March 25, 2005
The Pain Question
Is Terri Schiavo in pain? Even if she is neurologically capable of feeling pain, which some conservatives say she might be, painkillers that are administered when a feeding tube is removed should keep her comfortable. But painkillers, thanks in part to the war on drugs, are often underused, which is the subject of my latest AmSpec column.
For the record, I think the involvement of Congress in this case sets a terrible precedent, and I hope that the Schindlers' failure in federal court will discourage others from seeking congressional intervention in their legal disputes. I think the legal convention that the spouse has the final say in a case like this is correct. Whether Terri Schiavo's condition is a pesistant vegetative state or a minimally conscious state, I would not want to be kept in it. But when you remove my tube-- please, don't skimp on the drugs.
March 17, 2005
For true political geeks, the polling firm Survey Saint Louis brings us a 2008 Republican nominee tournament bracket. If you're the kind of person with an opinion on whether you'd rather see Marc Racicot or Bob Taft as the nominee, here's your chance to express it!
March 14, 2005
Radio Free Everywhere
I'll be on WHYY-91 FM in Philadelphia tomorrow from 10 AM to 11 AM Eastern. Here's how they're pitching the segment:
Does President Bush deserve credit for sparking democratic movements in the Middle East? We'll debate this with LAWRENCE KORB, now a Senior Fellow with the liberal Center for American Progress, and with JOHN TABIN, a contributing writer to the conservative American Spectator magazine's website.
You can listen online here.
UPDATE: The segment is now archived at the first link above.
UPDATED UPDATE: Not anymore. But you can still get it by searching for my name here, or you can click here to go directly to the sound file (RealAudio).
Maryland After Sarbanes
I examine the playing field in my latest AmSpec column.
March 11, 2005
Paul Sarbanes (D - Maryland) has decided not to seek a sixth term. Notable nugget in the WaPo writeup:
Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller (D-Calvert)... said that he hopes either [Montgomery County Executive Doug] Duncan or [Baltimore Mayor Martin] O'Malley will seek Sarbanes seat, allowing Democrats to unify around one candidate for governor.
"I think it could serve as a possible means by which Democrats could avoid a truly divisive gubernatorial primary in 2006," Miller said. "If that's the outcome, it would be very positive."
Miller would not say which candidate should leave the governor's race.
"Eventually it will become apparent to one of them who is the more popular person," he said.
It doesn't seem to be apparent to either of them yet. O'Malley's statement:
Although Senator Sarbanes will be difficult to follow, the Democratic Party will have a very strong candidate - whom I look forward to supporting. I will not seek his seat. We are laying the groundwork to run for governor.
I just got off the phone with Doug Duncan's office, where the official word is likewise that "The County Executive will not be a candidate for the United States Senate" and that he is "continuing to lay the groundwork for a run for governor." As the WaPo article says, several Democrats are likely to seek Sarbanes seat, especially with Duncan and particularly O'Malley out of the way; my guess is that Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, who already has an exploratory committee, will have the edge going in, but I could be wrong. On the Republican side, the rumor is that Lt. Gov. Michael Steele is being courted for the Senate run. Steele's spokeswoman, Regan Hopper, is as I write in a meeting with Steele, no doubt trying to figure out what their line is for now. I'll have more in my AmSpec column on Monday.