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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

AP Parrots GOP Malapropism 

It seems like I constantly have to correct AP's usage.
"Democrat" is a noun, not an adjective:
In the general election, Democrat Nick Lampson is the Democrat candidate, and Republicans have thrown their support behind Houston city councilwoman Shelley Sekula-Gibbs as a write-in candidate after the courts refused DeLay's efforts to remove his name from the ballot. (Emphasis added.)
And it's redundant for good measure. Nice work AP.

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Presumed Ignorant 

One more data point from the you're-a-father-so-you-must-be-stupid files: Yesterday, I took younger son to a medical specialist, and the nurse came in to the examining room and said, "Oh!", like she'd forgotten something, and then gave me a clipboard and said "It's a medical history form. Mothers are better at filling these out, but just do the best you can." Other than that, she seemed capable and pleasant, but what was the point of that?

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Friday Dog Blogging -- AP Edition 

Note to the Associated Press: It is correct usage of the word "dog" to refer to this:



This is not correct usage of the word "dog":
Corruption dogs both parties this year
By LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writer Thu Aug 24, 1:43 AM ET

NEW PHILADELPHIA, Ohio - Bemoaning a "culture of corruption" in the Republican Party, Democrats are convinced they have a winning election-year issue. The GOP claims it's a wash....

That lede basically summarizes the tenor of the article -- A lot of Republicans have corruption problems, Democrats say Republican corruption will hurt Republicans, and Republicans say it won't. Only three paragraphs out of 29, all near the bottom, mention allegations of corruption against Democrats, and one of those is the conclusory assertion of a Republican pollster that "both Republicans and Democrats could be held accountable for corruption woes as lawmakers in both parties stand accused".

So how does the AP turn Sidoti's article, which is a basically fair portrayal of reality, into a headline that grossly distorts reality by implying that both parties are equally troubled by corruption?

Doggone it if I know.

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Partial Hooray 

Mary alerts me that the FDA has approved Plan B for sale without as prescription to women over 18, though it persists in the unjustifiable position of requiring a prescription for women under 18 (which not only burdens them, but also burdens women over 18, who will be forced to show ID to buy the EC). Interesting is the CYA language in the FDA's press release, attempting to put a non-partisan spin on the fact that this approval has been held up because the Administration is captive to religious zealots:
Today's action concludes an extensive process that included obtaining expert advice from a joint meeting of two FDA advisory committees and providing an opportunity for public comment on issues regarding the scientific and policy questions associated with the application to switch Plan B to OTC use. Duramed's application raised novel issues regarding simultaneously marketing both prescription and non-prescription Plan B for emergency contraception, but for different populations, in a single package.

The agency remains committed to a careful and rigorous scientific process for resolving novel issues in order to fulfill its responsibility to protect the health of all Americans.
Uh huh.

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(Partial) Happy News on Plan B 

From the press release:
FDA Approves Over-the-Counter Access for Plan B for Women 18 and Older; Prescription Remains Required for Those 17 and Under
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced approval of Plan B, a contraceptive drug, as an over-the-counter (OTC) option for women aged 18 and older. Plan B is often referred to as emergency contraception or the "morning after pill." It contains an ingredient used in prescription birth control pills--only in the case of Plan B, each pill contains a higher dose and the product has a different dosing regimen. Like other birth control pills, Plan B has been available to all women as a prescription drug. When used as directed, Plan B effectively and safely prevents pregnancy. Plan B will remain available as a prescription-only product for women age 17 and under.
It's a shame they had to limit it to 18 and over, but it's better than nothing.

For more information, you can go to the FDA site.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Saint's Clay Feet, Part II 

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court today upheld an order requiring Ralph Nader and his 2004 running mate Peter Camejo to pay over $80,000 in costs for their unsuccessful challenge to their disqualification from the Pennsylvania ballot.

Justice Newman's majority opinion* is an absolutely devastating condemnation of Nader's unrepentantly fraudulent conduct. She first describes the "monumental" effort required by Nader's ballot petition -- twelve judges worked full time, including nights and weekends, to review Nader's petition line by line, with all other court business suspended -- and the massive fraud uncovered (Op. at 4-5). Nearly two thirds of Nader's signatures were struck. The trial court's findings, block quoted in boldface by Justice Newman, included the following:
[T]his signature gathering process was the most deceitful and fraudulent exercise ever perpetrated upon this Court. The conduct of the [Appellants] through their representatives (not their attorneys) shocks the conscience of the Court. (Op. at 5-6.)
Unsurprisingly, Nader's and Camejo's response to this damning finding was to "adhere to their position of victimization and blamelessness" (Op. at 11), a position that the Supreme Court thoroughly rejected:
Appellents are incorrect on all points....

Appellants demonstrate their continuing state of denial regarding the findings of the Commonwealth Court that "[t]he conduct of the Candidates, through their representatives (not their attorneys) shocks the conscience of the Court."...

Given the magnitude of the fraud and deceit implicated in Appellants' signature-gathering efforts, their claim that the Commonwealth Court acted in an unjust and unconstitutional fashion by assessing transcription and stenography costs does not pass the straight-face test. (Op. at 11, 14, 15.)
Massive fraud and deceit, obliviousness to the enormous burdens he imposes on the public, a state of denial, and self-righteous invocation of laughable arguments -- sounds like Newman has Nader's number. One hopes the press will start catching on as well....

*The opinion was joined by five of the seven justices. One of the other two would have imposed a lower amount of costs while the other would have imposed none. Neither questioned the underlying findings of Nader's fraud.


Related Post: The Saint's Clay Feet

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Choice Words 



From the BBC, Chicago chefs are organizing against the city's new foie gras ban. What is annoying is that they are coopting the language of choice:
Head chef Didier Durand described the ban as "unfair".

"I have been cooking for 30 years and I feel offended that the city council, not the mayor of Chicago, but the city council took the foie gras away from my hands," he said....

Mr Durand has set up Chicago Chefs for Choice, which - along with the Illinois Restaurant Association - will file a lawsuit in an attempt to stop the law, passed by the city council in April this year. ...

Colleen McShane, president of the Illinois Restaurant Association, said the ban was taking away freedom of choice.

"We want to send the city council a strong message, saying when they start to come into our kitchens and mess around with our recipes and menus, we're talking about taste and we're talking about rights and we're talking about freedom of choice."
(Emphasis added; see also BBC caption above.)

I'm sorry, but the choice to decide what to do with one's own body is not the same as the choice to force feed a bird for weeks to make its liver swell to ten times its normal size.

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

It's Official 

Orrin Hatch is on record regurgitating the Republican talking point, previously espoused by Dick Cheney and Joe Lieberman, that a vote for the Democrats is a vote for the terrorists. There can be no doubt now that this shameless and false line of argument will be the Swift Boat of 2006, central to the GOP's effort to avoid electoral disaster in November.

The Dems must respond quickly and forcefully -- and in one voice. The responses are obvious, but bear repeating:

1. Our failures in Iraq have emboldened the terrorists while inspiring others to join their ranks.

2. Whether because of the distraction of Iraq, the need for ever larger tax cuts for the wealthy, or Bush's general lack of seriousness about fighting terrorism, homeland security (including aviation, ports, rail) has been seriously underfunded, and our initial success Afghanistan is rapidly slipping away.

3. When Osama Bin Laden was cornered in Tora Bora, Bush left capturing him to undertrained and underfunded Afghanis. For a man who's had no hesitation putting American soldiers in harm's way, the reluctance to use American soldiers for this critical mission is inexplicable.

