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Myths Debunked:
Republicans Kept Terry Schiavo Alive because they Are Pro-Life



Articles begin March 18, 2005.

Associated Press

Judge Orders Schiavo Feeding Tube Removed

Fri, Mar 18, 2005

By MITCH STACY, Associated Press Writer

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. - The presiding judge in the case of Terri Schiavo ruled Friday that the feeding tube keeping the brain-damaged woman alive must be removed despite efforts by congressional Republicans to block the move by seeking her appearance at hearings.

Pinellas Circuit Judge George Greer refused a request from U.S. House attorneys to delay the removal, which he had previously ordered to take place at 1 p.m. EST. Greer determined that it should go forward about an hour after another judge issued a temporary delay blocking the tube's removal.

"I have had no cogent reason why the (congressional) committee should intervene," Pinellas Circuit Court Judge George Greer told attorneys in a conference call, adding that last-minute action by Congress does not invalidate years of court rulings.

There was no immediate word on when the tube might be removed. Attorneys seeking to block the removal vowed to appeal…

Gotta provide that red meat for the knuckle draggers.  What a godsend for Tom DeLay, considering his ethical problems.
ABC News

DeLay Says He's Not Giving Up Schiavo Fight
Republicans Seek to Take Schiavo Battle to Supreme Court; Husband Calls It a 'Mockery'

Mar. 19, 2005 - House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, said that he and other Republican members of Congress would continue to work through the weekend to come up with a bill to force doctors to reinsert Terri Schiavo's feeding tube.

After a heated legal and political battle, the brain-damaged woman's feeding tube was removed Friday afternoon, despite a last-ditch effort by Congress to prevent it…

ABC News obtained talking points circulated among Senate Republicans explaining why they should vote to intervene in the Schiavo case. Among them, that it is an important moral issue and the "pro-life base will be excited," and that it is a "great political issue -- this is a tough issue for Democrats."… [Emphasis added.]

Bush, of course, is the master opportunist!

Bush Cuts Vacation, Hopes to Sign Schiavo Bill

Sat Mar 19, 8:43 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush is cutting short his Texas vacation to return to Washington in hopes of signing a bill aimed at restoring a feeding tube to Terri Schiavo in the Florida right-to-die case, the White House said on Saturday.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Bush would leave his ranch in Crawford, Texas, on Sunday to head back to Washington "in anticipation of congressional action defending the life of Terri Schiavo." He added Bush planned to sign the legislation as quickly as possible.

And a masterful hypocrite, as well.
Houston Chronicle

March 8, 2005, 12:33AM

Hospitals can end life support

Decision hinges on patient's ability to pay, prognosis


A patient's inability to pay for medical care combined with a prognosis that renders further care futile are two reasons a hospital might suggest cutting off life support, the chief medical officer at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital said Monday.

Dr. David Pate's comments came as the family of Spiro Nikolouzos fights to keep St. Luke's from turning off the ventilator and artificial feedings keeping the 68-year-old grandfather alive…

State law allows doctors to remove patients from life support if the hospital's ethics committee agrees, but it requires that the hospital give families 10 days to find another facility.

A similar case is still in the courts. Texas Children's Hospital wants to discontinue life support on 5-month-old Sun Hudson, who was diagnosed shortly after birth with a fatal form of dwarfism. His mother, Wanda Hudson, wants her son's care to continue at the hospital…

[Thanks to Atrios for the tip.—Caro]

The law mentioned above was signed by none other than then governor George W. Bush.
Paul Premack, JD CELA

San Antonio Express-News
August 13, 1999

Medical Advance Directives (Part 1)

Dear Mr. Premack: I came across your column from June 4, 1999 concerning the new bill on health care legalities. Was it passed by the legislature and signed into law? Do you have any pertinent information about the how the bill affects us, and what documents we should have if it becomes law? Thanks! – D. J. P.

The bill you refer to was SB 1260, and it did pass both houses of the Texas legislature. Governor Bush was required to veto or sign it before June 20, 1999 – and he returned from a campaign trip just in time to sign the bill into law. Its effective date is September 1, 1999, so we have about two more weeks under the old laws before the new statute takes over…

S.B. No. 1260 - Effective Date: September 1, 1999


relating to certain advance directives for medical treatment; providing administrative penalties.


Sec. 166.039 [672.009].  PROCEDURE WHEN PERSON HAS NOT EXECUTED OR ISSUED A DIRECTIVE AND IS INCOMPETENT OR INCAPABLE OF COMMUNICATION. (a)  If an adult qualified patient has not executed or issued a directive and is [comatose,] incompetent[,] or otherwise mentally or physically incapable of communication, the attending physician and the patient's legal guardian or an agent under a medical power of attorney may make a treatment decision that may include a decision to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment [procedures] from the patient.

(b)  If the patient does not have a legal guardian or an agent under a medical power of attorney, the attending physician and one person, if available, from one [at least two persons, if available,] of the following categories, in the following priority, may make a treatment decision that may include a decision to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment [procedures]:

(1)  the patient's spouse;…

Buck Fush

This is nothing but political opportunism.
Associated Press

Bush Signs Bill That May Let Schiavo Live

Mon, Mar 21, 2005

By JIM ABRAMS, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Terri Schiavo's parents won the chance to plea for their daughter's life in federal court with an extraordinary law passed in an emergency session of Congress that saw lawmakers choosing sides in an emotional family battle.

President Bush signed the bill almost immediately after its passage early Monday, vowing in a statement to "stand on the side of those defending life for all Americans, including those with disabilities."

"In cases like this one, where there are serious questions and substantial doubts, our society, our laws and our courts should have a presumption in favor of life," he said.

The law gave Schiavo's parents the right to file suit in federal court over the withdrawal of nourishment and medical treatment needed to sustain their daughter, who suffered severe brain damage 15 years ago.

