1. Anonymous says:

    I think part of why this whole episode blew up the way it did was because it represents so clearly the polarity between dems and republicans. Republicans clearly lack the ability to be compassionate. To the republican party life is about accomplishment discipline and the belief that those who are rich and powerful deserve to be rich and powerful, while those who have less deserve to be where they are at. That your station in life somehow determines your value to society. The democrats believe that we all possess value regardless of our status and that the evolution of the species (humanity) is dependent upon utilizing the vast wealth of information that comes from understanding the obstacles and negative consequences of the choices we human being make as a whole. Republicans believe in the â€independence†of the human being. (despite the fact that human beings are pack animals and that self esteem contrary to old research does not come solely from what you accomplish but also from ’how’ you accomplish it, and that the most successful movments have come from our ability to make choices that are good for many not the few. Self esteem is based in part, on how well we interact with one another.) When republicans believe that the only true knowledge comes from what they know, they miss have of reality. Therefore, the decisions they make will be good for the few, not the many. They use the democratic value of diversity as a weakness (the old standard blue blood idea) that their â€value†will be diluted by diversity, not enhanced. So many of the mechanisms of the republican party are meant to â€trick†the many into voting for them. (since it will not really be beneficial to the many to do so). These tricks include accusations and attacks meant to stop truth. They must rely on tricks and lies to subvert the reality of their position. They cannot see the reality that we all benefit in society when we learn about the causes and effects and consquences of disease, and when we can develop effective treatments for them. Does it stop us from having to solve more problems?? No, they will keep coming, because to solve life problems is the essence of being alive. We can’t sit on top of â€right†mountain and be done. Destination completed. Republicans believe in â€doneâ€. They believe in â€rightâ€. They believe helping the few at the sacrifice of the many.

    I believe this case, on top of Katrina, and the war, make this pattern stand out in a way that is not refutable. It’s predictable now, to most people. It fits the pattern perfectly. Attack the weak, to make them weaker. But the whole point of democracy is that we are strongest when we all stand together and when we hold up those who are weaker and help them stand. That’s the whole point. When the human race gets on the same team, miracles happen. But republicans would hate to see us wasting our resources bettering everyone, to that end, they are not interested. The truth is that this value goes against the very foundation of democracy. Democracy is about the strength and validity behind shared truth. The only way to fight the power of shared truth…is a shared lie.

  2. Anonymous says:


    first I wish your mother the very best. I am one that believes that stem cells should be followed up on as concerns a cure. I have a very good friend who has the start of MS.

    I also wish you well. It is tough when a loved one is sick.

    I don’t watch Katie Couric. Truthly I don’t like her. Sure I like seeing a woman as an anchor, but not so blatantly a political one. Pardon me if I go further. She is probably the dumbest (at least seems that way) of any of the anchors.

    That said, I don’t think this is an issue about â€First Admendment Rights†emptywheel. I have heard the same complaint from the Dixie Chicks who used to be a favorite. From Susan Sarandon, and others. People have a right to dislike and not buy products as they will. They have a right to make their own comments.

    There was nothing wrong with Rush stating that he thought that Michael might have used his acting ability to enhance his delivery. Indeed I am told that that is quite characteristic of an actor. It is ingrained.
    What Rush did WRONG, terribly wrong, was to then mimic, and I mean REALLY EXXAGERATE the m imic of the Parkinnson movements, on his web Camera. There he essentially made fun of the whole group of people. This was bad.
    First amendments rights have nothing to do with it on either side, emptywheel. RUSH DID WRONG. Katie, I don’t watch.

    Again, I wish you and your mom well. And Michael also. And Rush is a pig.

  3. Anonymous says:


    Maybe you don’t know how the First Amendment works. You see, it says that, no matter who you are or what you look like, you get to express you viewpoint.

    I note you conveniently ignored half of Rush’s attack, the suggestion that Fox didn’t take his meds for his appearance. Even if Fox didn’t take his meds, what basis does Rush have for attack? Is it a sin for MJF to make an add looking like a Parkinsons patient? That’s the implication. Moreover (and that’s the point of Digby’s post, and many other good ones on this), Couric took it a step further, suggesting (without assuming it was a question of acting) that it was wrong, unethical, for Fox to look like a Parkinsons patient while advocating for research that might help Parkinsons sufferers.

