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Oh, that John McCain. Adorable and straight shooting. A war hero, too, and that's for real. But so is his noteworthy ignorance on issues of war and peace (it's kinda important to know the difference between Shi'a and Sunni in Iraq when you're supposed to be a foreign policy "expert".) The idea that it's okay because many Americans don't know the difference, as suggested by the adoring McCain press defenders, is scary because we know that'll be the attitude when we get into questions about science.

Science? Start with an appearance by McCain at a Discovery Institute sponsored lunch last year for a speech:

Friday at noon in Seattle, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., will speak at a luncheon event being co-presented by the Discovery Institute -- the controversial organization that promotes intelligent design theory and combats Darwinism.

As usual, the adoring press finds excuses for McCain:

McCain is beng hammered by a liberal group for associating with the Discovery Institute, although the luncheon is being formally hosted by the CityClub of Seattle and the Seattle World Affairs Council, with the Discovery Institute is one of nine organizations "co-presenting" the event...

McCain's campaign pooh-poohs the controversy.

"He's addressing the Seattle World Affairs Council and CityClub of Seattle and there are a number of co-presenters as well, of which the Discovery Institute is one," says McCain exploratory committee spokesman Brian Jones.

The Discovery Institute is as loathsome to science as an appearance at an anti-Catholic fundie school like Bob Jones would be to those of faith, or anti-Catholic bigot John Hagee (let's talk about his sermons, fair and balanced press):

Our double standard: Barack Obama takes a hit for wacko comments by his minister. And the GOP prince? McCain said he was "very honored" by the support of the Rev. John Hagee, who takes a back pulpit to no one in the divisive-speech department. Hagee slams feminists, gays and the Catholic Church (he calls it "the great whore"). Like Obama, McCain says he disagrees with the pastor's comments. Unlike Obama, McCain is forgiven.

- Linda Valdez, editorial writer

But McCain hasn't stopped there. So far, two weeks in a row, he has put his foot in his mouth on science and medicine issues that, btw, are laced with politics and controversy. Last week it was over vaccines and autism:

McCain said, per ABC News' Bret Hovell, that "It’s indisputable that (autism) is on the rise amongst children, the question is what’s causing it. And we go back and forth and there’s strong evidence that indicates that it’s got to do with a preservative in vaccines."

   McCain said there’s "divided scientific opinion" on the matter, with "many on the other side that are credible scientists that are saying that’s not the cause of it."

Actually, there's overwhelming evidence that there's no scientific link between vaccines and autism and there's no "divided scientific opinion". Another pass from the press, because isn't McCain just adorable, and, like, science is, you know, hard!

So now to this week last year, this time, and to help everyone out, here are the facts from CDC:

When condoms are used reliably, they have been shown to prevent pregnancy up to 98 percent of the time among couples using them as their only method of contraception. Similarly, numerous studies among sexually active people have demonstrated that a properly used latex condom provides a high degree of protection against a variety of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection.

and from the Fed's own AIDS site:

Be safe. The best way to prevent HIV is to abstain from having sex. If you do have sex, use a new latex condom every time. Do not share needles or syringes.

Any questions? Any questions for straight shooting John [March, 2007, bolded mine]?

Reporter: "Should U.S. taxpayer money go to places like Africa to fund contraception to prevent AIDS?"

   Mr. McCain: "Well I think it’s a combination. The guy I really respect on this is Dr. Coburn. He believes – and I was just reading the thing he wrote– that you should do what you can to encourage abstinence where there is going to be sexual activity. Where that doesn’t succeed, than he thinks that we should employ contraceptives as well. But I agree with him that the first priority is on abstinence. I look to people like Dr. Coburn. I’m not very wise on it."

   (Mr. McCain turns to take a question on Iraq, but a moment later looks back to the reporter who asked him about AIDS.)

   Mr. McCain: "I haven’t thought about it. Before I give you an answer, let me think about. Let me think about it a little bit because I never got a question about it before. I don’t know if I would use taxpayers’ money for it."

   Q: "What about grants for sex education in the United States? Should they include instructions about using contraceptives? Or should it be Bush’s policy, which is just abstinence?"

   Mr. McCain: (Long pause) "Ahhh. I think I support the president’s policy."

   Q: "So no contraception, no counseling on contraception. Just abstinence. Do you think contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV?"

   Mr. McCain: (Long pause) "You’ve stumped me."

   Q: "I mean, I think you’d probably agree it probably does help stop it?"

   Mr. McCain: (Laughs) "Are we on the Straight Talk express? I’m not informed enough on it. Let me find out. You know, I’m sure I’ve taken a position on it on the past. I have to find out what my position was. Brian, would you find out what my position is on contraception – I’m sure I’m opposed to government spending on it, I’m sure I support the president’s policies on it."

   Q: "But you would agree that condoms do stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Would you say: ‘No, we’re not going to distribute them,’ knowing that?"

   Mr. McCain: (Twelve-second pause) "Get me Coburn’s thing, ask Weaver to get me Coburn’s paper that he just gave me in the last couple of days. I’ve never gotten into these issues before."

John "the surge is working" McCain. When you don't know something, do as George W. Bush does. Bush was ignorant about Shi'a and Sunni before he invaded Iraq for bogus reasons, and that's sure worked out well for the US, hasn't it? Sure it has. Just ask John McCain to read the graph.

Chart from Political Arithmetik

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 07:49 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  THIS is what the front page should be about (15+ / 0-)

    every day from now to November---forget HRC, and concentrate on John McSame!!!

  •  Are. You. Fucking, Kidding. Me?!?!?! (5+ / 0-)

    Then again, the College Republicans on my campus still think that HIV and AIDS aren't linked in any way.  Oddly enough, they're supporting McCain.

    Physicist Wolfgang Pauli upon reading a paper: "This isn't right, this isn't even wrong."

    by ChapiNation386 on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 07:53:23 AM PDT

  •  so the "Straight Talk Express" is (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dallasdoc, Red Bean, flumptytail, pmukh, JeffW

    now an inside joke between him and the press. ha ha ha Guys a real cut up

    •  "would you find out what my position is on...." (13+ / 0-)

      Brian, would you find out what my position is on contraception – I’m sure I’m opposed to government spending on it, I’m sure I support the president’s policies on it.

      "I'm not sure what I support this week but I am sure I support the (Mc)same thing I was supposed to support last week."

      STIMULUS CHECKS FOR OBAMA! STIMULATE OUR FUTURE!

      by MT in Austin on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 08:03:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  scary part is that he uses the joke constantly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Randolph06

      McCain has at three time in the past couple of weeks used some version of that, "are we on the straight talk express" formulation....I've been scrolling through some diaries using the search functions on this site but I can't find 'em right now....

      But it's almost like he doing a wink-wink as he refers to the Straight Talk Express, as if it is indeed an inside joke between the press trailing him, that's really a great observation, Randolph.

      What's worse, it seems  to come, if memory serves, when he's been challenged on an item that he's really not sure about what the heck he's talking about. It's a cross between stalling for time, reinforcing his alleged reputation for honesty, and signaling to his acolytes in the press that he's about to start bullshitting, and don't report his words too accurately until he has time to figure out what his official position of the day is.

      •  it is an inside joke (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dallasdoc, Randolph06, stinky mcgee

        and McCain wrote about it. Worth the Fighting For p. 192 re Keating 5 scandal:

        I was in a hell of a mess. And I decided right then that not talking to reporters or sharply denying even the appearance of a problem wasn't going to do me any good.  I would henceforth accept every single request for an interview from any source, prominent or obscure, and answer every question as completely and straightforwardly as I could. I was confident that the facts were on my side, and if the facts were disseminated broadly in the media would they spare me from a terrible fate. And they wouldn't be disseminated broadly unless I talked to the press constantly, ad infinitum, until their appetite for information from me was completely satisfied. It is a public relations strategy that I have followed to this day, and while it has gotten me in trouble from time to time, it has on the whole served both my interest and that of the public well.

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 09:08:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Science Debate 2008!!!! n/t (6+ / 0-)

    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

    by Adzam13 on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 07:54:22 AM PDT

    •  Sure let's make it (8+ / 0-)

      Scopes Trial Deux.

      On our side, Obama and the enlightment. On their side, McCadaver and the evangelical press still waiting for the rapture.

      Shouldn't take long.

      You can lead a conservative to facts--but you can't make him think.

      by DelicateMonster on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 07:56:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  and Hillary will be in it too (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Debby

        the Science Debateis for all the remaining candidates, and comes right before PA.

        I hope our squabbling superstars Hillary and Obama have the sense to go after his non-votes on the 15 Democrats environmental bills, the worst being our 2007 Energy Bill last year reversing the oil subsidies for oil companies (just till they get on their feet, right?) in order to pay for the new green energy we need to invest in NOW. Because McCain did not show up to vote we were one vote short of 60 to get 2/3 of that great bill on the floor and only passed the measly mpg part.

        McCain is a complete sham on the environment: click my signature to check his truthiness

        Please click: MCain's true global warming votes

        by dotcommodity on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 09:39:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Obama can create the debate (6+ / 0-)

        Barack Obama should highlight science issues in his attacks on McCain.  Stem cell research is the biggie, the Republican killer issue that Democrats discovered and forgot about.  I wonder if McCain would dare cross his fundy base on that issue?  Properly pushed, stem cells would kill him.

        Global warming is another science-related issue that's trouble for McCain.  He's said he believes in global warming and he's a cap-and-trade guy, but the more the issue is talked about the more he loses support from the fossil-fuel companies that bankroll a good part of his party.

        Health care reform is also a critical issue to beat him up with.  He's droning on about cost containment as if he knew what he were talking about, but that approach will kill him if the third most important issue is really talked about in the campaign.

        Obama's campaign has shown a lot of smarts so far.  I hope they remember these science- and health-related issues, because they divide Republicans and cast McCain in a very negative light.

        Hanoi didn't break John McCain, but Washington did.

        by Dallasdoc on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 09:44:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  plus, dallasdoc (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Debby, Dallasdoc

          remember all McCains talk about global warming is just talk.

          His votes tell a very different story!

          Please click: MCain's true global warming votes

          by dotcommodity on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 09:51:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  All McCain's straight talk is just talk (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Debby, dotcommodity, Mule at Rossem

            Global warming is like torture.  He says the right things, and does the wrong ones.  

            Wonder if the press will ever, ever report this aspect of his career?

            Hanoi didn't break John McCain, but Washington did.

            by Dallasdoc on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 09:56:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Can't that be said about any issue he talks about (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dotcommodity

            All McCain's talk about ______ is just talk.

            Take any issue McCain has claimed to really care about, plug it into the above sentence, and it creates a true statement. Torture, campaign finance reform, supporting the troops...it's like he's really hoping that people will just forget the votes and remember the rhetoric. And sadly, given the state of the mainstream media, that just might happen.

            •  google bomb, bomb, bomb McCain (0+ / 0-)

              like OpenLeft's Chris Bowers says: googlebomb

              Of course, these two Googlebomb search engine optimizations actions are just appetizers for the big one:

              Over at Open Left, we have started to discuss which articles would best be used in that campaign. I’d like to hear your thoughts on the matter. Some of the criteria to keep in mind for choosing a good Googlebomb target are as follows:

                1. It is better if the article already has a decent Google ranking for searches on John McCain, making it easier to increase the ranking, and keep it elevated, over time.

                2. The article should have the word "McCain" in the title of the search result making it easier to optimize.

                3. The URL for article should have a long life span, and not in danger of being removed before the general election. This means no stories on Yahoo news, for example.

                4. The article should be from a well-known news source, making is less obviously a partisan attack.

                5. The article should be a negative news story on McCain, not an opinion piece.

              With lots of negative press emerging on McCain in the last couple of days, there should be lots of juicy targets to choose from. If you have any ideas, please post them in the comments.

              I followed this in selecting my sig, please use it if you would like to help elevate this aspect of his CrookedTalkExpress

              Please click: MCain's true global warming votes

              by dotcommodity on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 11:39:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  BRING IT. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dotcommodity

      The sleep of reason brings forth monsters.

      by beijingbetty on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 08:20:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A "science debate" sounds like (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dotcommodity, Mule at Rossem

      they wouuld debating science as if it is debatable.  A debate that centers on issues that government policy and dollars may yield results for the good of Americans is more the point.

      Science education/literacy.  How the general inability of people to assess science information has slowed or obstructed climate change solutions.  How innovation from the middle class sector has slowed.  How biology and medicine has turned into marketing for mass profits etc. How financial literacy is affected by the sad fact that americans just don't get math anymore.  All kinds of things like that.

  •  McCaine is no straight shooter (9+ / 0-)

    He's closer to The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight.

    You can lead a conservative to facts--but you can't make him think.

    by DelicateMonster on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 07:54:36 AM PDT

  •  that's what's great about being a maverick (8+ / 0-)
    You don't have to have a slavish devotion to the truth if you don't feel like it.  Here's a man not going to be pushed around by science.  I mean, when you're this independent, you can be independent of the facts, too!
  •  An old man's solution to stopping sexual disease (5+ / 0-)

    "just don't do it".

    In a democracy, the most important office is the office of citizen.- Louis Brandeis

    by crystal eyes on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 07:58:26 AM PDT

  •  This is indeed a very appalling episode (0+ / 0-)

    But I'm not sure why you're referring to it as "this week"-- that link's dated March 2007, and I remember the story was covered here last year??  Am I missing something about why it's suddenly come up again now (besides being so wonderfully stupid that it's worth revisiting)?

  •  Post Correction... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    renaissance grrrl, brjzn

    The article where he said those things is from March of last year, not from this week.  Obviously, everything else in the post is valid, but we should be accurate about our dates so as not to get distracting criticism.

  •  McCain doesn't know about evolution, (6+ / 0-)

    he doesn't know about aids prevention, and he doesnt know about economics but he says he will listen to those who do know. If he doesn't know about anything them how will he know the person he is listening to knows either. He doesn't and he won't.

    Obama: Pro-Defense. McCain: Pro-War

    by OHdog on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 08:01:58 AM PDT

    •  He pretends not to know (4+ / 0-)

      I hope he's not that stupid. I don't think he is.

      He has merely sold his soul to the right wing fundies.

      That's all.

      An eye for an eye and the whole world will be blind.

      by rini6 on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 08:04:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  WcCain's solution to everything. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        El Sobrante, indyada

        More coWbell.  

        •  Or, in this case (0+ / 0-)

          more Coburn?

          Coburn may be a doctor, but I wouldn't let him get anywhere near whatever's troubling me.

          •  James Coburn? (0+ / 0-)

            The President's Analyst?  

            W wants tax cuts for rich: McCain wants even more.
            W wants extended ops in Iraq: McCain wants even more.
            W wants to attack Iran: McCain can repeat lies for that.
            W thinks deregulation will solve bank insolvency: McCain dittoes.
            W prefers to bail out the rich: McCain isn't even aware there's another option.
            W is anti-science: McCain is unaware of negative environmental implications.
               .... or of educational implications...
            W is pro-abstinence, anti-abortion: McC is unaware this will increase abortions.

            W wants to destroy America and the world: McCain wants to finish the job.  

    •  an "empty vessel" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, timbuck

      Support democracy at home and abroad, join the ACLU & Amnesty International http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org and http://www.aclu.org Your voice is needed!

      by tnichlsn on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 08:08:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I wonder if he knows about his own daughter? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Debby

      The one Bush-Rove push-polled the lie about; that the adopted Bangladeshi girl was the product of McCain's liaison with black prostitute.

      Uh, what's my position on that Brian? Yeah, I guess she is a bastard. I support the President's position.

      So if McCain won't stand up for his own family, what are the chances he will stand up for mine?

