Thursday, February 24, 2005

IS MARIO CUOMO PRO-LIFE? More to the point, is Mitt Romney? I don't think anyone in his right mind would describe Cuomo's nuanced position on abortion rights as being "pro-life." And if Cuomo's not, then neither is Romney.

The essence of the Cuomo position is as follows: he's personally opposed to abortion, but he also opposes efforts to outlaw abortion rights. The former New York governor discussed this as recently as last June, on The NewsHour:

[T]he question really is, are you in communion with your church if, for example, you're a Catholic who accepts the abortion teaching, as I did, and lived by it for say 50 years, which I have, but refuses to take the position that now I have to make the whole society of non-Catholics, non-believers, and even those Catholics who do not accept abortion; I have to impose the law upon them or attempt to.

Plain and simple, Cuomo is pro-choice. It doesn't matter what his or any other politician's personal beliefs are. If they support a woman's right to choose, they're pro-choice. Is this difficult? I didn't think so.

Of course, now Romney - long thought to have repositioned himself from pro-life to pro-choice for his 1994 Senate run against Ted Kennedy - now appears to be trying to move back to being thought of as a pro-life Republican. He's doing this at a time when he is obviously becoming obsessed with running for president in 2008.

Romney set off a mild furor with his Monday-night speech in Spartanburg, South Carolina, speaking out more strongly against gay civil unions than he has in the past, repeating his opposition to embryonic-stem-cell research, and flirting with the "pro-life" phrase, which, unfortunately, is pretty much a necessity to run in the Republican primaries. Today the Boston Globe's Raphael Lewis quotes Romney as saying:

I don't really describe my position in one hyphenated word, I describe the same thing I have for some time during this last campaign, and that is that I personally do not favor abortion. I'm personally prolife, if you will. But as the governor of the Commonwealth, I will not change the prochoice laws of the Commonwealth. I will support them, sustain them, keep them in place. And we haven't changed the laws, and I will not change the laws as long as I'm governor.

Earth to Mitt: there's a word for this, and yes, it's hyphenated: pro-choice. You may not like it. Many of us who favor abortion rights have always wondered about your sincerity. But you've been in politics now for more than a decade, and you've stuck with it - so much so that, when there was a flurry of interest in your running for governor of Utah a few years ago, some of your supporters were urging you to run as a Democrat.

Romney will get a chance to show us where he's at soon enough. As David Guarino notes in today's Boston Herald, a bill making it easier for a woman to obtain a "morning after" pill will soon land on his desk.

In the meantime, let's keep in mind that no one likes abortion. That's why Bill and Hillary Clinton have talked about making it "safe, legal, and rare," and why Cuomo has always been careful to underscore his personal opposition. But the Clintons and Cuomo are obviously pro-choice. And so is Romney. So far.

BURYING THE LEAD. Check out the last two paragraphs of Jeffrey Krasner's report in today's Globe on the investigation into the tangled finances of investment charlatan/radio entrepreneur Brad Bleidt:

The receiver's report also said that Boston Globe columnist Steve Bailey, who cohosted a morning show on the radio station [WBIX], filed a claim against Bleidt, one of his businesses, Asset Plus Asset Management, and an affiliated brokerage. Bailey filed his claim with the National Association of Securities Dealers, an industry group and self-regulatory body. The nature of Bailey's claims was not clear from the receiver's report.

In a Feb. 2 letter, Bailey told NASD he wouldn't pursue claims against Bleidt or Asset Plus Asset Management. Bailey declined to comment on the matter.

The Herald reports on the Bleidt blight here.

NEW IN THIS WEEK'S PHOENIX. Thoughts on Jeff Gannon and the squeamish mainstream media. Also, is the Herald for sale? And a piss fight breaks out over who's a "self-hating" Jew.


AnthonyG said...

You Still Don't Get it, DanIn your belated peek at Gannongate, you miss by a mile. You ask "is the Gannon matter really a scandal?" and opine that it is just another example of sleazy "efforts to manage the news."

Sorry, Dan. News "management" is McLellan pressuring reporters on the phone or clarifying Bush's comments; it is the WH openly dispatching its spinners to Sunday talk shows.