    You see, the MSM seems to accept Rush’s implication that it’s a problem if MJF makes an ad at a time when his symptoms or side effects are evident. Which, by impliation, suggests that people who suffer from ugly symptoms shouldn’t be able to advocate. As someone said, It’s okay for someone pretending to be Jesus to advocate against stem cell research, but it’s not okay for someone actually suffering from a real disease to advocate in favor of stem cell research? Huh?

  4. Anonymous says:

    One of the more pathetic kewl kidz comments I’ve seen on this was from Tucker Carlson:

    It’s a form of moral blackmail. No matter where you stand on stem cell research, I look at this ad and say I can’t disagree with Michael J. Fox. Because his illness is so sad it pulls on me emotionally so much that it feels immoral to me to disagree with him. And I think its unfair of you to run this ad for that reason…

    …This is not a conversation about Michael J. Fox, his celebrity or his disease. It’s a question about stem cell research and whether its moral or immoral.
    [from Brad Blog]

    What’s pathetic is the asymmetrical understanding of â€morality†in Carlson’s mind. Morality, apparently, only has to do with Christianist control over sex and reproduction — thus, the only â€moral†question here has to do with allowing the production or use of embryos for research. There is no moral dimension, in his mind, in denying promising treatments to persons with devastating illnesses. Fox’s ads throw a mighty moral weight onto that other side of the question that Carlson and apparently most of our moronic pundits don’t want to consider at all. It makes them uncomfortable, and also throws into stark relief their very limited view of what is a moral issue. We need more Michael J. Foxes pushing the point that morality covers immensely more than sexual behavior (the puerile view of Christianists and pundits), but also encompasses questions about how to maximize the common good and how to avoid using our wealth and power to cause evil outcomes (e.g., torture, unprovoked war, the needless deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians, etc).

    P.S. Jodi, you’re really not a very competent concern troll. Your occasional digs at Rush and the Boy King thrown into your elaborate and not-quite-disingenious-enough defenses of their nonsense are not in any way convincing. May I suggest you either improve the act, or give it up entirely?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Rush’s response to Michael J. Fox reminded me sourly of the Ann Coulter attack on the widows of 9/11. Apparently this particular mindset dictates that only those who have not felt the impact of an illness nor lost a loved one in an attack like 9/11 can have a voice in any debate. Those who do indeed live with the impact are scorned from any platform because they are labelled victims who carry too much emotion. As we continue to see, this method of drawing the curtain down on any kind of discussion, any kind of debate thus any kind of check or balance, renders free speech, intellectual thought, imagination or just plain simple life, moot.

    Lastly, what profoundly ticks me off is watching this method of dismissing the courage these messengers are exhibiting in the face of such struggles in order to mollify a base that can’t bear to see the reality. It’s time to celebrate these warriors of truth.

  6. Anonymous says:

    It’s all about 1st amendment rights. Fox can make the ad he wants and no one has to like it. But it is bad taste to criticize the ad by making fun of Fox and Parkinsons patients. How about the content?
    Dixie Chicks – fine to boycott their records if you don’t like their politics. Not right to for radio stations monliths (like Clear Channel) to refuse to play their music. Criminal to make death threats. And Wrong to make the argument the fact that they said anything rather than make it about the content of their speech.

    I have a verbally abusive ex-spouse who always made it about the fact that I disagreed or how I argued when the content of my argument couldn’t be criticized.

    My dad died of Parkinsons, my mom of ALS. Those are tough and fatal diseases with symptoms that are not easy to see. Go Michael! He’s more republican than Dem but is doing what he can to find a cure. My mom volunteered to try experimental meds and when she died, donated her brain and spine to ALS researchers.

  7. Anonymous says:


    I absolutely agree with you Jodi. I don’t think that I said anything about â€evil†in my post. But you caught me, I should have referred to â€bush followersâ€. That would have been more accurate. I also realize that referring to Bush followers is not factually accurate because certainly there are some Bush followers who are not aware of the who is benefitting and who isn’t under this administration. It’s theoretical. Fuzzy if you will. It’s my perception about what the republican party under this administration stands for. And that’s a fact.

