So Bush is trying to do something good. Kind of. He established a fund in 2003 called ‘PEPFAR‘ to pledge funds to Africa to help fight HIV/AIDS. Of course there are lots of strings attached, like ABSTINENCE ONLY education WHOOOO!!! *rolleyes* But whatever. Hes a Republican theotard– and I suppose its the best he is capable of.
Well, PEPFAR is set to run out in 2008. Its up for renewal. It has nearly complete bipartisan support because its a ‘Duh’ issue. Its like putting “Chocolate is yummy” up for debate on the senate floor. Duh chocolate is yummy. Duh we need to help Africa deal with its HIV/ADIS disaster.
But notice I said *nearly* complete.
A fellow leading the fight to kill PEPFAR is none other than Oklahoma MD senator, heath adviser to John McCain, against GINA, Tom Coburn.
Why? Because the senate took out the completely arbitrary “55% must be spent on HIV/AIDS treatment” requirement to free that money up for wherever it is needed. It was a completely arbitrary number in the first place. Could have been 45%. Coulda been 60%.
But goddammit, take it out and let troops on the ground in Africa decide how best to spend the money (prevention, local clinics, etc), and TOM COBURN WILL NOT STAND FOR IT! They might spend that money in a clinic that performs… **whispers** ABORTIONS!!! Or maybe the clinic has a needle exchange program for drug addicts. **FAINTS**
So Coburn and seven other Republican idiots want PEPFAR dead.
Look, Im sure Coburn has *nothing* against black people. Theres a pic of him holding a cute little black girl on his homepage.
But a far more eloquent and patient person than I put this into perspective for Dear Tom quite nicely:
Each of the Coburn Seven counts himself pro-life. If a bill came to the Senate floor that would save millions of unborn children, one assumes that pro-life members would push to improve it, accept a few necessary compromises and then enthusiastically support the legislation.
It is difficult to imagine why pro-life legislation involving millions of Africans should be viewed differently.