“The availability of Plan B has some worried that more young people will become sexually active, perhaps in the same way that stomach pumps in emergency rooms have encouraged the widespread pastime of consuming poisons. Their logic seems clear enough: “I’ll have sex tonight now that Plan B is available without a prescription,” says the high school girl, “and I’ll forego the use of a 50-cent condom and just pay the $50 tomorrow for some pills.”—Small Victory in Access to Contraception | LiveScience (via sexartandpolitics)]
“The President approached me when he was Senator Obama, before the Democratic primary. And he said, ‘Tell me, Arlen, if a Jewish kid from Kansas can carry Pennsylvania, how can a black kid from Kansas carry Pennsylvania?’ And I gave him some advice, and he became President of the United States of America.”—Senator Arlen Spector (via absurdlakefront) (via apsies)
“There is no plausible scenario under which Republicans can grow into a majority while shrinking our ideological confines and continuing to retract into a regional party. Ideological purity is not the ticket back to the promised land of governing majorities — indeed, it was when we began to emphasize social issues to the detriment of some of our basic tenets as a party that we encountered an electoral backlash.”—From Olympia Snowe’s Op-Ed in the NYT today, concerning Arlen Specter’s move yesterday. (via apsies)
“I like to see people reunited, I like to see people run to each other, I like the kissing and the crying, I like the impatience, the stories that the mouth can’t tell fast enough, the ears that aren’t big enough, the eyes that can’t take in all of the change, I like the hugging, the bringing together, the end of missing someone.”—jonathan safran foer (via racheldorn)
“I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out then under another Democrat president Jimmy Carter. And I’m not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it’s an interesting coincidence.”—
“God created the sun, the stars, the heavens and the earth, and then made Adam and Eve. The Bible never says anything about dinosaurs. You can’t say there were dinosaurs when you never saw them. Someone actually saw Adam and Eve. No one ever saw a Tyrannosaurus Rex.”—
It was a historic moment. On Dec. 2, 2002, then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld signed a memorandum authorizing interrogation techniques against detainees at Guantanamo that the current President of the United States, Barack Obama, has described as “torture.”
In a handwritten notation at the bottom of the memo, apparently believing that the U.S. government was being too lenient and humane to the detainees,Rumsfeld scrawled, “I stand for 8-10 hours a day. Why is standing limited to 4 hours?”
If Rumsfeld had any thoughts at that historic moment, thus far that one is the only one recorded for history.
“[Atheists] are connecting on the Internet, holding meet-ups in bars, advertising on billboards and buses, volunteering at food pantries and picking up roadside trash, earning atheist groups recognition on adopt-a-highway signs.
Local and national atheist organizations have flourished in recent years, fed by outrage over the Bush administration’s embrace of the religious right. A spate of best-selling books on atheism also popularized the notion that nonbelief is not just an argument but a cause, like environmentalism or muscular dystrophy.”—
“Do you think Hugo Chavez or anyone else in the world thinks Barack Obama shaking hands with a man who’s invited to a conference with him, who’s president of another country, who walks up to him and shakes his hand— Do you think they think that’s weakness? I think it expresses confidence.”—Joe Biden (via apsies)
“So Bobby Jindal makes fun of ‘volcano monitoring’, and soon afterwards Mt. Redoubt erupts. Susan Collins makes sure that funds for pandemic protection are stripped from the stimulus bill, and the swine quickly attack. What else did the right oppose recently? I just want enough information to take cover.”—
Under my administration, the days of science taking a back seat to ideology are over. Our progress as a nation – and our values as a nation – are rooted in free and open inquiry. To undermine scientific integrity is to undermine our democracy.
That is why I have charged the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy with leading a new effort to ensure that federal policies are based on the best and most unbiased scientific information. I want to be sure that facts are driving scientific decisions – and not the other way around.
President Obama, in this morning’s address to the National Academy of Sciences.
