Frist: A Conservative Republican With a Brain

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Frist: A Conservative Republican With a Brain

Post by Ted » Fri Jul 29, 2005 6:37 am

What a refreshing anomaly:

Senate's Leader Veers From Bush Over Stem Cells
NY Times
WASHINGTON, July 28 - In a break with President Bush, the Senate Republican leader, Bill Frist, has decided to support a bill to expand federal financing for embryonic stem cell research, a move that could push it closer to passage and force a confrontation with the White House, which is threatening to veto the measure.
Mr. Frist, a heart-lung transplant surgeon who said last month that he did not back expanding financing "at this juncture," is expected to announce his decision Friday morning in a lengthy Senate speech. In it, he says that while he has reservations about altering Mr. Bush's four-year-old policy, which placed strict limits on taxpayer financing for the work, he supports the bill nonetheless.
"While human embryonic stem cell research is still at a very early stage, the limitations put in place in 2001 will, over time, slow our ability to bring potential new treatments for certain diseases," Mr. Frist says, according to a text of the speech provided by his office Thursday evening. "Therefore, I believe the president's policy should be modified."
Mr. Frist's move will undoubtedly change the political landscape in the debate over embryonic stem cell research, one of the thorniest moral issues to come before Congress. The chief House sponsor of the bill, Representative Michael N. Castle, Republican of Delaware, said, "His support is of huge significance."
The stem cell bill has passed the House but is stalled in the Senate, where competing measures are also under consideration. Because Mr. Frist's colleagues look to him for advice on medical matters, his support for the bill could break the Senate logjam. It could also give undecided Republicans political license to back the legislation, which is already close to having the votes it needs to pass the Senate.
The move could also have implications for Mr. Frist's political future. The senator is widely considered a potential candidate for the presidency in 2008, and supporting an expansion of the policy will put him at odds not only with the White House but also with Christian conservatives, whose support he will need in the race for the Republican nomination. But the decision could also help him win support among centrists.
"I am pro-life," Mr. Frist says in the speech, arguing that he can reconcile his support for the science with his own Christian faith. "I believe human life begins at conception."
But at the same time, he says, "I also believe that embryonic stem cell research should be encouraged and supported."
Backers of the research were elated. "This is critically important," said Larry Soler, a lobbyist for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. "The Senate majority leader, who is also a physician, is confirming the real potential of embryonic stem cell research and the need to expand the policy."
Mr. Frist, who was instrumental in persuading President Bush to open the door to the research four years ago, has been under pressure from all sides of the stem cell debate. Some of his fellow Senate Republicans, including Orrin G. Hatch of Utah and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who is the lead Senate sponsor of the House bill, have been pressing him to bring up the measure for consideration. But with President Bush vowing to veto it - it would be his first veto - other Republicans have been pushing alternatives that could peel support away from the House bill.
Last week Mr. Castle accused the White House and Mr. Frist of "doing everything in their power to deflect votes away from" the bill. On Thursday night, Mr. Castle said he had written a letter to Mr. Frist just that morning urging him to support the measure. "His support of this makes it the dominant bill," he said.
Despite Mr. Frist's speech, a vote on the bill is not likely to occur before September because the Congress is scheduled to adjourn this weekend for the August recess.
With proponents of the various alternatives unable to agree on when and how to bring them up for consideration, Mr. Frist says he will continue to work to bring up all the bills, so that senators can have a "serious and thoughtful debate."
Human embryonic stem cells are considered by scientists to be the building blocks of a new field of regenerative medicine. The cells, extracted from human embryos, have the potential to grow into any type of tissue in the body, and advocates for patients believe they hold the potential for treatments and cures for a range of diseases, from juvenile diabetes to Alzheimer's disease.
But the cells cannot be obtained without destroying human embryos, which opponents of the research say is tantamount to murder. "An embryo is nascent human life," Mr. Frist says in his speech, adding: "This position is consistent with my faith. But, to me, it isn't just a matter of faith. It's a fact of science."
On Aug. 9, 2001, in the first prime-time speech of his presidency, Mr. Bush struck a compromise: he said the government would pay only for research on stem cell colonies, or lines, created by that date, so that the work would involve only those embryos "where the life or death decision has already been made."
The House-passed bill would expand that policy by allowing research on stem cell lines extracted from frozen embryos, left over from fertility treatments, that would otherwise be discarded. Mr. Castle has said he believes the bill meets the president's guidelines because the couples creating the embryos have made the decision to destroy them.
In his speech, Mr. Frist seems to adopt that line of reasoning, harking back to a set of principles he articulated in July 2001, before the president made his announcement, in which he proposed restricting the number of stem cell lines without a specific cutoff date. At the time, he said the government should pay for research only on those embryos "that would otherwise be discarded."
After Mr. Bush made his announcement, it was believed that as many as 78 lines would be eligible for federal money. "That has proven not to be the case," Mr. Frist wrote. "Today, only 22 lines are eligible."
But, Mr. Frist says the Castle bill has shortcomings. He says it "lacks a strong ethical and scientific oversight mechanism," does not prohibit financial incentives between fertility clinics and patients, and does not specify whether the patients or the clinic staff have a say over whether embryos are discarded. He also says the bill "would constrain the ability of policy makers to make adjustments in the future."
Mr. Frist also says he supports some of the alternative measures, including bills that would promote research on so-called adult stem cells and research into unproven methods of extracting stem cells without destroying human embryos.
"Cure today may be just a theory, a hope, a dream," he says, in the conclusion of the text. "But the promise is powerful enough that I believe this research deserves our increased energy and focus. Embryonic stem cell research must be supported. It's time for a modified policy - the right policy for this moment in time."

