IF YOU ARE A WOMAN (OR KNOW ANY)
Talk about a resume. From Time:
A quiet battle is raging over the Bush Administration’s plan to appoint a scantily credentialed doctor, whose writings include a book titled As Jesus Cared for Women: Restoring Women Then and Now, to head an influential Food and Drug Administration panel on women’s health policy. Sources tell Time that the agency’s choice for the advisory panel is Dr. W. David Hager, an obstetrician-gynecologist who also wrote, with his wife Linda, Stress and the Woman’s Body, which puts “an emphasis on the restorative power of Jesus Christ in one’s life” and recommends specific Scripture readings and prayers for such ailments as headaches and premenstrual syndrome. Though his resume describes Hager as a University of Kentucky professor, a university official says Hager’s appointment is part time and voluntary and involves working with interns at Lexington’s Central Baptist Hospital, not the university itself. In his private practice, two sources familiar with it say, Hager refuses to prescribe contraceptives to unmarried women.
The alarm over this impending appointment has been sounding for a very long time now, but apparently President Bush is ready to proceed. Once again, religion trumps science.
THE WAR PRESIDENT
Give him this: George W. Bush never had doubts about the Vietnam War and was willing to do everything he could to support it (short of fighting in it himself). He has never had any doubts about the war in Iraq, and is willing to do everything he can to support it (short of paying taxes).
His view: Rich folks shouldn’t have to fight in wars or pay for them; it’s enough that they do the ‘hard work’ – ‘it’s hard work!’ ‘the work is hard!’ – of supporting them. (‘Now watch this drive.’)
THE WAR PRESIDENT’S MOM
‘Why should we hear about body bags and deaths. Oh, I mean, it’s not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?’ – Barbara Bush, March 18, 2003 on ‘Good Morning America’
NO TIME TO GET COCKY, BUT . . .
‘If the election were held today, then based on recent state polling, John Kerry would have a 97% probability of winning the election with 51.31% of the popular vote and 313 electoral votes.’ Click here for the analysis.
Bush pollster Matthew Dowd has said that incumbent presidents generally ‘finish roughly the same as their job approval numbers.’ The New York Times/CBS poll puts that approval rating at 44%, Zogby/Reuters at 45%.
Yesterday, I reported that electoral-vote.com had Kerry up 257-247. Last night it was 284-247, with both New Mexico and Ohio going to Bush – but we are going to win New Mexico, and the latest polls in Ohio are very good, so we may well win Ohio, too (and Iowa, which is tied). That would make it 316-222. Not far off from the 313 prediction above.
Yes, one imagines Bush may appear any day now with the head of Bin Laden – perhaps literally, if Karl Rove has found the image would play well. But doing so just days before the election could backfire. Why the extra two and a half years? people will wonder. Either it was disastrous incompetence or – if the capture was in any slowed down for political purposes, as that aircraft carrier was slowed down so the President could fly to it before it reached San Diego – unspeakably manipulative.
One thing I forgot to say yesterday in discussing the 45-45 tie that Reuters/Zogby was reporting (and this holds true of all the other ties that are now being reported): The lead President Bush has in some of the red states is even wider than the lead Senator Kerry has in states like Massachusetts and New York. But Bush can only win each of those red states once. The ‘extra’ votes are wasted. When you net them out of the 45-45 dead heat, that puts Kerry well ahead in the contested battleground states.
So John Kerry will likely win.
How that will affect markets and your money short-term, I can’t say. Generally, both the job and the stock markets do better with a Democrat in the White House than with a Republican. I think the next few years will be challenging no matter who is president. But long-term, we will find ourselves and our children on far more solid footing with John Kerry and the team he will bring to Washington than with Bush and his team. So whatever you may feel about Dr. Hager (above) or about assault weapons or the environment, or about school prayer or my right to visit my partner in the hospital (just an example! he’s fine! his clothes are flying out the door at SAKS!) – or about having plans for attacking Iraq but not for what to do afterwards – whatever you may think of all that, pro or con . . . in terms of your long-term financial security, the likely Kerry win is very good news indeed.