Couple of slightly cheering items this past week (besides Zarqawi,
R.I.P. B.I.H. [burn in hell]):
"Now conservative Christian groups are preparing to battle a new scourge," The New Republic reported in May 2005: "Vaccines that could prevent more than 200,000 women from dying of cervical cancer each year." The vaccines immunize against a sexually transmitted virus, HPV, that is responsible for the vast majority of cervical cancer cases. "But 'abstinence only' advocates love HPV. That’s because the virus can be spread by skin-to-skin contact other than intercourse… Abstinence groups don’t want a vaccine to eliminate this fear factor." Young women might see the vaccine "as a license to engage in premarital sex," said Bridget Maher of the Family Research Council (FRC), a powerful "Christian" lobby. “Of course, absolutely no evidence supports Maher’s claim," TNR noted. "But there’s plenty of evidence that an HPV vaccine will prevent thousands of needless deaths. Now what was that about a culture of life?"
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FYI: According to a report published last year by Public Citizen, since 1998, 43 percent of the 198 members of Congress who left government to join private life have registered to lobby. "Lawmakers rarely became lobbyists as recently as two decades ago," the paper noted. "They considered the profession to be tainted and unworthy of once-elected officials such as themselves...."
As for the Senate's Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2006 and a comparable House bill aimed at reforming lobbying practices, Fred Wertheimer of the watchdog group Democracy 21 says the bills "leave lobbyists free to function in Congress exactly the way they [read Abramoff et al] have been functioning."