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Post by Ralph » Fri Jul 29, 2005 6:42 am

He made the right move but he's straddling based on political concerns alone. He knew Bush was wrong from the get-go. But with most Americans viewing stem research differently...
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Ted

Post by Ted » Fri Jul 29, 2005 6:56 am

Whatever his rationale it’s a step in the right direction.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Jul 29, 2005 10:12 am

There are lots of conservatives with brains, but Frist isn't one of them unless he borrowed a brain from the lab. The man is an obvious opportunist, almost totaly inept, worse of a hack than the natural breed, and too stupid to grasp the fact that he got no chance whatever to be elected even if he is marginally clever enough to win the nomination. He's a complete waste of space.
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Ted

Post by Ted » Fri Jul 29, 2005 10:39 am

There are lots of conservatives with brains, but Frist isn't one of them unless he borrowed a brain from the lab.
Corlyss my sweet
Of course there are conservatives with brains.
It’s not surprising to me that you belittle Frist, and if you want to base that belittlement on his political acumen (or lack of it) go right ahead.
But his take on stem cells is based on his acumen as a Dr and IMO he is demonstrating a clear sense of intelligence.
It isn’t pleasant finding yourself backed into a corner, I’ll grant you that.
You have my sympathies

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Post by Ralph » Fri Jul 29, 2005 10:55 am

Ted wrote:
There are lots of conservatives with brains, but Frist isn't one of them unless he borrowed a brain from the lab.
Corlyss my sweet
Of course there are conservatives with brains.
It’s not surprising to me that you belittle Frist, and if you want to base that belittlement on his political acumen (or lack of it) go right ahead.
But his take on stem cells is based on his acumen as a Dr and IMO he is demonstrating a clear sense of intelligence.
It isn’t pleasant finding yourself backed into a corner, I’ll grant you that.
You have my sympathies
*****

I bet he's a damn good surgeon - which says nothing about intellectuality, of course.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Jul 29, 2005 10:57 am

Ted wrote:But his take on stem cells is based on his acumen as a Dr and IMO he is demonstrating a clear sense of intelligence.
Here's my point: It ain't gonna help him and it just makes him look like the hack he is, no matter how laudible the position itself is. That is, don't worry, it wasn't based on his principles.
It isn’t pleasant finding yourself backed into a corner, I’ll grant you that.
You have my sympathies
:?: You have my mystification. What corner? Where backed? I've never been a Frist supporter - I've always said he don't have a chance in hell of winning diddly and for an allegedly smart guy, he seems marvelously opaque on the issue. And I've always been a stem cell research supporter, so where's my dilemma?
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Post by Haydnseek » Fri Jul 29, 2005 11:06 am

I'm trying to think of a Senator who has done something really constructive and all I can come up with is the late William Roth who invented the IRA plan that bears his name. Naturally the voters of Delaware couldn't tolerate his shameless display of usefulness and voted him out of office.
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Post by Lilith » Fri Jul 29, 2005 11:08 am

Frist is a political opportunist who realizes that, barring new scientific methodologies, stem cell research will take place. Bush can't stop it, he can only delay it a short while.

I wouldn't give him any credit whatsoever, especially considering his lame performance in the Schaivo matter.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Jul 29, 2005 11:13 am

Haydnseek wrote:I'm trying to think of a Senator who has done something really constructive
Don't waste your time, H. It's the only body I know of that prides itself on inaction and speechifying to no purpose. I don't know why anyone thinks of it as a stepping stone to the presidency. BTW I see Steele is doing well.
Naturally the voters of Delaware couldn't tolerate his shameless display of usefulness and voted him out of office.
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Jul 29, 2005 11:15 am

Lilith wrote:Frist is a political opportunist who realizes that, barring new scientific methodologies, stem cell research will take place. Bush can't stop it, he can only delay it a short while.

I wouldn't give him any credit whatsoever, especially considering his lame performance in the Schaivo matter.
Lilith, we really are going to have to stop meeting like this . . . :wink: 8)
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Ted

Post by Ted » Fri Jul 29, 2005 11:25 am

I've never been a Frist supporter
Are my brush strokes are too broad re your partisan support for the majority party in the Senate?
I don’t think so
I’ve heard you defend Bush’s rationale when it comes to this issue, “No one is saying you can’t do stem cell research, just not with Federal Money”
I never heard you express any fear that Frist was not on the same page as the administration. QUED, Frist was on your side or so you thought
So the corner you’re backed into has more to do with a possible GOP turn around on federal subsidies for Stem Cell Research and not specifically Frist

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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Jul 29, 2005 11:59 am

Ted wrote:
I've never been a Frist supporter
Are my brush strokes are too broad re your partisan support for the majority party in the Senate?
I don’t think so
I’ve heard you defend Bush’s rationale when it comes to this issue, “No one is saying you can’t do stem cell research, just not with Federal Money”
I never heard you express any fear that Frist was not on the same page as the administration. QUED, Frist was on your side or so you thought
So the corner you’re backed into has more to do with a possible GOP turn around on federal subsidies for Stem Cell Research and not specifically Frist
Your grasp of irony is too subtle for me, Ted.