      •  I saw (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OHdog

        a story about Cindy McCain on Nightline months ago and she was sounding really interesting.... Passionate about mental health and addiction issues, she worked with Mother Teresa, she actually adopted one of the children.... yadda yadda. Then they asked her about the 2000 smears on her daughter. Well, yeah, she admitted, the daughter had recently googled herself and found all this crap about herself on the internet. "Why does the president hate me?" this 13 or 14-year-old asked her mother. "But you know, it's just politics," Cindy explains.

        Personally, anyone who can forgive an insult like that has no soul in my book.

        tragically un-hip

        -5.88, -6.82

        by Debby on Mon Mar 31, 2008 at 12:02:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  is economics a science? (0+ / 0-)

      I guess it is...? another great issue to slam him in the April 18th science debates!

      Please click: MCain's true global warming votes

      by dotcommodity on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 09:54:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I once pissed off a roomfull of economists (5+ / 0-)

        by declaring that not only was economics not a science, but it was nothing more than an apologetic for the existing social order.  And not a very good one.

        That was at an annual meeting of economics students and professors in New York (they invited me because I was an organizer for the IWW and they wanted a "different viewpoint").

        They didn't invite me back the next year.

        :)

        Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

        by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 10:18:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  LOL (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dotcommodity, Mule at Rossem

          tactful as always. ;-)

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 10:25:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Ecology is the study of how (0+ / 0-)

          energy moves through nature. Economics is the study of an energy surrogate (money) moving through a small sub-set of the world, human economics. So it could be a science as an aspect of human ecology but not yet.

          Obama: Pro-Defense. McCain: Pro-War

          by OHdog on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 11:02:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Economics ... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Debby, OHdog, lemming22

          is the social science that thinks it's physics.

          I'm a history major who started studying economics out of necessity, to help me get a better handle on the South and slavery (I wrote my master's thesis on slavery-era Mississippi newspapers) and my interest expanded from there.

          What's amazing is how little you have to know to run rings around the average economics student or (if Thomas Sowell is any indicator) the average conservative economist.

          I'm currently reading Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations and, uh, he doesn't say what the average conservative economist says he says.

          As Thomas Paine might put it: Are they rogues or fools? (Or a particularly unattractive combination of both?)

          America: It's a good IDEA for a country ...

          by Tony Seybert on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 11:15:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  as Kristoff points out (0+ / 0-)

            House Speaker Thomas Reed in the 1890s: "With a few more brains he could be a half-wit."

            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

            by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 11:18:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  in a nutshell (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Debby, OHdog, lemming22

            "Conservative" "free market" economists (and, oddly, Libertarians) speak as if the real world were still made up of the economic structures that existed in Adam Smith's days -- small individual British shopkeepers.

            It's not.  The corporados destroyed that world centuries ago.

            The corporations have now largely socialized the economy.  They have already done away with private ownership and replaced it with social ownership (though they limit that to a small elite of "stockholders").  They have already destroyed individual private proprietor-management and replaced it with hired managers who are basically just employees of the social owners.  They have already destroyed "the free market" and replaced it with longterm international economic planning for growth and profit.  They have destroyed individualized workshops and manufacturing methods, and replaced them with huge social manufacturing centers which are intertwined with local and state governments.  They have made government their active partners, and thus have eliminated "laissez faire" in favor of "corporate socialism".

            The real world of economics is far far different than that envisioned and idealized by the textbook-writers.  Or by "free-market" politicians.

            Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

            by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 11:26:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Economics ... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Debby, OHdog

            ... long stopped being anything more than a useful construct the elite use to justify discrepancies in wealth.  It serves the same purpose as the "divine right of kings" did centuries before: it allows the wealthy to function without thinking of the peons outside who suffer.

        •  Marxism and exotic pets (0+ / 0-)

          You've just been added to The List.

    •  This is what they said about Bush (0+ / 0-)

      He ain't all that smart, but he'll have smart people around him--let's give the rube a chance...he's a nice guy! Wouldn't you want to have a beer with him?

      Can we elect the smart guy this time around, please?

      tragically un-hip

      -5.88, -6.82

      by Debby on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 11:57:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Who is Dr. Coburn? n/t (0+ / 0-)

    "We already won the war, it's the occupation that's killing us."

    by cal in cali on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 08:02:21 AM PDT

    •  Tom Coburn, Sen OK (0+ / 0-)

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 08:06:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Probably this guy (0+ / 0-)

      profiled in the Wall Street Journal but he is worse than that.

      Obama: Pro-Defense. McCain: Pro-War

      by OHdog on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 08:07:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  One of those Republican "doctors". (8+ / 0-)

      Like Frist who was such a great doctor that he could tell Terri Schiavo was not really braindead based on watching a video tape her family created.

      Tom Coburn on Wikipedia

      I especially love the part about non-consensual sterilization and Medicaid fraud.

      A wonderful gem from this McSame adviser:
      "The gay community has infiltrated the very centers of power in every area across this country, and they wield extreme power... That agenda is the greatest threat to our freedom that we face today. Why do you think we see the rationalization for abortion and multiple sexual partners? That's a gay agenda."

      I was not aware of gay lovers requiring abortions.
      I guess my education in these matters has let me down.

      STIMULUS CHECKS FOR OBAMA! STIMULATE OUR FUTURE!

      by MT in Austin on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 08:13:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  OMG - he blocked whistleblower protection! (0+ / 0-)

        Wikipedia:

        The Senate's version of the Whistleblower Protection Act (S. 274) was approved by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on June 13, 2007. However, it has yet to reach a vote by Senate as a hold has been placed on the bill by Senator Coburn.[2] Coburn's hold effectively prevents passage of the bill, which has broad bipartisan support in the Senate. In fact, support for the bill may be so broad in both houses of Congress, it may be veto-proof. According to the National Whistleblower Center, Coburn's hold is an example of a right-wing Senator enacting President Bush's agenda while frustrating a majority.

        AND:

        On May 23, 2007, Coburn threatened to block two bills honoring the 100th birthday of Rachel Carson. Coburn called Carson's work "junk science", proclaiming that Silent Spring, "was the catalyst in the deadly worldwide stigmatization against insecticides, especially DDT."

        What a great guy!

        "We already won the war, it's the occupation that's killing us."

        by cal in cali on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 11:52:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Dr Coburn wants the death penalty for abortion (0+ / 0-)

      providers. Ah, isn't his Christian faith consistent??

      My new bumper sticker: Cheney-Satan '08

      by adigal on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 10:43:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  McCain's no fool. (10+ / 0-)

    He knows perfectly well that condoms are effective at preventing the spread of HIV. But he must throw a bone to those he once termed "agents of intolerance" in order to pacify the fundie base.

    Just as the Straight Talk Express got down on his knees before GWB, he now kneels before the Hagees and Robertsons of the world. He's whored himself out just as surely as did Alex Dupre.

    I'm sorry I overreacted. Really.

    by turnover on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 08:02:31 AM PDT

  •  He's not as stupid (5+ / 0-)

    as he pretends to be on this issue.

    He just has to appease the zealots.  

    Straight shooter? My tuckus.

    This is why no one should vote for him.

    An eye for an eye and the whole world will be blind.

    by rini6 on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 08:02:51 AM PDT

  •  not ignorant (necessarily) probably intentionally (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CParis, OHdog, John2Luke, Mule at Rossem

    obtuse on these religious right hot button issues. still thinks he's in the primary I guess and can't offend the 'let the sinners die' faction of their big tent.

    Support democracy at home and abroad, join the ACLU & Amnesty International http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org and http://www.aclu.org Your voice is needed!

    by tnichlsn on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 08:06:39 AM PDT

  •  Oh-my-god! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OHdog, beijingbetty

      McCain is really it for the republicans? Where have they been for the past eight years? Haven't they learned anything form the Bush White House?
      This is truly pitiful. Republicans cannot govern. George Bush's two terms have proven that. Their political ideology just doesn't work. Their party is broken.
      All that's left for them is the blind allegiance it takes to continue to voting republican  That's it.

    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction." --Blaise Pascal

    by lyvwyr101 on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 08:07:47 AM PDT

  •  But McCain is the new JFK, (8+ / 0-)

    According to Lieberman. (today on This Week)

    Yup, thoughtful, liberal, open minded.

    Yup, JFMcCain.

    And the moon is made of blue cheese.

    Let Justice roll down like waters, Righteousness like an everflowing stream.

    by John2Luke on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 08:08:09 AM PDT

    •  JustFukin'Knutz? (4+ / 0-)

      Support democracy at home and abroad, join the ACLU & Amnesty International http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org and http://www.aclu.org Your voice is needed!

      by tnichlsn on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 08:16:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  More like the new OJ (0+ / 0-)

      Who looks around him and realizes his posse is made up of gullible idiots and amoral sociopaths.

      And somewhere, whatever self-respect he ever had, lies murdered.

      Ever notice how he continually looks uncomfortable--even apologetic?

      It's like he's trying to wink at the rest of us (and Jon Stewart), to say "Yes, I know I'm lying. Yes, I know I'm surrounded by idiots. But I REALLY want to be President."

    •  That appearance (0+ / 0-)

      about made me vomit!

      "The Democratic party has made a dangerous turn in the past seven years. Why can't we be like we were back in the Clinton years?" Then why the hell aren't you backing Hillary, Joe? She IS a Clinton.

      His arguments so don't ring true (of course not) and it was nice to see him called on it. "But Sen. Lieberman, these are your positions on issues and these are the issues that Sen. McCain voted AGAINST." Yea, but he agrees me with me on More War All the Time--and he's not a Democrat. Because they haven't been very nice to me! (Which reminds me, have his senate appointments been pulled?)

      Did you notice he even called him "John S. McCain" after the JFK reference, like trying to create a parallel?

      Oh, yeah, and the Dems are hyperpartisan. Yeah, it's the Dems. Sure.....

      tragically un-hip

      -5.88, -6.82

      by Debby on Mon Mar 31, 2008 at 12:15:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's a mystery why any Democrat would vote 4 him (12+ / 0-)

    Haven't we had enough, and suffered enough damage and inflicted enough damage on the world from a dunder head in office?

    Why do Democrats/progressives/liberals want to throw a temper tantrum by voting for him or not voting at all if their candidate doesn't win the nod?

    It's McCain far more dangerous then holding your nose to vote (if you think the candidate that is not yours, is that bad)?

    If u will not vote for the Dem. nominee, no matter who that is, go apologize 2 the youth of this nation. U've helped put in "100 years of war no Choice McCain."

    by Clytemnestra on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 08:08:21 AM PDT

    •  exactly, which is why we need to let up on (6+ / 0-)

      the anti-Hillary rhetoric and let them come back into the fold with some dignity intact.

      Support democracy at home and abroad, join the ACLU & Amnesty International http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org and http://www.aclu.org Your voice is needed!

      by tnichlsn on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 08:12:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  we moved to OpenLeft and TalkLeft (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tnichlsn

        where I have as much trouble persuading them that our second best choice is not worse than McCain as you have here. Hearts have been hardened by the rhetoric, certainly.

        Please click: MCain's true global warming votes

        by dotcommodity on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 09:57:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  please politely remind them that way back when, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Debby, Clytemnestra, dotcommodity

          the progressives here swallowed their pride and worked their asses off for Kerry once Dean had left the race. They should try to be as big as our faction was in that election. Thanks for not completely giving up on us.

          Support democracy at home and abroad, join the ACLU & Amnesty International http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org and http://www.aclu.org Your voice is needed!

          by tnichlsn on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 10:22:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  oh you bet (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tnichlsn

            and cause I miss them too...I want to return great voices of reason back here too: mostly cause its so cramped and chilly out there: we're shivering in prefabs with no hotlists or all the other civilised conversational amenities we've grown used to here. I hate popup haloscan for comments at LeftCoaster for instance: you can't thread or rethread comments

            Please click: MCain's true global warming votes

            by dotcommodity on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 10:32:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  more sane members here need to start repeating (2+ / 0-)

              this tact as well, and that includes Front Pagers. It's great we're all so passionate about this stuff but for the good of the party, nation and world, we still need to wake up next to each other and work together to undo 8 years of torment the real opposition has put us all through. And I'm sure in their heart of hearts, Hillary's people don't honestly believe McCain is a better answer on ANY issue facing US.

              Support democracy at home and abroad, join the ACLU & Amnesty International http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org and http://www.aclu.org Your voice is needed!

              by tnichlsn on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 10:43:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  right: (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                tnichlsn

                its Obama who we fear is the more Republican candidate, just as to you its Hillary.

                But since we on the left are all against Republicans, we Hillary-preferers will have no problem reuniting for Obama in November.

                The older latinos will be a huge problem though according to this who defects video at gallup click on Identifying the Potential Democratic Defectors. Thats who Obama needs to work on winning with immigration straighter talk than McLies.

                My daughter listens to spanish talkradio (studying sp) and she says its

                1. they remember Clinton years fondly
                1. they've had female leaders in SA

                and I think language may have insulated them better than english speakers against the RWNM through the 90's. Their kids are voting Obama, they need to drag their parents along too.

                Please click: MCain's true global warming votes

                by dotcommodity on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 11:25:36 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I couldn't agree more. Richardson can help here. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  dotcommodity

                  and Kennedy too and of course the Clinton's will need to lead by getting these folks motivated and on board. McCain walks a very fine line between courting the latinos and not pissing off the rabid lunatics from his right flank. And good luck with that John!!!

                  Support democracy at home and abroad, join the ACLU & Amnesty International http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org and http://www.aclu.org Your voice is needed!

                  by tnichlsn on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 01:18:19 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Agree 100%!! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clytemnestra

      We have too much at stake in the election. People powered judges who will give us our emanating fundamental rights as LGBT Americans to marry. A strong separation of church and state. These 2 issues alone define us as people powered progressives and why no true people powered progressive would vote for that Rethug McCain!

    •  Bad lot -- all of em (0+ / 0-)

      Don't vote for ANY of these fools. Obama, Clinton, McCain -- they're all bad news for this country.

  •  Coburn is an extremist fundie (5+ / 0-)

    on all issues involving sexuality. Whatever he says will be bunk.

    McCain, another know-nothing president who thinks he is above the law.

    ugh

  •  in sum (5+ / 0-)

    McCain seems the intellectual equal to Bush--with similar people behind the scenes.  He really could be a fun guy to share a beer with--and that's the American standard of excellence!!

  •  this is scary as shit (7+ / 0-)

    You know, I’m sure I’ve taken a position on it on the past. I have to find out what my position was. Brian, would you find out what my position is on contraception – I’m sure I’m opposed to government spending on

    the puppet is looking for a conservative hand up his backside!

    Bush "is a yokel on the world stage . . . a Gilligan who cannot find his ass." Bill Maher

    by timbuck on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 08:13:14 AM PDT

  •  So, if Obama or Clinton (7+ / 0-)

    were asked a policy question, and then said something like "I have to find out what my position was. Brian, would you find out what my position is on contraception", that would be a laugh line for days.

  •  I'm with you on most of it (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    roonie, yuriwho, dantemaria

    but the casual dismissal of the autism-vaccine connection with a link to another DailyKos diary with 567 comments evidenced an array of different opinions, perspectives, etc., from physicians, scientists, parents, etc., would tell me that the jury is still out on that one.

    •  no, the science facts are not out on that one (5+ / 0-)

      read the links and comments.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 08:29:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  and to shorten your burden (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zhimbo, flumptytail, JeffW

      there is no demonstrated link between vaccines and autism. None. That is a science fact and is undisputed in the science community.

      What the discussion is about is the difficulty in diagnosis, unanimous agreement need for more studies, and understanding that other factors play a role, not all of which have been identified.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 08:33:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I believe there was one case in (0+ / 0-)

        Georgia recently that did make the link and resulted in an award to the parents.  Can't find the link.  I am sorry and will continue to look for it.

