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Scott Swenson

Entries by Scott Swenson

RIP Jack Kevorkian: Pioneer, Zealot, Dramatic Foil

(3) Comments | Posted June 3, 2011 | 4:31 PM

Jack Kevorkian's death, as reported in the media this morning, was not assisted. He took no pills, used no machines, so it seems. He died like most people, from complications of an underlying disease; evidently his suffering never reached a level where he sought a way out, as did the...

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Birth Certificates to Death Panels: Resurrecting Common Sense

(6) Comments | Posted April 27, 2011 | 4:19 PM

On the day President Obama released his birth certificate, playing the ultimate trump card in the low-stakes sideshow that bizarrely captivated media, some federal courts and state legislatures, and the far-right for two years, can we dispense with "death panels" too?

Can we resurrect common sense more generally?


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Morehead State: Power of Dreams in Times of Tragedy

(2) Comments | Posted March 18, 2011 | 3:55 PM

With a staggering array of domestic and global crises, President Obama took a few minutes on ESPN to fill out his NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Bracket. Many on Fox News chastised him, even though he encouraged sports fans to donate to relief efforts in Japan.

Obama was...

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Thoughts and Prayers: A Magnitude Greater Than 8.9

(124) Comments | Posted March 12, 2011 | 7:48 AM

When we go through trying times people say, "You're in my prayers," or the more secular, "in my thoughts," or, "I'm sending you good vibes." Especially today, with the news of an 8.9 earthquake off the coast of Japan, followed by tsunamis throughout the Pacific, many people will do more...

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Snyder v. Phelps: In the Court of Public Opinion, Snyder Wins

(10) Comments | Posted March 3, 2011 | 6:03 PM

It is easy to see the US Supreme Court decision in Snyder v. Phelps as a victory for the hate-mongering Westboro Baptist Church. That is the obvious story with an 8-1 decision. Most people won't think about it beyond the initial news coverage.

The justices awarded a "win" to...

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When the Politics of Death Lacks Dignity

(0) Comments | Posted January 18, 2011 | 12:41 PM

"What we've got here is a failure to communicate."

This famous line from the 1967 movie Cool Hand Luke is spoken twice. The second time they are Luke's last words before being shot. He laughs, a wry acceptance of fate as he is taken into...

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Fred Phelps and a Tale of Two Matts

(4) Comments | Posted October 4, 2010 | 1:20 PM

Matthew Snyder and Matthew Shepard died eight years apart under very different circumstances, both casualties of war. Snyder, a marine, died in Iraq in 2006. He was 20 and heterosexual. Shepard, a civilian, died at 21; the victim of a gay-bashing outside Laramie, Wyoming, inspired by a culture war...

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Far-Right Fearmongering on Death is Nothing New

(48) Comments | Posted August 11, 2009 | 2:08 PM

Fear is what the far right is. Fear is what they do. The same people who bring you fear and misinformation about sexuality education, contraception, family planning and abortion are once again stirring up fear about death.

"We have nothing to fear, but fear itself."

There is no better way...

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Welcome to Common Ground

(7) Comments | Posted June 16, 2009 | 12:09 PM

In so many ways, the election of President Obama is viewed through a lens of its healing potential. No, racism did not end with the election of our first President of Color, but many people are looking at themselves and their beliefs about race differently. No, his election did...

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HIV Activists Sentenced in Senegal: The Other Side of Rick Warren's "Humanitarian Issue"

(1) Comments | Posted January 8, 2009 | 1:54 PM

Originally posted on - Information, commentary and community for reproductive health.

Pastor Rick Warren is right about one thing, gay rights is a humanitarian issue and a human rights issue. The problem is he offered those comments in defense of retaining the privilege of heterosexual marriage, not...

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Rocks and Hard Places for Gay Christians this Christmas

(1) Comments | Posted December 23, 2008 | 1:23 PM

Originally appeared on - Information, commentary and community for reproductive health and rights.

