so what about Brangelina?

You don't need to be a political expert to know that Alito was confirmed. At times ike this I go into denial mode, and not bother with anything that makes me think of anything outside my own superficial realm. That, or I just read some celeb gossip news. I think I protected by saying to myself that we would just wait out the Bush administration and after 2008, someone would sweep in and just pick up the pieces of the mess and make it all ok again. I like to call this the nursery school method of political thought. Pretty soon I will come closer to being a second class citizen. I don't need to barage you with all the news and editorials out there, but I think this post really says it best.

President Bush had a message for abortion opponents Monday, marking the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.

He told them: "We shall prevail."

snip

By phone, President Bush told a group of abortion opponents, "we're working to persuade more of our fellow Americans of the rightness of our cause."

"And history tells us that with such a cause, we will prevail," he added.

great day for Target, bad day for misogynist pharmacists

Stance on 'morning-after' pill costs pharmacist her job
By Jo Mannies
POST-DISPATCH POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT
01/26/2006

Pharmacist Heather Williams believes there's no middle ground when it comes to the so-called "morning-after" pill known as Plan B.

Williams opposes use of that pill, or any other emergency contraception, because they can prevent a fertilized human egg from implanting in the uterus. "For me, life begins with two cells," Williams said Thursday.

As a part-time pharmacist at a Target store in St. Charles, Williams had refused to fill such prescriptions without incident for the past five years. But she also declined to refer physicians or patients to others who would fill such prescriptions.
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"I just can't be a link in the chain at all," she said.

As of Jan. 1, that stance cost Williams her job.

She and her lawyer, Ed Martin, filed a complaint this week against Target with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. A suit also is being considered.

Target declined to comment Thursday. But Williams stressed that she blamed Planned Parenthood – not Target – for her predicament. She cites Planned Parenthood's heightened national campaign to persuade major pharmacy chains such as Target to agree to fill prescriptions for emergency contraception.

Paula Gianino, chief executive of Planned Parenthood for the St. Louis Region, lauds Target's commitment to fill such prescriptions and contends that Williams is at fault because of her refusal to refer patients or physicians elsewhere.

"She could refuse to fill the prescription, but she took it to the next level," Gianino said. "Target has done everything possible to try to fill patients' health care needs and accommodate individual pharmacists."

She noted that Plan B won't affect an established pregnancy.

Said Williams: "I'm not in judgment of anyone. I want my right not to fill something, much as they have their right to get Plan B filled."

That debate is expected to get hotter in the coming weeks.

Williams and Martin are appearing on national and local TV to make their case that pharmacists are being unfairly targeted in the national battle over Plan B.

Meanwhile, Martin is part of a legal team planning to file suit today, in Madison County, on behalf of four pharmacists who lost their jobs with Walgreens on similar grounds.

Martin has publicly debated Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who has issued an executive order requiring all pharmacies in Illinois that carry birth control pills to also fill prescriptions for Plan B.

Back in Missouri, Williams plans to testify soon before a legislative panel considering a bill to give legal protection to pharmacists who decline to fill a prescription for Plan B or any other drug they believe could cause an abortion. Gov. Matt Blunt says such legislation is among his top priorities.

Williams, 39, the mother of three, said she thought she already had such protection in Missouri when Target officials asked her late last year to sign a "conscience clause policy."

The matter became an issue among Target pharmacists locally, she said, after last fall's publicity over an incident at a Target in Fenton, where a pharmacist refused to fill a Plan B prescription.

Soon after, Target required its pharmacists to sign a "conscience policy" – in which they agreed to fill or refer such prescriptions.

Williams balked because of the referral requirement. In her refusal letter to Target, dated Dec. 1, Williams explained, "I would be required to do almost everything except count the pills."

On Dec. 21, she said, Target's district pharmacy officials reluctantly told her that her refusal to sign was forcing them to let her go.

The irony, said Williams, was that the St. Charles store didn't stock Plan B and wasn't required to have it on hand.

But with the new policy, she said, all Target pharmacists – regardless of their religious views – were required to help patients or physicians seeking Plan B by locating another Target store where Plan B could be found.

