CDC Calls HIV Infection Rates for Young Black Men “Alarming” … The September 12 edition of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality report the organization says that among black males aged 13 to 29, the incidence of HIV infection was 1.6
times higher than that of whites and 2.3 times higher than for
Hispanics. Forty-eight percent of new infections among black men were among those
aged 13 to 29, compared with 31 percent for whites and 21 percent for
Hispanics. In reaction to the report Kevin Frost, CEO of the Foundation for
AIDS Research, said:
What is going on with young black gay men is a clear indication of
our failure to develop messages which are targeted to the communities
that are most at risk. What we need are programs that speak directly to these
communities. For too long, prevention in our country has
been to tell everybody that they are all equally at risk of HIV. In
fact, that’s really not true. Twenty-five years into this epidemic,
surely we have learned certain groups of people are at greater risk and
those are injected drug users, people of color and gay men,
particularly gay men of color.
Abortion Back in the Election Spotlight … The nomination of Sarah Palin has reenergized social conservatives
who want to outlaw abortion and has the potential to once again
polarize the healthy discussion that has developed about working
together to limit the need to choose abortion with an array of social
assistance efforts. An article in the Wall Street Journal today is taking a close look at the abortion debate from both sides of the aisle:
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Mr. Obama’s argument has won some surprising converts, most notably the
former Reagan official Douglas W. Kmiec, whose switch has infuriated
his erstwhile allies in the conservative movement. While Mr. Kmiec
still strongly opposes abortion, he also believes that the status quo
will be perpetuated by a McCain-Palin win. As he notes, Republicans
have dominated the White House and Congress for nearly 30 years, and
appointed most of the Supreme Court justices. Yet little has changed.
(Abortion rates in fact dropped under Bill Clinton and are leveling off
under George Bush.)
Mr. Kmiec also argues that Roe v. Wade is effectively settled
law, and while the high court has a mostly Catholic conservative
majority, only Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia would consider
overturning Roe — and not for moral reasons, but because they believe it was based on a flawed reading of the Constitution.
The WSJ article also mentions a “double-standard” developing in the
current state of the abortion debate this election cycle “as Catholics
like Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Biden are grilled about their
faith and their voting records while Mr. McCain’s and Mrs. Palin’s
assertions go unexamined.” Indeed Pelosi and Biden are being asked
about their abortion stances on national television and being hammered by their clergy in national newspapers. The WSJ calls this the “quadrennial intramural Catholic feud over who is in a state of grace.”
While these tough questions are being made of Dems the GOP ticket
remains largely unchallenged on the intricacies of their policy
approach on this complicated issue. We know that John McCain is on
record saying he would seek to overturn Roe v. Wade
and that Sarah Palin, though she has not pursued anti-abortion
policies in her short stint as governor of Alaska, has gone on record
saying she opposes abortion in all cases, even rape and incest. Today Douglas Burns at the Iowa newspaper the Daily Times Herald asks an important unanswered question of McCain and Palin: would they support jailing women who have illegal abortions?
is an important question to consider as every state in the nation
would have to deal with it if Roe v. Wade were overturned. So is the
question of if and how the McCain approach would do anything to solve the real problems and tough decisions pregnant women face everyday.
Judge Rejects Anti-Obama Group’s Request … The Real Truth About Obama, Inc. is a conservative group seeking an injunction barring the FEC from enforcing fund raising and advertising restrictions against the group. That injunction was denied by a federal court judge yesterday with the judge finding that the group’s activities are the “functional equivalent of express advocacy.” The independent group is barred by FEC rule from raising money and engaging in actions that are in express advocacy of one candidate over another. The group will appeal the decision in hopes that the injunction can be obtained before the November 4 election.