Saturday, March 19, 2005

Congress Agrees on Schiavo Bill

Technorati  lists over thirteen thousand blog posts matching the string "Schiavo".  Google News  lists over three thousand news articles on the subject. 
Congress agrees on Schiavo bill
Brain-damaged woman's mom begs: 'Save my little girl'

Saturday, March 19, 2005 Posted: 2113 GMT

"We are confidant that this compromise addresses everyone's concerns," DeLay said. "We are confidant it will provide Mrs. Schiavo a clear and appropriate avenue for appeal in federal court.

"And most importantly we are confidant this compromise will restore nutrition and hydration to Mrs. Schiavo as long as that appeal endures."

The Senate will meet in extraordinary session Saturday and the House will meet Sunday afternoon.

President Bush is expected to sign the bill.
 Politicians are busy taking advantage of the free publicity provided by traditional media coverage of this unfortunate situation.  Some pundits, though, are already skeptical.   Some, for example, express the view that politicians are basically engaging in political grandstanding with this legislation.  Indeed, the fact that "Molotov" DeLay is speaking out in favor of the legislation adds credibility to that view.  However, I do not know of any objective test that can be applied to the text of legislation that will reveal the intent and sincerity of the legislators who passed it.

When I first heard about the legislation, I immediately thought of the lyrics of the 1973 Steely Dan song, Show Biz Kids:
[...] Show biz kids making movies
Of themselves you know they
Don't give a **** about anybody else [...]
I guess I'm too prudish to put swear words up on my blog. 

Perhaps, though, the implication is a little harsh.  After all, accusing congresspersons of exploiting a situation for personal gain is a rather serious mater.  But hey, they are turning Ms. Schiavo into a political football.  Don't expect me to be generous.

Back to the legislation: The closest thing to a test of sincerity is the money test.  If legislation includes funding to accomplish the purported goal, then it probably was written with sincerity.  The Library of Congress site, Thomas, provides the text of the legislation.  I read it today.  There is no funding for long-term care of persons in a persistent vegetative state.  No Funding = No Sincerity.