Keyword: Democrats (page 2)

More Federal Funding Goes to Abstinence-Only Email Print

By Tyler LePard


Despite repeated scientific proof that abstinence-only programs don't work, the Administration on Children and Families (ACF) and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB)--program offices of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)--recently announced a grant to the Medical Institute for Sexual Health to develop online abstinence training programs. This $207,400 grant qualifies as technical assistance from the Abstinence Education Division of FYSB in order to integrate "medical and scientific information into abstinence education programming."

   

According to their website, the Medical Institute for Sexual Health (MI) is a credible scientific organization interested in public health:

 

"MI was founded to confront the global epidemics of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). We identify and evaluate scientific information on sexual health and promote healthy sexual decisions and behaviors by communicating credible scientific information."

 

However, their focus on abstinence, to the exclusion of important health aspects of comprehensive sex ed shows, that they value ideology over sound public health. The Medical Institute plays up the failure rate of contraception and opposes mandating the HPV vaccine (despite acknowledging HPV as the most common sexually transmitted infection).  Additionally, SIECUS (Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States) features the Medical Institute in their National Opponents of Comprehensive Sexuality.

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These are Days You'll Remember -- Open Letter to VP Gore Email Print

Dear Vice President Gore,

Fifteen years ago "10,000 Maniacs" blessed the world with their classic, "These are Days". The song began:

These are days you'll remember. Never before and never since, I promise, will the whole world be warm as this.

And as you feel it, you'll know it's true that you are blessed and lucky...


The song continues
, counting the wonders and miracles of life -- of this precious time we have on Earth.

Now, we are struck with yet another group of maniacs promising us days that we'll remember. Only this time, they reside in the White House and in the halls of the punditocracy. And, unfortunately, we'll be remembering these days not for their 'wonder and warmth' but rather for their descent into corruption and chaos.

As you might have noticed, we live in pivotal times. As Americans, we've been hornswaggled into believing that our votes are counted, our wars are just, our science is fuzzy, our leaders are moral, and our media is capable. Now most all of us know better so the bliss of ignorance is lost.

And beneath the veil of Fox-fed infotainment obscurity is a painful truth -- that we have allowed ourselves as a society to be drugged into a fearful state of subordinate acceptance. Sometimes I feel our collective brain has deflated to mush. And I'm forced to contemplate the horrors that our children might one day face as a result of our collective cowardice, ignorance and self-righteousness. What did they do to deserve this?

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Speaker Pelosi: Superwoman Email Print

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is Superwoman!!

The 110th congress has yet to convene but Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi has already lowered the hammer, given the opposition their walking papers, and outlined the plan to pound through the Democrats '100 Hour' agenda.

Speaker Pelosi said House Republicans will "be given only one chance to amend or debate a plan to curb oil and gas subsidies and other Democratic priorities." Legislation "cutting subsidies to oil and gas producers is one of Democrats' top six priorities for their first 100 hours in power. Pelosi said Thursday that the oil and gas legislation along with bills cutting student loan interest rates and requiring the government to negotiate prescription drug prices for Medicare would not go through the normal legislative process."

And for those of you who might find outrage in Speaker Pelosi's decision to forego 'normal legislative process' I can only say that Republicans set the precedent for creative use of majority power to castrate the minority opposition. So if you don't like it, too damn bad. Now is not the time to roll over to the deposed dictators and share warm fuzzies.

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The Seduction of Political Inertia Email Print

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The topic below was originally posted in my blog the
Intrepid Liberal Journal.

Democratic Party strategists must be salivating. An ABC News-Washington Post survey reports 8 out of 10 Americans favor changing the U.S. mission in Iraq from direct combat to training Iraqi troops and significant majorities prefer withdrawing nearly all troops by 2008. The ABC/WAPO Survey also indicates increased support for diplomatic initiatives with Iran and Syria.