But secretly paying commentators and columnists to promote your policies, producing & broadcasting political advocacy ads disguised as news reports (with taxpayer money), and planting fake reporters in the White House briefings to ask partisan questions isn't news "management," it is rank deception and disinformation -- propaganda.It is precisely how the Bushies deceived the American public into believing that Saddam was involved in 9/11, that Iraqis hijacked the 9/11 planes, that Saddam had stockpiles of WMDs, and that Iraqis would greet US troops with flowers and candy.

Gannongate is just the latest of many propaganda scandals that are symptomatic of the how Bush and the Republican Right have subverted our government: by systematically using the news media and disinformation
to deceive the public about basic facts
--about life and death decisions, about war, about public policy and the state of our nation, about our rights and our freedoms.

This systematic governing by deception is more than a scandal, it is a pathology.The Republican Right did it when they concealed what Bush knew before the 9/11 attacks; they did it when they blocked and censored the 9/11 Commission; they did it when they faked Bush's budget numbers and inserted falsehoods about uranium from Niger in his SOTU; they did it when they orchstrated the Swift Boat smear and lied about the cost of Bush's Medicare drug benefit.

Dan, these are the same people who sent fake letters to the editor from troops in Iraq, who advocated establishing an official propaganda office (the "Office of Stategic Influence") and who cheerfully engaged the services of Otto Reich, who got busted for sneaking propaganda into US newspapers during
the Reagan years.

I hate to be so strident, Dan, but Howard Kurtz is part of the problem. He is full of shit, and you have no business quoting him on media "credibility." It was his WaPo who pumped the "unsubstantiated crap" about Pvt. Jessica Lynch without bothering to verify their facts and who supressed evidence challenging Bush's bogus WMD claims. It was the NYTimes, not bloggers, who published Judith Miller's utter fabrications about WMD's on their front page and Bill Safire's Mohammed-Atta-in-Prague hoax on their op-ed page.

The performance of the corporate media over the past 4 years constitutes an historic civic failure of catastrophic proportions. They failed get the facts right when it counted.

No bloggers went after Guckert's "private life" because they disagreed with him; Kurtz and others are spinning when they make this claim. Guckert invited scrutiny of his professional status when he asked the president a question containing a fabricated quote from Democratic Senators.

And low and behold, his credentials didn't check out --something bloggers determined with a few hours of Googling while Howie was e-trading between capuccinos.

Guckert's prostitution ads were not private, he posted them publicly on the WORLD-WIDE, web --a fact that heightened blogger's suspicions that he wasn't a real reporter (not that most WH reporters aren't whores, but that's another matter...).

The scandal here is that no corporate media reporters investigated or even expressed doubts about Guckert after his question to Bush. The scandal here is that this fraud, this propagandist, attended WH press briefings for 2 years
without a peep from the Howie Kurtzes of the world.
And he'd still be there if the bloggers hadn't done what journo's are paid to do.

Howie's reaction? "Maybe the bloggers have gone too far!" Is there any wonder our news media is so pathetic?

And if you think progressives lack the Right's media loudspeaker to propel Gannongate to the volume of Jayson Blair, Dan, then ask yourself an honest question: what the hell did you do when the story broke?

Anonymous said...

"I hate to be so strident..." LOL(Note to self, get out of bed, take meds before peeing so I don't forget...)

Anonymous said...

Saw Gannon for the first time this morning On Today with C.Brown.
Seemed like a harmless dupe to me. So it goes back to McLellan and the MSM who are protecting the Press Sec. Why is the White House allowing a wouldbe prostitute with no past as a reporter in the press room? There has to be a connection,what is it?

AnthonyG said...

Paul Krugman Gets ItIn today's column about Bush's Social Security privatization scheme, Krugman states:

People like myself - members of what one scornful Bush aide called the "reality-based community" - tend to attribute the right's electoral victories to its success at spreading policy disinformation. And the campaign against Social Security certainly involves a lot of disinformation, both about how the current system works and about the consequences of privatization.Sound familiar?

Krugman is an economist, but he understands and exposes Republican Right media manipulation better than any journalists covering the media.

The Right will continue to rule by deception until all of Krugman's reality-based colleagues step up to the plate.

BTW --Folks should note Krugman's reference to Thomas Frank's excellent book What's the Matter with Kansas