Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

February 22, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

WHAT DO ABORTION AND CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM HAVE IN COMMON?....Sam Rosenfeld talked to Rep. Louise Slaughter about serious campaign finance reform yesterday. Here was her reaction:

I think what the sense really is we keep getting stuck with McCain-Feingold here is that the public wouldn't stand for it. I think we're held in such minimum, low regard that if people started to talk about public financing for elections they'd go nuts....I don't hear any talk about public financing at this point.

That doesn't sound right to me people would "go nuts"? but it's a good example of the importance of working at the state level that I mentioned yesterday. Both Arizona and Maine have implemented radical public finance laws that work well and are popular, nicely described here by Micah Sifry:

In both states, candidates for state offices win public financing on condition that they raise and spend no private money (including their own) and abide by stringent spending limits. To qualify, these Clean Elections candidates have to raise a large number of $5 contributions from voters in their district (the opposite of the system in most states, where candidates raise a small number of large contributions from a tiny, wealthy elite). Candidates who choose to run clean get public funds, and, if they are outspent by a privately financed opponent, additional matching funds are available.

California is starting to look like it might follow suit this year. Loni Hancock's periodic effort to introduce Arizona-style campaign finance reform actually passed the Assembly a couple of weeks ago, which is better than it's ever done before. The odds are still against ultimate passage (Republicans hate it, of course), but if it passed in California I imagine it would have a tremendous impact on the rest of the country. It would be a big step forward in reducing the constant background buzz of corruption caused by our current culture of permanent fundraising.

[UPDATE: It looks like I spoke too soon. More here.]

And in other state news, South Dakota is about to ban abortion in the hopes that John Paul Stevens will die soon and a new George Bushified Supreme Court will uphold their shiny new uterus regulation legislation. Yet another reason not to bother taking a vacation to see Mount Rushmore.

Kevin Drum 11:17 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (158)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

I'm puzzled as to why we don't hear more about anonymous campaign donations. Donors would give money to the FEC or another 3rd party, and then the lumps sums would be transferred to the candidates without telling them who the donors are. Without encroaching on the 1st amendment, we would instantly solve the problem of buying access.

Posted by: Wagster on February 22, 2006 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

Wagster: What would prevent donors from simply telling candidates what they had done?

Posted by: Kevin Drum on February 22, 2006 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, it would be good if you could be clever again (like several posts below) and provide Bush some cover on the abortion bit. You're rich, white, male, and in sunny CA -- you know politics is just a game, with no real consequences.

C'mon -- we True Americans count on Good Liberals like you!

Posted by: Freedom Phukher on February 22, 2006 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Of course, MA tried a clean-election law, but I believe it was tossed after the courts had to order state propety sold off in order to fund it.

Posted by: dlamming on February 22, 2006 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin:

Yeah, but how could the candidates believe them. "You know, I just maxed out on you!" Yeah, sure.

Posted by: Wagster on February 22, 2006 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK
What would prevent donors from simply telling candidates what they had done?

Nothing, just like the secret ballot doesn't prevent people from telling how they voted. Nevertheless, the secret ballot does and anonymous donations would serve to guard against corruption, because there is limited opportunity for validation.

In either case, they aren't the whole of the necessary protection against corruption, but they serve to make it more difficult.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 22, 2006 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

Wagster: What would prevent donors from simply telling candidates what they had done?

Posted by: Kevin Drum on February 22, 2006 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

How's this. Allow any donations. But the donations must all be paid to a licensed entity that then gives it to the charity on an anonymous basis.

According to 'free rider' theory, all the large corporation will tell every candidate they gave them money, but not really do it. Hence eliminating the corruption aspect of it - because someone asking for a favour and claiming to be a donor could have just lied.

All entities will only get generic receipts saying 'unknown political charity'.

For humor value, the results would be unsealed only after 12 years.

* To prevent someone following someone to the collecting entity to witness the donation.
We could argue that the donation must be presented in person in a anonymous voting booth.
So you could follow him there but he could always change the amount given.

Posted by: McA on February 22, 2006 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

If CA went to public financing for its elections, that would be an earthquake. A very, very good sort of earthquake.

Re SD: I've been to Mt. Rushmore. There's approximately zero value added by seeing it with your own eyes, rather than seeing a good photo of it on your computer screen. When you get there, you shrug your shoulders and say, "Yep, looks just like the pictures." Then you walk back to your car, and that's it.

Posted by: RT on February 22, 2006 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

McA:

Why in bloody hell do you care how campaigns in America are financed? Why don't you find a nice Malaysian blog to troll in?

Posted by: brewmn on February 22, 2006 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

Why in bloody hell do you care how campaigns in America are financed? Why don't you find a nice Malaysian blog to troll in?

brewmn,

He'd get thrown in jail if he posted his views there. It is simple, really.

Posted by: Tripp on February 22, 2006 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

And in other state news, South Dakota is about to ban abortion in the hopes that John Paul Stevens will die soon and a new George Bushified Supreme Court will uphold their shiny new uterus regulation legislation. Yet another reason not to bother taking a vacation to see Mount Rushmore.

Hilariously written. Too bad the message is so sad.

One hopes JPS is eating well, getting lots of sleep and having regular colonoscopies.

Posted by: shortstop on February 22, 2006 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Anonymous political donations isn't a new idea (just google it) but it's never really caught a head of steam. My theory is that Congress hasn't taken it seriously because it would put incumbents at a comparative disadvantage to where they are now if donors can't curry favor with them. Still, it's something to consider: it's clear, bold, and I suspect it would be a raise the Republican wouldn't be able to call (like term limits was for them in '96.)

Posted by: Wagster on February 22, 2006 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK
Anonymous political donations isn't a new idea (just google it) but it's never really caught a head of steam. My theory is that Congress hasn't taken it seriously because it would put incumbents at a comparative disadvantage to where they are now if donors can't curry favor with them. Still, it's something to consider: it's clear, bold, and I suspect it would be a raise the Republican wouldn't be able to call (like term limits was for them in '96.)

Incumbent resistance is a problem, as you point out, which means you need to work it hard through action groups that aren't controlled by incumbents to get it on the agenda, and/or get it established someplace (CA perhaps) where it can be done whether the incumbents will it or no.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 22, 2006 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

Mt. Rushmore might be overrated, but Badlands National Park is, if anything, underrated.

Posted by: Paul on February 22, 2006 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

Time for STATES RIGHTS all the way.

If people in alabama and south dakota (been there, no there there) want to regress to the Iron Age, let them. Anyone with any sense will leave and the Blue states will thrive and the neanderthal red states will flounder. But they will have the 10 commandments posted, by God!

And no more sharing of tax revenue with them either.

And all the gay people are more than welcome in NYC, we love you.

Honestly, you cannot reason with people who think the Earth is 6000 years old and I was made from some guy's rib.

Posted by: lilybart on February 22, 2006 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

What would prevent donors from simply telling candidates what they had done?

I predict that if anonymous contributions gets passed, the sum of donations claimed by people seeking to curry favor from Congresscritters will exceed the amount of money actually donated during the race.

Posted by: Gregory on February 22, 2006 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

"a new George Bushified Supreme Court will uphold their shiny new uterus regulation legislation."

If the people of South Dakota want to ban abortion, who are you mock them? We both know that the religous beliefs and moral values of any number of other groups would never be derided in such a way. If you want to discuss the issue, write a mature and substanative post on it.

Posted by: Tom on February 22, 2006 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK
I predict that if anonymous contributions gets passed, the sum of donations claimed by people seeking to curry favor from Congresscritters will exceed the amount of money actually donated during the race.

I suspect the sum of donations claimed by people seeking to curry favor from any individual member will rival the sum actually donated nationally.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 22, 2006 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

Another article on this here.

The $5 fundraising "gate" is one possible solution to my major objection to public election financing: who decides who gets money and who doesn't? It's at least an objective standard.

Still, I wonder how long it's going to take someone to figure out how to "launder" a big donation through a bunch of cooperative individuals. As long as there is political control over economic activity, the money is going to figure out a way in there.

Posted by: tbrosz on February 22, 2006 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, I suspect that term limits in states like Maine have more to do with turnover than clean election laws.

Posted by: tbrosz on February 22, 2006 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Tom, darlin'....call me when you go into labor.

Posted by: diane on February 22, 2006 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

As long as there is political control over economic activity, the money is going to figure out a way in there.

It's a good thing you're not obsessed with this meme.

What's your alternative? Anarchy? Or do you just not admit that there is something called the public interest?

Posted by: craigie on February 22, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

If you want to discuss the issue, write a mature and substanative post on it.

I think calling it "uterus regulation" is about as mature and substantive as one can get.

Posted by: craigie on February 22, 2006 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

Please don't encourage readers to not vacation in South Dakota. Our legislators may be nuts, but the Black Hills are a beautiful place to spend a week off.

Posted by: Chad on February 22, 2006 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

One possible solution, on finance reform, that occurs to me is to combine anonymous and public financing: you get a scheme where there is a "pot" of public campaign money set aside, say, every quarter by the state -- every registered voter has an equal share of the "pot", and can assign how to spend it by sending a standard form to the agency overseeing the campaign financing. These donations are periodically (say, weekly) batched, and an anonymous lump sum transferred to the various campaign accounts. Unspent funds should roll over, but only for a limited period of time -- anywhere from 1 to 4 or even 6 years might be chosen.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 22, 2006 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder how long it's going to take someone to figure out how to "launder" a big donation through a bunch of cooperative individuals.

