Sunday, March 30, 2008

Earth Hour, John McCain, and the Texas Two-Step

Miscellaneous Sunday blogging:


I don't know how the rest of Milton fared in observing Earth Hour last night, but we of the Milton Choristers did our bit despite the rather awkward timing of the event in the middle of our concert. We turned out all the lights at 8:00, processed back into the church by candlelight, and sang a lovely arrangement of 'What a Wonderful World / This Is My Father's World' along with our angelic-voiced child soloist.

Unfortunately this didn't take up the entire hour, and since we didn't have the Schubert memorized we had to put the lights back on a little early. Still, it was more than Stephen Harper could be bothered to do.



Just when you thought no U.S. politician could possibly be any stupider than George W. Bush, the Republicans manage to find themselves another one.
Reporter: “Should U.S. taxpayer money go to places like Africa to fund contraception to prevent AIDS?”

Mr. McCain: “Well I think it’s a combination. The guy I really respect on this is Dr. Coburn. He believes – and I was just reading the thing he wrote– that you should do what you can to encourage abstinence where there is going to be sexual activity. Where that doesn’t succeed, than he thinks that we should employ contraceptives as well. But I agree with him that the first priority is on abstinence. I look to people like Dr. Coburn. I’m not very wise on it.”

(Mr. McCain turns to take a question on Iraq, but a moment later looks back to the reporter who asked him about AIDS.)

Mr. McCain: “I haven’t thought about it. Before I give you an answer, let me think about. Let me think about it a little bit because I never got a question about it before. I don’t know if I would use taxpayers’ money for it.”

Q: “What about grants for sex education in the United States? Should they include instructions about using contraceptives? Or should it be Bush’s policy, which is just abstinence?”

Mr. McCain: (Long pause) “Ahhh. I think I support the president’s policy.”

Q: “So no contraception, no counseling on contraception. Just abstinence. Do you think contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV?”

Mr. McCain: (Long pause) “You’ve stumped me.”

Q: “I mean, I think you’d probably agree it probably does help stop it?”

Mr. McCain: (Laughs) “Are we on the Straight Talk express? I’m not informed enough on it. Let me find out. You know, I’m sure I’ve taken a position on it on the past. I have to find out what my position was. Brian, would you find out what my position is on contraception – I’m sure I’m opposed to government spending on it, I’m sure I support the president’s policies on it.”

Q: “But you would agree that condoms do stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Would you say: ‘No, we’re not going to distribute them,’ knowing that?”

Mr. McCain: (Twelve-second pause) “Get me Coburn’s thing, ask Weaver to get me Coburn’s paper that he just gave me in the last couple of days. I’ve never gotten into these issues before.”

Oh sweet Jesus on a stick.

The Dr. Coburn he refers to would be Senator Tom Coburn, head of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS, whose knowledge of science and medicine is only exceeded by his overwhelming ideological fervour in promoting abstinence-only programs, dismissing the effectiveness of condoms in the prevention of STDs, advocating the death penalty for abortionists, and warning us all about the icky icky gay agenda.

I can't wait to find out who's been advising McCain on foreign policy.



The media seems to have forgotten all about Texas after Clinton took the primaries and was declared the winner. However, Texas has both primaries and caucuses, the latter of which have taken a ridiculously long time to calculate given the vagaries of the 'Texas Two-Step' system.

Although preliminary results were released soon after the caucuses were held on March 4th, it was only yesterday that Texas started their caucus conventions to officially sort out their delegate counts. And guess what? It looks like Hillary didn't take Texas after all.

Numbers are still coming in and it is still uncertain how this will all wash out in terms of total Texas delegates. However, most projections are putting Obama 1-3 delegates ahead by the end. Not a big margin to be sure, but then again it's Clinton who has been making such hay out of her "winning all the big states".

Now... not so much.