Reader: Romney & Perry spar before debate, 3 Dems blast IL redistricting, Pope addresses German Parliament

Welcome to the Lunchtime Reader, where we assemble important stories to keep your eyes on.

Mitt Romney and Rick Perry scrapped just hours before the GOP debate in Orlando tonight on Fox News at 9 pm ET. Picking up on the concern that Perry might have a tough time winning suburban voters, Tim Pawlenty wrote an op-ed for Politico with the not-so-subtle title: “Romney is electable.” It’s still early, but Mitt Romney is running away with it in New Hampshire with a commanding 41%, with Ron Paul in second place at 14%, Jon Huntsman in third at 10%, and Perry in fourth with 8%. The margin of error on the poll is +/- 4.9%. But in Florida, Rick Perry is on top with 31% to Romney’s 22%. Then it’s Gingrich and Cain each at 8%, with Bachmann at fifth with 7%. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback will be Rick Perry’s guest at the debate tonight. Brownback, a convert to Catholicism, endorsed Perry this morning.

The heavily-gerrymandered new Congressional map drawn up by the Illinois Legislature and signed into law by Democrat Gov. Pat Quinn is now under attack by three black Democratic Congressmen. Reps. Jesse Jackson Jr., Bobby Rush, and Danny Davis have concerns that the new map does not adequately adhere to the Voting Rights Act, which prevents large ethnic populations from being splintered in many different districts through the creation of majority-minority districts. Under the new map, there are three districts which have a black majority, but only one district that is majority Hispanic. This despite the fact that there are more Latinos in Illinois than blacks. One remedy would be the addition of another Latino-majority district. Republicans would support that plan because they believe it would help them keep suburban districts. If the current plan remains unchanged, the GOP could lose as many as five seats in Illinois.

Pope Benedict XVI returns to his native Germany. If you do nothing else, quickly read his speech to the German Parliament. Quick excerpt: “Unlike other great religions, Christianity has never proposed a revealed body of law to the State and to society, that is to say a juridical order derived from revelation. Instead, it has pointed to nature and reason as the true sources of law – and to the harmony of objective and subjective reason, which naturally presupposes that both spheres are rooted in the creative reason of God.” I thank God every day he is our Shepherd.

Other articles of interest:

A state-by-state analysis of how unemployment might affect the presidential race in 2012.

A limited, means-tested voucher bill passed the Ohio Senate last night 12-10, setting the stage for a full House vote this fall. If the measure passes the House, Republican Gov. John Kasich is expected to sign the bill into law.

Read a great profile on Father Robert Barron’s exciting new DVD series “Catholicism” by Tim Drake over at the National Catholic Register.

Former employees of the now bankrupt Solyndra say the company went hog wild on spending as soon as they received $535 million grant from the Obama administration.

A human rights activist is glad that Congress is holding hearings on how China’s one-child policy is brutally enforced.



  • Joe M

    I was disappointed with Romney’s angle on the Social Security spat. But, Pawlenty is right. Romney is electable. Perry, while having some good ideas (some bad), sticks his foot in things that he doesn’t need to, which will allow Democrats to distract from the issues that are winners for the GOP. — The worst that Dems can do with Romney is say that he used to agree with them on healthcare. I don’t see that being a winning strategy for them.



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