        •  Autism like symptoms is not autism (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          flumptytail, dogheaven

          But here's the story, if you're interested.

          http://www.webmd.com/...

        •  the court decided the child had been injured (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zhimbo, flumptytail, AnnieJo

          and needed compensation.

          The court did not decide that vaccines are linked to autism.

          Study after study has failed to show any link between vaccines and autism, but many parents of autistic children remain unconvinced. For the skeptics, the case of 9-year-old Hannah Poling shows that they have been right along.

          The government has conceded that vaccines may have hurt Hannah, and it has agreed to pay her family for her care...

          In a news conference on Thursday, Dr. Edwin Trevathan, director of the National Center for Birth Defects and Development Disabilities at the disease control agency, said, ''I don't think we have any science that would lead us to believe that mitochondrial disorders are caused by vaccines.''

          Dr. Trevathan explained that children with mitochondrial disorders often develop normally until they come down with an infection. Then their mitochondria are unable to manufacture the energy needed to nourish the brain. As a result, they regress.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 09:01:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  this about sums it up (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ebohlman, zhimbo, AnnieJo

            Study after study has failed to show any link between vaccines and autism, but many parents of autistic children remain unconvinced.

            Study after study also showed that cigarettes cause cancer, but tobacco companies "remain unconvinced".

            Study after study shows that life evolves, but creationists "remain unconvinced".

            Study after study shows that global warming is real and is caused by human activity, but energy company execs and their apologists "remain unconvinced".

            Alas for all of them, science isn't a democracy, and all viewpoints and opinions are NOT created equal.

            Some are wrong.

            Period.

            Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

            by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 09:05:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you for the info. My brain now updated:) (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DemFromCT
      •  I agree that thimerosal has been ruled out, but (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        yuriwho, Junkyard Dem

        am not certain there is no link between vaccines and autism.  I am no expert or scientist, just a concerned and interested mom of a daughter with 22qDS/Velocardiofacial Syndrome and associated brain and behavior differences.

        She has Evan's Syndrome/Autoimmune Cytopenias as a consequence of the 22qDS so I am very interested in the relationship between the immune system and the nervous system and find research like this from the M.I.N.D. Institute  "Exploring links among autism, the immune system and the brain" very informative.

        •  there is no demonstrated link (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zhimbo, wa ma, Lenny Flank, Mule at Rossem

          and that's a fact. That is not the same as saying "there is no link", but that cannot be proven, only disproven.

          It's an important point and not a nitpick. Epidemiologic studies do not prove something safe, they only show absence of harm.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 09:03:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  indeed (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            zhimbo, Mule at Rossem

            Some people seem to want "proof" that there is NOT a link.  Alas, there is no such thing.  We can't "prove" there is NO link between vaccines and autism any more than we can prove there is NO link between eating carrots and becoming a serial killer.

            But we can say, with confidence, that there is no evidence for any such link.  None.  Zip.  Zero.  Zilch.  Nada.  Not a shred.

            If people want to believe it anyway, in the face of no evidence at all, then of course no one can stop them.  But, if they insist that science divert resources to study their pet theory YET AGAIN (only to show YET AGAIN that there is no demonstrated link), then all these people are accomplishing is delaying real progress by continually revisiting the same dead end, over and over and over again.

            But then, I strongly suspect that insistence on "vaccines cause autism" has far less to do with a desire to "find a treatment" or "find a cure" than it does with "finding grounds for a lawsuit".

            One wonders how many MORE studies it would take for the anti-vaccine-ers to give up.  Five more?  A hundred more?  A thousand more?

            Sadly, I suspect that just ONE more would be enough -- if that study happens to tell them what they want to hear . . . .

            Unfortunately, anti-science nuttiness is not the exclusive possession of the right-wingers.  (sigh)

            Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

            by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 09:13:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks for your response (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            yuriwho, Mule at Rossem

            that helps clarify things for me.

            I guess I just don't want scientists to stop looking into this immune system/nervous system relationship because it may be relevant to my daughter's health, esp. mental health.

            She is current on her immunizations because I realize that an abnormal immune response to a vaccination is likely no worse than
            an abnormal immune response to the virus or disease she might get without the vaccine...wish we could immunize her against Schizophrenia.

            •  they've already looked at it. repeatedly (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              zhimbo

              I guess I just don't want scientists to stop looking into this immune system/nervous system relationship because it may be relevant to my daughter's health, esp. mental health.

              They found nothing.

              How many MORE times do you want them to look at it (and find nothing) before you finally accept that there's just nothing there to find?

              How much LONGER do you want to impede real progress by insisting that science revisit this dead end again and again and again until it tells you what you want to hear, wasting yet more time and resources (that could be better spent in other areas of research) just to conclude (again) the same thing that was already concluded (repreatedly) years ago?

              How many more times do you want to look in a box only to find that it's empty, before you decide to move on to other boxes?

              Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

              by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 09:31:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Admittedly I'm not an expert or scientist, (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DemFromCT, yuriwho, MissyH, Mule at Rossem

                just genuinely interested in research in neuroimmunology because of how it could benefit my own daughter.  It seems that you are more knowledgeable than I am about this.

                Would you kindly point me in the direction of some research that counters the assertions here and here because I am an sincere in saying I would like to further my knowledge and not place false hopes in avenues of research that hold no promise.

                •  if you're not an expert or a scientist (0+ / 0-)

                  then what on earth reason do you have to assume that the people who ARE, and who have studied the very question you are asking, are wrong about it, and that you are correct about it?

                  When you take your car to the garage, do you argue with the mechanic over what's causing your brake problems?

                  When you go to the doctor, do you argue with him over which medicine you should take?

                  Do you argue with nuclear physicists over the mass of a neutrino?

                  Science is not a democracy.  Not everyone's opinions count, and everyone's opinions are NOT created equal.  

                  The experts and scientists have already studied this question, several times, over a period of several years.

                  They all concluded that there is no link.

                  If you would like to believe otherwise, well, no one can stop you.  But like it or not, your opinion on the matter doesn't mean diddley doo.  

                  The avenue of research you are suggesting be studied, HAS already been studied.  Repeatedly.

                  They concluded there's nothing to it.

                  You might not like that.  Sorry.  But reality is a stubborn thing, and it won't go away just because someone doesn't like it.

                  How many more studies do you need to convince you that all the preceeding ones are correct?  How much longer do you want to delay research into more promising areas, just so science can revisit this dead end again and again and again and again, just because you don't like the conclusions they keep reaching?  

                  Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

                  by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 10:16:31 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Thanks, I guess I didn't realize that. (4+ / 0-)

                    I'll try the google, but I was just hoping you could maybe provide a link to some studies that specifically addressed the theories in the links in my comment.

                    Sorry if I'm being obtuse and really sorry if I came across as argumentative.  I'm just trying to expand my knowledge and was hoping you could be of help.

                    Thanks again.

                  •  A few thoughts (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Debby

                    I have no dog in this fight, just my perspective as a public school teacher.

                    1. I think, on some level, McCain knows what he's doing with the vaccine/autism link. Completely anecdotal, but every mom I've ever met who was active in autism/vaccine lobbying was home-schooling and loved Mitt Romney. McCain's playing to the conservative base here. Strange, but true in my limited experience.
                    1. Why would I doubt research? First question - WHO'S FUNDING IT? The only group I trust less than BushCo right now is BigPharma. It's in their best interest to find no demonstrable link. But there's no truly independent funding source, so there's no better answer out there. It's not like scientists are immune from funding pressures.

                    We as Dems have to deal with the reality that a lot of parents of autistic kids still believe there's a link between vaccines and autism. You can cite study after study that show's there's no demonstrable link, they will tell you that within days after a certain vaccine was given to their child, their kid changed and never went back to the personality s/he had pre-vaccine.

                    I seriously think McCain's playing to his base, and he's telling them what they want to hear. Not that he will actually, you know, do anything about it...

                    Has everyone forgotten McCain was one of the Keating Five?

                    by duck on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 10:48:33 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  i think there's truth in that (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      zhimbo

                      but that doesn't change the facts, which need to be presented. And comments here suggest it is not just his base.

                      Why? That's why. And this:

                      see also:

                      http://jama.ama-assn.org/...

                      The above is a vaccine preventable disease, but only if vaccines are given.

                      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 10:58:17 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  well, here's the problem (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      zhimbo

                      It's not just the fundie nutters.  Just look at all the people HERE who are parroting all this "vaccines cause autism" crap.

                      As for the funding, the pharma companies are NOT funding all of these studies, or even most of them.  And even if they would, there is simply no way they could prevent every scientist on the planet from repeating their research and pointing out exactly where and why it is fraudulent.  There is simply no way to hide the fact that junk science is junk science.  And since NOBODY has pointed out any way in which these studies are junk science (UNLIKE the studies which purport to "show a link"), the conclusion seems pretty clear.

                      McCain probably IS playing to his nutty base.  It's part of the same "war on science" that the Repugs have been waging for ten years now.

                      But the solution to the "war on science" is to educate people about science. And, like it or not, one of the primary lessons of science is that not everyone's opinions are equally valid.  Wrong is wrong.  Period.  And people who assert a link between vaccines and autism, are wrong. All the evidence and data is against them, NONE of it is for them.  Game over. End of debate.  Arguing over it is like arguing over whether the earth is flat.  It's not.

                      Alas, those of us on "the left" seem to want to play the same science game as the Repugs do -- the idea that there is "our science" and "their science", and that we have to treat both sides as equally valid, maybe even with honor and respect.  No, we don't.  One side is right, and one side is wrong.  As Bill Maher put it so eloquently, "We don't need to teach both sides when one side is full of shit".

                      Science simply is not a democracy.  And if we try to turn it into one, we will destroy it utterly.

                      Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

                      by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 11:07:55 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Your attitude appalls me! and you are WRONG! (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Debby

                    I assume you are not a scientist or physician given that you are the editor of Red and Black. Therefore, as a scientist (Ph.D. Chemistry/Biochemisty) myself, I ask you kindly to SYFPH!

                    There are innumerable proven links between the immune system and the nervous system/neurology. To claim this is a dead horse is bullshit. Further you are spewing this BS at the parent of a child who is just seeking information to be able to help their child.

                    Unless you have the the knowledge and background to read the original literature for yourself and make your own conclusions pls stop spouting false claims after reading newspaper articles or another persons post.

                    "lovely little thinker but a bugger when he's pissed"

                    by yuriwho on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 11:11:08 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  thank you (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    zhimbo

                    Science is not a democracy.  Not everyone's opinions count, and everyone's opinions are NOT created equal.  

                    thank you
                    thank you
                    thank you

                •  it's legit and promising basic research (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  yuriwho, wa ma, MissyH, Mule at Rossem

                  but no concrete conclusions yet. You're right that this is a new and different look and not the same old repeated studies.

                  No one opposes these.

                  "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                  by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 10:22:00 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Thank you. n/t (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Mule at Rossem
                  •  indeed, science is EAGER to explore new avenues (0+ / 0-)

                    and no one is opposed to that.

                    What gets in my craw in this discussion is the idiotic idea that science is engaged in some sort of "conspiracy" to "hide the truth".  By its very nature, science is utterly incapable of "hiding" ANYTHING.  It is simply impossible for science, collectively, to prevent any research from being done, or to prevent the results of any research from being disseminated all over the world.  Even if every pharma company in the entire world would all sit down and agree to prevent certain scientific findings from being published(*), they couldn't do it.  There is no way to prevent ANY scientist, anywhere in the world, from carrying out the identical research, and publishing the identical results.  It simply cannot be done.  If there WERE a real link between vaccines and autism, the pharma companies simply would not be capable of preventing that research from being splashed all over the world, instantly.

                    (*) Which will, of course, NEVER happen, since any company that found evidence of anything unsafe about its competitor's products would (1) produce a safer alternative and (2) tell the entire world about their rival's unsafe product, thus making more money than they ever dreamed possible by instantly driving their competitor from the market.

                    The fact that no credible study has demonstrated any such link, and that every study that CLAIMS to have found such a link is flawed or fraudulent, demonstrates pretty clearly that there simply is no such link. (shrug)

                    It's sheer uninformed paranoia (perhaps mixed with a good dose of political and economic self-interest) to assert that there "really is a link" but that "there's a big plot among science to hide it from everyone".  

                    It's the same idiotic assertion that I hear from flying saucer "researchers", ESP fans, Area 51 kooks, homeopathic medicine frauds, creation "scientists", etc etc etc.

                    Bill Clinton couldn't even get a BJ in the Oval office without the whole world knowing about it -- and that only involved two people. How the heck can ANYONE think that any "international conspiracy" to hide alien bodies, or the existence of Atlantis, or the "fact" that humans never landed on the moon, or a "link" between vaccines and autism, could be anywhere near successful . . .?

                    It's ludicrous on the face of it.

                    Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

                    by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 10:57:11 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Hey now... (0+ / 0-)

                      ESP made a darn fine guitar there in the mid-80s ... don't be trashing a perfectly fine guitar.

                      :)

                      /Seriously, I've wanted a white X-Ploerer model ever since I saw James Hetfield with one. on the ...And Justice For All tour in '88.

                      Has everyone forgotten McCain was one of the Keating Five?

                      by duck on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 01:58:01 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  Be careful about listening to this guy (0+ / 0-)

                Lenny Flank is behind a publishing company that puts out books promoting a communist agenda.

                Best not trust anything he says. Do your own research instead.

                •  we're the ones who put flouride in your water (0+ / 0-)

                  we want your precious bodily fluids.

                  (snicker)  (giggle)

                  Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

                  by Lenny Flank on Mon Mar 31, 2008 at 05:18:36 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  A guy with the ohsoclever name of hippykicker (0+ / 0-)

                  is asking for credibility in telling us all about Lenny Flank.

                  Most of the people who come here do original research. So howsabout you tell us a few more details about his "communist agenda"? Something beyond your Limbaugh-generated talking points?

                  America: It's a good IDEA for a country ...

                  by Tony Seybert on Mon Mar 31, 2008 at 10:41:46 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  for the record . . . (0+ / 0-)

                    I am a "syndicalist".

                    Which I suspect our friend here can't even pronounce correctly, much less know what it means.

                    Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

                    by Lenny Flank on Mon Mar 31, 2008 at 03:04:35 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Syndicalist (0+ / 0-)

                      So you think labor unions should run the country?

                      •  so you know how to Google after all (0+ / 0-)

                        Can you pronounce it?

                        Oh, and the answer to your question is "No".  

                        :)

                        By the way, my friend . . .

                        One of the things that sparked off the downfall of the USSR was a coal miner's strike in the Ukraine.  Both I and the IWW branch of which I was then a part, donated what was for both of us a considerably large sum of money to those striking miners.  So, I am happy to say, not only do I have no love for the Leninists, but in my own small way, I helped to bring them down.

                        I will celebrate the day that the Chinese, Vietnamese and Cubans follow the USSR into oblivion.

                        You'd know that, if you were smart enough to know what the words "Non-Leninist Marxism" meant.

                        Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

                        by Lenny Flank on Mon Mar 31, 2008 at 05:02:53 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

                    No, not right now, but I don't listen to Limbaugh.

      •  So you are saying that ... (0+ / 0-)

        this study has been discredited? Is the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons not credible?

        "The Revolution Won't Be Microwaved."

        by Glinda on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 09:23:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yes, it's been discredited (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zhimbo

          Absolutely and positively discredited, and so have the authors, who are not experts despite claiming that they are.

          How do I know? That's actually been decided by the courts.

          The Court concludes that:

            "Dr. Geier is not qualified by his knowledge, skill, experience, training or education to render the opinions he proffers in this case... [T]his Court does not find that there exists a sufficient factual basis to support [Dr. Geier's] proffered testimony..."