A lawyer for the parents arrived at federal district court in Tampa, Fla., not long after Bush signed the bill and filed a request for an emergency injunction to keep Schiavo fed…

Christian Science Monitor

Why Schiavo is a cause célèbre
By Gail Russell Chaddock
| Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

WASHINGTONFrom a bedside in a Florida hospice to the halls of the US Congress, the fast-moving fight to prolong the life of Terri Schiavo is eclipsing war, budgets, and the looming battle over Social Security as a cause célèbre in Washington.

Behind the move by many Republicans on Capitol Hill is a desire to advance a "culture of life" agenda that they think will be important in the 2006 elections and beyond. At the same time, many conservative groups see the fight to save Mrs. Schiavo as an extension of the war over judicial nominations and "activist" judges.

But the decision of congressional leaders to intervene in the case, which played out dramatically over Palm Sunday weekend, reflects a highly charged mix of religion and politics that critics say could have broad and unintended consequences.

"Congress's overreaching flies in the face of our entire system of checks and balances, trashes the partial sovereignty of the states, and flouts the protections our laws afford state adjudication from drive-by attacks by those disaffected with the results," says Laurence Tribe, a Harvard University law professor…

GOP leaders in both houses describe this case as having to do with the "culture of life" theme expected to be central in the 2006 congressional races. "Their gamble is that the general public will be divided on the issue and will not vote on the subject come 2006, but that the Republican-base ... group of conservative Christians will remember this vote forever," says Larry Sabato, a political scientist at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville…

For those who believe that Terri Schiavo’s husband MUST have had something to do with her heart failing.

By Tony Seton

Congress in Disgrace


How low can they go? I’m talking about our political leaders. Starting with Tom DeLay. His grandstanding on the Terri Schiavo case is as slimy a perversion of Congressional power as we have ever witnessed in this county. Under fire after the revelations of a series of "ethical lapses," the House Majority Leader is diverting attention from his miscreance by mounting a hell-for-leather campaign to keep the Florida woman alive, despite her condition.

His manipulation of the right-wing pseudo-Christians who lack the intellect to discern how they are being used is being abetted by the Speaker of the House and a cadre of shamelessly dark Republicans who lack the character to break with this degenerate in this, maybe the worst in his history of ugly acts.

The woman has being lying virtually dead for 15 years. She was a bulimic. She did serious damage to her body, causing her heart to stop. With no blood going to the brain, she lapsed into a no-recovery-possible vegetative state.

Dubya’s World

Chicago Sun-Times, archived at Google

Schiavo case spotlights perils of eating disorders

February 27, 2005


CLEARWATER, Fla. -- It has been 15 years since Terri Schiavo's heart stopped beating for several minutes, causing severe brain damage that put her into what doctors call a persistent vegetative state. For almost seven of those years, her husband, Michael, has been fighting to stop her feedings, arguing she didn't want to be kept alive artificially…

Before she was the severely brain-damaged patient at the center of a legal dispute over whether she should live or die, Terri Schiavo was a young woman who desperately wanted to be thin.

At 26, she was strikingly beautiful with delicate features. But she had spent her childhood and high school years as a chubby and shy girl, standing just 5-foot-3 and weighing 200 pounds at her heaviest.

When she finally lost 65 pounds in her late teens, men started to pay attention -- including one who became her husband, Michael Schiavo, who was tall and handsome.

Keeping the weight off was a struggle for Terri Schiavo, and years later -- after her heart stopped briefly, cutting off oxygen to the brain -- a malpractice case brought against a doctor on her behalf would reveal she had been trying to survive on liquids and was making herself throw up after meals. The Schiavos' lawyer said her 1990 collapse was caused by a potassium imbalance brought on by an eating disorder.

It is a cruel twist lost on no one close to the case: A woman who is said to have struggled with an eating disorder is now in the middle of a court battle over whether her feeding tube should be removed so she can starve to death…

This judge’s decision doesn’t matter.  Republicans have already won points with their crazed supporters, who will remember their action in 2006.

Judge refuses to order Schiavo's feeding tube reinserted

Tuesday, March 22, 2005 Posted: 6:50 AM EST (1150 GMT)

TAMPA, Florida (CNN) -- A federal judge in Florida has ruled that he will not order a feeding tube reinserted to Terri Schiavo, a brain-damaged woman who is the center of a national legal battle over her life.

The case likely will be appealed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, Georgia.

Schiavo has been without food or water since Friday, when her feeding tube was removed by a state judge who ruled that her husband has the right to decide her fate…


Poll: Most Think Congress Wrong on Schiavo Case

Mon Mar 21, 2005 12:25 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Americans broadly and strongly disapprove of the intervention by Congress in the case of Terri Schiavo and most believe lawmakers are using her case for political gain, according to an ABC News poll published on Monday.

Seventy percent deemed the congressional intervention inappropriate, while 67 percent said they believe lawmakers became involved in the Schiavo case for political advantage rather than the principles involved.

The telephone poll of 501 adults was taken on Sunday and has a 4.5 point error margin.

President Bush early on Monday signed emergency legislation aimed at reversing the removal of Schiavo's feeding tube ordered by a state court on Friday. The measure, which sent the case to federal court, was approved during an extraordinary weekend session of the Republican-led Congress.

Sixty-three percent of those surveyed in the ABC poll said they support the removal of Schiavo's feeding tube.

Among two core Republicans constituencies, 54 percent of conservatives said they support removal of the tube, while evangelical Protestants divide about evenly with 46 percent support.

According to the poll, conservatives and evangelicals also were more likely to support federal intervention in the case, although the support did not reach a majority in either group.

Tom Toles, Washington Post

The Raw Story


Exclusive: Print document of Republican Schiavo talking points leaked to Raw Story

S. 529., The Incapacitated Person’s Legal Protection Act

·        Teri Schiavo is subject to an order that her feeding tubes will be disconnected on March 18, 2005 at 1p.m.

