Friday, March 27, 2009

Absurd Hysteria Over Obama's Upcoming Commencement Address

I find the rudeness and hysteria shown by some Catholics, over the invitation by Notre Dame University to have President Obama speak at the commencent, to be hypocritical and bizarre.

According to a story today by the AP, the anger arises specifically because of a couple of Obama's policies:
his decisions to provide federal funding for embryonic stem cell research and international family planning groups that provide abortions or educate about the procedure.
It should be noted that, in both cases, those who allegedly support a 'culture of life,' are quite clear that that support only applies through conception.

How else to explain why Catholics would be angry that embryonic stem cells, harvested from fetuses from fertility clinics, which would otherwise by destroyed, might be used to ease the suffering of the living.

What other explanation can there be about being opposed to aiding family planning in over-populated countries where disease, hunger and poverty run rampant and babies can expect much shorter lifespans filled with hunger and suffering.

But then again, we are talking about a church that excommunicates the doctors and mother of a 9-year-old girl who was raped by her stepfather. In that case, if the girl was forced to give birth to the twins she was impregnated with, she would most likely not have survived....never mind the emotional destruction that would have occurred had she survived it. In that case, the rapist stepfather suffered no church sanctions, but those trying to save the girl were penalized.

We are also talking about a church whose Pope told a deliberate lie about condoms allegedly contributing to the spread of AIDS, which will result in countless new infections and death.

This is a relevant church?

I should add that not all Catholics share the views of some of their outspoken clergy and leaders. Additionally, some of those positions are shared by those of other faiths. But, lately, it seems that many in the Catholic heirarchy are seeking adherence to extremist positions to remain in good standing with the church.

Interesting that there was no furor over the selection of George W. Bush as a commencement speaker. While we did not know then what we do now, I am willing to bet that the church does not seem to have an issue with the following GOP policies:
-- pre-emptive war, and the resultant killing of innocent people
-- policies that aid the rich and increase the suffering of the poor
-- a refusal to make sure that everyone has adequate health care, insuring that many will die before their time
-- the tacit approval of torture

President Obama's policies are more likely to involve diplomacy over invasion, health care for all, a concern for the poor, and the elimination of torture.

That is just for starters.

Those that oppose Obama's upcoming commencement speech are narrow-minded and intolerant. They also only believe in life up until conception.

At that point, the baby be damned.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

What's Missing From The GOP Budget Proposal? Numbers!

The 'party of no,' with a lot of hooplah, put their cards on the table yesterday. As promised, the GOP, who had been criticized for their vehement opposition to the president's budget, without having put forth an alternative proposal, allegedly produced their own budget....19 pages, in fact.

There was just one minor problem.

The report did not contain a single number. Not even a hint of ballpark figures.

The Merriam Webster definition of 'budget' reads as follows:
A statement of the financial position of an administration for a definite period of time based on estimates of expenditures during the period and proposals for financing them.
Yes, numbers are supposed to be a part of a budget. This had none. What a fiasco.

Today, Obama Press Secretary Robert Gibbs noted that there were more pictures of windmills in the GOP proposal then there were charts with numbers. He then followed up by saying that there was only one picture of a windmill. Ouch.

Even GOP supporters in the press are scratching their heads. In his online blog, the National Review's David Freddoso noted, after receiving his copy,
I was not the only reporter in the room during the delayed press conference who had expected to see some numbers, at least ballpark. Today's press conference did not provide further details.
According to House Minority Leader John Boehner (in a perfect world, it would be pronounced Boe-ner), specific numbers would be available next week.

Maybe they started working on it today.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tammy Bruce Calls The First Lady "Trash"

I don't know about you, but I think the right-wing nutjobs are falling all over themselves, trying to be the leader that drives their followers over a cliff.

The latest entry in the 'Ann Coulter/Rush Limbaugh Hall of Shame' is Tammy Bruce. Bruce, who was filling in for the nearly-as-loathsome Laura Ingraham, on Ingraham's syndicated radio show, actually referred to Michelle Obama as "trash."

I have the audio above, so that you can listen to her entire comments in context. Bruce, like Coulter, knew exactly what she was saying when she made the following comment:
"That’s what he’s [Barack] married to....You know what we’ve got? We’ve got trash in the White House. Trash is a thing that is colorblind, it can cross all eco-socionomic, kind of a, categories. You can work on Wall Street, or you can work at the Wal-Mart. Trash, are people who use other people to get things, who patronize others, who consider you bitter and clingy."
Excuse me Ms. Bruce, did you just refer to the First lady as a "that?"

For the record, we have a First Lady who, if anything, has been charming people, both with her dedication to her family, and her willingness to show empathy and compassion towards others. Say what you will about the President's policies, in fact, disagree with his wife, if you think her policies are off-base. But, referring to her (and the entire Obama family, by extension) as "trash," is racist and offensive.

And, what exactly was it that set Bruce off? It was the fact that Michelle Obama had the honesty to talk about her past, telling a Washington D.C. classroom that others ridiculed her for "talking like a white girl" and trying to get good grades. The First Lady was encouraging kids to pursue academic excellence and this unfortunate bigot rips into her?

