There were a number of national news developments today (3/17/05), not least of which were the unnecessary-yet-interesting Congressional hearings on steroids in baseball. This was a highly entertaining proceeding, as it had everyone from the parents of dead steroids users to a terrified Bud Selig. Mark McGwire’s testimony (which largely consisted of “I’m not here to talk about the past”) was perhaps the most notable, although Congressman Shays’ (R-CT) aggressive questioning of Selig led to some hilarious and awkward moments as Selig and his cronies scrambled to explain why they have a “five-strikes” rule.
More importantly, the Senate passed a Budget which did not incorporate President Bush’s proposed spending cuts in Medicare and other domestic programs. The pork-laden budget was passed thanks to Gordon Smith (R-OR) and other moderate Republicans who jumped on the Democrats’ no-Medicaid-cuts bandwagon. The House, meanwhile, stuck to its guns and kept its budget in line with the President’s recommendations. After it’s all said and done, it seems very likely that the House (and President’s) version of the budget will be passed, but it’s likely there will have to be compromises.
Insignificantly yet widely covered is the Terri Schiavo case. For those of you who are blissfully unaware of the details, the case is basically an argument between Schiavo’s husband and Schiavo’s parents over what her wishes were. The husband says that she had no desire to lie for eternity in a vegetative state (most of her brain is, for all practical purposes, gone) while her parents argue that she wouldn’t have wanted to be killed if she went into a coma. The state supreme court and federal courts have ruled in the husband’s favor, and the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly denied to review the case. To put it simply, it has been ruled that the husband is in the right.
Now that the Schiavo case is big news, though, politicians have become involved. Like flies on a dead dog, Florida state legislatures and U.S. congressmen have began bending the law and their own jurisdiction in order to have a piece of the PR pie. Drudge reports that
The Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pension (HELP) Committee, Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming) has requested Terri Schiavo to testify before his congressional committee, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned. In so doing it triggers legal or statutory protections for the witness, among those protections is that nothing can be done to cause harm or death to this individual.
It will obviously be rather difficult for her to testify without a cerebral cortex:
If Drudge’s reporting is true, this is quite an inappropriate act by Mr. Enzi.
In the midst of the turmoil over the case, President Bush released the following statement:
The case of Terri Schiavo raises complex issues. Yet in instances like this one, where there are serious questions and substantial doubts, our society, our laws, and our courts should have a presumption in favor of life. Those who live at the mercy of others deserve our special care and concern. It should be our goal as a nation to build a culture of life, where all Americans are valued, welcomed, and protected – and that culture of life must extend to individuals with disabilities.
How about a culture of following the law and obeying court rulings? I agree with the president’s sentiment, but the court rulings have been clearly in favor of the husband’s position. When the federal government and state legislature attempts to get involved in one person’s medical case, something is wrong. President Bush has taken a very unfortunate position on the federal government’s role in determining assisted suicide’s legality. In the case of Oregon vs. Gonzales, his administration has taken the position that Oregon may not decide what a “legitimate medical use” of a substance is, and instead that these “legitimate” uses are up to the acting Attorney General even if that leads to wildly inconsistent interpretations. In Schiavo’s case, his administration is apparently taking the position that the courts should rule on a moral rather than legal basis.
And I cannot mention morals without talking about John Gibson’s despicable editorial that was posted on FOXNews.com yesterday. Gibson says that
Gays can’t have kids other than going to the abandoned kids store and getting one or two, or borrowing sperm from someone with more sperm than brains so by definition they’re out of the marriage game.
An adoption agency is an “abandoned kids store”? Marriage is, according to Gibson, contingent on the ability to have children. Brilliant. For the rest of his indisputable legal argument, I recommend reading the piece. Of course, this isn’t the first time Gibson has blessed us with his prescient, in-depth insights into how the world works. Why, who can forget his analysis of every European’s intellectual capability:
Does anybody but Paris Hilton take pictures of themselves as stupid as this? It’s really nobody’s problem but hers.
I can’t stand to hear myself talking about her anymore.
OK, how about this: She’s famous for being dumb. The Euros are dumber. There, I’ve said all I can on both subjects.
It’s really worth reading both of his articles. People shouldn’t knock FOX News for being “conservative,” they should knock FOX News for publishing excrement like Gibson’s articles.
Lastly (and perhaps most distressingly of all,) my Elite Eight is still together but the rest of my bracket took a beating. How could I possibly pick ‘bama to win two straight? Stupid, stupid, stupid.