·        The Senate needs to act this week before the Budget Act is pending business, or Teri’s family will not have a remedy in federal court.

·        This is an important moral issue and the pro-life base will be excited that the Senate is debating this important issue.

·        This is a great political issue, because Senator Nelson of Florida - has already refused to become a cosponsor and this is a tough issue for Democrats.

·        The bill is very limited and defines custody as “those parties authorized or directed by a court order to withdraw or withhold food, fluids, or medical treatment.”

·        There is an exemption for proceeding “which no party disputes, and the court finds, that the incapacitated person while having capacity, had executed a written advance directive valid under applicably law that clearly authorized the withholding or withdrawal of food or fluids or medical treatment in the applicable circumstances.”

·        Incapacitated persons are defined as those “presently incapable of making relevant decisions concerning the provision, withholding or withdrawal of food fluids or medical treatment under applicable state law.”

·        This legislation ensures that individuals like Teri Schiavo are guaranteed the same legal protections as convicted murderers like Ted Bundy.

Associated Press

Bush Laws in Schiavo Case, Texas at Odds

Mon Mar 21,11:23 PM ET

By KELLEY SHANNON, Associated Press Writer

AUSTIN, Texas - The federal law President Bush signed to prolong Terri Schiavo's life in Florida appears to conflict with a Texas law he signed as governor, attorneys familiar with the legislation said Monday.

The 1999 Advance Directives Act in Texas allows for a patient's surrogate to make end-of-life decisions and spells out how to proceed if a hospital or other health provider disagrees with a decision to maintain or halt life-sustaining treatment.

If a doctor refuses to honor a decision, the case goes before a medical committee. If the committee agrees with the doctor, the guardian or surrogate has 10 days to agree or seek treatment elsewhere.

Thomas Mayo, an associate law professor at Southern Methodist University who helped draft the Texas law, said that if the Schiavo case had happened in Texas, her husband would have been her surrogate decision-maker. Because both he and her doctors were in agreement, life support would have been discontinued.

The Texas law does not include a provision for dealing with conflicts among family members who disagree with the surrogate decision-maker — as has happened in the Schiavo case — although in practice hospital ethics committees would try to resolve such disputes, he said…

The New York Times

A Blow to the Rule of Law

Published: March 22, 2005

If you are in a "persistent vegetative state" and there is a dispute about whether to keep you alive, your case will probably go no further than state court - unless you are Terri Schiavo. President Bush signed legislation yesterday giving Ms. Schiavo's parents a personal right to sue in federal court. The new law tramples on the principle that this is "a nation of laws, not of men," and it guts the power of the states. When the commotion over this one tragic woman is over, Congress and the president will have done real damage to the founders' careful plan for American democracy.

Ms. Schiavo's case presents heart-wrenching human issues, and difficult legal ones. But the Florida courts, after careful deliberation, ruled that she would not want to be kept alive by artificial means in her current state, and ordered her feeding tube removed. Ms. Schiavo's parents, who wanted the tube to remain, hoped to get the Florida Legislature to intervene, but it did not do so.

That should have settled the matter…

Republicans have traditionally championed respect for the delicate balance the founders created. But in the Schiavo case, and in the battle to stop the Democratic filibusters of judicial nominations, President Bush and his Congressional allies have begun to enunciate a new principle: the rules of government are worth respecting only if they produce the result we want. It may be a formula for short-term political success, but it is no way to preserve and protect a great republic.

All Hat No Cattle

The Nashua Advocate

Monday, March 21, 2005

In Terry Schiavo Case, Republicans Urinate on 216 Years of Federalism, Usher in Era of Massive Government Meddling in the Affairs of the States


Employing extraordinary parliamentary procedures never before used for such a purpose, radical Republicans in the U.S. Congress have passed, in the dead of night, a bill which overrules the scientific, legal, and medical determinations of countless licensed physicians, state and federal judges (including the U.S. Supreme Court) and a small army of civilian witnesses in order to keep alive a Florida woman who has been in a persistent vegetative state--that is, scientifically brain-dead--for more than fifteen years…

Do not weep for Terry.

Weep for a country in which the business of government is meddling in the life and times of a single brain-dead woman from Florida, rather than securing a better future for the almost three hundred million of us…

Meet the modern Republican Party.

The Party which stands for nothing less than the destruction of responsible American government…

The Party which stands for nothing less than the belittlement and delegitimizing of honest science, and the rule, in its place, of superstitions, ignorance, anecdotes, wisely cast-off traditions, and empty rhetoric about morality from those who've done nothing substantive to combat the greatest moral issues of our time…

It is reducing American society to little more than a serfdom of dead philosophies, a paean to the so-called "counter-revolution" whose first casualties have been science, logic, reason, and equity--and whose last casualty will undoubtedly be the long-accepted reality of American hegemony.

Make no mistake, America is dying.

Its reserves of courage, intellectual honesty, and fidelity to founding principles are hemorrhaging.

And the fat white men who believe in nothing at all, who are killing the nation slowly and irretrievably with their pretty words about religion and morality and the glory of their God, were parading on the televisions of America today for all the nation to see, talking about the finest sort of morality they know: the sort of morality which lets them decide--not science, not God, not the dispassionate wisdom of centuries of law--who should live and who should die.

Grieve for the collapse of your great house, America, not for a woman who cannot see and cannot feel and cannot know the evil that tonight was done, in her name, against the principles of her beloved country.

This makes 22 judges who have reviewed the case.
Associated Press

Reinsertion of Schiavo Feeding Tube Denied

Wed, Mar 23, 2005

By ERRIN HAINES, Associated Press Writer

ATLANTA - A federal appeals court refused early Wednesday to order the reinsertion of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube, denying the latest emergency request by the severely brain-damaged woman's parents to keep her alive.

A panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals said in a 2-1 ruling that the parents "failed to demonstrate a substantial case on the merits of any of their claims."

"There is no denying the absolute tragedy that has befallen Mrs. Schiavo," the ruling said. "We all have our own family, our own loved ones, and our own children. However, we are called upon to make a collective, objective decision concerning a question of law."…

Schiavo's parents will appeal the decision to the Supreme Court, said Rex Sparklin, an attorney with the law firm representing Bob and Mary Schindler…

David Corn’s Blog

March 22, 2005

Jeb Bush's Expert Undercuts DeLay et. al. on Schiavo...and W's Hypocrisy

I hate to say that one document is all you need to read to know what you need to know about the tragic Terri Schiavo case, but the best primer on this episode--which just so happens to undercut the arguments of Tom DeLay, Bill First and the other Republican politicians seeking to exploit this sad story--is a December 2003 report written by Dr. Jay Wolfson. He's a doctor and a lawyer who was appointed as a guardian for Schiavo in October 2003 by none other than Florida Governor Jeb Bush. If you care about the case and the issues it raises--and if you care about Terri Schiavo--you should read the entire 40-page report. NPR, which aired a well-done interview with Wolfson yesterday, has posted a PDF version on its site.

Some key portions:

* [The Guardian concludes] that all of the appropriate and proper elements of the law have been followed and met. The law has done its job well…

* Highly competent, scientifically based physicians using recognized measures and standards have deduced, within a high degree of medical certainty, that Theresa is in a persistent vegetative state. This evidence is compelling.

* Theresa's neurological tests and CT scans indicate objective measures of the persistent vegetative state…

* [The Guardian] concludes from the medical records and consultations with medical experts that the scope and weight of the medical information within the file concerning Theresa Schiavo consists of competent well-document information that she is in a persistent vegetative state with no likelihood of improvement.

Wolfson describes the history of the case, noting that her husband Michael did try for years to find therapies and treatments for Schiavo before concluding there were no possibilities…

Pablo on Politics

Associated Press

Supreme Court Rejects Terri Schiavo Case

Thu, Mar 24, 2005

By JILL BARTON, Associated Press Writer

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. - The U.S. Supreme Court turned down Terri Schiavo's parents Thursday, declining to intervene to keep the brain-damaged woman alive, but their supporters pressed a last-ditch effort in Florida courts.

Justices didn't explain their decision, which was received by somber supporters outside the woman's hospice with bowed heads and prayers for help from Gov. Jeb Bush.

"The governor is disappointed (at the Supreme Court decision) and will continue to do whatever he can within the law to save Terri's life," Bush spokesman Jacob DiPietre said.

Schiavo's husband, Michael Schiavo, had urged the high court Thursday not to intervene because her case has been endlessly litigated. This was at least the fifth time the nation's high court has declined to get involved in the Schiavo case…

Associated Press

Fla. Judge Won't Hear Schiavo Arguments

Thu, Mar 24, 2005

By MITCH STACY, Associated Press Writer

CLEARWATER, Fla. - A state judge and the U.S. Supreme Court refused Thursday to intervene in the case of Terri Schiavo, leaving the brain-damaged woman's parents with only the slimmest hopes in their fight to keep her alive.

Gov. Jeb Bush's request seeking custody cited new allegations of neglect and challenges the diagnoses that Schiavo is in a persistent vegetative state, but Pinellas Circuit Judge George Greer wasn't convinced and declined to hear Bush's arguments.

Greer's decision Thursday afternoon came hours after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to order her feeding tube reinserted. The decisions reduce chances for quick intervention to reconnect the tube, which was pulled last Friday. Doctors have said Schiavo, 41, likely would die in a week or two without nourishment…

The New York Times


The God Racket, From DeMille to DeLay

Published: March 27, 2005

AS Congress and the president scurried to play God in the lives of Terri Schiavo and her family last weekend, ABC kicked off Holy Week with its perennial ritual: a rebroadcast of the 1956 Hollywood blockbuster, "The Ten Commandments."…

As DeMille readied his costly Paramount production for release a half-century ago, he seized on an ingenious publicity scheme. In partnership with the Fraternal Order of Eagles, a nationwide association of civic-minded clubs founded by theater owners, he sponsored the construction of several thousand Ten Commandments monuments throughout the country to hype his product… Bizarrely enough, all these years later, it is [one] of these DeMille-inspired granite monuments, on the grounds of the Texas Capitol in Austin, that is a focus of the Ten Commandments case that the United States Supreme Court heard this month.

We must wait for the court's ruling on whether the relics of a Hollywood relic breach the separation of church and state. Either way, it's clear that one principle, so firmly upheld by DeMille, has remained inviolate no matter what the courts have to say: American moguls, snake-oil salesmen and politicians looking to score riches or power will stop at little if they feel it is in their interests to exploit God to achieve those ends. While sometimes God racketeers are guilty of the relatively minor sin of bad taste - witness the crucifixion-nail jewelry licensed by Mel Gibson - sometimes we get the demagoguery of Father Coughlin or the big-time cons of Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker.

