Obama’s Catholic Committee: The Lineup

obama36.jpgAfter a conference call today announcing the launch of its Catholic National Advisory Council, the Obama camp released the council’s full roster. It’s a long and impressive llist of elected officials, scholars, and activists. The Obama camp is treating Catholics as Hillary Clinton’s base–in Pennsylvania, they may be–and knows it has to go all out to eat into it. From today’s call, it sounds like many of these folks will be out stumping for Obama in Pennsylvania and some of the other remaining primary states. That will matter a lot more than the press the campaign gets from today’s announcement. Here’s the list:
National Co-Chairs
Senator Bob Casey
Representative Patrick Murphy (PA-08)
Former Congressman Tim Roemer, President of the Center for National Policy
Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas
Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia
Tom Chabolla, Assistant to the President, Service Employees International Union
Victoria Reggie Kennedy, President, Common Sense About Kids and Guns
Sr. Jamie Phelps, O.P., Director and Professor of Theology, Institute for Black Catholic Studies, Xavier University
Sr. Catherine Pinkerton, Congregation of St. Joseph
National Steering Committee *
Mary Jo Bane, Professor, Harvard Kennedy School
Nicholas P. Cafardi, Catholic Author and Scholar, Pittsburgh, PA
Lisa Cahill, Professor of Theology, Boston College
M. Shawn Copeland, Associate Professor of Theology, Boston College
Ron Cruz, Leadership Development Consultant, Burke, VA
Sharon Daly, Social Justice Advocate, Knoxville, MD
Richard Gaillardetz, Murray/Bacik Professor of Catholic Studies, University of Toledo
Grant Gallicho, Associate Editor, Commonweal Magazine
Margaret Gannon, IHM, A Sister of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Scranton, PA
Don Guter, Judge Advocate General of the Navy (2000-2002); Rear Admiral, Judge Advocate General’s Corps, U.S. Navy (Ret.), Pittsburgh, PA
Cathleen Kaveny, Professor of Law and Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame
Jim Kesteloot, President and Executive Director, Chicago Lighthouse
Vincent Miller, Associate Professor of Theology, Georgetown University
David O’Brien, Loyola Professor of Catholic Studies at the College of the Holy Cross
Peter Quaranto, Senior Researcher and Conflict Analyst, Resolve Uganda (Notre Dame Class of 2006)
Dave Robinson, International Peace Advocate, Erie, Pennsylvania
Vincent Rougeau, Associate Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame
Mary Wright, Inter-Faith Liaison, Louisville, KY
National Leadership Committee
Governor Jim Doyle of Wisconsin
Former Senator Majority Leader Tom Daschle
Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois
Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts
Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts
Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont
Representative Xavier Becerra of California
Representative Mike Capuano of Massachusetts
Representative Lacy Clay of Missouri
Representative Jerry Costello of Illinois
Representative Bill Delahunt of Massachusetts
Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut
Representative Anna Eshoo of California
Representative Raul Grijalva of Arizona
Representative Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island
Representative John Larson of Connecticut
Representative George Miller of California
Representative James Oberstar of Minnesota
Representative Linda Sanchez of California
Representative Carol Shea Porter of New Hampshire
Representative Peter Welch of Vermont


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posted April 11, 2008 at 9:27 pm

Impressive line up of thoughtful Catholics.

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posted April 12, 2008 at 1:54 am

