I love that clip, too. My favorite bit about Obama has always been his "I see through your horseshit" vibe he often offers with his quips. Just watch his face after he says what he says.
After years of saddling EU countries with thoroughly discredited "austerity" policies, the European Central Bank finally cranks up a quantitative-easing-style economic-stimulus:…
RE: e-cigarettes.

Huh... guess I'll just go back to smoking regular cigarettes then.
Once somebody leaves the birth canal they are entitled to the full protection of the law.

What is different about that child mere micro-seconds before it passes the opening of the birth canal? What about mere micro-seconds before it enters the birth-canal? Mere micro-seconds before the end of the second trimester? The first trimester? On what basis is the child entitled to legal protection as a life mere seconds before after one of those arbitrary milestones but not before? Is it that much less human and entitled to our protection?

Dan, do you and those that hold your point of view on this subject, really have an answer for those questions without changing the subject away from the child? I am not trying to be inflammatory, I really would like to know at what point you can ethically say, with certainty, the embryo is still chattel to be disposed of by another, and not a human being with full human rights? Based on the physical and mental development of the child, not whether they are in-utero or ex-utero, when do they pass from chattelhood to humanhood? I want to understand your point of view.
Dan, you should oversleep more often if this is representative of such output.

I always start hacking and coughing around people vaping, and the formaldehyde may explain it. But then, aerosolized gunk is generally not good for your lungs.
@4: Fetal development is not a series of "arbitrary milestones." Just because you are ignorant of biology does not mean everyone else is, or has to abide by your lack of knowledge.
And speaking of Jenny McCarthy, can't remember if Slog mentioned the Disneyland-centered measles outbreak or not. It's now over 50 cases in multiple states, which puts us on pace for another new high in recent history here. Last year there were 644 cases of measles in the U.S., more than three times the number in 2013.

A "listen" link here:…

—with a transcript up at the same link later today.

Here's a bunch of links I collected on this story the other day (you can look at a single Twitter thread without having an account):…
When we order pizza, one daughter eats one piece, the other eats none, Mrs. from Denver eats two slices, and I eat the rest. So for my sake, we don't order it often.
@3, you should follow this as it develops—the story says the formaldehyde was there when the highest setting was used, which apparently is not a common choice.

If the formaldehyde is formed by high temperatures from precursor chemicals in the liquid, another question is whether that is also a problem when vaping mj.
@4 - Even setting aside the obvious incremental fetal development suggested by @6 (i.e., the internal mixing of DNA in zygote form does not immediately create a separate "life" any more than the internal mixing and invasion of a virus creates separate "life" - there is a progression), I have philosophical and theological beliefs that there is a moment when a separate "life" is formed.

Some focus on the biology - viability and so forth - while I tend to look to the theology - the entry of a "soul" or some special change that signifies a distinct new entity apart from the mother. I am in favor of choice in earlier trimesters because I believe this happens quite late, and have experienced it with my own children when their mother "knew" a separate entity was involved - a very special moment she clearly experienced each time.

It always is a difficult decision, even early on, but I am willing to let the mother make that choice.
Curious why Obama in the SOTU speech used a democratic organizer, Rebekah Erier, and former aid to Senator Patty Murray, as a one of his success stories (as she sat in the House gallery between Michelle and Jill) as a woman writing to him last spring struggling to make ends meet? Did the WH really think that people wouldn't find out?
@11: yes, the WH really thought people wouldn't find out. its all a conspiracy to take away your e-cigarettes.

now go back to jacking off with Joni Ernst's bread bag galoshes.
@12: They are actually kind of cute.
I live out in teabaglistan (rural "Real" 'murka), surrounded by Teahadi Gadsden license plates (here in the deep south the state actually issues them), and am never not surprised at the degree of federal largesse absorbed by teahadis, either in Ag subsidies or as employer (military or LEO). The cognitive dissonance is truly a thing to behold (and fear). Give Ernst credit though: unlike Jindahl and Rubio, she delivered a decent performance - no obvious flub. Hilarious that the GOP has abandoned any pretense of running on the issues and is now 100% "personality". They clearly deeply fear Hillary, despite their bravado.