The religio-hucksterism surrounding the Schiavo case makes DeMille's Hollywood crusades look like amateur night. This circus is the latest and most egregious in a series of cultural shocks that have followed Election Day 2004, when a fateful exit poll question on "moral values" ignited a take-no-prisoners political grab by moral zealots. During the commercial interruptions on "The Ten Commandments" last weekend, viewers could surf over to the cable news networks and find a Bible-thumping show as only Washington could conceive it. Congress was floating such scenarios as staging a meeting in Ms. Schiavo's hospital room or, alternatively, subpoenaing her, her husband and her doctors to a hearing in Washington. All in the name of faith…

Senator Bill Frist, the Harvard-educated heart surgeon with presidential aspirations, announced that watching videos of Ms. Schiavo had persuaded him that her doctors in Florida were mistaken about her vegetative state - a remarkable diagnosis given that he had not only failed to examine the patient ostensibly under his care but has no expertise in the medical specialty, neurology, relevant to her case. No less audacious was Tom DeLay, last seen on "60 Minutes" a few weeks ago deflecting Lesley Stahl's questions about his proximity to allegedly criminal fund-raising by saying he would talk only about children stranded by the tsunami. Those kids were quickly forgotten as he hitched his own political rehabilitation to a brain-damaged patient's feeding tube. Adopting a prayerful tone, the former exterminator from Sugar Land, Tex., took it upon himself to instruct "millions of people praying around the world this Palm Sunday weekend" to "not be afraid."…

It’s more than just riling up the faithful.  It’s about taking money from them, too.  These people know no shame at all.
The New York Times

Conservatives Invoke Case in Fund-Raising Campaigns


Published: March 25, 2005

Videotape of Terri Schiavo blinking at her parents has inspired donations from people around the country to the foundation set up to help pay for the family's legal battle. But many other groups are soliciting donations in her name as well, some for a much broader agenda.

"Help Save Terri Schiavo's Life!" says the Web site of the Traditional Values Coalition, a Christian conservative group best known for its campaigns against gay rights. Next to a link to the Web site of her parents' foundation is a pitch to "become an active supporter of the Traditional Values Coalition by pledging a monthly gift."

"What this issue has done is it has galvanized people the way nothing could have done in an off-election year," said Rev. Lou Sheldon, the founder of the group, acknowledging that the case of Ms. Schiavo, a severely brain-damaged Florida woman, had moved many to open up their checkbooks. "That is what I see as the blessing that dear Terri's life is offering to the conservative Christian movement in America."…

Graphic from Don G

SF Gate, CA

Is This A New Dark Age?
Little proof to the contrary that we are indeed in a very long, bleak tunnel. Is there any light?

By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist

Friday, March 25, 2005

… We are in dark times. Five years of economic bloodshed and three of brutal warmongering and the worst environmental president in American history and you simply cannot deny that as the ruthless American agenda goes, so goes the populace, so goes the collective attitude, the shared vibration, the health of the planet and the feeling that this particular karmic sinkhole has no known bottom.

In other words, it is all connected. It is all of a piece. There is a direct correlation between the violent and heartless tone and attitude of our country and the mental and spiritual health of its people and by way of comparison just look at the Clinton era, which brought eight years of unprecedented prosperity and peace and a nearly balanced budget and high economic flush.

It's true. There was, we forget, a decided lack of sexual anxiety and uptight moral rigidity in the nation, minimal pseudo-religious puling from the uptight Right and much moderate lawmaking and I don't care a whit for what you say about the man's personal moral compass -- under Clinton, America had deeply supportive allies, intelligent foreign policy, more genuine concern for the planet and the health of our forests and oceans and air, and we had a president who was incredibly articulate and deeply intelligent and greatly beloved the world over and the nation enjoyed one of its most prosperous and nondivisive and peaceful periods in its history.

And now, the exact opposite. Everywhere you look, the culture is fractured and divisive and mean. Everywhere you look it's war and pollution and more toxins, red versus blue, good versus evil, more garbage and less concern where to shove it, fewer restrictions on industrial polluters and fewer controls on corporate abuse and an administration that has so shamelessly leveraged the worst tragedy in American history to further its brutal and hawkish right-wing agenda it would embarrass Mussolini.

The sad fact is, there are a great many among us who believe we have entered into a new Dark Age…

Walt Handelsman, New York Newsday

The New York Times

DeLay Quietly Steps Out of the Schiavo Spotlight


Published: March 26, 2005

WASHINGTON, March 25 - Early this week, Tom DeLay assumed an uncharacteristically visible role in the Terri Schiavo case, pressing Congress to intervene, invoking God and attacking Ms. Schiavo's husband before television cameras and on the House floor. Now, with the prospect that she will be kept alive essentially dashed in the courts, he has slipped out of the spotlight.

Mr. DeLay, the House majority leader, is not alone. Republican responses, including those of President Bush and Bill Frist, the Senate majority leader, have become muted in the face of the legal setbacks and of polls that show overwhelming disapproval of Congressional intervention, as well as a perception among the public that lawmakers trying it were motivated by politics. A CBS News poll released Thursday found that 82 percent of respondents believed that the president and Congress should stay out of the case, while 13 percent thought they should intervene…

[F]or Mr. DeLay in particular, the decision to step forward in the first place - after weeks in which he had methodically avoided television cameras as he fended off questions about his ethics - may prove to be crucial in what could turn out to be his most difficult year in Congress. While the Schiavo case may have energized his conservative supporters, Democrats and some independent analysts say, it may also have thrust him into the national consciousness at the very moment his opponents are trying to make him a symbol of Republican excess and force another ethics investigation…

Associated Press

Fla. Judge Nixes Schiavo Parents' Request
AP - Sat, Mar 26, 2005
A state judge on Saturday rejected another attempt by Terri Schiavo's parents to have her feeding tube reconnected, rejecting what the couple's lawyer described as their last chance to keep their severely brain-damaged daughter alive.

Miami Herald

Posted on Sat, Mar. 26, 2005

Police 'showdown' averted


Hours after a judge ordered that Terri Schiavo was not to be removed from her hospice, a team of state agents were en route to seize her and have her feeding tube reinserted -- but they stopped short when local police told them they would enforce the judge's order, The Herald has learned.

Agents of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement told police in Pinellas Park, the small town where Schiavo lies at Hospice Woodside, on Thursday that they were on the way to take her to a hospital to resume her feeding.