Maybe we could call them...Pioneers!

Posted by: Gregory on February 22, 2006 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

There's also Connecticut.
In MA, I believe it was passed by voters statewide, but was effectively defunded by legislators used to doing business the current way, because it didn't have its own dedicated funding source.

Posted by: thump on February 22, 2006 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

Who cares. Laws are intended to stop the crooked few. Can anyone honestly tell me that there are only a few crooked congressmen and women? Our political leaders are fundamentally and universally corrupted by their addiction to the legalized bribery that is our current campaign contribution scheme. It takes millions of dollars to put and keep someone in congress. Who is going to spend millions without an expectation of a solid return on "investment?" The need to fulfill "donor" expectations corrupts every member of congress, no matter how well intentioned at the start. That is why we hear of Joe Biden D-MBNA. Don't think I am picking on Joe Biden. A similar designation could be assigned to every member of Congress.

"Campaign finance reform" in any of its current guises is never going to work because the problem is with the people operating in the system. If all of those people weren't fundamentally corrupted there would be real outrage in among the nation's leaders and a real will to clean up the mess. You don't hear outrage. You don't feel real leadership. Instead you hear lame excuses.

Posted by: Ron Byers on February 22, 2006 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

"Tom, darlin'....call me when you go into labor."

I understand the "if you don't have a uterus you can't have an opinion" line of thinking (honestly, I'd be intrested in knowing what percentage of SD women want abortion banned). But you might notice that I didn't state any opinion, other than my belief that Drum was being glib about a serious matter. A lot of people sincerely believe abortion kills a child. Just as a lot of people believe that banning abortion will result in women dying . Drum's post mocks the issue, and is an example of liberal arrogance and vacuity about a profoundly important subject.

Posted by: Tom on February 22, 2006 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

There is bill proposing public financing introduced on Feb. 1, 2006. ePluribus Media ran this story, Democrat's reform bill threatens third party financing, on House Resolution 4694 yesterday.

Posted by: standingup on February 22, 2006 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

"Yet another reason not to bother taking a vacation to see Mount Rushmore."

Have you ever driven across South Dakota, east-to-west? 300 boring miles of signs telling you about the cool stuff (Rushmore, Wall Drug, Badlands)you'll see in the last 50 miles.

But Rushmore is pretty damn cool.

Posted by: Robert Earle on February 22, 2006 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

We both know that the religous beliefs and moral values of any number of other groups would never be derided in such a way.

What crap. At various times on this blog and elsewhere in Lefty Land, we've mocked the "moral values" (nice euphemism for sexism, BTW) of religions that advocate separate worship for men and women; separate definitions of "unclean" following the birth of a boy or girl child; serial polygamy, particularly when it involves statutory rape; forced wear of burkas; ritual genital mutilation and so on.

These folks can keep their "religious" and "moral values"--it's a free country, for now, but that doesn't include freedom from mockery for your opinions.

Posted by: shortstop on February 22, 2006 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

Ron,

Apparentlly, the public is starting to wake up and realize that it's worth the relatively small investment of public funds so that the public owns its representatives. For example, the ballots and ballot boxes used to be bought by the parties, i.e., by private contributions, but then people decided that wasn't really ethical, and it's now financed publicly. Campaign finance should be similar.

I think a lot, maybe even most, public officials get into that line of work because they want to do public service, but they are thwarted, as you point out, by the current funding system.

Posted by: thump on February 22, 2006 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

Drum's post mocks the issue, and is an example of liberal arrogance and vacuity about a profoundly important subject.

Good thing we can't tell what your position is on this matter.

And once again: calling it "uterus regulation" does not mock the subject - it is the subject.

Posted by: craigie on February 22, 2006 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

What's your alternative? Anarchy? Or do you just not admit that there is something called the public interest?

My alternative would be to start slowly prying the government loose from the almost limitless power they have over how businesses and individuals do things.

Of course, nobody really wants that, because they want that power waiting there for them when they start winning elections again.

Posted by: tbrosz on February 22, 2006 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

Did I really just say "serial polygamy"?

I need sleep.

Posted by: shortstop on February 22, 2006 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Reaidng my previous post, I think writing "liberal arrogance and vacuity" was too strong. Obviously, it can't be unwritten, but FWIW I regret writing that.

"I think calling it "uterus regulation" is about as mature and substantive as one can get."

It's spin. One could just as easily say "Fetal Rights" or "Fetal Protection Legislation" and actually be more accurate. The direct subject of the law is the fetus, not the uterus. Again I'm not presuming to say that I think such a law is right or moral, and obviously such a law does place restrictions on what happens in woman's uterus. But phrases like "Bushified" and "shiny new" clearly show a disregard for a serious matter.

Campaign finance reform got a much more serious treatment. FWIW, the ME law sounds good. But I think that to really limit corporate influence, something would have to be done about limiting post-public service employment and income (e.g. taking a lucrative job with a company after helping them out while in office), as well as really addressing the problem of holding stock in a company while in office. And both issues would be difficult as they impact individual rights significantly.

Posted by: Tom on February 22, 2006 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

I always wanted to cross the country through South Dakota -- Laura Ingalls Wilder's home, the Badlands, etc. Lots of nice stuff there. I wonder what portion of their state economy is tied up with tourism?

Posted by: David in NY on February 22, 2006 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

"it's a free country, for now, but that doesn't include freedom from mockery for your opinions."

I agree completely, I was simply stating that I was unimpressed with the shallowness of Drum's post. I don't want to curtail anyone's right to mock.

Posted by: Tom on February 22, 2006 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

funny that of the reasons for seeing/not seeing Rushmore brought up here, no one mentions that it's an affront to native Americans. I mean really, I'm a fan of those guys whose faces are up there, to varying degrees, but taking a site sacred to the folks that were there before us and blasting the faces of 4 of our leaders on to it...that's a pretty cynical "shrine to Democracy." I think the Mountain would be more awesome had it been left alone.

I wonder if state-by state campaign finance reform would lead, at least temporarily to a situation where the big-money-power players simply concentrate themselves into particular states? Interesting to see how all this shakes out.

Posted by: URK on February 22, 2006 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

I don't have time to read through this whole morass, but didn't California voters pass or turn down a campaign finance initiative a few years back. Perhaps the state courts struck it down. Anyone remember?

Posted by: parrot on February 22, 2006 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

It's a spin alright.

The terms 'Fetal Rights' and 'Fetal Protection Legislation' are inaccurate.

The South Dakota law states "life begins at conception" and at conception there is no fetus.

Perhaps "Zygote Protection Legislation" would be more appropriate.

Posted by: diane on February 22, 2006 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

I have been living and voting in California for 15 years, and I don't recall anything like the current Clean Money bill being on the ballot. It's always possible I missed it, though.

Anyone who's interested in helping us to get this passed in California should go read up and then sign up at the California Clean Money Campaign.

FWIW, the CA Green Party endorsed this bill, and a few Republicans said they looked forward to supporting the bill after it passes the Senate and some issues are worked out in conference committee.

Posted by: thump on February 22, 2006 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

I was born in South Dakota (hey, so was George McGovern). My Dad's side of the family comes from there, descended from Bessarabian German farmers who came there because it was much like the places they came from. The only place I've seen flatter than central South Dakota is western Utah. My parents still vacation in Custer Park in the Black Hills every summer in their motor home.

The Badlands are definitely worth a visit. I still have a chunk of the hardened mud they're made of sitting on the dashboard of my van from when my kids were climbing all over them.

Unemployment rate is about 3.5 percent, and there's no state income tax.

Posted by: tbrosz on February 22, 2006 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

Your all welcome to engage in this conversation concerning campaign finance regulations .its just that your henceforth precluded from using free and speech in the same sentence.

Posted by: Fitz on February 22, 2006 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

"Perhaps "Zygote Protection Legislation" would be more appropriate."

I think it would be more appropriate. Thanks for the correction.

Posted by: Tom on February 22, 2006 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

I am so sick of hearing, mostly, men tell women what they can and can't do with their bodies. I have never met any woman confronted with an unwanted pregnancy who didn't agonize over her decision concerning abortion. Such women deserve our support, love and understanding. They also deserve our trust that they will do the right thing. Most do.

I just wish men like Tom had as much concern for the rights of the already born.

Posted by: Ron Byers on February 22, 2006 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

I thought it was kind of interesting to read the quotes from RTL advocates about the "timing" of the proposed South Dakota bill.

If you really believe that every abortion is a murder, it strikes me that you wouldn't quibble about timing.

I think there is a bit of disingenuous-ness on the RTL side (not 100%, but some %). The basic position really is: (i) the only proper motivation for sexual intercourse is procreation, thus, (ii) if a woman is pregnant either (a) its the expected outcome (yea!) or (b) its a penalty one should have anticipated (I told you so!).

Notice that you don't hear much about all of the fertilized in-vitro eggs, or termination of pregnancy in the case of rape, or aborting fetuses with known genetic defects. The reason is that these positions are consistent with a couple having sex for the purpose of procreation.