The 2 elections quip was just priceless. Obama is finally turning into the guy I voted for in '08...too bad he waited until it was all just campaigning instead of having a chance to get enacted.
@4 - nice attempt at a recursive, inductive proof, but no cigar: a blastula cannot live outside the uterus, even with NICU support.

@7 - as someone who was visiting/touring daycare centers (as a precursor to using one in the fall), where I encountered lots of "peanut free facility" signs, I just want to say a big FU to the dirtbags who abuse their children by witholding prophylactic medical treatment. Sadly the misery and pain of their idiocy falls on their children, not the parents. First question on my list was "do you require vaccinations and how is that validated?".
@11: I suppose I should be satisfied you didn't say "democrat organizer", but that word really does mean something different when you don't capitalize it.
@11 such a liar. Can't even copypaste the spelling of her name right. Dailycaller fucks up, you fuck up.

Ban this piece of shit already.
This War on Pizza is fucking bullshit. Consider me radicalized.
E-cigarettes are a good thing if they catch on widely. One reason kids start smoking is that it looks cool. Sorry, but nobody looks cool puffing on an e-cig.
@4, Depending on the study, it's possible that up to as many as 30% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. That is a higher percentage than the abortion rate. If pro-life people are really so concerned about all those innocent fetuses, why aren't you guys dumping money into medical research to prevent the terrible scourge of miscarriage?
@19 - I think what's telling is that there is such a drive to find a reason to ban them - it's not about harm to others, it's about banning nicotine. It's about making people quit using nicotine. For someone who advocates personal freedom in the form of smoking pot, Dan has a bit of cognitive disconnect, hypocrisy or bias on this issue.
"Joni Baloney"!!!

We gotta get that monicker out there.
Is that hardline negotiating or are your offices really that terrible ?

Feelings towards the building from the inside, however, aren’t so romantic. The Stranger has complained for years about leaky ceilings and drafty windows. Even if the landmark designation derails plans for the building’s re-development, The Stranger staff harbor no ambitions to serve as city landmark stewards.

“Our lease is up February 2016. I think we’re leaving no matter what happens to the building,” said Stranger publisher Tim Keck in an email. “Frankly I’m a little tired of this building and nothing working ever.”
@17: While going off all hot-headed, why didn't you have the courtesy to post a link?
You're far more annoying to Slog than I am.
Good to hear you overslept, Dan.
Yes, they showed that clip on our news. Sharp little cookie, that Obama. And one with a good heart.
#9, yes the problem is found in marijuana vaping devices as well.

This isn't news. We know that propylene glycol turns into formaldehyde/acetaldehyde when heated. Propylene glycol is the primary additive in both nicotine and THC "juice". The most common chemical breakdown is CH2OH-CHOH-CH3 + 2O2 -> 2CH2O + 2H2O + CO2 if I recall correctly.

What I want to know is where is The Stranger's public apology on this one? IIRC I brought this up to them when they advertised "Juju Joints" in their publication. Where is the apology from Jinkx Monsoon, who lent her name and likeness to the advertisement?

You advertised a product known to create massive amounts of carcinogens in your paper when you advertised it. Now that even you finally know how dangerous the product is, where is your sense of decency? Why are you trying to absolve yourselves of your complicitness here?…
The funniest thing about these idiotic "vape" devices is the broad range of super-sophisticated adult flavors they come in -- Blastin' Berry, Tropical Punch, Groovy Grape, Slammin' Strawberry-Kiwi, Melon Mango. @19 is right -- you ain't exactly Jean-Paul Belmondo in "Breathless" with that garbage.

I've heard that most cheap vape pens run hot and actually combust the material, too, which pretty much negates the "no smoke" theory.

