-columnist of that highly orthodox “Sun-Times” whose sex credit Laura Berman advised everyone to go out and enjoy more intercourse in the New Year. Falsani said that if the film was objectionable it passed right over her head. Well, that’s no great achievement…lots of things go over Falsani’s head… but the fact that the film would lead to sales of Pullman’s anti-God books is the point.

Caro’s Lawsuit Still the Only Game in Town.

The story exclusively broken by “The Chicago Daily Observer” about Richard Caro’s law suit being the only game in town still hasn’t received the light of day in the so-called mainstream press. But what did was news reports of a lawsuit along similar lines challenging the constitutionality of the governor’s switching funds around to pay for a health care program that not only wasn’t authorized by the legislature but which was decidedly not authorized to the tune of 107 to 0. After Caro filed his citizen’s suit in Chicago, Greg Baise, Illinois Manufacturers Association president and Ron Gidwitz filed a suit in Sangamon which, “Crain’s Chicago Business” columnist Greg Hinz, reports contained the legal scholarship of Mike Madigan’s counsel. But the Sangamon court dismissed it.

In reporting the dismissal, the mainstream media still went to great efforts and convolutions not to report Caro’s law suit despite the fact that it is a serious challenge to constitutionality…and that if Blagojevich gets away with this we might not need a legislature at all—as Kristin McQueary of the “Daily Southtown” said on my radio show Sunday (at which Richard Caro appeared).

Ron Paul’s Chairman & Stewart.

Last week at the last minute…waiting for a possible long-distance participation from Iowa by Mike Huckabee…we settled—and did very well thank you—for Joe Wiegand, Huckabee strategist who got the former Arkansas governor on the Illinois ballot and who is running himself as a delegate. Also on was Kristin McQueary of “The Daily Southtown.”

This Sunday I’ll have Joe Cesarone, Ron Paul’s Illinois State Coordinator and Russ Stewart of Nadig Newspapers talking about the Paul campaign that has raised a phenomenal amount of money on the Internet. Cesarone who lives in Bucktown is 4ath district delegate candidate for Paul, having received his doctorate in chemistry at Northwestern University and his B.S. from the U of I Urbana-Champaign who has 18 years professional exp[eriecne in bioinformatics and cheminformatics, with Joe the father of threer daughters, the third born during Thanksgiving weekend. He and his wife are parishioners of St. Hedwig’s in Bucktown. We got Joe to appear thanks to Jason Acebal a tireless activist for Paul.

Huckabee’s Surge.

Eleven months ago conservatives who definitely lukewarm to unimpressed with Mike Huckabee when he appeared at the “National Review Institute” in Washington. The star was Mitt Romney and Huckabee was shoehorned into a Sunday morning slot. But as the year wore on evangelicals were not impressed with Romney, Giuliani, McCain or Thompson but Huckabee scored with a November surprise. Now in Iowa where Romney has outspent Huckabee 20 to 1 the former Arkansas governor has a big lead with polls showing him challenging Giuliani for first place nationally.

This site has praised Huckabee as a great prospect for vice president and has urged him to ditch the Fair Tax proposal which seemed to come from nowhere. If he does he will add enormously to the ticket headed by Romney or someone else. The thing that impresses me is that for someone with a slender staff and who is not being equipped the way other candidates are with highly paid minions filling him in on foreign policy, Huckabee is doing very well. As one who watched candidates for more than 50 years I am impressed with the factr that he holds fast with direct responses and persistent cheerfulness.

I like Huckabee, of course, on traditional values. He speaks about “issues that are fundamental” including traditional marriage --“not because we are against anybody but because we are for something: the preservation of our society.” I like how he speaks about the sanctity of life: “It gets to the heart of who we are…Government did not give us the right to life and cannot take it away.” On immigration where he has adopted a harder line recently: “We ought to thank God we live in a country where people are trying to get in and not trying to get out.”

Of course now come the warnings from those thumb-sucking pundits that Huckabee would be a disaster. Already we have had a solemn warning from Steve Huntley that the GOP has got to get rid of Huckabee. That’s an order from Steverino. Okay if you say so, Steve. We know you like Giuliani. One thing has happened that makes politics better than baseball for me: Evangelicals have been stereotyped as easily led but this year the followers are leading and the leaders are playing catch-up, as “World” magazine says.

My favorite ticket is Romney-Huckabee with Huckabee ditching the Fair Tax.

1 comment:

  1. In addition to ditching the Fair Tax, Huckabee needs to reposition his Foreign Policy stance. He is currently to the left of both Clinton and Obama on Iraq.

    He has joked that "he doesn't know much about foreign affairs, but did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night."

    Just the type of leader we need to deal with Putin, China, and the Arabs.

    I say a McCain - Romney ticket covers almost all the bases, and positions itself for the long haul.