I don't recognize the principles behind this crowd of Republicans' spending habits other than "Vote for me! I will spare no expense in buying your vote!" I'm accustomed to seeing them violate my spending principles daily. Frist is no exception. The party does what it thinks it must to increase its numbers. In a system devoid of imagination, that means "Spend money to buy votes."
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Ted

Post by Ted » Fri Jul 29, 2005 12:07 pm

Your grasp of irony is too subtle for me, Ted.
I stand before you somewhat guilty CD

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Post by jbuck919 » Fri Jul 29, 2005 12:54 pm

Ralph wrote:He made the right move but he's straddling based on political concerns alone. He knew Bush was wrong from the get-go. But with most Americans viewing stem research differently...
My take is that he judges it to have no substantial effect on his career, as opposed to being consistent and also changing his position on restricting abortion access (presumably to state what he really thinks), which would be political suicide.

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Post by Ralph » Fri Jul 29, 2005 1:33 pm

Frist's re-election chances won't be hurt by his position on stem cell research.
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Post by Gregory Kleyn » Fri Jul 29, 2005 3:44 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:There are lots of conservatives with brains, but Frist isn't one of them unless he borrowed a brain from the lab. The man is an obvious opportunist, almost totaly inept, worse of a hack than the natural breed, and too stupid to grasp the fact that he got no chance whatever to be elected even if he is marginally clever enough to win the nomination. He's a complete waste of space.
This is an absolutely true judgement, - Frist is contemptible.

For a change you really nailed a genuine insight to the wall, - something I previously wouldn't have thought possible.

Thread over.

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Post by Ralph » Fri Jul 29, 2005 8:54 pm

Gregory Kleyn wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote:There are lots of conservatives with brains, but Frist isn't one of them unless he borrowed a brain from the lab. The man is an obvious opportunist, almost totaly inept, worse of a hack than the natural breed, and too stupid to grasp the fact that he got no chance whatever to be elected even if he is marginally clever enough to win the nomination. He's a complete waste of space.
This is an absolutely true judgement, - Frist is contemptible.

For a change you really nailed a genuine insight to the wall, - something I previously wouldn't have thought possible.

Thread over.
*****

But Frist is a great guy compared to a true Senate douche bag, Santorum.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Jul 29, 2005 11:18 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Ralph wrote:He made the right move but he's straddling based on political concerns alone. He knew Bush was wrong from the get-go. But with most Americans viewing stem research differently...
My take is that he judges it to have no substantial effect on his career, as opposed to being consistent and also changing his position on restricting abortion access (presumably to state what he really thinks), which would be political suicide.
Well, let's be realistic. If it would have had no substantial effect on his career, he wouldn't have done it at all. He's counting on it helping him with a large number of voters, including many Republicans who support stem cell research. The only people it won't help him with are die-hard fiscal conservative/small government types (like moi) and the abortion single issue voters, of whom there are less than 5% in the entire pool of voters, regardless of pro or con. If he had a prayer of a successful campaign, it would have been a savvy move.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Jul 29, 2005 11:21 pm

Ralph wrote:Frist's re-election chances won't be hurt by his position on stem cell research.
What re-election chances? He announced when he ran for the Senate that he would spend only two terms there. He announced that he was leaving at the end of 2006. He's not signed up for the primary in Tennessee and they have already named a successor to run. There will be no re-election campaign. There is only his presidential bid in 08. He's planning on springboarding from 2 terms in the Senate to the White House. As I have said before, he don't stand a chance in hell, period, paragraph.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Jul 29, 2005 11:28 pm

Gregory Kleyn wrote:This is an absolutely true judgement, - Frist is contemptible.

For a change you really nailed a genuine insight to the wall, - something I previously wouldn't have thought possible.
:roll: Your problem is you're incapable of separating what you want to happen from what is realistically likely to happen. You think just because you agree with my analysis here that it must be correct. You will find if you stick around long enough that many of my analyses that get your knickers in a twist will be proven correct too. I trust you will be as ready to acknowledge that when the time comes.
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Post by Ralph » Sat Jul 30, 2005 5:09 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
Ralph wrote:Frist's re-election chances won't be hurt by his position on stem cell research.
What re-election chances? He announced when he ran for the Senate that he would spend only two terms there. He announced that he was leaving at the end of 2006. He's not signed up for the primary in Tennessee and they have already named a successor to run. There will be no re-election campaign. There is only his presidential bid in 08. He's planning on springboarding from 2 terms in the Senate to the White House. As I have said before, he don't stand a chance in hell, period, paragraph.
*****

Thanks-I didn't know that.