I can understand Tammy Bruce's frustration. You see, it's like this. Ms. Bruce really wanted to use the 'n' word, but feeling that would be too blatant, she chose another code word to define her racist feelings towards the wife of the president.

In response, I would suggest to Tammy Bruce that if she really wanted to see what real trash looks like, she need do only one thing....look in the mirror.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Pope Is Dead Wrong

On the first day of his visit to Africa, Pope Benedict XVI has come out with a statement that will cost countless thousands of people their lives. He has claimed that the use of condoms doesn't help prevent AIDS, but, in fact, helps to spread it.

As someone who has done extensive work with AIDS charities in the past, I know something about the subject. The Pope is dead wrong.

The UK's Guardian reported this about his comments:
Aids, he said, "is a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, and that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems".
This is right up there with the religious zealots who insist that there is no such thing as global warming, and believe that embryonic stem cell research is allegedly immoral and dangerous.

In those cases, such misguided positions would potentially cost lives. In this case, such spreading of ignorance will start costing lives immediately.

There is no scientific evidence to support the Pope's position. Indeed, while some condoms may break, or fail, the risk of not using condoms is far graver.

The papal answer, of course, is abstinence. We all know how well that works. To suggest that as the only answer in under-developed, third world countries, where the policy of abstinence has failed miserably, is unconscionable.

For those who suggest that the viewpoint of the Pope is always rooted in morality, I simply need to invoke 2 words...The Inquisition.

What Pope Benedict just did was to help insure that many Africans do not get the education needed to prevent the AIDS epidemic from continuing to spread. Because of such ignorance, hundreds of thousands of new infections and deaths will continue to occur.

Though some may not like to hear this, there is now blood on his hands.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Eric Cantor vs. The FrankenDem Monster

It keeps getting more and more surreal to watch the GOP in action.

On a day where the main GOP talking point was to blame President Obama for the collapse of Wall Street (as if the economic crisis began on Election Day), Rep. Eric Cantor, the 2nd-highest ranking House Republican, had the most over-the-top soundbyte of the day, on an entirely different subject.

On CNN's "State of the Union," Cantor, with a straight face mind you, had this to say about the repercussions that may occur once Obama reverses the George W. Bush ban on expanding embryonic stem cell research:
"Frankly, federal funding of embryonic stem cell research can bring on embryo harvesting, perhaps even human cloning that occurs. We don't want that. That shouldn't be done. That's wrong.""

This called to mind the 4-year-old legislation, shepherded by Senator Sam Brownback, that I blogged about back in January of 2007. Back then, when Brownback was a candidate for President. I marvelled that the GOP might consider a man who had on his resume,'The Human Chimera Prohibition Act of 2005.' A chimera, for the record, is an entity made up of more than 1 species. That act, had it passed, would have outlawed the following:
`(a) In General- It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly, in or otherwise affecting interstate commerce--
`(1) create or attempt to create a human chimera;

`(2) transfer or attempt to transfer a human embryo into a non-human womb;

`(3) transfer or attempt to transfer a non-human embryo into a human womb; or

`(4) transport or receive for any purpose a human chimera.

Yes, thanks to the good Senator, we may soon have have laws banning the creation of manimals. Dr. Moreau would have a hard time staying out of prison. I had been under the impression that the law had actually passed, but it apparently never has come up for a vote...yet.

And you thought Sarah Palin was the Neanderthal of the party?

But I digress.

Today you have Rep. Cantor speculating that allowing expansion of stem cell research would lead to Democrats stepping into their mad scientist outfits and trying to clone humans.

It makes FrankenDem sound less like the upcoming Senator from Minnesota and more like the way the GOP is trying to demonize Obama and the Democrats for seeking to cure disease.

When I saw Kantor on CNN today I was really hoping that the press would set the record straight. Nobody who is a regular viewer of Fox would ever know that the embryonic stem cells that would be used in research would be taken from embryos that were bound for the scrap heap. As was correctly explained by AP reporter Philip Elliot,
Bush and his supporters said they were defending human life; days-old embryos — typically from fertility-clinic leftovers otherwise destined to be thrown away — are destroyed for the stem cells.

So, those in the GOP would rather those embryos be thrown out, than be put to use curing disease and saving lives.

They certainly do not seem to be protesting the fertility clinics that eventually destroy those unused embryos...a bit hypocritical, don'cha think?

So much for loyalty to the late President Reagan, whose widow has been a staunch advocate for the expanded research. Alzheimer's is one of those diseases prominently mentioned as being possibly defeated through such scientific methods.

But Rep. Cantor does not stop there. He also added this, referring to the government funding such research,
"Certainly that is something that we ought to be talking about, but let's take care of business first. People are out of jobs."

We get it Mr. Kantor. How silly of the President to think that we could try to cure the economy and find a cure for fatal diseases at the same time.

I guess in a McCain administration we would have gotten to health care about 8 years.

And there are some who still question why the Grand Ol' Party has become increasingly irrelevant?

Here's my answer...the #2 House Republican is telling America to beware of Obama the cloner.

That is all you need to know.