Yoda's World

SEPTEMBER 21, 2009

Poll: Majority of Americans want to end Bush Tax cuts for the rich
Michele Bachmann
Complaints filed with IRS on Hannity and North charity
GOP Unemployed "insignificant"
GOP to President Obama, its our way or nothing at all
Tea Party death threats mimic Muslim Terrorists
Guns at New Mexico teabaggers tea party
Dick Cheney no longer a chickenhawk, now just a chicken
The GOP purity and purge test
Limbaugh the most influential conservative in America
It smells like socialism
Right wing media always giddy when America loses
Glenn Beck: The body on the side of the road
The House on "C" Street
The top 20 Truths about Ronald Reagan
EFCA-Employee Free Choice Act
An Invention that Could Change the Internet for Ever

Values Voter Summit and Hoedown

By: David Phillips

Las Vegas Democrat Examiner

A group of so called values voter, aka religious conservatives, held their yearly social gathering where the potential republican presidential candidates stand at the podium to tell them why he or she would be a good president to represent them and their family values.

The Values Voters Summit took place this past weekend in Washington DC. and the first thing that stood out among the list of speakers and candidates was that none of them have recently admitted to cheating on their spouses like Governor Mark Sanford (R-SC), Senator John Ensign (R-NV) or Senator David Vitter (R-LA). Seems that for the moment these three are not going to run for President but each said they will seek reelection for the offices they currently hold. And conservatives have a hard time understanding why democrats see many of them as hypocrites.

The meeting had over 1800 people attend all or part of the three day meeting, during which breakout meetings were held, here are some of the topics for those breakout meetings:








Seems real tolerance was not a subject at this years meeting, which is a shame because if ever there was a group of people who have little understanding of the word tolerance this would be that group, the breakout session topics are certainly telling of their mind set.

The event was sponsored by the Family Research Council (FRC) an ultra right wing religious organization headed by Tony Perkins the organizations President.

Fox News was there of course, both reporting and participating, Bill O’Reilly gave a speech, most likely on his favorite religious subject, the War on Christmas by the godless heathen atheists of America. He probably told one of his famous stories of a school somewhere that would not allow the kids to sing merry Christmas or a department store only saying seasons greetings, which is evil in O’Reilly’s narrow mind, if one store or one school acts like this then it’s a liberal atheist conspiracy to erase Christmas.

Then there were the presidential hopefuls for 2012. They each gave a speech and then there was a vote, called a straw poll where each of those attending voted for who they would like to see represent them, and to no surprise Mike Huckabee won. Sarah Palin, a crowd favorite, was a distant fourth.

Below are the results of the poll:

1. Mike Huckabee (170 votes, 28.48%)

2. Mitt Romney (74 votes, 12.40%)

3. Tim Pawlenty (73 votes, 12.23%)

4. Sarah Palin (72 votes, 12.06%)

5. Mike Pence (71 votes, 11.89%)

6. Newt Gingrich (40 votes, 6.70%)

7. Bobby Jindal (28 votes, 4.69%)

8. Rick Santorum (15 votes, 2.51%)

9. Ron Paul (13 votes, 2.18%)

10. Undecided (31 votes, 5.19%)

11. Other (10 votes, 1.68%)

I guess it’s a good thing for all of those on the list above that the election is still more than three years away.

On a side note Sarah Palin will soon be giving a speech in China for which she is being paid and the media will not be allowed to cover. I think that someone should tell Sarah Palin that while China may be a Red State, it doesn’t count in our election process, at least it doesn’t yet.


Czar is a nick name, not a job title

By: David Phillips

Las Vegas Democrat Examiner

With the spin by the right wing media on the use of the word "Czar", a certain demographic of our country now believes people are actually holding jobs in the White House that have the title "Czar" in their job description.

The right wing talking heads play gloomy music while talking about Obama's "Czar‘s" and equating the job to Russia, or more to the point, communism.

That's right Fox News Channel wants you to think that Obama is hiring communists, socialists, Stalinists and all the other "ists" to work for him as a “Czar“.