            "Dr. Geier's epidemiological studies purporting to show an association between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism were not conducted in accordance with generally accepted epidemiological methods."

            "...Dr. Geier's methodology of differential diagnosis is fundamentally flawed, because he improperly "rules in" thimerosal as a potential cause of autism, and he cannot rule out the high likelihood that autism in any given individual was caused purely by genetic factors that do not require an environmental trigger."

            "[T]he plaintiffs... have failed in their burden of proving that the bases of the expert witnesses' testimony are generally accepted as reliable within the relevant scientific field... [and] have failed to show that the methodologies underlying their expert witness' opinions are generally accepted to be reliable in the relevant scientific community."

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 09:40:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Ha! JPANDS! (0+ / 0-)

          That journal is a right wing think tank, not an actual scientific journal.  They also have put out "studies" saying abortion causes breast cancer, called Medicare a "tyranny", and quote Ayn Rand liberally.  Feel free to use them as a source if you want to flush your credibility down the toilet.

          Link from the incredible Orac on JPANDS' lies.  

    •  the jury isn't "still out on" vaccines/autism (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zhimbo, flumptytail

      than it is on evolution/creation, or global warming, or cigarettes causing cancer.

      Unfortunately, it's not just the Repugs who think science should be a democracy, and that we should get to vote on what science we like and what science we don't.  (sigh)

      Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

      by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 08:54:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Except that it is. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        yuriwho, wa ma, MissyH, FigsinZen

        The autism/vaccines controversies are far from settled.  There are actually multiple theories, not mutually exclusive, including the presence of mercury (in the form of thimerosal) in vaccines (still in the flu vaccine, and still in the chain for others) as well as the use of multiple simultaneous vaccines and the impact on a particularly fragile immune system.  There are many scientific studies that are not showing links (particularly with the thimerosal theory), but many, many parents who have noted (and videorecorded) serious and permanent regressions in their children immediately following vaccinations.  These aren't all kooks, either--note that the father of the girl who received compensation from the federal government was a neurologist, hardly someone predisposed to distrust vaccinations.  As for the distinction between "autism" and "autism-like symptoms," that's a red herring as well--autism and similar disorders like Asperger's Syndrome are diagnosed based on observed behavior and characteristics, not some blood test, so they may result from multiple causes.

        As you may have guessed, I am the parent of a child with Asperger's Syndrome, but with everything he went through as a child (including chemotherapy for a malignant tumor as an infant), we aren't pointing to any particular cause.  At the same time, we have worked with our children's pediatrician to seek out thimerosal-free vaccines, to space out vaccination rather than carpet-bombing our children with four at a time, and to do blood testing for actual immunity (titers) rather than simply re-doing vaccinations.  We are also well-educated and well-read individuals, who understand that studies can't find everything, and that parents are often the best observers of their children.

        So please, don't lump the autism cause issues in with  the religion-versus-science debates around human development and the efficacy of contraception.  You do both scientists and parents a disservice when you do.  {ProfJonathan}

        •  except that it's not (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zhimbo

          The political controversy over vaccines/autism is not over, and probably will never end.

          The scientific controversy . . .  never existed.  There have been dozens of studies made, by dozens of people.  None of them found any credible link.

          Period.

          It is NO different than creationism/evolutuion, or global warming /anti.  On one side, we have the scientific findings of deacades of research and experiment.  On the other side, we have nothing more than anecdotes, personal opinions, and wishful thinking.

          That is NOT a "scientific controversy".  Science is not a democracy.  WYour opinion or personal conclusion, with all due respect, doesn't mean didley doo in science.  We don't get to vote on science.  We don't get to pick conclusions we like just because we think they are true.  We don't need to treat all viewpoints or opinions as "equally valid" -- in the world of science, some things are true, and some are not.  The assertion "there is a link between vaccines and autism" has been tested, and it failed.  Period.  End of debate.  End of discussion.  There is no more "scientific controversy" over that, than there is about whether the earth is round or flat.

          What there is, is a POLITICAL controversy, caused mostly by distraight parents who think they see something (that no researchers seem able to see) and who, I suspect, would very much like grounds for a lawsuit.

          The matter has been investigated by scientists over the years.  There's nothing there.  

          Get used to it.

          Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

          by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 09:27:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You should read what he wrote carefully (0+ / 0-)

            He stated that the scientific controversy over vaccines and autism/related disorders is not settled yet, and he is correct. He did not state that thimerosal was the cause, or refute the statistical studies showing that thimerosal is not a significant cause of autism in vaccinated children. This however does not prove that vaccines are not possibly related to the increase in autism and related disorders. The scientific jury is still out on that question and unless they do a study of vaccinated vs unvaccinated children in the same region with a large enough sample size to prove anything statistically we will not have an answer to the question of vaccines-autism link. Unfortunately, I think it will be hard to find a large enough sample of unvaccinated children to prove anything statistically.

            "lovely little thinker but a bugger when he's pissed"

            by yuriwho on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 12:02:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Lenny, please do your homework... (0+ / 0-)

            ...Before you post this sort of thing, 'cause it makes you look kinda dumb. If there is no link between vaccines and autism, please explain why in a large-scale double-blind study conducted in the UK, (Free from BigPharma's influence) autistic children were found to live strains of the measles virus that is used in the MMR vaccine but their non-autistic siblings did not? Or the study in Italy that found...
            I could go on and on, but the plain truth is, there is a link. It's probably not thimerosal, which has been adequately studied, but it could be any number of factors that have not. Do the homework on this and you'll discover that you're right, it is a political question, and BigPharma has used its leverage to win at the expense of families. Which is kinda the same old story, when you think about it.

            •  please do yours . . . (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Soberish

              If there is no link between vaccines and autism, please explain why in a large-scale double-blind study conducted in the UK, (Free from BigPharma's influence) autistic children were found to live strains of the measles virus that is used in the MMR vaccine but their non-autistic siblings did not?

              http://www.smh.com.au/...

              Journal repents over vaccine-autism link
              February 23, 2004

              One of the world's pre-eminent medical journals, the British magazine The Lancet, has said that it should never have published a 1998 study into controversial research linking a triple vaccine for infants to autism due to the researcher's "fatal conflict of interest".

              The journal's editor said at the weekend that the British physician who conducted a controversial study linking the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine to autism should have revealed that he was gathering information for a lawyer representing parents who believed that their children had been harmed by the vaccine.

              Just like creationists, the anti-vaccine-ers offer lots and lots of "independent scientific data" to support their view.

              And just like creationists, it all evaporates when you look at it.

              Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

              by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 01:34:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  some more British studies (0+ / 0-)

              presumably pharma-free, right?

              http://www.nlm.nih.gov/...

              Another Study Finds No Link Between MMR Vaccine and Autism
              British researchers say their review is the largest of its kind    

              Tuesday, February 5, 2008

              MONDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Yet another study has found no evidence of a link between the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism.

              The British authors of this latest research said theirs was the third and largest study that has looked for a connection between the MMR vaccine and autism, and has failed to find one.

              http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

              Experts Find No Vaccine-Autism Link
              Panel Says More Research on Possible Connection May Not Be Worthwhile
              By David Brown
              Washington Post Staff Writer
              Wednesday, May 19, 2004; Page A02

              The Institute of Medicine, a highly influential adviser of the government on scientific matters, said yesterday there is no credible evidence that either the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine or vaccines containing the preservative thimerosal cause autism.

              The conclusion came in an 81-page report requested by two federal agencies to address the doubts raised by a small but vocal group of parents who question the safety of childhood vaccines.

              A 14-person panel of experts urged more research on autism but said further pursuit of possible links between vaccines and the devastating neurological disorder is probably not worth the money and effort.

              Reports published in 2001 by the same committee found no connection between the MMR vaccine and autism, and insufficient evidence to draw conclusions about thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative added to multiple-dose vials of vaccine. Since then, enough new studies have been published to confidently reject both theories, the panel said.

              Especially convincing were a Danish study showing no difference in the rate of autism between children who got thimerosal-containing vaccines and those who did not and a British study showing no relationship between the introduction of MMR and autism rates, or between the timing of a vaccination and the onset of autism symptoms.

              Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

              by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 01:43:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  some more homework on the British study: (0+ / 0-)

              http://www.ctv.ca/...

              Flawed research on autism-vaccine link lingers
              Updated Mon. Jul. 16 2007 1:30 PM ET

              Helen Branswell, Canadian Press

              At least once a week, Dr. Joanne Langley or one of her colleagues in a Halifax pediatrics clinic carves 90 minutes or so out of a crammed schedule to try to persuade yet another set of anxious parents to vaccinate their baby against diseases that regularly used to sicken, maim and kill.

              In Toronto, Marianna Ofner - a university professor with a PhD in epidemiology -- has gone to the effort and expense of travelling to the United States to buy single disease vaccines she can't get in Ontario. Ofner was determined to avoid exposing her young daughter to the combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine that so frightens the parents Langley sees.

              Such is the legacy of the research of British gastroenterologist Dr. Andrew Wakefield, whose purported discovery of a link between the so-called MMR vaccine and autism continues to haunt efforts to protect children against these and other vaccine-preventable diseases in North America, Britain and beyond.

              The British body that governs physicians, the General Medical Council, begins a hearing Monday into allegations that Wakefield and two colleagues behaved unethically and dishonestly in conducting their research. The hearing, expected to last months, could result in the trio losing their medical licenses.

              The voices of infectious diseases specialists and pediatricians display anger and dismay when the subject of Wakefield and his work comes up.

              Dr. David Scheifele, a vaccine expert at B.C. Children's Hospital in Vancouver, dismisses Wakefield's research as "nonsense."

              "It shouldn't have been published in Lancet," says Scheifele, referring to the prestigious British medical journal that ran Wakefield's study in 1998.

              "It's very interesting how important the responsibility is to speak carefully about risk -- because one paper can just poison so much thinking," adds Langley, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist at Halifax's IWK Health Centre.

              In the nearly 10 years since the Lancet publication, scads of studies costing untold millions of dollars have failed to corroborate the link Wakefield still insists exists. Scientific authorities such as the U.S. Institute of Medicine have flatly concluded that Wakefield and his coauthors were wrong.

              "I actually feel enormously sad that this has been allowed to go on as long as it has. I think that there's been an enormous amount of wasted effort pursuing a theory that is based on flawed science," says Dr. Brian Ward, an infectious diseases expert at Montreal's McGill University who was approached by but declined to work with Wakefield.

              "Gosh, if I were the parent of an autistic child and I were having trouble getting services for my child, those millions of dollars could have been so much better spent on real research or providing real services," Ward adds.

              In 2004, 10 of Wakefield's 12 collaborators retracted the Lancet study.

              "We wish to make it clear that in this paper no causal link was established between MMR vaccine and autism, as the data were insufficient," wrote the group. "However, the possibility of such a link was raised. Consequent events have had major implications for public health."

              A 'fatal' conflict of interest

              Indeed they have. At one point MMR vaccination rates sunk to 75 per cent in Britain, well below the 95 per cent authorities say is needed to keep these diseases from circulating. While the rate has since climbed to about 85 per cent, Britain continues to suffer outbreaks of these three diseases and to seed the diseases abroad. The mumps outbreak Nova Scotia and a few other provinces have been fighting since mid-winter seems to trace back to a case from Britain.

              The Public Health Agency of Canada says MMR vaccination rates in this country hovered around the 95 per cent rate throughout the period from 1997 to 2004, though no data were collected from 1998 to 2001. Still, in Canada and in the United States, anecdotal reports from pediatricians -- and a perusal of Internet discussions dedicated to the issue -- show the fear sparked by Wakefield's work has taken root here too.

              Shortly before publishing the retraction, Lancet editor Dr. Richard Horton declared Wakefield had a "fatal" conflict of interest that would have precluded publication, if the journal had been informed of it.

              The doctor was doing paid research for a group of parents of autistic children who were trying to mount a class action suit against the makers of the MMR vaccine. Later it was revealed Wakefield had taken out a patent on a new vaccine while publicly challenging the safety of the existing one.

              Despite the allegations of research improprieties, despite the mounds of studies refuting Wakefield's work, pediatricians continue to find themselves facing parents reluctant or unwilling to vaccinate infants against these diseases and others.

              Fear can trump science, especially when babies are concerned.

              Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

              by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 01:52:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  sorry (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zhimbo

          the science is clear and there is no demonstrable risk. That is a hard fact, and saying or implying otherwise does harm. Vaccines prevent real diseases. Not vaccinating children hurts them and the community.

          If you point out that they have not been shown to be safe, that's a fact as well, because nothing can be shown safe. But don't confuse the two.

          This is an area that deserves more study (everyone agrees). Alas, the pleural of anecdotes is not data.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 09:47:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not so sure Lenny agrees... (0+ / 0-)

            Has everyone forgotten McCain was one of the Keating Five?

            by duck on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 10:51:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  with which part? (0+ / 0-)

              I don't see anything there I don't agree with.

              Not a thing.

              Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

              by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 10:58:24 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  This part... (0+ / 0-)

                This is an area that deserves more study (everyone agrees)

                Given that you had said this upstream...

                How many more studies do you need to convince you that all the preceeding ones are correct?  How much longer do you want to delay research into more promising areas, just so science can revisit this dead end again and again and again and again, just because you don't like the conclusions they keep reaching?  

                Has everyone forgotten McCain was one of the Keating Five?

                by duck on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 02:01:24 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  we're talking about two different things (0+ / 0-)

                  My quote refers to the old Wakefield crapola.  There've already been bazillions of studies.  No more are needed.  There's nothing there.

                  I'm all in favor of NEW research into new areas.  Who wouldn't be?

                  But it is just a waste of time and resources to continually repeat the same studies over and over and over again simply because a small group of distraught people want to find some gorunds to sue the pharma companies. All it does is divert resources away from USEFUL research, and delay the time when we can understand autism and perhaps find a treatment or cure for it.

                  Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

                  by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 02:06:17 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Lenny's had to take on the creationists (0+ / 0-)

              (for real) so he's got less patience than I do.

              "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

              by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 11:00:52 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  yep (0+ / 0-)

                I no longer suffer fools quietly.

                After twenty years, you'll be just as impatient with them as I am.   ;)

                Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

                by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 11:14:03 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  He makes my blood boil (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ProfJonathan

                by taking such absolutist stances on subjects that are far from fully settled in the scientific community. While certainly the link between thimerosal and the current epidemic of autism has been statistically refuted. In no way does this refute the hypothesis that vaccinations have caused abnormal immune responses in a small subset of kids has directly caused autism or autism spectrum disorders or other related neurological disorders.

                He takes one scientific conclusion about a specific hypothesis (does thimerosal in vaccines cause autism) and extends it to all vaccine-autism/neorological disorder links.....and does it with the zeal of a creationist. I post in reply to your post as you seem to cut him slack based on his having fought the good fight against creationists. (I also replied to one of his posts.

                "lovely little thinker but a bugger when he's pissed"

                by yuriwho on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 11:28:33 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  well of course (0+ / 0-)

                  anyone can go out there and do the research to show that their hypothesis is right.

                  Until someone does, there's no demonstrated link.

                  And those who claim there is, are wrong.

                  Period.

                  That is not a plot by pharma companies.  It is not a conspiracy by science to "hide the truth from us".

                  It is a simple fact.

                  There is no demonstrated link.

                  None.

                  Zip.

                  Zilch.

                  Zero.

                  Nada.

                  Not a one.

                  When that changes, so will science.

                  Until then, there's simply nothing to "debate".

                  Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

                  by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 11:45:55 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  "Demonstrated"? (0+ / 0-)

                    Lenny,

                    I hear your passion, and I understand your frustration, but I must disagree with your choice of terms.

