"What's Your Sound Bite?"

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That was a game show, not a "debate".

Just about everything Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo got a chance to say was wonderful. Hunter was good on military issues and border security; Tancredo good on abortion and the illegal immigration crisis.

But limiting all speaking opportunities to half a minute is a guaranteed formula for a heapin' helpin' o' pablum. Eliminating Chris Matthews from the program and giving each candidate at least a two-minute speaking opportunity would have been a major improvement.

A thirty-second time limit to answers may not tell us much about the candidates, but it certainly demonstrates which will produce the best raw content for the evening news.

I think the best any candidate could have accomplished tonight would have been a headline-dominating statement or moment.

Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore affirming explicitly he is pro-choice could have been such a moment, but no one in America besides me even remembers Mr. Gilmore participated, so that opportunity has been lost.

Let's hope whoever came up with this silly format has no input on future candidate forums.

UPDATE: Transcript is up at IHT. Here is the Jim Gilmore segment referenced above:

MR. MATTHEWS: We're looking for nuance here. Governor Gilmore, you have said in the past that you believe in the first eight to 12 weeks of pregnancy, that a woman should have the right to have an abortion. Do you still stick with that exception?

MR. GILMORE: I do, Chris. My views on this, my beliefs on this are a matter of conviction.

UPDATE II: The answer that someone should have given to the idiotic question "What do you dislike about America?"


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stay puft said:

they were more able to talk about their positions in the post-debate interviews than during the debate itself.

Still, when you have 10 guys on one stage who could each go on for hours, you're going to have to cut them off sooner or later

I agree, I do understand a 10-person "debate" is a mildly flawed concept. I'm just saying they could have found a place for each guy to give a two or three minute opening statement or something and cut out some of MSNBCs idiotic little gimmicks.

"Bill Clinton back in the White House"?? Who in America cares about what these guys think about that?

Loudoun Conservative said:

Thanks for reminding us that Gov Gilmore believes in abortion on demand through the first 12 weeks of pregnancy -- that's 88% of all abortions (data cited from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/18/AR2007041802428.html). Gov. Gilmore is not pro-life. He has been on the Board of Directors of Barr Laboratories since 2002. Barr is the maker of "Plan B," the well known abortifacient drug sometimes call the "Morning After Pill" (http://www.marketwatch.com/tools/quotes/profile.asp?symb=brl). Does this mean that Gilmore profits from sexual irresponsibility? They certainly aren't giving the drug away. It's one of their bigger money makers and they are pushing to allow it over the counter and to minors without parental notice. And the pharmaceutical lobby keeps blocking concsience clause legislation in VA that would protect pharmicists and doctors from losing their jobs because they refuse to prescribe abortifacient drugs.

AFF said:

Wingnut pharmacists deserve to lose their job for refusing to do their job.

It is a pretty simple concept.

I give a pharmacist my prescription. They fill it in a timely fashion making sure the dosage is correct.

I pay for my prescription.

Any deviation from this arrangement is completely unacceptable to me as customer- period. If a person doesn't like filling prescriptions perhaps they should consider another job- I don't pay them for their opinion

Noonan said:

AFF, that is absurd, pharmicists are not your servants, nor should they have to participate in killing people to distribute medicine. The two are antithetical. By the same reasoning I suppose you would force nurses and doctors into performing abortions? Talk about imposing your views on others. Go to another pharmacy for crying out loud. There's no reason someone should have to provide a service just because you want it and you don't personally find it morally objectionable. To go after their livelihoods in retaliation for not participating in your own broad concept of acceptable moral behavior is totalitarian nonsense. Its THAT simple.

Noonan said:

Oh, and prefacing your comments by calling those you disagree with some combination of a winger, nut, or wingnut does not strengthen your argument.

I assure you those on the other side feel the same way about you even if they restrict their comments to topic based arguments rather than personal attacks. Its just civility.

AFF, you could use the same "logic" to demand all doctors perform mercy killings.

stay puft said:

yeah, or you could use the same argument to say that policy officers should patrol MLK Blvd!

ever seen a copper on MLK? No, but that's fine. Why should they have to if they don't want to?

zimzo said:

I wonder if we could pass a constitutional amendment guaranteeing everyone the right to do only what they want to do in their jobs. I think a lot of people could get behind that.

Jack said:

If you don't like what the pharmacist is doing, don't hire him.

Noonan said:

Zimzo, that makes no sense. Does a lawyer have to take every case that walks into his/her office despite moral objections? Does the left get to decide what everyone's job should entail because they can be customers? The abortionist lobby don't write the pharmicists' paychecks, so go to another pharmacy.

And stay puft, police officers are government employees, so their obligations are different. Not to mention your slur against cops here does not allege a conscience objection as in the case of pharmicists.

Interesting to see the liberals here are all on board with coercively imposing their values on others by going after their very livelihoods. Simply scary.

AFF said:

I just don't understand where the disconnect is- Their job is to fill prescriptions, not make moral judgements. Read the paper, count the pills, put the pills in a labeled bottle.

People who would deny emergency birth control to a woman in the name of preventing abortion don't deserve to wear the white coat. Do your job, or find a new one.

