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From USA Today:

The [US] federal government's "no sex without marriage" message isn't just for kids anymore.

Now the government is targeting unmarried adults up to age 29 as part of its abstinence-only programs, which include millions of dollars in federal money that will be available to the states under revised federal grant guidelines for 2007.

The government says the change is a clarification. But critics say it's a clear signal of a more directed policy targeting the sexual behavior of adults.

"They've stepped over the line of common sense," said James Wagoner, president of Advocates for Youth, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit that supports sex education. "To be preaching abstinence when 90% of people are having sex is in essence to lose touch with reality. It's an ideological campaign. It has nothing to do with public health."

Abstinence education programs, which have focused on preteens and teens, teach that abstaining from sex is the only effective or acceptable method to prevent pregnancy or disease. They give no instruction on birth control or safe sex.

The National Center for Health Statistics says well over 90% of adults ages 20-29 have had sexual intercourse.

But Wade Horn, assistant secretary for children and families at the Department of Health and Human Services, said the revision is aimed at 19- to 29-year-olds because more unmarried women in that age group are having children.


Oct. 30th, 2006 10:49 am
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So youtube has yanked all comedy central clips - including TDS and Colbert Report. Bummer.

Here's a different clip. In the same line as the Bush singing the words to Lennon's "Imagine" from a few months ago, it's Tony Blair performing "Should I Stay Or Should I Go"

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Both of these on the front page today:

The Age: Liberals face crushing loss at poll
The poll, conducted last Friday and over the weekend, shows support for Labor after distribution of preferences at 56 per cent, way ahead of the combined Liberal/Nationals vote of 44 per cent.
This represents a swing away from the Government of two percentage points since its record win at the 2002 election — but a one point move back to Labor compared to the last poll, taken two months ago.

The Hun: Poll reveals Labor backlash
THE Bracks Government is facing a voter backlash and could lose up to 16 seats, an exclusive Herald Sun poll shows.
The poll of 800 Victorians, conducted on October 17 and 18, shows that the primary vote for Labor has fallen to 44 per cent, down from the 48 per cent recorded at the 2002 election.
On a two-party preferred basis the swing against Labor is 5.8 per cent.
Liberal support rose from 33.9 per cent to 39 per cent.

The Age: And it records a surge towards the Greens. Their vote is up from 10 per cent at the last election to 13 per cent
The Hun: The vote for the Nationals, who hold seven seats, rose marginally while the Greens vote fell from 9.7 to 7 per cent.

The Age: If the vote in the latest ACNielsen poll were repeated at election, Mr Bracks would be returned with only a slightly reduced majority. A uniform two percentage point swing against the Government across the state would result in Labor losing just three seats — Evelyn (held by Heather McTaggart with a margin of 0.4 per cent), Hastings (Rosy Buchanan, 0.9 per cent) and Gembrook (Tammy Lobato, 1.6 per cent).
The Hun: THE Bracks Government is facing a voter backlash and could lose up to 16 seats, an exclusive Herald Sun poll shows.

Confused? Yes, well, that's hardly suprising. The Age is reporting two-party-preferred numbers, while the hun is reporting primary votes. Neither of them, in their online stories, report things like margin of error, or the full set of data. Of course, it's also pretty clear that the hun is going all out for the Liberals, the age is biased (but less so) towards the ALP. But still - guys. This is bad reporting, on both sides. It's totally unclear what the polls actually said. I'm guessing that at least the age probably had the full table of data inside the paper, and I'd hope the herald-sun did, too. But only sad politics geeks like me check that stuff out.
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Jon Stewart interviewing John Ashcroft, former US Attorney General. Watching Ashcroft sweat as Stewart calls him on his rubbish talking points is wonderful.

behind a cut )
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President Bush and his aides are annoyed that people keep misinterpreting his Iraq policy as "stay the course." A complete distortion, they say. "That is not a stay-the-course policy," White House press secretary Tony Snow declared yesterday.
Where would anyone have gotten that idea? Well, maybe from Bush.
But the White House is cutting and running from "stay the course." A phrase meant to connote steely resolve instead has become a symbol for being out of touch and rigid in the face of a war that seems to grow worse by the week, Republican strategists say. Democrats have now turned "stay the course" into an attack line in campaign commercials, and the Bush team is busy explaining that "stay the course" does not actually mean stay the course.
Bush used "stay the course" until recent weeks when it became clear that it was becoming a political problem. "The characterization of, you know, 'it's stay the course' is about a quarter right," Bush complained at an Oct. 11 news conference. " 'Stay the course' means keep doing what you're doing. My attitude is: Don't do what you're doing if it's not working -- change. 'Stay the course' also means don't leave before the job is done."
By last week, it was no longer a quarter right. "Listen, we've never been stay the course, George," he told George Stephanopoulos of ABC News. "We have been -- we will complete the mission, we will do our job and help achieve the goal, but we're constantly adjusting the tactics. Constantly."

read the rest.
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Dear gods, Brendan Nelson is trying to set a new record in political douchebaggery.

We had his recent "intelligent design" idiocy, and checking through the google news for today:

- Threatening the states over education funding unless they re-do student reports to the chosen format of the federal govt.

- cutting TAFE funding unless the states conform to the federal govt's anti-union workplace standards

- telling muslims that unless they're good little australians, they should "get out" (and bonus points for invoking "australian values" - what, like locking up brown people in the desert? cockhead)

- getting involved in how reading and numeracy should be taught. I mean, obviously he has a lot of experience in teaching and education- no, wait.

Finishing up, I'll point to this piece from the age:

FLANKED by staff members and security guards, the Education Minister headed into the pack of protesting students, determined not to be swayed or intimidated - for a few seconds at least. Then he turned and ran for it, the staff members obliged to do the same, and made it look as if it was deliberate.

The minister was Brendan Nelson, wading into a regional campus to argue the case for voluntary student unionism. The sudden retreat was a departure from his usual public persona, which is that of a fierce scourge of soft-headed thinking and easy options in all its forms, from "cappuccino courses" to "postmodern mumbo-jumbo" in literacy teaching.

Yet if the recent debate on intelligent design is anything to go by, his rapid retreat is more characteristic of his style. For here, where more than anywhere a firm defence of rational thinking is needed, Brendan Nelson has flubbed it. His comment that the teaching of intelligent design doctrine can be offered as an alternative and that it's "about choice, reasonable choice" speaks volumes, not only about the poor level of public understanding about what science is, but also about the selective and political nature of the "standards" being imposed on educational systems. Recent Australian contributions to the debate show that the rot is setting in, in places other than the head.
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Life with a sore knee in a house with 3 stories is a pain in the arse.

Julian McGauran is one of the largest fuckheads in the universe.
(summary for those uninclined to bugmenot to read the article - after first dragging a late-term abortion case into the public sphere, the erstwhile Senator for 19th Century Values has repeatedly "accidently" revealed the name of the woman involved. If there's any justice in the world, he will cop a large fine for the privacy breach and be shunned by all sentient beings)

And Julia sums up the press role w.r.t. the current US political system:

Get real, kids. You thought you were partners. You were tools. The current administration used you like a condom, and they're disposing of you in the time-honored way in which condoms are disposed of.


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