For a brief period, local police, who have officers at the hospice to keep protesters out, prepared for what sources called ``a showdown.''

In the end, the squad from the FDLE and the Department of Children & Families backed down, apparently concerned about confronting local police outside the hospice.

''We told them that unless they had the judge with them when they came, they were not going to get in,'' said a source with the local police…

All Hat No Cattle

Media Matters for America

Buchanan called for sending "federal marshals" to reinsert Schiavo's feeding tube, but labeled federal intervention for Elian Gonzalez "police-state tactics"

MSNBC political analyst and former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan advocated sending "federal marshals" into the hospital room of Terri Schiavo to reinsert her feeding tube. Yet when the Clinton administration sent U.S. marshals to seize Elian Gonzalez from his great-uncle's Miami home and return him to Cuba in 2000, Buchanan described the government's intervention as "a police-state tactic one associates with a Communist tyranny, not the United States."…


Man arrested in alleged Schiavo case murder plot

U.S. attorneys: He offered bounty for judge, Michael Schiavo

Friday, March 25, 2005 Posted: 10:58 PM EST (0358 GMT)

(CNN) -- Authorities said a North Carolina man was arrested Friday by FBI agents on charges of soliciting the murder of a judge and the husband of Terri Schiavo, the severely brain-damaged woman at the center of a legal and moral tug of war.

Authorities said Richard Alan Meywes of Fairview, North Carolina, offered $250,000 for the killing of Michael Schiavo and another $50,000 for the death of Circuit Court Judge George Greer, who ordered Schiavo's feeding tube removed a week ago.

Meywes was arrested without incident at his home about 5 p.m. on charges of solicitation of murder and sending threatening communications, authorities said…

Moscow Times

Global Eye
Body Double

By Chris Floyd
Published: March 25, 2005

Far from the hurly-burly in Florida, where the Bush brothers and their shameless minions have sought to milk maximum "political capital" from the ravaged body of a brain-dead woman, the true moral values of these gilded hypocrites were on stark display last week in a quiet corner of the Bushes' adopted homeland: Texas.

This week, U.S. President George W. Bush melodramatically cut short one of his innumerable vacations and flew back to Washington to intervene in the case of Terri Schiavo when a Florida court granted her husband's request to cut off her life support after she had spent 15 years in a vegetative state. But days before, even as the president was supporting his brother, Florida governor Jeb Bush, and congressional Republicans in "defending the culture of life" in the Schiavo case, doctors in Houston were pulling the breathing tube from the throat of an ailing infant. The boy suffocated within seconds, legally killed -- against the wishes of his anguished mother -- in accordance with a draconian law signed as a "cost-saving" measure by the state's former governor: George W. Bush.

There were no frenzied protests, no camera-friendly prayer vigils, no preening politicians at Texas Children's Hospital when 5-month-old Sun Hudson took his last breath. There was only his mother, Wanda, holding him in her arms as he died, the Houston Chronicle reported. Sun suffered from an extreme form of dwarfism, which is incurable and usually fatal. Early on, doctors recommended cutting off the breathing tube that kept his undersized lungs working. He was inert, they said, unresponsive -- essentially comatose.

Wanda Hudson disagreed. "I talked to him," she said. "He was conscious." Moving, looking around, he responded to her. Although the odds were long, she wanted to give him more time to develop, not give up on him after just a few months. Wishful thinking, a despairing parent's denial? Perhaps. But the law signed by Bush in 1999 took the decision out of her hands and gave it to hospital bureaucrats, allowing them to shut down a patient's life support -- even against the wishes of the patient's family or guardian -- if the medical brass decide that treatment is "nonbeneficial," the Chronicle noted.

Indeed, why throw away good money pumping air down the gullet of some defective infant, just to mollify his nobody of a mother? For, unlike Schiavo -- a nice middle-class white woman, a political marketer's dream -- Wanda Hudson was just another worthless black woman living in poverty, unable to afford prenatal care. Who would waste a dime on trash like that?...

Thought Crimes

Hypocrisy just isn’t a strong enough word any more.
Los Angeles Times

March 27, 2005

DeLay's Own Tragic Crossroads
Family of the lawmaker involved in the Schiavo case decided in '88 to let his comatose father die.

By Walter F. Roche Jr. and Sam Howe Verhovek, Times Staff Writers

CANYON LAKE, Texas — A family tragedy that unfolded in a Texas hospital during the fall of 1988 was a private ordeal — without judges, emergency sessions of Congress or the debate raging outside Terri Schiavo's Florida hospice.

The patient then was a 65-year-old drilling contractor, badly injured in a freak accident at his home. Among the family members keeping vigil at Brooke Army Medical Center was a grieving junior congressman — Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas)…

DeLay has denounced Schiavo's husband, as well as judges, for committing what he calls "an act of barbarism" in removing the tube.

In 1988, however, there was no such fiery rhetoric as the congressman quietly joined the sad family consensus to let his father die…

[The injuries were due to the failure of a tram Delay’s father and his brother had built on his property for getting down to a lake.  The tram failed on its first journey.—Caro]

In 1990, the DeLays filed suit against Midcap Bearing Corp. of San Antonio and Lovejoy Inc. of Illinois, the distributor and maker of a coupling that the family said had failed and caused the tram to hurtle out of control…

Rep. DeLay, who since has taken a leading role promoting tort reform, wants to rein in trial lawyers to protect American businesses from what he calls "frivolous, parasitic lawsuits" that raise insurance premiums and "kill jobs."…

We need to post a copy of the Ten Commandments in the homes and offices of the loons who are making up lies about Terri’s condition and about her husband.
Zepp’s Commentaries

The Squirrel Parade
You can call an acorn a baby oak, but a nut is still a nut

Bryan Zepp Jamieson

The rabble that has been howling about Terri the past few weeks are really a nasty, disgraceful lot. The threats and the contempt for rule of law and American freedom are bad enough, but the deliberately manufactured lies are just appalling. For example, they passed around the internet an image, supposedly of a medical report from 1991, indicating that Terri Schiavo had evidenced multiple signs of ongoing physical abuse consistent with beatings. Unfortunately, the people who created this document decided that they needed to point out the really nasty stuff in red type, something no medical transcriptionist would do. The document is a fake. But the trash religious right wanted to paint Michael Schiavo as an abusive husband.