Jack's logic is not to hire the guy ( hint- I think this is one of the things consience clause legislation might be addressing- You might HAVE TO hire the guy if the fundies got their way)

Joe- I don't follow your Doctor comparison at all. In fact, it kind of freaks me out.

AFF said:

Not my definition

Wingnut is a political epithet for a person who holds tightly to beliefs that fall well outside the realm of accepted fact, usually due to ideological bias. It is commonly believed to be a contraction of "right-wing nut", and therefore to be entirely political in origin and use. Wingnut may also be a figurative use of "wing nut", a piece of hardware with two "wings" that make it easy to screw onto, or remove from, a bolt. This theory suggests that wingnut was chosen as an epithet for how easy such a person is to manipulate and may be considered analogous to calling someone a "tool".Wingnut is often used to refer to unpopular political figures of any persuasion, particularly those among the American Right, and is in popular use on the blogosphere, internet forums, BBS, etc. More right-leaning communities use "moonbat" to refer to many political figures associated with the left, though this has a narrower connotation and its usage is rare.

I only use the term affectionatly (and I do consider it "civil" when refering to people who deny people access to birth control in order to prevent abortion)

I really think it best I continue with my choice of slang- you wouldn't like the alternatives (plus I have to kiss my mother this weekend)

Jack said:

"People who would deny emergency birth control to a woman in the name of preventing abortion don't deserve to wear the white coat. Do your job, or find a new one."

Their job does not entail helping to kill someone.

AFF said:

Who said anything about killing someone?

You guys remind of the Monty Python song

"Every sperm is sacred, every sperm is great. When a sperm gets wasted, god gets quite irate..."

If you believe a sperm = someone, you are so far out of the mainstream you are beyond wingnut status and have moved into a crazy, blithering, dribbling spit off your chin state of being.

Emergency contraception prevents conception (remember from health class- sperm plus egg = embryo?) Denying women access to emergency contraception obviously could lead to more abortions. Anyone not able to make this leap of logic doesn't belong behind a pharmacy counter- perhaps they could find work with the janitorial staff where they can't harm the public unless they forget the "caution wet floor" sign.

Jack said:

"Who said anything about killing someone?"

Plan B, the "emergency contraceptive pill," works by preventing implantation, not by preventing fertilization.

It IS an abortion.

stay puft said:

an abortion of what, Jack? medically speaking, pregnancy begins at implantation.

AFF said:


So you are okay with a law mandating who a pharmacy has to hire?

What if I'm a pharmacy frequented by free love liberals (who we all know are a little loose with the zipper's) and members of NOW (who we all know recreationally take the morning after pill)?

I have to hire the guy (or can't fire) who has a moral objection to meeting my clients needs? The guy who believes birth control (which the majority of my clients take) is murder?

Do tell. What happened to "If you don't like what the pharmacist is doing, don't hire him."

You can't have it both ways

Jack said:

I did not know you were a doctor, puffalump.

"So you are okay with a law mandating who a pharmacy has to hire?"

AF, U missed something there. I did not say I favor any such laws.

I see you libs are really tolerant so long as people agree with you. You are not tolerant of those who disagree with you.

I assume you are in favor of forcing Islamic cabbies to accept passengers with alcohol?

stay puft said:

"You are not tolerant of those who disagree with you."

so you are? If you were willing to tolerate people doing things that you disagreed with, this blog just wouldn't be the same!

AFF said:


Thank you for clearing that up-

You are cool with a pharmacist being fired for not filling prescriptions for whatever reason?

Perhaps next time you might want to read the thread (I usually go top to bottom) before you comment. We were talking about "Concience Clause LEGISLATION"

Legislation usually means law.

Jack said:

Many pharmacists own their own businesses. They can do as they please. The pharmacy owners can do as THEY please, inculding firing someone who does not fill certain prescriptions. Similarly, an owner could fire one who insisted on filling such prescriptions.

The issue for me is to protect those owners. If the pharmacist does not like the policy of the owner, he should find another employer or open his own shop.

Now, please answer MY question: Are you in favor of forcing Islamic cabbies to accept passengers with alcohol, or be fired?

Puffalump, I am generally in favor of allowing (but not necessarily sanctioning) people to do what they want, so long as they do not harm another person.

stay puft said:

besides, that would open a whole can of worms with pharmaceutical companies paying off pharmacies for refusing to fill any generic/competitor prescriptions, etc.

I'm not sure we'd want that: Taco Bell has Pepsi, Mcdonalds has Coke, Right Aid has Pfizer, Wallgreens has Merck... who needs that mess?

Jack said:

A very interesting point, puffalump, but I doubt it would happen. The drugs are generally patented anyway, so there is no direct competition. The generics are licensed by the drug companies. If they started punishing pharmacies that sold them, they would probably be in breach of contract with the generic manufactureres, and those manufacturers would stop buying the licenses.

AFF said:


Not trying to be difficult but I really have no opinion about alcohol and islamic cabbies.

I think cabbies should be allowed to pick up whomever/whatever they want but I don't believe this is the case. I think a cabbie can be fined for refusing a fare (???)

Good thing I'm not a cabbie

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