Thus the venn diagram of those who oppose abortion, or at least some abortion, on the grounds that pregnancy is some sort of "penalty" is IMO much, much larger than the hard core set who really beleive it is "murder."

Limit it to those who believe it is murder and I don't think you have much of a constituancy.

This is why the issue is not framed as "the right to sex." If it was, I'm pretty sure which side would win overwhelmingly.

Posted by: hank on February 22, 2006 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

"...most sweeping ban approved by any state in more than a decade, those on both sides of the abortion debate say."

I like this passage. Both sides agree, therefore it must be true. (Actually I don't doubt it per se, but there is such a thing as absolute truth - particularly in the realm of 'legislation passed within a decade' - and we don't need consensus about it.)

Posted by: Saam Barrager on February 22, 2006 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

Okay, fair enough, Tom.

Here's a little family homily for y'all's edification. The other night my dad and I were talking about a family trip we took to Mount Rushmore and the Badlands in, hmmm, 1975 or so. Me da's a big old Republican who occasionally steps off the reservation to vote for people like JFK.

Dad reminded me about the John Bircher who accosted him at Mount Rushmore, and with whom Dad, a normally serene guy, got into a loud screaming match. "Ah, he said. In those days, the John Birch Society was the absolute word in right-wing lunacy. Today, they're moderates. It's insane."

Then followed a heartwarming moment as Goldwater conservative papa and lefty daughter discussed our mutual contempt for the Bush administration. I think Dad put it best: "The only ones left still defending Bush are the criminally stupid and the preternaturally greedy."

Good times.

Posted by: shortstop on February 22, 2006 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK
If you really believe that every abortion is a murder, it strikes me that you wouldn't quibble about timing.

It strikes me that, if you believed abortion was murder, and you were concerned about actually combatting it rather than making symbolic gestures, you'd care very much about timing of various acts and the effect that timing was likely to have on the success of the cause of actually stopping abortion.

Then again, if you didn't believe it was murder, but thought that those who did but weren't too politically savvy could be manipulated by symbolic gestures in an election year, you'd also be concerned about timing, in such a way that might make you more likely to do an extravagant symbolic gesture that would appeal to the "pro-life" grassroots, but be unlikely to have substantive effect, in an election year in which your party was increasingly losing trust on substantive issues.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 22, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

Unemployment rate is about 3.5 percent, and there's no state income tax.

And yet here you are, in liberal northern California.

My alternative would be to start slowly prying the government loose from the almost limitless power they have over how businesses and individuals do things.

Those are nice words. I suspect, however, that when we try to put some specifics in there, you, like everyone else, will start making exceptions.

The truth is, we're all Keynesians now, and everything else is just tinkering at the margins.

Posted by: craigie on February 22, 2006 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK
Both sides agree, therefore it must be true. (Actually I don't doubt it per se, but there is such a thing as absolute truth - particularly in the realm of 'legislation passed within a decade' - and we don't need consensus about it.)

Um, no, there's not. At least as to how "sweeping" something is, which is a subjective rather than objective description.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 22, 2006 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

I think Dad put it best: "The only ones left still defending Bush are the criminally stupid and the preternaturally greedy."

Maybe they could carve that at Mount Rushmore. That would get a few more tourists in.

Posted by: craigie on February 22, 2006 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

Actually the South Dakota law would also ban abortion in the cases of rape and incest.

And hank is 100% correct in that this issue is less about saving babies than controlling women's sexual behavior.

If stopping abortion was RTL's ultimate goal, they would be hawking birth control on every street corner.

For anyone out there still napping, abortion is only the first step, contraception will be next and in many places, like Michigan where I live, it already is.

Posted by: diane on February 22, 2006 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

My alternative would be to start slowly prying the government loose from the almost limitless power they have over how businesses and individuals do things.

And to further this goal, tbrosz carries water for, er, supports the Republican Party.

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

It's a bit late to start waving your tattered libertarian credentials, tbrosz.

Posted by: Gregory on February 22, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK
Actually the South Dakota law would also ban abortion in the cases of rape and incest.

Well, yeah.

I mean, supporters of the law believe that zygotes are innocent human lives -- but they also believe that innocent humans should be punished for the sins of their parents.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 22, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

"And hank is 100% correct in that this issue is less about saving babies than controlling women's sexual behavior."

Disclaimer - I'm more or less pro-life, but both the pro-life and pro-choice sides piss me off.

That out of the way, your statement is just plain silly. I imagine there are some prudes out there who are concerned with controlling women's sexual behavior, and I admit that the law might alter how women behave sexually, but speaking for myself I have zero interest in controlling anyone's sexual behavior. The S.D. law is about saving the lives of unborn children.

Posted by: GeorgiaHoo on February 22, 2006 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

I thought it was kind of interesting to read the quotes from RTL advocates about the "timing" of the proposed South Dakota bill.

Posted by: Nimer on February 22, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

"I just wish men like Tom had as much concern for the rights of the already born."

If you read what I wrote, I would hope you'd see the subject was Drum's tone and casual dismissal of abortion. I gave no opinion about whether or not I thought abortion should be illegal, although apparently it's easy to impute one to me.

In any case, deciding to abort must be a terrible decision and anyone in that situation deserves support. It's worth nothing, but my opinion is that any restriction on abortion should consider the health of the mother. Beyond that, I'm not smart enough to know when a zygote or fetus has rights, if ever. I envy you the ability to be certain of what is right (and that's not meant to be disparaging).

Posted by: Tom on February 22, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

If stopping abortion was RTL's ultimate goal, they would be hawking birth control on every street corner.

Exactly. Just look at their behavior with regard to the morning after pill--preventing it from being sold over the counter, allowing wingnut pharmacists to withhold it from women with prescriptions(a gross violation of their duty, IMO), and opposition to any other kind of birth control or sex education. Unless you consider abstinence to be "sex education", which it isn't.

Posted by: Ringo on February 22, 2006 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

I wouldn't support any bill banning abortions unless it allows for an exception for rape, incest, mother's health, etc.

Frankly, while I'm pro-life I'm not sure I support a law banning abortion. I think abortions should be done in very rare instances but also understand the pro-choice argument. While I understand the argument, I also believe life begins at or around conception.

Posted by: GeorgiaHoo on February 22, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

craigie:

And yet here you are, in liberal northern California.

That's where the industry I work for led me, and where I raised my kids. If I were starting out today, when I can do my work at home and transmit it anywhere easily, who knows where I'd be living?

Those are nice words. I suspect, however, that when we try to put some specifics in there, you, like everyone else, will start making exceptions.

I'm open for discussion on this. I'm not seeing a lot of progress from Republicans in this area, and a lot less from Democrats.

Gregory razzes me for supporting the Republicans over the Democrats. I've seen plenty of what the Democrats would like to do if they got enough power (go to the PLAN site and check out the agenda.) At least the Republicans are--so far--moving a bit more slowly toward socialism. If there were a realistic third choice, who knows?

Posted by: tbrosz on February 22, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

The S.D. law is about saving the lives of unborn children.

LOL, yeah, right.

Posted by: Ringo on February 22, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

Instead of engaging in another moronic attempt at "campaign finance reform" which is nothing more than a blanant violation of the First Amendment (another reason to cheer the departure of the sainted Justice O'Connor), why not simply repeal the 17th Amendment? If Senators were selected by the states' legislatures as was intended by the Founding Fathers, they wouldn't need to raise any money at all nor would they be influenced by lobbyists who could steer money their way.

Other elements of reform could include doubling the number of representatives and of course, term limits for the lot of them.

Posted by: Chicounsel on February 22, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

Or, to put it another way, it is all about women's rights, and whether she essentially wiaved those rights by having sex in the first place.

However, it would be a total political loser to frame the issue in that way. Thus, it is framed in terms of the zygote's rights or the fetus' rights.

Although I am not an expert on family law, note that it appears the overwhelming consenses is that men waive their rights "to not be a parent" by having sex. I believe that if a child is determined by DNA evidence to be a particular man's child, he cannot avoid child support by claiming that since abortion is legal it should not be his responsibility.

These discussions usually work their way around to the rights of the unborn, and I think that really skips the true point of contention, well, perhaps not the "true" point but the point which would settle the issue in terms of percentage for or against, the true point being whether by having sex the woman has waived her rights to abortion.

This is why some women are actually in favor of criminalizing the act.

This is also why there would be a difference of opinion among men as to the child support issue discussed above (i.e., even though a rule which allowed men to disavow child support would benefit men as a group by granting men as a group a right, you would expect a difference of opinion among men as to whether it was good law)

Posted by: hank on February 22, 2006 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

"allowing wingnut pharmacists to withhold it from women with prescriptions(a gross violation of their duty, IMO)"

I agree that pharmacists should be required to sell whatever drugs are legal and prescribed. However, I'm not sure what "duty" a pharmacist violates by refusing to sell.

Posted by: GeorgiaHoo on February 22, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

Fitz,

Something that's perhaps not been made clear so far is that the public campaign finance system Kevin mentions here is that it's entirely optional. Candidates are free to choose whether they want to run using entirely private money (as it works now) or entirely public money, and nobody's free speech rights are violated. The Arizona system has survived all challenges in the AZ State Supreme Court.