And of course it's ultra-safe to have little vials with 1000x a fatal dose of candy-flavored nicotine in them lying around the house in case any kids might pick them up.
I love that Obama "drop the mic" moment as well. He has so much swagger.

So Ernst is trying to play the "I was so poor I had to wear bread bags on my feet" card and doesn't think that info about her family receiving federal aid can be Googled? She must think we're all dumb like her voters.
That picture of the baby is just so, beautiful.
@20, That may be so, but another human being through deliberate choices or willful negligence is not the causative factor. People are not culpable for that which is totally beyond their control.

@10 and @15 thank you for your thoughtful response.

@10, since willfully undertaken "intact dilation and extraction" most often occurs very late in a pregnancy, in what in most cases, would seem to be after the infant develops a soul and passes from chattelhood into personhood, with all of the legal protections that should entail, should that procedure be unlawful?

@15, if the criteria is the fetus should be able to survive autonomously outside the womb before it gets treated as a human with legal protection, then why do we treat infants through five year olds differently? They can't survive autonomously without feeding and caring either. Neither can disable adults. Does there lack of an ability to survive autonomously also deprive them of legal protection?

Thank you for your thoughtful responses.
@28, very interesting. Thank you.
You overslept today, so that's why it's half-assed.

What is your excuse for every other day of the year?

What do you think he does with the other half of his ass?
@32 Abortion in late stages of pregnancy is almost always done for reasons of mother's health or serious genetic problems with the fetus. For the most part, these are parents who want to have a baby; that's why they waited so long.

There are 30,000 genes that all have to work right to make a human being, and biology being messy, they often don't. Many serious developmental problems cause spontaneous abortion but others don't. The chromosomal aberration that causes Downs Syndrome is spontaneously aborted in most mammals, but not in humans, for unknown reasons. A lot of serious diseases are often not detected until late in pregnancy (e.g. Tay-Sachs disease). It is safer for the mother to abort the fetus, and more compassionate not to have a baby that will suffer unceasing pain after birth until it dies. Go to a genetics class or talk to an obstetrician who has had to deal with babies born without a cerebrum, babies without skulls, babies with no kidneys who die of blood poisoning 3 days after birth, babies without.... Abortion is often more compassionate, safer, it is MORE moral than forcing women to give birth.

As to when a fetus should be treated as a baby, that really is up to the mother. When a man and a woman have sex, they are agreeing to the possibility of making a zygote, not a baby. The mother turns a fetus into a baby all on her own with no direct input from the male; therefore, only she should make the decision about whether to make the baby.
@36. Thank you for the thoughtful response; however, you change the subject consideration of when someone passes from chattlehood to personhood, to a justification that the mother and women's rights trump that of the in-utero child. That line of reasoning could just as reasonably be applied to the ex-utero child or the disabled (human kind has a poor history on eugenics, not only in 1930's Germany, but in this country as well). We do poorly when acting in what we determine to be in "the best interest" of those that can't speak for themselves or that we determine to be better off not being born (e.g. those with Downs or other genetic defects).
@ georgeingeorgetown - For just a moment, let's set aside the science regarding fetal development and pretend that "humanhood" begins at conception. Unless you grant special rights to the fetus, abortion should still be legal. Here's why:

20 out of every 100,000 live kidney donors die during the operation. (1)

18.5 out of every 100,000 mothers die during childbirth. (2)

I assume most anti-choice proponents believe kidney patients have souls. But there is no political movement in this country in support of forced kidney donations despite the inevitable deaths of kidney patients in the absence of a donor. Our laws treat the life of the potential kidney donor and the life of the potential kidney recipient as equally valuable - we do not force the former to risk his or her life for the benefit of the latter. Roe v. Wade establishes that the life of a pregnant woman and the life of a potential kidney donor are of equal value.

Banning abortion does not sanctify the "humanhood" of the fetus. It reduces the pregnant woman to "chattel."


