Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Facts Don't Matter for Bush

As I've often said, I find the lack of respect for facts and reason by the current administration a real embarrassment for our country.

Here is a good example of Bush's not caring about the facts. It's a little thing; it's not about the lies he's told about Iraq or about public policy or what the Constitution says or John Kerry or anything else like that. This lie is about a painting that's hanging in the White House, given to him by supporters.

The Abridged Version of the Story

A Myth to Keep - the Full Version of the Story

Thanks to NPR for reporting this story yesterday!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

In Honor of "Blog for Choice 2008"

Blog for Choice Day

I cannot think of a time when I wasn't pro-choice. Even in the '60s, when I was first learning about sex and birth control and abortion was generally illegal, having the option of an abortion in a doctor's office made sense. I couldn't understand the fuss then.

While I understand the fuss now, I do not agree with it.

Abortion rights, like other rights for women (did you know women voted legally in some areas of America in the 18th century?) always seem more tenuous. We have to continue to fight for the right for legal abortion. We have to fight for the right to get birth control, given some people's opposition to that. We need to fight for the right to an accurate, science-based education on issues of biology, sexuality and birth control. We need to elect individuals to government who comprehend the difference between science and religious-based propaganda.

While I do not believe that abortion is murder, if it is murder, it is murder in self-defense. We generally don't condemn people who kill in self-defense; to preserve one's own life. If you do believe abortion is murder, the answer is simple - don't have one. But I do not believe I have the right to make that choice for you, any more than I believe a government should make such a choice for me.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Do You Want the Constitution Huckabeed?

On January 14, 2008, former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate said (and it's on tape even):

I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution. But I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God. And that’s what we need to do is amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than trying to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view of how we treat each other and how we treat the family.

Well, great. I don't want an American Ayatollah in office. We finally got rid of Santorum; we don't need another person that out-of-touch in high office. I want people in office who have a clue about what the Establishment Clause means...and what it doesn't mean.

Jefferson and Madison would be rolling over in their graves to hear an American presidential candidate talking that way. They fought against such nonsense their entire lives.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Congressional Office of Technology Assessment Is Still Dead

Back in the '70s, when folks in the government still paid attention to scientists, the Office of Technology Assessment was founded, to help provide scientific data for governmental decision-making. The office was closed down after the "Republican Revolution" of 1994, when Gringich et. al. took over.

Now that the Democrats have control of the Congress, I'd hoped we'd see some changes. Granted, making any changes in Washington tends to be a very slow process. But one positive change the Congress could make is to re-establish the Office of Technology Assessment, and start paying attention to science in decision-making, rather than politics.

The Science Progress blog had a useful reminder about this situation.

I wrote to Speaker Pelosi and my own Representative Tim Murphy. Murphy would probably be opposed to including more science advising in decision-making since Republicans seem to be most opposed to this concept.

Hilary Clinton's Much-Needed Shot in the Arm

I thought people who wrote Hilary Clinton's presidential race obituary after her loss in Iowa were overreacting. Turns out that I was right.

While people in the media keep harping on Clinton's unelectability, she's been ahead or even in many national, head-to-head polls against likely Repulican candidates. Many of us would love to see a woman president for a change.

The sexist jerks are out in full color (as usual). I've always thought she's a good candidate and would make a very good president. On the one hand, like most politicians, she's sold out to a degree, and Obama is a more inspiring speaker. Still, she's done a surprising amount of bipartisan work in Washington, during a time of severe partisanship. She's tenacious, and she very smart. I don't count her out.

I do have a concern over the idea that it's not a good thing to have the presidency change hands between two families for many years. On the other hand, while George H. W. Bush was kind of a middling president, his son W. has been an unmitigated disaster. Hard to tell if Hilary Clinton would be better or worse than Bill. She might be better - she had much more national political experience than Bill had when he ran.

So while the idea of an Obama or an Edwards presidency doesn't horrify me, I'd prefer Clinton. As I live in Pennsylvania, I don't know if I'll get the chance to vote for he in my primary. But, I hope I do!