There’s the matter of Michael Schiavo supposedly being in it for the money. In a malpractice suit against the doctor who missed diagnosing the potassium imbalance that cost Schiavo her mind, the Schiavos were awarded $700,000 for Terri’s medical care, and an additional $300,000 in damages. Aside from the fact that the money is long gone, some fool businessman in San Diego offered Schiavo one million to drop his efforts to have the tube removed. The offer was immediately rejected. Doesn’t sound like a man who is in it for the money, does it?

They also tried claiming that he wanted Terri dead so he could marry his girlfriend. Never mind that he could have gotten a divorce at any time, and indeed, her parents offered to pay all costs associated with the divorce. Never mind that he moved in with his girlfriend years ago and they now have a family, so it’s not like he’s sitting around rubbing his crotch and moaning about how badly he needs a woman.

Nor did he deny her rehabilitation treatment. She underwent vigorous rehabilitation efforts in the year following her collapse, and other experimental remedies were tried, which included flying her out to California and Mexico at no small expense. One of the nastier claims coming from the religious right was that the husband appropriated the money to have Terri killed, but in fact, he was spending the money, awarded in 1992, on rehab, and it was the parents, who decided AFTER the court ruling that Michael was not a good guardian, who sued for control of the money, and brought all the cases that caused much of it to vanish into legal fees…

And of course, there’s the stuff about how Terri, minus a cerebral cortex, is saying things like "I want to live" and other items. A couple of nurses tried making that claim, along with claims that there was a conspiracy to murder Terri for reasons unknown. Those two were so nutty that even Terri’s parents won’t have anything to do with them, but the religious right have been quoting them incessantly.

Oh, and let’s not forget the ongoing claim that Terri was denied due process. After 25 court hearings involving over 30 judges, she’s probably had more court representation than anyone who was actually in a position to notice!

Half of the religious nut jobs don’t even know what the fight is actually about…

The biggest lie from the religious right is that they are pro-life. A week earlier, a baby was taken off a breathing tube and allowed to die against the wishes of the mother. It was a heartrending case, since the mother (like Terri Schiavo’s parents) was convinced that her baby might improve and even recover. But the Texas law – signed into law by then governor Bush – permits doctors to end medical care in hopeless cases, against the wishes of the family, and based in part on the patient’s ability to pay. These religious crackpots didn’t have a word to say about that case.

As I type this, they are sitting around, doing a deathwatch, and watching "The Passion of the Christ" to cheer themselves up…

One Republican strategist, Carl M. Forti, brilliantly portraying the shallow indifference and hard cynicism of his party, said that in a month, Terri won’t matter, and by the time the next elections rolled around, Terri would be irrelevant. For the safety of the country, I hope he’s right. For the danger of the country, I think he, and his masters in the GOP, and the minions in the irresponsible and dishonest right wing media, underestimate the allies they believe are their pawns.

You see, these people to whom the GOP pander so shamelessly are dangerous. They are contemptuous of the rule of law, they hate freedom. They are much closer in spirit to the people who attacked the twin towers than they are to America and democracy…

How much longer will people like Putsch and DeLay use this vile mob to try and further their own agendas? Do they not understand that these people are as dangerous to them as they are to the rest of us?

Or do they just not care if the religious nuts run loose and destroy America, so long as the people Putsch and DeLay represent can successfully make off with the nation’s wealth?

Pro-life.  Sure they are.  This man is a true hero.
Associated Press

Schiavo Judge Attains New Fame, Infamy

Sat Mar 26, 4:00 PM ET

By VICKIE CHACHERE, Associated Press Writer

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Amid the pitched legal battle over Terri Schiavo that has been fought through his court, Pinellas County Circuit Judge George Greer has been under the protection of armed guards, and friends say his family also is protected.

Death threats have been made against him for allowing Michael Schiavo to remove the feeding tube that has kept his 41-year-old wife alive for the past 15 years, and the Southern Baptist church that Greer belonged to for years has asked him to leave the congregation.

Greer — a conservative Christian and longtime Republican known for an easy manner — has become the public face of the judiciary in this internationally watched fight. But despite the mounting pressure, he has been steadfast in his rulings that Terri Schiavo is in a persistent vegetative state and did not want to be kept alive artificially.

"There are very few people who have shown the will to stand up to raw power," said Stetson University Law Professor Michael Allen, who has studied the Schiavo case. "He's one."…

Media Transparency

Team Schiavo's Deep Pockets

'Following the money' reveals that a host of right wing organizations, many of which are affiliated with the Philanthropy Roundtable -- a consortium of right wing foundations and philanthropists -- have been copiously funding the Terri Schiavo case

by Bill Berkowitz

POSTED MARCH 24, 2005--

If you don't follow the ins and outs of the philanthropy scene you likely have never heard of the Philanthropy Roundtable. Jon Eisenberg, a lawyer working on the Terri Schiavo case wasn't familiar with the organization either until a few months after he filed an amicus curiae brief in the Florida Supreme Court on behalf of 55 bioethicists and a disability rights organization opposing Gov. Jeb Bush's action in trying "to overturn a court order to remove Terri's feeding tube."