I don't think he has a chance either although a campaign theme, "Is there a doctor in the White House?" has a certain charm.
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Post by jbuck919 » Sat Jul 30, 2005 5:19 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
Ralph wrote:He made the right move but he's straddling based on political concerns alone. He knew Bush was wrong from the get-go. But with most Americans viewing stem research differently...
My take is that he judges it to have no substantial effect on his career, as opposed to being consistent and also changing his position on restricting abortion access (presumably to state what he really thinks), which would be political suicide.
Well, let's be realistic. If it would have had no substantial effect on his career, he wouldn't have done it at all. He's counting on it helping him with a large number of voters, including many Republicans who support stem cell research. The only people it won't help him with are die-hard fiscal conservative/small government types (like moi) and the abortion single issue voters, of whom there are less than 5% in the entire pool of voters, regardless of pro or con. If he had a prayer of a successful campaign, it would have been a savvy move.
Undoubtedly you got it right. I am always slightly deflected by anger when the issue is opportunistic anti-abortion politicians who don't think abortion rights are a sufficiently strong principle not to abandon for the sake of a job that is elective in more ways than one.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Sat Jul 30, 2005 11:43 am

Ralph wrote:I don't think he has a chance either although a campaign theme, "Is there a doctor in the White House?" has a certain charm.


No, it don't.

And whatever charm it might have if it ever came to pass is nothing compared to the charm and chuckle-power of a sitting senator who got there because his opponent (James Sasser) was so consumed with running for Marjority Leader, to the extent that he announced he had the job sowed up among his colleagues, that he took his re-election to the Senate for granted and failed to campaign much in Tennessee thereby losing his seat and the majority leadership. I can't tell you how often after Nov 1994 we used to get a hearty laff over that as a symptom of Democratic arrogance.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Sat Jul 30, 2005 12:10 pm

jbuck919 wrote:I am always slightly deflected by anger when the issue is opportunistic anti-abortion politicians who don't think abortion rights are a sufficiently strong principle not to abandon for the sake of a job that is elective in more ways than one.
To be honest, I'm baffled by Sensistive New Age Guys who profess such emotional committment to a subject of so little concern to the average voter and which is neither in serious danger from outlawing nor, come to think of it, any of their damn business. Of course, anyone can pick any topic to move their political passions, but the alignment of SNAGs and abortion puzzles me. Ralph, Barry, and you always talk like the first thing you look at in a politician's creds is where s/he stands on abortion, and if s/he's not firmly and vocally in the "abortion anytime, anywhere, for any reason" camp, why, that's enough to sink him or her, no matter how cogent and important their views on other more important issues of much greater import for the public. Seems to me to be a waste of political thought, i.e., that battle was fought and won 30 years ago. Where's the relevance to what's going on now that it commands such single-minded devotion?
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Post by jbuck919 » Sat Jul 30, 2005 12:47 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:I am always slightly deflected by anger when the issue is opportunistic anti-abortion politicians who don't think abortion rights are a sufficiently strong principle not to abandon for the sake of a job that is elective in more ways than one.
To be honest, I'm baffled by Sensistive New Age Guys who profess such emotional committment to a subject of so little concern to the average voter and which is neither in serious danger from outlawing nor, come to think of it, any of their damn business. Of course, anyone can pick any topic to move their political passions, but the alignment of SNAGs and abortion puzzles me. Ralph, Barry, and you always talk like the first thing you look at in a politician's creds is where s/he stands on abortion, and if s/he's not firmly and vocally in the "abortion anytime, anywhere, for any reason" camp, why, that's enough to sink him or her, no matter how cogent and important their views on other more important issues of much greater import for the public. Seems to me to be a waste of political thought, i.e., that battle was fought and won 30 years ago. Where's the relevance to what's going on now that it commands such single-minded devotion?
It is precisely the assumption that abortion rights are, like emancipation (only let's hope not quite like that), a matter of "henceforth shall be" that lets politicians who take an insincere anti-abortion stance (the elder George Bush was perhaps the granddaddy of these) to pat themselves on the back. Let them all rot in hell if it ever blows up in our face.

As for limp-wristed lily-livered feminist fellow travelers like me, among other things we have lots of young female friends and relatives who a percentage of the body politic that because of its organization is disporportationately influential would love to force to carry to term any baby they may conceive under any circumstances or be forced to seek an abortion under auspices other than legally in the United States. Restrictions to access to abortion short of that extreme are already a success story of the anti-abortion-rights movement.

I didn't make this an issue worth worrying about in terms of evaluating candidates for public office. It's the folks on the other side who won't let go who force us to return to it again and again at the expense of energies that I agree are better spent elsewhere in politics.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Sat Jul 30, 2005 1:13 pm

jbuck919 wrote:It is precisely the assumption that abortion rights are, like emancipation (only let's hope not quite like that), a matter of "henceforth shall be" that lets politicians who take an insincere anti-abortion stance (the elder George Bush was perhaps the granddaddy of these) to pat themselves on the back. Let them all rot in hell if it ever blows up in our face.
If everyone assumes it's a given, I mean 80% of the public agrees that a woman should have access to abortion services, seems to me there's nothing left to "be vigilant" about, any more than one has to worry about a sudden revival of slavery in this country. You've won. Get over it. :D
As for limp-wristed lily-livered feminist fellow travelers like me
Well, if you insist, but I always thought it was just a ploy to get chicks by showing what SNAGs you were. You know, out there on the picket line demonstrating in front of the Supreme Court building every January. :wink:
percentage of the body politic that because of its organization is disporportationately influential would love to force to carry to term any baby


A very tiny, politically insignificant percentage, so small that it beggars the imagination that anyone could find them threatening.
Restrictions to access to abortion short of that extreme are already a success story of the anti-abortion-rights movement.
What restrictions, the partial birth abortion ban? The parental notificiation requirement?
It's the folks on the other side who won't let go who force us to return to it again and again at the expense of energies that I agree are better spent elsewhere in politics.
Okay, yes, the tiny minority are noisy. I'll give them that since they are so politically incapable of realizing their ambitions. I'd rather have them noisy than effective. The American public is solidly behind abortion rights. It ain't gonna change no matter how much louder the tiny minority gets.
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Post by Ralph » Sat Jul 30, 2005 2:10 pm

Abortion, like the death penalty, is a litmus paper test for some voters. It certainly is for me.

The Pro-Choice battle may have been won in a sense but it's become an eroded victory where the level of scrutiny for a challenger to a restriction is no longer strict scrutiny. This means states can create significant obstacles that the Supreme Court will uphold under a lower standard of review.

Support from the highest circles in government, starting with President, understandably energizes the Anti-Choice movement and keeps the issue in a state of crisis. Crisis for those who, like me, view much of the opposition to abortion - but hardly all - as being fundamentally anti-feminist.

No woman in my economic or professional stratum has any problem getting an abortion. But the upholding of many regulations, for example the 24-hour waiting period, hits lower class women and those living far from abortion providers very hard.
Last edited by Ralph on Sat Jul 30, 2005 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by CharmNewton » Sat Jul 30, 2005 2:44 pm

It both puzzles and infuriates me to see stem cell research equated only with the embryonic variety, when in fact the variety that holds far more promise uses adult stem cells. We all have them and they provide none of the drawbacks associated with embryonic stem cells such as tissue rejection. As far a I know, enbryonic stem cell research has never helped anyone, but I'll be happy to listen if someone can cite some specific cases.

Just another boondoggle to rip off taxpayers and support liberal researchers in cushy jobs for which they never have to show results.

John

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Post by Werner » Sat Jul 30, 2005 5:58 pm

I have always had respectfor Frist as a physician and the man who clesaned up he Hospital Corporation of Amreica mess years ago. He's quitting the Senate after this term, and I don't see him as a presidential candidate any more than Corlyss does.

So maybe that means he's going back to doing someting really useful. I feel that his stand on the stem cell issue is important and may have some beneficial results.
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Post by Barry » Sun Jul 31, 2005 4:19 pm

Corlyss_D wrote: [If everyone assumes it's a given, I mean 80% of the public agrees that a woman should have access to abortion services, seems to me there's nothing left to "be vigilant" about, any more than one has to worry about a sudden revival of slavery in this country. You've won. Get over it. :D


I have to admit I'm surprised to see you write that. Hopefully we won't get to find out, but I wouldn't think it so settled were Bush or a Republican successor to get to a total of five or six justices as ideologically to the right as Scalia, Thomas, and probably Rhenquist. Several generations may have thought separate but equal settled and done with before '54.
Well, if you insist, but I always thought it was just a ploy to get chicks by showing what SNAGs you were. You know, out there on the picket line demonstrating in front of the Supreme Court building every January. :wink:


Teasing aside, I find the notion of the government mandating what a woman must do with her body as outrageous as a state banning consensual sex in one's own home (something else the Supremes have flip-flopped on, for the better this time, in recent years). As often as it gets slammed, I think the trimester approach was the right way to go. Late in the pregnancy, states should be able to consider the fetus' right to life as a counterbalancing interest, albeit never without a health of the mother exception.
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Post by Ralph » Sun Jul 31, 2005 6:15 pm

The unnecessary adoption of the medical trimester model is why Justice O'Connor later described Roe as at war with itself. Legalization of abortion had immediate economic impact which spurred technological innovation to make abortion safer, quicker and cheaper. In the process the threshhold of viability moved into earlier phases of pregnancy.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Aug 01, 2005 12:00 am

Ralph wrote:It certainly is for me.
Yeah, but why? It's such a non-issue really.

This means states can create significant obstacles that the Supreme Court will uphold
I'll ask you: like what? The ban on partial birth abortion? The parental notification requirement? It's really so onerous to ask a woman to make up her mind before the baby is born whether she wants to have it or not rather than wait till the point of birth? It's really so onerous to expect "women" under the age of legal consent to notifiy their parents they are going to have an abortion when they can't take a mydol at school without fear of expulsion for violating the Zero Tolerance school drug policy? Whatever is being protected by this vigilance hardly seems compelling enough to base one's single most important act as a citizen on. It wouldn't make any sense to me if you were a woman; it makes even less sense for a guy.
Support from the highest circles in government, starting with President, understandably energizes the Anti-Choice movement and keeps the issue in a state of crisis.
Well, your position is even more baffling in view of the fact that in 30 years the the Republicans who can actually do something have never flung anything more serious than rhetoric at the abortion issue. I.e., watch what they do, not what they say. There's a whole lot o' duplicity goin' on over the abortion issue in the Republican camp. The American public isn't fooled by it. They have decided the availability of abortion is a good thing on whole and they substantially discount what Republicans say on the issue.
Crisis for those who, like me, view much of the opposition to abortion
Crisis? What was that you said to me about the anti-catholic undercurrent to the Roberts opposition? It was all in my head?
being fundamentally anti-feminist.
So? What you want top to bottom purity a la thought police? Everyone has to make an obeisance to feminisim to be a worthy candidate? That is so 70s!
for example the 24-hour waiting period, hits lower class women
Oh, yeah, now I see. 24 hours is definitely a real hardship out of a 9 month period, which wouldn't be an issue if they had remembered to take their contraceptives in the first place like they were supposed to.
and those living far from abortion providers very hard.
I agree that the lack of availability of abortion services is a much more serious problem than any legal restrictions. Roe v. Wade didn't and can't do anything about that. Additionally, the skyrocketing costs of insurance for ob-gyns who deliver babies has done more to frustrate abortion availability than any legislation passed in the last 30 years. If doctors can't afford the insurance and decide to get out of the biz, ain't nothing gonna help it.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Aug 01, 2005 12:26 am

Barry Z wrote: I have to admit I'm surprised to see you write that.
:cry: I thought I had better creds as a realist and a pragmatist than that. Besides, I'm a "ain't any of the govment's bidness" Republican on abortion.
Hopefully we won't get to find out, but I wouldn't think it so settled were Bush or a Republican successor to get to a total of five or six justices as ideologically to the right as Scalia, Thomas, and probably Rhenquist.
If Roe v. Wade were to go *poof* tomorrow, all that would happen is the state legislatures would recover the right to reflect the will of their citizens on the subject. I know you don't have any faith in the states, but the joy about them is there are 50 of them, not just one like the federal government. The states had abortion before Roe v. Wade. They have it now. They will have it if and when Roe is overturned.
Several generations may have thought separate but equal settled and done with before '54.
Pardon me if I don't see the two decisions as on quite the same plane. Like I said to Lilith, the states have never had much success effectively controlling abortion even when they thought they had it all sowed up in their little codes. There are simply too many ways to get one.
Teasing aside, I find the notion of the government mandating what a woman must do with her body as outrageous as a state banning consensual sex in one's own home (something else the Supremes have flip-flopped on, for the better this time, in recent years).
The states have never had much success controlling sex among consenting adults either, even less than controlling abortion. It's an exercise in futility that the state should never have gotten into in the first place.
Late in the pregnancy, states should be able to consider the fetus' right to life as a counterbalancing interest, albeit never without a health of the mother exception.
For me the counterbalancing interest boils down to, "What were you thinking? Why do you make us all accomplises to your absent mindedness, your indecisiveness, or your stupidity? You wait this late in the pregnancy, by God, you have that baby and put it up for adoption if you don't want it, but you aren't gonna make us kill it just because you don't want to be bothered with it!" Of course I don't have any say anybody's decision so my counterbalancing is moot. The 3rd trimester "restriction" hasn't worked well, as you can tell from the string of rulings that have resulted in their being essentially no restrictions on abortion. Ralph can talk about the 24 hour waiting period but really that's no restriction worthy of the name. Someone who thinks that's a restriction probably thinks that a 3 day waiting period on purchase of handguns is effective too.
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Post by Ralph » Mon Aug 01, 2005 4:31 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
Ralph wrote:It certainly is for me.
Yeah, but why? It's such a non-issue really.

*****Perhaps in Utah, I don't know. The threat to women's autonomy is a very real one and much of it springs from the conservative-fundamentalist coalition. The Republican Party platform calls for the overturn of Roe. That can't be ignored.
This means states can create significant obstacles that the Supreme Court will uphold
I'll ask you: like what? The ban on partial birth abortion? The parental notification requirement? It's really so onerous to ask a woman to make up her mind before the baby is born whether she wants to have it or not rather than wait till the point of birth? It's really so onerous to expect "women" under the age of legal consent to notifiy their parents they are going to have an abortion when they can't take a mydol at school without fear of expulsion for violating the Zero Tolerance school drug policy? Whatever is being protected by this vigilance hardly seems compelling enough to base one's single most important act as a citizen on. It wouldn't make any sense to me if you were a woman; it makes even less sense for a guy.

*****The mandated waiting period is an unwarranted incursion on a woman's autonomous right to choose abortion. Why not require women seeking liposuction to wait before the procedure can be performed? Liposuction has more risks than an early pregnancy termination. There is no rational medical reason to require a woman to wait. The real purpose behind the requirement is to make getting an abortion more difficult or, hopefully, impossible, for the very many women who can't obtain the procedure locally (and in much of the U.S. getting an abortion requires travel).

As to parental notification, the Supreme Court has ruled that a judicial byass must be available for minors who have a well-articulated reason for not informing their parents.

In many cases, a girl telling her parent(s) that she's pregnant will result in serious physical and/or psychological abuse.

Support from the highest circles in government, starting with President, understandably energizes the Anti-Choice movement and keeps the issue in a state of crisis.
Well, your position is even more baffling in view of the fact that in 30 years the the Republicans who can actually do something have never flung anything more serious than rhetoric at the abortion issue. I.e., watch what they do, not what they say. There's a whole lot o' duplicity goin' on over the abortion issue in the Republican camp. The American public isn't fooled by it. They have decided the availability of abortion is a good thing on whole and they substantially discount what Republicans say on the issue.

*****On the contrary, states have successfully created obstacles to the free availability of abortion.
Crisis for those who, like me, view much of the opposition to abortion
Crisis? What was that you said to me about the anti-catholic undercurrent to the Roberts opposition? It was all in my head?
being fundamentally anti-feminist.
So? What you want top to bottom purity a la thought police? Everyone has to make an obeisance to feminisim to be a worthy candidate? That is so 70s!

*****What are you talking about? I haven't said anything about Roberts and abortion.
for example the 24-hour waiting period, hits lower class women
Oh, yeah, now I see. 24 hours is definitely a real hardship out of a 9 month period, which wouldn't be an issue if they had remembered to take their contraceptives in the first place like they were supposed to.

*****Some women get pregant despite using contraceptives but that'e irrelevant. The right to choose isn't based on the circumstances under which conception cocurred. And the reference to 24 hours out of nine months is plain silly. The question is whether that waiting period makes the nine month pregnancy more likely to occur against a woman's wishes.
and those living far from abortion providers very hard.
I agree that the lack of availability of abortion services is a much more serious problem than any legal restrictions. Roe v. Wade didn't and can't do anything about that. Additionally, the skyrocketing costs of insurance for ob-gyns who deliver babies has done more to frustrate abortion availability than any legislation passed in the last 30 years. If doctors can't afford the insurance and decide to get out of the biz, ain't nothing gonna help it.

*****There is virtually no medical malpractice litigation based on abortion procedures and insurance rates do not rise or fall depending on whether a doctor performs them.

The climate of opposition to abortion, as well as fear for personal safety, is what keeps very, very many doctors from offering that service and, of course, the law can't do anything about how any group responds to a political issue as long as their behavior and actions are lawful.
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Post by Barry » Mon Aug 01, 2005 8:11 am

Corlyss_D wrote: If Roe v. Wade were to go *poof* tomorrow, all that would happen is the state legislatures would recover the right to reflect the will of their citizens on the subject. I know you don't have any faith in the states, but the joy about them is there are 50 of them, not just one like the federal government. The states had abortion before Roe v. Wade. They have it now. They will have it if and when Roe is overturned.
Control of one's own body is a pretty basic fundamental right as I see it. It shouldn't vary from PA to NJ or CA to MS. I could very easily see PA, which is extremely conservative on cultural issues outside of the Philly area, making abortions very difficult to get, if not just banning them. I don't think it's appropriate for my daughter, sister, or the woman down the street to have to go out of state to do something as basic as controlling her own body (as I said, that changes late in the pregnancy when you have the counterbalancing interest of the fetus' life).
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Post by Werner » Mon Aug 01, 2005 10:53 am

I think the Clintons had the right sense on abortions - to aim to make them "safe, legal - and rare."

I understand the religious objection to abortion and have no problem in respecting that. What I have a problem with is with people practicing their religions on other people's bodies.

Same goes for the stem cell issue.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Aug 01, 2005 12:56 pm

Ralph wrote:The threat to women's autonomy is a very real one and much of it springs from the conservative-fundamentalist coalition.
Nonsense. Just because the cultural conservatives talk a lot about don't mean they have been able or will be able to do anything about it. That's why I say watch what they do. They haven't been able to accomplish anything of substance. You can call the 24 hr waiting period a major threat, and parental notification a subversion of a minor's right to unfettered abortion, but the arguments are simply unconvincing in light of real numbers or impact.
The Republican Party platform calls for the overturn of Roe. That can't be ignored.
Surely you jest! Nobody pays any attention to the platforms of either parties. They are a joke and all of the political class and 99% of the public knows it. If that plank is meaningful, I want some recognition that all the years the Democrats were beating, burning, shooting, and lynching blacks in the south as a matter of party policy, the Republicans had a civil rights plank and an anti-lynching plank in their platforms.
The real purpose behind the requirement is to make getting an abortion more difficult or, hopefully, impossible,
Hasn't worked, has it?
for the very many women who can't obtain the procedure locally (and in much of the U.S. getting an abortion requires travel).
I'm calling you on this one. Where's your stats, your proof? The vast and overwhelming class of women seeking abortion are the 18-35 yr old well-educated and professional women. Why, the real problem is the women who should be getting abortions don't for whatever reason and throw themselves and their kids on the welfare system, i.e., me the taxpayer. Honestly I think you don't know anything about the issue except the blather that Planned Parenthood and NARAL put out in their press releases and talking points.
As to parental notification, the Supreme Court has ruled that a judicial byass must be available for minors who have a well-articulated reason for not informing their parents.