Sean Hannity recently said of Obama‘s advisers that “they were unconfirmed, un-vetted and a shadow government“, in “The Land of the Czars“.

Then there is Glenn Beck, he’s on a personal jihad and targeting the President’s advisers with smears and lies.

Van Jones, the White House Council on Environmental Quality's Special Advisor for Green Jobs, or as Beck called him “the Green Czar”, a couple of weeks ago resigned after relentless smears by Fox news and Glenn Beck in particular. Jones said he became to much of a distraction and felt it was best for him to resign.

Now with Jones resignation Beck feels empowered and recently posted a message on his twitter account looking for what ever he can find on three more of President Obama‘s advisers, this is what the twit twittered: “Watch Dogs: FIND EVERYTHING YOU CAN ON CASS SUNSTEIN, MARK LLOYD AND CAROL BROWNER“

Cass Sunstein was confirmed last week by the Senate to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, or as Beck calls him, “the Regulatory Czar” Beck said that Cass Sunstein wants to allow lawyers for animals in courts. Beck said, "The day may not be far off, animal lawyers say, when animals are not only present in the court room but participating in the proceedings." This is typical crazy talk from Beck , but this dribble is everyday fodder for this man.

Back in July of this year the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that Mark Lloyd had been named associate general counsel and chief diversity officer, or as Beck calls him, “the Diversity Czar”. And Carol Browner is the White House Coordinator of Energy and Climate Policy, or as Fox news calls her, "the Climate Czar".

The first use of the word “Czar” in the form the word is being used now, came from President Richard Nixon, when he was talking to William Simon, his Energy adviser and called him, my Energy Czar, a nick name, not a job title.

Every President since has had advisers whom the media dubs “Czars”, in fact most of the positions that President Obama’ has filled were created by previous Presidents.

Most of those adviser positions have never required a Senate confirmation like Hannity and Beck are demanding (which by the way is nonsensical) to be held for those who advise the President. Hannity and Beck never made such demands when Bush was President, his Fox buddy Karl Rove, was Bush‘s adviser, and they never demanded that he or any other Bush adviser go through a Senate confirmation.

But then again, the right wing spin machine has been making several outrageous demands of this President that they have never asked from any previous President, at least not the Republican ones.

Click here for the list of 47 "Czars" from the Bush administration


The Health Insurance Racket:
Getting Rich by Denying Americans Care
CIGNA’s Edward Hanway spends his holidays in a $13 million beach house in New Jersey. Meanwhile, regular Americans are routinely denied coverage for the care they need when they need it most.
Welcome to the American health insurance industry. Instead of helping policyholders attain the health security they need for their families, big insurance companies get rich by denying coverage to patients. Now they’re sending lobbyists to Washington, DC to twist the arms of lawmakers to oppose reform of the status quo. Why? Because the status quo pays.
Learn more about the glamorous lives of billionaire health insurance executives and tell us your story of being victimized by their greed. Then contribute to Brave New Films so we can continue to get the word out about the health insurance racket.


Senator Reid puts on the boxing gloves

By: David Phillips

Las Vegas Democrat Examiner

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) as a young man took up the sport of boxing and this week he dusted off the boxing gloves and stepped into the ring.

In case you missed it, this past Tuesday Senator Reid announced that if he couldn’t get 60 votes to pass the Senate health care reform bill announced today by Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), Reid said that he would have "no alternative" but to use reconciliation.

"If we can't get the 60 votes we need, then we'll have no alternative," Reid said.

The Bill is called: America's Healthy Future Act and you can read it in it’s entirety here.

Today Senator Reid thanked Sen. Baucus for his work and released an official statement:

“I appreciate Chairman Baucus' hard work over the past several months. His proposal is another important piece to the puzzle and brings us a step closer to 9/20/09having a comprehensive health insurance reform bill on the Senate floor. There will be a healthy and vigorous debate in the Finance Committee as Senators work to strengthen this proposal. I look forward to working with Chairman Baucus and Senator Dodd as well as the White House in the coming weeks to forge a final Senate bill that lowers costs, improves quality, preserves choice and creates competition“.

