Today's Blogs

Hypocrite—Or Hippocratic?

Bloggers discuss Bill Frist’s support for stem-cell research, a Forbes list of the world’s most powerful women, and Al Gore’s prospects as a presidential candidate in 2008.

Hypocrite—or Hippocratic?: Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist announced his support for a bill to raise federal support for stem-cell research today, breaking from President Bush on the issue.

“What do you know,” asks physician Kevin Pho at Kevin, M.D. “Dr. Frist shows he can think for himself.” At Kool Aid Subliminal, Democrat Yellow Dog agrees that Frist’s reversal is an enlightened, even progressive, move.

Some conservatives are skeptical of the sudden praise. “Wasn’t it only a few months ago, during the starvation/dehydration of Terri Schiavo, that the mainstream media decided Sen.Frist was shameful for throwing the weight of his prominent medical background behind the policy argument[?]” asks Andy McCarthy at National Review’s conservative clubhouse The Corner. “Why do I feel like the MSM will be singing a different tune now that Frist … has decided to buck President Bush’s position on experimenting with human embryos?”

“Maybe I don’t watch him often enough—and while in a witchy mood—but he ain’t just speaking to the senators on the floor right now,” observes the National Review’sKathryn Jean Lopez, also at The Corner. “He’s looked up to the gallery, he’s smiling proudly. He’s making a campaign speech, baby.” If so, ecumenical liberal Cool Aqua thinks Frist’s reversal is a shrewd start.

Peculiarly, many liberals think Frist’s move toward the center will prove a costly, if principled, gamble. “It’s a ballsy move,” praises Jack Sisson at single-topic blog The Beginning of Human Life. “Since he’ll most likely be running in 2008, he’s risking the alienation of himself from the Christian Right.” Balloon Juice’s John Cole thinks the speech suggests that Frist lacks presidential ambitions.

Regardless of the political fallout, many are thankful the issue has finally reached center stage. “The showdown on stem cell research is long overdue,” says Greg Prince at right-of-center UNCoRRELATED. “Of course the real test will be what happens after Bush vetos the legislation,” forecastsClean Cut Kid Chad Shuldt, a liberal and former Senate staffer.

Read more about Frist and more about the stem-cell debate.

The world’s most powerful women: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is the world’s most powerful woman, according to a new list prepared by Forbes. The survey, which incorporates estimates of both cultural and economic impact, places Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi second, Orange Revolution leader Yulia Tymoshenko third, Oprah Winfrey ninth, and Hillary Clinton 26th.  

“I’m sure the aforementioned former first lady and current New York wasn’t so thrilled to hear this,” jabs neoconservative Mocny. “Somehow, that doesn’t bother me so much.” (There’s more Hillary gloating here, here, and here). “You Go Condi!!!” cheers Sherry, a student blogging at Easterbaby. “So be sure the next time you see some young girl who is feeling like she is not going to make it, tell her she can be whatever she wants to be.”

Others see more cause for regret than celebration. “The top ten is … stocked with CEOs and CFOs,” notesGendergeek Emma. “While I am happy to celebrate women’s success in getting to the head of the boardroom table, it’s very unlikely that if the CEO of Sara Lee was a man he would be appearing anywhere on a Forbes list of 100 powerful men. Same, perhaps, goes for the prime minister of Ukraine, who is apparently the third most powerful woman in the world. Thankfully, she hasn’t sacrificed cuteness for politics. The notes on Yulia Tymoshenko remind us that she is known for her fashion sense, and has appeared on the cover of Vogue. Phew.”

Read more about the Forbes survey.

Begging for Gore: With his cable and satellite channel Current scheduled for launch Aug. 1, liberal bloggers have begun discussing the pros and cons of an Al Gore candidacy in 2008. “Could there be both a Clinton and a Gore in the ‘08 field?” asks Marshall Whitman. “Stay tuned.”

“Gore offers, I think, just about what the Democrats need: an opposition to the Iraq War that’s based neither on retrospective carping nor a general reluctance to use force, but rather a realistic assessment of the weakness of the case for war,” assess the American Prospect’s Mathew Yglesias, at TAPPED.

“Gore, if anything, starts in a better position than Hillary. Already defined as a credible candidate, there’s nothing Republicans can do that’ll make him look unfit to lead… If he can keep his recent speaking style, boring won’t apply, at least not so much. His credibility with the left-wing of the party is massive and real,” liberal Ezra Klein says, which “should make him a fierce online fundraiser, with small donor rolls that’ll dwarf even Dean’s, a particularly important strength since that great sucking sound you’ve been hearing is Hillary hoovering all the early money. But maybe the best argument for a Gore candidacy is that he’d be a capable president during a time when we need one.”

Read more about Al Gore and more about 2008.