Archive

  • Pangloss vs. Parental Notification

    By Jedmunds Jumping off of Neil’s post on parental consent laws below, which I think is essentially correct. Briefly, a child needs her parents’ permission to get a tattoo, because she doesn’t have a fundamental right to a tattoo. It’s a choice, if postponed, that isn’t going to irreparably damage the child. And before you go around giving some kid over the counter medications, you should check with her parents first, for the child’s protection with respect to adverse affects or any number of imaginable dangers. But mummy and daddy do not get to decide whether or not their daughter should spend nine-months undergoing a pregnancy and dealing with all of the awesome responsibilities that go with giving birth. Just as the government does not get to decide this for adults, mothers don’t get to decide it for their daughters. We can wring our hands as excessively as we want about it, but there’s really no better alternative. But I think we focus too much on the word “consent,” in what are...
  • A Choice and an Echo

    Posted by Nicholas Beaudrot of Electoral Math Contra Shakes , news that Senate Dems are picking themes for the 2006 election struck me as a good thing, and a sign that the quest to nationalize the elections is well underway. Shakes doesn't like four of the five topics, including retirement security, because they're Republican issues. Retirement Security ? Republican? Even before Bush started his self-immolating quest to privatize Social Security, polls showed the public trusted the Democrats to fix Social Security more than Republicans. I also disagree that "energy indepdence" is a Republican issue. As best I can tell it's dog-whistle politics for the Toyota Prius crowd. As for "economic strength", both parties try to portray their economic agenda as best suited for the public. That leaves one decidedly Republican issue -- national security -- and one decidedly Democratic issues -- health care. I do agree with Shakes that getting out in front of a specific outside-the-box issue, such...
  • What’s Their Plan?

    Shakes here… As the midterms draw ever nearer, Bush’s poll numbers are sinking like a snitch with cement blocked feet, providing the Dems with an opportunity to make some headway come election time. The electorate, however, still doesn’t seem entirely convinced that the Dems are the solution to their problems, and we routinely hear that the Dems lack a cohesive message. So what’s their plan? Via Political Wire , we find that "Senate Democrats have come up with five issue areas that candidates will focus on in the 2006 races." The issues: National security, energy independence, economic strength, retirement security and health care. I like health care as an issue. The reason I like it is because it’s firmly a progressive issue. Even though Bush passed his idiotic, corporate-welfare Medicaid reform bill, I sincerely doubt there’s anyone with two brain cells still knocking around between their ears who believes it was illustrative of a GOP determination to solve the health care crisis in...
  • Know Thine Enemy

    Posted by Nicholas Beaudrot of Electoral Math The New Republic has an absolutely riveting account [registration and/or subscription required?] of this year's College Republican National Convention. For the first time in ages, there was a vigorous contest for the chairmanship, a 2-year, $75,000 a year salaried position (in contrast, the chair of the College Democrats is unpaid). Franklin Foer details the convention fight for the nomination, which a sort of X-treme retail politics you won't find anywhere else. This article should be a wake-up call to anyone who thinks Democrats do enough youth outreach (while 2004 was an improvement over 2000, white voters under thirty still went for Bush by a 54-46 margin ), put to rest any notion that Republicans don't have problems with infighting and pettiness, and remind everyone that winning elections has to come first. I don't say this often, but read the whole thing . And if the article is subscription only, order the single issue online, or...
  • Raffy Update: The Bush League Rat Strikes Again

    By Dr. Pepper of the Daily Pepper Back on August 2, I had a lot of fun comparing the fortunes of George Bush to those of his favorite baseball player : Rafael Palmeiro. Bush had won reelection (still hard to say those words) on an ad campaign that emphasized his physical fitness. Slate.com could even plausibly attribute his sucesses to the benefits of steroids , beginning with the high profit margins involved in signing a disproportionately large number of chemically assisted sluggers to the Rangers during his tenure as face of the organization. Not that the Rangers ever succeeded at winning anything, but home runs sold tickets, and selling the ducats makes you buckets o' cash . Now, as we noted a couple of days ago, Bush has gone from meathead to hooch hound. And just like the local wino who wags his finger at everyone else rather than deal with his own addiction, the good old boy has been trying to find scapegoats for his own absolute incompetence, whether it's friend-turned-fall...
  • Ode to Eastern