Posted by: thump on February 22, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Exactly. Just look at their behavior with regard to the morning after pill--preventing it from being sold over the counter, allowing wingnut pharmacists to withhold it from women with prescriptions(a gross violation of their duty, IMO), and opposition to any other kind of birth control or sex education. Unless you consider abstinence to be "sex education", which it isn't.

Uh huh. I'm afraid Georgia's being a little disingenuous--or, more charitably, naive--here. There are large swathes of the anti-choice movement that have as their stated goal the return to "traditional morality," including the restigmatization of sex outside hetero marriage. Whether or not Georgia shares this view is not really the point.

Posted by: shortstop on February 22, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Diane

You said you live in Michigan! What part? (I live in Michigan also)

(you write)
And hank is 100% correct in that this issue is less about saving babies than controlling women's sexual behavior.
I would say you & Hank have hit on and important point (crucial really)
But its not about controlling womens sexual behavior or even controlling sexual behavior -----(But Rather) getting people to control themselves.
You see Sex a childbirth are insurmountably linked.


& what are you referring to when you say contraception is the next step here in Michigan?

Posted by: Fitz on February 22, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

At least the Republicans are--so far--moving a bit more slowly toward socialism. If there were a realistic third choice, who knows?

If you actually believe what you say you believe, you'd be strongly supporting libertarian candidates--but you don't, you spend the majority of your time(a lot of free time, apparently) unsuccessfully trying to deflect criticism away from Bush. That's why you're such a pathetic joke.

Posted by: haha on February 22, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

Promoting public campaign financing should be easy:

This is what the current system costs you, the taxpayer: List of gazillions given to campaign donors, earmarks, tax breaks, subsidies, etc.

This is what public financing would cost: $whatever the program would cost.

Show that public financing would be a bargain in comparison to the system now.

Posted by: stepphie on February 22, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz: I'm not seeing a lot of progress from Republicans in this area, and a lot less from Democrats.

Let's revise this sentence so that it contains some facts:

"I'm seeing a reversal of traditional conservative policy among Republicans in this areas. However, I'm that Democrats are still worse, despite the evidence of the past five years."

Posted by: shortstop on February 22, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

"LOL, yeah, right."

Great retort, Einstein. Explain to me what the S.D. bill is about if it isn't about saving lives by preventing abortions. I don't know too many folks out there saying "wow, we can control a woman's sex life by outlawing abortions."

Again, I recognize that the banning abortions will have a disparate impact on women who would have an abortion (not all women, just those who get pregnant and want to abort). That doesn't mean it has anything to do with controlling their sexaul behavior.

Posted by: GeorgiaHoo on February 22, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Dear God! I'm batting 1000 today. Sorry. That post should have read:

tbrosz: I'm not seeing a lot of progress from Republicans in this area, and a lot less from Democrats.

Let's revise this sentence so that it contains some facts:

"I'm seeing a complete reversal of traditional conservative policy among Republicans in this area. However, I'm putting my hands over my ears and shouting that Democrats are still worse, despite the evidence of the past five years."

Posted by: shortstop on February 22, 2006 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

Attagirl!

These folks can keep their "religious" and "moral values"--it's a free country, for now, but that doesn't include freedom from mockery for your opinions.
Posted by: shortstop

Besides, these lovely little sideshows distract them from the fact that they're being robbed blind. It's the lipstick on the pig.

Posted by: CFShep on February 22, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

"There are large swathes of the anti-choice movement that have as their stated goal the return to "traditional morality," including the restigmatization of sex outside hetero marriage."

Large swathes? Who, exactly, are you referring to? I'm sure there are some groups who promote that idea, but that doesn't mean it's the goal of the S.D. bill. In fact, I think most folks who are pro-life are concerned with saving lives first and foremost. Are you arguing Harry Reid wants to stigmatize sex outside marriage?

Posted by: GeorgiaHoo on February 22, 2006 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

However, I'm not sure what "duty" a pharmacist violates by refusing to sell.

Well I just said it was my opinion, but I'm guessing that pharmacists are licensed--like doctors, nurses, attorneys, etc.--and that as a condition of that license, they have to agree to dispense whatever medication is prescribed by a doctor. I would say that's pretty much the primary duty of a pharmacist.
Otherwise, you could have pharmacists refusing to dispense all variety of medication for all varieties of "moral" reasons.

Posted by: Ringo on February 22, 2006 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK
Great retort, Einstein. Explain to me what the S.D. bill is about if it isn't about saving lives by preventing abortions.

Its about encouraging false reports of rape and incest.

Heck, if it was South Carolina, I'd more than half suspect that (with regard to rape) really was the primary motivation and that it was as much (though more stealthily) racist as sexist.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 22, 2006 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

Fitz, do you crouch in your dirty den, lit only by the bluish glow of the monitor, waiting for Drum to post about abortion or homosexuals so you can leap into the fray between long pulls from your warm beer can?

Posted by: shortstop on February 22, 2006 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz: "My alternative would be to start slowly prying the government loose from the almost limitless power they have over how businesses and individuals do things."

Okay, I've heard this generality from (small "l") libertarians time and time again as the way to root corruption from our political system. So can we finally hear some specifics on this, please?

For example, howsabout defense appropriations? Tbrosz, how do we keep large military contractors from bribing (er: *influencing*) members of congress with large campaign contributions, in return for those congresspeople budgeting for those contractors' specific weapons systems... even when the Pentagon has deemed those specific weapons systems to be unnecessary and unrequested?

Tbrosz, how, in this top-of-my-head example, do we go about "prying the government loose" from its power to make appropriations, in such a way as to lessen the corrupting influence of large donations.

Looking forward to hearing your specific, pragmatic answer, Tbrosz.

Patrick Meighan
Venice, CA

Posted by: Patrick Meighan on February 22, 2006 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

"Its about encouraging false reports of rape and incest."

So are you arguing that the bill in S.D. is about encouraging false reports of rape and incest? If so, I would disagree.

Posted by: GeorgiaHoo on February 22, 2006 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK
I'm sure there are some groups who promote that idea, but that doesn't mean it's the goal of the S.D. bill.

The incest and rape exceptions tend to argue against the S.D. bill being really about preventing killing fetuses, per se, and for it being about promoting "traditional" sexual morality and family structure. Its okay to kill "children" of rape -- because the mother didn't chose to violate traditional morality, and its okay to kill "children" of incest because allowing them to live would violate traditional family structure.

There are, of course, other ways of interpreting those exceptions, but none of them -- so long as you start with the assumption that, at conception, a new, innocent human life is created -- reflect well on the backers of the bill.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 22, 2006 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

Thump

Re: entirely optional
Yes, I appreciate the distinction.. It is not optional however that the taxpayers money is being used to support candidates/issues people disagree with or even vehemently oppose.

They call it a free market of ideas for a reason. When they subsidize certain speech or candidates because they are deemed clean by a political elite- This is a dangerous (as is McCain Feingold) infringement on what is called core political speech.
This core political speech is differentiated from other forms of speech for special PROTECTION, not increased regulation. (i.e. it is specifically that type of speech that the founders were most interested in keeping free of government manipulation)

Posted by: Fitz on February 22, 2006 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

...between long pulls from your warm beer can?

ewwww...that's not a beer can!

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 22, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

Tom,

Why are you people always going on about examples of "liberal arrogance"? It's tired, it's not true (quite the opposite, in fact) and it mocks a serious matter. Why can't you write and mature and substantive post about why right wingnuts think they are exempt from the laws and Constitution of the United States, and then smirk when you tell them they're not?

Posted by: jprichva on February 22, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop:

If you have any evidence at all that Democrats and progressives sit in coffeehouses and discuss how the government could spend less, taxes could be lowered, and the government should have less influence on our lives, please point it out. I'm going by what I know.

When Bill Clinton--probably less liberal than most of the current Democratic presidential options--won the election and the Congress was still Democratic, first thing out of the gate was a push for socialized medicine. If there had not already been some alternative media in place, I have no idea how that would have turned out.

Posted by: tbrosz on February 22, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

I've seen plenty of what the Democrats would like to do if they got enough power (go to the PLAN site and check out the agenda.)

Ok, I did that. What, exactly, is there that is so horrible? I don't see anything nearly as kooky and dangerous as the Texas Republican Party Platform .

Given that you have to have politics (or is that up for debate?), and politics requires both people and funding, then the best you can do is try to get clean money into those elections.

As for socialism, I say we start fighting that by dismantling the corporate welfare state that the GOP has been busy creating over the past 50+ years. But that's just me.

Posted by: craigie on February 22, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Explain to me what the S.D. bill is about if it isn't about saving lives by preventing abortions.

Because, genius, if they outlaw all abortion, then a great many women's lives will then be lost or put in great peril. Sometimes it's unfortunately necessary to save their lives.

So, which "lives" are you actually concerned about saving, Einstein? Your moronic train of thought places women's lives below the zygotes.

I'd also be interested in hearing what you think the penalty should be for the "murderers"--the doctors and women who are presumably co-conspirators in your mind.

Posted by: Ringo on February 22, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Well Georgia, it goes like this. When it comes to criminal law, we are talking about the State's interest in punishing or preventing some act.