Reconciliation is a legislative process of the US Senate intended to allow a contentious budget bill to be considered without being subject to filibuster.

It now takes 60 votes in the Senate to pass legislation without the threat of a filibuster which would stop legislation from moving, with reconciliation, all that is needed is a simple majority of 51 votes.

The idea of Senator Reid using reconciliation infuriates the Republican Party, because it’s harder for them to obstruct passing legislation, which seems to be their sole mission in the Senate.

There have been warnings from Republicans that they would be, well…pissed. One Senate Republican warned that using reconciliation to pass health care reform would be “like a declaration of war.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) this past April said ,“make it absolutely clear that they intend to carry out all of their plans on a purely partisan basis. Look ... we expect to be a part of the process."

McConnell left out a couple of minor details. One is McConnell himself used the reconciliation budget process to pass Bush administration tax cuts in 2001, 2003, and 2005. Which by the way were never paid for and added trillions to our national debt.

And the other minor detail McConnell left out is that no Republican ever planed on voting for any piece of legislation that would reform health care in the first place.

The last thing Republicans want to see is health care reform, not because they think that reform is a bad thing they actually agree that its broken and costs are skyrocketing, that want it to fail, Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) said, they want it to be President Obama’s “waterloo”. They want to campaign for the mid-term elections in 2010 against the failures that they themselves try to create to make Democrats look bad, all the while not caring whether Americans actually get health care reform.

Republicans plan on voting against any legislation proposed by Democrats, so this passed Tuesday Senator Harry Reid put on his boxing gloves and said "If we can't get the 60 votes we need, then we'll have no alternative."

The Senator drew a line in the sand, for me, as a Democrat who wants to see health care reform, which includes a public option (did you hear that Senator) I am glad to see the Senator step into the ring.


Top Ten Signs You Picked A Bad College By: David Letterman

10.Campus is in North Carolina, your dorm is in North Dakota
9.No application, just be the fifth caller to local FM station
8.School's motto is: "Truth, Excellence, Delicious Soup"
7.Only book in library is George Hamilton's autobiography
6.While walking to class, not unusual to see student fending off a gator
5."U.S. News and World Report" ranks it as one of America's 20,000 colleges
4.Most popular major: Grifting
3.Last year's commencement speaker was Howie Mandel's cousin, Larry
2.Grades based on how much you tip
1.Most famous alumnus? Andy Dick


Palin Fan Pays $63,500 for Dinner
By: Lisa Derrick
Cathy Maples, a spunky stalker fan of Sarah Palin, paid $63,500 in a charity eBay auction to dine with former Alaska governor Sarah Palin. The auction will benefit Ride to Recovery, a charity for service men and women disabled in the Iraqi war. Maples of Huntsville, Alabama owns a defense contracting business, so I guess what comes around goes around.

It won't be Maples' first time meeting ex-Gov GILF. Oh no, this granny is really a huge fan!

The first time the two met was at a fundraiser in North Carolina during the presidential campaign. The second time was this July in Alaska when Maples took her grandson, family members and friends to Alaska as a graduation present. The Hunstville Times reports:

    Maples, who said "persistent is something they say about me," made several phone calls trying to see Palin. Finally, Todd Palin himself called her to coordinate the meeting, which came just after Palin announced she was resigning as governor.

    The couple spent about 15 minutes with Maples' group at the Anchorage airport, and Palin posed for pictures with everyone.

The eBay auction terms prohibit the winner from reporting on or posting pictures of the Palin dinner, so don't expect Cathy Maples' Facebook page to be filled with glowing reports. In anticipation of the meal, Maples told the Huntsville Times his feelings about sassy Sarah:

    I like her morals, and I believe she loves America and would like to do what is best for America. She doesn't compromise her morals for votes. That's very unusual in a politician.

Maples beat out author/Palin critic Joe McGinnis who had bid over $60,000 for the dubious dining privilege. Since Palin had veto power over the winner, it seems unlikely she would have agreed to break bread with him anyway.


Obama on the public option: ‘I absolutely do not believe that it’s dead.’

By Amanda Terkel

 In recent weeks, lawmakers opposed to passing a public option have been insisting that it is “dead” and Democratic leaders need to move forward without it. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) has said that the “public doesn’t support it,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has suggested that we “throw it in the garbage can,” and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) has said that Obama “should take it off the table.” But today in an interview with Univision’s Al Punto — the first time a U.S. president has appeared on the show — Obama said that such declarations are premature:

“I absolutely do not believe that it’s dead,” Obama told Univision. “I think that it’s something that we can still include as part of a comprehensive reform effort.”

That defense may mark one of the most significant reactions Obama has had to date to the health bill unveiled by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) this week, which eschews the public option in favor of nonprofit healthcare cooperatives.

When asked whether Republican votes are essential to passing a bill, Obama replied, “You know, I’d love to get Republican votes, but I don’t count on them. … I think, that the opposition has made a decision. They are just not going to support anything, for political reasons.”


By John Byrne

The man who helped oversee President George W. Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program now has a new job: a membership on the Public Interest Declassification Board.

Former Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden, who led the National Security Agency under President Bush from 1999 to 2005 and the Central Intelligence Agency from 2006 until President Barack Obama’s inauguration, was appointed during the Labor Day recess by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

The news was announced in the Congressional Record Sept. 8 and discovered yesterday by Secrecy News.

Hayden’s appointment may come as a surprise to critics of Bush-era secrecy. The onetime general isn’t known as an advocate of transparency — in fact, Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program was one of the administration’s most guarded secrets. Moreover, he’s been a critic of President Obama’s decision to release CIA and Justice Department memos, particularly those that detailed the agency’s policies on torture.

“If one were searching for an individual to represent the public interest in promoting declassification of government records, the first name that came to mind would probably not be Michael V. Hayden, the former director of the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency,” Secrecy News’ Stephen Aftergood wrote Thursday.

“When the late Senator Daniel P. Moynihan conceived of a Public Interest Declassification Board a decade ago, he would not have imagined that the national security classification system might be employed by a present-day U.S. Administration to help circumvent laws against warrantless surveillance or torture,” Aftergood continued. “And yet here we are.”

McConnell, in an email to the Washington Post, said “The country is fortunate that Gen. Michael Hayden has agreed to serve as a member” and that “his long history of service as an intelligence professional makes him ideally suited for balancing the interests of secrecy and disclosure in protecting our national security.”

Hayden wasn’t simply the administrator of Bush’s wiretapping program: he was a self-proclaimed “leading architect.”

During his confirmation hearing in 2006, Hayden said he was a leading architect of the NSA program monitoring Americans’ phone calls and emails without obtaining court approval, and defended the agency’s collection of communications records on tens of millions of Americans.

The Classification Board, while having no direct jurisdiction, is developing new classification guidelines for the executive branch. Obama National Security Adviser James Jones plans a substantial revision of classification directives, which saw significant dilution under President Bush.

Declassification proponent? Not so much, says the ACLU.

“To this day, the NSA continues to conceal virtually all information about the warrantless wiretapping program,” Jameel Jaffer, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project, has said. “As CIA director, General Hayden claimed that destruction of waterboarding tapes was ‘in line with the law.’ “

*This really sucks...


U.S. Ambassador Says the President Will Not Meet With Iran’s President at U.N. Next Week
ABC News’ Jordyn Phelps reports:

The chilly relationship between the United States and Iran is unlikely to thaw next week when both President Obama and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be at the United Nations for the U.N. General Assembly.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice said today that it is unlikely that there will be any “direct engagement” between the two leaders.

In response to a question about how the president might react if Ahmadinejad approaches him unexpectedly, Rice said there is “no obvious venue” where this might occur.

Rice’s comments came after President Ahmadinejad denounced the Holocaust as a “myth” during a rally in Tehran on Friday.