Why I will not vote for Obama:
1. Are we likely to get GOOD CHANGES in Energy policy from an Obama administration?
Answer: NO. Why Not?
Because: Obama voted FOR the Cheney Energy Bill (H.R. 6) in 2005.
(which enabled the nuke industry to begin planning to build 29 new nukes (one of them in Pennsylvania)
– after 30 years of no new nukes being built because the banks wouldn’t loan the money – too risky.
The Cheney Energy Bill solved that problem for the nuke industry by guaranteeing taxpayer payback of any of the nuke loans that default … (with the risk of default rated by the Congressional Budget Office at 50% or greater).
Because: Obama has been IN with the nuke industry for decades. Excelon Corp. of Illinois is the largest nuke operator on earth – ( they own the nuclear power plants in Illinois and they own Con-Ed in NY state). Excelon has been one of Obama’s largest contributors since his earliest days in politics.
Because: Obama would not even be IN the race for president IF he was not HEAVILY SUPPORTED by the nuke industry. GE (2nd largest corporation on the planet) & Westinghouse are planning to build many of those nukes.
GE owns NBC & MSNBC. Westinghouse owns CBS. That’s the reason “the Mainstreams Media” are PUSHING Obama for President/ slamming & smearing the Clintons. ABSENT BILLIONS of dollars worth of FREE Pro-Obama Advertising/Propaganda provided by NBC/MSNBC/and CBS Obama would not have gotten past the New Hampshire primary.
2. Are we likely to get GOOD CHANGES in the ECONOMY?
Answer: It doesn’t look good. Obama’s financial advisors include the followng people:
JEFFREY LIEBMAN: SOCIAL SECURITY: In a 2005 policy paper Liebman advocated a mix of benefit cuts, tax increases and mandatory personal accounts.
DAVID CUTLER: HEALTHCARE: He Says High Health Care Costs are Good.
The stagnation of middle- and working-class incomes, and the anxiety this has generated, is, he says, a most pressing problem, but policymakers must be mindful about trying to address its root cause, which Goolsbee says is “radically increased returns to skill.” ( i.e. College degrees are paying off more & more — which is true, BUT Certainly DOES NOT account for the rise of the super rich, nor the increasing poverty of everyone else.)
(Evidently, Goolsbee’s not old enough to remember the beginning of that Income Inequality, or to recognize THE CAUSE. It began in 1981. THE CAUSE of it was and is that Reagan cut the top tax rate DOWN from 70% to the low 30% s, AND Corporations all over America BEGAN instituting “THE TWO-TIER WAGE STRUCTURE’. i.e. Pay the people at the top a LOT MORE, Pay Everybody Else a LOT LESS. (If you searched old newspaper archives from the early 1980s you would find newspaper articles about the sudden appearance of the Two-Tier Wage Structure.)
3. Are we likely to get GOOD CHANGES in Foreign Policy?
Answer: Not Likely.
Among a dozen or so Foreign Policy Advisors the most “senior” advisor is:
Zbigniew Brzezinski. Former National Security Advisor to President Carter. Using the CIA & Billions of dollars, he ginned up a War in Afghanistan …. seeking as he said to “give the Soviet Union its own Vietnam.”.
He Created the Taliban and Al Queda/ JIHAD/madrassa brainwashing schools for that purpose. Supported the dictator Pol Pol who massacred millions of Cambodian villagers. When asked, if in hindsight, considering that Al Queda eventually attacked America, and Pol Pot slaughtered millions – IF he would change anything he had done …. Zbig answered NO, he was satisfied with the results.
Electing Obama President is not likely to reassure the rest of the world that the U.S. is going to cease having an insane foreign policy; is likely to put Russia on an even more nervous hair trigger than they are now.
The major problem with Obama and his advisiors is they are ACADEMICS who have lived the life of privilege out of touch with the real world — Better educated and smarter than Bush’s gang — they are still likely to do just as badly at running the government — for the same reason: OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY … i.e. insane….people doing insane things.
4. Are we likely to get GOOD CHANGES in: appointing competent qualified people to run the government; instead of cronyism, or good changes that get rid of fraud, payoffs, and corruption in government?
Answer: No.
Because: Obama’s friend Rezko was part and parcel of the mafia connected, corrupt, Daley Chicago political machine. Rezko was Obama’s chief fundraiser from the beginning of his career in Illinois politics to his election to the U.S. Senate. There is very little coverage of the Obama Rezko/Daley corruption connections on National TV, but the local Chicago papers have a lot of info going back several years … & it don’t look good for Obama. He got IN with the Daley machine when his wife worked as an assistant to one of Daley’s higher ups; Obama looks to be part and parcel of the same corrupt Daley political machine as his friend Rezko.
Some of the above is speculation based on facts.. What I KNOW Obama HAS ALREADY DONE makes all the above doubts and questions irrelevant in answering the question:
Is Obama qualified to be, or likely to be, a GOOD President?
Answer: NO. He has already done something so unconscionable, so dirty, so dangerous that no sane American would even consider voting for him. HE played the race card.
Those accusations of racism against the Clintons did not come from any public “Outcry” on the part of black people all over the country – those accusations of racism came solely and directly from the Obama Campaign. Obama was caught red-handed pushing those accusations to the press – in a 4-page Internal Campaign Memo – Listing those accusations & directing them to the press. The Huffington Post obtained a copy & published it on the web.
Shortly thereafter, during one of the debates, Tim Russert (MSNBC) ….. while rustling a copy of the 4-page Memo in his hand …. asked Obama …. your campaign has been pushing accusations of racism to the press (rustles pages) …. in a 4-page campaign memo …. what do you have to say about that?
Obama mumbled a few sentences ….( people in both campaigns get carried away and say things they shouldn’t have said … blah..blah) …. and …. then MSNBC/ the mainstream media …. NEVER MENTIONED IT AGAIN!.
Instead, MSNBC/NBC/CBS and all the rest of the mainstream CORPORATE-CONTROLLED media just went right on endlessly PUSHING the SAME totally ridiculous false accusations of “racism”.
Obama made those accusations of racism …. in order to win the South Carolina primary. Obama has continued to make accusations of racism … every time …. he falls behind in the polls. The question is: What USE of RACISM / inter-racial strife would he NOT stoop to IF elected President.
Which brings us to the Question: Is it likely Obama will TRANSCEND race… .Get Past the Politics of DIVISION;.. …..Unite this Country?
Given the DIVISION he has already created by making false accusations of racism – the answer is a resounding:
Same Media that sold TOO MANY AMERICANS on Bush/Cheney. Same Media that SOLD U.S. a War.

