Our online chat with Cong. DeGette starts now. Join us.

The chat has started. Join us in the comments.

We’ll be holding it in the comments. Anyone can join in and ask a question, and at the same time Joe and I will be asking some questions too.

Diana DeGette is the Democratic congresswoman from Denver. She’s intimately involved with the planning details for the Democratic Convention, that starts next week, so feel free to ask her about all of that or anything else you like. More generally, the congresswoman has just published a new book, called “Sex, Science and Stem Cells: Inside the Right Wing Assault on Reason.” As I know you folks share our concern about the right-wing take over of our country, and particularly their assault on science, I think we can have a good discussion. Here are a few interesting factoids from the book:

You May Know…
President Bush and the religious right and their Congressional allies oppose abortion funding.

But did you know?
They also oppose birth control, having tried to limit condom distribution and remove coverage from the federal employees’ health insurance plan which, ironically, covers Viagra.

You May Know…
President Bush opposes embryonic stem-cell research that may hold the key to treating many life-threatening diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and diabetes.

But did you know?
The federal government has actually given $10 million in grants to religious organizations such as Night light Christian Adoptions that put up embryos previously used in in vitro fertilization procedures for “adoption.” In 2006, there were some 133 so-called “snowflake babies” born from such programs—at a cost to taxpayers of almost $77,000 per child.

You May Know…
The federal government has committed $15 billion to international HIV/AIDS prevention.

But did you know?
The vast majority of these funds have been given to organizations that refuse to promote birth control as a part of HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention.

You May Know…
Republican presidential candidate John McCain supports expanding embryonic stem-cell research.

But did you know?
On everything else, John McCain takes his cues directly from the religious right when it comes to science and sex education. He has voted: against birth control for federal employees; against funding medically accurate pregnancy prevention programs; against funding for the United Nations agency in charge of family planning.

I’ll let you know when the congresswoman arrives. I’ll do a brief intro in the comments, then Joe and I will jump in with questions – and feel to post your own in the comments. And actually feel free to post some now in advance if you like.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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