PAGING WILLIAM SALETAN. Shockingly enough, the "pro-life case for contraception" continues to fail dismally among actual pro-lifers, as the Missouri legislature (with the strong support of Missouri pro-life, natch) voted down restoring funding for contraception because "it would have amounted to an endorsement of promiscuous lifestyles." Which will mean more unwanted pregnancies and -- as a comparison of abortion rates in the United States with countries that permit both access to abortion and birth control will demonstrate -- more abortions.
THE INEVITABILITY INCREASING LIKELIHOOD OF ROMNEY. Last week, in the wake of Giuliani's decision to effectively end his candidacy, I speculated about who was going to replace him as the front runner. Given his fundraising and the fact that he would seem to be more appealing to both moderates and conservatives than the other remaining major candidate, Romney seemed to be far and away the favorite. This was particularly true since Romney's recent conversion to reactionary cultural positions was going to look better than Giuliani's outright repudiation of them.
THE "PORKBUSTERS" DODGE. Ramesh Ponnuru has an excellent critique of the "Porkbusters" crusade, noting that it "places an enormous amount of political energy in the service of trivial goals." As he points out, even the modest reductions in federal spending actually being claimed are largely illusory: