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Friday, January 04, 2008

Pin The Tail On The Donkey (or Elephant)
and
Iowa Caucus Results chart (click on Iowa on map). Note the total votes cast for Democrats (2,501) versus Republicans (117,415).

My son's American Government class is going through candidate comparison charts now. He'll be voting for the first time in our state primaries next month and in the Presidential election in November. Here are two excellent candidate-evaluation sites he showed me, and one is done with a twist.

Print out this 2decide.com table, fold down the top of the page that shows the candidates' names and double-crease the part with their names repeated across the near-bottom. You want to hide the candidates' names, showing only the bottom legend of what each mark means.

Be honest now. Doing this "blind" removes the personalities and preconceived notions about the men and woman themselves.

Then go across each column marking the positions you support and add up how many points for each column. Only then look at the candidates' names.

I admittedly am not well-versed in what "Energy & Oil: ANWR Drilling" and "Energy & Oil: Kyoto" are in depth, so I left them blank. I presume the first is whether to drill in the Alaska National Wildlife region or not, but I don't know enough to know the true (as opposed to inflammatory-rhetoric laden) ramifications.

The copy my son had listed "Abortion", but today, that row is called "Roe v. Wade." Not exactly the same exact issue, for those of us who know better. It's still rather sad that the general populace still considers Roe v. Wade to be equal to the entire abortion issue when it clearly isn't. "Roe v. Wade" (scare quotes intended) has become the catchphrase for the litmus test but it only made abortion legal up to a certain point in the pregnancy. Its companion case, Doe v. Bolton , made abortion essentially legal at any stage of the pregnancy and further, if Roe and Doe were overturned tomorrow, abortion would still be legal as this decision merely would revert back to the states.

Lastly, the abortion issue can also be addressed with the statements, "Human life (or the right to it) begins at conception" versus "at birth."

Making those distinctions would result in a more accurate depiction of the issue and would further distinguish the Republican candidates (if not, of course, the Democrats).

This site phrased issues in "votable", actionable terms so this may not be possible. But if there was a way to do this, I believe we'd find out the true numbers of those identifying themselves as pro-life or pro-choice. It all depends on how the questions are worded, even in these tables.

One takes on faith that the checks, X's and other markings accurately reflect the candidates' positions. But do Thompson, Huckabee, Giuliani really have so many issues left "unknown?" Even Edwards and Obama have one or two unknowns. This is disconcerting!

Even with these concerns, this really helped me begin to put it all in one place. Surprisingly, Giuilani had the majority of my tickmarks with 15. Huckabee, McCain and Romney tied for second at 14.

For me, the problem with this is two-fold:

1) across those four candidates, they didn't share the exact same 14 points of agreement with me, and
2) Giuiliani supports Abortion/Roe v. Wade.

A potentially useful tool in solving that dilemma is this USA TODAY site, even though it asks far fewer data points than the above table (only 11, versus 25) and omits the abortion issue altogether.

Take the quiz but don't watch the "racing heads" in the columns at the bottom. Don't let that influence how you answer the questions.

These questions were less helpful. In question 4, I'd pick the first AND third choice, not either/or. Same for question 7: I'd like to see forcing the reduction of administrative overhead costs and medical fraud, but I chose "provide incentives for healthier living and reducing chronic healthcare costs."

I also didn't like the fact that all the questions were about "what the federal government should do," as if "bigger government" was the panacea for all our woes. It isn't. So for question 10, I chose "set mandatory caps on carbon emissions" because while that's more government involvement, that would force private industry to do the "investing in alternative energy sources" rather than "big government" doing so. A cap and trade scheme just allows the worse companies to "buy" their way out of violations. I'd support a carbon tax only if it had the desired effect, but I fear it wouldn't. "Implementing taxes" just makes most Democrats drool and want to hang onto those extra monies instead of supporting the original intent.

So when I was done, my top three were "Huckabee, Kucinich (Democrat), and Romney." !