I pray. Everyday. Sometimes several times. This week begins a twelve day feast of the birth of Christ in my faith tradition, and it happens amidst other celebrations of light in the darkness...

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Americans Embrace Pro-Education, Pro-Prevention, Pro-Choice Values in Historic Election

(0) Comments | Posted November 5, 2008 | 12:06 PM

Originally written for RH Reality Check - Information, commentary and community for reproductive health.

Americans ultimately vote their values.

In an election that started out as a debate about war, and ended up being about the economy, voters were also treated to a very clear discussion about the social...

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Culture of Lies

(0) Comments | Posted October 28, 2008 | 12:26 PM

Social conservatives cannot complain that their issues have not been heard in the 2008 campaign, in exactly the fashion they wanted.

John McCain selected the far-right's hand-picked candidate as his running mate, Sarah Palin, instead of either of his preferred choices, Joe Lieberman or Tom Ridge....

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(Watch) Brian Williams Ask McCain-Palin if Abortion Clinic Bombers are Terrorists Like Ayers

(41) Comments | Posted October 23, 2008 | 9:14 PM

Scott Swenson is the Editor of RH Reality Check.

NBC's Brian Williams asked Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin about their attacks on Sen. Barack Obama and his association with Bill Ayers, and if they would define abortion clinic bombers as domestic terrorists.

Palin said she wouldn't condone such actions...

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Debate Analysis: Objective Indicators Suggest Education, Prevention, Pro-Choice Values Win

(17) Comments | Posted October 16, 2008 | 5:06 PM

The Culture War is over.

By every objective, measurable analysis, from CNN's dial tests, to MSNBC's focus group in Kansas City, to the CBS and Fox News flash polls -- to RH Reality Check's own server-crashing high traffic volume following the final presidential debate -- Americans are embracing the pro-education,...

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Abuse of Power, Anger and Abortion Politics: Extremism Exposed

(93) Comments | Posted October 11, 2008 | 1:05 PM

A McCain supporter at a Friday rally said he was "scared of an Obama presidency", linking Obama "hanging around with Ayers" to "who he will choose for the Supreme Court." Two lies, about Ayers and about the Supreme Court, fueled by a Culture of Lies now fomenting rage.

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More Supporters of Anti-Choice Terrorism Linked to McCain

(4) Comments | Posted October 8, 2008 | 9:37 PM

We learned yesterday about a linkage between militant anti-choice terrorist Paul Schenck and Sen. John McCain, and tonight Keith Olberman reported about yet another linkage to some of the most extreme anti-choice activists. It seems obvious that the McCain campaign is comfortable with the extreme tactics of the most...

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Another Major Pro-Life Scholar Endorses Obama Citing Pro-Prevention Policies

(25) Comments | Posted October 4, 2008 | 9:32 AM

A second major pro-life scholar is coming out in strong support for Sen. Barack Obama, specifically citing Obama's pro-education and pro-prevention agenda to reduce unintended pregnancies. According to The Boston Globe:

Nicholas P. Cafardi, a law professor and the former dean of the Duquesne...

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Obama Plays Offense Asserting Pro-Education, Pro-Prevention, Pro-Choice Values

(23) Comments | Posted September 19, 2008 | 10:53 AM

No one will be able to accuse Sen. Barack Obama of not making his pro-education, pro-prevention, pro-choice values clear in this election.

Unlike ghosts of Democrats past that hemmed and hawed, straddling hot-button issues like abortion by playing defense against the harsh tactics and misinformation spread...

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Abstinence-Only Multimillionaire Funds 527 Attack on Abortion Issue

(8) Comments | Posted September 16, 2008 | 1:47 PM

On a day when most Americans are looking at the news from Wall Street, as markets plunge, comes word from far-right social conservatives that one multimillionaire funder will attempt to distract voters with independent television advertising on more Culture War issues.

Last week featured the now resoundingly...

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