Since the Bush Administration has opted to essentially reject the Iraq Study Group's bipartisan recommendations, Democrats have received an early Christmas present: they can embrace the report to appear responsible and allow Iraq to continue dragging down the Republican Party heading into 2008.

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Media Couldn't Wait to Pounce on Pelosi Email Print

Okay, so Pelosi put herself in the line of fire when she decided to make very public her campaign to make John Murtha her second in charge.

Some say her act was a sign of courage. She took a solid position on what she thought was best and she stuck with it through to the very end -- no apologies, no excuses. That's what leaders do. Of course they can't win every battle.

Others, including the mainstream media and conservative bloggers, have pointed out that Hoyer's win was a 'devastating' defeat for Pelosi -- one that might set the stage for Democratic infighting or serve as a hobbling message to Speaker Pelosi. Clearly this is the easiest tack for media outlets to take. It's simply more exciting to the average reader to hear about such drama. That Pelosi has 'great leadership skills' would seem far less interesting for the majority of the consuming public.

So off they ago...

The AP notes Pelosi's own election is being largely "overshadowed by Murtha's defeat,"

The USA Today says "the next speaker of the House lost her first test Thursday."

Dana Milbank writes in the Washington Post that Pelosi "experienced her first smackdown." It "should have been a coronation," but "instead, her party...plunged into fratricide."

The Los Angeles Times wrote "Pelosi's Early Setback Has Her Party On Alert," and says Democrats "gave Pelosi a brusque lesson in the limits of her power." Hoyer "didn't merely defeat Murtha, Pelosi's strong preference, but trounced him."

On the CBS Evening News, Bob Schieffer said the Murtha-Hoyer debate "has raised real questions about [Pelosi's] judgment."

The Washington Post says the vote "was viewed by many in the party as a repudiation of Pelosi's strong-arm tactics."

The Baltimore Sun reports California Rep. Maxine Waters, "a Hoyer supporter, said Pelosi's campaign...had raised serious questions within the party. 'What most people didn't understand was the why's of it all,' Waters said."

And the New York Times notes "some supporters of Mr. Murtha...were disgruntled and said they were trying to identify lawmakers who had broken pledges to support him. 'We won't trust them on issues like this the next time,' said Representative James P. Moran, a Murtha ally from Virginia who said Mr. Murtha had been betrayed."

Perhaps next time, Speaker Pelosi will deal with such internal matters more subtly and behind closed doors as much as possible. After all, she had relatively little to gain and much to lose from making this such an unnecessarily public debate.

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Steny Hoyer IN -- John Murtha OUT!! Email Print

I think I'm going to be sick.

Today, both Devilstower and Larry O'Donnell let rip with a scathing criticism of a potential Jack Murtha House majority leadership position -- seemingly in reaction to a Washington Post Article endorsing Hoyer as House majority leader in lieu of the ethically 'questionable' Murtha.

I would like to reiterate the absolute importance of Pelosi's and the Democrats' exclusion of such questionable figures from leadership positions. Murtha has no business representing Democrats -- a party that has rightly adopted a "culture of integrity" -- one that intends to "Drain the swamp" of congressional corruption.

Pelosi should know better.

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To Hell with Centrism: We Must Reclaim the Inspired Edge Email Print

It was leftist outsiders -- not reasonable, accommodating liberals -- who were right about the disastrous consequences that would befall an invasion of Iraq; as we were and remain right in our revulsion to the fascistic fraud that is the Patriot Act and the War on Terror.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act".  
--George Orwell

"I don't want to be part of your revolution if I can't dance."
--Emma Goldman

Rumsfeld is gone. Mehlman is gone. Delay is gone. Yet -- let's not have our progressives' version of a strutting on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier moment. Because mission has not been accomplished.

For those who haven't noticed: While we were busy with other concerns, many of our rights and liberties went missing. Moreover, along with them, have went or are going fast: our planet's polar ice caps; accountability of the corporate sector (our nation's true power brokers); as well as, a sense of place, history, and even a cursory understanding, among a large percent of the populace of the US, of the precepts of civilization and of democratic discourse.

