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Here are some news stories and articles which might be of interest to you. I've posted the opening section, and if you want to read more, you can click on "Read the whole article" to go to the original item. You'll find a variety of things here -- current news, political analysis, opinion pieces, articles about religion -- things I've happened to read and want to share with you. It's your Reading Room, so take your time. Browse. You're certain to find something you'll want to read.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

House Remodeling

Can the GOP take back the House? Yes, if its candidates do their job.

by Jim Geraghty

So how good could 2010 be for Republicans running for the House of Representatives?

A phenomenal year is now in the cards, which is obviously not the same as saying that it will be a phenomenal year. In any off-year, discussion of the following year’s House races usually frames the battle for control of the chamber as a reflection of national mood. But even after elections that brought dramatic swings in the two parties’ fortunes — 1994, 2006 — the ascending party wonders if it let winnable seats slip through its fingers. In the end, control of the House comes down to 435 unique races taking place in a national climate favoring one party or the other.

“Environment matters, but you have to have all your ships in the sea, with their sails up, and pointed in the right direction,” says Brian Walsh, political director of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).

In other words, if you want to have victories driven by the national mood, you have to have good candidates; you can’t have lazy campaigners or guys from the wrong part of their district, and your candidates have to talk about the right issues. One Capitol Hill Republican mused that the party hopes to have 60 good, competitive races next fall in districts currently held by Democrats, and to face the delightful dilemma of where to spend limited resources; another argued that the number really ought to be 80. This is not to say that either of these Republicans thinks the party will win that many seats, but they do believe that each of these is a potentially winnable race under the right circumstances...

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Fr. Phillips is the founding pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church, the first Anglican Use parish, established on August 15, 1983. Not that there is any confusion, but he is on the left, shown in his younger, less gray-headed days.