4. Bush put Michael Brown in charge of FEMA.

5. Bush is putting our ports under control of the United Arab Emirates.

6. The Gore Commission warned of the dangers of terrorism in 1997, but the GOP Congress refused to act.

7. President Clinton warned incoming President Bush of the dangers of al Qaeda, but Bush took no action until after September 11, famously ignoring the August 2001 PDB warning of al Qaeda's intention to attack in the United States and the "hair on fire" warnings of his own terrorism chief, Richard Clarke.

8. When Clinton attacked al Qaeda targets in 1998 in response to the embassy bombings, the GOP attacked him for "wagging the dog".

9. My Pet Goat.

And on, and on. The idea that the Republicans are better at fighting terrorism is an absolute joke, and a sick joke at that.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Joe's Jewish Problem 

Josh Marshall links to this deeply offensive Newsweek article by Rabbi Marc Gellman:
My disappointment is with my people. I simply do not understand why so many Jews bailed on Joe. I cannot understand why Joe's percentage of the Jewish vote was not in the high 90s instead of the 54-57 percent range (according to Lieberman’s campaign). I have opinions on way too many things I don't know nearly enough about, but I know about Jews. I am a professional Jew, and yet if you asked me to explain why Jews did not vote for Joe the way blacks voted for Barack Obama or Catholics voted for John F. Kennedy I would not know what to tell you....

[Miscellaneous Bush-Lieberman talking points omitted for brevity.]

There are and have always been only two kinds of Jews: tribal Jews and cosmopolitan Jews. Tribal Jews love anything Jewish. Cosmopolitan Jews love anything but Jewish. Tribal Jews are not trying to pass, assimilate or deny their tribal roots, their attachment to Israel and their love of other Jews no matter who they are. Cosmopolitan Jews are trying to pass and assimilate and become an undifferentiated member of the majority culture. The problem with tribal Jews is that they have trouble loving non-Jews. The problem with cosmopolitan Jews is that they have trouble loving other Jews. (Emphasis added.)
It is stunning that, in support of his avowed tribalism, Gellman invokes Kennedy and Obama, both of whom thoroughly rejected such tribalism. Here's JFK:
I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end--where all men and all churches are treated as equal--where every man has the right to attend or not attend the church of his choice--where there is no Catholic vote, no anti-Catholic vote, no bloc voting of any kind--where Catholics, Protestants and Jews, at both the lay and pastoral level, will refrain from those attitudes of disdain and division which have so often marred their works in the past, and promote instead the American ideal of brotherhood. (Emphasis added.)
And here's Obama:
There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America.
That's a very different view than Lieberman's, expressed through minions like Gelman and John Droney, that Jews have some kind of obligation to vote for him no matter how poorly he performs in office.

I have no "trouble loving other Jews" -- in fact I voted (and worked) for Lieberman in 1988 -- but as an American my first loyalty is to our Nation. As the most vociferous Democratic advocate of the Iraq War, Lieberman has contributed mightily to the death of 2,600 American soldiers, the wounding of tens of thousands of others, the wasting of hundreds of billions of dollars in public money that could otherwise have gone to health care, education, homeland security, debt reduction, etc., and the emboldening of al Qaeda, Iran, Syria, Hezbollah,and North Korea.

Not coincidentally, the Bush-Lieberman foreign policy has also been an unmitigated disaster for Israel, which now finds itself with no peace process, a radicalized Palestinian population, and emboldened regional enemies. Does Gellman really believe that Israel is as secure now as it was when Clinton was President? Hell, it isn't even as secure as it was last month.

I'm sorry, Rabbi Gelman, but I can't just shrug all that off with "So he supports the war. So what?"

And don't even get me started with all the other high profile issues on which Lieberman has been wrong -- opposing the Alito filibuster, supporting the Clinton censure, speeding the Michael Brown confirmation, supporting the Terry Schiavo meddling, etc., etc.

Bottom line: Ned Lamont will be better for the Democratic Party, better for Israel, and most importantly better for the Nation -- and the votes of Jewish Connecticut Democrats reflect just that.

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