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To Hell with Centrism: We Must Reclaim the Inspired Edge Email Print

 It was leftist outsiders -- not reasonable, accommodating centrists -- who were right about the disastrous consequences that would befall an invasion of Iraq; as we were and remain right in our revulsion to the fascistic fraud that is the Patriot Act and the War on Terror.

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Icarus says "bipartisan," Americans say "Bye partisans!" Email Print

When you examine the data, there is only one word that accurately describes the midterm results.  The word is MANDATE.  When you look at the turnovers at the federal and state level, it wasn't even close.  Republicans got ZERO. Zip. Nada. Zilch. Nuthin. Not.A.Single.One.

55% of Americans voted against Republicans running for Congress.
59% of Americans voted against Republicans in Senate contests.
62% of Americans voted against Republicans running for governor.

Adding insult to injury, Independents broke 3 to 2 for Democratic candidates.

This thumping will leave a mark.   Bush might have avoided Icarus' fate if he had spent more time in the reality-based world.  The Decider Icarus can make all the noise he wants about bi-partisan intentions.    No one is listening.   Here's the beauty of this victory: Armed with a popular mandate that spans the nation, our job is simple.  We have to keep the Corrupt Bastards grounded in  reality.   Below the fold are a few suggestions that should help put cement shoes on the neo-cons, their apologists, shills, and cronies.

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The Second Hundred Hours Email Print

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (ah, that was fun to write) has put forward a "hundred hour plan" for the first weeks of Democratic control of the house.  During the first hundred hours, Democrats will:

  • Raise the minimum wage.

  • Put in place an ethics plan that "breaks the link" between lobbyists and legislation.  

  • Protect the nation by implementing the recommendations of the independent 9/11 Commission.

  • Eliminate the clause that prohibits the government for bargaining over drug prices.

  • Promote stem cell research.

  • Cut interest rates for student loans.

  • Roll back subsidies for oil companies.

  • Protect Social Security.

It's a good start, and if we do this, it will show not only Democrats, but Independents and Republicans that this congress puts the people first.  However, if you don't mind, Madam Speaker, I have some suggestions for the first hundred hours... and the second.

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Governorships 2006: Democrat Surge to Majority With Mandate Email Print

With all the excitement of the 'sea change' in Washington, the Democrat's incredible gains in governorships has gone largely overlooked. This is particularly important, since 1) Governors usually provide a political and fundraising infrastructure and an electoral advantage to it's party in that state, and 2) Over the last 50 years, Governorships have proven the most reliable pool of potential - and eventually successful - presidential candidates for both parties.

This cycle, Democrats took a majority of the governorships in the nation for the first time in 12 years, taking six seats from Republicans - including one incumbent Republican (MD) and five seats left open by outgoing Republicans:

Maryland: Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley defeated Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R) 53%-46%

New York: Attorney General Eliot Spitzer (D) defeated John Faso (R) 69%-29%, taking a seat long held by Republican George Pataki.

Ohio: Rep. Ted Strickland (D) crushed Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell (R), winning 60%-37%.

Massachusetts: Deval Patrick (D) handed defeat to Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey (R) 56%-35% to capture the job being vacated by Gov. Mitt Romney (R)

Arkansas: Attorney General Mike Beebe (D) defeated Asa Hutchinson (R) 55%-41%.

Colorado: Bill Ritter (D) defeated Rep. Bob Beauprez (R) 56%-41%

Though Republicans had the governorship of Iowa, Oregon, Wisconsin, and Michigan in their crosshairs, Democrats were able to hold on to every one.

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House 2006: Democrats Gain Majority and Mandate Email Print

Democrats "won control of the House early Wednesday after a dozen years of Republican rule in a resounding repudiation of a war, a president and a scandal-scarred Congress. ... By early Wednesday, Democrats had won 227 seats, enough for control, and were leading for another 6, which would give them 233. Republicans, who hold 229 seats in the current House, won 186 and were leading in another 16, which would give them 202."

