Jesurgislac’s Journal

June 15, 2008

US: Pro-life politicians are anti-children

Here’s a convenient piece of documentation: American politicians, and how they vote on pro-child policies.

You can look up the worst and the best politicians for yourself.

John McCain has a 10% score, by the way. Barack Obama has a 60% score. (Hillary Clinton has a 70% score.)

Correlating the pro-child politicians against the “pro-life” politicians, unsurprisingly, we find that the politicians most likely to vote against children are the politicians also most likely to vote “pro-life”. Being anti-child has a strong correlation with being anti-woman.

I won’t give them a link, but the NRLC has a convenient little tool by which you can look up different politicians and discover how they voted on anti-women bills: McCain has the lowest score as anti-child in the Senate, and he also has a lot of bright green ticks on NRLC (and is endorsed by them as a “pro-life” candidate).

David Vitter, James Inhofe, James W. DeMint, Tom Coburn: score at 20%, – strongly anti-child: and all of them have a 100% voting record as anti-women. Among the legislation they supported was a vote that had the effect of defunding UNPFA.

You can continue checking: it’s tedious but disgusting work, confirming that if you’re the kind of politician who votes to limit women’s choices, you are the kind of politician who votes against helping children.

Pro-lifers don’t care about preventing abortions (a pro-lifer showed up in the comments to that post to confirm this): but if you ask them, they’ll claim their justification for trying to make abortion difficult to access or illegal is “Helping moms, saving babies, ending abortion!”

Yet they vote for and urge others to vote for politicians who don’t care about helping moms, or saving babies (or older children) and who actively prefer to avoid preventing abortions.

Now why do they do that? If they wanted to “help moms” they could campaign for paid maternity leave, for free healthcare for pregnant women and children. If they wanted to “save babies” – well, babies and older children – they could campaign for and support politicians who can be trusted to vote for policies supporting children.

There are Senators who score 100% on voting for pro-child legislation (listed below) and, unsurprisingly, NRLC doesn’t like how they vote very much. Check their names: some of them have a few approving green ticks from NRLC for voting for anti-woman legislation, but most have nothing. NRLC doesn’t score points for voting to help children: all NRLC cares about is the codeword “saving babies” – which has nothing to do with actually helping real children, any more than it has anything to do with preventing abortions.

Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI) 100%
Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) 100%
Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) 100%
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) 100%
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) 100%
Sen. Robert Casey, Jr. (D-PA) 100%
Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) 100%
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) 100%
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) 100%
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) 100%
Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI) 100%
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) 100%
Sen. Herbert Kohl (D-WI) 100%
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) 100%
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) 100%
Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) 100%
Sen. Joe Lieberman (D/I-CT) 100%
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) 100%
Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD) 100%
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) 100%
Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) 100%
Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) 100%
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) 100%
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) 100%
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) 100%

May 1, 2008

Using Up My Five Minutes of Blogging Time To Complain About Other Blogs

Once upon a time, the reason for reading American political blogs was that they were substantially different from American mainstream media.

This has not been true of many right-wing blogs for some time, which more and more simply seemed to chorus together whatever party line was coming out of the White House.

But it was still true of many blogs, some on the right, many on the left, lots which were neither typed as “right” or “left.

Sadly, it no longer seems to be the case. What the mainstream media is paying attention to is apparently what is deemed to be important, so what <I>is</I> the point of reading blogs rather than reading mainstream media?

This primary would have been a great opportunity to examine the real differences between Clinton and Obama: substantive reasons, rather than trivial ones, why someone might decide they preferred one over the other.

Instead, as one would expect, the mainstream media and the Republican campaigners had a long, happy time circulating nasty nonsense about either or both, and as I certainly didn’t expect, the left-wing blogosphere happily took up the lead the mainstream media and the Republican campaigners had given them and ran with it.

For large chunks of time, I won’t be able to be online in May. Once upon a time, political blogs would have been an excellent way to pick up in summary the recent and most important news. Now? Might as well switch on CNN 24.

April 12, 2008

Snopes joins the anti-Clinton bandwagon?

Filed under: Elections,Internet — jesurgislac @ 10:01 am
Tags: , , , ,

I’ve been a fan of for years. It’s a fabulous site, if you hadn’t encountered it already: for the glurge, for the delicate unpicking of the most godawful nonsense, for the research the couple who run it do.

If someone’s forwarded an e-mail to you that was obviously written to be passed on, it’s always worth checking in Snopes.

Or it was. Under their Home – > Politics – > Clintons section (one of’s charms is a thoroughly well-organized website) there are two webpages that shouldn’t be there. Both are standard Republican anti-Clinton circulating e-mails: Play by Play Analysis and Hillary Clinton’s Resume. Both were dated in February 2008 when I first noticed them, but the “Resume” page now has the date “31st March 2008”, as if someone’s added material to it since.

Both are listed with Snopes’ yellow “Undetermined” button, which usually indicates stories like the Presidents with Binoculars page – where Snopes rightly notes “whether real or manipulated, these photos don’t show anything beyond the trivial – most of us have accidentally raised a capped pair of binoculars to our eyes for a few moments, but most of us aren’t surrounded by photographers who can catch these moments”. That’s “undetermined” – the photographs may be real or photomanips, but either way, it doesn’t matter.

These anti-Clinton webpages just have “research is continuing” at the foot: they include nothing but the attack e-mails which would normally be the source material. (To see how Snopes normally does this, check out last year’s analysis of an attack e-mail outlining Marxist statements supposedly made by Clinton.)

Snopes has, in the past, without fear or favour, gone through a whole rack of urban myths and legends circulated about Presidents or Presidential candidates. I’ve never before seen them publish an incomplete webpage.

Well, I thought, when I first saw these, accidents happen. It’s a big website. Probably whoever was updating that page put up those two examples of inbox trash as placeholders until they had time to research them, but forgot to make them private – didn’t realise that the regular viewers of the website would be able to see them. Like a good Internet citizen, I made use of Snopes’ contact page to let them know they’d made a mistake.

I got a form letter back:

Thank you for writing to us!

Our site covers many of the items currently being plopped into inboxes everywhere, so if you were writing to ask us about something you just received, our search engine at can probably help you locate the very article you’re looking for. Just choose a few key words from the item of interest and enter them into search box. (Searching on whole phrases will often fail to produce matches; selecting one or two key words is the best search strategy.)

And both the pages are still visible, and someone at Snopes is still adding material to the “Hillary Clinton’s Resume” page.

Snopes has turned itself into an anti-Clinton campaign site. This is most upsetting. Not because I’m especially a Clinton supporter – I feel that either Obama or Clinton would make a great President, and the main thing to avoid is another 8 years of McSame – but I used to admire Snopes for the research they did and the neutral attitude they took to urban legends, political and apolitical. They seem to have decided to ditch that. Which is sad in itself: Snopes was a great website.

Update: It’s even worse than I thought….

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