The Jeffersonian: Politicks, Sports, and Culture

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Lots of good stuff going out in blogland today, so here's a quick guide to all of the junk that (I think) is important:

Talking Points Memo has the new PA-Senate poll. It seems that Casey has extended his lead over Santorum from 46-41 to 49-35. Santorum's gonna have a tough, tough time. Which is sad, I'd really like to see him as a viable Presidential candidate in '08. The man would just be a gas to watch in Iowa and NH. Not to say that he's not running if he doesn't win, someone has to represent the loony wing of the Republican party right?

Italy's PM Silvio Berlusconi has resigned. Berlusconi was facing a no confidence vote this Thursday and looked to be in pretty weak shape. In the meantime, Berlusconi will set out to begin forming a new government with different coalition partners. Berlusconi has also given the ok to begin the removal of Italian troops in Iraq this fall. Interesting sidenote, this government was the longest serving gov't since 1949.

Michael Sean Winters over at The New Republic has a good article on what goes into choosing a papal name. Winters gives out a variety of reasons why, and then come up with one on his own-

My best guess? This was not a reference to a previous Pope at all, but to St. Benedict, founder of the monastery and patron saint of Europe. On April 1, Ratzinger gave a talk at Subaico where St. Benedict founded his monastery. He focused on the role of monasticism in rejuvenating Catholicism at the beginning of the second millennium, and he called for the papacy to launch a similar rejuvenation, combating contemporary European secularism. He said that today's Europe, "constitutes the most radical contradiction, not only of Christianity but also of the religious and moral traditions of all humanity." It seems likely that the new Pope Benedict aims to foster the kind of muscular Catholicism that St. Benedict helped to create, one that is not afraid to withdraw from the world to achieve its truest identity. Monks, by definition, leave the world's concerns at the abbey gate. The new Pontiff seems equally unconcerned with the secular world's verdict on his ideas or his reign.

Via Ezra, this LA Weekly column entitled, Death of the 20th Century. Powers does a good job of summing of the deaths of so many 20th century giants in the past few months and what it means for the future of American culture. Unfortunately it quickly devolves into Pope-bashing. Read the article, but stop halfway through if your tired of the bashing.

Finally, it seems that Sen. Jim Jeffords (I-VT) will not be seeking re-election next year for health reasons. It's good to see someone leave the 'most deliberative body in the world' before they have to be wheeled out of there, *cough*Thurmond*cough*Byrd*cough*. Of course the speculation as to who is Jeffords' successor has already begun. And the early leader on the Dem sides looks to be.... Bernie Sanders!?!!? Wha?!?!?!?! Seriously though, that's awesome. We need a guy like Bernie Sanders in the Senate, even if he can't just put a freakin' D next to his name. I'm just glad I won't be having to call Howard Dean, Senator anytime soon.