links for 2008-04-03
The Recession Is Now--Probably--Three Months Old

Washington Post Death Spiral Watch

Outsourced to Scott Lemieux:

Lawyers, Guns and Money: The Casey Myth Once Again: Bob Somerby notes Michael Gerson once again repeating the Myth of Bob Casey, blubbering about Casey Sr. being "banned from speaking to the Democratic convention for the heresy of being pro-life" without mentioning that Casey refused to endorse the Democratic ticket. (Not that I think that parties preferring speakers who reflect the party's values, as well as in this case the values of a majority of Americans, is any kind of scandal even if it was true.)

The rest of the column -- about Obama's abortion "extremism" -- is as bad as you'd expect. He dishonestly claims a majority for a near-total ban on abortion. On the authority of Daniel Patrick Moynihan but needless to say making no actual argument on the merits, he attacks Obama for opposing transparently irrational "partial birth" abortion legislation that does nothing to protect fetal life but does threaten the health of women obtaining abortions (something that to Gerson's friends in the "pro-life" movement is apparently a feature, not a bug.) And then there's this:

Having endorsed partial-birth abortion, Obama has little room to maneuver on the broader issue. But he does have some. He could take the wise counsel of evangelical Democrats such as Amy Sullivan and come out strongly for policies that would reduce the number of abortions -- support for pregnant women, abstinence education, the responsible promotion of birth control.

Except of course, that 1)Obama already supports "the responsible promotion of birth control," 2)since "abstinence education" doesn't work it won't reduce abortion rates, and perhaps we should even do more to support parents after they have children, and 3)supporting access to birth control and rational sex-ed wouldn't help to create a greater consensus because Gerson's pathetic attempts to project a non-existent Christian Democratic tradition onto the Republican Party notwithstanding Republican anti-choicers generally oppose these policies, for the obvious reason that support for criminalizing abortion is generally bundled together with reactionary conceptions of sexuality and gender relations...