Archive for April, 2005
The Swift Report – http://swiftreport.blogs.com/news/
Delivering a speech on the nation’s energy needs yesterday, President Bush reached out to a sizeable portion of his base: conservative consumers who are eager to get their SUV’s on the road in time for summer driving season but also dislike gay people or at least find the gay lifestyle incompatible with their Judeo-Christian values. Under increasing pressure to do something about high-prices at the pump, Mr. Bush placed the blame on what he called the ‘radical homosexual energy agenda.’
By Jim Spencer
Denver Post Columnist
Article Published: Friday, April 29, 2005
Imagine two rape victims taken to the same hospital emergency room. Imagine them put in adjoining examination rooms.
Let’s say they have identical injuries.
Presume everything about them is the same except for where they are in their menstrual cycles.
Do they deserve access to the same medical treatment?
At most Catholic hospitals in Colorado, they can’t get it.
The protocol of six Catholic hospitals run by Centura calls for rape victims to undergo an ovulation test.
If they have not ovulated, said Centura corporate spokeswoman Dana Berry, doctors tell the victims about emergency contraception and write prescriptions for it if the patient asks.
If, however, the urine test suggests that a rape victim has ovulated, Berry continued, doctors at Centura’s Catholic hospitals are not to mention emergency contraception. That means the victim can end up pregnant by her rapist.
If it strikes you as weird that two rape victims could receive such different medical treatment in the same ER, get on the phone to your state representative and senator.
Time is running out for legislators to try to override the governor’s ridiculous veto of an emergency-contraception notification bill for rape victims.
And here’s hoping Republican legislators and Republican Gov. Bill Owens finally get the message.
This isn’t about abortion; it’s about crime victims. The so-called EC bill is a symbol of mainstream American values. It comforts the afflicted. It restores control after a terrible trauma. It allows individuals to have information.
If your elected representatives balk at that because the chances of overriding the veto are slim, tell ‘em what Carol Stamm, the doctor who heads the Colorado Gynecologic and Obstetrics Society, said so eloquently:
When religion and science get mixed up, no one benefits.
That includes Colorado’s Catholic hierarchy, which orders doctors at its hospitals not to do their jobs as defined by the American Medical Association.
It includes Owens, who argues that religious freedom allows private religious hospitals to collect public dollars, then lets them treat rape victims differently based on a definition of conception that differs from that of the National Institutes of Health.
But most of all, it includes those befouled by a vicious crime. Without an emergency-contraception notification law, they can easily end up victimized a second time for nothing more than the vagaries of their cycle.
Science needs to control public health. And, said Stamm, all kinds of science suggests that emergency contraception taken within 72 hours of an assault is an effective way for the victim to keep from getting pregnant.
Science also suggests that emergency contraception that employs the hormone progesterone rather than a mixture of the hormones estrogen and progesterone will not keep a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterine wall, Stamm said.
That ought to answer Catholic concerns that life begins when a sperm fertilizes an egg.
But Tim Dore, executive director of the Colorado Catholic Conference, says directives from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops require Catholic hospitals “to err on the side of life.”
Stamm knows of no test that can determine whether a rapist has fertilized his victim’s egg in the period when emergency contraception works.
Neither do Catholic hospitals.
So they rely on a nonspecific ovulation test that condemns every rape victim who might possibly have an egg in her reproductive system to a different standard of medical care.
This, says the Catholic Church, is religious freedom.
This, the governor agrees, is a constitutional right.
This, the rest of us must force them to understand, is madness.
Jim Spencer’s column appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at 303-820-1771 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Volume X Issue 14 – April 28, 2005
Protecting the nation is serious business, and as always we are rooting for the government to get the job done. But a recent report by the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Inspector General that uncovered some outrageous instances of waste and fraud in the newly-formed, vitally important Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has raised the hairs on our head. These textbook examples of small-time corruption are all too typical in the executive branch, but they have no place in our government agencies fighting the war on terror.
The Inspector General’s report makes the TSA sound like they are more interested in interior decorating than homeland security. The TSA spent $252,392 to furnish their office with artwork, $29,032 to hire an art consultant, and $30,085 to decorate their operations center with silk plants. After their spending spree, project managers changed contracting invoices in an attempt to cover up the expenditures.
Read the rest of this week’s Wastebasket
Going on at Taxpayer.net this week
1. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 passed the House last week. The bill contains billions of dollars in giveaways to energy industry interests. They might as well be burning your taxpayer dollars for fuel! Read TCS’s analysis of the bill and visit our Energy Watch page for ongoing updates on the bill’s status.
Our best chance to defeat the bill will be in the Senate, though it may not come up there until later this summer.
2. TCS Analysis of Senate Finance Committee’s Transportation Bill Tax Title – Why Reels and Rum Won’t get it Done. The Senate Finance Committee is charged with expanding Highway Trust Fund revenues to accomodate the large highway bill favored by both the House and the Senate. Instead, they’ve come out with a bill that includes $1 billion in revenue reductions, with dozens of tax provisions that have nothing to do with transportation at all, including cuts in excise taxes on fishing rods and rum!
3. The Senate has completed consideration of the $80 billion supplemental spending bill for Iraq and Afghanistan, which will now move to conference consideration – Hidden in this important bill are a smattering of supposedly ‘urgent’ provisions that don’t even pass the laugh test. $23 million to make room for Washington, DC’s new baseball stadium? Believe it.
4. TCS Job Opening: Development Coordinator/Director
TCS in the news
Rethinking the Axis of Oil (The Economist)
Navajos ban uranium mining, oppose federal subsidies (Indian Country Today)
Energized, emergency pork (The Journal News)
A capitol loss for DC visitors (Boston Globe)
US loan proposed to rescue alaska power plant (Washington Post)
Homeland security money debate: secrecy vs. accountability (Associated Press)
US House Passes Energy Reform Legislation (AFP)
House OKs energy bill laden with tax breaks (San Francisco Chronicle)
Greenspan raises volume in warning on U.S. deficit (Globe and Mail)