Further, "By early this morning, Democrats had picked up more than two dozen Republican-held House seats without losing any of their own, putting Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) into position to become the nation's first female speaker."

More importantly, the Democrats' "victory in the House - overcoming a legendarily efficient White House political machine - represented a dramatic turnaround in the fortunes of the party and signaled a sea change in the political dynamics in Washington after a dozen years in which Republicans controlled Congress for all but a brief period."

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Senate 2006: Democrat Majority Hinges on MT, VA Email Print

Democrats "captured four of the six Republican-held seats they needed to take control of the Senate, winning critical contests in Ohio, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Missouri, and inched closer Wednesday to erasing the GOP's majority." Democrats also "mounted challenges for two remaining Republican-held seats in Virginia and Montana -- and were ahead in both. But in Virginia, Democratic challenger James Webb's lead over Republican incumbent George Allen was razor thin and a recount was likely." Both parties "dispatched lawyers to Virginia to tally uncounted absentee ballots Wednesday, as well as canvass votes counted on Election Day."

With 99.75% of precincts reporting, Webb had 49.58 percent of the vote to Allen's 49.22 percent -- representing about 8,350 votes. In the wee hours of the morning, Democrat Jim Webb declared victory, "...the votes are in and we won." Allen, however, "had no plans to concede, and reminded supporters gathered for him here in Richmond that he has won close elections before. 'The first time I ever won an election...it was 18 votes. We had to have a recount,' Mr. Allen said."

In Montana, Democratic challenger Jon Tester leads Republican incumbent Conrad Burns 49.12% to 48.33% with 90% of precincts reporting.

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Tradesports Predicting Democrats Take the Senate Email Print

Online wagering powerhouse, Tradesports.com, is predicting that Democrats take the Senate -- sort of. Read on for an explanation.

Below are the battleground Senate races with the % chance (as determined by the trading activity at Tradesports.com) of the listed party winning that race. (Note, these are not scientific polls and are provided purely for entertainment purposes.)

As of 2:15 PM EST, Tradesports is predicting Dem pickups in PA, OH, VA, MO, MT, and RI with NO GOP Pickups. That would give Democrats control of the Senate. Ironically, the same site is giving a GOP controlled senate a nearly 70% likelihood. The difference likely reflects the idea that, though even if the percent chance given to each individual race is accurate, the probability of ALL of those taking place as predicted is far lower. Thus, the prediction for the Senate at large going to the Democrats is less than the individual race predictions would suggest.

That said, I still think the two sets of data are not entirely in synch, but whatever, this is just for fun anyway.

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Generic Ballot Polls: Democrats Surge 16.5 Points Past Republicans Email Print

Just as Republicans were preparing their talking points to tout a tightening of the so-called 'generic ballot' (a poll that aims to determine the electorates' general preference for party control), along comes a spider.

Over the weekend, the GOP was smiling about polls from Pew and ABC that showed a Democratic lead over the Republicans of only 4% and 6% respectively - But that picture has changed dramatically.

From Politicalwire:

  • The latest Fox News poll gives Democrats an edge on the generic congressional ballot, where they lead Republicans, 49 percent to 36 percent. The survey also showed Democrats were more excited about the elections, and more motivated to vote, than their Republican counterparts. "More Democrats (37% ) than Republicans (26%) say they are extremely interested in tomorrow's elections, and more Democrats (89%) than Republicans (81%) say they plan to vote for their party's candidate in their district."

  • CNN's final national poll before the elections shows President Bush's approval rating dipping to 35 percent and Democrats leading Republicans on the generic congressional ballot, 58 percent to 38 percent.

The average of these two polls gives Democrats a massive 16.5 point advantage over Republicans with just hours until the voting booths open.

VOTE!!!

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