"We had to make sure it was in stock, and even give directions to the store," Williams said. "I would be a participant."

tunes

I’m going to get sentimental here. In organizing my CDs I finally found my full London Cast recording of Miss Saigon. Holy shit, this may be the perfect Broadway show (besides Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, and Assassins, among others). I wonder why this has not been optioned for a movie yet. Wait, I want to hold my tongue. They will probably make it with an Asian cast, none of them Viatnamese (the original lead was Fillipino). I can see it being a good movie, but no one will be able to do it justice. Anyway, here it is, Part 1 and Part 2. I tear up on every listen. There are the usual showstoppers, but my personal highlights are “Please” and “Bui-doi.”

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Part 1 here
Part 2 here

And also, the Dresden Dolls are the only band I have heard of that has been labeled “cabaret punk”. Whatever that means. I’ll be honest, I found them annoying at first when I heard their first album, but I am liking their new one much better.

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The Dresden Dolls- Yes, Virginia here

Mudhoney was lumped in with the “grunge” revolution that came of the early 90s, but I think they actually have more punk roots. THis greatest of hits of sorts came out recently. I think they actually have a new album coming out soon.

Mudhoney- March to Fuzz here

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Before Nirvana broke open the early-’90s grungeathon, Mudhoney were considered the Northwest’s brightest hope. Their first single, “Touch Me I’m Sick,” was an instant classic on college radio and the band’s odd-colored vinyl singles began fetching collectors’ prices before the 1990s even began. Their signature sound–molten guitars hyped up on cheap and noisy effect pedals (like the Superfuzz Bigmuff combination that titled their first EP) with a singer who rasped with a garage band’s untutored authority–was in stark contrast to the polished “hair metal” popular at the time. Collected here are the greatest hits, so to speak. The band never scaled to the Billboard heights of Nirvana, so the choices are purely aesthetic. The highlights are obvious: an overwhelming cover of the Texas hardcore band the Dicks’ “Hate the Police” and a ripping commentary on a certain rock star’s wife, “Into Your Shtick.” The second disc thankfully rescues 30 B-sides and rarities from the dustbin of oblivion. Consider this a grunge primer.

were you raised in a barn?

As you can tell from my Peter Sarsgaard soft porn, I am obsessed with youtube.com. There are so many gems on there. I watched some old Roswell promos and fell out of my chair. The best is that someone has also posted a lot of clips from The State, which I have been looking for forever. For those of you who are a little behind, the State was the original sketch comedy group that incudes the creators and cast of Wet Hot, the cast of Reno 911, and Michael Showalter, Michael Ian Black, etc. The best ones are not on there. I am still on a quest to find “Porcupine Racetrack”.

it’s the little things

That first step into my office in the morning is hard sometimes, but it is the little things that keep me going. Like my Daily Show one a day desk calendar. Here are some recent passages from the last few days:

The Captial Rotunda was made famous by the Stephen Baldwin/Pauly Shore vehicle Bio-Rotunda.

Due to an early type, America very nearly became a "Democrazy".

By holding the first contests in the race for the presidency, Iowa and New Hampshire weild enormous power. This makes perfect sense given their size.

cut, thrust and christ

Feb. 6, 2006 issue – When you believe the end of the world is coming, you learn to talk fast. On a Friday afternoon the debate team from Liberty University, Jerry Falwell's fundamentalist Baptist college, is madly rehearsing for the tournament about to begin. This year's topic: should the United States increase diplomatic and economic pressure on China. They may just be practicing, but you wouldn't know it from the menacing mosquito-buzz rising as all 20 debaters read their speeches at once, as fast as they can. Policy debate on the college level has become a rapid-fire verbal assault, an arguments-per-minute game, that sounds more like the guy at the end of the car commercial than an eloquent Oxford intellectual. There is tension and more than a little spittle in the air. The Liberty team is currently ranked No. 1 in the country, above Harvard (14th) and all the other big names. But for the evangelicals, there's a lot more at stake than a trophy. Falwell and the religious right figure that if they can raise a generation that knows how to argue, they can stem the tide of sin in the country. Seventy-five percent of Liberty's debaters go on to be lawyers with an eye toward transforming society. "I think I can make an impact in the field of law on abortion and gay rights, to get back to Americans' godly heritage," says freshman debater Cole Bender.

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The picture is also…priceless.