Bio for dummies ... ova are alive, sperm are alive. Fappin' is never mass murder. Maxi pads are never coffins. Woman's choice only. Carry on and be brave in da' war of invisible friends.
@36 and 38

Drop da' mic an' walk off. Your work is done.
@38, Doesn't your argument hinge on the provider of the egg and the provider of the sperm having no culpability for the creation of that human (stipulated for the sake of discussion, I know you are not conceding that)? By that argument, why are they any less culpable for walking away from the child at six months or 2 years old because the need to care for the welfare of that child is some severe, or even life threatening (say defending the child from attack), sacrifice on behalf of the parent? Does that not turn the traditional view of pro-creation as being for caring for and nurturing the child, to the gratification and welfare of the parent or parents?
I do so love that zinger the President threw at the Republicans.

@36: Well said!

@4 et al.

I think it must be stated that your premise about life beginning upon the fetus exiting the birth canal is unfair and incomplete. You created this premise and then ask defenders of choice to argue for it. Surely some pro-choice advocates would agree wirh this, but that is not universally the case and thus deserves critiquing. For example, in the UK (where I am currently undertaking graduate research) a fetus obtains legal rights, and thus the status of personhood, not upon exiting the womb, but upon taking it's first breath.

I am not here to defend UK law or this position, but just to say I think your argument about birth canals and milliseconds is somewhat of a false premise. Based on your argument, I could ask about the millisecond before the sperm and egg unite. Surely intercepting the sperm the moment before it runs into the egg is "preventing life." Or let's go one step even further, what about the millisecond before the penis enters the vagina? If I interupret two lovers the millisecond before intercourse begins, thus preventing the pregnancy in the first place, have I prevented life in a way that equates me with a "baby killer?"

Following your logic to it's conclusion leads us to some pretty silly places. It would be wonderful if everone would treat this serious and complicated topic not as a political pawn or simple black-and-white issue, but as a messy, often confusing, and rarely clear-cut process.
@28 and @33
Formaldehyde is a common semistable intermediate in the oxidation of a great number of hydrocarbons. However, as it is flammable itself, it can simply be oxidized into harmless CO2 and water. The question is likely a design issue. My understanding is that e-cigs don't actually aim to burn anything. If there is CH20, it means it's running too hot. The other option would be to actually promote a small flame in order to burn off the CH20. I don't think the study completely debunks the idea of e-cigs, but it does show that a lot more care and testing should go into how it's operated. The fact that there is a setting that makes tons of CH20 is not good.

Once more .... ova and sperm are each alive. No life suddenly appears if ovum and sperm join up. Maxi pads are never coffins and jerkin' off is never mass murder. FYI.
@ George -

"Doesn't your argument hinge on the provider of the egg and the provider of the sperm having no culpability for the creation of that human...?"

No, it does not. Again I will direct you to our existing laws: it is not illegal for a father to refuse to give his daughter one of his kidneys. And there are no anti-choice advocates lobbying to change that.

"By that argument, why are they any less culpable for walking away from the child at six months or 2 years old because the need to care for the welfare of that child is some severe... sacrifice on behalf of the parent?"

Regarding very young children, safe-haven laws in many states do exactly that: they absolve the parent of responsibility. This prevents unwanted newborns from being left to die in trashcans, so I would hope you would be in favor of it.

Where older children are concerned, your argument seems even more ingenuous. If anti-choice advocates were legitimately concerned for the well-being of older children and the legal enforcement of parental culpability, they would lobby to imprison parents who kick their children out onto the streets for being LGBT. 40% of homeless youth are LGBT (1). But anti-choice advocates are not fighting against often-fatal (2) homelessness for LGBT children.

"or even life threatening (say defending the child from attack)"

It is not illegal to fail to defend your child's life. And in some cases, no action is taken if you are directly responsible for your child's violent death. Gun owners are not prosecuted when their negligence directly results in the death of their child. Shouldn't anti-choice groups protest a lack of an indictment every time the negligence of a parent results in the shooting death of a toddler? But they don't. There is no "keep an aspirin between your knees" style admonishment for gun owners.

