Saturday, November 20, 2004

Hot news at Talk Left

In Congress: Negotiators Add Abortion Clause to Spending Bill. This is being advertised as protecting the conscience of doctors who don't want to provide abortions, but federal law already does this, so it's another stealth bill. This thing allows insurers and other institutions to claim a "conscience" that we all know they don't have. Having already allowed anti-abortion terrorists to frighten many doctors out of providing abortion, the march to forced pregnancy is taking the next step. Barbara Boxer is on the case:
"I am willing to stand on my feet and slow this thing down," Ms. Boxer said. "Everyone wants to go home, I know that, and I know I will not win a popularity contest in the Senate. But they should not be doing this. On a huge spending bill they're writing law, and they're taking away rights from women."
In the media: Clinton Rips Starr, Media on Prosecution:
In a prime-time television outburst, Bill Clinton ripped old nemesis Kenneth Starr and what the former president portrayed as a gullible media eager to report every "sleazy thing" leaked from a prosecutor bent on bringing him down.
President Bill lets Peter Jennings have it over the lousy job they did at holding Starr and the Republicans to account. The article has some satisfying quotes.

In the White House: Pardon Me:
Case statistics released last month by the Office of the Pardon Attorney in the Justice Department show that, since assuming office, Bush has granted a total of 25 pardons while he has denied 839 applications. His pardon grant rate is thus about 3% of all requests acted upon. (He has also denied 3,446 commutation requests, and that grant rate has too many zeroes to be meaningful.) By contrast, most Presidents in the past 100 years have granted between 20% and 30% of the pardon applications they considered.
Of course, his father didn't pardon a lot of people, either, having apparently saved most of his compassion for his personal friends and co-conspirators. If he'd had more friends, his own record would have been higher. If we ever get the little prince out of the White House, look for him to suddenly up his percentage when he absolves his entire cabinet of any accountability.

(Jeralyn, you really must come visit me in London.)

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