“I think he [Ahmadinejad] may find that there are many Americans who are outraged by not only his comments of today, which were hateful in again denying the Holocaust,” Rice said.

The ambassador said she “would not be surprised” if there are “public gatherings” that further denounce Ahmadinejad's statements.

Rice added that she also expects there will be “serious condemnation” of Iran’s handling of its disputed presidential election this summer.

Rice emphasized that, although there won’t be any “direct engagement” between the U.S. and Iran, next week is “an important opportunity for the United States” to work with the permanent five members of the Security Council and Germany to ensure that “Iran meets its nuclear obligations.”

When asked if she expected other governments to reinforce the United States’ message to Iran, Rice responded in one word: “Yes.”

The U.S. and others will sit down with Iran on Oct. 1 to discuss its nuclear ambitions. The group is expected to reiterate its offer to negotiate with Iran, and will lay out potential consequences if they refuse. Though Ahmadinejad has said his country’s nuclear program is not up for negotiation, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters earlier this week the U.S. plans to raise the matter anyway.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said today that Iran will eventually face a “fork-in-the-road moment.”

The president will be at the United Nations for four days next week for the United Nations General Assembly. He will deliver a speech to the General Assembly on Wednesday and will chair a first-of-its-kind summit on nuclear nonproliferation on Thursday, among a series of high-level meetings that are planned.

The Leadership of the GOP

Move over, Rush: Ex-US Rep. Foley has radio show

There's a surprising new voice in the world of political talk radio as former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley returns to the spotlight three years after a lurid scandal ruined his congressional career.

Foley taped his first stint behind the mic for "Inside the Mind of Mark Foley" on Tuesday. It will air Sept. 22 on WSVU out of North Palm Beach, Fla. On it, he tackles topics such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and its role in the Bernie Madoff scandal.

There's even hope for eventual syndication of the show, which will explore Washington politics.

"I don't see anything stopping it," said Joe Raineri, the show's producer. "I can tell you, he's very good."

Foley, who represented parts of Palm Beach County in Florida, resigned in 2006 after sending salacious Internet messages to male teens who had worked on Capitol Hill as congressional pages. Criminal investigations ended without charges.

The popular politician was seeking his seventh term in his South Florida district, where he kept busy attending lavish parties and fundraisers in glitzy Palm Beach.

His sexual orientation was a poorly kept secret, but he cloaked himself in a false public persona and kept his personal life hush. Upon resigning, Foley announced to the world he was gay.

He has since been working in real estate investment and has shied from the spotlight - until now.

Raineri said Foley approached the station a few months ago with the idea for a show. Station honchos then huddled to discuss the pros and cons - the main con being whether listeners would be turned off by Foley's past.

"We weighed the informative aspect of it against everything else and determined that what he has to say is much more important," Raineri said.

And it won't cost them a dime. Foley is working for free, and has said he'd bring his own advertisers.

Raineri described it as a "conversational 'Meet the Press' type of show."

The first hour-long episode will be an interview with Foley by the station manager. As he gets comfortable, Raineri said, the show will go live, take calls, and have guests.

Foley did not respond to telephone messages from The Associated Press.

"So do you want to know what's inside the mind of Mark Foley?" an announcer says in the show's promo.

Foley then expounds on Bernie Madoff, the SEC, and life as a politician.

Asked why the SEC didn't catch Madoff's multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme sooner, Foley said SEC members have more on their minds.

"Members who work for the SEC, and not all of them are bad, but all of them are hoping to parlay their government service into a big paying, New York, Wall Street job," Foley says.

"A real insider's view into the inner workings of Washington, D.C.," the announcer continues.


Romney pushes false claim that cap and trade would cost families $1,761 a year.

