Sunday, December 09, 2007

Rudy on MTP

Giuliani just told Tim Russert that he's opposed to mandating a 35 mpg standard for automobiles by 2020 because congress should concentrate on nuclear and hydroelectric power instead.


Saturday, December 08, 2007

Mike Huckabee - nauseating liar

In 1992, Mike Huckabee was running for the Republican US Senate seat from Arkansas when he said AIDS patients should be quarantined. Fast forward 15 years and Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is running for his party's nomination for President. And he has some splainin' to do:
Before a disease can be cured and contained we need to know exactly how and with near certainty what level of contact transmits the disease. There was still too much confusion about HIV transmission in those early years. Recall that in 1991, Kimberly Bergalis testified in front of Congress after contracting HIV from her dentist, and that summer a study was published showing that HIV was transmitted through breastmilk more easily than had been thought. But the federal government provided some guidelines: Also in 1991 the Centers for Disease Control recommended restrictions on the practice of HIV-positive health care workers.
Huckabee is lying. HIV's transmission routes and epidemiology were fairly well understood by 1985. Reagan's Surgeon General C. Everett Koop took the lead in educating the public about the nature of the disease at least four years before Huckabee misled Arkansas voters.

It is asinine for Huckabee to claim he was advocating the "same public health protocols" as used for other diseases. Somebody should ask Huckabee to name a single disease where public health policy calls for quarantining victims. By 1992, it was well known that quarantines would have done little to stem the AIDS epidemic, since a person can carry the virus for years without showing symptoms.

But Huckabee wasn't concerned about public health policy in 1992 - he just wanted to appeal to his base's prejudice against people living with HIV/AIDS and those at risk for it.

Anti-evolution. Pro abstinence-only sex ed. Scientific illiterate. Yep, Republicans are going to love this guy.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The shadow candidate

Does every Massachusetts politician think he's the ghost of JFK? Is there something in the water in the Bay State? Willard Romney (and stop calling him Mitt, everyone) spoke directly to undecided Iowa Republicans today to put them at ease about his Mormon faith. Unfortunately for Willard, the rest of the country was watching when he said this:
We separate church and state affairs in this country, and for good reason. No religion should dictate to the state nor should the state interfere with the free practice of religion. But in recent years, the notion of the separation of church and state has been taken by some well beyond its original meaning. They seek to remove from the public domain any acknowledgment of God. Religion is seen as merely a private affair with no place in public life. It's as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America - the religion of secularism. They are wrong.
What utter hogwash. Willard Romney is selling two contradictory ideas in the same paragraph. First, that government should not interfere with religion, and vice versa. Then, in the next breath, that government should not be afraid to embrace religion.

Because that's what behind his sweeping generality about those who "seek to remove from the public domain any acknowledgment of God." What the hell is Willard talking about? The public airwaves are filled to the brim with God talk. Church groups are free to congregate on public lands for worship, baptism, or creation science scavenger hunts. Our coins bear the words "In God We Trust", despite apocryphal emails to the contrary. But the greatest testimony to Willard's mandacity is when our public domain news media give Romney a free pass out of respect for his religious faith. No lie is big enough that the media won't scurry for cover when uttered in the shadow of the cross.

John F. Kennedy famously spoke to an assembly of Texan religious leaders during the 1960 Presidential campaign, and it was JFK's memory that Willard Romney hoped to evoke in Thursday's speech, also in Texas. But when Kennedy spoke, he made it clear there were bigger issues at play than a candidate's choice of religious faith. Romney claims just the opposite, that a candidate's faith is important, but not which religion he belongs to. You can watch JFK's speech here: