"Negotiators Add Abortion Clause to Spending Bill"
House officials said Saturday morning that the final details of the spending measure were worked out before midnight and that the bill was filed for the House vote on Saturday.
The abortion language would bar federal, state and local agencies from withholding taxpayer money from health care providers that refuse to provide or pay for abortions or refuse to offer abortion counseling or referrals. Current federal law, aimed at protecting Roman Catholic doctors, provides such "conscience protection'' to doctors who do not want to undergo abortion training. The new language would expand that protection to all health care providers, including hospitals, doctors, clinics and insurers.
"It's something we've had a longstanding interest in," said Douglas Johnson, a spokesman for the National Right to Life Committee. He added, "This is in response to an orchestrated campaign by pro-abortion groups across the country to use government agencies to coerce health care providers to participate in abortions."
The spending measure, called an omnibus bill, was the main reason Congress returned to Washington after the election, and members of both parties say that despite Ms. Boxer's warnings, it is likely to pass with the abortion language intact. The alternative is to let government funding for a wide array of agencies - like the F.B.I., the National Park Service and the Environmental Protection Agency - run out, in effect causing a partial government shutdown.
You've got to love the balls on these fuckers. Introduce a bill right before midnight on a Friday to ensure the minimum amount of attention to be paid to it, strongarm your opponents into accepting it because of other important measures contained in it, and then laugh all the way to back alley abortion deaths. Hah!
But it gets better! The victorious Republicans who preach bipartisan cooperation can't even be bothered to show up to see Tom Daschle off into the sunset.
Mr. Daschle is the first Senate party leader in more than half a century to lose a re-election campaign. His emotional talk, in which he also urged his colleagues to find "common ground," was attended by nearly all of the Senate's Democrats, who gathered him in their arms and hugged him afterward.
But only a few Republicans showed up, and Senator Bill Frist, the majority leader, who broke with Senate tradition to campaign against Mr. Daschle in his home state, South Dakota, did not appear until after Mr. Daschle finished speaking. The scant Republican showing provoked Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, Democrat of New Jersey, to speak out. "I don't know why, why in the closing days, some element of comity, some element of grace, some element of respect for a human being, could not have gotten some of our friends out of their offices," Mr. Lautenberg said.
And in the article In Time of Turmoil, Graham Offers Soothing Words I am offered even more evidence how a large majority of people in our country feel.
"I don't want to dictate my morals on people," said Shifra Wylder, 42, a painter from Malibu who converted to Christianity from Judaism after hearing Mr. Graham preach on television. "It just seems that others are trying to dictate their morals on us," she said. "Gay marriage. Taking prayer out of the schools. Taking God out of the pledge of allegiance. These are not the values that the country was founded on. They are not my values."
Wow! So you don't want to dictate your morals on people, huh? But you want your moral value of not allowing two people to love each other to get married to carry the day. You want your moral value to force people to pray in school to be instituted. You want God in the pledge of allegiance. And then you have the audacity to claim that forcing your religious values on others is what this country was founded on? Fuck you! Read your fucking history books! God wasn't even added to the Pledge of Allegiance until 1954 to differentiate the U.S. from the "Godless" Soviet Union. The only thing this woman has to say that rings true is, "They are not my values."
It is amazing to me how victimized the religious right feels. Wake the fuck up! Our founding fathers created our country to have a clear separation between church and state to protect people from zealots like you! But you ignorant fuckers like to wave the flag to further your own agenda without understanding anything about the principles on which this nation was founded on!
And for the record, I believe this post might have the most "fucks" of any "Listmaker" blog entry that isn't about the Yankees.
At least one person in today's paper doesn't make me want to tear my hair out. Nicholas Kristof makes many excellent points on how to improve our electoral process in "No More Sham Elections."
So what's the cure for our electoral diseases? Here are three ideas:
Have nonpartisan experts draw up boundaries for Congressional districts after each census. Both Republicans and Democrats have shamelessly drawn boundaries to serve their own needs, and that's one reason Congressional races are so uncompetitive. Normally, state legislatures do the redistricting, but Iowa and Arizona have handed the responsibility over to independent commissions.
Eliminate the Electoral College, so that the president is chosen by popular vote. This was seriously discussed as a constitutional amendment after the 1968 election, when George Wallace's third-party candidacy could have prevented Richard Nixon from receiving a majority of the electoral vote. And in this election, if just 21,000 voters had changed their votes in Nevada, New Mexico and Iowa, the electoral vote would have been tied and the choice of the president would have gone to the House.
"We don't run elections well enough to have clear winners that we all accept if it's really close," said Rob Richie, executive director of the Center for Voting and Democracy. "I think if the winning side had been ahead by only 20,000 votes in Ohio, the losing side wouldn't have accepted it."
It's time for America to develop the kind of full-fledged popular-vote democracy that is enjoyed by, say, the good people of Afghanistan.
Funnel campaign donations through a blind trust. The funkiest idea in politics is to make donations anonymous even to the recipient. Citizens would make contributions through a blind trust, so that candidates wouldn't know to whom they were beholden.
Too bad this will be blown off as more left-wing looniness in most parts of the country. Sigh.