By Matt Corley

At the Values Voter Summit today, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney aggressively attacked President Obama, saying that his policies will “weaken America.” In his litany of complaints, Romney included the latest fabrication that has spread among the right wing — the claim that Treasury Department “secretly calculated” that Obama’s clean energy proposals “would cost the average American family $1,761 a year, the equivalent to a 15% income tax hike.” Watch it:

As Politifact wrote yesterday, the numbers that conservatives like Romney are flinging around are “false.” “Nowhere in the documents does the Treasury Department cite the $1,761 figure,” notes the fact-checking website. Instead, the right is relying on a calculation by libertarian blogger Declan McCullagh, whose methodology for arriving at the number uses “incorrect assumptions and overly simple math.” Dan Weiss notes that the CBO released an updated estimate on the House’s climate legislation, finding that it would cost “$160 per household.” Weiss points out that means “the average household would spend 44 cents per day – less than a postage stamp.”



The Main stream Media has to stop calling Torture, enhanced Interrogations...It's Torture, just because Dick Cheney, Fox News and the rest of the right wing spin machine call Torture, enhanced Interrogation does not mean that you are suppose to follow their misleading LIES!!!

Grow a pair and stop trying to be "Infotainment" like Fox and go back to being the News. Things are screwed up enough with your duplicity ...

Yoda's World



Translating Sarah
By Madeleine Begun Kane

The media’s mean, so I quit:
(That’s the message that Palin has writ.)
And you don’t need a title
To do something vital.
I’m betting she runs against Mitt.



"Well, listen to this. Here's some good terrorist gossip. According to a Sudanese novelist who once lived with Osama bin Laden for four months, Osama bin Laden is a huge Whitney Houston fan which is surprising. I mean, considering the way those people treat women, you'd think he'd be a bigger Bobby Brown fan." --Jay Leno

"Wait, have you heard about this? Oh, I love this. They have new House rules saying members of Congress cannot call the President a liar. They cannot call him a hypocrite. They cannot say he is dishonest. Today, President Bush said, 'Hey, where were these rules when I was President?'" --Jay Leno

'Yesterday, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said it is 'very likely' that the recession is over. I hope this isn't like when President Bush told us the war in Iraq was over.' –Jimmy Kimmel

"In Connecticut — this is weird — one of the Republican candidates running for Congress is the former CEO of the W.W.E. wrestling organization, which could be good. Congressmen will be less likely to scream out, 'You lie!' if they could get hit with a folding chair." --Conan O'Brien

"Yesterday, former President Jimmy Carter said that Congressman Joe Wilson's outburst during President Obama's speech last week was based on racism. When Joe Wilson heard that, he said, 'I can't get mad at Jimmy Carter. He's white.'" --Jimmy Fallon

"Joe Wilson is now the only United States congressman to be formally rebuked for speaking out while the President was giving an address. That could explain his Secret Service codename, 'Kanye.'" --Jimmy Fallon

'Yesterday, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said it is 'very likely' that the recession is over. I hope this isn't like when President Bush told us the war in Iraq was over.' –Jimmy Kimmel


This Week in God!!!


Teen birth rates highest in most religious states
Link may be due to communities frowning on contraception, researchers say
By Jeanna Bryner

U.S. states whose residents have more conservative religious beliefs on average tend to have higher rates of teenagers giving birth, a new study suggests.

The relationship could be due to the fact that communities with such religious beliefs (a literal interpretation of the Bible, for instance) may frown upon contraception, researchers say. If that same culture isn't successfully discouraging teen sex, the pregnancy and birth rates rise.

Mississippi topped the list for conservative religious beliefs and teen birth rates, according to the study results, which will be detailed in a forthcoming issue of the journal Reproductive Health. (See chart below.)

However, the results don't say anything about cause and effect, though study researcher Joseph Strayhorn of Drexel University College of Medicine and University of Pittsburgh offers a speculation of the most probable explanation: "We conjecture that religious communities in the U.S. are more successful in discouraging the use of contraception among their teenagers than they are in discouraging sexual intercourse itself."

The study comes with other significant caveats, too:

The same link might not be found for other types of religious beliefs that are perhaps more liberal, researchers say. And while the study reveals information about states as a whole, it doesn't shed light on whether an individual teen who is more religious will also be more likely to have a child.