    By Ezra I love Eastern Standard Time. Love it. Back in the day*, I always forced myself to begin posting by 9am, now that same ethic lets me sleep till twelve. Back in the day, I had to get up fairly early on weekends to write, now, I can wait till the early afternoon and still beat my old hour. Back in the day, there was little incentive to post after 4pm, everyone save my Pacific Timers had already left work. Now? You folks don't leave till I do. It's really beautiful. Tears to my eye and so forth. Nevertheless, time zones haven't made much sense to me, so I looked into them a bit. Apparently, we all used to grunt and tell time by the Sun God, a method that got fairly confusing with the introduction of railroads and telecommunications and whatnot, because time differed not only across vast distances, but from town to town. So a bunch of eager bean counters decided to impose an imperial cartography scheme upon the indigenous village folk, who calmly accepted their fate. Thus, time...
  • Abortions, Tattoos, and the Futures of Girls

    By Neil the Ethical Werewolf Defenders of parental consent laws often compare abortion to tattooing, ear piercing, or any of the medical procedures for which many states require parental consent. They claim that if we require parental consent for a girl to get a tattoo, we should also require parental consent for an abortion. What I’m going to show here is that our reasons for requiring parental consent for tattoos are absent in the case of abortion. If you believe that an adult woman has a right to an abortion, you should believe that a teenage girl has that right as well, even if her parents say otherwise.
  • Rocking Out to Global Warming

    Eugene Robinson is trying too hard: Since the sky seems too angry to have a civil conversation, let's seek answers in science and poetry. In two newly published studies, climatologists use graphs, formulas and carefully hedged sentences to explain how the interlocking phenomena that non-scientists call "global warming" may be turning little nuisance hurricanes into Katrina-style killers. And as for poetry, the party-hearty rapper Nelly (I use a broad definition of poetry) issued his warning years ago: "It's gettin' hot in heerrre. . ." Somehow I doubt there's a Nelly playlist on George W. Bush's iPod, so I'll stick to the science -- and hope some of this penetrates the president's adamantine resistance to inconvenient facts. Look, I know climate science can be a bit boring, but that's no excuse for such a gratuitous and unnecessary Nelly reference. Hell, Nelly's no longer even popular; so far as I can tell, he long ago packed up his band-aid and went home. And even if he hadn't, we've...
  • I Heart Huckabee

    This is fairly interesting. Via advertiser AltWeeklies, the Arkansas Times has an article on Mike Huckabee. It's a dirty laundry piece, but some of it seems well able to stick, particularly the Dumond story, which strikes as Willie Horton but with an element of Clinton paranoia: Another issue sure to come up if Huckabee contends for national office is his involvement in the 1999 parole of rapist Wayne Dumond, who went on to murder a woman in Missouri. A 2002 cover story in the Arkansas Times detailed Huckabee’s personal intervention in the Post Prison Transfer Board’s deliberations about Dumond’s release. Huckabee supported Dumond after being influenced by conservative activists who said Dumond got a raw deal because his victim was a distant cousin of Bill Clinton. I always knew they'd pin a killing on Clinton, I just didn't know the causal factor would be that their hatred for him had become so great they'd begun pardoning rapists whose victims were connected to the family. Huckabee'...
  • Big Media Me

    Over at Tapped, my first post is up. I probably won't be linking to many of these as about half my output is going to move over there, but the inaugural is a special occasion -- I want fruit baskets. Anyway, the piece is on the Hispanic electorate's resistance to tokenism, and since I know you're all salivating over that subject, off you go .

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