Program Notes for Left Out March 22, 2005

Left Out is a public affairs program produced by WRCT 88.3FM that discusses the news from a perspective left out of the mainstream media. Left Out is co-hosted by Bob Harper and Danny Sleator. Today's program is produced by Molly Meyer. Listeners are welcome to call us at (412) 268-WRCT (9728), or send us email.


Be sure to listen to Democracy Yesterday every weekday morning at 8am on WRCT.

Left Out co-host Robert Harper will once again be a guest commentator on WQED's Off Q program on April 22, 2005.


Listen to the broadcast (requires MP3 player).

Track 1, Lamb Interview: (Streaming, Download)
Track 2, Schiavo, Santorium, etc: (Streaming, Download)

Guest: Allegheny County Prothonotary Michael Lamb

Allegheny County Prothonotary Michael Lamb is running for mayor of Pittsburgh on the Democratic Party ticket.

Some questions for Michael Lamb:

What on earth is a prothonotary?

What do you hope to accomplish as mayor? How do you plan to overcome the financial woes facing the city? Please compare your solutions to those of William Peduto and Bob O'Connor, who are also running for the Democratic nomination.

We on Left Out have been critical of the use of TIF's to support development within the city. What is your position on this issue?

What is your position on the development of Pittsburgh's neighborhoods compared to the downtown area?

Republican = Hypocritical Liar

This from Kleiman:

Nonetheless, if the distinction among the cases is so fine-grained, it's hard to credit the sincerity of people who throw around terms such as "murder" and "Dachau" when talking about Schiavo but make no objection to the Texas law, especially since the Texas law specifically lists "artificial nutrition and hydration" as among the services that can be discontinued.

Moreover, the law allows for (even if in the Hudson and and Nikolouzos cases it did not actually involve) the termination of life-sustaining treatment for patients with "irreversible" conditions (i.e., conditions from which they will not recover and which leave them unable to care for themselves) even if their higher brain functions are completely normal. Indeed, the law contemplates that a fully competent patient may be served by his health-care provider with a 10-day notice to find another provider or have his plug pulled; it even provides that the patient has the right to attend the committee meeting at which his fate is to be decided. (Sec. 166.046) And the law provides no substantive guidance other than the provider's decision that the requested life-sustaining care would be "inappropriate."

So, if I read the Texas law correctly, it would allow for Terri Schiavo's feedling tube to be disconnected if her health care provider so decided, and if her family couldn't find another provider willing to take the case, even if her higher brain functions were entirely normal (rather than, as appears to be the case, entirely absent), even if she were awake and asking to be allowed to live.

So, I repeat, where's the outrage? If you think Terri Schiavo is being murdered, you think that George W. Bush signed a bill allowing murder in 1999, and that bill is still on the books. Perhaps Mr. Bush flew to the wrong capital on Sunday; some people in Austin seem to need instruction about the "presumption in favor of life."

The Texas law in question was signed in 1999 by Govern George W. Bush, and remains in force today.

The Salon article by Eric Boehlert: When public opinion doesn't matter -- Polls show Americans overwhelmingly support Michael Schiavo's case. Why is the media ignoring them?

Broken Promises

Here on Left Out we have frequently complained that the Republicans have turned the Congress into an American Politburo that colludes with the Executive to rubber-stamps initiatives generated from outside the halls of Congress.

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (Ranking Minority Member, House Rules Committee) has published an extensive report Broken Promises: The Death of Deliberative Democracy documenting the abuses of the legislative process by House Republicans, including:

Using restrictive rules to preclude amendments to bills.

Allowing only one day per week for debate on bills of substance.

Deliberately scheduling emergency and late-night sessions to make it difficult for opposition to participate in the legislative process.

Granting blanket waivers to conference reports without even providing enough time for members to read what has been decided.

These tactics, combined with threats to eliminate the filibuster for judicial appointments, undermine the very foundation of our democracy. Needless to say, they also lay bare the utter hypocrisy of the Republican Party, which so vehemently decried such practices by Democrats when they controlled the Congress.

Former British Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith writes eloquently of the dangers of eliminating the filibuster in an Op Ed piece in the New York Times on Monday, March 21, 2005.


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Last modified: Sun Apr 17 19:52:33 2005