"You can't talk about individuals, because you don't know what's producing the [teen birth] rate," said Amy Adamczyk, a sociologist at the City University of New York, who was not involved in the current study. "Are there just a couple of really precocious religious teenagers who are running around and getting pregnant and having all of these babies, but that's not the norm?"

Strayhorn agrees and says the study aimed to look at communities (or states) as a whole.

"It is possible that an anti-contraception attitude could be caused by religious cultures and that could exert its effect mainly on the non-religious individuals in the culture," Strayhorn told LiveScience. But, he added, "We don't know."

Bible states
Strayhorn compiled data from various data sets. The religiosity information came from a sample of nearly 36,000 participants who were part of the U.S. Religious Landscapes Survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life conducted in 2007, while the teen birth and abortion statistics came from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For religiosity, the researchers averaged the percentage of respondents who agreed with conservative responses to eight statements, including: ''There is only one way to interpret the teachings of my religion," and ''Scripture should be taken literally, word for word."

They found a strong correlation between statewide conservative religiousness and statewide teen birth rate even when they accounted for income and abortion rates.

More abortions among teens in less religious states
For instance, the results showed more abortions among teenagers in the less religious states, which would skew the findings since fewer teens in these states would have births. But even after accounting for the abortions, the study team still found a state's level of religiosity could predict their teen birth rate. The higher the religiosity, the higher was the teen birth rate on average.

John Santelli of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University calls the study "well-done," adding that the results are not surprising.

"The index of religiosity is tapping into more fundamentalist religious belief," Santelli said. "I'm sure there are parts of New England that have very low teen birth rates, which have pretty high religious participation, but they're probably less conservative, less fundamentalist type of congregations."

Other factors that may have been important to consider include ethnic backgrounds of state residents, according to Adamczyk, the City University of New York sociologist.

"We know that African American women on average tend to underreport their abortions, which means they could also underreport the likelihood that they got pregnant," Adamczyk said. "If you're dealing with states with a high number of African American women, you might run into that problem."

Adamczyk's own, separate research has shown a nearly opposite correlation, at the individual level. "What we find is that more religious women are less likely to engage in riskier sex behaviors, and as a result they are less likely to have a premarital pregnancy," Adamczyk said during a telephone interview. But for those religious teens who do choose to have premarital sex, they might be more likely to ditch their religious views and have an abortion, she has found.

Cause and effect?
Adamczyk says the idea that anti-contraception principles could be behind the link is controversial, as studies on the topic have varied results. "The idea is that in the heat of the moment, a young woman who has said, 'I'm going to be a virgin on my wedding night,' is with her boyfriend and she says 'Let's just do it.' And since they didn't plan it, nobody has a condom. And so it increases their chances of a pregnancy," Adamczyk said.

Earlier marriage among religious individuals could also partly explain the finding.

"In the south, there is a higher rate of marriage of teenagers. And one possible explanation is just that in the southern states, which are also more religious, people just get married earlier and have planned pregnancies and those have perfectly good outcomes," Strayhorn said. He added that he doesn't think the earlier marriage idea explains the religion-birth link.


YodasWorld.org is updated each Monday. Some of the items from the previous week are added to the various topic links on the left side of the main page. Links embedded should be good for at least the date posted. After the posting date, link reliability depends on the policy of the linked sites. Some sites require visitors to register before allowing access to articles. Material presented on this page represent the opinion's of YodasWorld.org.
Copyright  2000-2009 YodasWorld.org. All rights reserved on original works. Material copyrighted by others is used either with permission or under a claim of "fair use."


YodasWorld.org is updated each Monday. Some of the items from the previous week are added to the various topic links on the left side of the main page. Links embedded should be good for at least the date posted. After the posting date, link reliability depends on the policy of the linked sites. Some sites require visitors to register before allowing access to articles. Material presented on this page represent the opinion's of YodasWorld.org.
Copyright  2000-2011 YodasWorld.org. All rights reserved on original works. Material copyrighted by others is used either with permission or under a claim of "fair use."