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01 May 2008

Comments

C Bradshaw

Rod, this question may be totally off-topic, but where do you find the photos that are posted here? I'm new here and have noticed you always find the most dramatic photos in your political posts. Sorry if that sounds like a silly question.

West Side Poz

Thanks for posting this, Rod. I'm HIV positive and seroconverted while using drugs for many years. That was years ago, I am clean and sober but living with HIV and enjoying my life. Substance abuse is a HUGE issue for gay men, especially black gay men, and HIV often is the outcome. I admire Mrs Clinton for often speaking about this, and, for her health plan. I also admire Mr Obama for his "grassroots" organizing style.

Thanks for spotting this interview. Sometimes, the best interviews are given to the local press.

Cadence

I don't consider Clinton's talk of chrystal meth and rates of HIV among people of color and gay men minor, but I do consider it just pandering, since I don't think these problems can be addressed by the federal government. I think these issues lie in the relm to taking personal responsibility, and I really don't see how Obama or Clinton can change the fact that people don't care enough about themselves to get tested, know their partners HIV status, or not use drugs. The best the federal government can do is increase funding for education. But, honestly, I don't think that a lack of access to information about HIV and meth is the main problem.

Franklyn Smith

Cadence, I totally disagree. That is not pandering. If anything, the answer shows a remarkable grasp of health care policy.

Addiction and substance abuse is a massive public health issue and employment concern. It's a major problem in the gay community and black community, probably a very big one in the black community, too, but we don't talk about it. Susbtance abuse is also a major factor in HIV seroconversion. Crystal meth abuse is a major problem in gay ghettos in NYC, LA, SF, Chicago, as well as many rural communities across the country. I know Rod has posted a number of articles on this and Sens Clinton, Menendez and Boxer were fighting to increase federal funding a year or two ago, when the Bush Administration wanted to cut HIV/AIDS funding.

Obviously the federal government cannot force people into rehab or 12 step. But it can choose to fund LGBT community centers, recovery homes, outpatient programs, HIV/AIDs awareness projects.

On that note, thank you West Side Poz for sharing. My ex was also positive.

Cadence

I'm not saying that substance abuse isn't a problme, it's a major problem in all communities. I think the stats show that 25% of Black women who are HIV+ became so because of I.V. drug use. I'm just saying that I don't think this is an problem that lies with the government to solve.

Alan T

1) "Pandering" (v) To cater to the lower tastes and desires of others or exploit their weaknesses.

An example would be if a presidential candidate promised to build an ethanol plant in Iowa or promised to ban same sex marriage while speaking to evangelical audiences.

A candidate beng interviewed by a gay newspaper and discussing gay rights, HIV fundings and the AIDS epidemic is not "pandering." If that's the case, Obama is also "pandering" by discussing gay rights and AIDs to gays in the same interview, or, "pandering" when he discusses NCLB or merit pay to educators or crack cocaine sentencing or schools funding to black audiences. These are "issues" specific to those communities.

2) "I really don't see how Obama or Clinton can change the fact that people don't care enough about themselves to get tested, know their partners HIV status, or not use drugs."

Hmm. Now that sounds like the conservatives and Republicans say. No, they can't force people to get tested, but, since so many BLACK GAY MEN and BLACK WOMEN aren't getting tested or using protection, maybe government does have an incentive to work on policy, testing and health care? Cuz, the AIDS medicines and hospital visits and suergery costs hundreds of millions of dollars per year?

Gianni B

It's actually very interesting to read their interviews side by side. Obama usually discusses process and Clinton usually talks policy.

Apparently the Clinton interview was emailed but why did Eric Stern answer half of Obama's questions? Were those also emailed? The answers come across as formulaic.

Ryan

sorry folks:

Ms. Cadence is anti-Hillary Clinton, so he finds something wrong with EVERYTHING she says and does, right C?

The fact is that BOTH are coming to the plate with ways of dealing with HIV/AIDS and meth addiction in the LGBT community...

In a way, BOTH are pandering to get the vote since Cadence went there. But, with Clinton, she talks policy but will offer ways of finding solutions.

Obama..is still process and theoreticals and not concrete solutions. the fact that Eric Stern was answering questions for him should tell you that he may not be as strong on this issue as he appears to be..just saying.

Reality is this: We have two Democratic nominees who have thrown their hat DOWN and are making steps to do something about this epidemic.

Have the Republicans done the same?

ATL Kid

Ryan is right. Clinton Derangement Syndrome reaches an all-time high when gay (?) Clinton haters justify their hatred by attacking the wisdom of funding HIV/AIDS programs, health policy or meth legislation. By all means, Clinton and Obama can't do anything about AIDS or substance abuse, so, why even bother? Let's just allow everyone to die, infect partners and children, run up huge medical bills and increase medical and business costs. It's not like ANYONE else is impacted by the AIDS crisis. Not.

The Republicans and McCain want to take money from urban communities and health care. At least Clinton and Obama are talking about our issues and reaching out to our community. I'm a Clinton partisan and make no bones about it, and, Cadence's comment illustrates exactly why I'm for Clinton. She has solutions for problems and knows policy. She knows about the health care crisis, which disproportionately impacts the black community and poor people. That one of the reasons why she does so well with working class voters.

Oh, and why was Eric Stern "answering" questions for Obama?

Cadence

I think it is pandering to say that you will work on changing a problem, even though you know that you will have no control over that problem. Politicians do this all of the time. I always get a kick out of politicians who say they will do something about the education system, even though they know that the office they are seaking doesn't have any impact on the school system.

And calls for personal responsibility may sound like Republican talking points, but I really would like to know how politicians are going to stop people from putting themselves at risk.

tyler grey

Cadence, you're reaching and trying to rationalize your irrational Clinton obsession. We'll just stop funding cancer, diabetes, and AIDS research. And worker safety satndards and k-12 education. 'Cuz the government can't really do anything.

Thanks for the laugh.

Rod Mc

C BRADSHAW: NO problem, many people have asked. The photos are found anywhere from Flickr to Getty or AP Photos. I usually try to find the most dramatic ones per day.

RYAN AND ATL KID: I don't know why Eric Stern was answering those questions.

Cadence

Tyler Grey, it would be nice if you would deal with the issue that I raised, instead of trying to personally attack me, or come up with your own reasons why I don't support Hillary Clinton.

Your arguements about Cancer, diabetes, and AIDs research don't make any sense. The government can actually play a role in finding cures, treating, and preventing these diseases, but the government can not, and really shouldn't be in the business of regulating personal behavior.

Again, I ask the question, how can the government make sure that people get tested, how can the government make sure that people use protection, how can the government make sure that people know their's and their partner's status? How can the govermnent make sure that people don't share drug needles or use illegal drugs at all? How can the government make sure that people don't participate in activities that put them at risk?

Tyler Gray

Cadence, your "question" was asked and answered. The government is in the business of regulating personal behavior, from installing traffic lights or imposing speed limits to regulating credit scores or insurance records. HIV/AIDS is a public health crisis and there is a legitimate government interest in researching a cure, encouraging testing and prevention, and, obviously, caring and treating for the HIV positive.r.

Unless you suggest the government should fund billions scientific research (pre-infection) and billions to care for those with the disease (post-infection) but ignore the infection phase? If your "answer" would be "yes", then we should also not encourage/fund/develop policy to prevent diabetes, cancer, TB, STDs, etc?

As I said, nice try.

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