    Be well, Jodi.

  8. Anonymous says:

    ew – I was wondering if your mother might guest post someday on medical ethics and the Church. (Or does she post somewhere already?) I am Catholic and have been all my life (although I can no longer separate the Vatican from mass, and therefore stopped attending). I would be interested in her views.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I was very moved by your posting. I can relate to how it must be for your mother to live with Parkinson’s, since my husband lived for several years with a brain injury resulting from a brain tumor surgery which didn’t heal for 8 months.

    And I agree with you 100%: Rush Limbaugh was absolutely out of line to criticize –and mock — Michael J. Fox. Limbaugh accuses Fox of â€acting†and exaggerating his symptoms. One thing that I don’t think anyone has mentioned when discussing this deplorable incident is that, in many instances, the way pharmaceuticals act is not as predictable as we might think. In other words, people seem to believe that Michael J. Fox can actually predict how he will feel, and how severe his symptoms will be, each and every time he takes a dose of a medication. I sincerely doubt that this is true. More likely, what is â€too much medication†on one day might, indeed, prove to be too little, or just the right amount, on another day.

    More important to me is the fact that Mr. Fox is doing something most people wouldn’t dare to do: He is willing to appear in public under less than optimal conditions in order to raise public awareness for this awful disease.

    I wish people would stop making fun of him. In my opinion, he is a truly admirable human being.

    Julia Schopick

  10. Anonymous says:

    Julia, you are so right…
    â€â€¦predict how he will feel, and how severe his symptoms will be, each and every time he takes a dose of a medication. I sincerely doubt that this is true.â€
    Every patient is unique in general response, and even once a dosage becomes routine variables can throw monkey wrenches into reactions… too much protein in a meal, a stressful phonecall, hot weather, and sometimes these variables cause no reactions… We develop some expectations, but never predictions.

  11. Anonymous says:

    you didn’t use â€evil.†I did just to emphasize my point. In retrospect, I could have balanced my statement by saying something like ~neither evil or saintly as a class~
    And I will go further. There are actually some evil and despicable Republicans and Democrats. I have met and dealt with both.
    Your politics doesn’t indicate what kind of character you have. I guess here DemFromCT will say I am being â€funny†again. But so be it.

    first let me say I disagree with Rush on his tirade against Michael J Fox. On the other hand I think that he has ALSO First Amemdment Rights as well as Michael J Fox.

    My whole point is that some people are saying that Michael and the Dixie Chicks, for example, are having their First Admendment Rights violated when other people exercise their First Admendment Rights.
    That is foolish at the least.

    So in essense, all these people going at each other, or making a pitch, or a plea is a fine example of First Admendment Rights. I think the Admendment is alive and working well. Agreed some comments are in poor taste or worse. I hear Rush attacked regularly, and Bush also on Regular Talk Radio, and terrible things are said about them, as I drive about. That is part of our freedom of expresion.

    AND WHAT DOES THE SONG SAY? â€Let Freedom Ring.â€

    And lastly, I like Michael J Fox better than Rush, the Dixie Chicks or President Bush. In fact Bush is only just above Pedophiles in my book.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Rush and Bush attacked on Regular Talk Radio? Wow. When did that start happening? Because it’s not happening in most of the country.

    Rush can say whatever he wants. But he can’t stand there and say, well, you can’t call me a liar. You can’t call me a hater. I’m just expressing my self, and I have the right to do so.

    Well, Rush, it’s true–you can say whatever you want, but we have every right to call you a liar and a hater. That’s part of our first amendment rights, and if you don’t like it then try not lying and not hating, and maybe you won’t have people calling you a hater and liar for the things you say. I’m not saying it will always work that way. But you’d get a lot less of it. Especially if you could back up your allegations. For a change.

    He says something. He needs to take responsibility for it. For once in his life. Simple, really.

    Except all of Rush’s schtick thrives on eliciting the responses so that he can play victim. It’s his whole raison d’etre.

    And to quote Let Freedom Ring? Please. Says it all.

  13. Anonymous says:


    Interesting idea. She’s left on a Parkinsons cruise right today, presenting a paper on Parkinsons and spirituality. But I’ll ask her when she comes back in a week.