                    Has a link been demonstrated by statistical studies?  No.  Might it have been demonstrated by direct observation by parents?  Yes.

                    Perhaps you mean "proven," rather than "demonstrated."    {ProfJonathan}

                    •  "proof" is for mathematics and alcohol (0+ / 0-)

                      Science doesn't "prove" anything.

                      Nor can it.

                      As for observations by parents, well, I hope medical science gives those observations all the weight that is properly due to anecdotal stories.

                      Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

                      by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 02:01:06 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Anecdotes are not data (0+ / 0-)

                      Might it have been demonstrated by direct observation by parents?  Yes.

                      But you can't demonstrate anything this way!  In an n=1 observation with no control group or randomization, human bias (the largest here being confimation bias) plays a huge role in any one person's analysis of an event.  Simply because a child was noticed to be autistic after a vaccination does not at all mean that the vaccination caused that autism!  Nor does it mean that autism wasn't present (but simply wasn't diagnosed) before the vaccination.  This is why your or any number of personal experiences means bubkus in determining anything.  

                •  i don't agree with him about everything (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  yuriwho

                  (including tone) but i do know where he's coming from.

                  Thanks for the comments.

                  "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                  by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 11:47:21 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I didn't say it did (0+ / 0-)

                  While certainly the link between thimerosal and the current epidemic of autism has been statistically refuted. In no way does this refute the hypothesis that vaccinations have caused abnormal immune responses in a small subset of kids has directly caused autism or autism spectrum disorders or other related neurological disorders.

                  About those things that are still under study, I have nothing to say.  Neither does anyone else, till the studies are completed.

                  What I am talking about are those people who point to studies that HAVE already been done, repeatedly, over a period of years, and claiming they must be wrong because (insert anecdote here), and that it's all a plot by science and the pharma companies to "hide the truth" from us so they don't get sued or something.

                  That is flat-out nonsense.  It is creationist-level nonsense.  Indeed, it is "the moon-landing was faked" level of nonsense.

                  Do you disagree?

                  Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

                  by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 11:56:00 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Read the quote that you used for the answer (0+ / 0-)

                    Also read the new comment I posted earlier in this mini thread. He said the jury was still out on vaccines-autism....you then said it was not....now you seem to agree with me that it is indeed still out.

                    The only thing that has been statistically proven thus far is that thimerosal is not a significant causative agent for autism in large population studies. The vaccines are still suspect.

                    Personally I think it will be dues to a variety of environmental exposure triggers along with genetic susceptibilities to those triggers. Like most complex neurological disorders, the genetics are complex with multiple potential triggers.

                    The personal anecdotes of children becoming rapidly autistic after receiving multiple vaccinations do need to be given credence. Not as evidence that thimerosal is the cause, but that there is likely to be a link between the immune system and autism, and between vaccinations and autism (given that vaccines stimulate the immune response.

                    No also carefully re-read what you said to wa-ma up thread. http://www.dailykos.com/...

                    You berated her for wanting to find out more about immune system-autism disorders and wanting more research done.

                    You should apologize to her

                    "lovely little thinker but a bugger when he's pissed"

                    by yuriwho on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 12:17:33 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  there is no demonstrated link (0+ / 0-)

                      Period.

                      Until there IS a demonstrated link, there isn't one. And anyone who says there is, is wrong.

                      In the meantime, people who don't get their kids vaccinated based on a belief (that has no demonstrated validity) that there IS a link, or who advise others not to get their kids vaccinated on the basis of a belief (that has no demonstrated validity) that there IS a link, are not living in a reality-based world.  

                      And that refusal to live in a non-reality-based world, has real-world consequences for the rest of us.

                      Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

                      by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 12:24:52 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You don't seem to be able to read and comprehend (0+ / 0-)

                        cause you just keep slinging the same strawman argument back.

                        I never said there was a link, Wa Ma never said there was a link. We both think there might be one and are interested to find out more.

                        You put up your strawman again and again trying to make it look like we are saying things we never said...

                        Seriously, read the threads again.....carefully this time

                        "lovely little thinker but a bugger when he's pissed"

                        by yuriwho on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 12:34:03 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  if an apology is needed (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      yuriwho
                      then I offer it.

                      Nevertheless, the fact remains: there is no demonstrated link.  Period.  If people would prefer to believe otherwise, they are of course welcome to their faith-based view.  What they are NOT welcome to do is endanger the rest of us because of it.

                      In the meantime, I think an apology is equally warranted from all those who think science is a vast conspiratorial plot funded by the pharmas to hide "the truth" from them.  It is a slander not only against thousands of medical scientists all over the world, but against science itself as a way of knowing about the world.

                      It is just as idiotic as the "moon landing was faked" kooks.

                      Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

                      by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 12:35:45 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Saying "Period" a lot does not prove your point (0+ / 0-)
                        •  nope (0+ / 0-)

                          but the fact that there simply is no demonstrated link -- none, zip, zero, zilch, nada, not a one -- does.

                          Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

                          by Lenny Flank on Mon Mar 31, 2008 at 03:05:43 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Saying zero six different ways doesn't either (0+ / 0-)

                            "Thou doth protest too much!"

                            I think it's rather funny that there's this emphatic recitation of the fact that "there's no demonstrated link." It happens that in this particular context, it's a conflict between individual autonomy and public health, and therefore liberals/progressives are outraged that anyone would question the use of these vaccines.

                            I happen to work in the area of environmental law, and there are many, many situations where there are environmental toxins that may or may not be linked to various kinds of diseases, but without a scientifically proven "demonstrated link" we can't make much progress in ameliorating the toxin and/or providing relief to the victims. On these issues, liberals/progressives often find ourselves on the other side.

                            But if we go back into history, we can see lots of situations where there was no "demonstrated link" for years, but then later it turns out there was a link, but too late for thousands or millions who dies. We can start with tobacco of course, but also lead in paint and gasoline, MTBE in gasoline, asbestos, etc. Right now we're trying to make headway on the link between diesel emissions and asthma and other pulmonary diseases.

                            So, I'm not convinced that there's a link between vaccines and autism, but I'll be the last person to express a strong opinion to the contrary until the issues is studies back and forth, probably for decades.

                          •  believe what you want (shrug) (0+ / 0-)

                            There's no demonstrated link.

                            Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

                            by Lenny Flank on Mon Mar 31, 2008 at 05:04:13 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

        •  go here (0+ / 0-)

          http://neurodiversity.com/...

          Speaking as someone with mild asperger's, I find the notion that this is something to be cured insulting.

          You've got a weird kid who is going to make some people uncomfortable at parties.  Deal with it.

    •  yes, Chairman Dept Chemistry U of Ky (0+ / 0-)

      Dr. Boyd Haley, believes there is a link with mercury (thimoserol in vaccines) and autism,

      http://video.google.com/...

      He has studied this intensively. He is left with a very low opinion of the Inst of Medicine.

      Just think of the class action law suits if thimoserol/vaccines caused harm (there are many motivating factors to kill his and others research on this topic)....

      •  he's not able to convince the rest ot the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zhimbo

        science world. The data and the verdict is in. That is a hard fact.

        I suppose the IOM has a low opinion of him, though I've never asked. ;-)

        Opinions really don't matter, only data. There are always dissenters, but the burden is on them to disprove the existing studies.

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 09:50:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  indeed (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zhimbo

          Dr Gerardus Buow, who has a PhD in astrophysics, thinks that Copernicus is wrong, and that the sun really revolves around the earth.

          Is there anyone here --- anyone at all --- who would therefore draw the conclusion that "the scientific jury is still out on that question"?

          Amyone . . . ?

          Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

          by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 10:07:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'm curious . . . (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zhimbo

        Is it your opinion, therefore, that in the dozens of studies that have already been done and found no link:

        (1) the researchers were too dumb to find signs of harmful effects of . . . MERCURY?  Common everyday well-studied MERCURY???????

        or

        (2) the researchers are part of a vast international conspiracy to "hide the truth"?

        Just think of the class action law suits if thimoserol/vaccines caused harm (there are many motivating factors to kill his and others research on this topic

        Ahhh, so it's the "worldwide scientific conspiracy to hide the truth" thingie, huh.

        Some question for you:

        (1) If a pharma company WERE to find a link between these vaccines and autism, and then prepared a safer alternative that did NOT cause autism, (a) how much money do you think that company would make in the first five years, and (b) what on earth would motivate them to voluntarily give up that economic bonanza just so they could continue as part of the scientific plot to "hide the truth"?

        (2)  Since pharma companies in Russia, China, France, or Swaziland are not subject to US class action lawsuits, what's THEIR motivation for joining the international conspiracy to "hide the truth"?

        (3)  How about all the scientists who have been working for the Federal government (FDA, EPA, etc) for the past 20 years (through, say, the Clinton Administration)?  What's their gain in this?  They don't work for pharma companies, thjey aren't subject to any lawsuit -- indeed, they have every reason to EXPOSE any such findings and any such plot to hide them (heck, the book sales alone from breaking the story would make any such scientist a gazillionnaire within months).  So why are THEY in on the international plot to "hide the truth"?  What's in it for them?

        Are you seriously suggesting that medical scientists all over the planet are part of a vast conspiracy funded by the pharma companies to suppress clear findings of MERCURY effects to save themselves the money they'd lose from a lawsuit, and that NO scientist, anywhere on the planet, is willing to expose the whole thing?

        Really and truly, that's what you think?

        Honestly?

        Wow.  Just . . . wow.  Sounds just like the anti-evolutioner's paranoid fantasy that every evolutionary biologist in the world is a god-hating liberal atheist, and suppresses the findings of the poor downtrodden expelled creation scientists because it's a big plot to destroy faith in god.

        Don't you think that maybe --- just MAYBE, mind you --the reason that no scientist has ever spoken up and shown such a link is . . . well . . . because there ain't no such link?  Isn't that just a wee bit more likely than a vast international decades-long conspiracy amongst all the medical scientists in the world?

        (sigh)

        Truly, the fundie right-wingers are not the only anti-science nutters . . . . . .  

        Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

        by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 10:06:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Pleasing Conservative Base (0+ / 0-)

    He is saying these stupid things just to please the republican conservative base.

  •  Joe Lieberman just said the best candidate... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    flumptytail, timbuck, ProfJonathan

    to carry on the Kennedy legacy is John McCain.  

    Sweet Jesus, I hate Joe Lieberman.

    An agnostic not because I don't know if there's a God, but because I don't care.

    by filmgeek83 on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 08:18:07 AM PDT

    •  PLEASE relax! (0+ / 0-)

      Now we know EXACTLY where he stands. The people of Connecticut will NOT reelect him. He will serve in a McCain administration, the best way to get rid of him is for Democrats to win the Presidential election.

      Obama or amabO, looking great whatever which way...

      by galliano on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 08:41:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  idiot#2 in charge (0+ / 0-)

    I'm telling you if this jack-ass gets elected, because of the amount of pathetic sheep in this country and the nonsense going on with the democats I'm taking my wife and son to Nova Scotia. How stupid can a group of people be, this whole thing about evolution, and abstnance, and iraq, and....JESUS !!!

  •  Lieberman on CBS's "This Week" for McCain (0+ / 0-)

    The McCain camp must be THRILLED to have a dynamo like Joe Lieberman on board. The McCain campaign will have a leg up on getting the support of the Tired Old Mumbly White Man segment of the population.

    Investigate War Lies --> Evidence for Senate Conviction --> End the War. Got it?

    by bejammin075 on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 08:18:52 AM PDT

  •  I cannot take.. the stupidity... it is killing me (11+ / 0-)

    First the Gorenfeld Moonie post. Now this about McCain.

    I need an aspirin.

    I cannot believe that I said, (many many months ago, before I found DKos) that I would actually consider McCain over Hillary.

    Mea culpa. If I have to cut my arm off after pulling the lever I will vote for the Democratic nominee. Period.

    The sleep of reason brings forth monsters.

    by beijingbetty on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 08:19:38 AM PDT

  •  Obama was ignorant of Wright's views for 20 years (0+ / 0-)

    It happens.

  •  McCain has given us a gift. (8+ / 0-)

    Did you notice that ad? The one where he's an American who fought for America and wants to be an American likes all Americans who love America?

    What's missing in that ad?

    It's HUGE.

    He's trying to run as NOT A REPUBLICAN.

    Well, we shouldn't let him get away with that. The Republicans know their brand is screwed. They don't even want to call themselves Republican!

    So we should.

    Republican, Republican, Republican.

    After thirty decades of struggle and seven glorious years in charge, they have made Republican a dirty word.

    We shouldn't let them not take personal responsibility for it, should we?

    They bought it, they broke it, they own it.

    Republican.

    McCain is a Republican. If he's shy about saying it, we shouldn't be. What's the worst thing you can call someone?

    A Republican.

    It's all been Republican policies, Republican implementation, and Republican party.

    Why are we all screwed up as a country?

    REPUBLICAN!

    That's what we should say, loudly and at every opportunity. The Republicans might as well have put up billboards on every road in America.

    They don't want to be Republicans any more?

    Naw, that's one thing we can pin on them.

    Let's do it at every opportunity.

    BRAND this "maverick."

    McCain is a Republican.

    It's all... Republican.

    Hang it around their necks with chains of steel.

    WereBear
    Reality always wins.
    the way of cats

    by WereBear on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 08:20:42 AM PDT

  •  What every single Democrat should be saying (5+ / 0-)

    We got into war in Iraq because W didnt know the difference between Al Qaeda and Iraq.  Which war will we get into because McCain doesn't know the difference between Al Qaeda and Iran?

  •  Here We Go Again (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Suvro, flumptytail, Mule at Rossem

    Another Republican candidate that appeals to America's dumber angels. McCain is positioning himself to be the darling candidate for the voters who proudly believe that ignorance is a virtue.

    We are the ones we've been waiting for

    by jpgod on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 08:28:58 AM PDT

  •  I have to find out what my position was (5+ / 0-)

    Jesus wept. That should be on the front page of every newspaper and in hard rotation on the bobbleheads. That one line should be enough to disqualify McCain from consideration as a candidate.

    I have to find out what my position was

    Un-fucking-believable.

    Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

    by The Raven on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 08:34:18 AM PDT

  •  "I support the president" vs CHANGE (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dotcommodity

    I do not know WHY people are going crazy worrying that McCain has all this time to 'look presidential' while we continue to traverse the entire country fighting for a nominee...

    McCain's 'free pass' is a gift that just keeps on giving our side ample ammunition to simply destroy the McCain MYTH the moment we enter the GE...

    Every time McCain steps up to the microphone and opens his mouth we have another fantastic campaign ad in the making...  the newest series can be called "I support the presidents policies"

    McCain has framed the election for us...

    I support the presidents policies vs CHANGE

    :)

    "THE SURGE IS WORKING" is the 2008 replacement for "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED"

    by KnotIookin on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 08:36:00 AM PDT

  •  There is STRONG scientific evidence... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dotcommodity, flumptytail, Maaarrrk

    ... that John's knowledge about anything is as developed as W's. Cultural Brothers. Their primary interest is Money AND Power. NO, not power to the people.

    Obama or amabO, looking great whatever which way...

    by galliano on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 08:38:04 AM PDT

  •  Don't know much about history (4+ / 0-)

    Don't know much biology....

    Seriously, is there any better way to say "I think you're a rube" than to be a Repbublican blabbing about how everyone else should practice abstinence?  McCain wasn't abstinent - he dumped one wife for another.  The Republican elite are endlessly caught tapping their toes in bathrooms or dumping their wives at press conferences.

    But with lives at stake, and condoms as a practical means of saving them, they'll simply roll out the "abstinence" speech.