In many cases, a girl telling her parent(s) that she's pregnant will result in serious physical and/or psychological abuse.
Different issue.
On the contrary, states have successfully created obstacles to the free availability of abortion.
Repeatedly calling them "obstacles" don't make them so.
Ralph wrote:
Corlyss wrote:So? What you want top to bottom purity a la thought police? Everyone has to make an obeisance to feminisim to be a worthy candidate? That is so 70s!
What are you talking about? I haven't said anything about Roberts and abortion.
Neither did I. I am referring to the litmus test for political candidates.
Ralph wrote:
Corlyss wrote:Oh, yeah, now I see. 24 hours is definitely a real hardship out of a 9 month period, which wouldn't be an issue if they had remembered to take their contraceptives in the first place like they were supposed to.
Some women get pregant despite using contraceptives but that'e irrelevant. The right to choose isn't based on the circumstances under which conception cocurred.


And the availability of abortion has allowed women to use it as the contraceptive of last resort because of mere inconconvenience. Somehow the arguments become less compelling when mere inconvenience is the principle being extolled, but that's the way things are in these United States. Nothing about the ravings of the Republican party or conservatives generally has materially altered the availability of abortion to any woman who wants one. And that's the facts, Jack.
Ralph wrote:[quote="Corlyss]Additionally, the skyrocketing costs of insurance for ob-gyns who deliver babies has done more to frustrate abortion availability than any legislation passed in the last 30 years. If doctors can't afford the insurance and decide to get out of the biz, ain't nothing gonna help it.

There is virtually no medical malpractice litigation based on abortion procedures and insurance rates do not rise or fall depending on whether a doctor performs them.
You missed the point. The people who perform abortions are ob-gyns. The malpractice suits against them for deliveries has driven up the cost of their insurance to such an extent that many of them are getting out of the biz, thus reducing the pool of people who can perform abortions. That has had more impact on abortion availability than anything legislators have done.
The climate of opposition to abortion, as well as fear for personal safety, is what keeps very, very many doctors from offering that service
You're kidding, right? No, you're making this up! No, you're reading off the NARAL script! This behavior you complain of don't happen in the places where the vast majority of abortions occur: city hopsitals.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Aug 01, 2005 1:04 pm

Barry Z wrote:Control of one's own body is a pretty basic fundamental right as I see it.
We collectively don't allow a wide variety of behaviors that involve only the individual's control over his or her own body. It's not a "fundamental right" to do whatever you want with it or to it.
It shouldn't vary from PA to NJ or CA to MS. I could very easily see PA, which is extremely conservative on cultural issues outside of the Philly area, making abortions very difficult to get, if not just banning them.
You're scaring yourself with what's possible instead of looking at what's likely to happen. There is no way that the high population areas like Philadephia and Scranton and Pittsburg are going to allow such a thing to happen. Trust me on this.
I don't think it's appropriate for my daughter, sister, or the woman down the street to have to go out of state to do something as basic as controlling her own body
Then tell all three of them to take their pill like they're supposed ta and don't screw up. :wink:

Hey, welcome back. Did you have a good time in Boston? What did you see that you enjoyed the most?
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Post by Barry » Mon Aug 01, 2005 1:15 pm

Corlyss,

Forcing someone to go through something as invasive as a pregnancy (about the most extreme thing one can endure bodywise I would think) is hardly comparable to saying you can't use this or that drug (I'm assuming those are the types of things you were referring to). I stand by my statement that the right to self-determination over something so invasive to one's body should be a fundamental right.

But I agree with you that it's best for all concerned if everyone would plan wisely and use birth control when they don't want to be pregnant. Schools, churches, and of course parents should be preaching that. I just don't think the state should have the power to mandate such an extreme invasion of one's body against one's will when mistakes are made.

As for Boston, I absolutely loved it! It's such a walkable city. We took a subway two or three times, but saw just about all of the major neighborhoods on foot. I had wonderful clam chowder at the oldest restaurant in the country, the Union Street Oyster House (the City Tavern in Philly is older, going back to the 18th century, but I'm guessing it hasn't been a restaurant continuously since then, leaving the title of oldest to Union Street). In spite of the red tide scare, I also had some great fried clams at a couple different places.

Then while visiting my friend and his family in Connecticut, we hit one of the five last remaining Howard Johnson restaurants in existance in Waterbury. My eyes moistened when I saw that blue and orange steeple, as I thought back to the HoJo's in the neighborhood where my mother grew up and where my grandparents lived when I was a youngin'.

I want to go back to Boston this coming winter or spring to catch a concert at symphony hall. I walked by it while heading back from the art museum, but didn't go in.
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Post by Ralph » Mon Aug 01, 2005 1:32 pm

The "vast majority" of abortions are performed either in dedicated clinics or MD's offices. Abortions in hospitals are relatively rare because they cost more due to overhead. While multi-procedure ambulatory facilities could, technically, easily add on abortions, I know of no hospital that has done so for fear of demonstrations or worse. Certinly not here in N.Y. which is very Pro-Choice and where women often need escorts to feel safe in getting through protestors (several of my female colleagues volunteer to do this).

As to OB-GYNs quitting practice in some states, it's a problem but I've seen little if any evidence that many of those mostly senior physicians perform abortions routinely.
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