This poll didn't ask any questions about "right to life" issues which do rule out Kucinich. The fact that he advocates a government-backed healthcare system rules him out as well. The government would botch that so bigtime.

What's neat is you can adjust, with slider bars on the lower right, to reflect your own personal emphasis on seven major issues. After adjusting how much I weight these, my top three are Huckabee, Romney and McCain.

Who was last on my list? Ron Paul, regardless of where I moved the sliders!

I still need to do more research so the following is a work in progress:

Current showstoppers:

ROMNEY: I just can't get past his prior abortion support when in charge of an abortion-advocating constituency. I still fear he will be the "When in Rome, do as the Romans do" candidate. Think Supreme Court Justices Anthony Kennedy and Sandra Day O'Connor, both Reagan-Republican nominees to SCOTUS and considered conservatives at that time. Fool me once...

Current concerns:

HUCKABEE:
  • Fair or Sales-based Tax instead of the IRS (implausible).
  • Death Penalty support.
  • Doesn't support an assault weapons ban or background checks prior to purchase of guns. Look at the pictures of some of these guns. What in God's name do we need semi-automatic AK-47 rifles and "Intratec TEC-9 with 32-round magazine" weapons for, really? I break with National Review-ers on this one: even "between 1% and 6%" of gun crimes using such assault weapons prior to the ban's enactment is 1% and 6% too many. With these kinds of weapons, who needs machine guns? Unless Al-Qaeda is parked on my front lawn or I'm being attacked by the neighboring town a la the TV show "Jericho", I'll pass. For this, NR would label me an "antigunner." Nice. By the way, I have shot 9 millimeters and .45's and I was pretty good at it too so it isn't that I hate guns.


    To be continued, sometime...
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    NATIONAL REVIEW Online's The Corner ~ Kathryn Jean Lopez links to Ap blog, 1/22/07

    Associated Press/San Francisco Chronicle: Banno On Boxer and the Illegal Abortion Deaths Urban Legend

    San Diego Union Tribune: more Boxer Urban-Legend-Debunk coverage

    Ellen Goodman retraction impetus: Aa blog initiates The Straight Dope coverage...and is listed in National Review Senior Editor Ramesh Ponnuru's book The Party of Death, p. 255, Chap. 3 Endnote #11,   4/2006

    NY Daily News: "Atheist's Site Is All The Rave

    "After Abortion,...run by Emily Peterson and Annie Banno, two women who had abortions in the 1970s, ...tries to avoid the political tug-of-war that tends to come with this turf. They concentrate instead on discussing the troubling personal effects of abortion on the mothers." ~ Eric Scheske, Godspy contributing editor, in NC Register's "Signs of Life in the Blogosphere", 2/2006

    "Godbloggers could, in the best of worlds, become the new apologists...[including] laymen with day jobs: Emily Peterson and Annie Banno, for instance, at the blog After Abortion..."~ Jonathan V. Last, The Weekly Standard online editor, in First Things's "God on the Internet", 12/2005

    Amy Welborn, at BeliefNet, links to AfterAbortion blog's Crime & Abortion Series

    Catholic News Service: Silent counterprotest at the March For Choice



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    PREGNANT? UPSET? SCARED?
    4,800 confidential groups helping now.
    -------------------------------------------------

    We are too. Here are folks who can help:

    Feeling Really Bad?: Call
    1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
    & a friend, right now.

    Suicide Hope Lines: U.S.A. (by state) or call 1-800-Suicide (784-2433)

    Suicide Help - Canada: "If you can't find a crisis centre near you, any of the 24-hour tollfree numbers in your province will be able to help."

    UK, ROI: 08457 90 90 90 , www.samaritans.org.uk

    Suicide Helplines in over 40 other countries

    George & Linda Zallie, Stacy's parents, "assisting women who made the difficult choice of ending their pregnancy in finding nonjudgmental help" for suicidal feelings.

    For immediate help, call tollfree, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: national, confidential, post-abortion-recovery hotlines:
    1-877-HOPE-4-ME or
    1-866-482-5433 or
    1-800-5WE-CARE

    ...more help below...

    AbortionChangesYou.com

    "I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion...[many are] aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and [do] not doubt that it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace...You will come to understand that nothing is definitively lost and you will also be able to ask forgiveness from your child..."

    MORE HELP:
    Hope after Abortion
    Ideas for Healing
    Rachel's Vineyard Retreats
    (non-Christians, even non-religious do attend; they also have interdenominational retreats designed expressly for people of any religion or no religion)
    Abortion Recovery
    "Entering Canaan" - a ministry of reverence for women and men who suffer following an abortion
    Lumina - Hope & Healing After Abortion
    Ramah
    Option Line
    Books that help
    (includes non-religious Post Abortion recovery books)
    In Our Midst
    NOPARH
    For MEN - Resources List
         ** UPDATED 2015 **

    Message boards, chat rooms &
       e-groups ** UPDATED 2015 **

    Regional & local resources
             ** UPDATED 2015 **


    Silent No More Awareness Campaign
    After Abortion
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    LOOKING FOR SOMETHING?
    Welcome! Our sidebar continues at great length, just below the "MORE HILLARY BACKPEDALS" section, with many links to helpful, respect-life folks of all shapes, sizes, minds & creeds, science, research, stories & just.plain.stuff. Just text-search or browse. But grab a cup of Joe first.

    FULL-SEARCH AbortionPundit:

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    "Do As We Say, Republicans, Not As We Do" - All 8 Parts

    Why NOT Hillary?


    1. Abortion Rhetoric Backpedal
    2. Chicago Tribune: "Our hero: Hillary Clinton, the last truth bender"
    3. Rapper Timbaland's $800K and "Ho's" lyrics
    4. Criminal "fugitive", media-ignored Hsu
    5. $5K per Kid
    6. Criminal Berger
    7. "I remember landing under sniper fire...we just ran with our heads down."...
    8. ...and other false claims on her Foreign Policy "chops"
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    CLICK HERE for 2015 UPDATES
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    ------------------------------------------------
    Obama On Abortion: A Summary 1990-2009

    1) Obama Is 2nd-Highest-Paid Politician by Fannie Mae, Taking $126,346 in only 4 years as Senator; Now Derides GOP/Bush for Allowing Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac To Do Business, When It Was Democrat Presidents Bill Clinton & Jimmy Carter Who Passed The Law Requiring Fannie & Freddie To Give Out Bad Subprime Loans To Those Who Couldn't Afford Them, Which Caused The Entire Financial Meltdown … 2) Jim Johnson (Obama VEEP vetter and former Fannie Mae executive who made millions there) Backpedal … 3) Obama's hiring, connection, support of ACORN, which supported that very law and whose staff have been involved in voter fraud … 4) Rezko's Favor A "Boneheaded" Mistake … 5) Jeremiah Wright Backpedal … 6) Fr. Michael Fleger Backpedal … 7) NAFTA Backpedal … 8) Campaign Financing Backpedal … 9) Mr. "Negotiates-With-Terrorist-States" … 10) Bittergate … 11) Hamas' Chief Political Adviser Hopes BO Will Win Election … 12) Banning Handguns Backpedal … 13) Who Exactly Are "The Rich" He's Going to Sock it to? … 14) Flag Pin Backpedal … 15) Once Open to School Vouchers That Work, Now Deadset Against … 16) Now OK with residual force in Iraq...up to 50,000 troops. … 17) First voted against a law protecting babies who survive an abortion procedure, then lied saying he didn't, then finally forced to admit that he did vote to deny such born babies protection. 18) … "For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country." ~ MO

    Region-specific blogs of note: Washington, Midwest, California, Connecticut, Canada (adding as we get the time)



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