    We are the ones we have been waiting for. - June Jordan

    by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 08:41:43 AM PDT

  •  This is not much of a comment (3+ / 0-)

    but I was certain this post had to be a joke - that it wasn't real.  Seriously, I thought it was a satire.  And then I realized it wasn't, and wanted to weep at the large percentage of American voters who are going to vote for this man in November.

  •  "McCain: as ignorant as the next guy!" n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    flumptytail

    "I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords..."

    by pawlr on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 08:47:29 AM PDT

  •  Some in the GOP has sold their souls to the devil (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    flumptytail

    I saw a Hagee book at an elderly relatives house.  Curious I looked at it.  It full of hate and disinformation the started with the old conflict that forced many of the Welsh, Scots & Irish out of their homelands 350 years ago.  Read Jim Webb's "Born Fighting" for that story.

    None of us immigrants whether we have been in North America for one generation or fifteen should NOT be bringing up old world hate.  Millions died or were enslaved by the Puritan, other protestants and Catholic wars in the British Isles.   Does Hagee think it is religious to restart the wars in North America?

    I bet even Hagee has Protestant and Catholic blood in him anyway.   The USA is the great melting pot.

    It does show how the world is much more complex that white and black.  People have been more than willing to hate and kill each other within a color group.

    Many African Americans are blood related to the conflict since the Puritan leader Oliver Cromwell liked selling his enemies' children into slavery in the West Indies & North America.   The white and black slaves were mixed especially in the West Indies before they were sold to North American owners.

    Whether Hagee thinks he is an Orange Order Protestant form Northern Ireland or an Oliver Cromwell Puritan, we don't need religious terrorism in the USA.

  •  Actually, I'd say "more" ignorant than (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    flumptytail, John2Luke

    the next guy.

  •  Please, let's not make condoms (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Suvro, adigal

    a presidential distraction.

    McCain is Vietnam's revenge on US.  We sent them a bomber and they sent back a guy with a twisted shoulder and a twisted psyche.

    It's not possible that the Republicans are planning on going with this damaged fellow to November.  He's sure to flame out and then a more substantial candidate will be brought in.

    The Republican Convention is Sept 1-4, after the Dems.  If they choose a dark horse, all the Dems planning will be moot.

    How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

    by hannah on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 09:02:36 AM PDT

  •  John " The Great Whore " McHagee (0+ / 0-)
  •  DEBATES WILL BE FUN (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    adigal

    If there are any, and I predict there won't be.  

    This reminds me of a Spongebob episode where Spongebob fill his entire brain with info being a waiter and forgets his own name.

    "I'm sure I had an opinion on that once, let me look it up and get back to you."  OMG.

    Just so we're clear: I favor Obama

    by David in Burbank on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 09:16:43 AM PDT

  •  Two peas in a pod (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dotcommodity

    Even his ignorance is just like Bush!  I do think he knows how to read, though.

    Here's my commercial idea for the Bush/McCain connection; let me know what you think!

    McBush commercial

    "There comes a time when deceit and defiance must be seen for what they are. At that point, a gathering danger must be directly confronted." --Dick Cheney

    by ronnyg on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 09:18:06 AM PDT

  •  is McCain more ignorant than the average American (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Suvro, adigal, ImpeachKingBushII, ronnyg

    I doubt it.

    Most Americans can't find Iraq or Afghanistan on a world map.  (Heck, many Americans can't even find the UNITED STATES on a world map).

    Most Americans don't know that the majority of Muslims DO NOT live in the Middle East.

    Most Americans don't know what a "molecule" is.

    Many Americans can't tell you how long it takes the earth to revolve once around the sun.  Many don't even know THAT the earth revolves around the sun.

    We are, as a nation, an utterly pig-ignorant uneducated lot.

    But, as long as people can do their minimum-wage service-sector jobs without screwing up TOO much, nobody seems to care.  (shrug)

    Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

    by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 09:18:54 AM PDT

    •  yeah, but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      adigal

      most Americans can tell you who Britney Spears is and what a Big Mac is.

      Get your priorities straight!

      "There comes a time when deceit and defiance must be seen for what they are. At that point, a gathering danger must be directly confronted." --Dick Cheney

      by ronnyg on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 09:22:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  well, the SCARY part is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        adigal

        that all those pig-ignorant Americans who can't find the US on a world map, get to VOTE.

        And their vote counts just as much as yours or mine does.

        ;)

        Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

        by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 09:33:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  What the average American does not know... (0+ / 0-)

      the President of the United States should know. He or she should have the perspective of the average American but a higher level of knowledge on hand. This diary is a clear representation that McCain is not a person who has a higher level of known information than the average American. This man knows less than I do.

      The most radical revolutionary will become conservative the day after the revolution. -Hannah Ardent

      by aliciainwonderland on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 09:51:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  indeed (0+ / 0-)

        Alas, in a democracy, we get exactly the sort of government that we deserve.

        When we have morons voting, we tend to have morons getting elected.

        And we deserve whatever we get.

        Solution?  Have fewer morons.

        Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

        by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 10:27:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And how... (0+ / 0-)

          are we supposed to do that? It isn't like I can go around sterilizing people or shooting people who are moronic. If so we would have a much smaller population and much different problems.

          The most radical revolutionary will become conservative the day after the revolution. -Hannah Ardent

          by aliciainwonderland on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 10:51:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  well (0+ / 0-)

            We could have an education system in the US.

            Alas, though, nobody wants to pay for it.

            Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

            by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 11:16:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  We do have one (0+ / 0-)

              and a lot of us work DAMN HARD at providing an education for kids whose parents can't be bothered to even ask about homework or are so poor that the only two meals the kid gets during the day are while s/he is at school.

              If you're going to trash the US public education system, be ready for a fight over where fault lies.

              Has everyone forgotten McCain was one of the Keating Five?

              by duck on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 02:06:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  then we need another one (0+ / 0-)

                The one we have ain't worth diddley doo.

                Just look around.

                Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

                by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 02:14:19 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I do look around, every day (0+ / 0-)

                  and every day, I see kids come from houses without heat, from families where the only parent is a grandmother raising another kid, and from homes where dinner plans mean "wait until breakfast at school tomorrow."

                  I look around and I see kids who have NO ONE in their lives telling them how to get ready for college, how to  be a decent human being, and how to use what they've learned.

                  And yet I do my best trying to teach these kids. I teach them that cultural differences are important to understand, otherwise you might just go to war when you don't have to. I teach them to read and think for themselves. I have them read Machiavelli (well, one chapter anyway) and ask them, "Is THIS how a leader should be?"

                  I look around my city and I see kids I taught 12, 13 years ago who hold productive jobs and have better lives than the the ones they were dealt.

                  We teach more kids more subjects and do it more effectively than at any other time in the U.S.'s history. Could we do better? Sure. But don't fault "the schools." Those school are populated with thousands upon thousands of teachers doing their best to make up for what society and families DIDN'T do before those kids walked into our classrooms.

                  If you don't want to help public schools, there's a political party over there to the right that would just love to join you in bashing public schools and their teachers.

                  Give me the right subject and I can match your snotty tone, too, Lenny.

                  Has everyone forgotten McCain was one of the Keating Five?

                  by duck on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 02:42:02 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  I agree with that completely (0+ / 0-)

              I feel as if I have wasted 7+ years of my life being socialized. I received a low rate education but the best one in my area. Kentucky is one of the worst areas for schooling I have heard of. It is not even about the money, it is about what people believe to be the most important thing. They curriculum of all schools should be reformed, public and private. Also, there should be no obvious educational difference between the public and private schooling systems.

              The most radical revolutionary will become conservative the day after the revolution. -Hannah Ardent

              by aliciainwonderland on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 02:22:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  it's about the money (0+ / 0-)

                because that's what demonstrates how important something is to someone.

                When people don't want to pay for something (like, say, a good education system), then that indicates pretty clearly that it's just not that important to them.

                For instance, the US collectively pays more for dog food every year than it does for education.

                Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

                by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 02:29:09 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  That is the problem (0+ / 0-)

                  Making money the important part of educational processes. You can throw whatever money you want at this problem but parents must teach their children  to value not only education but knowledge while they are very young so that middle and high school situations do not become purely social, as they have.

                  Although I do understand what you are saying about the money situation. My state has just taken away 20% of the higher education budget and put in an extra 20% for the prison budget.

                  The most radical revolutionary will become conservative the day after the revolution. -Hannah Ardent

                  by aliciainwonderland on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 06:46:47 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  here in Florida, we just passed (0+ / 0-)

                    an initiative that forces lower property taxes, and is therefore forcing the state to cut the budget.  Hard.

                    Imagine the ruckus now that SCHOOLS are being forced to cut their budgets.

                    Apparently, Florida voters are too stupid to understand where the money for their schools, uh, comes from . . .

                    As for those who like to say that "the money doesn't matter in education", I notice that none of the schools in the white wealthy suburban areas ever volunteers to cut its budget to match that of the poorest black inner city school.

                    After all, the money doesn't matter anyway, right . . . ?

                    Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

                    by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 08:36:31 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Money matters (0+ / 0-)

                      But it SHOULD BE less important than reform and reorganization. Do not turn this into a white/black thing. There are black kids who have better education that I have simply because they live in a different state and there are black kids who have worse education because they live in a different part of my state. This is not a racial thing, it is an everyone thing.

                      The most radical revolutionary will become conservative the day after the revolution. -Hannah Ardent

                      by aliciainwonderland on Mon Mar 31, 2008 at 02:44:06 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

    •  Most Americans aren't running for president. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DemFromCT

      I know Dubbya set the bar pretty low . . . but . . .

      "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

      by bobdevo on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 10:03:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  wow... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dotcommodity

    Mr. McCain: (Laughs) "Are we on the Straight Talk express? I’m not informed enough on it. Let me find out. You know, I’m sure I’ve taken a position on it on the past. I have to find out what my position was."

    wow...

    so, this is the BEST the re-thugs can offer up in this year of the 'perfect storm' v. bush 3.0?!  Like i keep saying he's either off his meds OR too heavily medicated MOST of the time- when ARE we going get a report on his med condition(s)/meds?

    wow

  •  like duncan said kids; (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dotcommodity

    this election is between the media and the democrats.

  •  I really don't believe... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mule at Rossem

    ...that McCain is quite that ignorant.  That leads me inexorably to the conclusion that he'd rather have his fellow "conservatives" believe he's as dumb as they are, rather than have us godless liberals believe he might have a brain or two in his head.  That doesn't strike me as leadership.

    "The Romans brought on their own demise, but it took them centuries. Bush has finished America in a mere 7 years." -- Paul Craig Roberts

    by Roddy McCorley on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 09:42:57 AM PDT

  •  Yakity, yack. Don't call back. (0+ / 0-)

    Take a good look at the comments made today. The issues are nickel dime concerns to the average voter.They just don't care. We do because we are in this political hot house.
    Obama and Clinton can get great press if they made themselves more available. It is that simple.

  •  The guy graduated 894 out of 899 ... (0+ / 0-)

    so an Einstein he's not.

    In fact, there is probably not a single issue upon which Crazy Old Coot is NOT ignorant.

    He was known among many of his Vietnam flight buddies as "Ace" McCain not because he destroyed five enemy aircraft, but because he lost five (5) of OUR planes, three before he even saw combat.

    Oh - and total combat time for McCain was 20 hours - for which he received 28 medals.  Sometimes I guess it pays to be the son and grandson of admirals.

    "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

    by bobdevo on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 09:49:23 AM PDT

  •  That is extremely pathetic. I think we should (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dotcommodity

    form a committee of kossacks who will swat anyone upside the head here who votes for McCanbarelyrememberanything.

    The sound of several slobbering horses scarfing up sticky rotting persimmons is fairly disgusting! klk

    by flumptytail on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 09:49:44 AM PDT

  •  Hmm. I wonder what I think about this? (5+ / 0-)

    I'm sure I've taken a position on John McCain being an ignoramus sometime in the past.  I just can't remember what it was.  

    I'll have to go back and do some research on what my position is and get back to you on it.

  •  Let's give him a break (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mule at Rossem

    I'm sure if he's elected he'll surround himself with lots of really smart people, just like Bush did.

  •  Like calls to Like (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mule at Rossem

    I wonder if one of the secrets behind the infatuation of the press with John McCain is his ignorance on so many things where he should be at least minimally informed. He almost seems to be contemptuous of actually knowing the answers - or even knowing the right questions to ask.

    That puts him right in tune with the press on so many things; they share a common set of attitudes. This lets them ask stupid questions, put up truth and and lies as equivalent, and dismiss anyone who gets upset about this kind of thing - as though any of it matters. Nothing matters, and what if it did?

    It's a near perfect mechanism for getting through life and politics without having to take responsibility for anything. It's certainly worked for George W. Bush; that was his whole rationale for letting Dick Cheney run the Presidency for him - so he wouldn't have to bother with all that tedious stuff.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 10:11:01 AM PDT

  •  Breaking:Bush refuses to pull out, Iraq pregnant! (0+ / 0-)

    ...in a related story:
    Photobucket

    "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars". William Jennings Bryan

    by ImpeachKingBushII on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 10:13:50 AM PDT

  •  I know I'm late to the party... (0+ / 0-)

    but there does seem to be a lot of bullshit and hot air on the "Straighttalk Express".

    It's like he doesn't seem to know what straight talk really means.

    I know... that's harsh... but... have ya noticed too?

    [/snarkinessicisty]

    There's no money for your issue so long as we're squandering $50 billion a year on the DrugWar. Ben Masel

    by xxdr zombiexx on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 10:14:40 AM PDT

  •  Not ignorant, just senile (0+ / 0-)

    McSame should be heading off to a comfortable retirement, but his ego won't allow it. This incident makes it clear that the elevator no longer goes all the way to the top.

  •  oops. it broke (0+ / 0-)

    Thats all it takes for another aides case. How can anyone promote condoms that have atleast a 2%, failure rate. Abstinence is 100% effective. No voodoo math, just a hard fact. If 2% is enough of a saftey net for you to have sex with a person that may have aides, or some other STD  thats your freedom of choice. you dont a politican's endorsement. Condoms are very easy to find. even in Africa. The use of condoms will not stop aides. A cure will eventually be found. Until then I'll hold.

    •  uh.. because absinence doesn't work, that's why (0+ / 0-)

      it doesn't matter how effective it is if it's not practiced.

      A long-awaited national study has concluded that abstinence-only sex education, a cornerstone of the Bush administration's social agenda, does not keep teenagers from having sex. Neither does it increase or decrease the likelihood that if they do have sex, they will use a condom.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 10:47:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh, fer cryin' out loud!!!! (0+ / 0-)

    At this point, after learning many times over never to ascribe even a shred of credibility to ANYTHING George W. Bush has to say, ABOUT ANYTHING, why would anyone ascribe any more credibility to anything uttered by anyone who answers a question by saying "Ahhhh, I think I support the president's policy"?  Jeez, every time the guy opens his mouth something stupid comes out.  Yeah, I'm talking about McCain.  Bush?  Far be it from me to unnecessarily belabor the embarrassingly obvious....

    Liberal = We're all in this together
    Conservative = Every man for himself
    Who you gonna call?

  •  Usually your articles are fairly pedantic (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemFromCT

    and miss the point; however, your charts are always fun.  This article comes pretty close in describing why American leadership has blundered so ineptly since 1980.  That was when the press created the "Teflon President" actually it was the "Teflon party".  After the silly Nixon debacle the MSM simply quit reporting negative stories about republicans.

    If the MSM reported fairly regarding both parties there would not be a republican party or if it existed it would be about .5% of the country. When any country is ruled entirely by greed and the criminally corrupt are financially rewarded by stealing trillions of dollars from the hard working taxpayers, it must fail in the long run. As long as the freedom hating, liberty hating, constitution hating, rightwing nutjobs rule the MSM it will be very difficult for any democrat possessing democratic ideals to lead.      