Eisenberg, who appeared at a Florida State University public debate with lawyers for Gov. Bush and the Schiavo family two months after filing the suit, was curious as to whether Pat Anderson, "one of multiple attorneys who have represented" Terri's parents, Robert and Mary Schindler, and Wesley Smith and Rita Marker, "two activists whose specialty is opposing surrogate removal of life-support from comatose and persistent vegetative state patients," were doing this work on a "pro bono" basis as he was.

Through Internet searching, Eisenberg discovered that "many of the attorneys, activists and organizations working to keep Schiavo on life support all these years have been funded by members of the Philanthropy Roundtable" (website)…

"In the Schiavo case," wrote one of Michael Schiavo's lawyers, Jon Eisenberg, following the money

"...leads to a consortium of conservative foundations, with $2 billion in total assets, that are funding a legal and public relations war of attrition intended to prolong Terri's life indefinitely in order to further their own faith-based cultural agendas."…

Eisenberg discovered that "many of the attorneys, activists and organizations working to keep Schiavo on life support all these years have been funded by members of the Philanthropy Roundtable." According to Eisenberg,

"The Philanthropy Roundtable is a collection of foundations that have funded conservative causes ranging from abolition of Social Security to anti-tax crusades and United Nations conspiracy theories. The Roundtable members' founders include scions of America's wealthiest families, including Richard Mellon Scaife (heir to the Mellon industrial, oil and banking fortune), Harry Bradley (electronics), Joseph Coors (beer), and the Smith Richardson family (pharmaceutical products)."

Eisenberg uncovered the fact that "Schindler lawyer Pat Anderson 'was paid directly' by the anti-abortion Life Legal Defense Foundation (website), which 'has already spent over $300,000 on this case.'" The Alliance Defense Fund (website), which is involved with the Life Legal Defense Foundation, "collected more than $15 million in private donations in 2002 and admits to having spent money on the Schiavo case 'in the six figures,' according to a recent article in the Palm Beach Post," Eisenberg wrote…

The Philanthropy Roundtable's Board of Directors reads like a Who's Who of the world of right wing philanthropy…

March 24, 2005

The President's No-Brainer Policies: Deny Help for the Brain-Injured Soldiers, Save a Brain-Dead Woman

by Liberty Belle

President George W. Bush interrupted his vacation to make a special trip at taxpayer expense, flying back to Washington D.C. to sign a law forcing a brain-dead woman to be kept alive. Terri Schiavo’s cerebral cortex has liquefied -- completely atrophied -- leaving her no hope of recovery. But that didn’t stop Bush from ignoring science, state’s rights, a husband’s wishes, and several state court rulings.

This pandering to the “culture of life” movement by Bush and the Republican Congress represents the ultimate in hypocrisy. Why? Because on the very same weekend that these neocons-turned-nursemaids wrung their hands and spouted platitudes about protecting the sanctity of Schiavo’s life, the Bush administration eliminated all funding for the Federal Traumatic Brain Injuries Act!

That’s right. Our president and his sycophants in Congress don’t care about saving brain-injured patients who could actually improve with treatments. They don’t even care that 60% of the wounded soldiers coming back from Iraq have traumatic brain injuries, according to doctors at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Now, brain injured combat veterans are being turned away from federal programs, denied help from the very same government that they fought to serve and protect…

Los Angeles Sun, archived at Common Dreams News Center

Published on Friday, March 25, 2005 by the Los Angeles Sun
The Darkness Has Come
by John Tully

Last year the oily and corrupt House leader Congressman Tom Delay personally used the Department Of Homeland Security to track down and locate members of the Texas State Legislature who had fled to Oklahoma after Mr. Delay tried to redistrict his home state into illogical shapes that were straight off of a sushi plate.

This week Mr. Delay subpoenaed a brain-dead woman to Capitol Hill to score political capital from the religious and rigid right and distract from his vast legal problems including the illegal use of campaign funds and his current successful attempt to literally change the House's ethics rules, written in secret. Texas, of course, is where they execute retarded people and adolescents…

There are approximately eight point eight Billion dollars missing in Iraq, completely unaccounted for, according to the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority. Never one to miss an opportunity for irony, President Bush nominated yet another chief architect of the Iraq invasion, Paul Wolfowitz to run The World Bank. That's a perfect triangle of failure with a Secretary of State who did a miserable job advising the President on National Security and an Attorney General who tried to find legal loopholes in torture laws.

A recent document uncovered Halliburton's newest overcharge of 108 million for Jordanian and Turkish fuel - "The cost data did not reconcile to KBR's (Halliburton subsidiary) accounting" - and added to countless overcharges totaling close to two billion dollars. Meanwhile, Congress decides to investigate steroid use in professional baseball.

They must not know that Chandra Levy is still missing.

The media swine scoffed and smirked at veteran journalist Dan Rather's final plea for courage as they ripped apart Michael Jackson for wearing pajamas and blanketed the airwaves with coverage of Martha Stewart…

NOT a fake, wingnuts.
Washington Post

Counsel to GOP Senator Wrote Memo On Schiavo
Martinez Aide Who Cited Upside For Party Resigns

By Mike Allen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 7, 2005; Page A01

The legal counsel to Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) admitted yesterday that he was the author of a memo citing the political advantage to Republicans of intervening in the case of Terri Schiavo, the senator said in an interview last night.

Brian H. Darling, 39, a former lobbyist for the Alexander Strategy Group on gun rights and other issues, offered his resignation and it was immediately accepted, Martinez said.

Martinez, the GOP's Senate point man on the issue, said he earlier had been assured by aides that his office had nothing to do with producing the memo. "I never did an investigation, as such," he said. "I just took it for granted that we wouldn't be that stupid. It was never my intention to in any way politicize this issue."

Martinez, a freshman who was secretary of housing and urban development for most of President Bush's first term, said he had not read the one-page memo. He said he inadvertently passed it to Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who had worked with him on the issue. After that, officials gave the memo to reporters for ABC News and The Washington Post…

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