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posted April 12, 2008 at 4:49 pm

Bunch of ultra Liberal Catholics. Great. This group does not represent Catholics. Guess that is why Hillary has been winning the Catholic vote. This is a pathetic attempt by Obama to woo the Catholic vote. I am sure small town Catholics across the nation will have a voice in the remaining primaries.

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posted April 12, 2008 at 7:47 pm

Boo hooo,stop are the conseratives tears. Be honest and tell the truth. You do not want to see a black man as president. It is going to happen inspite of right wing hatred. Obama is correct that American are angery about fore-closures,outsourcing of jobs to build up other nations ,blue collars jobs moving abroad etc. Are there really a “happy recession”? McCain and Clinton thinks there is a ” happy recessions”.

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posted April 13, 2008 at 10:51 am

John says that this list represents a “bunch of ultra Liberal Catholics.” The Catholic Advisory Council’s national co-chairs include Pennyslvania Sen. Bob Casey and former Rep. Tim Roemer, pro-life Democrats. Can they fairly be characterized as “ultra liberals?”

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Charles Cosimano

posted April 13, 2008 at 3:01 pm

I’m sure all the Protestant voters are going to be greatly impressed.

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posted April 15, 2008 at 4:26 pm


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Luke 4:18-19

posted April 25, 2008 at 8:36 pm

First, one does not need to agree with all the policies of a candidate to be an advisor to them. What IS required is the conviction that they are the best candidate given the options OR the conviction that one can have a positive impact upon this candidates policies. One can legitimately argue from Catholic teaching on morality and politics that Obama is the best candidate…whether you agree with this prudential judgment is another matter. Second, accusations of “cafeteria Catholicism” is an unfair slam against some very holy and dedicated people listed above. Third, the notion that disagreeing with a moral teaching of the bishops (pope included) constitutes being a “pick and choose Catholic” is very problematic. Even Thomas Aquinas recognized that our first allegiance is to our conscience, even when in conflict with church teaching. Being Roman Catholic is not primarily a matter of accepting non-dogmatic teachings and canon law. [By the way Anthony, criminalizing abortion is not “Catholic dogma.”] Fourth, the argument that certain moral issues represent “intrinsic evils” and therefor trump other moral issues that are not “intrinsically evil” is philosophically problematic. I realize that Pope John Paul II liked this philosophical category, but he was wrong. He (falsely) ascribed it to St. Thomas Aquinas rather than its actual promulgator Durandus of St. Porcein (the Dominican responsible for the condemnation of St. Thomas’ work). The notion of “intrinsic” moral evil is both philosophically problematic and falsely attributed to St. Thomas. [I’d also be interested to hear whether one who accepts such a philosophical category considers racism an “intrinsic evil.” It certainly has played a part in this election campaign…especially among us Catholics. See E.J. Dionne’s article in today’s Washington Post…very disturbing.]

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posted May 3, 2008 at 12:43 am

If you support abortion, then you are not in accord with the teachings of the Roman Catholic church. These are cafeteria Catholics. The Church teaches that life begins at conception and ends with natural death. These democrats support abortion. 17 million babies have been aborted since Roe v. Wade. We cannot build a moral society, when we allow infanticide.