    We will never forget the crimes and atrocities committed by the Bush administration!

    by Freedom Loving American on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 10:54:20 AM PDT

  •  His approval rating is 67%, so I read the other (0+ / 0-)

    day. Higher than either of our candidates. No one cares that he crashed planes, or is an idiot. The media has their story, war hero, and that is what might win this soulless moron the presidency. Obama needs to ignore Hillary, and hit back McCain on all of these asinine comments.

    My new bumper sticker: Cheney-Satan '08

    by adigal on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 10:57:15 AM PDT

    •  that's now (0+ / 0-)

      and this with the advantage of being the anointed one whereas the Dems are still bickering (we do that, because democracy is messy).

      His 67% doesn't matter, really. OTOH, scrutiny of McCain has not really begun because the press still gives him a pass. That won't be forever.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 11:09:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What makes you think... (0+ / 0-)

        THIS

        scrutiny of McCain has not really begun because the press still gives him a pass. That won't be forever.

        is true?

        I'm still waiting for the MSM to actually look at what Bush has done. The clip Jon Stewart showed where Bush recounted the "challenging" times during his president made me depressed. As Jon said, "You're a worse president than even I remember!"

        Has everyone forgotten McCain was one of the Keating Five?

        by duck on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 02:10:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  And people would vote him over Obama? (0+ / 0-)

    WOW. This guyknows nothing. At least he is honest that he doesnt know anything about this subject. But come on, is America this stupid?

  •  schools (0+ / 0-)

    A year or so ago McCain was asked whether he supported the teaching of creationism in schools. And he answered that he thought the kids should be allowed to decide for themselves. What a leader.

    •  what McCain said (0+ / 0-)

      http://hotlineblog.nationaljournal.c...

      McCain believes in evolution, personally believes that :"intelligent design" "creationism" shouldn't be taught in SCIENCE class, but is willing to leave that decision up to the states, ultimately, and also, believes that students should be exposed to the theory elsewhere, presumably in religion or social studies class.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 11:11:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  just ask his girlfriend (0+ / 0-)

    Whatever happened to McCain's lobbiest girlfriend? Couldn't we just ask her if the old boy knows what they're for and how they're used?  He's been around the world a few times.  Shouldn't he know what they're for by now?

    Government didn't get smaller under the Republicans; it just lost its stature.

    by Andhakari on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 11:09:27 AM PDT

  •  With a sycophantic press... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jean

    it will be hard to pull McSame down from his unwarranted perch by mere demonstrations of his stupidity and ignorance. However, even a sycophantic press will be unable to ignore a public display of the infamous McBush temper. Simply put, McSame must be goaded into losing it in public. Bugging him about his flip-flops and ignorance will eventually provide a "macaca" moment.

  •  How many........ (0+ / 0-)

    How many other 73 year olds know what a condom even is? I am sure Mcstupid will have an aid put one over a banana tonight to show him how they are used.

    To think, in 2000 I may have actually voted for this guy. Hey, I must be honest. I hate being honest about my own stupidity , but what can you do?

    What sucks is this guy is running on experience , and he is unaware of anything without consulting someone first. I truly believe his Veep will take over by year 2-the guy is going to have Alzheimer's by then and no one wants another Ronnie.

  •  John McSame (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jean

    "Bridge To The 19th Century"

    "The truth may be puzzling. It may not be consonant with what we desperately want to be true. But our preferences do not determine what's true." -Carl Sagan

    by astronautagogo on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 11:39:49 AM PDT

  •  thoughts on global AIDS... PEPFAR reauthorization (0+ / 0-)

    from a diary I wrote yesterday:

    I've heard from many people that the one thing Bush has done well on is global AIDS... well, credit, where credit is due.  But since the Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) was originally signed in 2003, the amount of people infected with HIV in Uganda--which the Administration exploits, as supposedly being the model for Abstinence, Be faithful and Comdomize programs--the amount of people infected with HIV in Uganda, each year, began increasing. There's little doubt this is/was the result of PEPFAR and the significantly different programs for HIV awareness and prevention that it pushed.

    Anyways, PEPFAR is now up for its 5-year reauthorization and there are Bills on the floor of the House and Senate.  If you'd like a comparison chart of the prevention issues in those Bills, you can see this PDF from the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE). And finally, here's an advocacy website (managed by CHANGE and by Health GAP), regarding PEPFAR reauthorization: http://www.pepfarwatch.org/...

    now here's some information on Uganda's recent up-tick in HIV infections:

    2005 Critics accused the US of encouraging a shift in Uganda's HIV prevention policy towards promoting abstinence only, and away from promoting condoms. A severe national condom shortage was reported.

    2006 Scientists suggested that HIV prevalence may be rising again. By the end of the year, antiretroviral treatment was reaching around 41% of needy people.

    So to backup this political argument about how Bush and PEPFAR have probably led to an increase in Uganda's HIV incidence, please see these press releases (from 2005).

    And here is some more general info about the first 5 years of PEPFAR:
    http://www.globalaidsalliance.org/...
    http://pepfarwatch.org/

    I think it's an important for Obama supporters to know that there was a quick passage of the PEPFAR reauthorization bill out of the Senate Committee on Foreign relations bill:

    From: "Ignoring Facts, Biden, Lugar Proceed on PEPFAR," S. Swenson, RH Reality Check, 3/13/2008.

    Sen. Barbra Boxer (D-CA) wanted to offer an amendment inserting family planning into a list of services PEPFAR grantees can refer clients to, helping to reach Sen. Coburn's goal. But Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) told Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) that the Boxer amendment was a "poison pill". Without Chairman Biden's blessing, the Boxer amendment had no hope of passing. Just like the House, without paying any attention to evidence or experience from PEPFAR One, deals were done.

    There is still the possibility of a floor fight, with actual debate which neither the House or Senate Foreign Relations Committees have held so far. That will require real leadership, something sorely lacking on this bill.

    And from: "Senate Panel Acts on AIDS Bill," J. Abrams, AP, 3/13/2008.
    [comments in brackets mine]

    Included in the Senate bill was a measure introduced by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., to lift a travel ban, enacted in 1987 and reinstated in 1993, on people with HIV entering the United States. There is a waiver option, Kerry said, "but the process is incredibly restrictive."

    Like the House bill, it would ease stipulations in the 2003 act that required that one-third of all prevention money be spent on abstinence programs, instead directing the administration to promote "balanced funding for prevention activities"[meaning, that if a country spends less than 50% of its prevention money on ABSTINENCE-ONLY programs, then the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator has to write a report explaining to Congress why less than 50% went to abstinence-only.]

    The Senate bill does not mention family planning. House negotiators, responding to concerns from anti-abortion groups that AIDS money might be used for abortions, worked out a provision allowing the use of funds for HIV/AIDS testing and counseling services in those family planning programs supported by the U.S. government [meaning that, under the House's version of Pepfar II, the global gag rule would be applied. Under Pepfar I, some funding was allowed to go to organizations which talked about family planning options].

    And here are is a an article from somebody, who works for CHANGE:

    My personal reality check leads me to conclude that it's time to stop deluding ourselves. We need to realize that:
       * An appearance of bi-partisanship is NOT more important than the lives of millions of people separated from us by race, nation, or HIV-status.
       * We will NOT stand by while even the most progressive members of Congress decide to fall into line rather than stand their ground and put up a fight for what's right. We can, and we will, make them accountable for their actions.
       * Money does not solve everything, especially when that money has strings attached, especially when that money ends up lining the pocketbooks of U.S. government contractors and organizations doing the ideological bidding of the Administration, and especially when that money goes to programs that advance U.S. global hegemony.

    •  concurrent relationships (0+ / 0-)

      there is lot of info out there about concurrent relationships and how the promotion of being faithful--rather than abstinence--was important in Uganda...

      If you're interested in the issue, Helen Epstein wrote an interesting book, which really focused on this and also criticized UNAIDS for engaging in an "Abstinence vs. Condoms" debate. It's an interesting book for stirring up some important points.... "The Invisible Cure"

  •  McCain's Own Book is His Own Best Opponent (0+ / 0-)

    Below you'll see 2 emails, one to the Wall St Journal, one to the Washingtion Post. I'm hoping WSJ publishes it Monday

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Alan R
    To: wsj.ltrs@wsj.com ; edit.features@wsj.com
    Sent: Friday, March 28, 2008 9:02 AM
    Subject: Worth Voting For?
    To The Editor:

    Amongst all of the sound bytes and cherry-picking that has been going on in this campaign, I find that it is important to do your own research. And I finally found the candidate who can best express the views that are the polar opposite of those expressed by Senator John McCain.

    Senator John McCain.

    A couple of weeks ago I went to my local library and borrowed several of books, one of them being John McCain’s "Worth The Fighting For". This book was originally published in 2002 – after 9/11, but before the invasion of Iraq.

    Chapter Five, entitled "In Opposition", caught my attention. It pertains to the tragic events in Lebanon in 1983, when the Marine barracks in Lebanon were attacked by a suicide bomber, killing over 200 American soldiers. Just prior to this, then-Congressman McCain came to a conclusion "in opposition" to President Reagan – namely, in a vote on whether to grant President Reagan authority in the decision to maintain a Military presence.  He voted against this authorization, which passed the House by 90 votes.

    As I read the chapter, I felt a sense of "déjà vu". McCain recalls that in Lebanon "ethnic identity politics was the only politics, there could be no strong, central government...particularly so when the central government America decided to strengthen and protect would be dominated by a sect of Christians ruling over a Muslim majority". But in terms of American involvement, "our naval bombardment had made it rather plain that we were now engaged in Lebanese hostilities".  

    So McCain recalls his speech of September 28, 1983, where he asks "will the Lebanese Army ever be strong enough to drive out the Syrians, let alone the PLO? If the answer to this question is no, as I believe it is, then we had better be prepared to accept a lengthy and deeper involvement". It is notable that he also says "The longer we stay in Lebanon, the harder it will be for us to leave ... I acknowledge that the level of fighting will increase if we leave ... But I firmly believe this will happen in any event ... and I am prepared to accept the consequences of our withdrawl".

    There’s about 15 pages to this chapter on history, yet so much of it sounds to me like a parallel of today. As you read it, you can substitute "Iraq" for Lebanon, "Maliki" for Gemayel, "Al Qaeda" for Hizbullah and/or PLO, "Iran" for Syria. "McCain also describes the country as a "quagmire" for the marines. Aren’t we hearing this word by those opposed to the war today?  

    You might be compelled to conclude "9/11 changed things". Maybe so. But I see no subsequent reflection by the author that results in a different conclusion.  Furthermore, this book was published in 2002, and in the chapter McCain states "As events turned out, my opposition to the President would prove to be well-founded".

    So I respectfully ask: How does Senator McCain reconcile his opposition to the Commander In Chief in 1983 with his current claim on his campaign website that opposing it today "would gravely jeopardize American security"?  If he acknowledged then that leaving was the best course despite the possibility of increased fighting, why isn’t that a serious option today?

    Senator McCain has been known to be a "straight talker", and a "maverick".  I desire a President who exhibits "wisdom" and "leadership".  And one who has not flipped-flopped in important policy decisions.

    As we look toward 2009 and beyond, questions loom about our future policy. Senator McCain states on his website that "there are simply not enough American forces in Iraq". Well, how many troops are "enough"? And what if, in his policy that almost never mentions the word "diplomacy", we are confronted with the need to act against the threats of anti-Americanism that exist today in Pakistan and Afghanistan, or the nuclear capabilities of Iran? How many troops will we need, and at what cost? How do we do this with a tax cut? Can we do this with an all-volunteer army? Straight talk, please!

    The Bush administration ended up as McCain feared about Reagan, "trapped by the case we make for having our troops there in the first place". We have a chance to have a new administration change our direction.

    I request you, the reader to look at McCain's writings on your own when you have the opportunity (yes, the other candidates too). Please do not be driven by sound bytes, or even my words.

    Alan R
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Alan R
    To: letters@washpost.com
    Sent: Sunday, March 23, 2008 10:09 PM
    Subject: Re: McCain, Traveling Along a Tightrope
    To the Editor:

    In my own research looking at the candidates and their positions on America’s National Interest, I came across a person who can best express the views that are the polar opposite of Senator John McCain.

    Senator John McCain.

    In his book "Worth The Fighting For", chapter five ("In Opposition") then-Congressman McCain explains his vote in September 1983 against the deployment of Marines in support of Lebanon’s "weak" government. His speech of September 28th sounds eerily like those given today in opposition to the war in Iraq.  He further states in this 2002 memoir that his judgments then were "well-founded".

    I found this at my local library, please look for yourself, it is well-worth reading.  I hope the Senator can explain to the benefit of my astonishment how he then acknowledged that with withdrawl from Lebanon "the level of fighting will increase...but this will happen in any event", but fails to come to that conclusion today.  

    Alan R
    P.S. I did find one article about the memoirs, from a backer of Ron Paul - quite good, but I don't liek Ron Paul.
    http://www.amconmag.com/...

  •  Why is McCain getting a pass on Hagee? (0+ / 0-)

    Further evidence of the MSM's pandering to this Rethug. Oh yeah, I've heard the flimsy defense that Sen. Obama attended the church with Rev. Wright for 20 years, was married by Rev. Wright and his children were baptized by Rev. Wright, wherease the Rethug McCain has not attended a service conducted by Rev. Hagee to actually hear in person his venomous anti-people powered bigotry. But that is a flimsy excuse at best. Rather, it is just another example of people power seeing the hypocrisy of the MSM and its pandering to McCain while unconscionably attacking Sen. Obama for his pastor. We will not be deterred as people powered LGBT marital supporting progressives and will continue to point out the hypocrisy of the MSM and its pandering to the Rethug candidate.

  •  McCain seems like a sure bet to be elected (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jean

    Because he'll get the knucklehead vote. This is a huge swath of the electorate that the next Democratic nominee has almost a zero chance of getting. The knuckleheads in this country don't like people smarter than they are in office, hence our current condition.

    -- read http://thegoreyears.wordpress.com/iraq-during-the-gore-years/ before you ask me any questions

    by chuckwh on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 12:55:27 PM PDT

    •  it's unfair of you (0+ / 0-)

      to criticize cable tv like that with such a broad brush. Olbermann is not a knucklehead..

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 02:16:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Except that he's right about vaccines and autism (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dantemaria

    Great post, except I have to say that McBush is dead on about vaccines and autism. There really is divided opinion (and not the global warming kind) in the scientific community about the link between vaccines and autism. Last month the government acknowledged such when it agreed to pay a claim from the vaccine injury fund to a family whose daughter developed autism after getting vaccinated.
    The preservative McCain referenced was thought to be the link, but research is showing it probably isn't. So folks are jumping to the conclusion that there is no link, and yet research in Europe (where big Pharma hasn't bought and paid for 'regulations' and 'oversight' like here) and elsewhere shows there are reasons for concern. For example, a double-blind study involving children with autism and their healthy siblings showed that autistic kids have the same measles strain from the vaccine active in their gut (autistic kids frequently have GI issues) but their healthy sibs don't. Kinda makes you wonder...
    The link between vaccines and autism is a complex relationship, but it is there, and any candidate who says otherwise won't get my vote. There is too much at stake for devastated families...like mine.
    GREAT post otherwise.

    •  there is no demonstrated link (0+ / 0-)

      between vaccines and autism.

      None.

      Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

      by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 02:02:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm sorry to correct you (0+ / 0-)

      The science is crystal clear. The Wakefield MMR/autism studies from the UK are not only bogus, the publishing journal has apologized for them (link above). OTOH

      Conclusions. The discontinuation of thimerosal-containing vaccines in Denmark in 1992 was followed by an increase in the incidence of autism. Our ecological data do not support a correlation between thimerosal-containing vaccines and the incidence of autism.

