I Disagree With Carrie Prejean’s Views But Defend Her Right To Express Her Opinions And Pose Nude


I disagree with Miss California USA’s homophobia and opposition to gay marriage, but I’m hardly going to become very concerned about what one person says in a beauty pageant. Today semi-nude pictures of her have wound up in tabloids and on line. She vows to continue speaking out, but now she is facing opposition from the pageant as well as supporters of marriage equality:

…Alicia Jacobs, a judge at the April 19 Miss USA pageant during which Prejean made her highly publicized statement opposing same-sex marriage, said the pictures go beyond what the Miss California pageant says are appropriate.

“I can assure you they were quite inappropriate, and certainly not photos befitting a beauty queen,” Jacobs, a reporter for NBC’s Las Vegas affiliate, told NBC News.

I have not posted the topless picture of her because of questions as to her age at the time it was taken, but after reviewing the picture (posted here) I personally consider it to be befitting a beauty queen. Regarding her age:

Although Prejean said the pictures were taken when she was 17, others have alleged that they seem to have been taken after she underwent breast-enhancement surgery six weeks prior to the Miss USA pageant. That surgery was paid for by the Miss California pageant.

If they are going to pay for them, the pageant shouldn’t object to her showing them off!

Update: Carrie Prejean Keeps Title But Can’t Keep Her Shirt On

Now that more nude pictures have surfaced of Carrie, and it is clear she posed topless after turning eighteen, I have posted both the original picture and one from the new set.

Paying For Medical Care Which Is Not Cost Effective

Yesterday I discussed the question of whether preventive care will reduce or increase health care costs. Tobacco cessation was one example which had been given in which the life style change could wind up costing more if this leads to people living longer and consuming health care services for a longer number of years. I also noted that this might not be the case as it costs more to care for people with chronic diseases, even if they don’t live as long, due to higher annual expenses when they are alive.

In general I think that the right preventive programs will save money, but only in the long run. This is also not the key issue as preventive care is still beneficial if it leads to a healthier population without saving money. I have thought of a perfect example of a case where preventive care clearly costs more money is still worthwhile.

People with congestive heart failure are at an increased risk of serious ventricular arrhythmias which can cause sudden death. Because of this, implantable defibrillators are placed in many heart failure patients. This costs a fair amount of money for the procedure. This also increases health care expenses because it leads to people with congestive heart failure living longer, which requires more money to treat them.

In some cases failure to provide preventive care can lead to greater expenses, such as if an inadequately treated diabetic requires dialysis or bypass surgery. In this case, failure to insert the implantable pacemaker will lead to sudden death in a certain number of heart failure patients.

If a heart failure patient dies of sudden death from a ventricular arrhythmia there are no medical expenses for treatment and there is one less person with heart failure requiring medical care. In this case an analysis based purely upon cost would show that implantable defibrillators are not cost effective, but this is still something we would want a health care system to pay for.

Carville Gives Advice To Doom GOP

James Carville is a sly one. I doubt that the Republicans would take advice from him as to how to rebuild the party, but if they do Carville has sent them on a further downward course. In an interview with The Huffington Post Carville advised that if they abandon their current positions on social issues “their party would crumble.”

Their current social conservative policies have largely contributed to the demise of the Republicans as a viable national party. Support for the GOP is limited to the deep south and sparsly populated states in the Mormon belt of the west. Their support is down to 21 percent of voters. They have already crumbled.

Currently the Republicans receive their strongest support from the religious right and if they stop pandering to them the party does risk further declines in the short run until they attract voters they lost back to the party. Their current course allows them to have a small group of fervent supporters but prevents them from winning nationally.

Why Caroline Kennedy Went After Hillary Clinton’s Senate Seat


When Caroline Kennedy expressed interest in Hillary Clinton’s vacant Senate seat it was never clear why Kennedy wanted to be in the Senate. Vanity Fair has run an excerpt from Ted Kennedy: The Dream That Never Died by Edward Klein which shows that it was Ted Kennedy who was primarily interested in keeping a Kennedy in the Senate:

‘There has been a Kennedy in the Senate for nearly 50 years, and Ted wanted to extend that run for another 50 years,” said a longtime family adviser. “He felt it was very important to have a Kennedy in the Senate after he was gone, and when Hillary [Clinton] announced she was leaving the Senate to become secretary of state, Ted thought that Caroline should take her seat. He put it to Caroline almost like a last wish, and Caroline felt that she couldn’t let her uncle Teddy down.”

Kennedy was considered to be a shoo-in for the appointment by many, but she was not very impressive when in public while this was under consideration. She was surprised when Patterson didn’t immediately give her the seat:

Caroline was humiliated; she had expected that the appointment would automatically be hers,” said the Kennedy-family adviser. “In her mind, it wasn’t just that it had been her uncle Robert’s Senate seat, or any other aspect of her legacy; it was that she is a constitutional scholar who has helped secure funding for the New York City school system, that she’s acted as an adviser to her uncle, and that she’s a star of the Democratic Party. It honestly never occurred to her that the seat wouldn’t be given to her immediately. When Governor Paterson failed to react, and made her wait, she seethed.”

Ultimately it was her children which convinced Kennedy to remove her name from consideration:

“In the end her daughters, her son, and her husband, Ed, sat down with her at their New York apartment and gave her something of an ultimatum,” said the family adviser. “Her children felt that she was becoming a different person—one that they didn’t much like. They had never heard her talk so tough. They told her that, if she was getting this worked up just getting the job, they didn’t want to see what she would be like in the trenches of a political campaign or a fight in Washington.

“One night, Caroline and Ed Schlossberg were dressing to go out to a dinner party when her daughters, Rose and Tatiana, came into her bedroom to confront her about the situation. Caroline was putting on her makeup and was a few minutes from leaving when they sat down on her bed and told her what they were thinking. When they knew they had her attention, Rose, the eldest, ran out and got her brother, Jack, to join them so that their mother would know they were unanimous.

“Jack is actually the most emotional of the kids, and he was the most upset. This was totally uncharted territory for them. Mom had always been in charge. Their family is very matrilineal. Caroline calls the shots. Rebellion is not something that happens. For that reason Caroline was stunned. She stopped what she was doing and gave them 100 percent attention, shushing and waving Ed out of the room when he ducked in and pointed to his watch to indicate that they were running late.

“Rose pleaded, saying, ‘Mom, you are above this.’ That was a wake-up call. It jerked Caroline back to reality. What would her mother [Jackie] think of all this tabloid attention she was getting? Her mother wouldn’t have liked it. It was Caroline’s conversation with her children that tipped the balance. If Paterson had called and offered her the job an hour earlier, she would have accepted. But after that conversation she wouldn’t have taken the job if Paterson had come begging on his hands and knees. That’s when Caroline called Paterson and told him she was withdrawing her name.”

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