If, for example, a mother who was a Christian Scientist refused to donate bone marrow to save the life of one of her children? What would you say? Well, this might be an interesting moral discussion, but the reason there are no "mandatory bone marrow transplant laws" and the reason that this is not any kind of a political issue, is that its freaking obvious that a person has a privacy right in their own bone marrow, and although the state has an interest in saving the life if its citizens (in this hypo the child) that right does not override the right not to be operated on against one's will.

Compare abortion. Its just as goddamn obvious that forcing a women to take a pregnancy to term is at least as intrusive as forcing her to donate bone marrow or a kidney or something, and is pretty clear that if that is going to be the rule, there had better be a pretty good reason.

You state that the reason is the "life" of the unborn zygote or fetus.

However even you stated that you don't believe in criminalizing abortion. What the hell? Is it murder or not?

If you've read this far, now you see my point, its not all about the rights of the unborn balanced against he rights of the woman, its that the woman, unlike in the bone marrow donation hypo, has waived her rights by having sex in the first place.

Thus, she should not, once pregnant, exercise her right not to have a child because she has already waived that right, and at the point of conception she essentially lost the bet.

Posted by: hank on February 22, 2006 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Chicounsel: "Instead of engaging in another moronic attempt at "campaign finance reform" which is nothing more than a blanant violation of the First Amendment..."

This is incorrect. The campaign finance reform bill enacted in Arizona and Maine, and proposed for California, is a voluntary campaign finance measure. A candidate can opt in or opt out. Their choice.

In this system, if Mr. Chicounsel wishes to raise $400M the old fashioned way (corporate bribes, union bribes, PAC bribes), and spend it all on TV ads saying he's da bomb, he's welcome to do it, and the law doesn't stop him. The only catch is that every dollar Mr. Chicounsel raises is gonna be matched (by the state) and donated to his opponent, Mr. Clean Candidate. This, of course, significantly reduces Mr. Chicounsel's incentive to raise large heaps of dirty cash. But it doesn't step on his right to do so.

This bill has *already* passed court muster in Arizona.

In short, Chicounsel is just all sorts of wrong.

To learn more, check out: www.caclean.org

Patrick Meighan
Venice, CA

Posted by: Patrick Meighan on February 22, 2006 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK
I'm going by what I know.

At last, the explanation for while your posts are so content-free.

Posted by: SavageView on February 22, 2006 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK
If there had not already been some alternative media in place, I have no idea how that would have turned out.

Probable exactly the way it did, since the opposition was driven mainly by false-front big-money corporate (insurance industry) ad campaigns in traditional media, and related astroturf operations, often directed at gaining attention from traditional media.

Unless "false-front interest groups" and "astroturf operations" are your idea of "alternative media".

Posted by: cmdicely on February 22, 2006 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

Fitz,

Taxpayers already pay the salary and expenses of representatives with whom they may not agree. You may say, "okay, but they've been elected by voters," but candidates have to qualify for public campaign money by showing public support within their districts. In a similar way that elected representatives (at least in theory) serve all their constituents, candidates campaigning on issues that people in the district care about also serve everyone by bringing all issues to the public forum.

I'm afraid I didn't understand what you were getting at in your second paragraph. Perhaps you'd try again?

Posted by: thump on February 22, 2006 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

If you have any evidence at all that Democrats and progressives sit in coffeehouses

I don't drink coffee. However, coffee houses aren't exactly the best places for discussion.

and discuss how the government could spend less,

Cut the pork and the waste out of the budget--earmarks inserted by Republicans or Democrats should be done away with, and I'm all for eliminating the Dept. of Education and the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development. Means testing of entitlements should be a strong consideration for anyone serious about future budget shortfalls and Americans should think about entitlements.

taxes could be lowered,

Incentives for people who keep jobs in America and don't send them overseas--sure. Tax breaks for small business owners who give health benefits to their employees--all for it.

and the government should have less influence on our lives,

Well, getting the federal dang government out of peoples' personal lives would be an excellent start. And, correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the intrusion of the US Congress in the Terry Schiavo affair eliminate the ability for Republicans to claim that they want to 'get government off peoples' backs?'

please point it out.

Shortstop will probably do a better job than I just did, but I'm bored and this one was too easy to pass up.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 22, 2006 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

"You see Sex a childbirth are insurmountably linked."

So right you are. And with accurate, truthful information and medical technology, couples can be quite successful at preventing unwanted pregnancies. Look up the statistics for The Netherlands, Finland, and Sweden.

Name me one 'pro-life' organization that promotes contraception and sex ed in schools.

Check out Democrats for Life website . The 95-10 is an initiative to reduce abortion by 95 percent in ten years. They have a lot of nice programs like group homes for pregnant women, etc. but there is not one mention of birth control or prevention.

Abortions happen when women have unwanted pregnancies. No pregnancy, no abortion. Why is that so difficult to understand?

Posted by: diane on February 22, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

WRT California legislation:

It sounds like Arnie is trying really hard to appeal to liberal-minded voters.

I wrote him a letter today telling him to support this Public Campaign Funding bill. I told him that if he does, I may actually vote for his re-election. (and if he re-initiates the Enron lawsuit to recover illegal price-fixing funds, then I'll definately vote for him).

See? Republicans CAN be forgiven if they mend their ways.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on February 22, 2006 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

Everyone -(just raising the bar a bit)


People are dancing around the idea of
""However, I'm not sure what "duty" a pharmacist violates by refusing to sell."""


You will want to look at a right of conscience and the 14th amendments right to involuntary servitude.
Can a Doctor be required to perform abortions? (or lose his license as a result)
Can an Attorney be obligated to write a living will that violates his conscience? (or lose his license)

Youll also want to think about contentious objector status in the military and Google the words of the hippocratic oath...

Its not that cut & dry people...
(and you know that...or should)

Posted by: Fitz on February 22, 2006 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

Fitz: "When they subsidize certain speech or candidates because they are deemed clean by a political elite- This is a dangerous (as is McCain Feingold) infringement on what is called core political speech."

a) This law has already passed court muster in Arizona. You may personally think that voluntary public financing is a bad idea. That's your prerogative. But if you're implying that it's unconsititutional, the courts have already determined that you're plain-old wrong.

b) No "political elite" deems certain speech "clean." A clean candidate is merely one who voluntarily opts to forgo traditional donations, and to instead accept public financing. And that clean candidate can use that cash to advance any message he chooses. It is not vetted by any scary "political elite."

To learn more, visit www.caclean.org

Patrick Meighan
Venice, CA

Posted by: Patrick Meighan on February 22, 2006 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans want government out of our private lives unless they are women, gays, users of the communications system, nearing death, nearing birth, users of consumer credit, or someone with a foreign sounding name. Yeah, Republicans are big on privacy all right.

Posted by: NYCBilly on February 22, 2006 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

"So, which "lives" are you actually concerned about saving, Einstein? Your moronic train of thought places women's lives below the zygotes."

Read a few posts up and you'll see that I already stated I would not support a bill banning abortion unless it has an exception for the mother's health.

What's a "great many women's lives?" As far as I am aware very few abortions are preformed because of the mother's health. I think that the life of the child and the life of the mother are equally important. Thus, I am against abortion when performed simply because the woman doesn't want a child.

Posted by: GeorgiaHoo on February 22, 2006 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Name me one 'pro-life' organization that promotes contraception and sex ed in schools.

Exactly, when you get down to it, the same "pro-life" zealots also want to actively prevent women from educating themselves and obtaining the tools necessary to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
Less freedom for women.

Posted by: Ringo on February 22, 2006 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK


Pace the assumption of some posts that all opposition to abortion is justifiable only in theological terms, there are atheists and secular liberals who are persuaded that abortion is wrong (most notably Village Voice columnist Nat Henthoff). The pro-life movement also includes many non-believers in groups like Democrats for Life and Feminists for Life. Interested readers can take a look at their arguments and proposals at democratsforlife.org and feministsforlife.org, in addition to work by intellectuals of various political and religious persuasions who have made secular pro-life arguments, including Princeton Professor Robert George. After hearing that famous academic Stanley Fish had said the abortion debate could not be rationally adjudicated, George presented a secular pro-life argument that Fish acknowledged was a persuasive one. An instructive contrast can be made between George's views and those of his colleague Peter Singer, who as an advocate of unlimited legal abortion, takes many pro-abortion arguments to their logical conclusions.





Posted by: apl on February 22, 2006 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Patrick:

A fair question. Simplest answer is to look at the appropriations and ask "is this something the government HAS to do?"

Every dollar the government spends, and every restriction the government puts in place that has to be overcome in order to do business, has some kind of quid pro quo involved. With corporate welfare, regulations and taxes, it's campaign contributions. With wealth redistribution and entitlements, it's votes.

Start simplifying the tax codes. Tax codes are a prime method of how politicians dispense punishment and favors in return for contributions.

Cut spending. Go here, and pick your favorite target agency. There are a LOT of ideas out there.

Start returning power to the states and local authorities. This won't eliminate corruption, but it will keep the problems more local.

Pale Rider has put down some pretty good ideas a few posts above.

Posted by: tbrosz on February 22, 2006 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Man, I wish the Kevin had made this two separate threads. I'm annoyed at having to wade through all this abortion stuff to get to the voluntary public financing posts, and I'm sure you abortion-arguers feel likewise about us goo-goo types.

Patrick Meighan
Venice, CA

Posted by: Patrick Meighan on February 22, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

And, McA, here's a website listing the "best Malaysian blogs"

http://www.flyingchair.net/vote.php?categoryID=5

Posted by: Ace Franze on February 22, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

And not to put too fine a point on it, I think that this type of legislation, (as well as elimination of Diebold-style automated election fraud, media consolidation, and fairness doctrine) are the four most important issues facing America today.

If we cannot resolve these four problems, there is absolutely NO hope that we can restore the America that our founding fathers intended, from the sorry fascist state to which it has descended.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on February 22, 2006 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

The "mother's health" exception proves that you believe that by having sex a woman waives her rights.

If the unborn fetus really is a "child" why in the world ought there to be any exceptions? Why not let the health complications play themselves out and let luck, or God if that's your view, decide if both the woman and the unborn make it, both die, or one "dies?"

The reason you believe in that exception, or any exception, is that you view sex as a waiver, only in this case its a "limited waiver" the limit being that the waiver does not extend to risking the life of the woman.

Posted by: hank on February 22, 2006 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

you'll see that I already stated I would not support a bill banning abortion unless it has an exception for the mother's health.

Then you're against the federal late-term abortion ban--they didn't include a health exception.

As far as I am aware very few abortions are preformed because of the mother's health.

You need to increase your awareness.

I think that the life of the child and the life of the mother are equally important.

Then you're definitely against the S.D. bill.

Thus, I am against abortion when performed simply because the woman doesn't want a child.

Then you're against abortion in cases of rape and incest, unless the woman's health is in danger.

Posted by: Ringo on February 22, 2006 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz at 1:58, that was a beauty. You managed to completely avoid the drunken spending spree of the past five years by a Bush presidency and Republican-controlled Congress, and mention Clinton at the same time.

I'll answer the question: Democrats aren't spending too much time thinking about spending less. We're not spending any time thinking about lowering taxes, given the towering size of the deficit and the fact that there's a perpetual war on. And we have our own ideas about where government should be less intrusive in our lives--but of course you already knew that.

Except for the first item--I think we could do a far better job of controlling spending--I don't have a problem with these. What our people are doing is largely in line with the liberal tradition.

Now why don't you tell us if you think the past five years are in line with the conservative tradition? C'mon, tell us all exactly why you think the GOP is doing better than the Dems at anything but cutting taxes. Does your tax cut make up for the out-of-control deficit, the spending bender, the growing size of the federal government, the invasion into end-of-life and reproductive issues? Does it?

Why can't you acknowledge how out of line this administration is with your stated philosophies? After five years of clear and convincing evidence to the contrary, why are you still hanging on to what you wish were true instead of what is?

As my dad would say, are you criminally stupid or preternaturally greedy? Or both?

Posted by: shortstop on February 22, 2006 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK
Pace the assumption of some posts that all opposition to abortion is justifiable only in theological terms, [...]

Which specific posts are based on that assumption? I've seen posts claiming that the S.D. bill is based on other interests than protecting fetal life, like preserving patriarchy or enforcing traditional family structures; I do not see any posts on this thread that state, or imply, that "all opposition is justifiable only in theological terms".

I do see a couple which implicitly rest on the assumption that those seeking to implement their religious views through public policy are a major factor in the "pro-life" movement, but then, that's hardly something that can be questioned.

there are atheists and secular liberals who are persuaded that abortion is wrong (most notably Village Voice columnist Nat Henthoff). The pro-life movement also includes many non-believers in groups like Democrats for Life and Feminists for Life.

You can be a Democrat and feminist -- "for Life" or not -- and still be a believer; I bet you'll find that DfL and FfL are more composed of believers as other self-described Democrats and feminist, and as much as any other group "for Life".

Posted by: cmdicely on February 22, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz,

Regarding SD: Unemployment rate is about 3.5 percent, and there's no state income tax.

So why aren't you there? With your home NASA business you can be anywhere, right?

Posted by: Tripp on February 22, 2006 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK
If the unborn fetus really is a "child" why in the world ought there to be any exceptions?

Because, while the details of the legal parameters vary, most people recognize that self-defense against clear, direct, serious threats to one's own life or health is a right implicit in the right to life itself, which either mitigates the seriousness of or outright excuses acts which would otherwise be prohibited, even deliberate homicide.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 22, 2006 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz: "Simplest answer is to look at the appropriations and ask "is this something the government HAS to do?"... Every dollar the government spends, and every restriction the government puts in place that has to be overcome in order to do business, has some kind of quid pro quo involved..."

tbrosz, I understand this general theory. But you have not answered my question. It's a very specific question, tbrosz. Here it is again:

How do we keep large military contractors from, essentially, bribing members of congress with large campaign contributions, in return for those congresspeople budgeting for those contractors' specific weapons systems, even when the Pentagon deems those weapons systems unnecessary?

I, personally, suggest electing those congresspeople via voluntary public financing, making those congresspeople more beholden to the voters, as opposed to to the large donors (in the above case, military contractors) who made those congresspersons' election possible. You, on the other hand, suggest the very general notion of "slowly prying the government loose from the almost limitless power they have"

So how do we pry the government loose from its limitless power in the above, specific, scenario?

Please, tbrosz... please answer that very specific question.

Patrick Meighan
Venice, CA

Posted by: Patrick Meighan on February 22, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK
Start returning power to the states and local authorities. This won't eliminate corruption

Indeed, it will encourage it, and encourage major corporations to play local officials against each other (which, if nothing else, will make corruption cheaper for the corruptors.)

Posted by: cmdicely on February 22, 2006 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

I've seen plenty of what the Democrats would like to do if they got enough power

You claim, tbrosz, falsely, that the Democrats would keep taxing and spending ad infinitum.

And you've also seen what the Republicans do with they power they have. Setting aside the so-called Patriot act, support of torture, insistence on illegal surveillance of US citizens without oversight and generally reducing the Congress' oversight function -- any one of which would make an honest libertarian blanch -- there's the fact that, as you've admitted, the Republicans spend just as much.

It's just that they also serve up those sweet, sweet tax cuts and finance the whole shebang with debt.

You, tbrosz, refuse to admit that the Republicans' plan is much more reckless and so irresponsible as to render them unfit to govern. Instead you make up straw man arguments about Democrats wanting 100% tax rates. To this very day you've refused to condemn the reckless GOP fiscal policy. Remember, you've admitted they spend as much, so it's a question of debt (GOP) or taxes (Democrats). That you choose debt, because it finances your tax cuts, pretty much excludes you from consideration as a reasonable commentor.

So yes, tbrosz, I razz you for your contant water carrying for the GOP, and the depths of intellectual dishonesty it forces you to plumb. You're playing the reasonable libertarian card in this thread, but I don't think anyone is fooled.

Posted by: Gregory on February 22, 2006 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

"Thus, I am against abortion when performed simply because the woman doesn't want a child."

....because maybe she can't afford one, or doesn't particularly like kids, or knows if she has a child she'll end up on welfare, or she's suffering from depression and feels like killing herself.

Abortion is the most common surgical procedure in the world.

What kind of civilized society send their sisters and daughters into back-alleys for medical care?

Posted by: diane on February 22, 2006 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

I'll answer shortstop's question concerning mr. Brosz. There are three political views out there at the moment, with any traction at all. Because there are only three, many, including brosz, elevate their particular view to almost a belief system.

The three are: (i) the stated view of the Republican party, (ii) the stated view of the Democratic party, and most importantly, (iii) the Republican characterization of the views of the Democratic party.

Tbrosz believes in (iii), which, being a form of spin, is of course not supported by any actual facts, as you so nicely pointed out.

Much of Kevin's hand wringing on this site consists of first, why is (iii) so accessable, and also, how come the Democrats do not have their own version of (iii), i.e. a "(iv)" a Democratic characterization of the Republican party that is inaccurate, perjorative, and widely held.

Posted by: hank on February 22, 2006 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Thump and Patrick

The concept of core political speech is a mainstream working concept in legal thought. The ACLU was opposed to McCain/Feingold, and so was George Will and 4 out of 5 S.C. Justices.
Yet McCain supported it a George Bush Singed it.

This issue is as bi-partisan as it comes and goes to the core of our first amendment speech rights..

core political speech is that speech that directly impacts elections (mentions candidates namesect)
and was considered by the founders to be the most sacrosanct.
Read Scalias dissent in McCain/Feingold.
If your talking free speech (or believe your self a supporter thereof)
This is a sine quo non people..

Posted by: Fitz on February 22, 2006 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

I know why there is an exception, the question is does Ms. Georgia know why?

She of the side who blithely skips by the fundamental issue to arrive at the issue with the most emotional impact.

Posted by: hank on February 22, 2006 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

How do we keep large military contractors from, essentially, bribing members of congress with large campaign contributions, in return for those congresspeople budgeting for those contractors' specific weapons systems, even when the Pentagon deems those weapons systems unnecessary?