      When the NY Times wrote:

      Study after study has failed to show any link between vaccines and autism, but many parents of autistic children remain unconvinced. For the skeptics, the case of 9-year-old Hannah Poling shows that they have been right along.

      they got it exactly right. That parents are unconvinced does not change the science or the facts.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 02:24:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I Agree (0+ / 0-)

      this is the main issue for me during this election.

  •  This is what I find most disgusting: (0+ / 0-)

    Mr. McCain: (Laughs) "Are we on the Straight Talk express? I’m not informed enough on it. Let me find out. You know, I’m sure I’ve taken a position on it on the past. I have to find out what my position was. Brian, would you find out what my position is on contraception . . .

    I don't want a president who has "positions."  I want a president that has principles.  For Christ's sake, McSame, do you support the use of condoms to prevent STDs or don't you?  Not your campaign, YOU!  What the hell do YOU think about the issue?

    Si se fucking puede! - Melody Townsel

    by Endangered Alaskan Dem on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 01:40:29 PM PDT

  •  You've helped convince me to vote for McCain.... (0+ / 0-)

    at least in regard to Autism and Vaccines. Apparently he makes more sense than I had previously  thought.

    •  single issue voters (0+ / 0-)

      always scare me.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 02:35:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the REALLY scary part (0+ / 0-)

        is that it is simply impossible to tell if this guy is just being snarky, or really means it.

        I've learned over the years that there is NO argument SOOO silly, SOOO stupid, SOOO utterly idiotic, that some anti-science nutter somewhere won't swallow it whole.

        That is why it's completely impossible to parody them.

        Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

        by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 02:44:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  btw, since you would consider voting for McCain (0+ / 0-)

      on this (a remarkable statement), you might want to - um - actually find out his position beyond a sound bite, as well as the Dem candidate he's running against.

      Don't forget that while we may disagree, I am not the one running. ;-)

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 02:38:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So that's more improtant (0+ / 0-)

      than being in Iraq for 100 years or invading Iran?

      Really?

      Has everyone forgotten McCain was one of the Keating Five?

      by duck on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 02:48:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What is Obama's positions on Autism (0+ / 0-)

    Anyone know?????

    •  I'm, uh, sure that he's against it. (0+ / 0-)

      Why, are you FOR autism . . . . ?

      Ohhhhhh, you mean what does he think of the silly "vaccines cause autism" thingie.

      Can't tell you.  I doubt he's thought about it, anymore than he's thought about "was the moon landing faked?"

      Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

      by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 02:46:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  there's this (0+ / 0-)

      which I am 100% supportive of:

      Support Americans with Autism. More than one million Americans have autism, a complex neurobiological condition that has a range of impacts on thinking, feeling, language, and the ability to relate to others. As diagnostic criteria broaden and awareness increases, more cases of autism have been recognized across the country. Barack Obama believes that we can do more to help autistic Americans and their families understand and live with autism. He has been a strong supporter of more than $1 billion in federal funding for autism research on the root causes and treatments, and he believes that we should increase funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to truly ensure that no child is left behind.

      More than anything, autism remains a profound mystery with a broad spectrum of effects on autistic individuals, their families, loved ones, the community, and education and health care systems. Obama believes that the government and our communities should work together to provide a helping hand to autistic individuals and their families.

      it's a pro-science approach.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 02:46:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks and sorry for the "knee-jerk" posts (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DemFromCT, Lenny Flank, Fishkiller

        Thanks for the info. My son is autistic and I get a little emotional about the issue. It sounds like the causes of autism are pretty complex and unkown at this time. Many parents are convinced that vaccines play a part, but it might be mostly due to the onset of symptoms is at about the same time developmentally as vaccines. The fact that the numbers keep increasing would point to some environmental factor, but perhaps it is not vaccines. Anyway, thanks for the info.

        •  you've summed it up beautifully (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dantemaria

          I am very comfortable with your conclusions. Absence of evidence for associated risk doesn't answer everything.

          There's something like a million parents in your position (I don't know if anyone has exact numbers), but as I wrote last week, the move to not vaccinate children has considerable dangers attached.

          I'm a a big proponent of health reform, including parity for mental health issues, as well as rebuilding public health infrastructure. Maybe it'll help us prepare for a pandemic, but it will certainly help us with everything else.

          That, too, is a pro-science approach.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 03:12:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You might be interested in "The Agile Gene" by (0+ / 0-)

          Matt Ridley. Nothing specific about autism, but a lot about how genes express under different circumstances, essential to sorting out the claims and counterclaims about what might cause a syndrome such as autism.

  •  On superheroes... (0+ / 0-)

    Why I Will Not Vote for John McCain
    By Phillip Butler, PhD
    Cdr, USN (ret.)

    Dear friends:

    As some of you might know, John McCain is a long-time acquaintance of mine that goes way back to our time together at the U.S. Naval Academy and as Prisoners of War in Vietnam. He is a man I respect and admire in some ways. But there are a number of reasons why I will not vote for him for President of the United States.

    When I was a Plebe (4th classman, or freshman) at the Naval Academy in 1957-58, I was assigned to the 17th Company for my four years there. In those days we had about 3,600 midshipmen spread among 24 companies, thus about 150 midshipmen to a company. As fortune would have it, John, a First Classman (senior) and his room mate lived directly across the hall from me and my two room mates. Believe me when I say that back then I would never in a million or more years have dreamed that the crazy guy across the hall would someday be a Senator and candidate for President!

    John was a wild man. He was funny, with a quick wit and he was intelligent. But he was intent on breaking every USNA regulation in our 4 inch thick USNA Regulations book. And I believe he must have come as close to his goal as any midshipman who ever attended the Academy. John had me "coming around" to his room frequently during my plebe year. And on one occasion he took me with him to escape "over the wall" in the dead of night. He had a taxi cab waiting for us that took us to a bar some 7 miles away. John had a few beers, but forbid me to drink (watching out for me I guess) and made me drink cokes. I could tell many other midshipman stories about John that year and he unbelievably managed to graduate though he spent the majority of his first class year on restriction for the stuff he did get caught doing. In fact he barely managed to graduate, standing 5th from the bottom of his 800 man graduating class. I and many others have speculated that the main reason he did graduate was because his father was an Admiral, and also his grandfather, both U.S. Naval Academy graduates.

    People often ask if I was a Prisoner of War with John McCain. My answer is always "No - John McCain was a POW with me." The reason is I was there for 8 years and John got there 2 ½ years later, so he was a POW for 5 ½ years. And we have our own seniority system, based on time as a POW.

    John's treatment as a POW:

    1. Was he tortured for 5 years? No. He was subjected to torture and maltreatment during his first 2 years, from September of 1967 to September of 1969. After September of 1969 the Vietnamese stopped the torture and gave us increased food and rudimentary health care. Several hundred of us were captured much earlier. I got there April 20, 1965 so my bad treatment period lasted 4 1/2 years. President Ho Chi Minh died on September 9, 1969, and the new regime that replaced him and his policies was more pragmatic. They realized we were worth a lot as bargaining chips if we were alive. And they were right because eventually Americans gave up on the war and agreed to trade our POW's for their country. A damn good trade in my opinion! But my point here is that John allows the media to make him out to be THE hero POW, which he knows is absolutely not true, to further his political goals.
    1. John was badly injured when he was shot down. Both arms were broken and he had other wounds from his ejection. Unfortunately this was often the case - new POW's arriving with broken bones and serious combat injuries. Many died from their wounds. Medical care was non-existent to rudimentary. Relief from pain was almost never given and often the wounds were used as an available way to torture the POW. Because John's father was the Naval Commander in the Pacific theater, he was exploited with TV interviews while wounded. These film clips have now been widely seen. But it must be known that many POW's suffered similarly, not just John. And many were similarly exploited for political propaganda.
    1. John was offered, and refused, "early release." Many of us were given this offer. It meant speaking out against your country and lying about your treatment to the press. You had to "admit" that the U.S. was criminal and that our treatment was "lenient and humane." So I, like numerous others, refused the offer. This was obviously something none of us could accept. Besides, we were bound by our service regulations, Geneva Conventions and loyalties to refuse early release until all the POW's were released, with the sick and wounded going first.
    1. John was awarded a Silver Star and Purple Heart for heroism and wounds in combat. This heroism has been played up in the press and in his various political campaigns. But it should be known that there were approximately 600 military POW's in Vietnam. Among all of us, decorations awarded have recently been totaled to the following: Medals of Honor - 8, Service Crosses - 42, Silver Stars - 590, Bronze Stars - 958 and Purple Hearts - 1,249. John certainly performed courageously and well. But it must be remembered that he was one hero among many - not uniquely so as his campaigns would have people believe.

    John McCain served his time as a POW with great courage, loyalty and tenacity. More that 600 of us did the same. After our repatriation a census showed that 95% of us had been tortured at least once. The Vietnamese were quite democratic about it. There were many heroes in North Vietnam. I saw heroism every day there. And we motivated each other to endure and succeed far beyond what any of us thought we had in ourselves. Succeeding as a POW is a group sport, not an individual one. We all supported and encouraged each other to survive and succeed. John knows that. He was not an individual POW hero. He was a POW who surmounted the odds with the help of many comrades, as all of us did.

    I furthermore believe that having been a POW is no special qualification for being President of the United States. The two jobs are not the same, and POW experience is not, in my opinion, something I would look for in a presidential candidate.

    Most of us who survived that experience are now in our late 60's and 70's. Sadly, we have died and are dying off at a greater rate than our non-POW contemporaries. We experienced injuries and malnutrition that are coming home to roost. So I believe John's age (73) and survival expectation are not good for being elected to serve as our President for 4 or more years.

    I can verify that John has an infamous reputation for being a hot head. He has a quick and explosive temper that many have experienced first hand. Folks, quite honestly that is not the finger I want next to that red button.

    It is also disappointing to see him take on and support Bush's war in Iraq, even stating we might be there for another 100 years. For me John represents the entrenched and bankrupt policies of Washington-as-usual. The past 7 years have proven to be disastrous for our country. And I believe John's views on war, foreign policy, economics, environment, health care, education, national infrastructure and other important areas are much the same as those of the Bush administration.

    I'm disappointed to see John represent himself politically in ways that are not accurate. He is not a moderate Republican. On some issues he is a maverick. But his voting record is far to the right. I fear for his nominations to our Supreme Court, and the consequent continuing loss of individual freedoms, especially regarding moral and religious issues. John is not a religious person, but he has taken every opportunity to ally himself with some really obnoxious and crazy fundamentalist ministers lately. I was also disappointed to see him cozy up to Bush because I know he hates that man. He disingenuously and famously put his arm around the guy, even after Bush had intensely disrespected him with lies and slander. So on these and many other instances, I don't see that John is the "straight talk express" he markets himself to be.

    Senator John Sidney McCain, III is a remarkable man who has made enormous personal achievements. And he is a man that I am proud to call a fellow POW who "Returned With Honor." That's our POW motto. But since many of you keep asking what I think of him, I've decided to write it out. In short, I think John Sidney McCain, III is a good man, but not someone I will vote for in the upcoming election to be our President of the United States.

    Phil

    •  gee, perhaps . . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fishkiller

      Believe me when I say that back then I would never in a million or more years have dreamed that the crazy guy across the hall would someday be a Senator and candidate for President!

      John was a wild man. He was funny, with a quick wit and he was intelligent. But he was intent on breaking every USNA regulation in our 4 inch thick USNA Regulations book. And I believe he must have come as close to his goal as any midshipman who ever attended the Academy. John had me "coming around" to his room frequently during my plebe year. And on one occasion he took me with him to escape "over the wall" in the dead of night. He had a taxi cab waiting for us that took us to a bar some 7 miles away. John had a few beers, but forbid me to drink (watching out for me I guess) and made me drink cokes. I could tell many other midshipman stories about John that year and he unbelievably managed to graduate though he spent the majority of his first class year on restriction for the stuff he did get caught doing.

      . . . there's hope for me yet . . . .

      ;)

      Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

      by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 03:33:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  links? n/t (0+ / 0-)

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 04:06:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  John McSame (0+ / 0-)

    seems to be trying to break the Bush record for naivette, incompetency, and just plain stupidity about the real-life issues facing the world. He thinks that sending more troops into the quagmire of Iraq will distract the people from his ignorace.

    I can't wait for the debates. Those are debates I will drool over ...

    McCain: "I think that clearly my fortunes have a lot to do with what's happening in Iraq" ... Buh-bye!

    by RevJoe on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 06:38:59 PM PDT

  •  Condoms, HIV-AIDS, Autism and John McCain (0+ / 0-)

    So, DemfromCT on the Daily Kos today asked if John McCain was an idiot or just old. The article is all about McCain not knowing too much about contraception, STDs and condoms. It more essentially is about the fact that McCain said to abstain from sex all together to prevent disease. Naturally the progressives hate this. Abstinence takes discipline. Progressive hate discipline of any kind. Discipline requires a realization that there are consequences for all our actions. Discipline requires a self-imposed course correction to insure that one lands at the correct spot. What card carrying progressive can live with that? Isn't it always someone else's fault. How can I be held responsible for getting aids or genital herpes or loosing my house to a mortgage payment I can no longer afford? Didn't I get aids because the Government isn't spending enough for a cure? Don't I have genital herpes because the Government isn't finding a cure? Or better still, didn't the Government create Human Immune-suppressive virus to kill all people of color? Obama's pastor believes that one. I wonder, does he (the pastor) want to buy a bridge in Florida? Sounds like he will believe anything. But back to the subject at hand.
    No where in the article by DemfromCT is there mention that the only contraceptive device that can prevent STDs and HIV-Aids is the condom. He uses the term "contraceptive" as a blanket term, in my opinion, purposely adding confusion to the mix.
    If all you need to do to keep from getting genital herpes and HIV-AIDS is keep your pants zipped up when you're in someone's company, then, guess what, I don't want one penny of my tax money being spent on condoms, ever!! I don't mind spending money to try and cure it. There are innocents who have got it from blood transfusions and other non-sexual, non- drug related causes. They deserve a break.
    Remember the good old recipe for the perfect birth control pill....both partners take an asprin each, and hold it firmly between their knees and keep it firmly there while they are naked and together in the same room. It works 100% of the time. Now, I'll happily pay for asprin to be shipped to Africa.... if the Africans promise to use it as directed.....

    The Reaganite
    www.hangright.org

    •  it's sad, really, (0+ / 0-)

      In your mind abstinence is somehow morally superior so despite the fact (yes, fact) that is ineffective from a practical point of view makes this your best argument? That's why conservatives such as yourself are so remarkably ineffective at governance. You're incapable of dealing with reality (and that's how we wound up in Iraq).

      Abstinence-only sex education programs are not effective in preventing or delaying teenagers from having sexual intercourse, according to a report released on Friday by Mathematica Policy Research, the Washington Post reports (Sessions Stepp, Washington Post, 4/14).

      A long-awaited national study has concluded that abstinence-only sex education, a cornerstone of the Bush administration's social agenda, does not keep teenagers from having sex. Neither does it increase or decrease the likelihood that if they do have sex, they will use a condom.

      Having no facts on your side, you need to make the argument about discipline and how progressives don't have any. This variation of 'progressives are just dirty fucking hippies' is a caricature of conservatives, but then, sir, so are you.

      BTW, since you're about to be out of power (congress is going solidly Democrat), you won't be making decisions on where your tax dollars are being spent any more. That's another part of reality.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 03:54:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  so your proposed solution is . . . (0+ / 0-)

    . . . for people to stop fucking?

    Well, uh, good luck with that  . . . .

    Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

    by Lenny Flank on Mon Mar 31, 2008 at 03:08:14 PM PDT

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