    I pointed this out above, but perhaps I should do it again. This post is about Katie Couric’s suggestion that Rush was correct to say Fox can’t make ads if he’s exhibiting symptoms. It’s not about Rush.

    Now, it’s one thing for Rush to make unsubstantiated claims about another person (though even though the laws about libel and slander in this country are quite easy to skirt, Rush is bordering on that here). It’s another thing for the supposed guardians of Free Speech in this country to say Rush was right. Sure, Katie has a right to do that–but as soon as she does, she ought to lose her privileged soap box, because she’s attacking soap boxes inherently. That’s what the post was about. If you want to keep commenting about Rush, please do so on a post about Rush. Thanks.

  14. Anonymous says:

    emptywheel, as I understand this blog, you run it, and I don’t dispute that. I am glad you let me participate.

    As for that [name] you don’t want me to mention, you mentioned it 5 times initially at the beginning of this thread so I thought it was a part of the discussion and fair game.

    That is just a little confusing.

    As for Katie Couric, I don’t consider her to have any privileged soap box. And I wish she would go back on the mornings which I never have time to look at anyway.

  15. Anonymous says:


    Perhaps we should start with something more basic with you–such as the meaning of the word â€aboutâ€?

    Or perhaps I should just leave your assertion that the first female primetime broadcast news anchor doesn’t have a privileged soapbox for all its glorious idiocy?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Well, I do think that who we choose for our hero’s says something about our character. Don’t you think, Jodi? I suppose it’s not clear in a factual way what is says, but it says something about what we see as valuable, about what we think is important, wouldn’t you say?

    I knew the moment I heard G.W speak that my values were different than his. I knew when the republicans impeached the only president who seemed to speak and behave my values that the republican agenda was very different from my own.

    What I knew for a fact under the Clinton years, was that my poor clients were less poor. That we had funding to help those in need. That we had funding to pay those who would help those in need. This was my reality. Today, it’s the other way around. Several shelters have closed, two of our regional hospitals have closed, homelessness has increased, mental illness and addiction are on the rise, (all that opium from afghanistan), and I can’t afford to take my kids to the doctor because my insurance went from paying 80% to a health savings account with a 4000k deductible. I can only take 2200 off the top of my salary tax free to fund that deductible, the rest has to come out of my pocket. So guess what?? We don’t go to the doctor. What I see and hear is that the people who needed help the least were the ones who got it. That tells me something about the values of the republican party.

    Let me tell you about my character by telling you about who my heroes are. My heroes are Jesus Christ, Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Buber, Armand Hammer, JF Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Deepak Chopra, Andrew Weil, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates (today not yesterday, I have no doubt they both engaged in unscrupulous behavior on the climb to the top, but thankfully they are making amends today), Wes Clark, and Bill Clinton (who is making amends to the world as well), and Jimmy Carter.

    These people and their lives represent my values (for the most part) and hopefully, my character (on a good day). I spend my life helping those who have less resources than I do and I do it for very little money. I struggle financially because I choose to be one of the people who help. When I die, I know I will have left a lot of love on this earth. That’s okay, my purpose is to live the most loving peaceful life that I can live as an example for my children so they can pass on these values. These values have the potential to propogate our species successfully. I am fairly certain that greed, violence, and emperialism has high consequences for our species as a whole.

    Those values of peace, intelligent solutions, sharing the burdens of society in an effort to evolve ALL of the human race, the idea that â€whatsoever you do to the least of my brother that you do unto meâ€, represent the concepts I hold most dear. And in my opinion democrats come far closer to representing my values (and the values of Jesus) than republicans…today.

    I don’t doubt that it could change. I don’t doubt that there are democrats whose values I don’t share or who say one thing and do another. I vote democrat because I am a liberal. Liberal simply means to me, that I have an open mind. That my thinking is flexible and that I believe that we have an obligation to share the burdens of those who have less and that this â€sharing†should extend to our country first, and then the world. That a strong country is one in which everyone has something of value to give to the world and that honor is not reserved for only those who want to give their 1% in a self centered way. I believe we all have an obligation to find peaceful and humane solutions to the problems we face today. Humane is hardly a value demonstrated by this administration and so I have to say that anyone supporting them shows me their character by doing so.

