Archive

  • WHO NEEDS THE HPV VACCINE?

    WHO NEEDS THE HPV VACCINE? Merrill Goozner opposes mandatory HPV vaccination for sixth-grade girls in the U.S. He writes: By insisting that all young women get this vaccine, public health officials (the Centers for Disease Control last June endorsed universal vaccination, although its recommendations are not binding on the states, which carry out public health policy in the U.S.) are in essence saying it is impossible for the health care system to identify and treat older women who have already become infected and are at risk of getting cervical cancer. Attempting universal vaccination is NOT the same thing as saying it's impossible to treat those at risk. Sure, HPV is not likely to be deadly for upper-class women who are well insured and getting regular reproductive health care. But women who find out they have one of the strains of HPV that is likely to cause cervical cancer must return to the gynecologist multiple times a year for pap smears. Because we're talking about upper-class...
  • SIGH. There'll...

    SIGH. There'll be no live debate blogging because our TV doesn't get C-SPAN and C-SPAN's online streaming is super spotty. I bet The Weekly Standard has digital cable... --Ezra Klein
  • AWAITING THE VERDICT...

    AWAITING THE VERDICT The Scooter Libby case has gone to the jury. While waiting for the verdict, it's worth highlighting something pretty extraordinary from Fitzgerald 's closing rebuttal yesterday. Fitzgerald repeatedly raised the claim that Libby obstructed the investigation into Cheney 's role, and even seemed to suggest it might have been in coordination with Cheney. As the Washington Post put it: "He [Fitzgerald] added that Libby's lies had 'left a cloud over the vice president' because Cheney's role in the leak remained unclear." Fitzgerald also raised the question of why it was that in the fall of 2003, when the investigation was just announced and the president had asked that anyone from the administration with information come forward, Libby shared only one relevant piece of information, out of all the relevant information he had, with one person: he told Cheney, his original source, of his purported recollection that Tim Russert was in fact his source. After seeing a...
  • EDWARDS & VARIETY....

    EDWARDS & VARIETY. Actually , I was apparently suffering from blogger dyslexia in the item below, and did not make the chronology clear. The Peter Bart article is from January 19th, referencing an event that took place even earlier in January, while the Herzliya speech was given on January 22nd, and Edwards talked to Ezra on February 2nd. While the appearance and circulation of this article at this time smacks of oppo research -- fair oppo research, as the month-old story had no correction -- the article itself predated any controversy about Edwards' Iran policy statements, and so whoever Bart's sources were, if they erred, did so without any intention of excerbating this particular controversy, which did not then exist. They may well have wanted to gin up some different controversy, however, which they have now done on an extremely micro-scale. In any event, I'd never have bothered posting such a contended story had I read Edwards' denial first, and have called event host Adam...
  • MORE ON TAUSCHER....

    MORE ON TAUSCHER. To add on to Atrios here , the case of Rep. Ellen Tauscher is interesting. Here's a centrist Democrat who wrested a swing seat from a rock-ribbed Republican. A couple years later, though, her seat was redistricted, becoming overwhelmingly Democratic. Her own vote totals show the shift. In 1996, she wins with 49%. In 1998 and 2000, she takes 53% of the vote. In 2002, however, she's redistricted and gets 76% . In 2004, she gets 66%. In American Congressional politics, incumbency is a huge advantage. And, as Atrios says, "[primary challenges] provide one of the very few checks on legislator behavior that the people have." Now, you could argue that Tauscher was accurately reflecting her district even a few years ago, but there's a perfectly fair case to be made that, since the redistricting, she's too conservative. Hell, she's made it: She bitterly opposed that particular redistricting for the precise reason that it would expose her record to more liberal voters. So why...
  • MORE ON TAP...

    MORE ON TAP AND THE WAR. This'll be the last time I discuss Brendan O'Neill 's column about TAP 's alleged pro-war editorial history, promise. But, re-reading this October 2002 piece written by editors Paul Starr , Robert Kuttner , and Harold Meyerson , I'm pretty damned impressed by its prescience and feel compelled to highlight some passages: ... No new information about Saddam Hussein's efforts to acquire nuclear weapons and no actions taken by Iraq seem to have precipitated this shift. The Iraqi regime has not changed since early in the Bush administration, when its great priority was building a missile defense shield, nor even since the 2000 election, when Bush said he would emphasize "humility" in foreign policy and opposed nation building. Nor has evidence been disclosed that ties Iraq to al-Qaeda or to the events of September 11. Indeed, war with Iraq is as likely to aggravate the problem of terrorism as it is to reduce it: It threatens to deflect our efforts from the struggle...
  • JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: BARRIER METHODS

    JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: BARRIER METHODS . An outdated and little-used contraceptive is being redesigned for the 21st century. The diaphragm, which (for good reason) has not been popular among American women since the advent of the birth control pill, may soon be easier-to-use and available over-the-counter -- if a group of researchers has their way. And more importantly, it could also be a tool against HIV infection in Africa. Read Beth Schwartzapfel 's report here . -- The Editors
  • OBAMA V. CLINTON....

    OBAMA V. CLINTON. After his brutal smackdown of Australia's prime minister John Howard , his evisceration of Robert Ford , and his right hook to Hillary Clinton today, it's becoming satisfyingly clear that the Obama campaign can throw a devastating counterpunch. Good for them. This shows, too, that the campaign is looking for the win, not the vice-presidential slot, as some have speculated. The real shame, though, is that amidst all this Obama-Clinton enmity, Obama is skipping today's Democratic presidential primary forum in Nevada. Everyone else will be there, though, and I'll be liveblogging it right here at Tapped. Tune in around 3 eastern for the fun. --Ezra Klein
  • Re: EDWARDS AND IRAN.

    Re: EDWARDS AND IRAN. I'm having a bit of trouble buying the Variety article Garance references below . I've heard Edwards talk about Israel dozens of times now, in response to all different sorts of audiences, and he's been vehemently pro-Israel before every single one. I've heard him talk about Iran a number more, and even conducted an interview with him on the subject, and he's again been consistently concerned about an Iranian nuclear weapon, and committed to stopping it -- often in terms I disagreed with. Add in that the Edwards campaign isn't simply disputing the context of the article, they're actually denying its accuracy. According to a press release sent out last night: "The January 19th Variety article is erroneous. Senator Edwards did not say nor does he believe that the greatest short-term threat to world peace is the possibility that Israel would bomb Iran's nuclear facilities. Senator Edwards said, as he has in the past, that Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon is one of...
  • PUTTING PRINCIPLES OVER...

    PUTTING PRINCIPLES OVER PARTY. Over at The Swampland, the Other Klein is unimpressed with efforts to primary centrist Democrat Ellen Tauscher and suggests, by way of a Robespierre reference, that such efforts will shed a lot of blood for no good reason. But recent history doesn't back Klein up. As the article relates : [Jane] Harman used to be a constant irritant, a go-to quote for reporters looking for a Democrat to tweak liberals -- until she had to fight off a primary challenge from the left in 2006. "She's been great ever since," [Kos] said. Now Harman even writes on the liberal Huffington Post blog. Kos can imagine a day when Tauscher still holds her seat but is no longer distasteful to the left. "That's what victory would look like -- a more responsive representative," he said. So when Tauscher praises Pelosi as "perfect on substance, perfect on optics," it's hard to know if that's a result of personal evolution, political trends, or blogospheric pressure, but it's music to Kos'...

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