“Here are the big issues for normal people: the war, the economy, the environment, mending fences with our enemies and allies, and the rule of law. And here’s the list of Republican obsessions since President Obama took office: that his birth certificate is supposedly fake, he uses a teleprompter too much, he bowed to a Saudi guy, Europeans like him, he gives inappropriate gifts, his wife shamelessly flaunts her upper arms, and he shook hands with Hugo Chavez and slipped him the nuclear launch codes.”—Bill Maher (via azspot)
“President Bush assured us in no uncertain terms that “we don’t torture.” Turns out we do—and Republicans are outraged! But not because the CIA has sullied our American ideals by stooping to the level of Vietcong interrogators, rather “they’re upset about the fact that we now know about it,” as Jon Stewart observes. —Corbin Hiar”—Jon Stewart Takes on Torture Supporters (via retropolitics)
Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ): —my question: Is the Obama administration seeking, in any way, to weaken or overturn pro-life laws and policies in African and Latin-American countries, either directly or through multi-lateral organizations, including and especially the United Nations, African Union, or the OAS, or by way of funding NGOs like Planned Parenthood; and, secondly, and so we can have total transparency—you know, you know, as a former lawmaker, we always have definition pages when we write legislation; definitions do matter—does the United States’ definition of the term “reproductive health,” or “reproductive services,” or “reproductive rights,” include abortion? I yield to the distinguished gentleman.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: Congressman, I deeply respect your passionate concern and views, which you have championed and advocated for over the course of your public career. We obviously have a profound disagreement.
When I think about the suffering that I have seen of women around the world—I’ve been in hospitals in Brazil where half the women were enthusiastically and joyfully greeting new babies and the other half were fighting for their lives against botched abortions. I’ve been in African countries where 12 and 13-year-old girls are bearing children. I have been in Asian countries where the denial of family planning consigns women to lives of oppression and hardship. So we have a very fundamental disagreement.
And it is my strongly held view that you are entitled to advocate, and everyone who agrees with you should be free to do so anywhere in the world, and so are we.
We happen to think that family planning is an important part of women’s health—and reproductive health includes access to abortion, that I believe should be safe, legal, and rare. I spent a lot of my time trying to bring down the rate of abortions, and it has been my experience that good family planning and good medical care brings down the rate of abortion. Keeping women and men in ignorance and denied the access to services actually increases the rate of abortion.
During my time as First Lady, I helped to create the Campaign Against Teenage Pregnancy, and while we were working to provide good information, access to contraception, and decision-making that would enable young women to protect themselves and say no, the rate of teen pregnancy went down. I’m sad to report that, after an administration of 8 years that undid so much of the good work, the rate of teenage pregnancy is going up.
So, we disagree. And we are now an administration that will protect the rights of women, including their rights to reproductive healthcare.
“It is the grimmest of ironies that one of the most savage, barbaric acts of evil in history began in one of the most modernized societies of its time, where so many markers of human progress became tools of human depravity: science that can heal used to kill [, torture]; education that can enlighten used to rationalize away basic moral impulses; the bureaucracy that sustains modern life used as the machinery of mass death [and torture] — a ruthless, chillingly efficient system where many were responsible for the killing [and torture], but few got actual blood on their hands.”—
President Obama’s speech for the Holocaust Remembrance ceremony, yesterday at the Capitol Rotunda
“I apply the Abraham Lincoln test for moral casuistry: “If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.” Well, then, if waterboarding does not constitute torture, then there is no such thing as torture.”—Hitchens
“Every single day we can do something to make the world a better place, to exercise some common courtesy and kindness—maybe shake a hand of somebody you don’t agree with. There’s just lots of things we can do.”—Hillary Clinton jokes at a State Department event on climate change (via apsies)
“…when the Republicans impeached a president for committing perjury in a civil suit, it was about the rule of law. But when it comes to holding a president accountable for war crimes in his public capacity, it is about criminalizing political differences. Do these people even hear themselves?”—Andrew Sullivan (via retropolitics) (via mandalay)