    Who are your heroes Jodi??

  17. Anonymous says:

    LJ, on your statement.

    â€Rush and Bush attacked on Regular Talk Radio? Wow. When did that start happening? Because it’s not happening in most of the country.â€

    I drive a lot of rental cars going all over the place. You know the drill. Out of the airport at 8 to 10Pm and then a 2-3 hour drive to a motel so you can be ready early in the morning for a meeting/presentation/demonstration. I have an mp3 player, and my notebooks will play anything, but that can dull my mind if I am tired, so I listen to the regular radio a lot, for weather, local news, and Talk Radio Shows which will keep me alert better than music.

    I put the radio on scan on FM first, and then AM. Usually I will find a show pretty quick.

    Look here for some names:

    Some of these hosts are really virulent.
    Randi Rhodes comes to mind. She makes most here seem very, very tame. She could put the spurs to the freepatriot, but he would be delighted probably.

    These shows aren’t necessarily on dedicated radio stations, but come on regular for an hour or so, at certain times, so unless you are a local and know the schedule, you just scan. Some stations have both liberal and conservative shows. AND A LOT OF SPORTS!!

    Hope you find a few you like.

  18. Anonymous says:


    you are a blessing to the world. You and Sara remind
    me of my mom.

    My real true heroes are my father, mom, and my oldest
    brother. My next oldest brother, still older than I, has
    the makings of a hero, but he is a real â€rascal†at times,
    and way too self centered. I have a little sister too, but
    the hero crown is still being fitted for her. Everyone
    loves her, but she has staked out a position as the
    maverick of the family.

    I don’t have any heroes that are politicans Katie. At
    least not living, and even those dead seem to be having
    their feet of clay exposed more and more every day.

    I vote on the way I think the politicans will act on things
    that are important to me. And even there it is [always]

    Still on [issues] perhaps I can bring some light onto my
    Lets look at a few of the most argued ones-

    [Abortion] – I think that all efforts should be made to
    â€help†a woman from â€having to have†an abortion. Still
    when all has been done, I think that it should be legal,
    except in the 3rd Trimester. There only if life is
    threatened. I abhor partial birth.
    – Children shouldn’t have abortions without parental
    notificaton, and approval, AND IF THERE IS A PROBLEM
    FROM THAT RELATIONSHIP. A child can’t get their ears pierced
    or a tatoo without parental approval, and abortion
    shouldn’t be different.

    [Health Care] – I think a Federal Universal One Payer
    system should be developed and get the Insurance
    companies and inbetween people out of it. I am told that
    the VA is a good example to follow.
    People should normally co-pay on a rising scale
    according to income, to help keep abuse down. No child
    should go without Health care.
    – with this Universal One Payer system should come a
    budgeted amount of money for medical care. Some
    people would call that â€rationed care†and they are
    right. Everything in this world is Rationed unless you have
    a billion dollars. Maybe even then occasionally.
    Treatment should first go to where you get the
    most bang for the buck. If after paying for prenatal care,
    preventive care, and for young and middle aged people
    ailments that are quick to fix, you are then running short
    of money for very expensive procedures, or long term
    care, then the Federal Government should tax more, or
    set limits on what is done. It should be debated in our
    congress just like a defense budget, because it will be
    – there will be ramifications to business, pensions, etc.,
    that I don’t have a ready answer for.

    [Immigrants] – If they aren’t legal, then get them out, and
    the most efficent way to faciliate that is by going after the
    – that said, we do need a â€guest worker program.†And
    once everyone is all properly documented, the country
    can decide then who is first on the list for becoming a
    – I will go further and say that I think it is great that 10 to
    12+ million hard working illegal Mexicans are in the country,
    but they should be legal guest workers and their
    emloyers should be obeying the laws of this country as
    well. I don’t buy the argument that to keep prices down
    at the grocery store, or the cost of paying nannys and
    cleaners or pool people low, we should have
    undocumented workers.