"Does that not turn the traditional view of pro-creation as being for caring for and nurturing the child, to the gratification and welfare of the parent or parents?"

Out of respect for your civility, I will not post Bible verses to establish the "traditional" view of procreation and care of the resulting children. Instead, I will keep the focus of my response more recent: Prior to the Case of Mary Ellen in 1874, child abuse had never been prosecuted in the United States (3). And child labor was not ended in the United States until the Fair Labor Standards Act (4) was signed into law by FDR. Children as something other than "tiny adults" is a progressive notion when viewed in a historical context.

There is an additional legal issue with your belief that abortion should be illegal on the basis of fetal personhood: it is not illegal for a parent to fatally wound his or her child in self defense. If a man has a gun and plans to murder his mother, she is allowed to defend herself. Banning abortion would prevent her from defending herself against a fetus that will, if carried to term, murder her. This is the reality of abortion bans: even if medical exceptions are written into the law, women are denied lifesaving care. The death of Savita Halappanavar (5) is a widely publicized example of this fact.

And that leads me to a final, unavoidable point. Even though you made it clear that you don't want to discuss women within the context of the abortion debate, it is a debate that must include women because the reality of the situation demands it: when abortion is illegal, women die. And sex should not be a capitol offense.





@47, Wrong analogy. We arrest parents for withdrawing life sustaining care of nutrients, food, shelter. Why is illegal and immoral to do so microseconds after the child leaves the birth canal and not before.

Your analogy works if the parents are being asked to provide something they can't live without or that will severely debilitate them. But that is not pregnancy. It is the normal biologic way we reproduce and it can only be brought on by willful actions of the parents, except in the case of force. All our biologic functions have risks of degenerating into disease.

Lastly, how many parents would deny a child a kidney? I am sure you could find one or two, but it would be rare. The normal human, parental instinct is to deny themselves anything or to do anything for a child. Yet when they are in-utero, we turn that on its head, because it would be so inconvenient to have a child. You might argue that its different because the parents affirmatively chose to have the child. Exactly, people make that choice when they engage in action that could lead to a pregnancy.

More broadly, this is just an extension of the idea that there are not ethics and values that transcend our own welfare and happiness. The former is based on what gives meaning, the latter self-gratification. Then we wonder why we can't resolve problems in the world. Why, because we view everything from the prism of what is virtuos and good as being all about ourselves, our happiness, our enrichment. We can't sacrifice anything that detracts from that for someone else unless we get something of equal or greater value in return. That means someone, somewhere is losing so we can win.
@44. There is an alternative. Don't intervene to prevent fertilization. We could return to the normal human experience, over 10,000 years of history, of re-producing after our own kind and gaining our meaning in life from vigorously self-sacrificing everything for our partners, progeny, and tribe. We could be less self referencing.
Curious George - No one is preventing you from choosing to forgo birth control. Stop telling me that it's always good to make a man's baby. A man can be good enough for a woman to choose to have a family with. We don't have to be forced to do it, except by the worst specimens of men who could not procreate any other way.
@47, It is not against the law for the father to refuse giving up one of his kidneys. The analogy to a woman willfully ending a pregnancy does not fit. The father did not create the condition requiring the other party to need a kidney. The parents of the in-utro child created that, now they are obligated to care for it. Why would they be obligated to care for it mere micro-seconds after it leaves the birth canal, but not mere micro-seconds before? You have not explained why that is a logical point for determining they have a legal obligation to the child's welfare, but not mere micro-seconds before. Why could a party other than the woman carrying that child be charged with manslaughter (yes that is Washington Law after the second trimester) for acting in a way that killed the child in-utero, but not the mother if she does something or directs a doctor to do that?
@51 Because that's when they become citizens. When they're not dependent on one specific person's body for their immediate survival, like the other citizens.

Seriously it's just not a good look for a man to be very invested in what women are doing with our own bodies. You kinda look like a controlling freak.

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