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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.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Another Fine Mess: Comics Whack Obama

by Mark Leibovich

WASHINGTON — Is President Obama in trouble with his late-night comedy base?

It’s likely he hasn’t noticed or doesn’t care. He is, after all, in the midst of his oft-invoked “full plate” of supposedly “defining moments” in his presidency — a “defining” decision on Afghanistan, “defining” legislative battle on health care, among other “defining” things.

But there is perhaps another more subtle set of "defining” episodes playing out for Mr. Obama in the televised comedy salons that had previously, by and large, been relatively gentle spaces for him. The bits about him are getting harsher. They are no longer just gentle gibes about Bo the dog, big ears, bad bowling and beer summits.

A conspicuous (if not “defining”) episode occurred Oct. 3 on Saturday Night Live in a skit set in the Oval Office. The president (played by Fred Armisen) was defending his record against critics who had accused him of turning the United States “into something that resembles the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany.” Not so, protested the faux-Bama.

“When you look at my record, it’s very clear what I’ve done so far,” he said. “And that is nothing.”

The sketch went on to show Mr. Obama/Armisen running through a checklist of things he had vowed to do — closing Guantánamo Bay prison, overhauling health care. All were marked, Not Done.

“Looking at this list I am seeing two big accomplishments,” he said. “Jack and Squat.” And ouch...  Read the whole article.

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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.