One of the essential bulwarks against corruption in this country was a free press. We don't really have that anymore. Once in a while, someone goes after a big company--I'm thinking that the last time was 60 Minutes going after big Tobacco.

You want corruption to go away? It's never going to go away. But if you have divided government, a free press, oversight and watchdog agencies that are free to do their job, hey--maybe we'll get a little closer.

The era of Teddy Roosevelt is rich for comparison to our own--if someone is genuinely interested in how endemic corruption came under the scrutiny of TR and how he had to, literally, fight it tooth and nail, please feel free to read either of the two books written by Edmund Morris on TR. They are excellent political biographies. And if you compare the current crop of politicians in this country (Rep and Dem) to TR, you'll realize how far we've sunk.

But hey--don't take my word for it. Find out for yourself. And stay out of coffeeshops, unless they're in bookstores.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 22, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

"core political speech is that speech that directly impacts elections (mentions candidates namesect)
and was considered by the founders to be the most sacrosanct."

Fitz,

a) Voluntary Public Financing has nothing to do with McCain/Feingold, because (unlike McCain/Feingold) voluntary public financing does not limit political speech.

b) The current system perverts your "sacrosanct" political speech by enshrining the richest donors with the loudest voices. Voluntary Public Financing is a proven constitutional remedy to legally remedy this social ill.

Patrick Meighan
Venice, CA

Posted by: patrick Meighan on February 22, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

Why can't you acknowledge how out of line this administration is with your stated philosophies? After five years of clear and convincing evidence to the contrary, why are you still hanging on to what you wish were true instead of what is?

If you have been paying ANY attention at all to me over the past months, you would know that I have not approved in any way of the Bush administration's spending record, and the constant attempts to paint me as enthusiastic about it are getting a bit irritating.

My consensus is that Democrats would do no better if unrestrained, and if you've got a candidate out there pushing real fiscal responsibility, not just "raising taxes until we can pay for everything we want," please point them out.

Maybe, as Kevin pointed out some time ago, the answer is Congress and the president being of two different parties. I suspect this had more to do with Clinton's economic situation than anything else. If national security wasn't an issue, I wouldn't cry all that hard if in 2008 a Democrat took the Oval Office while the Congress stayed Republican.

Either that, or maybe we can clone Reagan or Goldwater.

I'm not seeing much I like on either party's bench right now.

Posted by: tbrosz on February 22, 2006 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, thank you, tbrosz, for providing such a perfect example:

If you have any evidence at all that Democrats and progressives sit in coffeehouses and discuss how the government could spend less, taxes could be lowered, and the government should have less influence on our lives, please point it out.

tbrosz, there's precious little evidence that Republicans are for any of those things except lower taxes. Government spending less? Government have less power over our lives? Puh-leaze. And, of course, absent offsetting spending cuts, all lower taxes do is shift the debt burden to future generations.

It really is all about the tax cuts for you, tbrosz, isn't it? Spare us the libertarian pose, tbrosz. Your constant water carrying for the GOP renders it, as hahah said, a pathetic joke.

Posted by: Gregory on February 22, 2006 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, why don't the Democrats pick "clean elections" as a major campaign issue? If nothing else, it would separate the real reformers among incumbents from those who like things just the way they are.

Posted by: tbrosz on February 22, 2006 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

Name me one 'pro-life' organization that promotes contraception and sex ed in schools.

Exactly, when you get down to it, the same "pro-life" zealots also want to actively prevent women from educating themselves and obtaining the tools necessary to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
Less freedom for women.
Posted by: Ringo

It's about punishment. They fornicated! Maybe. And therefor these women are sinners and deserve to suffer, right?

Left reality behind on the clubhouse turn and haven't looked back.

Makes as much sense as the refusal to allow condoms as the proven frontline defense against AIDS, which these nutjobs also sign off on.

"Abstinence only", remember?

Posted by: CFShep on February 22, 2006 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

Patrick (you wrote)
b) The current system perverts your "sacrosanct" political speech by enshrining the richest donors with the loudest voices. Voluntary Public Financing is a proven constitutional remedy to legally remedy this social ill.

a.) yes the current system (McCain/Feingold) does pervert the system. (that envisioned by the founders in the first amendment)
b.) This social ill runs to the heart of the first amendment. This amendment attempt to guarantee the RIGHT to speak NOT the ability to be heard.
Your richest donors with the loudest voices language betrays your free speech credentials. Your more concerned with a supposed equality of opinion and are willing to regulate speech to advance YOUR notion of fair speech not FREE speech.
Like I said its called a free market of ideas for a reason.
What voices are not heard sufficiently ? (in your opinion)

Posted by: Fitz on February 22, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

If you have been paying ANY attention at all to me over the past months, you would know that I have not approved in any way of the Bush administration's spending record, and the constant attempts to paint me as enthusiastic about it are getting a bit irritating.

Well, tbrosz, your record of enthusiastic support for the Bush administration in general speaks for itself, but I for one gleefully acknowledge that you admit that there is little fundamental difference between the parties in terms of spending.

My consensus is that Democrats would do no better if unrestrained, and if you've got a candidate out there pushing real fiscal responsibility, not just "raising taxes until we can pay for everything we want," please point them out.

As you point out, tbrosz, you have two choices. The Democrats, as you indicate, believe in a level of taxation that supports the current spending level. So yes, the Democrats would roll back many of the Bush tax cuts and return to the crushing tax burdens (not!) of the Clinton era.

We know you don't want to pay taxes, tbrosz. No one is insting you join the Democrats. Frankly, given your lengthy track record of menacity and poor argumentation, good riddance to you. I wouldn't want you arguing on my side even if we agreed. I'd be embarrassed.

But instead, you support, indeed enthusiastically, the deficit spending Republicans. Kvetching about the Republican spending is of no value when you persistently fail to address the fact that the GOP finances it with debt. Now, you may believe that acknowledging that uncomfortable fact may make your adamant insistence on tax cuts make you look like a real wanker, but trust me, tbrosz ol' pal -- you look like a wanker whether you acknowledge it or not. Indeed, the more so, as the fundamental dishonesty of your position shines through.

Spare us the libertarian pose and your professed lukewarm enthusiasm for the GOP bench. You've made your rep as a Bush water carrier. That your credibility is in tatters as a result is your problem, not ours.

Posted by: Gregory on February 22, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, why don't the Democrats pick "clean elections" as a major campaign issue? If nothing else, it would separate the real reformers among incumbents from those who like things just the way they are.

An excellent question. Is it for the same reason that the police don't demonstrate the utility of gun control by disarming first?

I note, though, that Kevin's post said that it was Republicans who don't like California's public financing ideas. So maybe the Dems are ready to embrace this issue, while the single-issue loonies in the CA legislature throw themselves in front of it. I hope so - that way spells long-term doom for the conservaloony party.

Posted by: craigie on February 22, 2006 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK
My consensus is [...]

tbrosz, are you just incredibly arrogant, or do you have some kind of multiple personality thing going on? Or are you an idiot doing the same kind of trying-to-use-big-words-but-failing that you've mocked fake tbrosz for? An individual can't have a consensus.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 22, 2006 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

An excellent question. Is it for the same reason that the police don't demonstrate the utility of gun control by disarming first?

(howling with glee)

Posted by: shortstop on February 22, 2006 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

If Stevens should die then it seems clear that anyone who'd been calling for him to be killed should be found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder or at least incitement to commit murder.

I wonder, would that include the ENTIRE Republican party?

Posted by: MarkH on February 22, 2006 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz: If you have been paying ANY attention at all to me over the past months, you would know that I have not approved in any way of the Bush administration's spending record, and the constant attempts to paint me as enthusiastic about it are getting a bit irritating.

You're going to have to talk louder. The five or so times you've grudgingly conceded that the current crop of Republicans spends as much as Democrats--at least three of which admissions occurred when I pushed your back against the wall--are getting drowned out by your never-ending brayings: "But the Dems! The Dems! Look over there--Clinton!" And you have yet to address the fact that your guys are compounding their spending evils by not fucking paying for it.

I hope to God you are irritated, because you're irritating the livin' daylights out of anyone with an ounce of reason.

Posted by: shortstop on February 22, 2006 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

craigie:

Is it for the same reason that the police don't demonstrate the utility of gun control by disarming first?

I have noticed that Democrats seem to be getting a lot more political utility out of standing at the sidelines and pissing on the field than in actually pushing any of their own ideas.

cmdicely:

ya got me on that one. I was fishing for "contention," and "consensus" slipped out while I was typing. Or, as Mark Twain said, maybe I just have a tapeworm.

Posted by: tbrosz on February 22, 2006 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

I have noticed that Democrats seem to be getting a lot more political utility out of standing at the sidelines and pissing on the field than in actually pushing any of their own ideas.

Ah, the sweet sound of a Republican apologist losing an argument: "But I don't hear (because my fingers are in my ears and my eyes glued to the Rush Limbaugh show) any Democratic ideas!"

Spare me.

Hey, tbrosz, here's the Democrats' idea: Financing repeated rounds of tax cuts with deficit spending is iresponsible, and we shouldn't do it.

I, and shortstop, have been after you for ages to justify your support for the GOP insistence on financing its spending with deby, and you just won't do it. And to top it off, there are your famous and multitudinous straw men, #1 on the hit parade being that the Bush critics here are rooting for failure in Iraq -- an odious insult for which you offered neither a citation nor an apology.