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posted May 3, 2008 at 11:39 am

This list is a joke. I am a Catholic and no way would I vote for Obama. No one in my family is either.
Just look up the records of the people on this list and you will see that most of them are not true to the Catholic teachings. I don’t know how they call themselves Catholic.

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posted May 3, 2008 at 8:19 pm

Voting just one issue has gotten Catholics the present guy in the White house who is the most unpopular president in history. The pope is against the war in Iraq and the people with one issue ignore him. Etc, etc.

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Alfred J. Lemire

posted May 6, 2008 at 12:13 pm

Any list that includes Teddy Kennedy or Pat Leahy as providing advice from Catholics has an emetic quality on this practicing Catholic. And the people who dreamed up this council are serious! What a depressing list of second-rate pols and vacuous liberals! What possible advice could or would this gang provide other than say, do more of the same, Barry, favor abortion up to and perhaps even beyond the moment a baby’s head appears–partial-birth abortion–and definitely oppose school vouchers. Ya gotta do what your interest group supporters want, Barry, and that’s oppose anything that might disturb the government’s near-monopoly on child education.
Howard Dean and various other Democrats want the public to ignore what the Rev. Jeremiah Wright has said. The corrupt newspaper where I formerly worked as a reporter has only once quoted anything that Rev. Wright has said, in a Sunday story tucked away on Page 10. Other news outfits haven’t done that much. So let’s forget the senator’s close association with a genuine, full-blown racial bigot who holds nutty and loathsome views about this country, and forget Obama’s blame Whitey speech in Philadelphia that entranced useful idiots like David Broder of the WaPo.
But Obama’s vacuous convention speech in 2004 and campaign speech comments this year appealed to the hope of many for a postracial society. That “uniting” theme and postracial appeal were central to his candidacy! On the issues, he was to the left of most Democrats, but he differed little from the other Dem candidates for President this year. But the Wright problem erupted and can’t be ignored: either Obama has weak judgment of people–ain’t no new Wright, Barry–or he is a lousy liar. In either case, he’s unqualified to hold any elective office.
He’s being helped by an extremely partisan, corrupt, and incompetent mainstream press. Fidel Castro had the help of a simple-minded New York Times reporter while he was in the Sierra Maestre, Herbert L. Matthews; Obama has had the unquestioning support of a gang of journos who want to push him into power. Why do they no longer have any journalistic integrity? What happened to the press in recent years?
And now this bad joke of a council, which I learned about from a French-language blog. If it weren’t for the blind support of press followers, Obama would rank zero in the polls. (And the President’s low ratings, though still far higher than that of the Congress, would be higher if not for consistent press propaganda against him and his policies.) Whatever the AP or the rest of the press write and claim on politics and culture is likely not to be true. And that’s not good news for a democracy.

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posted May 9, 2008 at 7:33 am

I love the fact that Notre Dame is so well represented as it makes clear the lie that the institution is authentically Catholic.

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posted May 18, 2008 at 11:11 pm

NOTHING in the USCCB’s, Forming Consciences and Faithful Citizenship justifies voting for an candidate who supports infanticide!!! NOTHING!!! You are not Catholics. You are wallowing in self-deceit! You all need to talk to your parish priests about abortion. The US Catholic Bishops said that it’s NOT one issue among many to be considered. It must ALWAYS be opposed.

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posted September 3, 2008 at 9:39 pm

You must be very unintelligent if you think Bush is the worst President in history?
Ever heard of Harding? Johnson? Buchanan?
The Pope has personally stated that abortion is not a choice issue. With the capital punishment, the Pope basically says that it is up to the individual. But abortion is against our teaching no matter what. Anyone who calls themself a practicing Catholic and is pro-abortion, is not practicing the Catholic faith.

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posted October 17, 2008 at 1:31 pm

Who would Jesus torture?

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posted July 15, 2011 at 1:08 pm

I am happy to see such balanced and thoughtful comments on beliefnet as found in the post by Luke 4:18-19. I wonder how many know that St. Thomas did not support the dogma of the Immaculate Conception on sound theological grounds?
I am also pleased to learn more about the issue of intrinsic evil and the origins of the idea in moral theology. And again, a reminder that one must obey one’s conscience is good news. St. Thomas was referred to as the “Angelic Doctor” for good reason.

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