    [Minimum wage] [[Federal only]] (I started to carry on
    about my experiences as a teen, but forget that.) For
    small businesses, It should be raised $1 immediately,
    and another $1 in 6 to 12 months. I think the
    incremental change would be better to allow
    adjustments at small businesses. For medium size
    business, $1.50 immediately, and another $.50 in 6 to 12
    months. For large businesses, 1.75 immediately and
    $.25 in 6 to 12 months.
    – you have to be very careful about disrupting too much
    the balance between the workplace and the workforce.
    – I would keep the minimum wage the same eventually
    for all size business, because if you don’t then the larger
    businesses just go to contractors.
    – Now is a $2.00 increase enough or too much in 1 year?
    I don’t know. I think that a period of observation will be
    needed, of maybe a year more. We don’t want to
    severely decrease minimum wage jobs.

    [Social Security] is just fine, though we need to change
    a few things in order to put enough money into the fund.
    The question there is whether to increase the tax, to
    increase the upper limit, to adjust payments for
    retirement income levels, etc. Any of these things or all
    of them might be done.

    [IRAQ] Hang Bush, (but don’t impeach him.) ((Kind of a
    joke.)) Militarily, I think a new -very different- plan to be
    proposed by the Military might be a start. We should be
    hearing about it soon.

    [Affirmative Action] No. Especially in Public Education. It
    has become Reverse Discrimination. If people need help to
    prepare for a test, then fine. But you have to let people
    stand on their own eventually.

    [Gay Marriage] No. Civil Unions -Yes.

    [Stem Cells] Yes, generally, but not after fertilization.
    The questions about fertilzed eggs that will be thrown away
    require Solomon or somebody. Not me.

    And now I am going to walk with my mom who is visiting
    and has just finished her nap after church. If she saw that last stance she would frown and shake her head at me. She is big in Birthright.

    Katie, you have a good weekend.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Why has this most excellent blog, with the most intelligent blogger on the internet, been hijacked by this â€jodi†person?

    The shallow comments, the empty â€reasons†this person has to offer add nothing to the search for truth and the facts of any of EW’s postings. They just act like some kind of ugly liquid which hits the windshield and can’t be cleaned off, except with the strongest solvent. I am tired of the smear which â€sheâ€[jodi] passes over every discussion, and I wish EW would just do something about it.

    The attacks by Limbaugh and others on Michael Fox are unconscionable, and as someone on another blog said the other day, quoting from Mr. Welch of Army-McCarthy hearings fame, maybe it’s time to ask Mr. Welch’s question: â€Have you no decency, sir?â€

  20. Anonymous says:

    courage and energy in the mother help explain courage and energy in the child.

    as for stem cell research,

    this is a scientific question.

    the ONLY truly humane way to address it is as a scientific question.

    such research clearly has some potential for wonderful positive changes in our ability to treat now intractable human illness, including not only diseases such as parkinson’s but also spinal cord crippling, diabetes, and other severe and socially costly debilities.

    might stem cell research actually provide an answer to these problems?

    i don’t know and neither does anyone else right now.

    but the whole point of stem cell research is to â€let it run†– let scientific research on stem cells take its course.

    there is absolutely no harm in doing so and potentially much medical and economic good to be missed in not doing so.

    furthermore, science is a social system for verifying what are accurate deceptions of the way the world works and interact rs.

    the method of validating a scientific guesses (hypotheses) – peer review and result replication – has proved its soundness and it’s value to society for centuries.

    the superior morality of science over religion (based on its improved prospects for human and other life on this planet through improved understanding of the â€laws†of physical and social science) has been demonstrated time and again for at least four hundred years.

    as for the rush limbaugh attack on michael fox

    it is just another of the â€create a fuss for the media†tactics that the national republicans routinely use.

    once the â€pseudo-issue†is joined, there is much blather on each side, much time devoted to discussion accompanied by the desired commercial advertising in the media, and then the matter is dropped.

    the proper attack on limbaugh is not to scourge him for his insensitivity, but to point out both the ignorance and the moral obstructionism he practices and supports, and panders to

    question: how many drug companies would pay to support a limbaugh media presence?).

    so long as republican strategists like karl rove and republican operatives like limbaugh, can draw the media and the public into a side canyon and yammer away at what should be a non-issue,

    just so long will republican continue to attract clueless voters with deeply emotional media manipulations.