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Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Monday November 22, 2004. Fifty years ago in the US: Southerners in Congress supported white supremacy -- no matter how liberal they might otherwise be.

Homosexuality was a disease -- that was established scientific truth, and it was also the liberal position.

Advice columnists for teen-girl magazines said firmly that girls should hold on to their virginity before marriage. Now, they say it's a personal decision.

There were no openly-gay men in Congress. Now there are two -- and one is a conservative Republican (Jim Kolbe of Arizona).

Related: From Sightings -- newsletter from http://marty-center.uchicago.edu/

....owners of the Family Christian Bookstore (FCB), a chain of 326 stores, recently decided to open on Sundays, causing their store managers to regularly miss church.

How does FCB legitimate this choice to violate the Commandment? FCB’s CEO Dan Browne called it a “ministry decision." Reminded that Hobby Lobby and Chick-fil-A keep the Sabbath on good evangelical grounds, Browne responded “No one’s going to go to hell for not eating a chicken sandwich,” implying that not being able to buy a religious book on Sunday might mean going to hell. The Berean Christian Stores chain is also now open on Sunday. Its VP, Greg Moore, gave his “higher critical” defense: “There is more value in saving a lost soul than adhering to an Old Testament custom that later became a commandment."

Is there any outrage against this latest assault on God’s Law? Pollsters found that 80 percent of FCB constituents shop on Sunday. Jamie Dean checked inventories of the FCB stores for books “specifically about the Sabbath,” a topic regularly addressed by Catholic and mainstream Protestant spiritual literature. How many titles did he find? “Zero."

Is this how values and morals change: when enough people engage in a new practice, the fight over the divine origin of “custom” or “Commandment” slips from view? Surveys show that something like this also happens on conservative Protestant fronts. Thus, calling divorce a sin and preaching against it, as evangelicals once did -- now it is a "tragedy" that is ministered to in “pastoral care” -- and, increasingly, preaching against gambling is largely off the evangelical screen. Birth control was preached and editorialized against decades ago, and the "born-again" now take it for granted.

What’s next? Women identifying themselves as Protestant obtain 37.4 percent of abortions in the U.S. Catholic women? 31.3 percent, slightly above the general public average. Jewish women? 1.3 percent. As of now, nearly one-fifth of all abortions are performed on women who identify themselves as born-again/evangelical.

If the "born again" number grows, will anti-abortion continue to hold the place it now does on the “values and morals” front? Or will it too fade?
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http://www.smartmobs.com/archive/2004/11/22/the_daily_delay.html
Investigative bloggers are taking on Tom DeLay. Following Joshua Micah Marshall's lead in trying to figure out just which legislators voted for the DeLay Rule, David Donnelly has created The Daily DeLay, a weblog for tracking just who voted for the rule, and who opposed it. (The DeLay Rule is a rule change by House Republicans that will allow a legislator indicted by state prosecutors to remain in a leadership post, passed because Majority Leader Tom DeLay may face prosecution in Texas.) This is another case where bloggers won't let a story die: in addition to the Daily DeLay, Technorati shows a number of bloggers that have linked to the CNN version of the story, as well as 3544 entries that mention the DeLay Rule. (I suppose that'll be 3545 after I post this...) (Thanks and a tip o' the SmartMobs hat to Micah!)
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From EurekAlert http://www.eurekalert.org/pubnews.php:
Public Release: 22-Nov-2004
JAMA
Examination of possible conflicts of interest to influence look at suspected adverse drug reactions
A review of the published literature and of internal company documents from the manufacturer of cerivastatin, a cholesterol lowering drug removed from the market in 2001, suggests that information about serious adverse effects of this medication was known to the company within months after this drug was launched, and that company analyses showing substantially increased risk of rhabdomyolysis were apparently not published or disseminated to physicians and patients.
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The Tipsheet for November 19, 2004; from http://thehill.com:

New favorite
Simon Rosenberg, who currently heads the New Democrat Network, is becoming the favorite to become the next chairman of the DNC. But the former Clintonite also has a strong following among “outside” Democrats—activists who came to the party via former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and other Internet voters who read the blogs. Rosenberg’s straight talk about what the party needs to do has been remarkably consistent and his 527’s effort to win Hispanic voters was more successful than expected. Also in his favor: He’s a tireless fundraiser.
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