Why, then, should we give a damn what you claim to have "noticed" about the Democrats?

Posted by: Gregory on February 22, 2006 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

Fitz: "Your richest donors with the loudest voices language betrays your free speech credentials. Your more concerned with a supposed equality of opinion and are willing to regulate speech to advance YOUR notion of fair speech not FREE speech."

Wrong, because--for the umpteenth time--voluntary public financing does not *regulate* speech. All it does is provide an alternative opportunity for those without large heaps of cash to run for office, and an opportunity for voters to select a viable candidate who has not whored him/herself out to large donors. It does not, in any way, prevent ANYONE from spending ANY amount of money to say ANYTHING. It *does* lessen the incentive for (traditional/opting-out) candidates to raise money, but they may still do so, if they so choose, and the money they raise (and the speech they choose to purchase with it) is completely unregulated by voluntary public financing. Why can't you understand that?

Like I said its called a free market of ideas for a reason.

YOU call it a free market of ideas. I call our current system legalized bribery, constructed in such a way as to incentivize our elected leaders to execute the will of their largest donors, instead of their average votors. The very richest special interests have their way with our government's wheels of power. This is not democratic, it's oligarchic.

What voices are not heard sufficiently ? (in your opinion)

In my opinion, the voice of the average voter is heard (by our elected representative) much less frequently, and with much less impact, than the voice of the large donor.

It's the average voter's will that I wish to see more reliably represented by our elected officials. Whether that will be a conservative will or a liberal will certainly depends on the locality.

Patrick Meighan
Venice, CA

Posted by: Patrick Meighan on February 22, 2006 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

the GOP insistence on financing its spending with deby,

I'd also like to finance my spending with Deby. What's her number?

Posted by: craigie on February 22, 2006 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, count this Democrat as all for spending cuts--particularly the billions in wasteful "defense" spending, billions that have been going to Iraq and "disappeared" down some corporate crony's black hole, billions in corporate welfare.

Instead, our Republican-controlled government cuts the smallest percentage of the budget, things that help the least among us, and education loans. But I guess that's what Jesus would do.

Posted by: Ringo on February 22, 2006 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Appy polly loggies for the typo, cragie. :)

Posted by: Gregory on February 22, 2006 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

I have noticed that Democrats seem to be getting a lot more political utility out of standing at the sidelines and pissing on the field than in actually pushing any of their own ideas.

Every time I think we may be having a breakthrough moment, you regress into something like this. You put up your fantasy strawman, and then completely ignore the substance in the rest of that same post.

You just can't do it, can you? You can't get past the "Democrats are icky" stage. Oh well. Or should I say, tant pis?

Posted by: craigie on February 22, 2006 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

As long as there is political control over economic activity, the money is going to figure out a way in there. Posted by: tbrosz on February 22, 2006 at 12:16 PM

Hey Tom, any objections to economic control over political activity?

'Cause right now that's America's biggest problem and coordinating the activity of a large sum of people so that they can each donate a tiny sum to a political campaign is going to be like herding cats.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on February 22, 2006 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

Deby Does Deficits. You must be 18 to enter. Click here.

Posted by: shortstop on February 22, 2006 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

And you have yet to address the fact that your guys are compounding their spending evils by not fucking paying for it.

I hope to God you are irritated, because you're irritating the livin' daylights out of anyone with an ounce of reason.

So stand up and run with it, already. Tell the chickenshits in the Democratic Party to say that if they're elected in 2006, they will kill Bush's tax cuts, and raise taxes to cut the deficit. I'll wait.

I've noticed that people on boards like this talk real big, but that your beloved representatives in Washington are laying a bit low on these issues.

Posted by: tbrosz on February 22, 2006 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

What voices are not heard sufficiently ? (in your opinion)

Here's the thing. Most of what Congress concerns itself with involves shoving money at corporations, one way or another.

Yet strangely, corporations do not get to vote (though a few more years of these guys, and I bet that changes).

So how do we explain this apparent anomaly, hmmm? What could it be that gives these non-voting entities all this political power? I can't imagine...

Posted by: craigie on February 22, 2006 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

Deby Does Deficits. You must be 18 to enter. Click here.

Hee!

or...

Bwa!

Posted by: craigie on February 22, 2006 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

No, craigie, he can't get past it. That synapse just doesn't fire.

Call it Post-Realization That His Guy's No Conservative Stress Disorder...he's completely blocked out all knowledge and acknowledgment. And convincing himself that his is actually a worldly political cynicism rather than a preschool-level denial is what lets him get up in the morning.

Posted by: shortstop on February 22, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Yet strangely, corporations do not get to vote (though a few more years of these guys, and I bet that changes).

I heard McConnell's got a plan to count each corporate employee as 2/3 of a vote. The corporation itself, of course, will be the one handling the actual voting.

Posted by: shortstop on February 22, 2006 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

I've noticed that people on boards like this talk real big, but that your beloved representatives in Washington are laying a bit low on these issues.

And you talked real big, tbrosz, about your libertarian pose, and yet support a Republican party that adheres to your libertarian pose in exactly one regard -- tax cuts. Which, of course, are financed with deficit spending, especially in light of the Bush Administration's increases in spending entirely apart from the so-called war on terror.

And yet you don't talk real big -- despite numerous challenges -- about how you justify your support of Republican deficit spending.

Nice try at changing the subject, tbrosz, but your characterizations of Democrats -- which, as I've said, are hardly worth considering -- utterly fail to distract from the criticism of your support of the GOP that you've utterly failed to address.

Like craigie said, you just start kvetching about the Democrats to justify your sopport of the GOP. Pretty lame, tbrosz.

Posted by: Gregory on February 22, 2006 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and tbrosz? I'll certainly grant that, although the Democratic opposition to making Bush's tax cuts permanent is already a matter of record, you're correct to identify the issue as fraught with political baggage.

But then, it's anti-tax zealouts like you -- people like you who pretend the GOP maxing out hte nation's credit cards is just hunky-dory -- who make it fraught with political baggage, isn't it? Shame on you.

Posted by: Gregory on February 22, 2006 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

convincing himself that his is actually a worldly political cynicism rather than a preschool-level denial is what lets him get up in the morning

Absofreakinlutely brilliant!

Posted by: Gregory on February 22, 2006 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK
I've noticed that people on boards like this talk real big, but that your beloved representatives in Washington are laying a bit low on these issues. Posted by: tbrosz
I have also noticed how people on this board talk small government, anti-big program giveaways, and security, yet their representatives in Washington don't care a whit about those. If fact, they do the exact opposite and the RepubliConTarian spokespersons here still sing hosannas to them. Posted by: Mike on February 22, 2006 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

"No to Uterus Regulation"

Wonderful sound bite, I think.

Posted by: Renate on February 22, 2006 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

I'm gonna stay out of the tbrosz-hypocrisy bashing, since it's being so admirably handled, and pipe up with a second for Pale Rider's recommendation of the Edmund Morris biographies of Teddy Roosevelt.

The first one in particular (The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt) is a fantastic read as well as generally informational; it very deservedly won the Pulitzer. It's also very easy to recommend, because the opening chapter is one of the best literary hooks I have ever seen.

Pick it up in the bookstore. If the first five pages don't have you wanting to read more, I'll eat my hat.

Posted by: S Ra on February 22, 2006 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

I'd like to point out Tom that under Clinton the size and spending of the Federal government did go down.

So there was one Democrat who walked the walk.

I had a non-partisan link for this info, but it got buried in Google junk so I'll have to post it later when I get home.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on February 22, 2006 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

I'm gonna stay out of the tbrosz-hypocrisy bashing, since it's being so admirably handled, and pipe up with a second for Pale Rider's recommendation of the Edmund Morris biographies of Teddy Roosevelt.

Thirded. And don't eat your hat, S Ra--you'll need it on San Juan Hill!

Posted by: shortstop on February 22, 2006 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

P.S. Thanks, Gregory.

Posted by: shortstop on February 22, 2006 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

GEORGIAHOO....."around" conception?

We can't be imprecise here.
The AMA defines pregnancy as starting with implantation in the lining of the uterus.

Did you know that about %50 of a womans fertilized eggs get flushed out during the monthly cycle? are they all LIVES??

A fertilized egg needs a host to feed off of. Just science. It is not a separate life and most of the time, it is not going to end in a live birth.

Having been in the IVF game for a few years, I know the science.

Life begins at fertilization laws are the most slippery sloap.

Posted by: lilybart on February 22, 2006 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

Hank said it best way up the thread- if pro-lifers really believed that life begins at conception they'd try to ban IVF, too. All those poor babies trapped in ice for all of eternity, doomed because someone wanted children and couldn't accept god's will that they be childless.

Oddly enough, I don't see that being a real popular stance, since those people seem to think god's will is for them to spend countless thousands of dollars and hundreds of hapless eggs to get a kid.

I think that uterus control is as accurate as it can get. Heaven forbid women have the right to decide if they go through a life-altering and potentially fatal pregnancy, even if they are expected to be able to decide everything about the kid once it's emerged from the birth canal.

Posted by: winna on February 22, 2006 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly